Archive for 2015

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.



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!