Talent Development Centre

Category Archives: Training & Development

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

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.

Contractor Quick Poll: 2017 Training & Development Plans

How Much Training & Development Are You Planning in 2017?

There are many ways an independent contractor can improve their skills. From working on certifications to staying up-to-date on the latest trends to networking; every little bit counts. Recruiters at staffing agencies keep a close eye on this section of an IT professional’s resume as they want to know they’re presenting clients with the top skills available.

The reality is, though, finding time for these activities isn’t the easiest thing for an IT contractor to do. Especially when you’re already juggling projects, managing business tasks, and keeping up with finding your next contract, this can be a major challenge and may not always be top priority.

In this month’s contractor quick poll, we’re asking how much training and development you plan to do in 2017. Perhaps it was a higher priority last year than it will be this year, or you’ve set a goal to improve in a specific area. We won’t judge, we’re just curious…

2016 in Review: Learning & Explaining the Tech World

2016 in Review: Learning & Explaining the Tech WorldTraining and development is important for every professional in every field. Permanent employees usually have training provided by their employer or training allowances so they can develop their career path. Independent contractors do not have these luxuries so need to plan accordingly.

Training & Development Priorities for the Independent Contractor

The Eagle Team wrote these posts to help independent contractors get a better understanding of where to prioritize training and development, as well as some tips to achieve your goals without breaking the bank:

Tools to Improve Tech Skills

These tools can also help you improve in areas that aren’t essential to your field, but important to have in any job as an IT contractor:

Technology Infographics

These infographics provide quick overviews on some technologies. They’re perfect for anybody looking to get into a new field. IT contractors may also want to pass them off to non-technical clients or recruiters to help them understand a particular area.

Finally, if you’re not sure where to focus your next training and development initiatives, this video provides extensive details about the top programming languages to learn in 2017.

Scrum vs Kanban (Infographic)

As we approach the holiday season, you need to start preparing yourself for those heated arguments that are sure to come up at office parties and family gatherings — one of the more common being the age-old question “Scrum or Kanban???”

While Kanban has been around since Toyota introduced it, it only started gaining traction in 2004, nearly 20 years after Scrum gained its popularity for software development. Today, both are great approaches to product development and different independent contractors feel strongly about their preferred one. Do you have a preference? If not, check out this infographic from kanbanize. The source does make it a little biased, but there is still some helpful information if you’re working to sort the differences between the two.

preview_kanban-vs-scrum-inforgraphic