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September 11, 2009

Never Forgive. Never Forget. Never Again.

The remains.

|| posted by chris under epiphany, nostalgia, rx, thumbs down || comments (1) || ||

August 26, 2009

Changing The Future

Channel@Work was really an amazing program. Kudos to all the folks who really made it happen!

Last week, I had the good fortune to attend CMP’s XChange’09 event in Washington, DC. As a vendor-centric show, this kind of event gives solution providers like my company the opportunity to see new offerings from various vendors, give feedback, and forge business relationships that can mutually benefit our companies.

But this year, one of the initiatives taking place during XChange’09 really made me, and a whole lot of others, sit up and take notice.

CMP Media partnered with Microsoft and the Framsyn Initiative to sponsor Channel@Work, a program that sponsored a large group of young people from all over the country who expressed an interest in IT careers to attend XChange. The goal was to give them an opportunity to be mentored by industry veterans, and give them a boost into the IT field.

The boardroom I was assigned to for vendor appointments was located directly across the hall from the Channel@Work workroom. The level of hardware they were working with was really impressive. Plus, they all got to keep the machines they built. 

Activities included team-building, computer-building, direct interaction with executives from IT companies, and the ability to engage with the rest of us delegates. At breakfast one morning, I got a chance to talk with a young man named Che. He told me about his job as a junior network administrator, the kinds of things he’s learned how to do from that job, and his goals for the future. I talked to him about the importance of keeping both his resume and skillset current, of picking and choosing certification exams that give the most options for huim in the future, and the importance of learning not just a given product release, but really understanding the underlying concept about how and why something works.

As part of this program, these young people were working toward completing Microsoft’s 70–653 exam TS: Windows Small Business Server 2008, Configuring, which earns not only an MCTS, but also a Small Business Specialist designation. Both of those achievements will immediately give those young people value to potential solution provider employers like me who focus on the SMB segment.

When the video above was played during the ARC awards dinner on the final evening of XChange’09, I was literally moved to tears. Seeing those kids so eager to learn and hungry for knowledge took me back to when I first started my IT career, and it made me remember how thankful I was and still am to all the people who first believed in me and gave me an opportunity in the industry, within which I’ve thrived for the last 15 years.

I truly believe that if the IT industry is to improve as a whole, it will come from mentoring programs like Channel@Work and others like it convincing young people that an IT career is one that can offer them the kind of fulfilling, rewarding life’s work that we all hope to find, and giving them the initial opportunity to find success.

|| posted by chris under business, freebie, hardware, it pro, media, more cowbell, nostalgia, rx, shoutout, thumbs up, travel, webcast || comments (4) || ||

June 21, 2009

The Cake Is Not A Lie

That right there is a fully homemade cupcake...absolutely nothing from a mix!

This Father’s Day dessert brought to you (and me) by AoME and CaaB. All homemade, and so good you’d swear it’s gotta be illegal.

|| posted by chris under epiphany, more cowbell, rx, thumbs up || comments (0) || ||

June 10, 2009

People Are Buzzing About Brand-New Emily

If you told two friend about BNE, and they told two friends, and they told two friends...see how that would be totally awesome and we'd love you forever?

Ginger already has a slew of reviews and blurbs collected from various folks on her new site at gingerrue.com, which is all part of the whole “PR and release” process.

But since the book’s come out, it’s been really super cool for her to see the responses from folks who’ve bought and read Brand-New Emily. Here are just a few examples of what’s coming in over her author page on Facebookread more…

|| posted by chris under media, opinion, rx, shoutout, thumbs up || comments (2) || ||

May 14, 2009

I’m Man Enough To Be At WomenBuild Tonight. Are You?

Weirdly enough, it looks like these LEGO women are Wuxai fighting.

One of the most eye-opening moments for me during the bus tour was seeing the statistics about the decline of females taking computer science AP exams, and the attendant decline of females in the technology industry.

Personally, I have a feeling that most of this trend largely boils down to the typical stereotypes about the computer industry and those who work in IT as being uncool. Trying to get most any kid involved in anything considered “uncool” is harder than trying to sell icemakers to Eskimos.

Of course, the truth isn’t that simple, which means the solution isn’t as simple as having the right kinds of t-shirts printed up for conferences. And it definitely won’t ever change without both men and women figuring it out together.

During the free-form Jam on IT sessions at Tech-Ed scheduled for tonight, some of my best female pals in the tech industry like Elisabeth Vanderveldt and Susan Bradley will be helping deliver a WomenBuild event right here at the LA Conference Center. It’s scheduled to start at 6:30p in Room 518.

And I’ll be there, for sure. Why? Because anyone (male or female) stupid or arrogant enough to ignore the very real influence women have (and will continue to have) on the technology industry will be missing one of the greatest sea changes we’ll see in our industry.

It’s not purely altruistic on my part either. Both Apple of My Eye and Cute as a Button have expressed different interests in technology: AoME from a creative perspective; CaaB from an analytical perspective.

And I’ll pretty much do anything to help them find out what they love and want to do as their life’s work. Including show up in a dress if that’s the only way to get in.

Plus, WomenBuild uses freaking LEGOs! How can you resist that?

Hope to see you there. Guys, I’m talking to you!

|| posted by chris under business, it pro, rx || comments (0) || ||

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