Working in Tech

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

Why Email Isn’t Going Away Anytime Soon

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Email’s not going anywhere, according to new data from the Pew Research Center’s Internet Project. Of the 1,066 adult Internet users surveyed by Pew in September 2014, some 61 percent reported email a “very important” tool for doing their job, ahead of even the Internet (54 percent), a landline phone (35 percent), a cell or smartphone (24 percent), and social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook (4 percent). To find email-related jobs, click here.  “The high value of email… continue…

What Facebook’s ‘Year in Review’ Snafu Teaches Devs

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Facebook Year in Review
Sometimes a feature seems like a really good idea, until a backlash from users forces the developer to backpedal rapidly. Facebook finds itself in such a situation this month, after its attempt at a pre-generated “Year in Review” posting triggered bad memories in many users. The “Year in Review” probably seemed like a grand idea on a whiteboard: An algorithm scans a Facebook user’s profile and identifies the postings with the most engagement, and builds a colorful presentation around those… continue…

Hate Your Team? Here’s How to Survive

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Despite the stereotype, tech professionals don’t spend all of their time sitting by themselves in cubicles, communicating with the world via email and text message. Whether in software development, network administration or hardware engineering, IT jobs have an awfully large human element to them. Many involve budget and time pressures, which can be exacerbated by differences in personality and style between teammates. Sometimes it’s unavoidable that tempers will get short and email threads will turn rude. Much of the time,… continue…

Daily Tip: Stop Perfectionism

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Assassins Creed Unity
This year, a handful of gaming studios suffered massive issues with their high-profile games. Assassin’s Creed: Unity, the latest in a series of historical adventures from Ubisoft, hit the market buggier than a square acre of Amazon rain forest. Destiny and the latest Halo likewise released with problems, some pretty significant. Those games’ snafus hint at developers pushed up against intractable deadlines. While nobody sets out to create an unusable product, sometimes a schedule prevents tech pros from tackling some… continue…

3 Signs Your Perfectionist Streak Is Hurting You

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You pride yourself on delivering work that’s as close to perfect as can be. After all, that’s your job, right? Well, yes and no. Organizations want quality, but they want it created within predictable time frames. That often puts you in the position of having to deliver something that’s merely “good enough.” “Building software is a fusion of quality and speed,” observed Ben Hicks, a partner at recruiter WinterWyman in Waltham, Mass. “Engineers who work too hard to be perfect… continue…

Navigating the ‘Brogrammer’ Culture

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How you embrace and fit in with the culture of your company can have a huge impact on your happiness and success. Unfortunately, melding with a bunch of “brogrammers” can be tricky, especially if you feel like the odd person out. Brogrammer is a slang term that refers to a new breed of macho, male tech professional. They love to play hard, code hard, party down… Well, you get the picture. Should you try to be one of the bros, or… continue…

What Yahoo’s Marissa Mayer Teaches About Management

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A new profile of Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer in the New York Times isn’t very kind to her two-year tenure at the flailing tech giant. While Yahoo invented the online-advertising business, and enjoyed initial success in everything from search to discussion boards, its rivals have managed to seize the lead in a number of different segments; meanwhile, Mayer has tried to revitalize Yahoo by cutting away some core products, acquiring some smaller firms (Tumblr, for starters), and focusing more on… continue…

Daily Tip: Scrub Your Task List

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With the end of the year approaching, it’s a good time to sit down, take stock, and realize that your task list has a bunch of items on it that you’ve refused to address for months. Some people take the somewhat-slower weeks before the end of the year to deal with at least some of these items in a mad rush. But what if you eliminated them from your list entirely? Granted, some things must be done—if you promised to… continue…

Steve Jobs’ Tips for Running a Better Meeting

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Over at Business Insider, a new article dives into Apple co-founder Steve Jobs’ techniques for running effective meetings. The good news is, you don’t need to be the megalomaniacal head of the world’s largest technology company to put at least a few of these techniques into practice. For starters, Jobs kept meetings as small as possible, kicking out anyone who wasn’t essential. To find management jobs, click here. Next—and this might ultimately prove the most valuable piece of advice—he made… continue…

Daily Tip: Divide and Conquer

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Big tasks can prove overwhelming for anyone. “Build an app!” or “Turn around a struggling startup!” are the sorts of orders that would give even the most battle-hardened manager, executive, or developer a serious panic attack. As Kevin Spacey’s character said in House of Cards, the best way to eat a whale is one bite at a time. If you find yourself overcome by the scope of a big project, grab a whiteboard or a large piece of paper and break the… continue…