Minnesota Morning | Atique, Hack The Gap And 10 Hard To Find Tech Skills


Earlier this week I took a drive to St Paul to check out the Christmas lights at Rice Park. A few days prior we had snow on the ground but after some rain it was all gone. I’ll make another trip over there when it snows again. A couple of photos:


 Rice Park, St Paul, Christmas lights Rice Park, St Paul, Christmas lights


Atique

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Minnesota Morning | Countdown To 2017 And F*** Yes Or No

After spending 1/3 of the 2016 summer in the Alexandria, MN area until the holiday weekend I had not been up there in 2 months. Obviously gone are the warm summer days and the fall colors but the area lakes are still ice free. So first thing I did before seeing family was find a lake and sit on some rocks:

Lake L'Homme Dieu, #LakeLife 


The next day before Thanksgiving dinner I took a country road drive and while doing some thinking pulled over a few times to take a couple of photos:


Garfield Minnesota Oscar Lake, #LakeLife


Like most people 2017 was (is) on my mind and I have been thinking the past couple of weeks about what to add to my personal and professional life and what to take out. Things like volunteering, clients and types of work, friendships, writing, speaking and new projects (should I do them or not).

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Minnesota Morning | Thomson Reuters Layoffs, UnitedHealth Group Hiring And CoCo Expands

 

It’s been a week since Election Day… leading up to it I was ready for it to be over and on to whatever was going to be next. I’ve been having a “be careful watch you wish for” moment. I was guessing it would be a new version of what we have endured the past months and years. So far that seems to be the case.

On Facebook I noticed I had posted this 4 years ago in the early hours after the 2012 election:
 

Election Day 2012


While completely jaded about our entire political system and hoping someone steps up in the next weeks and months that can be a more centrist politician and start uniting the country, or at least represent the middle 40% of us, I am still grateful that we can have “peaceful” elections no matter how messy they are on TV and online.

On my way to the voting booth I took this photo:


God Bless America, Election Day 2016


I’ve been finding myself “looking up” a lot the past week.

 

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Minnesota Morning | MN IT Layoffs And Top 10 LinkedIn Skills

 
We’ve had an amazing fall in Minneapolis (some photos below from this weekend) and the forecast for this week is in the 60’s. Why I am talking about the weather to start this… anyone who was in Minneapolis 25 years ago today will remember the Halloween Blizzard of 1991. An epic storm that dropped 28.4 inches of snow over three days.

I was in college then and my fraternity had a Halloween party that I was not able to get to… I was not living near campus and by the time I started to make the drive it was too late. Roads were not drivable. I missed a 3 day party #BLEEP


MN IT Layoffs

There have been a number of IT layoffs in Minneapolis in 2016. While sensitive to those impacted, in a macro view I would call most of them “normal”. Most people found jobs within weeks and life continued on.

In the next days there is going to be a BIG announcement from a company that will impact 100’s of local tech pros. Most will be OK either landing in the new structure, applying for jobs already posted at the company or finding a new job at other companies. But this is going to get some headlines.

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Minnesota Morning… Exhale

Downtown Minneapolis, Capella Tower

I am on day five of doing nothing and it feels really weird. One part freeing and one part W T H… I should be working my (bleep) off. One good thing is I don’t wake up exhausted any more. And I seem to be doing some big picture thinking which I guess makes sense when you are not running off to the next meeting, conference call or candidate interview.

Since I wrote Taking A Step Back, Skate Where The Puck Will Be And What’s Next For Me almost a month ago to the day a bunch of things have gone including (not in order):

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Minnesota Morning: Taking A Step Back, Skate Where The Puck Will Be And What’s Next For Me

If we break the year up into thirds and I use a sports analogy which I commonly do, this time from hockey… today starts the 3rd period of 2016. And I am reminded of this quote:

Skate to where the puck is going, not where it has been. - Wayne Gretzky
 

The past month or so I took a big step back from the Minnesota startup, tech and recruiter scene. For the previous 18 months or so I had been so head down recruiting and attending tech meetups that I lost some vision on what was going on and what was coming next. I had a sense of some things changing but did not have enough time to explore, confirm or deny them.

I did a lot of lurking on Twitter and LinkedIn. I was watching status updates… what people were talking about, what kind of mood they were in and what they were working on. Add in a bunch of phone calls and Hangouts. “Hey, do you have a minute for a quick question” was a common email or text from me and note… it was never a minute.

I then extended out from Minneapolis and spoke with some Midwest and Bay Area friends.

There are a number of trends in the Minneapolis, Midwest and Bay Area tech scene that will start, have started to change the tech hiring landscape. While most folks are skating where the puck was (reactive) and some are skating where it is (getting by) there are very few in Minneapolis and the Midwest going where the puck will be (proactive).

Memo to Recruiters, CEO’s and Investors: skate where the puck is going.

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Minnesota Morning: Twin Cities Startup Week, Teen Hackathon And MN CTO Job


Twin Cities Startup Week, Minnesota Tech, Minnesota IT Jobs


Twin Cities Startup Week is 32 days away, Sep 19-25 ‘16, and plans are coming together. Unfortunately I am going to be in Anaheim speaking at SourceCon, this is a good problem, and missing Wed-Sat. I have submitted a talk with Patrick Meenan (LinkedIn | Blog | @pmeenan1), Partner at Arthur Ventures, on networking, recruiting and scaling a team to be held Monday or Tuesday.

This is the 2nd year of the “Fly In” program where folks interested in the MN tech scene can “apply for a flight” and be reimbursed up to $300:

TCSW is proud to announce that we will be offering a fly-in program for this year's Startup week. If you are looking for potential employment with MN startups and if you are interested in attending Twin Cities Startup Week we want to hear from you.

I am one of the sponsors of this and also one of the “interviewers”. Click Twin Cities Startup Week Free Flights and fill out the form.

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Minnesota Morning… Amazon Hiring In Minneapolis, 3M Hiring Millennials and #LakeLife

I am involved in a fierce battle right now and it is similar to the one I had a year ago… holding on to summer and #LakeLife as hard as I can for as long as I can and the reality that there’s A LOT going on in the tech community right now. Add in Twin Cities Startup Week and SourceCon in September and Gopher football starting in 17 days… it’s kind of over.

I’m not handling it well. Being a grown up sucks sometimes.

Recruiter jobs… if you missed it last week I posted 10 new (click) from companies including UnitedHeath Group, Medtronic and Amazon.


Amazon Minneapolis Splash

Speaking of Amazon… last week they hosted a few hundred guests to talk about their expansion into Minneapolis. The crowd was a mix of tech pros, Amazon recruiters and staff and a bunch of folks from the business community wondering what does it mean for them.

I have been consistent with my thoughts on Amazon coming to town… good. Sure it creates more recruiting pressure for everyone. For many years I have been saying that most Minneapolis companies have a week recruiting game. Time to figure out who is going to play and who is going to sit on the sidelines and complain.

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Minnesota Morning… It’s Time

“It’s Time” is a phrase I used a few years ago (I don’t do New Year’s resolutions) as a reminder of what I needed to be thinking about. This year I went with “Change the game… and the rules”.

It’s time to do that.

The past few months with trips to Orlando and Dallas/Fort Worth and events likes SourceCon, Enterprise Rising, Midwest Capital Call, Midwest PHP, Dallas Startup Week, MinneBar and Hack the Gap… I’ve been a part of a couple hundred plus local, regional and national conversations on the topics of recruiting and retention from Startups to the Fortune 500.

I am going to be blunt about my main conclusion… at some point and I don’t know when many (most) people (particularly the “cool kids”, speakers and wannabe online experts) have gone bat shit crazy.

Maybe its because:

- the election cycle where everyone seems a bit nuts

- the social media hype machine many of us live/work in

- many are trying to “out do” the other person.

- the game many play with themselves about how many “likes” they can have on a photo, Tweet or post

- the pressure to produce

- the pressure to stay “cutting edge”

- their trying to make things look easy

- their trying to be “famous” or the next great keynote speaker

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Minnesota Morning: What Do You Really Want?

I saw a tech friend of mine at Beta.MN this week I had not seen in person in many months. Sure Twitter, Instagram and Facebook keep us informed… keep us in touch sort of, but not really. Not in an important way.

After the usual handshake and “man hug” I said:

I am going to skip “How are you doing” because I think through your posts I have an idea. What I want to know is, “How are you really doing, what’s the no BS answer”

My friend had a blank stare, one of those you know they are someplace else kind of looks. And for a long while they told me how they were really doing… there is a lot going on. After listening, giving a little advice and helping them get some perspective on things they flipped the question on me:

I am going to skip “What do you want” and ask you “What do you really want, what’s the no BS answer”

They could tell from the advice I was giving that there was a tone in some of my voice… that I had some things on my mind too. Things you don’t notice on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook updates.

It didn’t take me 20 seconds to answer. I knew right away what the answer was. Their short and not so simple advice:

Sounds good. Go get it. It’s time.

The next day I took a drive to Alexandria where I am practicing work/life integration. I’ve never been good at “balance” but I am an All Star integrator. My integration agenda for these four days:

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