Author Archives: Bridge Technical Talent

University of Rhode Island Celebrates 50 Years of Computer Science

This Post was written by Bridge Technical Talent
Date posted: October 13, 2017

We’re excited to learn that the University of Rhode Island will be celebrating the 50th Anniversary of its Department of Computer Science and Statistics. This is an important milestone for the university, which was the first university to offer a computer science program in New England.

Join them Saturday, October 14th, from 8:30 am to 5:00 pm in Beaupre Hall, on the Kingston Campus. If you’re interested in learning more and registering for the event, visit their website for additional information.

Founded in 1967, the Computer Science Department at URI offers undergraduate and graduate coursework. Programs include computer science, data science, statistics, web development, digital forensics, and cybersecurity. Faculty members research machine learning and data mining, bioinformatics, sensor networks, and more. During this celebration, hear from keynote faculty speakers and explore the Department of Computer Science and Statistics!

With Computer Science Education Week quickly approaching, it’s important to recognize and attend events such as these to support tech education. Computing now makes up ⅔ of projected new jobs in STEM. However, in 22 states, high school computer science classes do not count toward math or science requirements. Parents, teachers, and IT professionals all have a role to play in spreading computer science to more schools.

In RI we are making strong strides to getting computer science integrated into our public school programs. The University of Rhode Island Computer Science and Statistics Department has played a pivotal and leading role. During the 2015/2016 school year over 100 students at the Academy for Career Exploration (a Providence Public Charter School) received college credit for computer science in a curriculum designed by URI Professor Victor Fay-Wolfe. URI also partnered with the State of RI on their CS4RI program that aims to have computer science taught in every public school in the state by December 2017. Many RI high schools are adopting the URI developed curriculum.

Women and minorities are very under-represented in the computer science workforce and URI has been a strong advocate to help turn this around. Another URI Professor, Jessie Barrett has worked in Providence with PASA and Danielle Bessler Foundation for women of high-school age to design and build websites and mobile apps. This program has grown in numbers of students each of the three years it’s been offered!

It’s appropriate that URI is taking the time to honor this program that is so integral to the success of our technical business climate in RI. Congratulations!

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Project vs. Program Management: Making the Transition

This Post was written by Bridge Technical Talent
Date posted: September 18, 2017

While program management and project management are two different roles, there may come a time when a project starts to transition into a program. When this happens, it’s important to have an action plan in place to prepare for the next steps. To better understand how to prepare, we’re exploring project vs. program management:

The Project
Projects differ from programs in that they typically have a shorter duration and a smaller team of people working on them. Projects are clearly defined and work toward producing a tangible outcome. During the project, a team focuses on planning, creating, and producing deliverables. They follow a tighter schedule and have fewer stakeholders which make the project risk easier to supervise. Project managers deal more often with resource and task management, whereas program managers work more strategically with the deliverables from individual projects.

The Program
Most of the effort in a project is focused on a single goal. On the other hand, programs usually have larger teams working toward business delivery and strategic management for a longer period of time. Programs integrate multiple related projects into one unit, usually managed with the goal of achieving an overarching objective. This goal is usually some type of benefit for the organization. Programs are more business focused than projects and have a greater number of stakeholders, which makes the impacts of any failures much greater.

Making the Transition
If you’re acting as a project manager, but your projects are now turning toward a program, you must be prepared to make some changes to the way you’ve been leading the team. In one of their papers, the Project Management Institute recommends following 10 steps:

  1. Think business instead of delivery
  2. Think dependencies instead of schedule
  3. Think escalation instead of reporting
  4. Think strategy instead of scope
  5. Think conflict instead of crisis
  6. Think governance instead of teams
  7. Think transition instead of transfer
  8. Think challenge instead of salary
  9. Think relaxation instead of stress
  10. Think program triple constraints (benefit, customer, and cost)

When your project is making the transition from project to program, it’s critical to identify who the leaders will be. Program managers envision the long term goals of the entire program and set the completion dates of individual projects. Project managers focus on organizing and delegating the resources, budget, and assign specific tasks to the team members. After the leadership is organized, make the necessary changes to the new program’s timeline and clarify how the projects will fit into the program’s bigger picture.

After you’ve determined the leadership and followed the steps listed above, you’re ready to bring the program to life. If you’re looking for more project management advice, read our articles on adaptability in project management and how to manage vendor relationships.

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Making the Most from a Networking Event

This Post was written by Bridge Technical Talent
Date posted: September 8, 2017

Image courtesy of TheInfiniteActuary

Networking events are essential for career development and business opportunities. Whether you need to find a job, connect with certain employees or companies, or desire to collaborate on a project, networking events can facilitate your professional growth. Since it can connect you with the right people, it’s important to approach networking seriously and make the most of it. Here are six networking event tips how:

1. Be prepared
You’re going to meet people, so it’s best to be prepared to talk about who you are, what you do, and what you’re looking for. You won’t look very professional if you’re stumbling over your words or taking too long to respond to a question. Be ready to discuss your career, aspirations, and experiences. Don’t forget to bring your resume if you’re looking to get hired, or your business cards if you need to distribute your contact information.

2. Find a way to stand out
You certainly won’t be the only person that the people at a networking event will talk to. Everyone will mingle throughout the evening and possibly have conversations with dozens of others at these events. Whether it’s finding a common interest with someone, sending a follow-up email within a few days, or having a firm handshake, it’s important for you to positively stand out to this person so that the people you connected with don’t forget you.

3. Ask good questions
Asking questions is beneficial not only because it’ll help you better understand a person or organization, but also because it’s the backbone of networking conversations. These conversations are fueled by inquiries, so try to ask the right questions when appropriate. It may help to do a little homework about a person or the company he or she works for beforehand. Try making a list of potential questions you could ask others before attending a networking event, that way you feel prepared.

4. Dress like a professional
You don’t have to dress like you’re going into an interview, but do everyone a favor and leave your oversized suit at home. Remember, you’ll be making a lot of first impressions when you’re networking. Make sure to have a clean overall appearance, and, just like in interviews, avoid wearing perfume or cologne. Keep your business cards in an easily accessible places. After all, you don’t want your new acquaintances watching you digging through piles of rubble in your bag.

5. Have a goal in mind
Don’t go to a networking event blindly. Ask yourself beforehand what you want to accomplish from meeting certain people. Looking for job opportunities? Have an elevator pitch memorized.  Trying to collaborate on projects? Be ready to explain what you have to offer to their team. When you meet people, think of how they can help you carry out your plans and act accordingly.

6. Don’t forget your manners
It may be tempting to look around for an exit when you’re in a dead conversation, but remember to maintain a level of professionalism. When someone is talking, listen. If you want to end the conversation, end it politely rather than abruptly. Remember to ask just as many questions as you have answered. You don’t want to burn bridges with potential connections within the first five minutes of meeting them.

Networking is a powerful way to expand your professional connections and you should always take advantage of the opportunity to build your contacts. Understanding the right ways to prepare for them can help you set yourself apart from everyone else.

How do you approach networking events? Let us know on Twitter and LinkedIn! Follow us on our website to search open tech roles that might be a great fit for you.

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September 2017 Tech Events

This Post was written by Bridge Technical Talent
Date posted: September 1, 2017

Check out these tech events happening near you this September!

Connecticut
September 12, 2017
Hartford SQL Users Group
West Hartford, CT | 5:30 – 8:30 pm
The purpose of the HSSUG is to provide an independent local forum for database administrators, developers and general users of Microsoft SQL Server as well as users and vendors of products and services related to Microsoft SQL Server to exchange knowledge and build professional relationships.

September 13, 2017
From HR Metrics to HR Analytics: Steps to take even if you hate statistics!
Norwich, CT | 7:00 am | $25 members; $35 nonmembers
You’ve probably heard the phrase “what gets measured gets done!” Join us for a fascinating evening as Dr. Craig Haas debunks some of the myths that prevent HR Professionals from using analytics to both track and prove their results. Math anxiety? Didn’t take statistics in school? Don’t have time? Let’s call on the Doctor to help us get over these typical humps that prevent us from sitting at the strategic table.

Clever Ways Applicants Try to Beat the System
Farmington, CT | 7:30 – 9:30 am | $25 members; $35 nonmembers | @SMAsonew
The presentation will provide employers with an awareness of these intricacies, along with best practice suggestions that can help employers secure their background screening process to hire top talent. This meeting will add to the attendees’ knowledge in several of the functional areas included in Workforce Planning and Employment, Business Management and Strategy, and Human Resource Development.

September 14, 2017
Young Professionals End-of-Summer Happy Hour Mixer
Rocky Hill, CT | 5:00 pm | @HRACC
Join the HRACC Young Professionals for a Happy Hour and End-of-Summer Mixer. This complimentary event will be full of networking, prizes, and a good time!
*Meet other Young Professionals in the area
*Make connections
*Expand your network
*Enjoy light appetizers
*Enter our drawing to win a cool gift

September 15, 2017
PMI September 2017 Shelton Region Breakfast Round Table
Shelton, CT | 7:30 – 9:00 am | Free for members; $10 nonmembers | @SNECPMI
Radical transparency is allowing people to know everything that isn’t confidential. People with integrity in radically transparent organizations tell others what they’re strengths and weaknesses are — no-holds barred and not behind closed doors. We will discuss what degrees of radical transparency and integrity can be used in project management – not just in choosing stop light indicators for tasks but in daily interactions with project team members and stakeholders. Bring your ideas, opinions, experiences, techniques, or just plain curiosity to our discussion of Radical Transparency, Integrity, and Project Management.

September 19, 2017
Marcum Tech Top 40
Wallingford, CT | 5:00 – 8:30 pm | @CTTech
Now in its 10th year, the Marcum Tech Top 40 honors Connecticut’s fastest growing tech companies across six industry sectors. Applications are in and Marcum LLP’s experts are tabulating the results. Winners will be announced in mid-August, but don’t wait to register for the event! Click the button below to get your tickets to this essential techbiz event.

SNEC-PMI September 2017 Chapter Meeting
Cromwell, CT | 5:00 – 8:30 pm | $35 members; $45 nonmembers
When disaster strikes, the National Guard is among the first to respond to protect people and infrastructure by conducting specific missions leading to recovery.  It is the responsibility of the Intelligence Operations Manager (aka Project Manager) to ensure these missions are fully planned, executed and monitored in coordination with local authorities and support agencies.  Planning for these missions successfully from start to finish is a project critical to the safety and stabilization of all involved.

September 28, 2017
Fairfield County (Stamford) Breakfast Meeting
Stamford, CT | 7:30 – 8:45 am | Free for members; $10 nonmembers
Attending this session will help the audience by outlining the 10 most important lessons learned from recent events and how project management professionals can immediately use them to improve their firm’s resiliency.  It will explain how to prepare for, manage and recover from significant scenarios that impact a firm’s ability to function.

Annual Employment Law Update
Rocky Hill, CT | 4:30 pm | @HRACC | $45 members; $55 nonmembers
Join us for our most popular event of the year, a dinner reception on September 28th in Rocky Hill. HRACC is proud to bring you another evening of legislative changes, trends and information critical to the success of the HR professional.  This meeting is the premier opportunity to get briefed on recent legal decisions that impact your daily work in significant ways.  

Massachusetts
September 11, 2017
The Billion Dollar Opportunity in the Back Office Part II
Boston, MA | 6:00 – 9:00 pm
We all know Financial Services is facing a crossroads.  $130+ Billion of Venture Capital investment in FinTech since 2010 knows it.  Big banks who initially scoffed when financial technology start-ups set out to reinvent their business and have now shifted into a new deal-making phase know.  To make this point, there were 51 acquisitions or IPOS of FinTech firms in deals worth $1.1 billion in 2016.

September 12, 2017
September 2017 WMPMF Meeting
Springfield, MA | 5:30 – 7:00 pm | $15 members; $20 nonmembers
WMPMF is an opportunity to network with your colleagues in an informal setting, benefit from a valuable presentation, and earn a PDU at little cost. Pizza and soft drinks are included in the cost of the meeting.

September 20, 2017
The 3rd Annual Timmy Awards
Boston, MA | 6:00 pm
The Timmy Awards by Tech in Motion is an awards ceremony recognizing the best places for tech professionals to work in Boston. While many awards are given to brilliant individuals and their technological advancements, the Timmy Awards aim to recognize the companies and managers who employ those technologists, for supporting and driving innovation in their communities.

September 22, 2017
Professional Development Day South 2017
Norwood, MA | September 22-23 | @PMI_MassBay
Project Managers and Business Analysts today must focus on their careers to move forward and stay relevant in the new economy. Continual learning and alignment with your company’s strategic objectives has never been more important for your success.

September 28, 2017
Robotics Connect 2017
Cambridge, MA | 6:00 pm
We are partnering with the CIC in September to run a 4-hour mini-conference for Robotics and AI. More details to follow.

Rhode Island
September 6, 2017
Following the Clues with Wait Stats ~ Greg Celentano
East Greenwich, RI | 6:00 pm
Ever get stuck trying to diagnose a performance issue but not certain where SQL Server is feeling the hurt? How do you see patterns in SQL Server activity? The story of what SQL is waiting on is a good place to start. We’ll go through using the sys.dm_os_wait_stats and sys.dm_os_waiting_tasks management views.  We will also review some ways to mine and trend this wealth of data from SQL Server.

September 12, 2017
Providence Technology Leadership Roundtable
Providence, RI | 3:30 – 8:00 pm | $60 members; $80 nonmembers | @BostonSIM
We all know the threats that exist “out there”. We spend countless hours and massive resources protecting the kingdom from the invaders. But, how much effort do we expend protecting ourselves from, well, ourselves?  Attend and learn where the greatest internal threats exist, what to guard against, and how to mitigate the potential disasters that can occur if nothing is done.

Boston New Technology September 2017 Startup Showcase #BNT81
Boston, MA | 6:00 – 9:00 pm | $12 | @BostonNewTech
Come learn about 7 innovative and exciting technology products and network with 150 attendees from the Boston/Cambridge startup community! Dinner, beer, wine and more are included.

September 14, 2017
Rhode Island Transportation Innovation Partnership Expo
East Greenwich, RI | 8:00 – 11:00 am
Be a part of the conversation and participate in an interactive event where you can see for yourself the testing grounds for new and emerging technologies. Join us at NEIT on September 14 for a day-long forum where you’ll experience lively panel discussions on infrastructure planning, workforce changes and more.

September 20, 2017
Network After Work at AQUA
Providence, RI | 6:00 pm | $15
Join our community of millions across the US and expand your network at our next event. You’ll make great connections in a relaxed and upbeat atmosphere while expanding your network of contacts to fuel your career or business goals. We’ve become America’s premier face-to-face networking organization with hundreds of events each month, in over +100 cities across the US. Grab your business cards to get out and network with Network After Work.

September 26, 2017
Providence UX Meetup: Designers with Drinks
Providence, RI | 7:30 pm | @pvdUX
The ancient and loyal order of user experience professionals gathers monthly to toast beautiful, efficient, practical, and awe-inspiring digital design. The UX meetup is a casual gathering to meet local designers, swap industry techniques and news, and celebrate the remarkable design talent in Providence. Grab a cocktail, sling a wireframe, and meet some new and awesome people.

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