The broken engineering interview process

Imagine yourself in an interview, sitting in front of 5-10 others of your field. Midway through, the group’s questions drift from the personal and work experiential to the assessing and cross-examining.  They ask you to step up to The Whiteboard, marker in hand, and prove what you know.  Never mind that you’re not fresh out of college and that you haven’t taken a formal test in some time. Gone are the days when a good professional portfolio and list of references, along with a teamwork-minded personality, can get you a job.

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The Benefits and Drawbacks of OEM Partnerships

Written in collaboration with Mary D.

Every company wants greater, better and more business coming their way – and partnerships are often a necessary and fundamental way to getting there. OEM partnerships are a way for companies of all sizes to team up and focus on one particular product. Many of today’s most successful products would not be what they are or nearly as successful without the invention of OEM partnerships.

As with any partnership, certain matches will work out and others will not. Recognizing and considering the benefits and drawbacks of an OEM partnership will ensure that both parties set specific goals and go into discussion with some background as to what they should expect from one another.

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Ukrainian Outsourcing

I had the most bizarre confrontation last year in my gym locker room — a place that is supposed to be a bastion of privacy, comfort, sometimes camaraderie — from which I haven’t really recovered.

Charles is a jovial sort of guy.  He’s in his mid to late 50s.  He’s gregarious and extroverted, often seeking out quiet-type guys to chat up. I don’t doubt his sincerity and desire to connect with other men; in fact, it’s a quality of which I’m somewhat jealous, simply because it doesn’t come naturally to me.

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Cloud Computing: Myths Vs. Reality

Written in collaboration with Mary D.

Cloud computing has accelerated communications and the exchange of ideas, bringing the level of interconnectedness to unimaginable heights. This was also made possible thanks to innovative advancements in the A.I. technology sector, which have provided Cloud services with the capability to extract and condense information that can help a business overcome competition and reorganize its organizational infrastructure effectively so that ideas can be continuously recycled and perfected to the benefit of customers, clients and partners—including participants in other even peripheral areas of industry that can benefit indirectly from this inter-change of information. It is the very fact that it has encouraged an inter-disciplinary approach which makes Cloud technology so important to the general public and business/industry in general. But despite the great opportunities that it brings to job seekers in general, there subsists the myth that it cuts jobs, while in fact, quite the opposite happens to be true. In the cloud industry in particular, the demand for cloud computing experts significantly exceeds the supply, meaning that there are a lot of unfilled diverse job positions only in this industry.

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Everything You Need to Know About Text Mining

Written in collaboration with Mary D.

Text mining is widely recognized by companies as one of the major tools that are provided by A.I. technology to extract valuable ‘structured” data from text and help businesses filter through and condense valuable project-oriented information. If this sounds a little too ‘sci-fi” for you, that is exactly the point. Its capacity to recognize and respond to human speech and mimic the neural pathway activities of the human brain to develop independent cognitive abilities and behavioural responses is only the beginning, especially as more technological advancements are introduced into the field and artificial intelligence software are gaining higher momentum and demand among multiple industries with connections to the IT/Computer/Mobile industry—from the transport, banking, social services, government, and medical sectors among many more. While the first attempts to develop intelligent thinking machines can be traced historically to Raymond Lull in the 14th Century—and “automatons” are present in the ancient mythology of Greco-Roman, Egyptian and Babylonian/Mesopotamian literature—text mining goes back to the WWII era, when governments started adopting “content analysis” and assigning numerical codes to public concepts and ideas that were found in the media, including newspapers, magazines, letters, documents…etc. with the objective of analyzing and monitoring trends in mass-behaviour by tracking the levels of popularity and development of those concepts/ideas. This practice has also developed into another branch known as open source intelligence, used by governments and the intelligence communities to sift through all the pertinent information that is available on the World Wide Web for reasons of national security and especially in response to the current major crises facing the modern world. Unfortunately for the general public, it is also something that has led to the infringement of personal security and civil rights as demonstrated by its current use as a global spy network set up by agencies like the NSA and the CIA.

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Mishandling errors

For the past 3 years, I’ve been working full-time as a software engineer.  This has been a substantial, if not calculated, change for me.  I’d been an hardware engineer for longer than I care to think about.

Perhaps the biggest, while subtlest difference between the two career paths that I didn’t see coming is this: determinism.  I simply love the relative absolute nature of software.  I’m sure some might argue me on that one.  But, you get my point.  For the most, the outputs of any software project can be clearly predicted; the inputs can be nicely quantized, packaged, and displayed in automated fashions.

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online IDEs

I love IDEOne.  It’s a fully debuggable online compiler for a bunch of software languages.  And there’s no need installing a plugin to format source code correctly on my blog, when this service offers embeddable links.  Like this:

By the way, this isn’t compiling. Anyone have any pointers? See what I did there? Pointers?

The collision of Boxes

I’m a big fan of Dropbox.  I (and the rest of the internet) have been using it in free mode for quite some time.  I probably don’t need to tell you what it is.  What I particularly love about the cloud is that it kills two birds with one stone:

  1. Syncing your files painlessly between all your devices (computers, phones, tablets)
  2. In the process, giving you easy backup (by way of mirroring your data across multiple personal devices, as well as in the cloud)

And as the cloud storage market gets more crowded (Box.com, Microsoft’s OneDrive, Google’s Drive, Apple’s iCloud, etc.), the race to $0 makes for a pro-consumer landscape.

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Bearable wearable

I’ve always loved following tech. The emergence of the wearables market has been a fascinating one: a convergence of small form factor, low power, and high performance electronics.  In particular, this market really couldn’t have happened without the smartphone industry blazing the trail, since wearables leverage multiple technologies like touch screens, accelerometers, compasses, and wireless interfaces.

And yet, I’ve been pretty reluctant to actually buy a wearable.  I’m a late adopter.  I’m also fairly inundated with enough tech already.  So having another device to sync, charge, socially link, and generally pay attention to, wasn’t a prospect I was eager to jump into.

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