Susan Hall

Susan Hall is an accomplished writer and editor living in Louisville, Ky., where they like horses – a lot. Susan boasts some affection for horses, but more for dogs. She has written on a broad range topics from Olympic marathoners to the use of Twitter in the corporate jungle. Born of the print era, she worked at metro dailies such as The Dallas Times Herald, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Seattle Times and USA Today. The latter two even still exist. She fled the ink domain and became a member of the MSNBC.com launch team. From there it’s been a giddy ride of project management, research, interviewing, writing and editing in the IT realm. When not working, she and her Cocker Spaniel, Charlie, compete in AKC agility events.

Macheen Cuts Staff, Swaps CEOs

Posted In Looking in Tech
Machine Logo
Mobile cloud platform provider Macheen has instituted a round of layoffs and reversed its CEO switch involving its founder and chairman. The Austin, Texas, startup  laid off an unspecified number of workers, reports the Austin Business Journal. Additionally, its founding CEO Richard Schwartz told the journal that the company is “redirecting resourcing,” as part of internal changes and a greater focus on a software-as-a-service strategy. The company has also reportedly decided to focus on end users, rather than OEM clients… continue…

Twitter’s Environment: Autonomy and Purpose

Posted In Looking in Tech
Twitter Headquarters
At Twitter, engineering teams have always had a lot of autonomy, and Senior Vice President of Engineering Chris Fry wants to keep it that way. At the same time, he sees the need for enough structure to keep everyone working together seamlessly. Twitter has more than 1,000 engineers whose work in lightweight, Agile teams has gone beyond just maintaining the site’s reliability. And there are always new hires coming in who have to be brought up to speed quickly. While… continue…

Omaha Employers Predict Increase in Tech Hiring

Posted In Looking in Tech
Omaha, Nebraska
Companies in the Omaha, Neb., area plan to hire 1,400 IT professionals and 300 engineers in the next two years, according to a survey from AIM, an Omaha-based nonprofit that promotes technology careers and education. Its survey had just a 7 percent response rate — 154 companies – leading Levi Thiele, AIM’s research director, to project actual hiring demand of 2,000 to 3,000. “Our local IT demand is really matching what we’re seeing at the national level,” Thiele told the… continue…

6 Steps to Successful Crowdfunding

Posted In Money, Startups
Crowdfunding
Entrepreneurs thinking about raising money through crowdfunding should think carefully about what their business needs not just financially, but in terms of expertise, and then consider whether this type of fundraising will provide it. On top of that, says Jeff Sohl, director of the Center for Venture Research at the University of New Hampshire, they should think about how crowdfunding could affect subsequent investment rounds, since some angel groups will walk away from a business whose first round was obtained… continue…

New Mexico Governor Wants to Boost Tech Innovation

Posted In Looking in Tech
New Mexico Flag
New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez has issued a series of proposals to boost innovation and high-tech companies in New Mexico. Among other things, she wants to encourage angel investors by raising the maximum individual investment threshold for the state’s Angel Investment Credit from $100,000 to $250,000 and increase the overall cap on the credit from $750,000 to $2 million. The proposal is not only meant to encourage larger investments, but to increase the number of investments angels can make. Martinez also proposed: Combining the Technology… continue…

Tech Companies Woo Economists

Posted In Looking in Tech
Data Analysis
Tech companies were among the employers wooing young economists at the American Economic Association’s annual meeting recently in Philadelphia. In the past few years, Google, Microsoft and Amazon have organized teams of economists to sift through their reams of data and spot market trends. “It used to be that if you got a Ph.D. in economics, you went to government, you went to academics, you went to a consulting firm, or you went to Wall Street,” Greg Rosston, Deputy Director… continue…

Will ‘Smart Machines’ Decimate Tech Jobs?

Posted In Looking in Tech
Robot
Market pressures to embrace digitization will transform an array of industries – and IT staffs as well, according to a recent Gartner forecast. A digital workforce, comprised of robots and automated machines, has the potential to “significantly devalue and/or displace millions of humans in the workforce,” says Kenneth Brant, Research Director at the firm. He noted that a multifaceted marketplace for engineering a “digital workforce” already exists. This marketplace includes intelligent agents, virtual reality assistants, expert systems and embedded software… continue…

Zappos to Ditch Job Titles, Bosses for Self-Managed Teams

Posted In Looking in Tech
Teamwork Self-Managed
Online shoe merchant Zappos is going flat in an attempt to avoid bureaucracy. Or at least flat-ter. It’s joining companies such as weatherproof fabric maker Gore-Tex and games vendor Valve in nixing traditional corporate hierarchy in favor of self-managed teams. By the end of 2014, when Zappos’ transition is complete, the company is slated to be organized into more than 400 self-governing “circles” as it adopts holacracy, a radical “self-governing” style of operating, in which there are no job titles… continue…

Buffer Shares Staff Salaries in Bid for ‘Radical Transparency’

Posted In Looking in Tech
Transparency
Practicing what Joel Gascoigne, founder and CEO of Buffer, calls “radical transparency,” the company has made all its staff salaries public. In fact, the company, which enables clients to schedule posts for Twitter, Facebook and other social media sites, lists “Default to Transparency” as one of its nine core values. “In Silicon Valley, there’s a culture of people jumping from one place to the next,” Gascoigne told 99U. “That’s why we focus on culture. Doing it this way means we… continue…

Even Software Wizards’ Resumes Must Focus on Results

Posted In Looking in Tech
Superhero Engineer
Tech startups continue lean on snazzy titles — guru, rock star, wizard or ninja – in job postings, though these titles might be a means to compensate for lower salaries and small staffs, according to U.K. job site AdZuna. “Startups are usually small companies, so workers are often jacks of all trades,” Gabriel Puliatti, AdZuna country manager for Canada, told the Financial Post. “These companies are trying to separate out the people who like working for smaller companies. They’re saying… continue…