Events/News

Raghavendra Prasad

MACRO.CCS Project Manager

2016 Consultant of the Year

As project manager for King County’s first major upgrade of the Oracle EBS system since go live in 2012, Prasad managed:

1.      Phase 1 – Application Upgrade – completed on time and under budget with existing King County resources (not a systems integrator).

2.      Phase 2 – Hardware Replacement. This involved implementation of new Oracle engineered systems for both the EBS system and the new Oracle Business Intelligence (BI) system as well as establishing new services, roles and responsibilities with a managed services provider. This complex project required coordination and collaboration of three County teams as well as two external service providers.

Carmel Call, Raghavendra Prasad, Marjie Peterson

Each year MACRO.CCS honors consultants nominated by our clients for their outstanding performance. From our recent awards ceremony:

 

MACROSTAR AWARD – Jon Craig, MACRO.CCS Developer

Jon Craig stepped into the Department of Education and Early Learning in the summer 2015 tasked with helping them upgrade and migrate a critical line-of-business application which was nearing end-of-life.  Jon successfully  upgraded the database from SQL 2000 to 2012 and the web environment to Visual Studio 2013; coordinated testing and released the stabilized application in time for fall registration.  DEEL asked Jon to continue to support their on-going technology needs as they implement a new application which will support their changing business requirements.

Jon has been a MACRO.CCS employee since 2005, providing development support to eight departments at the City of Seattle during this time.  This is his second MACROSTAR award.

MACROSTAR AWARD

Caption: Marjie Peterson; Jon Craig, Taylor Oden, and Vickie Stovall

 

MACROSTAR AWARD – Floyd Unger, MACRO.CCS IT Quality Assurance Analyst

Recognizing Floyd for his work at Seattle Department of Construction and Inspections.

MACROSTAR AWARD

Caption: Danielle Priest, Project Manager – Seattle Department of Construction and Inspections; Floyd Unger; Marjie Peterson; Vickie Stovall

 

MACROSTAR AWARD – Jacqui Evanchik, MACRO.CCS Developer

Recognizing Jacqui for implementing the upgrade to the City of Seattle’s retirement and pension system.

Claire Foster, Project Manager – Seattle City Employees Retirement Systems; Jacqui Evanchik; Marjie Peterson, President, MACRO.CCS

 

MACROSTAR AWARD – Pascal Buhler, MACRO.CCS Functional Analyst

In recognition of Pascals’ contribution to the UW Workday Implementation project.

MACROSTAR AWARD

Wendy Rittereiser, Implementation Project Manager, University of Washington; Pascal Buehler; Marjie Peterson, President, MACRO.CCS

 

We use Skype, a lot. On top of using it daily to interview non-local candidates, we also use it for meetings between our two offices,  and we even use its chat function for in-office conversation. We also recommend it as a way for our clients to interview non-local candidates.

And in all this Skype usage, we’ve seen a lot of crazy things.

From messy rooms, to cameras showing us just the person’s eyebrows, to loud distracting background noises (including a fire-alarm going off through the ENTIRE call), to spouses walking around disrobing in the background (yes, this happened, more than once.) These things are so easily avoidable, and yet they continue to happen.

While a Skype interview might feel like a less formal interview than an in-person, it certainly shouldn’t be considered that way. In fact, a Skype call requires MORE preparation than an in person, as there than be more technological and staging issues.  So in order to help you better prepare for your next Skype interview, we’ve created this handy infographic breaking down the five key tips for a seamless and successful Skype call.

skype interview tips

For the past 19 years we’ve asked our clients to nominate the top MACRO.CCS consultant for that year (they can only pick one!) Consultants are evaluated on the qualities essential to success such as communication, teamwork, effectiveness, technical skills, etc. In their nomination, the client also explains why they think this consultant should be our Consultant of the Year. All consultants nominated are honored by us as MACROSTARS; one is selected Consultant of the year. For 2015, our MACROSTAR Consultant of the Year is Patricia Palmer.

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Patricia Palmer (Left) & Charlene Moran (City of Seattle – Information Technology Manager)

Patricia earned our 2015 award while working as a Project Manager for the City of Seattle Department of Construction and Inspection. In nominating Patricia, her manager gave her five stars in all categories, citing her creativity, initiative and determination as keys to her effectiveness in helping the department meet their goals. And all with a super sunny disposition.

To commemorate Patricia’s great work with the City of Seattle, MACRO.CCS and Patricia’s team celebrated at the City offices.

Congratulations, Patricia!

 

In the LA area this week? If so, we’d love to have you join us at this month’s AITP-Los Angeles chapter meeting where Branch Manager, Kelsey Searles, will be hosting a panel on Mobile Strategy and Development.

 

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The event starts around 6pm with networking, followed by dinner and the panel discussion. Tickets are $35 for non-AITP-members, $28 for members and will be for sale for the next 24 hours.

 

 

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Those who attended last week’s Emerging Technologies Series event at Highline College can tell you – Cameron Etezadi’s talk on Containerization and PaaS was a huge success (Thanks Cameron!)

Student’s came prepared, studied up on the topic, and were ready to go with a long list of questions.

But these talks are not just available to students – they are open to anyone with interest on the topic that wants to attend – and so we wanted to give you a heads up on the next talk we’re helping to organize, coming up in a couple weeks.

 

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Nick Cox, Software Engineer

This April 29th talk will feature Nick Cox, a front-end focused software engineer at Navigating Cancer who works on developing the company’s Ruby on Rails based doctor/patient portal.

During this talk Nick will discuss Convention over Configuration, demonstrate how Rails abstracts MySQL queries, and possibly include some live-coding!

 

If you’d like to join us + Nick at this talk, you will find us at room 30-301 on Highline’s campus, in Des Moines. 

And if you can’t make it, we have high hopes this event will be taped so we can post it here on our blog for your viewing pleasure at your convenience.

 

 

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For a public educational institution, like Highline College, it can often take quite a bit of time to develop & get approval for a new course of instruction. Programming classes at these schools typically cover the core basics of software and web development, to give the students a strong understanding of the fundamentals needed for a career in computer science.

Our company President, Marjie Peterson, has been involved with Highline College in Des Moines, WA as a member of their CS/CIS Advisory Board for seven years now, having helped shaped the curriculum offerings and providing career guidance for the students.

 

In order to supplement the basics provided in the standard curriculum, and keep student’s up to date on what’s new in the world of software development, Highline College and the Advisory Board have developed an Emerging Technology Series for their students. This series invites professionals from the Seattle area to come talk to the class and demo new technologies that these students might not get exposure to otherwise – helping them stay relevant and competitive in the market place once they have graduated.

These seminars run weekly, on Wednesdays, starting at 3:50pm – with a new topic each week. 

Thanks to Marjie’s coordination efforts (and network!) this week’s seminar (4/8), will feature Concur Technologies new Deputy CTO – Cameron Etezadi, who will be presenting on Containerization and Platform as a Service.

Hi Cameron!

Hi Cameron!

 Cameron, a veteran of the Seattle high-tech community, formerly served as Senior VP of Engineering at Ticketmaster / Livenation, and prior to that –  ran development teams at both Amazon and Microsoft.

 For non-students who cannot make the class, but are interested in what Cameron has to say, we will be posting a link where you can watch a video of the seminar in the coming weeks. So stay tuned!

by Nick Roberts meditation-e1344892511193

 

Ignore the immediate hippie-dippie image that comes to mind when we mention the word ‘Meditate’.

Meditation isn’t just something you do as part of a yoga routine because your hyperbolically laid back and centered yoga instructor makes it part of the class. The concept of meditation has come a long way in Western culture , shifting from something that only Eastern cultures “do” towards a mainstream health acceptance and practice.

Research is coming to light now that demonstrates a clear connection between how we treat our mind and our overall health. And this is where it ties into our realm & your job search:

There are a whole host of benefits associated with meditation, but perhaps one of the single biggest benefits comes from improved mental performance. This is particularly important when you begin to talk about interviewing for jobs or starting a new one. Why? We think most people will agree that an interview or job search is a nerve wracking endeavor.

So grab a comfy pillow and sit cross legged as we dive into how you can use meditation to improve your interview skills.

 

Reduce Stress and anxiety

 

Meditation has been closely linked with a reduction in negative emotional states such as stress, anxiety, depression and an increase in peace. Now just imagine for a moment that when you sit down for that interview with someone who is ostensibly grading you, that, rather than feel anxious and jittery, you instead feel calm and at ease. This would surely make you stand out from the crowd, no? Coming into an interview session with a calm, cool demeanor   indicates confidence and signals that you can perform under pressure. It also can help improve your communication skills, allowing you to succinctly and clearly impart your professional abilities to your interviewer.

 

Improve parallel processing

 

Another, unsung, benefit of meditation is a relatively new finding: meditation may improve parallel processing in the human brain. (Not sure what parallel processing refers to? Click here for a quick refresher).

While it has been reported that multi-tasking can actually decrease your productivity levels, such a skill is still necessary in an interview. You’re dealing with expected & unexpected questions, while monitoring your eye contact and overall posture, trying to think of good follow up questions AND actually ingest what you’re learning. Assuming Meditation actually DOES improve parallel processing, it could really give us an edge in an interview scenario in being able to access the information that we need, when we need it, and enabling us to answer questions with poise and clarity. If we can glean just the tiniest edge here from meditation, and combine that with the aforementioned decreased stress and worry, we really have the potential to make a great impact on the interviewer(s).

 

So essentially what we’ve got is a simple method to improving our disposition during incredibly stressful times in our lives. These benefits aren’t limited to interviews of course, so look into ways that you can incorporate a little meditation every day and you never know – it might just be that extra kick you need!

 

Not sure where to start your expedition in Meditation? Check out this new LA-based start-up, HeadSpace, that was recently featured in a list of top LA tech-startups. HeadSpace provides personal-meditation training through an easy to use app and web interface. We have yet to try it out, but it looks pretty cool!

 

Factoids: MACROSTARS

December 18th, 2014, 0 Comments

Every year in December, we ask our clients to nominate our best MACRO.CCS consultants for an award (with recognition and bonus.) We call these top consultants our MACROSTARS. From these nominated consultants, we select a Consultant of the Year. Here’s a look at winners from years past:

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We’re proud to support the US Marine Corps Toys for Tots Foundation by serving as a donation center this holiday season. Feel free to drop by with a new, unwrapped, toy next time you’re in the area.

Not sure the best time to drop by with your donation? We’ll be doing special Toys for Tots holiday happy hours each Friday in December from 4-6pm,  if you’d like to attend click here to RSVP.

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New Holiday Logo!

November 21st, 2014, 0 Comments

-1We thought we’d have some fun this year and jazz up our classic logo for the holiday season.

We’re loving the final product! What do you think?

 

 

 

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This week members of the MACRO.CCS team will be heading to Portland for the 6th annual Premier CIO Forum,  and if you’re in the area we’d love to see you!

The Premier CIO Forum – Portland is a joint event hosted with the Portland chapter of SIM (Society for Information Management, an organization which our own Vickie Stovall has been an active Seattle-area chapter member of since 2002. She also previously served on the organization’s board.)

This invitation-only event affords a fantastic opportunity to listen to, and learn from, Portland-area IT executives on topics from cyber security, IT leadership, archiving data, and cloud computing. Plus there are morning and evening networking events affording you the opportunity to hob nob, and enjoy a beverage, with others like yourself in the IT industry.

For a full agenda of the Thursday/Friday conference, check out their website:  http://www.premiercio.com/conferences/portland/agenda/

Insiders tip: for those that cannot attend the full conference, but would still like to network with Vickie and other SIM members, head down to the Crown Plaza hotel bar after 7pm on 11/13. It’s always a happening spot, post-conference. 🙂  

Need a last minute costume idea? We’ve scoured Pinterest and the rest of the internet to bring you these awesome, witty, tech-focused costumes. Enjoy!

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Costumes do not get easier than this.

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All you need is a box, some tape, and a sign. (To see more in this hilarious box-costume series, click here)

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Comics by Pablo Stanley. 


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This one will take a little more labor, but all the pieces you probably own at home (boxes, paint, tape, your genius mind….)

Yellow-Elephant-Onesie-Kigurumi-Pajamas-Animal-Onesie-Animal-Costume-Kigurumi-Onesie-1-500x750

Hadoop.

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So its not IT focused, but think of the embedded development required for a rocket… right? And its just plain awesome.

jobs and ipug

You: dressed up in jeans + black turtleneck. Your dog: the iPug.

woz_1

Relate more to the other-half of Apple AND have tons of money to spend on a new toy? Buy a Segway, pop on a helmet, and you’re Woz.

….

….

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Factoids: History

October 16th, 2014, 0 Comments

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Factoids: Affiliations

September 18th, 2014, 0 Comments

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Are you staying organized on your job hunt? original_Keep_calm_new

It doesn’t matter if you are searching for a job passively or actively, it’s wise to be organized and thorough to make sure that you are approaching each position prepared, with your best foot forward.

You see, it’s easy to get confused if you’re not keeping track of the Who, What, Where and When of your applications. And so, we recommend drawing up a spreadsheet of your activity.

 

So why keep track?

Most importantly: so you can monitor your success, and avoid wasting time re-applying to the same position may times.

  • This also helps so you have a quick and easy reference point for when you DO get calls back. You can easily pull up your spreadsheet to reference the job & when you applied. In turn, you will come across as professional, organized, and prepared.
  • Sending multiple applications into the same company can also result in you being ‘lost in the shuffle’. Studies show that the average internal recruiter spends 5-7 seconds  looking at each resume. Frighteningly short, right? Well it could get worse: If they have seen your resume before and passed on it, they are unlikely to even take that many seconds before passing on you again if they already know your name (which could be a serious bummer if it was for a different, possibly more appropriate, position for your skillset!)

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Programmer "Fancy"

      Programmer “Fancy”

Breaking down office dress codes (business formal to casual) & deciding how to dress for your next interview.

 

The IT & high-tech industries have made a hot mess of dress codes. Thanks to folks like Steve Jobs, jeans and a T have become standard attire for many development shops; swap that T for a button up flannel and you’re ready for that big presentation meeting! But for an interview? Be careful.

While Microsoft may be notorious for judging candidates for being overdressed at their interviews, MOST businesses do not follow this doctrine.

At an interview, you need to be presentable.

As we’ve mentioned before, your interview is your chance to market & present the best version of yourself in order to land a new job. And to do so you want the appropriate packaging, i.e. attire. You want to simultaneously impress & show you can fit in with the company culture.

 

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Before we jump into specifics, we wanted to give a quick look at what each dress code means. Names vary depending on who you ask, but the above titles (Business Formal, Business, Business Casual, Smart Casual, and Casual) should at least provide a good guideline and starting point.

Factoids: Bragging

July 24th, 2014, 0 Comments

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4th macro

Factoids: Athletics

June 19th, 2014, 0 Comments

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Unfortunately, job titles are often inaccurate representations of the actual work done. For two key reasons: titles vary by company, and responsibilities change.

Everything else being equal, one company may title you Vice President while another titles you Manager. A programmer may be a developer or an administrator (or perhaps even an analyst).

Untitled2And though you were hired as a web developer, your duties morphed over the years, while your title (perhaps more related to pay grade than duties) remained static.

Realistically, titles are generally unimportant, except as an organization’s internal status indicators. That is, until you decide to look for another position;  and then the question becomes: How do you describe yourself, knowing those who read your resume often offer only seconds of their attention, and it will focus on your title? And another thought: how do you search for a job that’s perfect for you, while ignoring titles?

Or if you’re the hiring manager, how do you attract the person you need when the company’s titles don’t fit the job?

 

Our recommendation:

 

titles

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Factoids: Firsts

April 17th, 2014, 0 Comments

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Last week we celebrated our 25th Anniversary along with clients, candidates, and friends at The Columbia Tower Club.

Here’s a look at past celebrations:

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25 Years Ago Today…

March 13th, 2014, 0 Comments

By Marjie Peterson, President

I remember moving borrowed furniture into the office space on Bel-Red Road on the Friday before we opened doors: March 13, 1989. I was thirty eight years old, married with two children ages 3 and 1, and I’d just bet my house.

The bet paid off, thanks to the hard work and good will of so many people over the years. We celebrate this evening at the Columbia Tower Club, but I’d like to stop now to thank: 

  • Carmen Hunt, our first employee – Carmen did accounting and collections. At collections she was a tiger, and clients who first encountered her on collection calls were shocked to later learn that in person she was petite, charming and lovely.
  • Safeco Insurance, our first client, (now Liberty Mutual). Marc Esterly, in HR at Safeco, essentially trained me in my first years of recruiting at Robert Half. As Safeco spun off its software business, Agena, Marc joined the new company and stayed a client for many years, until his retirement. So thank you Safeco, for your business and for Marc Esterly!Macrocss-4X6-Postcard-front

A bit of history: MACROSTAFF came into being in 1991 after EDS tried to hire MACROSEARCH to market their nascent staffing services. As the deal unraveled, I thought “we can do this ourselves” and MACROSTAFF was born. So thanks to EDS, and to: 

  • Jeannie Stratton, the first manager of our staffing division
  • Eddie Bauer, the first client of our staffing division.

We were technology rich for a permanent placement/staffing company, having developed our own software to run our business (a novelty in our kind of firm in the early 90’s). We decided to use some of our internal IT staff as consultants, so at the end of our first decade, MACROSTAFF Projects Group (now MACRO.CCS) came into being. Thanks to

  • Sharon Swann,  the first manager of our consulting division.

Our history has been rich with solid relationships with great organizations and great people. Over the years we have worked with (and are grateful to) many of the best known names in business – Weyerhaeuser, Safeco, DecWest (Digital Equipment), Microsoft, Children’s Hospital, Regence Blue Shield, University of Washington, BECU, Adobe, Activision, etc. but special thanks to

  • City of Seattle, our biggest client, re number of our consultants hired. (yes, that’s thanks to you, Lennie Roberts and Vicki Wills and Andrew Swansen, and Charlene Moran, and Jolene Luck, and Terry Lombardi and Marty Chakoian and Bryon Tokunaga and Jamie Carnell and Jon Lutton and Mike Herrin and all the other great people we’ve worked with over the years at the City.)
  • Seattle Public Schools, our longest term client (yes, that’s thanks to you, Barb Robbins and Marjorie Mills and Don Cowan and Jim Ratchford and Fred LaCroix and the list could go on and on…)

In 1998 we created our MACROSTAR program. Annually we ask our clients to nominate our best consultants for an award (with recognition and a bonus).

  • Our thanks to all our MACROSTARS, you’ve made us look great and we appreciate you.

Now on to the next 25!

 

 

 

We at MACRO.CCS find ourselves increasingly using Skype as an interview tool. Granted, it can be rather buggy and choppy, but in the end it serves as a good tool for face-to-face time with candidates who live far from our offices in the greater Seattle, and Los Angeles, areas.  However, during these interviews we’ve noticed that people don’t always prepare and present themselves as well as they should and thus decrease their chances of interview-success.  Following is a discussion of what we’ve noticed, and how it can be improved upon to increase the likelihood of interview-success.

The more preparation, the less buggy, and the more professional and successful your next Skype interview can be.

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Sometimes – even when you have the skills, steady work experience, aligned career goals,  similar cultural values – you don’t get the job. And no one tells you WHY. Sometimes it was nothing you said.  Non-verbal cues, small movements, looks, and tones, gave your prospective employer pause about your ability to fit into their group or do the job well. What might these non-verbal communication cues be, and how can you eliminate or minimize them?

 

1.       APPEARANCE

Yes, IT/High Tech tends towards a casual dress environment. But in your interview you need to step it up a notch. Why? You want to show you’re serious about this potential job and have respect for those interviewing you. You will be far more (positively) memorable if you take a little time getting polished before your interview.

         Via The Art of Manliness

Via The Art of Manliness

How Polished?

  • At the bare minimum: shower, pay some attention to your hair, and dress in clean, well-fitting clothes.
  • Even better: research the company and get an idea of their culture  & dress code. Use this information to determine the perfect interview outfit and style.
  • Still not sure on what to wear? Play it safe and dress in standard modern business attire: This means slacks or a skirt, paired with a button down shirt or blouse.

Need help decoding various business dress codes? Check out this article from the etiquette expert Emily Post.

 

Security concept: Lock on digital screen

Curious how Washington state communities are preparing to protect themselves from cyber attacks?  If so, please make sure to save the date for the next Association of Women in Computing – Puget Sound Chapter meeting on February 19th, at 6pm, in Seattle. This event will feature a presentation by Michael Hamilton, CEO and Managing Partner of MK Hamilton & Associates, who is the consulting architect on Public Regional Information Security Event Monitoring (PRISEM) project for the state – a project funded by the Department of Homeland Security.

Michael Hamilton: MK Hamilton & Associates

Mr. Michael Hamilton

Who: Association of Women in Computing – Puget Sound Chapter

 What: Presentation by Michael Hamilton on the Washington Statewide Cyber-security System: – the PRISEM Project

 When: Wednesday, February 19th, 2014 /  6 – 8:30pm

 Where: 501 N. 34th St /  Suite 200 / Seattle, WA, 98103 / At the Fremont offices of Serials Solutions

 How Much: $15, Click Here to Registerhttp://www.awcps.org/awcevents.

 

If we were Santa…

December 16th, 2013, 0 Comments

naughty nice list logo

 

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.

Photo via Aaron Crow

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For those not in the know, California branch manager, Kelsey Searles, does a lot of work in the e-commerce arena. With one side of her family thoroughly embedded in the retail industry, and the other side in technology, this was a natural direction for her career.

Those that work in e-commerce technology know, this is an area that is constantly evolving and improving. So, in order to stay on top of those changes and the latest technologies in web development, Kelsey has to stay pretty active in the user community. Yeah, TechCrunch, RISNews, and Wikipedia are useful, but you never learn from these sites quite as well as you do straight from the source: the developers themselves.

 

This month, Kelsey will be helping to host LA High Scalability Group’s next event on August 21st:

Going from .Net SQL to Hadoop+MongoDB on Linux and Java

The event will feature speaker Robert Vandehey from Rovi, who will be talking about his experience in migrating .Net/memcache/SQL to Java/Linux/Hadoop/Mongo (though you probably already guessed that from the event title!)

The event starts at 7pm and is going down at Factual Inc., which is right next to the Century City mall on Avenue of the Stars. Factual has ever so graciously agreed to not only provide the meeting space, but also food and drinks for the group (THANK YOU!)

Directions and more details on the event are available on the MeetUp group website.

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Come join and learn something new 🙂

 

 

While we tend to promote ourselves as technology generalists,  working with technical and functional folks of all varieties in the IT industry, one area where we’ve had a lot of success has been Oracle. 

Granted, that’s a rather broad area. Oracle is a behemoth company that encompasses many different hardware systems and software products. But as a generalist firm that works in ton of different industries, we have touched on a lot of Oracle products and thus are always looking to expand our Oracle knowledge and networks. 

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That’s where the 2012 Northwest Oracle User Group Conference comes into play.

Next Monday, August 6th, we’re shipping off our company President (Marjie) to Portland to meet some new Oracle people and learn some new Oracle things. 

The event takes place at the Downtown Portland Waterfront Marriott and has four different ‘tracks’ tailored to each sector of professionals that will be attending: Application Track (i.e. EBS), Technical Track (i.e. Systems and Databases), Vendor Track, and the Oracle Corporation Track. 

Considering attending to learn something new & hobnob with Marjie? Check out the conference page here

Hope to see you there! 

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PS: To read about some of our recent projects with Oracle and other application technologies, check out our website here.

 

 

As of February 1st, 2012 our Los Angeles office will be located in the Miracle Mile district on Wilshire Blvd.

Our new address will be:
6535 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 253
Los Angeles, CA 90048

We look forward to showing off our new space with you!

PS: 2-hr Parking will be available for visitors on Sweetzer. 

Our snazzy new digs: built in 1951 to house a prestigious law firm in LA's Miracle Mile District.

 

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PSST….

December 23rd, 2011, 0 Comments