Working in Tech

Best practices, new technology and products, and tips to help you stay on the cutting edge.

How Many Hours Does Mark Zuckerberg Work Per Week?

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If you run the world’s largest social network, how many hours can you expect to work a week? In a new Q&A, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg suggested he puts in 50-60 hours a week… at most. “I spend most of my time thinking about how to connect the world and serve our community better,” he wrote, “but a lot of that time isn’t in our office or meeting with people or doing what you’d call real work.” He added: “I… continue…

The Trick to Win-Win Negotiations

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In many situations, it’s common to feel as if someone is continually taking advantage of something—whether it’s you, the situation itself, or something you can’t quite perceive. Do you feel as if you need to wage constant battles in order to win the resources you need to complete projects? If so, a bit of a refresher on win-win negotiation skills may be in order. Effective negotiation helps resolve conflicts in a way where everybody gets at least a little of… continue…

Prepared for Continuous Background Screening?

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Even if you passed your pre-hire background check with flying colors, you may not be out of the proverbial woods. A growing number of employers are performing periodic background checks or so-called “infinity” screening on current employees. The ongoing scrutiny of your criminal activity, credit report and social media posts could have a major impact on your career. “There’s no limit on the type of background checks employers can run on current employees as long as they have a signed… continue…

How Mission Creep Killed a Gaming Studio

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Over at Kotaku, there’s an interesting story about the reported demise of Darkside Game Studios, a game-development firm that thought it finally had a shot at the big time… only to collapse once its project requirements spun out of control. Darkside Game Studios had spent much of its existence as an outsourcing firm for other studios’ games, handling development tasks that the clients didn’t have the in-house bandwidth to finish on their own. Darkside got a chance to show off… continue…

‘Soft Management’ Is Key to Effective Teams

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Those who manage, or who work with managers on a daily basis, know that managers will often ask for status reports or meetings on a daily or weekly basis in order to judge how projects are progressing. And many times, those reports or meetings are where true “management” seems to end. In my experience, managing via status checks is one-dimensional and insufficient. For instance, it doesn’t take anything into account other than how work is progressing, which provides zero insight… continue…

Startup Advice From Someone Looking Back

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In a widely circulated posting on his blog talkingquickly, Ruby/Android developer Ben Dixon has 63 bits of startup advice, arranged under the charming title, “What I’d Tell Myself About Startups If I Could Go Back 5 Years.” Much of Dixon’s advice will be familiar to anyone who’s ever asked around about running a startup (“’Ads’ are where business models go to die”), but some of it is repeated less often, and worth reiterating here. To wit: “Always refuse if someone… continue…

The Hardest Way to Avoid Burnout

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Whether you’re grinding through 80-hour weeks in order to get your startup off the ground, or just trying to get through the workday at a major corporation, you run the risk of burnout unless you figure out how to best manage your energy. What’s the trick to avoiding burnout? Most experts recommend getting exercise—no matter how busy you are—and scheduling breaks, even in the middle of a startup “death march.” Eliminating stressors is also key; for example, learning how to… continue…

Do You Have Enough Emotional Intelligence?

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Everybody needs some degree of so-called “soft skills” in order to navigate the modern professional world. But how do you know whether you’re actually engaging in the self-awareness and empathy necessary for optimum collaboration with colleagues and clients? Over at the Harvard Business Review, career coach Muriel Maignan Wilkins has a breakdown of the signs that somebody needs to work on boosting his or her “emotional intelligence”: “You often feel like others don’t get the point and it makes you… continue…

How to Negotiate With a Project Manager

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Every project has a human element to it, and how you approach your relationship with the project manager has a direct impact on how you tackle your assignment—and how your work will be judged. Although the project manager is ultimately responsible for the plan’s outcome, you can have a real voice in shaping things by clearly communicating your concerns and needs. The project manager may not have your exact skill set, but it’s a safe bet that he or she… continue…

Five Signs You Should Be a Low-Code Developer

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By Johan den Haan The demand for custom software has never been higher. There is an app for managing nearly every aspect of our lives, personally and professionally, and the enterprise is particularly hungry for more. Yet CIOs are painfully aware that the demand far exceeds their current ability to deliver. A recent CIO.com poll of more than 500 IT chiefs found that application development is among the top skill set shortages anticipated in 2015. Because of this, there is… continue…