Talent Development Centre

Category Archives: General Interest

Helpful information for IT contractors working as independent professionals in Canada and searching for new jobs.

Happy Holidays from Eagle!

The Eagle Team wants to wish all of our readers a safe and happy holiday season! We hope you enjoy some time relaxing with friends and family.

In case you’re looking to get a head-start on the New Year, here’s what our holiday schedule looks like across all Eagle offices:

  • December 24th: Closed
  • December 25th: Closed
  • December 26th: Closed
  • December 27th: Open with a small team
  • December 28th: Open with a small team
  • December 31st: Closed
  • January 1st: Closed
  • January 2nd: Back to Regular Business Hours!

Happy Holidays from Eagle

Is Google an Unfair Monopoly?

Google is one of the world’s leading technology companies, viewed as an inspirational innovator to many but as an unethical threat to others. This past Summer, the European Union fined Google 4.3 billion euros for breaking antitrust laws, stating that it abused its Android market dominance. The situation continues to raise additional questions about whether or not Google is a Monopoly and if the government should do more, similar to the Microsoft situation at the end of the 20th century.

This video from CNBC International does a great job of summing up the situation, including whether or not Google is a monopoly and comparing their circumstances to similar ones in history. Do you think there should be more government intervention over Google?

How to Stay Safe and Secure this Holiday Season

It’s December and the holiday season is underway! Hanukkah began yesterday, the Christmas rush is buzzing, parties are non-stop and vacation plans are being finalized. With all of the excitement, there is always the risk of some people’s holidays being derailed by thefts, injuries or other preventable tragedies.

Regardless of your plans over the next month, it’s a good idea to pay a little extra attention to safety and security. Have a quick scroll through this infographic from Iron Security and remember to share it with your family and friends. None of these tips require a whole lot of extra effort but can make a huge difference in how you enjoy the coming weeks.

How to Stay Safe and Secure this Holiday Season

What Generation are You?

The differences between generations — specifically Baby Boomers, Gen X, Y and Z — is a go-to, easy topic for nearly all HR and management blog authors. At staffing agencies, recruiters regularly notice the differences between generations on many fronts, including how they apply to jobs, what they want in an IT contract and how they typically act in an interview. It’s equally important for technology professionals to understand these generational differences. Working in teams presents a need to understand those around you and if you’re contributing to the user experience of a new program, you need to truly understand your target demographic.

Take a look at this video from Bright Side to find out some key generational differences and better understand them all, including your own.

Is It Time for the QWERTY Keyboard to Be Replaced?

QWERTY keyboards have been around for as long as most people can remember. We all learned how to type using these keyboards and they remain the primary way we interact with computers. But this layout is becoming more obsolete with smart devices.

In this video, Wall Street Journal’s David Pierce explores the new inventions that some companies are creating to potentially replace the physical keyboard. Some of these include voice to text and a wearable keyboard. This could be an interesting time for independent contractors in the IT industry who may have an opportunity to be involved with these new inventions. So what do you think? Would you use any of these alternatives?

25 of the Best Picard Tips from the Past Year

Star Trek fans far and wide adore Patrick Stewart’s character, Jean-Luc Picard. They trust his ability as captain and would follow much of his advice. So much so that over 100,000 people follow the novelty Twitter account @PicardTips. It features daily tips that, while often humourous and relate to Star Trek, nearly always provides valuable advice on management, personal development, technology and other topics.

We scrolled through and, as expected, @PicardTips has plenty of one-liners suitable for the IT contractor. Here are our favourite 25 from the past year…

  1. Picard programming tip: A computer is like a mischievous genie. It will give you exactly what you ask for, but not always what you want.
  2. Picard engineering tip: Even if computers can talk now, remember how deeply stupid they are.
  3. Picard management tip: Data is easier to manage than humans.
  4. Picard management tip: Break a complex, urgent problem into subcomponents, one for each of your lieutenants to solve.
  5. Picard devops tip: No, you are not allowed to connect your brain to the computer. Learn to type like everyone else.
  6. Picard diplomacy tip: When communication is breaking down, try to speak the other person’s language.
  7. Picard ethics tip: The fact that a conflict has many sides does not imply that every side has merit.
  8. Picard management tip: Tell your employees when they do well, even if you believe they are empathic and can read your mind.
  9. Picard social tip: A Vulcan can laugh. A Klingon can soothe. A Ferengi can give. Your preconceptions are not facts.
  10. Picard resistance tip: Occasionally there are times when you must draw a line and refuse to budge.
  11. Picard management tip: Everyone’s a critic, but some criticisms are more correct than others.
  12. Picard management tip: In a strange new environment, be wary of making changes until you understand more about what’s going on.
  13. Picard management tip: Put your experts in a conference room, tell them the problem, then shut up and watch the magic happen.
  14. Picard programming tip: When the holodeck malfunctions, stay in character. Don’t piss off the computer.
  15. Picard management tip: Give your crew the best technology available and you’ll be amazed what they can do for your enterprise.
  16. Picard programming tip: The first version of any software will be buggy. That’s why so many holodeck programs try to kill you.
  17. Picard technology tip: An advanced system isn’t always easy to use. Improve the interface, or try pushing buttons at random.
  18. Picard management tip: Adopt the latest technologies right away, even if they’re in beta.
  19. Picard management tip: Don’t negotiate absurd schedules with engineers. Encourage truth telling and reasonable time estimates.
  20. Picard engineering tip: Don’t allow the computer to push you around. Let it know who’s boss.
  21. Picard management tip: Be willing to ask for help, even from people you dislike.
  22. Picard technology tip: Sometimes your chief engineer can build new systems that are better than your existing enterprise software.
  23. Picard programming tip: Don’t be fooled. Machines have feelings.
  24. Picard management tip: If they know their jobs, leave them alone. If they don’t, help them learn.
  25. Picard management tip: Know when to put on a happy face. It’s part of adulthood, and essential for command

How to Get a Laugh From Your Google Assistant

Smart technology has become increasingly popular today. Many people rely on these devices for news, music and even setting alarms. But you can also have a bit of fun with these smart devices, like Google Home. Google Home is powered by AI and is typically referred to as Google Assistant. A video by TechGumbo highlights the top 100 commands you can give for funny or entertaining responses. So take a break, watch the video and make your Friday even better!

The Fascinating Science Behind a Pinball Machine

There’s no better way to go into a long weekend of awkward silences at family meals than to be armed with absolutely useless information. Well today’s video has just that AND the answers to questions that have been keeping you up at night.

Vox did some serious research and found world-renowned experts to create this informative video on the science of a pinball machine. If you want to be the next pinball wizard, or just want something different to say at this weekend’s Thanksgiving dinner, then this video is for you. It is super interesting, so at the very least, watching and sharing this video is the perfect way to spend your next five minute break.

History’s Most Embarrassing Software Bugs

Do you remember a year and a half ago when a developer at Amazon made a mistake and broke the Internet? That was embarrassing, but it was fixed relatively quickly and didn’t cause too much damage, at least not compared to some other technology mishaps.

This infographic we found on graphicspedia.net highlights five of the most legendary bloopers in software history, all because a bit of code wasn’t written properly by a developer. These aren’t small mistakes and the companies are well-known — AT&T, Pentium, NASA, Microsoft and Apple. If these intelligent IT professionals can make a mistake like this, then maybe you shouldn’t feel bad when you slow down your client’s services for a few minutes.

The Embarrassing History of Software Bugs - Infographic

How Does Google Maps Work?

It’s rare anymore that we go on a road trip and a co-pilot sits in the passenger seat with a ripped paper map folded in weird ways, trying to navigate through quadrants A-15 and A16. First, MapQuest (yup, it still exists) changed the way we travel by providing us with pages of step-by-step instructions. Then we all purchased a GPS for our car so a lady with a British accent could tell us when to turn and make legal u-turns. And eventually, Google put everything together to create Google Maps, a product that is still evolving and giving us travel tips we never thought could be possible.

It’s no accident that Google Maps has become the navigation leader that it is today. As this video from Techquickie explains, it’s the result of intensive data collection and analysis from a variety of sources, artificial intelligence and human interaction. If you have an interest in maps, data or Google, you’re going to be fascinated by this video.