David Coursey

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

The Surprising Skill Employers Want in New Grads

Posted In Looking in Tech
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Attention college students: Technical courses are not enough to guarantee a successful career. While math, science and tech provide core competencies, employers say writing and communications skills are sorely lacking in many jobseekers. Technical skills “are clearly not enough,” according to John Challenger, chief executive officer of outplacement company Challenger, Gray & Christmas. “Not if you are ambitious and expect to see increasing levels of responsibility in your career.” More Than STEM “It is vital not to overlook critical coursework… continue…

Employees Have a Love/Hate Relationship With BlackBerry

Posted In Looking in Tech
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It comes as no surprise that life at Blackberry isn’t what it used to be, and employees aren’t being quiet about it. A lack of growth opportunities, a lack of stability and a general lack of fun are all taking their toll. “There aren’t many chances to grow internally,” wrote one current employee on Glassdoor.com, the anonymous employer reviews site. “The company does not retain its top talent. The company did not do a good job of marketing its products,… continue…

More Tech Professionals Pushed Into Contracting

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Employment isn’t what it used to be, and for many tech workers it may never be again. As America slowly emerges from recession, employment growth isn’t following. Increasingly, workers find themselves with piecemeal employment, no benefits and what appears to be no way back into a full-time job. “Will we all be freelancers soon?” asked a recent headline in U.S. News & World Report. The accompanying story reported how: 6 in 10 companies have plans to hire more freelancers in… continue…

Should Silicon Valley Secede, Or Just Leave?

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Secession is a popular topic in Texas, parts of Colorado and a rural area of northern California and Oregon that calls itself the “State of Jefferson.” But now the idea of breaking away has come up in an unlikely place: Silicon Valley. Yes, we’re talking about seceding from the U.S. Some call it “the ultimate exit strategy.” Such a move – support for which seems somewhere between “serious but not really” and pure fantasy – could separate technologists from their… continue…

Stack-Ranking’s Alive and Well in Tech

Posted In Looking in Tech
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The last 10 years are often called Microsoft’s “lost decade” as the company that once dominated the software world seemed to pay more attention to internal competitions than the marketplace. Microsoft, said Vanity Fair, had “cannibalistic culture.” It laid much of the blame on the forced ranking system the company used for employee evaluations. But now, Microsoft has abandoned that controversial “stacked ranking” system, replacing it with evaluations that forego rankings and give managers much more control over the process.… continue…

Working at Google May Not Be That Great After All

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Working at Google, widely considered Silicon Valley’s most prestigious employer, may not be all its cracked up to be. For example, consider a recent Quora thread on the subject: “The worst part of working at Google, for many people, is that they’re overqualified for their job,” wrote a former employee. “There are students from top 10 colleges who are providing tech support for Google’s ads products, or manually taking down flagged content from YouTube, or writing basic code to A|B… continue…

Amazon’s Seeking Engineers for Super-Secure CIA Cloud

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Having trumped IBM for a $600 million cloud contract with the Central Intelligence Agency, Amazon Web Services is hiring the hundreds of engineers and other professionals necessary to bring the spooks’ new super-secure cloud to life. The company is reportedly hiring 500 employees at AWS’s recently opened Herndon, Va., facility, located not far from CIA headquarters in Langley. Included in many of the descriptions posted on Amazon’s jobs site is a qualification already familiar to those the company expects to… continue…

Reseller Jobs Hint at Stronger Efforts by Google

Posted In Looking in Tech
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Google is adding a handful of positions – four to be exact – to its cloud reseller team. That’s seen as a good sign for companies partnering with the big G in marketing Google App Engine, Compute Engine, Cloud SQL, Cloud Storage and Big Query products. While four positions at a company that already is home to 46,000 may seem teensy, the impact on resellers could result in partner hiring as the new Googlers make their mark. The four positions… continue…

Six Tech Fields Students Should Watch

Posted In Looking in Tech
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Students who concentrate on courses related to math, science, engineering and technology will have the widest array of job options upon graduation, says a top observer of corporate hiring. John Challenger, chief executive officer of outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, believes it’s OK for students to begin college looking for an interesting career, but their search should to be rooted in the reality of what jobs will be available when they graduate. “Many freshmen have no idea what career… continue…

Gestures Are the Next Big Thing in UI

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For the most part, user interfaces today require users themselves to do all the work. But as technology evolves to allow people to use gestures alone, that’s changing. The result: Working with technology is becoming more natural and more effective. For example, in the near future it may be possible to refuse a call simply by looking at a ringing phone and shaking your head. If you’ve stopped paying attention or left the room, the app might pause to await… continue…