Professions of a Silicon Valley Double-E
Wednesday, March 26, 2008
  Making the 360 review a tool for YOU

What if YOU could use the 360 degree review to help your own career.. rather than as a tool for your manager?

Jason pointed this out in his post today:

to Quote my favorite part..

Maybe you think you are a hotshot, CEO-type that excels in strategic planning and motivating the worker-bees.

And then you get your Reach 360 feedback and learn that most people think you are more reserved, very logical and detail oriented - perhaps you are better suited for a Project Management role right now.

Just knowing that empowers you to make a better decision for your career path, or can encourage you to get better training and mentoring to become that motivating CEO.

Of course, you can't build a career just with career management tools. You have to specialize in something. But if you are depending on your employer for your career planning, you're as bad off as depending on your mortgage lender for your home insurance. Their interests are not always aligned with yours. like the salary tools, job search tools, company research tools and networking tools.. these will all help, but its YOUR career, not your employer's.

Onwards and upwards..

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Friday, March 21, 2008
  IEEEUSA annual meeting attendance update
Oakland East-Bay - Rosanna Lerma
Santa Clara Valley - Will Lumpkins
Metro LA - Larry Bergman

-- and as previously reported

Seattle - Maury Miller
Orange County - Rep R. Sampath
Hawaii - John Camery
Palouse - Paul Swingle
San Diego - Kesh Bakhru
-- 17 openings out of 38 sections total.
--- we have special funds for 5 Gold people (who have not attended the annual meeting before)
San Diego - Omar Bautista
R6 Gold - Russell Hunter (the region 6 GOLD chair)
Ed Perkins is also going - but is not counted in the funding(yet)
Hopefully we'll have further updates this afternoon!
Wednesday, March 19, 2008
  Thanks to an Inspiring Visionary
One of the authors that Inspired me to think about technology as a Career, Sir Arthur C. Clarke has passed. I was altered to this by way of the blog of another author who has opened my mind to things more recently, Charlie Stross.
I remember learning from the early guys (ACC, RAH and IA) some of the "technical skills" a person should have to prepare for living in space someday (The Cold war folks set this expectation for us, IMO). I planned to get certified as a Pilot, a HAM operator, and scuba diver. I've only completed the first. But today I'd tell people that they need to collaborate with others in developing a piece of software.
I am saddened that of the early Sci Fi greats, I only ever got to meet one of them, Ray Bradbury showed up on the night I went to see a performance of a play based on the Martian Chronicles. I can't remember the play. But I can't forget his thick glasses, nor meeting him. (but I almost mistook him for RAH.) Many Ideas I remember from the STORY where I first encountered it.

Nonetheless, I rejoice in his life, and all his contributions, and that he lived to see a grand resurgance in the "Speculative Fiction" field which some (ie David Brin) have come to call the "harder" (more technically oriented) side of the "genre".
If you want to think about the impacts of the technologies we are creating today, and how it might affect who we are becoming, you probably won't go wrong reading Vernor Vinge, Stephen Baxter, Charlie Stross, Alistair Reynolds, Neal Stephenson,
or David Brin.
David is a little more Activist, so you can see his talks on Google Tech Talks too.

I'll always take the chance to combine my learning with entertainment, and to let the entertainment help me figure out what to look at next.

Where do YOU get the inspiration to find out about a new technology like RSS, blogs, twitter or subversion? While I thank those living now, who continue to inspire me (these day's David Brin is getting a lot of my attention - and not just thru his fiction!!) I would like to conclude by offering my thanks to Sir Clarke for all the inspiration he gave me, and those around me.

Thank you! Thank you.

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Monday, March 17, 2008
  The 2008 IEEEUSA Annual Meeting - Region 6 Attendance
Its time for folks to register.. so far from region 6 we have budgeted funds for -21 sections
Seattle - Maury Miller
Orange County - Rep TBNL
Hawaii - John Camery
Palouse - Paul Swingle
San Diego - Kesh Bakhru
-- 17 openings out of 38 sections total.
--- we have special funds for 5 Gold people (who have not attended the annual meeting before)
R6 Gold - Russell Hunter (the region 6 GOLD chair)
Ed Perkins is also going - but is not counted in the funding
Please visit the Annual meeting Website to register and book your hotel room.

I'll post a record here, so that you all can see if there is money left

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Sunday, March 16, 2008
  Personal CRM Systems
I've not yet started an account at Jason Alba's jibberjobber service, but today I am suddenly starting to feel the impact of what a typical job hunter might be doing if he doesn't already have some kind of system in place.
For me, I'm trying to catch up on 2.5 months of backlog in this role for IEEE's Region 6 ( home of the largest section in IEEE and the largest (both geographically and by membership) of the 6 US Regions.
What am I doing? Learning who everyone is.. All the pace chairs in all the sections, and their area pace chairs (R6 has 5 areas) so that I can send out a couple of email blasts and hit the right people, and not too many others.
OK.. so far I have completed 2 of the areas.. and I even found I needed to keep an issues log, so that I could pass on issues I find ( Pace chair on section website is different from that in the roster)
Section website terribly out of date, or even non-existant.
In total I'll be tracking about 100 folks.. Probably LESS that what a job hunter will do in the course of a 3-month job hunt. Who did I send Info too? Have I approved their funding request.
did I tell the Region Treasurer, Have I heard back from them?
JibberJobber provides a system that will aid the job hunter do this rather than build his from scratch as I'm doing with mine.. But wait Doesn't outlook already address this? -
Unfortunately, It allows me to track individuals this way, but I'm not sure it will let me Identify all the members of a group and let me concentrate on those things..
I'll finish the spread sheet, get that blast out, and then see If I can find something better!

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Saturday, March 01, 2008
  PACE projects and Funding them
So in my New role as R6 pace coordinator, I'm meeting with the PACE folks from the other regions today, getting training on the paperwork I'll have to do.. (approving funding requests and getting the pace leaders around the region to attend the Annual Meeting and Sections Congress) .

While its NICE to be in the position to give away money, I do want to be clear about the purpose of PACE project funding.
  1. Its SEED funding. The goal is to facilitate creating new Programs. - If you pasted LAST years funding request into this years form, I'll push back for whats NEW about this project.
  2. Its NOT just for k-12 outreach. In fact I will PREFER using the money for "Professional Development" programs. The economy is shifting, maybe going into recession, maybe not. New specialties are getting created, while older companies continues to focus on COST and Productivity, frequently implemented by way of layoffs. How is your section helping your members adjust to the new realities? If you don't already have an annual PDS (Professional Development Seminar) I'll favor the funding request for that. In fact we even have a SMALL special pot of funds JUST for this purpose. If you do, what NEW feature of this seminar will the money fund. (Do you have a session on using and working on "open source software", or the new collaboration tools? (wiki's, blogs, svn).
  3. I'll want to see some output that will help OTHERS implement a similar program. Are you developing a curriculum on using video cameras for design teams to document their robot designs? Publish the plan and lessson's learned for OTHER schools, and sections to use.
  4. This is not meant to be the full funding. Please document the Total cost, and where the rest of the money will come from.
The details and forms can be found on the IEEE-USA site.
1 per section until June..
Get to work!
Ruminations about the Electrical Engineering profession as practiced in Silicon Valley by an IEEE Senior Member. Disclaimer: All Posts here are official IEEE business in that they are messages about IEEE activities from an IEEE volunteer. These messages do not constitute official records of R6-PACE activities, nor official IEEE or IEEE-USA policy statements. Website:

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Location: San Jose, California, United States

When he is not working on IEEE stuff, Jonathan does Mixed Signal Design Verification at Qualcomm. Senior Member IEEE. Founder IEEE-SCV-SSC (the first Solid State Circuits chapter). Past Section Chair, Santa Clara Valley Section - the Largest Section. Co-founder IEEE-SCV-CAS. IEEE-SSCS Membership chair 2001-2003. IEEE SSCS chapters Committee member. IEEE-SCV-PACE committee member 2001- IEEE-SCV-PACE Chair 2006-2007. IEEE R6 PACE coordinator.


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