Mark Feffer

Mark Feffer writes about jobs and technology. He started as a videotape editor back when there was videotape to edit, then joined the news desk at Dow Jones News/Retrieval, the company's first online product. He produced The Wall Street Journal's first multimedia CD-ROMs and published his novel, "September," in 2006. He lives in Pennsylvania with his wife, their fierce terrier, and a schnauzer who wonders why she ever left California. He's a member of the Project Management Institute.

Report: Boot Camp Graduates Find Jobs, Better Pay

Posted In Looking in Tech
Battle Stripes
There’s an interesting report out from Course Report, a company that provides information to students considering technology boot camps. Billed as “the first cross-school study of its kind,” it indicates that these non-college-based programs actually do help their graduates find jobs. Bear in mind that it’s in Course Report’s interest for students to want to attend a boot camp, so it’s got a definite ax to grind here. That said, the report presents some impressive numbers. Of the 432 graduates… continue…

Can Defense Companies Hire Hackers on Their Terms?

Department of Defense
Big-name aerospace and defense contractors like Boeing, Raytheon and Northrop Grumman are beginning to think that one answer to their cybersecurity recruiting needs  lies in the hacker community. After all, if you want to combat attacks from people who think out of the box, why not hire people who think out of the box? It’s ironic because all of these companies are known for being somewhat conservative—they work for the Defense Department, after all, and security to them is a… continue…

Why Silicon Valley’s ‘Attitude’ Isn’t Such a Bad Thing

Anti-Gentrification Party
In Silicon Valley they think differently, and if that leads to arrogance, so be it. At least that’s what Bloomberg Businessweek’s Joel Stein implies in his long meditation on the area’s outlook on technology, money and changing the world. For better or worse, technology is driving the area’s economy: Private pay and benefits are rising more quickly there than in any other major metropolitan area in the country, reports the Oakland Tribune. “The Bay Area has one of the strongest… continue…

NSA Hints at Outreach to Silicon Valley Talent

NSA Spying Protests
The National Security Agency is worried that all of the controversies surrounding its, er, data-gathering activities is hurting its efforts to recruit technology talent, according to comments made earlier this week by Anne Neuberger, a special assistant to agency Director Michael Rogers. Speaking at a seminar hosted by the LongNow Foundation, Neuberger “extended a plea to an audience replete with tech workers to consider a career in government, or at least apply for a fellowship,” Reuters reports. Though many officials… continue…

MongoDB’s CEO Puts a Face on Work-Life Balance

Posted In Looking in Tech
Delayed Flight
Sometimes it takes a moment of drama to push people to a decision point. That, apparently, is what happened to Max Schireson, the CEO of database star MongoDB. Like a lot of tech executives, Schireson faced a grueling travel schedule, flying between his home in California and the company’s New York headquarters, as well as visiting customers and attending conferences. Then one day he woke up on a plane to discover his flight had made an emergency landing for an… continue…

In Mass., Big Names’ Tech Hiring Puts Pressure on Small Companies

Posted In Looking in Tech
Boston
The expansion of large tech companies in the Boston area is pressuring small businesses when it comes to hiring tech talent. Candidates attracted to the likes of Google and Facebook effectively remove themselves from what’s already a tight market, leaving lesser-known firms to scramble. “In the short run it hurts other companies to make it that much harder to hire these skilled coders,” Tim Rowe, CEO of the Cambridge Innovation Center, told the Boston Herald. “The reason they’re coming is… continue…

This Is Why Google Likes Its Leaders Boring

Boss
It may be that the best leaders aren’t those who inspire, or have the most product knowledge, or stand up to management on behalf of their team. Walter Chen, CEO of the productivity service IDoneThis, says the best leaders are those who are the most… predictable. Well, that’s counter-intuitive. Or, at least it is until you consider the numbers. Google, which is known for collecting reams of data on the performance of both employees and managers, discovered that when the… continue…

Include Testimonials in Your Resume

Posted In Looking in Tech
Thumbs Up
Tip of the Day People expect you to tell them how great you are in your resume and cover letter. After all, finding a job is all about selling yourself as the right person to fix an employer’s problem. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t room for other voices. You can add a lot of credibility to your story by including testimonials from colleagues or former managers in your resume. Think of it from the employer’s point of view: They’re… continue…

Nadella Popular at Microsoft, Layoffs or Not

Posted In Looking in Tech
Satya Nadella
Satya Nadella remains popular at Microsoft, despite his implementing the layoff of 18,000 employees, according to Business Insider. Although the website cited only a “source close to Microsoft,” it noted that Nadella retains an 87 percent employee approval rating on Glassdoor. Most Microsoft employees understand the reasoning behind the layoffs, BI’s source said: The company isn’t interested in building feature phones, and so it let go the people at Nokia working on them. About 12,500 of the people who lost… continue…

Here’s a Curveball Question You Won’t See Coming

Posted In Looking in Tech
Pitching a Curveball
Jon Bischke, CEO of recruiting software company Entelo, asks candidates an interesting question during job interviews: “What do you want to do after Entelo?” “That often throws people,” he told the New York Times. “It’s an interesting question because it helps people take off the lens of ‘I want this job,’ and to put on the lens of, ‘What do I want to do with my life? What do I want to do with my career?’” He goes on to… continue…