Archive for 2013

If we were Santa…

December 16th, 2013, 0 Comments

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Having been in business nearly 25 years now, our team has seen some interesting things happen in interviews. Things that pleasantly shocked and surprised us, leading us to further appreciate the relationship we had started with that technologist…. and then some things that were not so pleasant.

And so we bring to you the MACRO.CCS Interview Naughty/Nice list. We encourage you to read it, learn from it, and improve your own interview skills in preparation for your 2014 job search.

Happy Thanksgiving

November 27th, 2013, 0 Comments

We hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday, filled with the people (and food!) you love.

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To all the wonderful technologists we work with:

We’re currently accepting submissions for our first annual holiday card photo contest. If you, or a friend, are interested in having your photographic artwork featured on this year’s MACRO.CCS holiday card, please see the below document for details on how to submit your entry.

The artist responsible for the selected photograph will receive a $250 gift card to Amazon.com

Entry deadline: 5pm, Monday November 18th.  A winner will be selected & notified by 5pm, Friday November 22nd

holiday card contest memo

Your goal in any interview should be to get a job offer. Even in an “informational interview” setting, well-prepared and aligned professionals can find themselves with offers –sometimes with jobs created just for them. But while you’re working hard to sell yourself, it’s vitally important you don’t forget to vet the interviewer and company as well. After all, while you want the offer – you also want to make sure this is not just a job, but a place you will thrive in your career.

This is where cultural fit comes in.

 

So as a job-candidate how do you evaluate the company culture? We suggest a two-pronged approach.

Research & Questions

Research: This is crucial to better understanding the business and coming across as an informed, interested, and active participant in the interview.

  • Start with the company: What’s the company’s mission statement? How many employees are there? Where are their offices? Have there been any recent news stories on the business? What problems do they seem to be encountering that might relate to the job you are interviewing for?
  • Does anyone in your network (see: LinkedIn) work at this company? Talk to them about their work experience there. Likes/Dislikes.
  •  Next, research your interviewersLinkedIn is a great tool for this to get an idea of their backgrounds and skill sets. It doesn’t hurt to check out their social-media pages either (Twitter, about.me, FacebookGithub, etc…). From these pages you can learn about interests, personalities, or even how important their work is to them.
  • Finally, websites such as Indeed and Glassdoor can also prove useful to gain insight into a company and its employees. Though  make sure to evaluate the role of the person writing the review (i.e. are they in corporate? warehousing? a retail location?), and take everything with a grain of salt as many times it is only the unhappy employees who take to the internet to voice their opinions.

Friday Funnies

September 6th, 2013, 0 Comments

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A sunny Seattle summer day, a nice round of golf, and hobnobbing with your fellow technologists? We certainly can’t think of a better way to spend a Monday afternoon. If you find yourself nodding your head in agreement, you might want to plan on using some of that PTO you’ve been hoarding all year to join us at the 20th Annual Seattle SIM Golf Tournament , Monday – August 19th.

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The 20th Annual Golf Tournament

Monday, August 19th, 2013
at Bear Creek Country Club

 

Less cross-pollinate our scalability knowledge!

In an effort to show love for developers and environments of all varieties – this month’s meetup for the Los Angeles High Scalability group moves away from our standard open-source, noSql, conversations and will broach the subject of scaling with Microsoft technologies.

More specifically, Bruno Denuit-Wojcik – a former architect on Microsoft Azure team & Current VP of Engineering for EnPlug – will be discussing with us the challenges that Microsoft went through in moving Sql Server to The Cloud with its product Sql Azure. And, since he’s currently involved in a blended Microsoft/MongoDB/RabbitMQ environment, he’ll be able to discuss the differences in the technologies as well.

 

When: July 23rd, 7pm

Where: Factual HQ, 1801 Avenue of the Stars, Suite 1450, Century City

What: Presentation by Bruno Denuit-Wojcik, former architect on Microsoft Azaure team & Current VP of Engineering for EnPlug

 

Schedule: 

7pm, Food+Drinks+Networking

7:45pm, The Presentation

8:30pm, Q&A

 

For more information and to RSVP visit our meetup page: http://www.meetup.com/scalela/events/128743372/?a=ra1_vl&_af_eid=128743372&_af=event

The shift from demand for IT contractors to demand for direct-hire employees generally signals an accelerating economy. When things are bad, companies hire more contract personnel as it requires less long term financial commitment. When the economy starts to improve, purse strings loosen and businesses start hiring more internal employees who can be with them through their immediate project needs, then support and maintain systems once they have been implemented.
Right now we’re in one of those swings to direct-hire.

Over the past couple of years, we at MACRO.CCS have noticed a large push for internal IT employees and away from contractors. The rationale makes sense – contractors cost a premium. If you bring someone in-house, you can typically save money in the long run, as well as have someone there who knows your system intimately, to support it.

So what’s a contractor to do?

Thanks to the help of our lovely IT consultants, we are back up and running. We can access our calendars, our email, and the database – woo hoo! Huge sigh of relief over here, that’s for sure.

Any emails sent between 9am – 1pm sill haven’t made their way to our in-boxes just yet,  but we should have them in our hands soon.

 

To say the least!

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A few of our servers have decided to take a ‘nap’ this morning and are nonoperational. This means no access to our emails, our calendars, or our database of contact information at the moment. But we’re still here – so if you need anyone in our Bellevue of Los Angeles offices, have a previously scheduled call, or interview with us today, please do not hesitate to pick up the phone and give us a ring.

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We will let you know when things are back up and running (lets just hope its soon & we have full heads of hair remaining at that point!)

 

 

Weekly IT laughs

June 20th, 2013, 0 Comments

For those of you in the Los Angeles area, we’d love for you to join us and the Los Angeles High Scalability Group at eHarmony while we discuss highly scalable development practices in eHarmony’s match-making models.

Date: Tuesday, June 18th

Time: 7pm – 9pm

Overview:  eHarmony was one of the earliest, fastest growing and still one of the largest online dating sites. From the beginning, eHarmony has had data centric models at its very core. Every pair of users that are introduced to each other must pass through psychological compatibility models. Years of matching and communication data is combed through to generate models that predict communication. Over the years eHarmony has evolved its models to more and more sophisticated models that require an ever increasing amount of data, both during training and even more critically during the match creation process.

This presentation, by eHarmony architect Ryan Barker, will start with a brief overview of of the various architectures spanning the last 13 years, followed by an in depth analysis of the current hybrid SOA + Hadoop based architecture. Machine learned dynamic code generation scala models, JMS and REST based services, spring wired Hadoop jobs and various back end processes all producing and consuming a protocol buffer based data model.

 

Food and Beverages will be Provided by MACRO.CCS.

(Psst: non alcoholic beverages only, though there are talks of doing happy hour afterwards at a Santa Monica bar if anyone is down…)

 

To RSVP: http://www.meetup.com/scalela/events/119568112/

 

 

Some laughs…

May 28th, 2013, 0 Comments

MACRO.CCS is proud to sponsor the involvement of our employees in their charitable endeavors and encourage all our team members to get involved in the community in any way they can. Here’s a glimpse at some of the charitable events MACRO.CCS employees will be involved in this spring: 

Our founder, Marjie Peterson, has always held an active position in the business community over the years. From serving as President, and later Chairman of the Board, for TechServe Alliance, to her involvement in groups like the Association of Women in Computing, the Society of Information Management, and the former Data Processing Management Association, where Marjie has helped support technology, employment, and small business initiatives. And that’s just to name a few!

 

Next week, on May 7th & 8th, Peterson will join the voices of Washington small business at the Association of Washington Business (AWB) Spring Board meeting at the Davenport Hotel in Spokane, Washington.

 

AWB acts as a Chamber of Commerce on State issues, interfacing with the state legislature to ensure the needs of small business are understood when new legislation is proposed.

 

A member of this organization since 1994, Peterson became active in 1998 when AWB joined Washington State Digital Media Alliance (now Washington Technology Industry Associates) in urging the legislature to make Washington State overtime laws consistent with federal laws. She soon after joined the Board of Directors of this business focused organization.