TriCom Technical Services

Archive for the ‘IT/IS’ Category

TechServe Alliance Conference in Miami

In conference, Florida, IT, IT/IS, Miami on November 15, 2012 at 4:54 pm

Last week a couple of us were lucky enough to take a trip to Miami, Florida to attend the 25th Annual TechServe Alliance IT Services Industry Conference and Tradeshow at Loews Miami Beach Hotel.

We sat in on keynotes and breakout sessions, learned valuable industry information, and met lots of new people. And of course, since we were right on the beach, we had to go for a quick toe dip after the sessions 🙂

Check out the photos from our trip below – hope they don’t make you too jealous!

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Upcoming Tech Conferences

In Compute Midwest, conference, IT, IT/IS, KCNext, networking, technology on October 18, 2012 at 5:19 pm

This week our internal team had an opportunity to attend an IT mixer to mingle with others like us in the field, and next month a select few of us get to travel to Miami for the TechServe Alliance Conference, so I thought I’d put together a list of upcoming tech conferences and mixers for you. Enjoy and learn! 🙂

KCGN Monday Geek Night October 22 (and every Monday!)

At Tannin, bottles of wine on Monday (all day) are buy one, get one free! Happy is from 4:00-6:00pm, and starts up again at 10:00pm. So even though Geek Night kicks off at 6:00, feel free to get there early and grab a bite.

Next-Gen Backup School October 25

Independent advice for solving today’s backup challenges – Addressing Deduplication, Protecting VMs, Cloud Backup, Snapshots, and CDP.

Data protection is still Job #1 for storage managers who struggle to cope with ever-increasing storage capacities. Traditional backup—at least the backup we knew five years ago—is no match for the new demands and stresses on corporate data stores. But the leading backup application vendors, backup hardware vendors and a handful of start ups have evolved their products over the years to meet these new challenges.

2012 STEM Conference October 28-31

Faculty members, administrators, government officials, community and business/industry representatives, and others involved in STEM education and information technology are invited to explore research, best practices, and other ideas with their colleagues from around the world.

Compute Midwest Conference and Hackathon November 8-11

Compute Midwest is a 2 day convergence of tech: new people, new ideas and innovation in Kansas City. With 1 conference, an all-star lineup of 8 tech leaders, a hackathon & 2 parties, Compute Midwest provides a fantastic opportunity to connect you with 400+ forward thinking tech minds.

KCNext’s Fall IT Networking Event November 15

Connect with Kansas City’s influential tech companies and professionals while enjoying Boulevard beer, interactive basketball games and raffles for the hottest tech gadgets available. We’ll see you on the court.

TriCom is Top-Ranked in KC Area Staffing Services

In IT, IT news, IT/IS, Kansas City, Kansas City Business Journal, KCBJ, performance, staffing/consulting, TriCom, TriCom Technical Services on October 3, 2012 at 8:48 am

TriCom is excited to announce our rankings in the latest Top Area Staffing Services as listed by the Kansas City Business Journal.

In this week’s Kansas City Business Journal (September 28 – October 4), TriCom Technical Services was ranked the #1 IT-specialized firm placing local W2 employees in the Kansas City metropolitan area.

We also placed seventh in over-all staffing agencies in the number of W-2 forms issued to locally placed workers in 2011, tenth in area staffing services ranked by hours billed in 2011, and twenty-first in top area staffing services ranked by number of Kansas City area employees providing placement services.

Thanks to all for working with us – we certainly look forward to continuing the tradition and ranking well next year!

Information Technology / Information Services Trends 2012

In employment, IT, IT/IS, Surveys, trends on June 29, 2012 at 9:08 am

In an effort to better understand the current IT/IS trends in the Midwest, we at TriCom Technical Services issued a second semi-annual survey to provide a snapshot of our technical community, and to compare that information to last year’s data.

In April 2012, a 21 question survey was developed and distributed to approximately 22,321 database recipients matching the decided upon criteria, and posted on social media platforms including LinkedIn, WordPress, Facebook, and Twitter. Employees currently or previously working in Information Technology and Information Services were asked to respond to survey questions, taking approximately 2-5 minutes to complete.

Of those recipients, a total of 850 participants started the survey, of which 780 were completed (91.8%). The survey was then closed on June 5, 2012 to allow for analyzing and processing.

Learning from last year’s survey, we were able to more completely piece together a survey that would provide valuable insight into Kansas City IT/IS trends that we feel is beneficial to both employees and employers, and to compare and contrast to similar data gathered in our 2011 survey.

Take-aways:

After reviewing these results and comparing to the data we collected in 2011, we can conclude the Midwest IT/IS landscape is a well-educated, dominantly male culture between the ages of 36 and 55, making anywhere between $76,000 – $105,000 annually with over 20 years of experience. The majority of participants are U.S. citizens employed in a full-time position and have been in the same position for less than a year to five years. Many of these employees are working the same senior-, mid-level, or management positions they worked in the previous year, while earning more money in 2012 than they had in 2011.

As in 2011, most 2012 participants are satisfied with their positions and although they are not currently considering a move, they may leave their current positions if the right opportunity were to present itself in the upcoming year, especially in the case that an employee disliked their workplace due to compensation, culture, stress, or burn out.

To view the full survey results and white paper, click here.

To view the results from our 2011 survey, click here.

Information Technology / Information Services Trends 2012 Survey

In IT, IT/IS, Surveys, trends on April 18, 2012 at 4:28 pm

Please help us with this survey to provide a snapshot of IT / IS trends in the United States.

We ask that you please participate by clicking on the link below to begin the survey. You will be asked to respond to a handful of questions, taking approximately 2 minutes to complete.

If you complete the survey, you will be provided with the results once all the data is gathered and processed.

Disclaimer: All responses will be held in strict confidence and will not be used for solicitation in any way.

https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/36PVVLP


Why Not BeKnown?

In BeKnown, Impressions, IT, IT/IS, job seekers, jobs, LinkedIn, Monster on December 2, 2011 at 2:49 pm

Over 800 million people actively use Facebook, half of them daily, to connect with friends and family, share photos, and play games.

So why not use Facebook as a professional tool?

To provide another way to connect with you on a professional platform, we have joined Monster’s BeKnown.

This Facebook application allows you to build and expand your professional network and reputation. You can also follow companies and view job postings in your field of interest.

Be sure to check us out there or connect with our staff:

  • Shane Null
  • Mendy Mainard
  • Stacy Yelton
  • Tracy Hollstadt
  • Bill Joeckel
  • Jennifer Smith
  • Lindsey Blakeman

Update – We’ve moved away from using the BeKnown app on Facebook as we feel Facebook users predominately use the platform for personal time. However, you can still connect with us on Facebook both on our individual profiles and the TriCom page. We look forward to seeing you there!

Are you connected?

In appreciation, blog, brain, comment, connect, connected, coworkers, electronics, Facebook, IT, IT news, IT/IS, jobs, LinkedIn, photos, pictures, trends, TriCom, TriCom Technical Services, Twitter on October 27, 2011 at 11:32 am

You’re reading our blog, why not keep up with us elsewhere?

We’ll keep you informed about today’s IT world with news, articles, blog posts, and available job opportunities.

Become a fan of our Facebook page, follow us on Twitter, or join our LinkedIn group. You can also sign up to receive our monthly e-newsletter, IT Connect.

And if you’re actively or passively searching for a new job, be sure to check out YourTriCom.com. It’s a career portal for job seekers which provides countless tips, trends, and articles designed to support your efforts as we connect you to the next step in your career.

Stay connected with us; let’s share and pick each others’ brains. 🙂

The Dirty “R” Word

In Advice, coworkers, Impressions, IT, IT/IS, jobs, mid-year, money, performance, review, reviews, summer, work on July 7, 2011 at 12:58 pm

As mid year approaches, all across America a collective groan is sounding as mid-year reviews are taking place.  Both employee and management alike look upon the monotonous task of filling out pages and pages of, “on a scale of one to ten…” with disdain and annoyance as those precious minutes are taken away from ‘real work’.  Nevertheless, is it possible that this lost art of performance reviews has gone astray thus losing its effectiveness?  That such a viable resource has been tainted as a “chore” rather than opportunity to build a company’s workforce and improve motivation?

“…87 percent of employees found traditional performance reviews to be ineffective…”
April 21, 2010, Financial Post

Too often companies take performance reviews a harsh necessity, a glass half empty approach.  If a company wants to succeed in the market, this is something that must be done.  Others view performance reviews as something put into place by the Human Resource department to give value to their roll.  Yet still, some view it as a tool to weed out employees during a harsh recession.  In many ways, such a negative stigma has been placed on this asset, losing any effectiveness to the company other than burning useful man hours.

Fear not!  The glass is half full!  The Performance Review is in fact helpful in improving your workforce and your company.  Knowing how to use such a key tool is important, but knowing how to utilize it properly will give you the desirable results.

“Human beings have a fundamental need to know how they are doing.  It’s a simply part of who we are and what we are about”
Jack Wiley, executive director of Kenexa Research Institute


Performance reviews are not a courtroom trial. The employee is not being judged innocent, to keep their job, or guilty, to be let go.  An effective way to look at performance reviews is as a relationship building tool as well as a competency assessment.  This is a chance to work with the employees for better team building, as well as receiving feedback from them. When putting together Performance Reviews consider these:

  • What are you, as the company, hoping to gain from the review?
  • What would you like the employee to gain from the review?
  • Is this clear, objective feedback or required and rushed?
  • Is the employee being graded, or building their ability to perform the work to the best of their ability?
  • Does the review create constructive dialog?
  • Does it involve setting clear, obtainable goals and expectations then reviewing them for accountability?
  • Are there surprises? Both parties should have an idea of what is coming in a review.
  • Are there “white lies”? Employees are entitled to know where they stand.
  • Emphasize the future, not the past.

All too often, performance reviews are spur-of-the-moment.  With so many people, and so little time, many feel the need to “get it over with”, seeing a chore, not a tool.  Performance reviews can be looked at like lawn mowing.  Sometimes it takes a while, especially with a push mower, and being out in the summer heat, it can be very tiresome.  But the end result is well worth the effort.  A fine manicured lawn can make a plain house seem immaculate.   Taking the time to properly discuss a review to your employees could be the difference between a disgruntled employee and a well constructed team that works well and grows well together.

When people are informed, have a common goal, and know how to reach the goal, they have the ability to achieve.  When a company has a well informed staff, with a common goal and a purpose to reach it, they have the ability to grow to no bounds.

So as the year crests and begins it’s lonely decent to the end, do not fret about the reviews.  Look forward to the opportunity to grow your workforce and strengthen the teams that will lead you into economic victory.

This guest post is authored by Lindsey Blakeman,
Customer Care Manager
at TriCom Technical Services



Proud to Sponsor KCDC

In conference, fun, IT, IT news, IT/IS, JCCC, Johnson County Community College, Kansas City, Kansas City Developer Conference, KCDC, TriCom, TriCom Technical Services on June 23, 2011 at 11:11 am

This Saturday marks the third annual Kansas City Developer Conference at Johnson County Community College, and we are proud to be a silver sponsor.

Check out the day’s procession of events below. To register, visit http://kcdc.info/schedule/ and click on the button in the right column.

KCDC Schedule

  • Keynote – Matt Cavallari

9:15am-10:15am

  • Overview of Agile Approaches – Martin Olson
  • Learn MVVM Basics – Kevin Griffin
  • Architecting Applications the Microsoft Way – Clint Edmonson
  • TDD techniques – George Westwater
  • Reporting in SharePoint 2010 with TFS 2010 and SQL Reporting Services 2008 – Bringing it all together – Karthik Venkataraman
  • SQL Injection and XSS: How they work and how to stop them – Rob Kraft
  • Exploring Domain Driven Design Implementation Patterns in .NET – Steve Bohlen

10:30am-11:30am

  • Values to Value – A Values Based Introduction to Scrum/Agile – James Pekham
  • The Low-Hanging Fruit of HTML5 – James Eggers
  • Real World, Large Scale Applications Using S#arp Architecture and ASP.NET MVC – Geoffrey Smith
  • Getting It Right With BDD – Wes Garrison
  • MongoDB – Brian Wigfield
  • Windows Phone and Windows Azure – Mike Benkovich
  • Exploring Domain Driven Design Implementation Patterns in .NET (cont.)– Steve Bohlen

11:30am-12:30pm

  • Lunch

12:30pm-1:30pm

  • Scrumbut and Fragile – Mark Randolph
  • Javascript for the .Net Developer — Brian Moon
  • The Case for CQRS and Event Sourcing – Tyrone Groves
  • Mocks in Testing – Phil Ledgerwood
  • Building webapps for the Cloud with Python and Google App Engine – Juan Gomez
  • Programming for Windows Azure – Leslie Koorhan

1:45pm-2:45pm

  • Guerrilla Kanban – Troy Tuttle
  • What’s New In Silverlight 5 – Kevin Grossnicklaus
  • Building Distributed and Scaleable Architectures – George Westwater
  • Unit Testing Patterns and Anti-Patterns – Steve Bohlen
  • Moose:  A new ORM for Node.js – Douglas Martin
  • MonoTouch/MonoDroid with Data Services – Patrick Leikhus
  • Silverlight with RIA Services – Yair Segal

3:00pm-4:00pm

  • Story Points & Sizing Explained – Frank Rios
  • jQuery – Getting Started – Shawn Mehaffie
  • How Ruby is Making Me a Stronger C# Developer, and a Better Man – Darren Cauthon
  • Dependency Injection for Dummies – Phil Ledgerwood
  • FREE as in BEER!!! Manage Your Packages w/NuGet – Rob Reynolds
  • Scala Development in an Existing Java Development Team – Sean Griffin
  • Silverlight with RIA Services (cont.) – Yair Segal

4:15pm-5:15pm

  • Mercurial: Tales from the Trenches – Russell Ball
  • Script#: Javascripting with C# – Sky Morey
  • The Little Wonders of .NET – James Hare
  • Paradoxes and Ironies of Testing – Mark Randolph
  • Writing Faster SQL Faster – Bill Graziano
  • Startup Tips and Tricks: Getting s Small IT Shop Off The Ground – Kevin Grossnicklaus

5:30pm-6:00pm

  • Closing Ceremonies

http://kcdc.info/

25 Hilarious Exit Interview Questions

In Advice, Contracting, Events, exit, exit interview, fun, hilarious, Interview, Interviewing, IT, IT/IS, jobs, staffing/consulting on June 2, 2011 at 3:14 pm

Whether you’re leaving your position on a good or bad note, if you’ve been respectful enough to give two weeks’ notice, you should be respectful enough to complete an exit interview.


Besides, you can use the opportunity to indicate any office issues, compliment your coworkers and continue building a bridge, or just plain burn any bridges you may have built with that employer.

Thanks to managementguru, we now present you with the 25 hilarious ways to answer those exit interview questions (though we don’t recommend following suit unless you really want to burn that bridge)

1. What is your primary reason for leaving?
I hate every job after 10 months.  Leaving ensures that I always have a job that I will not hate for at least 10 months.

2. Did anything trigger your decision to leave?
Nope…completely spontaneous.  I just woke up one day and BAM!

3. What was most satisfying about your job?
Sneaking out at 3pm.

4. What was least satisfying about your job?
Every Sunday evening when I started to think about having to come into work on Monday.  It was the anticipation that killed me.

5. What would you change about your job?
I would be interested in making it better — all around.  More pay, less responsibilities…that type of thing.

6. Did your job duties turn out to be as you expected?
I expect the worst and hope for the best.  So, yes…yes it did.

7. Did you receive enough training to do your job effectively?
If being really good at avoiding sexual harassment and being diverse encompass everything that should make me effective at my job…yes.  Yes I did.

8. Did you receive adequate support to do your job?
My chair could have been much more comfortable and you could purchase softer toilet paper.  Charmin might be more expensive but Charmin reduces overall sick days…look it up.  The extra expense is really an investment in the health of your employees.

9. Did you receive sufficient feedback about your performance between merit reviews?
I received ample amounts of feedback on how good I am at “commitment to company mission” and “ethical decision making”.

10. Were you satisfied with this company’s merit review process?
If mothers adopted your merit review process, children would die of starvation but cabinets and cupboards would be clean and organized.  Not sure if that answers your question.

11. Did this company help you to fulfill your career goals?
If I actually had career goals I would have to assume that this job fell far short of fulfilling those non-existent goals.  But I guess we’ll never know, will we?

12. Do you have any tips to help us find your replacement?
Oh, thanks…I’m blushing.  As if you really need to replace me.

13. What would you improve to make our workplace better?
I would make almost everything optional.  It’s good to have options.

14. Were you happy with your pay, benefits and other incentives?
Yes.  I love health insurance premiums that rise faster than my pay.  I like health insurance deductibles that break my bank, and I enjoy the fact that you stopped matching on 401k.  Most of all, I enjoy the discount we can get from GM for employee pricing on new vehicles.  How exclusive!

15. What was the quality of the supervision you received?
I had problems with the quality, but it was more of a quantity problem.

16. What could your immediate supervisor do to improve his or her management style?
It isn’t so much a question of how to improve.  It’s a question of how and when to replace.

17. Based on your experience with us, what do you think it takes to succeed at this company?
From what I could see, and this is coming from someone who didn’t succeed, it is mostly about repeating what other people say, scheduling a lot of meetings, and being very social with people that you’d usually want to punch in the face.

18. Did any company policies or procedures (or any other obstacles) make your job more difficult?
1. The bathroom was way too far away from my cubicle.  I had several photo finishes.
2. Your IT staff uninstalled my Google Earth program.  I enjoy that particular piece of software.
3. The bureaucratic process of this company eventually destroyed my will to do anything productive.  At first it was kind of awesome but then it got really boring.

19. Would you consider working again for this company in the future?
Probably, because as an external candidate I’m much more appealing to you and I will make more money.

20. Would you recommend working for this company to your family and friends?
I would recommend the company to family and friends if you gave me referral money.

21. How do you generally feel about this company?
General disgust.

22. What did you like most about this company?
It’s kind of like a casino that has a nice location on the strip.  It’s not so much about the casino you’re in, it’s about the proximity to other good stuff.  There are a lot of places to eat around here.

23. What did you like least about this company?
Everything else.

24. What does your new company offer that this company doesn’t?
First off, they have Kohler toilets which are far superior to the American Standard toilets you have here.  Secondly, they offer a clean slate.  They have absolutely no idea how ineffective I am as an employee.

25. Can this company do anything to encourage you to stay?
If you could erase everything you know about me, pay me more money, and shorten my hours, I might reconsider.