10 September 2012

Chicago Should Bust the Teachers' Union

I am sick of hearing about the teachers' union and their continuing obstruction of efforts to genuinely improve schools. Chicago should not compromise any further with the ridiculous union demands, and work towards busting the teachers' union.

There are highly qualified professionals who would gladly join the ranks of honorable, good teachers in public schools, if only they would be subject to a management and compensation structure that was truly merit based, like the vast majority of professionals expect in the private sector and other jobs. Instead, the unions have forced schools across the nation to minimize management authority and eliminate merit from how teachers are paid, resulting in good teachers suffering along side equally paid bad teachers, who have jobs for life.

Today's teachers' union strike is a desperate ploy to garner public support for their dying cause. People are passionately supportive of teachers and almost universally mistake support for the union as equivalent support for teachers. To truly help the teachers, the union must be defeated.

The current situation with the strike in Chicago deeply hurts all the children and continues a long running pattern of harm to America's productivity, leadership, and global competitiveness.

25 June 2012

The Social Recruiting Market Is The Recruiting Market

Josh Bersin recently posted "Social Recruiting goes Wild" on Forbes.com in which he provides a good, comprehensive list of web services in today's social recruiting market.  His underlying point that the social recruiting tools and services market is strongly growing, with LinkedIn as the shining beacon on the hill, slightly misses a more salient point that experienced corporate recruiting leaders, like myself, have known for some years now.

The social recruiting market is the recruiting market. Any recruiting tool or services vendor that does not have a social dimension has been losing relevance or has been irrelevant for years. The vast majority of recruiting tools and services vendors have either been focused on social or have added social to their core offering.

A few comments on some of the vendors he lists:

Jobvite: I am on record many times as a strong enthusiast and multiple repeat customer of this comprehensive corporate recruiting platform (including my applicant tracking system of choice since December 2007).

TalentBin: My most recent recruiting team took a swipe at using this service.  We found the concept to be innovative, but the implementation a bit tedious.

ViewsOnYou:  I am trying this out now. Too early to tell how well it works. Seems like a great concept, but it relies on me spamming my Facebook friends to respond in order for it to work. I hit up a bunch of my FB friends so far (all former colleagues) and am waiting to see how that goes before I spam any more of them.

BranchOut:  I was an early adopter and noticed they like to experiment with different ideas. The basic idea makes plenty of sense: leverage the Facebook social graph and build a professional network app to compete with LinkedIn. Their core problems are two-fold:

(1) The predominant flavor of FB is casual and non-work related (photo sharing, news links, random statuses), which leads to most users eschewing the mixture of their professional life into their FB login experience;

(2) BranchOut prioritized viral user acquisition over the fundamental stickiness of its app. As a result, they over spammed the entire FB user base, flushed their brand value down the toilet, and now the active user numbers are in calamitous free fall.

I am glad I did not spend any money on BranchOut, either as a corporate recruiting leader or as an individual user.  It was about a year ago that I spoke with one of BranchOut's sales people who gave a long winded pitch but never sent me the paperwork they said they would to set up a corporate subscription.

Bersin's summary analysis is generally correct. I also appreciate his inclusion of web services addressing the contract/temporary/part time talent market, which has been growing for many years. However, much like the iPad market is the tablet computer market, social recruiting is recruiting. To not say so leaves an elephant in the room.

23 April 2012

21 April 2012

Great Weather

We've been having great weather the past few days here in the San Francisco Bay Area. This weekend is already starting off with some fanatic sunny skies and warm temps.

I actually prefer slightly cooler temps to the heat, but this is some nice weather that the family and I will certainly enjoy.

03 March 2012

What is B82?

What is Apple's mystery accessory, code name B82?

Something tells me that a Bluetooth remote control with built in microphone so you can talk to Siri on the new AppleTV is far too little to really inspire, excite, and keep so secret.

Theoretically, the iPhone, iPod Touch, or iPad, can all be made to work as a remote microphone to talk wirelessly to a new Siri powered AppleTV.

I think B82 has to be something like a wireless, 3D motion sensing, tactile feedback dedicated game controller to work with iOS games displayed on big flat panel TVs. Part of my speculation of a game controller is because the Apple announcement this coming Wednesday at Yerba Buena Center is going to take place across the street from the huge Game Developers Conference.

Here's a darker thought... would Apple dare to follow Microsoft to create their own version of Kinect?

So, what is B82?

01 January 2012

Happy New Year!

First and foremost, I am thankful that 2011 has been a good year for me and my family. Not without its challenges, but all things considered, unquestionably a good one. Of the many things that took place in 2011, I am so proud and pleased to welcome my beautiful and joyful son to the family this past year.

The next biggest thing for me in 2011 was changing jobs. My career made a fairly big jump from enterprise software to the wonderful world of video games. Glad to be a Jobvite customer again for my fifth time (and completed my fourth implementation as project lead).

Probably the biggest downer of the year for me and many others was the loss of Steve Jobs. Most people knew he was a tyrant to those close to him, yet he lead and inspired so many to build and create and transform so much of the modern world. He remains at the top of my personal most admired list. Now if only I had the time to read through the authorized biography... (I'd previously read two earlier, unauthorized biographies). 

Like many folks, I am now surrounded by Apple technology:  MacBook Pro for work, older iMac at home, an iPad 2 and iPhone 4, and that doesn't count my wife's Apple gear that's around. I must say that while I do like and use my iPad 2 a lot, I really love love love my iPhone 4. It's not perfect, but my iPhone 4 is probably the most satisfying piece of electronics I have ever owned. I'm sure a new iPhone 4S would be a great upgrade, but I still marvel at how great the iPhone 4 is and how I can easily carry it around essentially everywhere.

2011 was a year of regional revolutions around the world. Come to think of it, both 2001 and 1991 were also years of great change in the world order. Well, good riddance to Osama Bin Laden ("su-prise su-prise"), Moammar Gaddafhi ("spell it anyway you like"), and Kim Jong Il (you funky dirty sick murderous bastard). It was also finally time to let my print subscription to The Economist expire (save a tree or ten).

For New Year's Eve Day, I enjoyed cooking both lunch and dinner for the family. Lunch was pork chops (bone-in center cut, medium thick, brined and pan fried). Dinner was caldo verde (Portuguese potato soup with thinly shredded kale and thinly sliced and browned linguica).  For a late night snack, I was faced with leftover ground beef and only hot dog buns, no hamburger buns.  What to do?  Why, do what any pragmatic foodie would do: make hot dog bun length sliders! Toasted buns, real mayo, a touch of Sriracha sauce, Tillamook swiss cheese, and dill pickle relish rounded out the burgers.

For New Year's Day, I continued to cook for the family.  Breakfast included eggs, bacon, and (canned) baked beans for the family. I then made a rather gluttonous grilled cheese sandwich using the bacon grease, Tillamook swiss cheese, Sriracha sauce, and dill pickle relish. The bread was pan fried to a fantastic crisp.  For lunch, my wife picked up two large live Dungeness crabs from the market, which we steamed up with garlic and ginger for a delicious crab feed at home. For dinner, we had a simple meal of oven fried whole chicken wings, steamed broccoli, and brown rice.

Buh-bye, 2011. Time's up.

I wish a hearty and Happy New Year to all my friends, family, and blog readers. 2012 smells like it's gonna be great!