David Coursey

Technology writer/blogger, marketing communicator, disaster services volunteer, cat rescuer. Executive Director, California Emergency Volunteers, Inc. (cevol.org).

4 Signs You’re Being Pushed Out of Your Company

Posted In Looking in Tech
Being Excluded
How do you know when the end of your job is near — when the company you used to love, and may still, is pushing you out the door? Every case is different, of course, but experts say there are some common signs to look out for. The most-cited is when you find yourself shunted away from critical path projects. While it may not be happening because someone’s trying to point you to the door, if it goes on too… continue…

Is ‘Big Tech’ On the Way Out?

Posted In Living in Tech
Out the Door
Are big tech companies on the decline? In a post on Re/code, venture capitalist Matt McIlwain argues that they are. Though I don’t think the evidence he cites is either new or compelling, tech workers should still be aware. “IBM just reported its seventh straight quarter of declining sales, and I believe that the value of big cap technology companies as a group will substantially decline in the coming years,” McIlwain wrote. He says the changes in enterprise technology markets… continue…

A Tenuous Future for Google Code?

Posted In Looking in Tech
Google Code Logo
Google Code, the company’s project-hosting site for developers, could soon get the axe, reports InfoWorld. The “most obvious” reason why Google Code might be dumped is that it hasn’t added a new feature since 2011, InfoWorld notes, though there is also the rise of GitHub, which has accelerated the practice of coding as a “collective and social” endeavor — exactly what Google Code had set out to accomplish. Indeed, the last feature added to Google Code was the addition of… continue…

The Unintended Consequences of Tech Startups

San Francisco Housing Alamo Square
Why do tech startups all look the same? That’s a question The Economist asks and partially answers in a story that details what it calls “The Dark Side of Tech Startups,” a topic seldom discussed by those involved with them. Startup communities, though very international, are made up largely of youngish white males who are not so much entrepreneurs as new kinds of workers. A further worry is that software — and hence startups — are eating not just the… continue…

Amazon’s Closed Approach to Open Source Costs It Talent

Declinced Job Offer
Amazon’s unwillingness to contribute to the open source projects it relies on is costing it potential talent as some tech professionals avoid the company, says the Register. Insiders describe Amazon as a “black hole” where improvements and fixes for open-source software are kept close to the vest, a policy that comes “right from the top.” Amazon contributes far less software code and research papers to open source projects than either Microsoft or Google, its main rivals. The secrecy goes so… continue…

When’s the Right Time to Join a Startup?

Stopwatch
Imagine for a moment that you’re among the most fortunate people in the world: Four promising startups have offered you a job, each company at a different stage of its evolution. You have to choose one as the next step in your career path. But, which one? The Companies: Company 1’s founder has money from friends and family, and a good idea. You aren’t being brought in as a co-founder, but as employee No. 2 you can play a major… continue…

How Facebook Ships Code Twice a Day

Posted In Living in Tech
Facebook
If you think of open source and don’t think of Facebook, you probably should. The social network has quietly been enhancing open source technologies, including PHP and Mercurial source control. “Facebook’s main source repository is enormous — many times larger than even the Linux kernel, which checked in at 17 million lines of code and 44,000 files in 2013,” wrote Durham Goode and Siddharth Agarwal in a Facebook blog. “Given our size and complexity, and Facebook’s practice of shipping code… continue…

Why Starting a Company is Like Falling off a Cliff

Warning Unprotected Edge
Does the call of entrepreneurship make your current job seem boring? Are you looking for adventure? Do you seek IPO riches? Are you looking for an escape? Don’t be too quick to make the leap, warns Robert P. Strauss, professor of economics and public policy at Carnegie Mellon University. He says today’s economy isn’t friendly to typical small businesses and the employment situation is worse. “Starting a business is a young person’s game,” Strauss believes. Mid-career workers who quit their… continue…

Dell Poised to Lay Off As Many as 9,000

Posted In Looking in Tech
Dell
Layoffs appear to be the next phase of Dell’s “voluntary separation program,” according to The Register. The Austin computer maker reportedly plans to axe 20 percent of its U.S. marketing and sales force, and 30 percent of them in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. The site estimates that as many as 9,000 Dell employees may get the boot, a figure the company reportedly denies but does not offer a correction for. “We asked Dell about this. It said our… continue…

Job Hunting Tricks for Older Tech Workers

Posted In Looking in Tech
Older Job Seeker Interviewing
Is there any place in tech for a worker over age 50? Not according to a number of once-successful professionals who lost jobs before or during the recession and now find it all-but-impossible to return to work. However, career experts and rehired workers say reentry is possible, though the rules for making it happen have changed. You may have seen the cartoon that shows one person saying to another: “We’re looking for someone with the wisdom of a 50-year-old, the… continue…