The Truth About Personal Branding

Nearly every employment expert on the market seems to throw around the phrase “personal branding” these days. In order to land a job, they tell you, it’s critical that you “build your brand.” Is “brand building” yet another job-search fad? While easy for some to dismiss, the concept of branding does have some real-world application for those individuals who want to stand out from the pack. Image Has Meaning “Without a doubt, a job search is a marketing process where… continue…

Google Bringing Health Data to Search

Posted In Fun
Screen Shot 2015-02-10 at 11.25.48 AM
Hypochondriacs of the world, rejoice: Google has decided to integrate fact-checked medical data into the first page of its search results. Perhaps the introduction of medical facts was inevitable, considering one in every 20 searches on Google is health-related. “Starting in the next few days, when you ask Google about common health conditions, you’ll start getting relevant medical facts right up front from the Knowledge Graph,” read a Feb. 10 posting on Google’s official blog. “We’ll show you typical symptoms and… continue…

How I Made the Leap to IT Security

Posted In Data
Fifteen years ago, the landscape of IT was so fluid you could almost pick your specialty and start working. The need for computer engineers was so great, that anyone with some ambition could go far reasonably fast. Document services specialists—who type for a living—were moving into application deployment. A night security guard who spent his time studying Novell became a certified Novell administrator. I worked in a copy center in a small law firm and became their network administrator literally… continue…

Apple’s Next Big iOS Feature: Stability

Posted In Mobile
Apple iPhone 6
What’s the must-have feature in Apple’s next big iOS update? Stability. According to the Apple-centric blog 9to5Mac, Apple has listened to user complaints about its mobile platform’s recent performance. Whereas the company focused on adding as many next-generation features as possible to previous iterations of iOS, that rapid evolution came at a cost: In recent weeks, the blogosphere has rumbled mightily about the bugs and sluggishness reportedly affecting iOS 8. (Those bloggers have also complained of similar issues with Mac… continue…

Are Freelance Developer Sites Worth Your Time?

Posted In Programming
Many websites allow you to look for freelance programming jobs or Web development work. (, for example, offers links to several dozen.) The problem for developers in the European Union and the United States is that competition from rivals in developing countries is crushing fees for everybody, as the latter can often undercut on price. This isn’t a situation unique to software development; look at how globalization has compelled manufacturing jobs to move offshore, for example. Check out the latest… continue…

The Developer Who Bet It All on His Next Game

Posted In Fun
Jonathan The Witness
Never use your own money to fund projects, goes a strain of startup advice. Jonathan Blow, famous in gaming circles for the hit indie game Braid, never got that memo: He plans on funneling all of his money into his next game, entitled The Witness. “The Braid income is not nearly enough anymore to fund the team,” Blow told Engadget in an interview. “I have borrowed a bunch of money to finish The Witness. So I hope when it’s done, some people… continue…

Forget Standing Desks: Here’s the Office Swing

Posted In Fun
Christopher Duffy
Some startups blow their capital on thousand-dollar designer chairs; others line their offices with standup desks, which supposedly confer health benefits. But what if today’s office designers took things a step further? What if they decided to revert your workday right back to first grade, with “office swings” instead of chairs? British designer Christopher Duffy has made that vision a reality with his “King Arthur,” a $16,000 office table lined with either 12 or four swings (depending on the client’s… continue…

Top Cover Letter Tips From IT Managers

Posted In Job Hunting
Forget boilerplate templates for cover letters: If you want to grab an IT manager’s attention, tailor the contents of your cover letter toward his or her specific needs. “Most cover letters aren’t very informative, so I usually don’t read them,” admitted Pete Overas, director of Enterprise Technical Support for Minneapolis-based software company Parametric Technology Corporation. What would change his mind? “A letter that conveys an understating of what we do and how an engineer could contribute would definitely catch my… continue…

Google Android, iOS, and… Ubuntu?

Canonical Ubuntu Smartphones
In January 2013, Canonical (a company that works with the open source community on Ubuntu, a free operating system) announced that it would build a version of Ubuntu for smartphones. A few months later, it unveiled a crowdfunding campaign to build an Ubuntu-powered smartphone, which attracted $12 million in donations—a solid number, but far short of what the project needed to achieve liftoff. In the wake of that failure, it seemed the quest for an Ubuntu smartphone was all but… continue…

Metro Areas Offer Top Prospects for STEM Jobs

Posted In Job Hunting
Brookings Institution Map
Which U.S. cities boast the highest percentages of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) jobs? According to a new report from the Brookings Institution, some 23 metropolitan areas feature workforces with sizable concentrations of workers in advanced industries, including San Jose (16 percent), Wichita (15.5 percent), and San Francisco (14 percent). The Brookings Institution groups more than 50 industries under the umbrella of “advanced industries,” including computer systems design, data processing, information services, software building, and telecommunications. For good measure,… continue…