Book Review: Women In Tech


This is the book you need to buyIt’s been a while since I wrote a book review, mostly because I’ve been reading fiction and history, neither of which really fit this blog. However I just finished a book that definitely deserves a review, Women In Tech.

First, the TLDR: Read the book!

Women in Tech was written by Tarah Wheeler Van Vlack in conjunction with women drawn from across the tech world. It is a blend of a career guidebook and inspirational stories written by women from different backgrounds. Each woman has made their unique mark in the industry.

Before I get much further with this review, it must be noted that as a man, I am not the primary target for this book. That is not to say I didn’t gain value from reading it. Far from it.

I learned a lot and enjoyed reading the book. Women in Tech is well written, humorous at times, and I highly recommend it for anyone in the tech industry. One last note, as women were the primary audience, my perspective on the book should be considered in that light.

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What is an Information Professional?


Beaker from the MuppetsOne thing I heard from MANY people at the AIIM conference was that the concept of an information professional as we understand it was flawed. The claim was that usage patterns of AIIM resources showed that members would join and engage to tackle a single project. Once that project was completed, they would leave AIIM and presumably go do something else that wasn’t information related. John Mancini, the outgoing CEO of AIIM, shared his thoughts on the current information professional in a four post series covering the history, evolution, environment, and future of the information professional.

Experience tells me that the conclusion is incorrect. There are a large number of people who spend careers in the space and dip into AIIM resources only periodically. It is also a conclusion is hard to confirm or deny because once they disengage from AIIM, it is tough to measure what people do next.

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A Whole New World, Again


Chris Pine as Captain KirkWhile the industry was aflutter talking about the fall and rise of the CIP certification, I was planning my next big thing. My next big thing has happened and I am now a director at IBC, a DBS Company. [Note: IBC later rebranded as Dominion Consulting].

What does that mean? Well it means that I’ve joined a team of people that focus on solving problems, regardless of scale. One observation from a client regarding IBC was that they solve problems that need solving. That fits nicely with my goal to make things work.

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Saying Goodbye to Alfresco


Red Swingline StaplerAt this point, you don’t really need to read much more, but since you are likely the type to want to know more, I shall share. Alfresco and I have parted ways. I greatly enjoyed my time at Alfresco, I learned quite a bit, and I met some amazing people. Alfresco was my first return to a major vendor since the 90s and I enjoyed it. They have a solid vision, good people, and amazing technology. I will be watching their growth with interest.

As for me, I am free to fully explore my options, but first…a vacation.

Still working on the details of what that entails, but I am sure that one or two oceans will be involved. I haven’t had a real vacation in years as I’ve shifted from one job to another with no break twice now.

This time, I’m going to take some time to relax.

Of course, I cannot vacation forever. Even during my vacation, I will likely be sending posts up into the void and answering email. The joy will be doing it on my schedule.

As for afterwards? Some people have already asked me and I thought I would share where my brain is leading…

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Fresh Start with Alfresco


After announcing my departure from AIIM yesterday, today I start my next adventure. As you can tell from the title, it is with Alfresco. That still leaves open a lot of questions.

  • Why Alfresco?
  • What will Pie be doing at Alfresco?
  • Won’t having Pie working with Peter Monks be a bit odd?

I shall take time to answer them all. I will also answer the Why isn’t Pie taking any time off? question. That one is simple. I am very excited and I wanted to get started as soon as possible.

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A Farewell to AIIM


Today is my last day at AIIM. After today I shall cease being their Chief Information Officer (CIO) and return to the ranks of the Professional Member. As I leave, I want to make sure that I share a few important things.

An Education

Boy, did I learn things. I learned a lot about:

  • The Association Business. It is a business and it has many unique aspects compared to other businesses with whom I have ever worked. Many of the unique aspects will help me look at problems in other organizations with a fresh viewpoint.
  • Association Management Systems (AMS). While hand-in-hand with the former, I learned that implementing an AMS as a system isn’t that different from any other business system. Translation: It takes planning, communication, and work. I also learned why they are important pieces of software and not simply a domain-specific CRM system.
  • Marketing. I thought I knew a reasonable amount about Marketing when I started at AIIM. I spent every day after that learning how much I didn’t know as I learned more and more.

That isn’t counting all the new technology tidbits and personal interaction skills I picked-up along the way. It was an intense time.

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Review: Every Leadership Book


Over my life, I’ve been through a lot of training outside the traditional classroom. Starting in Scouting and then transitioning into my professional life, I’ve been exposed to a lot of different Leadership principles. When mixed in with my professional experience, I think I have a firm understanding of what it takes to be a Leader.

I have read a few books on Leadership in my day. I’ve been impressed with none of them. When I saw this Dilbert strip, it all made sense to me.

Dilbert explains all leadership books to his pointy-haired boxx

No system works for every organization. No system works for a single organization all of the time. The Leadership style that creates a startup may not work when that startup is a market leader. The Leadership style for a software product company may not work well for an Association.

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Review: The Introvert’s Guide to Success


The Introvert's Guide to Success in Business and Leadership

Years ago, I started following Lisa Petrilli on Twitter as I had found some of her blog posts interesting. She had written several blog posts on how Introverts can leverage their skills to be valuable leaders.

I loved the posts because I am an Introvert. If you don’t believe me, then you’ve never seen me hibernate after a large conference or noticed how I am always easier to find in the first few days of a conference than the end of the event. Being moderately “successful”, the posts usually helped to explain why what I was doing was the right thing or gave me tips on how I could do something better. When The Introvert’s Guide to Success came out, I quickly bought it. Then like many work-related books that I buy, it took me a while to read.

Glad I did.

Serial Readings

As I read the book, I was reminded of many Science Fiction classics. Not in tone or topic, but in style. Many early works were actually a compilation of a series of short stories published in one of the magazines of the day. As such, every few “episodes”, a basic tenet of the imagined universe was restated. This makes a lot of sense in a series that is read over a year or more, but not as much sense in a novel.

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Getting the Local Connection


This week I went up to Boston to speak at AIIM’s New England chapter. While I enjoyed speaking about the cloud and how AIIM is using it, I enjoyed talking to the people more.

I’ve always enjoyed attending events like this. Whether it is a random meet-up group, a local AIIM chapter, or one of the bigger seminars/conferences, talking to people the best way to keep a finger on the pulse of the industry.

When I was a consultant working with multiple clients, I would be very focused on a subset of the industry from both a technology and business perspective. Getting out and trading war stories with others was a great way to learn, let off steam, and to make sure that I never lost sight of the bigger picture.

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