Talent Development Centre

Category Archives: General

All general Talent Development Centre posts for Canadian technoloy contractors.

Google Docs CAN Be Helpful… If You Know What You’re Doing

Unless you live under a rock, have an extreme aversion to everything Google or despise cloud technology, you’re already aware of Google Docs. It’s the word processor component of the Google office suite that allows you to create, edit and store documents in the cloud. It doesn’t have the advanced and intelligent technology of MS Word to take its place but it can be a lifesaver in a variety of situations.

If you’re shaking your head right now and in complete denial that Google Docs has a place in your world, then it’s possible you just don’t understand it enough. From basic documents to styles to research, Docs has extensive capabilities and this infographic from WhoIsHostingThis will tell you all about them…

Google Docs Masterclass: The Infographic - Via Who Is Hosting This: The Blog

Source: WhoIsHostingThis.com

An Agile Cheat Sheet for Anyone

Cheat sheets are awesome! Those just getting into a particular field love them for quick notes and tips to get through projects. Experienced IT professionals love a good cheat sheet to pass along to those they train or for a simple reminder of some basics they don’t use every day.

The TDC has no shortage of cheat sheets. From Learning to Code to navigating LinkedIn and links to many other technology cheat sheets, when we find one, we share it. That’s why when this Agile cheat sheet came across our desk, we knew we had to get it out there. If you’re in an Agile environment, have any intention of working in one, or just want a few tips to organize your projects, then have a look at this great infographic from James Cannings of MMT Digital.

Can You Solve the “Seven Planets” Riddle

It’s Friday, so why not take a break and solve this Seven Planet Riddle from Ted-Ed. Getting the answer doesn’t have to be just about getting the answer, solving riddles is a fun way to keep your brain sharp.

Riddles also let you improve upon your problem solving skills. The key to solving a problem is simplifying the issue to better understand it and using deductive reasoning, no different than when IT contractors find solutions for clients. So take a stab at the riddle and see what you come up with!

Changes at Eagle (and for Me!) Expected to Drive Opportunities into Our Contractor Base

Morley Surcon By Morley Surcon,
Vice-President Strategic Accounts & Client Solutions, Western Canada at Eagle

I am pleased to announce that my position as GM/VP of the Calgary region is changing. Kelly Benson will now take over the branch management responsibilities from me, which is allowing me to refocus my efforts externally. My new title is VP, Strategic Accounts and Client Solutions and my area of responsibility will be Western Canada.

This change is exciting for a couple of reasons. First, is that I believe Kelly will do an excellent job managing the Calgary branch. She’s a very capable and enthusiastic individual and has a great base of experience from which to draw. The branch is in very good hands. Second, is that for some time now Eagle has been internally/operationally focused and this change will have me pro-actively engaging in the market once again!

One of our company’s core values is Innovation. Over the past year or so, Eagle has introduced a number of technological innovations to support and enhance our processes. These innovations enhance our onboarding, candidate sourcing, contractor management, and compliance/safety programs. Together, they have an impact on all of our internal processes, making us more efficient and effective in our business operations. And if that wasn’t enough, we have also gone through the process of recertification for our ISO quality system, moving from the older 9001:2008 standard to the current 9001:2015 standard. All these changes meant that management needed to be introspective. These technological innovations have made us better at what we do and kept us on the cutting edge, which is critical in our hyper-competitive industry. However, in doing so we’ve had reduced connections, at the executive level, with the broader market.

My new role will see me re-engaging with our clients at senior levels, acting in an advisory capacity and building value by sharing Eagle’s accumulated knowledge of the contingent workforce industry. Additionally, I will work with companies to consider innovative alternatives to the typical temporary staffing model. I will essentially be a resource to support their own labour-planning process. My expectation is that I will learn of companies’ business challenges at both strategic and tactical levels. As a result, I’ll need to engage with thought leaders, business consultants and subject matter experts from our contractor database across Western Canada to create solutions for our clientele. These solutions will require resources and Eagle’s recruiters will be calling out to our contractor database to check on availability and gauge interest. The more successful I am, the more opportunities there will be for our contractor partners!

As my move into this role is still very new, it is hard to say just where the successes will come; but opportunities for Eagle’s contractors and consultants will certainly be a result.  I’m looking forward to engaging with both clients and consultants in the upcoming months to drive out this new initiative!

If you have a strategic or out-of-the-box idea to share, I can easily be reached via my LinkedIn profile

Worst Programming Languages to Learn in 2018

As with every blog and online publisher geared for IT contractors, we love sharing the hottest trends and in-demand coding languages that will help you succeed as an IT professional. Just last week we shared some results from the 2018 Stack Overflow Developer Survey and last month, we shared information from Dice’s 2018 Tech Salary Report the highlighted the top skills to have this year. But what about those languages that nobody cares about and aren’t worth your time investment? Recently, Codementor put out a list identifying just that.

CodeMentor’s list ranks the top (worst) 20 programming languages that they say you should not learn this year. The complete list is in the graphic, but here are a few more specific details about the top 5:

  1. Dart: While CodeMentor does note that the recent release of Google Flutter may have an effect on Dart’s trajectory, overall the new language has not received positive responses from the coding community. The growth has been decent, but compared to other new languages (ex. Kotlin, Elixir and Swift), job opportunities have been minimal.
  2. Objective-C: Not only does this older language rank low in CodeMentor’s community engagement score, but it’s been seeing a decline in usage for the past four years, which means fewer and fewer job opportunities will arise each year. Especially if you’re new to coding and breaking into the job market, CodeMentor recommends avoiding this one because by the time you become proficient, it won’t be worth anything.
  3. CoffeeScript: CoffeeScript is almost 10 years old and, while it has been argued that it should be used over JavaScript, overall it lacks a passionate user base and its use is on the decline. CodeMentor suggests this could be because of newer languages and versions of JavaScript that have become available in the last few years, has resulted in less talk about CoffeeScript among developers.
  4. Lua: CodeMentor recommends that while it may still be useful to learn this gaming and web service language, Lua not great for beginners. Interest from the developer community isn’t huge and, more importantly, its growth is flat. As a result, there is not an overwhelming amount of opportunities and, for those that do exist, competition will be high.
  5. Erlang: Over 30 years old, Erlang is the oldest in the list of top 5 programming languages not to learn this year. Similar to the others, this is due to declining growth rates and lack of community interest, especially in startups. CodeMentor also notes that Erlang has a steep learning curve and all signs show that its heyday has past.

Were you planning to learn or improve your skills in any of these languages in the coming months? If so, does CodeMentor’s report change your mind?

The Worst Programming Languages to Learn in 2018

Another Painful Truth of Working with Some Clients

If you remember back a couple of years ago, there was a video about the Expert and how sometimes people just can’t wrap their heads around what you’re explaining as a subject matter expert. No matter what you would say the client and/or Project Manager would make a request that wasn’t possible.

Now The Expert is at it again.  Lauris Beinerts published a new video poking fun at yet another instance when your client just won’t listen to you as the expert. If your expertise has ever been questioned even though you know you’re right then this video is for you, or just watch it for another laugh to end off your work week.

‘Literally’ Fighting to End Cancer

Alison Turnbull By Alison Turnbull,
Delivery Manager at Eagle

Fight to End Cancer LogoAs a long tenured employee of Eagle, I have had the good fortune of attending an annual event that we have been supporting since 2012. The annual Fight to End Cancer is a white-collar boxing event where 10 non-boxing professionals enter into an intense 6 month training program and then compete in an Olympic style match at a black tie gala at the Old Mill in Toronto.

Each year that I attended I contemplated throwing my name into the hat because I was so incredibly inspired by the grit, courage and commitment that each fighter displayed. But the fact that I have not participated in sports since grade school and literally never stepped into a gym held me back. It wasn’t until I attended last year’s gala, a short 6 months after losing my mother to pancreatic cancer, that I decided to apply.

I have been taking conditioning classes for the past 4 months and have now started technical training. The time commitment is significant and the training intense — I have pushed myself farther physically and mentally than I would have thought possible.

The experience so far has been incredible, but we have a long way to go. Training will be ramping up significantly and while everything feels very overwhelming right now, I’m grateful for Eagle’s support and the ongoing advice shared by our Chairman Kevin Dee who fought in a similar match in 2011, and my boss Brendhan Malone, who fought in 2014.

The Fight to End Cancer has raised over $750,000 to date, and if each of the fighters this year meet their $20,000 fundraising goal, we will hit $1M. All funds from the event go directly to the Princess Margaret Hospital Foundation, one of the largest cancer centres in the world.

Please consider donating to this very worthy cause and wish me luck on June 2nd!

Alison Turnbull - Fight Training

Google Search Tricks You Didn’t Know About

Google is one of the most powerful tools available to us. A simple Google Search helps you find job opportunities, compare technologies before purchasing them, and research virtually any topic. What’s surprising is that although most of us use Google all of the time, few of us use it to its fullest potential!

TechGumbo will surprise you in this video while teaching you at the same time. They go through 12 Google Search Tricks and at least one of them is sure to change the way you run your next search.

10 Greatest Hackers Of All Time

Hackers are some of the smartest people alive. Their skills are often used for good, usually finding vulnerabilities for companies and governments; however, when these geniuses get selfish and go rogue, the outcome can be destructive and harmful.

If you thought you were good with technology, this video from MindChop will bring you down a couple notches. They go through the 10 greatest hackers of all time and what these people have accomplished is a terrifying and surprising.