Catching­­ Unicorns & Purple Squirrels

I recently ran across a job listing for a Solution Architect position.  It’s common to see these include significant knowledge and experience requirements in high (or low) level languages, recent experience in new technologies, and solid fundamentals in well-established standards.  Check.  What was confusing to me though was the buzz-word bingo sheet that the job listing appeared to be.  Recruiters have started calling this candidate the Purple Squirrel for good reason. To paraphrase: they wanted “Expert” level knowledge of Java, “Expert” level knowledge of Microsoft Stack / C# / .Net, significant experience with Microsoft and Google cloud platforms, and “preferred” someone also have knowledge of Node.js / npm / etc.  This was in addition to all the standard database proficiency…

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Have to Vs. Get To

At our church a few weeks ago I heard a portion of the Sunday sermon that really resonated with me. It made me think about the business applicability of having a positive mindset and how powerful that can be. I’ve heard many proverbial stories and read tons of “rah-rah” business literature about the subject, but what was remarkable to me was the simplicity of it. No matter what organization you work for, at some point in your career there will be days where it’s hard to be positive. RIFs, clipped budgets, departure of key colleagues, uncertainty, real or perceived crises, someone just having a bad day and letting other people know it [future blog link to come: dealing with problematic…

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A Teachable Spirit

One of the hardest things to teach someone is how to learn. As children we are all naturally inquisitive; put my 2-year-old in a room with crayons and she will naturally figure out how they taste, what they are for, and most often what you should absolutely never do with them. When it comes to crayons, she is teaching us more about what we can and cannot leave around in her play area. In my professional career, it's been a continuing journey to learn as much as I can about new technologies, while also passing along as a servant-leader to teach others what I have learned. Each December/January, I find myself scouring the latest leadership books in hopes of finding…

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