Talent Development Centre

Category Archives: Training & Development

All Talent Development Centre posts for Canadian technology contractors relating to training and development.

How to Make Ethernet Cable

In the past, if you wished to install an Ethernet cable in your office or home you would have needed to contact a network engineer. Even though Ethernet cables may seem complicated due to the many wires forming its structure, it is now possible for just about anyone to easily create their own patch cables.

In this infographic, 1000 Ft Cables provides a step-by-step guide that shows you exactly how to build your own Ethernet cable. They also answer any questions you may have regarding the measurements, crimping, or the general structure of an Ethernet cable. Learn how to build your own patch cables today!

How to Make Ethernet Cable

The jQuery Mega Cheat Sheet

Cheat sheets are helpful for independent contractors and technology professionals for so many reasons, and we love to share them. From learning to use LinkedIn to summarizing complex technologies, we’ve covered many areas with some great infographics.

This infographic from make a websitehub.com doesn’t earn points for style, but as far as information goes, it takes the cake. It covers everything you need to know to speed up your day while using jQuery. Better yet, if you’re already well-versed, you can pass it off to somebody who’s always asking you questions!

jQuery Mega Cheat Sheet

makeawebsitehub.com

 

 

4 Ways to Learn New Technical Skills

There are a number of reasons you should always be learning new skills. First, the IT contracting world is overwhelmingly competitive, especially in fast-paced markets like Toronto, Calgary and Montreal. There are hundreds of other people applying to the same jobs as you are, and you need to stand out. Even if you’re competitive in your current position, if you never learn new skills, you’ll never be able to move into more senior roles and earn more money.

We don’t need to work too hard to sell this concept to IT professionals. Most of our readers are already well aware of the importance of professional development. They’re also swamped for time and resources, making it difficult to begin learning that new skill. So how can you fit it in? This quick video from Dice has some answers!

Don’t Be a Luddite

Kevin Dee By Kevin Dee,
Chairman of the Board at Eagle

This post first appeared on The Eagle Blog on May 18th, 2017

John Maxwell quote about changeDuring the industrial revolution the Luddites opposed change and fought against the notion that machines would be used to get around labour laws.

The term Luddite today is used to describe anyone who opposes automation and new technologies.

We are on the cusp of another breakthrough, similar in impact to the industrial evolution or the information technology age, and along with all of the benefits, it will spawn the next generation of Luddites.

This evolution will see Artificial Intelligence in many forms, impact our lives.

  • Jobs will be lost in the same way that typing pools were replaced by word processing technology.
  • The Internet of Things will come with the smarts to effect our daily lives in ways we can only begin to understand.
  • Robots and robotics will also advance with AI smarts to preform more complex tasks than previously thought possible.

We will continue to be impacted by the effects of globalisation, including the offshoring of jobs, the access to goods produced in low cost environments and the ability of entrepreneurs to enter foreign markets easily and quickly through the internet.

We are experiencing a huge change in the way we work.  The retiring boomers leave a big gap to fill and there are not enough people in Western countries to fill those gaps.  Skilled talent is in demand (the #1 concern of CEOs worldwide) and progressive countries are finding ways to attract this talent.  There is a growth in self employment, evidenced with the gig economy and the many enabling technologies that make this possible.  People work from home, and jobs are shared more often than ever.

“It is not necessary to change.  Survival is not mandatory.”  W Edward Deming

So … how are we to respond in an era of such change?

Here are some thoughts:

  1.  Change is inevitable.  Fighting change is like trying to hold back the tide.  Embrace change and find a way to make it work for you.
  2. The industrial revolution ultimately resulted in more jobs, a better standard of living and better work conditions.
  3. Factors that will work in favor of job opportunity include:
    • the impact of demographics that will create job shortages,
    • the new economy jobs requiring more tech skills and
    • the opening of global markets that any company can now access.
  4. The way to protect yourself in this new world is not to fight change, but rather to invest in your skills.  Get “in demand” skills which might include any profession or trade and develop great soft skills, or better yet get involved with emerging technologies.
  5. In a world where we will see more and more shortages of talent, companies will hire for attitude first, and skills second.  Do you have a positive attitude and strong work ethic?  Find experience that will prove these assets!
  6. Companies need to be profitable in order to survive, so make sure that you are important to your employer.  Just putting in time will not make you a “keeper”.

With change comes opportunity.  I believe that this amount of change is going to create a ton of opportunity.

I also believe that it will not fall in our lap … and it will be easy to be left behind.

So … invest in yourself and learn new skills.

“The world hates change, yet it is the only thing that has brought progress.”  Charles Kettering

Do NOT become the modern day Luddite, but rather focus on the opportunities.

10 Cool Command Prompt Tricks You Should Know

How much do you use Command Prompt in Windows 10? If you’re an in-depth Windows user, you’ve most likely used CMD many times throughout your career, but you may not using it as efficiently as you could be.

This video from Beebom provides ten cool command tips for topics such as shortcuts, encryption, customization, Wi-Fi hot spots, and even a way to watch Star Wars! At least something in here will be new for you. If not, and you have even more tips, please share them in the comments below.

The Timeless Guide to Being a Project Manager

A lot can change in three years. The team you work with, the cell phone you use, and even the look of your favourite website have all probably transformed since 2014.

If you’re a Project Manager, you’ve almost definitely been at the forefront of big change in the last few years and experienced progress in both your projects and your duties. But, as much as there have been technological advancements and some new ways of thinking, this infographic proves that the basics of Project Management remain the same. It was published to the Smartsheet Blog a little over three years ago to kick-off 2014 and, as you look through it, you’ll notice that this guide to being a Project Manager is still very relevant today, and probably will be for many years to come.

The Timeless Guide to Being a Project Manager

Balancing Hard and Soft Skills in Project Management

In its simplest form, a Project Manager’s job is to ensure a project is completed successfully. In more complex terms, it includes managing countless aspects from people to budgets to timelines.

You don’t always need the title of Project Manager to be responsible for the completion of a project. Independent contractors are often brought into lead a specific task due to their niche skillset, and naturally end up taking on these responsibilities.

As the infographic below from Brandeis University shows, projects fail for any number of reasons. And, if you read further down, it implies that the root of these failures is lack of specific skills, both hard and soft. The infographic goes on to explain that most people excel at only one type of skill and need to work to develop the other.

Thankfully, this helpful infographic goes further to provide tips and tricks on how you can improve your hard and soft project management skills. If you’re in the profession, or a subject matter expert who gets pulled into leading projects, have a look and see how you can improve on your skills.

Contractor Quick Poll Results: Training Plans

Every technology professional has a unique training and development plan. Each contractor has different skills sets in varying demands and requiring specific qualifications. Furthermore, depending on the stage you’re at in your career, you may have completely different goals than the person sitting next to you.

In January’s contractor quick poll, we were curious about how much time our readers plan to invest in furthering their education and abilities this year. Here are the results — two-thirds of respondents say they’re planning to up their training and development in 2017. Are you surprised? Do you think there may be some crushed New Years’ resolutions?

Compared to 2016, how much training and development are you planning for 2017?

Quick Poll Results: Compared to 2016, how much training and development are you planning for 2017?

10 Characteristics of a Good Project Manager

Everybody is a Project Manager. If you’re responsible for organizing anything that has a start and end — IT project, proposal, party, vacation, etc. — then you can consider yourself a Project Manager. Sure, your mother-in-law’s birthday party won’t have the same impact on your career compared to your client’s intranet used by thousands of employees, but the same principles will apply to both situations if you want them go to smoothly.

This infographic from TaskWorld includes 10 principles you can follow as they describe the top characteristics of the best project managers. The great news is that you don’t need to be a technology professional to master any of these characteristics and they’re applicable to all scenarios — even your mother-in-law’s birthday!

10 Characteristics of A Good Project Manager #infographic

Are You Too Old for the UI/UX Design Field? (Video)

Does age matter? That’s a question Mike Locke asks and answers in this video, specifically when it comes to entering the UI/UX design field.

Design is often viewed as a young person’s field, with a perception that you need to be “hip” and “with it” to succeed at having the freshest website. Mike argues, though, that the field is already full of people of all ages, succeeding at what they do, and there’s no reason why anyone else can’t enter it. Check it out to find out how people of all ages survive in the UI/UX design field, as well as a convincing argument as to why IT professionals should consider getting into independent contracting as they approach their 40s.