Minnesota Morning… Ruby.MN, CoCo Pitch Night and Minnesota Jobs

I blinked… and January 2015 is almost over? What happened? Where did it go?

Ruby.MN User Group

Minnesota Ruby User Group

It had been a few months since I attended the Ruby Users of Minnesota meetup so I stopped by the other night. I find myself still saying “Happy New Year” to friends I have not seen since “last year”. Not awkward I hope.

There were two presentations.

The first from Kevin Bullock (@krbullock) who did a DevOps 101 He did a great job breaking it down into what it is, how to do it and managed some conversation on how to avoid pitfalls.

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Minnesota Morning… Minnesota IT Jobs, LinkedIn “How You Rank” And Summer In Minnesota

For those of us in the Upper Midwest when we talk about the Winter of 2014 we say “WINTER” with emphasis. We think it’s funny when family and friends “down south” talk about how cold it was.

We know better. When your snot freezes… THAT’S cold.

Thankfully that is past us now and across the state we had a most beautiful Memorial Day weekend. I posted some #LakeLife photos below…

Minnesota IT Jobs

I had a feeling it was long past time for me to start the and while sure the short term traffic spike is curiosity more than anything else… I think the numerous email I received from recruiter and IT friends is a good sign.

On the first batch of jobs posted there are 17 IT jobs… all full time and a mix of large companies and startups.

Another round of job will be posted later this evening.

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Minnesota Morning… Minnesota Recruiters and WordPress Wednesday

Last week was the Minnesota Recruiters Spring 2014 Conference and the 20th something event since it was started in 2007. I think this was #23.

This event had a couple of “mile markers” for me.

This was the first event that I had no role in since we started it. I went from co founder and coordinator to the advisory board and now a “has been”. My time is up.

It’s been a fun road and Jason Buss is doing a great job with the group.

The other part to this event and more significant to me… this was the first event I missed. I had some family stuff that needed my full attention and so for the first time when the question was asked, “How many have been to every event?” no one raised their hand.

I did watch the #mnrec Twitter stream and picked up some things to think about.

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Minnesota Morning: How Do You Spend Your Jelly Beans?

Jelly Bean

Something big has been nagging me for a long, long time and I had not been able to figure it out. There have been little parts of this over the past year that “clicked” with me like “What do you want” but this bigger thing…

It’s been nagging at me for a year and a half and today I saw the bigger picture.

It happened during the message at Eagle Brook Church this morning. They are doing a series called “Simplify”… well timed with the post holiday craziness.

This weekend’s topic:

Controlling Your Calendar

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Minnesota Morning: Minnesota Headhunter LLC Is One Year Old

Downtown Minneapolis

It’s Friday evening December 20th, 2013 and all day something has been bothering me… like I knew I was forgetting about something important.

That nagging feeling.

Most of the work stuff was done. Holiday activities taken care of. End of the week email sent out.

And then it hit me while I was pulling up the blog and looking out the window…

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Minnesota Morning… A “No Think Zone” Experiment

I have had a few moments today (kind of like a “déjà vu”) where I have stopped in my tracks (literally including while jogging today) and said to myself:

“What are you thinking”


“What were you thinking”

And I am reminded that thinking has become a problem for me. I already know this. My friends already know this. This is not news to anyone.

When it comes to friends and colleagues the past months I have found myself saying to them:

“Trust your gut”

And then I think (this time it helps), am I trusting my gut? What’s up with all the thinking, analyzing? You give great advice… you should probably take it.

For me I have always had an “inner compass”. It’s a good one that served me well but at some point a few years ago (around the time of the Great Recession) I swear my DNA changed.

It has not worked for me. Maybe not hurt but certainly not helped.

And there have been a couple of times in the past year when I went full strong on something without much thinking and was burned reverting back to thinking.

Here is some proof…

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Minnesota Morning... InformationWeek Interviews, Kidblog And Spark Edition

Yep... it has been a long time since I wrote one of these and it is yet another attempt at getting back into writing. I think I found one of my “blocks” to this, so much to write and not enough time to do it.

So I decided to write what I can when I can and stop thinking about it.

I hope this time around it sticks.

InformationWeek interviews

A couple of weeks ago I was contacted by Kevin Casey (@kevinrcasey) of InformationWeek (thanks to Jennifer McClure for the referral) to work on a couple of articles with him.

I need to write up a couple of blog posts to go along with each of these with some additional thoughts I have but for the moment... click these links to see the articles:

IT Job Interviews: 8 Tips To Avoid Disaster

8 IT Hiring Trends You Can't Ignore

If you have friends who may find this info useful, share with them by clicking the Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and/or LinkedIn icons. 

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Minnesota Morning: Happy New Year 2013 - Page 1 Of 365

“We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year's Day.” - Edith Lovejoy Pierce

We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year's Day.

Edith Lovejoy Pierce

Most folks do an inventory at the end of the year on “where they are”. For me… I have been doing it much of the past year.

And it has not been much fun.

Life experiences of the past 16 months have forced me to and now looking with some hindsight I realize these are long awaited changes that I have wanted to make for a long time.

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Minnesota Morning: Economy, War For Talent And Gopher Hockey Edition

After a couple of weeks of being able to fall asleep at night… last night was not such a good night. I went to bed well after midnight  and woke up well before the birds started chirping.

So no words of wisdom or funny things to say today…


The middle of the month is always a busy time for different economic reports and there were a bunch of mostly good news last week highlighted by:

- Initial Jobless Claims: March 10th the Labor Department reported 351,000 people filed for initial unemployment benefits. That was below the average market predictions of 355,000 and down from the revised number of 365,000 claims the previous week. The 4 week moving average was unchanged at 355,750.

Initial Unemployment Claims 4 wk Moving Average - Haver Analytics

Ongoing claims were 3.343M much lower than predictions and lower than the 3.424M.

- Philly Fed: March 15th the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia released their general economic index. 12.5 was the number in line with predictions and up from 10.2 in February. This is a positive indicator with manufacturers putting out more products which tend to lead to hiring more folks. The New York index was also a positive report.

- The Thomson Reuters & University of Michigan preliminary index of consumer sentiment dropped to 74.3 from 75.3. 76.0 was the average prediction. Gas & fuel prices are most to blame for the negativity.

Check out The American economy: Unmired at last (The Economist)


War For Talent

I am seeing this phrase (popular from 2003-2007) more and more as the economy continues to recover. For those of us in I.T. this is not news and is more like “where have you been” kind of news.

Today on ERE.net is this article The War for Talent Is Returning; Don’t Get Caught Unprepared from Dr John Sullivan.

I am not a big fan of the words “war” and “talent” but it is the phrase the industry uses.

It is always easy to use Silicon Valley as a place to talk about the “war” but here in Minnesota when it comes to recruiting I.T. folks we have definitely seen the increase in competition to hire moving past a “skirmish” but not quite a “war”.

Gopher Hockey

Congratulations to the Minnesota Golden Gopher Women’s Hockey Team for their victory over the Wisconsin Badgers in the NCAA Frozen Four Championship Game

This is the Gophers third NCAA Championship with the most recent in 2005.

Check out the post on GopherSports.com Gopher Women's Hockey Wins National Championship where you will see a lot of information about the game including this video:


This still shot is currently the splash page on the Gophers web site:


Minnesota Golden Gophers Womens Hockey 2012 National Champions


Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton has declared today to be Gopher Women's Hockey National Champions Day.



Minnesota Business


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Minnesota Morning: Summer In March, Gopher Hockey And March Madness Edition

It might normally be around this time of the year when someone in Minneapolis might say that spring has sprung. Not so much last year as we did not get to see spring until almost June.

This year... we skipped spring (for now) and jumped to June.

And I like it… for the most part.

The only thing that I have not liked so far has been the rock concert the birds are putting on in my courtyard between 5 am and 6:30 am. I love the birds and the spring they bring with them but dang.. why so early?

Here is one particular crooner. I took this at 8 pm. I love the song. It sounds good at 8 pm.

But I have different feelings for it at 5 am:


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