Time to DE-code, perhaps?

Nowadays, the most in-demand coding skill in the world is not the one that empowers you to build a startup that boosts national GDP, it’s the ability to perform advanced analysis on data that creates rich meaning from raw numbers.

Our educational system may be overweight in producing top coders. That’s been the emphasis in recent years in the curricula at universities worldwide. There is no doubt, nor argument from us, about the importance of developing this skill. But…

The lurch from employer-centric computing education to one driven by programming means the middle ground of tech skills – between basic computer proficiency and advanced code creation – has thinned out.

The two quoted call-outs, above, are pulled from this short article published by  VentureBeat. The author suggests a danger of a widening gap in the talent landscape shaped by the ‘code or die’ oath that dominates our collective mindset. The talented pool of programmers, today and upcoming, are servicing our insatiable appetite for finding and capturing data. The question the writer poses is, ‘Do we know what all of this data means?’. A good question!


Prepping the playing field:


The field markers are in place where the action is.

Final game notes for the players are given on the sidelines.


The players were warmed up at Training Camp and learning the game plan.

Game rules are reviewed and questions answered.


Hiring partners have taken their positions.

Game time!


Every candidate meets every hiring partner. Every candidate has the same amount of time with every hiring partner. WTIA did #leveltheplayingfield on Draft Day.

If you’re interested in recruiting talent, speaking at the next recruiting initiative event, or sponsorship opportunities, contact: hcraig@washingtontechnology.org or let us know here.

The Road to WTIA’s Draft Day, June 25


The turnout at Training Day on June 15, was tremendous and we enjoyed meeting and helping all the enthusiastic candidates that participated. It was an afternoon that was rich with insight and information from caring industry mentors and professionals. The one-on-one sessions gave new dimensions to approaching a job search for attendees. And if that wasn’t enough, there was a pop-up photography studio on site! Everyone was provided with a professionally produced headshot to use in their social media professional network platform of choice! How cool is that?!

Learn more about the selection process.


Application Process

  • Candidates must be nominated by a tech educator
  • Eligible tech educators: University, Community College or tech program instructors (ie, Code Fellows, Dev BootCamp, Coding Dojo, etc)
  • Job types: QAE, SDET, TPM, PM, Information Security Analyst

Tech Educators
{Each instructor may submit up to 10 nominees}

  1. Submit an online Draft Day Nomination Form to refer a former or current class participant
  2. Provide Nominee with the Candidate Application Essay form

Nominees Must Submit

  1. Draft Day Candidate Application form: provided by the nominating tech educator
  2. Resume (resumes must be submitted as a word doc. PDF’s will not be accepted)


Nominate a candidate
Recruit Candidates

Contact Heather Craig: hcraig@washingtontechnology.org

Pilot Recruiting Program: DRAFT DAY — Yay!!

Washington Technology Industry Association will launch their Pilot Recruiting Program this month.3.16.16_Draft-Day-Heather-Craig-1-680x380
Brett Greene, Gina Phillips, and Eric Osborne participated in the Diversity & Disruption brainstorming session during FullConTech 2015, where the idea for WTIA Draft Day was first conceived.

We are pleased and excited to share Heather Craig‘s post from the Washington Technology Industry Association’s blog about the WTIA‘s pilot recruiting program, artfully titled, Draft Day. What’s the ‘big deal’,  you ask? Read on and consider the possibilities for talented candidates, from all backgrounds, when their career and life skills and experiences are presented anonymously. Need I say more? Read on.

Tech Recruiting is at a crossroads.  With startups and mid-size companies face stiff competition from big budget tech giants, companies of all sizes face budgetary, logistical and need constraints that have forced them into to an increasingly shallow talent pool. When discussing how they invest in recruiting, many companies admit to the unsustainable practice of sourcing from a limited pipeline of ‘trusted’ schools such as Stanford and MIT.

Meanwhile, a deep pool of talented students, veterans and candidates with non-traditional backgrounds are going unnoticed. To bridge this gap, WTIA is playing matchmaker to these two ships passing in the night, by building a unique Recruitment: Draft Day and Interview Prep Program: Training Day – to connect a diverse tech talent from underrepresented schools and training programs with local tech employers.

Draft Day aims to introduce candidates to a wide variety of tech companies; increase viability of under-represented schools as recruiting sources; and expand the talent pipeline for industry.

THE BLIND ROAD to DRAFT DAY, June 25: As the unifying voice for the tech community, WTIA assembled an impressive Advisory Council from local tech companies to help guide the application and future candidate selection process.

WTIA is partnering with regional Tech Ed program leaders who will nominate potential Draft Day participants. Nominators will submit an online questionnaire detailing why the candidate was selected, while candidates will submit resumes and answer three brief essay questions.

Here’s the twist. Applications will be stripped of the names of both the candidate and their respective college or training program before being reviewed by the Advisory Council. Neither the applicant review panel nor the potential employers will be privy to the information prior to the interview process. #LevelThePlayingField.

Top candidates will be selected to enter Training Camp. A one-day intensive interview-prep program providing resume review, mock interviews, panel discussions and other perks. After weighing resumes, essay questions, nominator testimonials and Training Camp performance, final candidates will then be selected to move on to Draft Day.

AN EYE-OPENING EXPERIENCE: On Draft Day, candidates will rotate through employers in a speed-dating format. At the end of each round, both candidates and employers will score each other. Concluding final rounds, all will be revealed as names, evaluations and matches will be shared at a networking reception.

If you’re interested in recruiting talent at Draft Day, Speaking at Training Camp, sponsorship opportunities, volunteering or keeping up to date on our progress please contact: hcraig@washingtontechnology.org or let us know here.

What do you think about this idea? We want to know that, too!

Resume Reboot – Boot the Cover Letter

So the debate that used to rage about yes cover letter, no cover letter, elevator pitch cover letter, blah blah blah… is starting to calm down. If you have been in the job hunt for awhile you are already pretty knowledgeable about what falls into the ‘will not read, don’t bother’ pile. On top of the short list, without debate, is the cover letter.

Recall our discussion about Application Tracking Systems (ATS)?  The velocity and volume of applications that hiring managers receive simply cannot all be read so what could possibly make you think that a cover letter is going to get you through? This is an incontrovertible fact. And recruiters, especially those who work with third party recruiting software (and that means nearly all of them) confirm it.

So how do you distinguish yourself  within the four corners of your resume? Take a couple of minutes to check out this recent Fast Company article and then check over your resume.

Don’t agree? I would love to hear from you especially if your cover letter is what got you the job!

Ashton’s strategy for building a life.

TRANSCRIPT: Ashton Kutcher’s Teen Choice Award Acceptance Speech 8/2013


“What’s up? Oh wow. Okay okay, let’s be brutally honest — this is the old guy award, this is like the grandpa award and after this I gotta go to the geriatric home.

Personal View:

Um, First of all, um, I don’t have a career without you guys. I don’t get to do any of the things I get to do without you. Um you know, I thought that uh, it might be interesting.. You know In Hollywood and in the industry and the stuff we do, there’s a lot of like insider secrets to keeping your career going, and a lot of insider secrets to making things tick. And I feel like a fraud.

My name is actually not even Ashton. Ashton is my middle name. My first name’s Chris. It always has been. It got changed when I was like 19 and I became an actor, but there are some really amazing things that I learned when I was Chris, and I wanted to share those things with you guys because I think it’s helped me be here today. So, it’s really 3 things. The first thing is about opportunity. The second thing is about being sexy. And the third thing is about living life.

1. Opportunity

I believe that opportunity looks a lot like hard work. When I was 13 I had my first job with my Dad carrying shingles up to the roof, and then I got a job washing dishes at a restaurant, and then I got a job in a grocery store deli, and then I got a job in a factory sweeping Cheerio dust off the ground. And I’ve never had a job in my life that I was better than. I was always just lucky to have a job, and every job I had was a stepping stone to my next job and I never quit my job until I had my next job. And so opportunities look a lot like work.

2. Being sexy.

The sexiest thing in the entire world, is being really smart. And being thoughtful. And being generous. Everything else is crap, I promise you. It’s just crap that people try to sell to you to make you feel like less, so don’t buy it. Be smart, be thoughtful, and be generous.

3. Living life.

The third thing is something that I just re-learned when I was making this movie about Steve Jobs. And Steve Jobs said when you grow up you tend to get told that the world is the way that it is, and that your life is to live your life inside the world and try not to get in too much trouble, and maybe get an education and get a job and make some money and have a family, but life can be a lot broader than that when you realize one simple thing, and that is that everything around us that we call life was made up by people who are no smarter than you, and you can build your own things, you can build your own life that other people can live in.


So build a life. Don’t live one, build one. Find your opportunities, and always be sexy. I love you guys.”

Work [for] Your 2016 Network

Who doesn’t know about networking and how critical it is to learning about job prospects, developing mentor relationships or even earning a job interview for a position that you covet? You may know some folks that are very skilled at it. You may have some friends who are not-so-much. You might even include yourself in the ‘not’ group.Networking is a contact sport.

Whether you are in the ‘I got this’ group or the other, I encourage to check out an Entrepreneur.com article written by proclaimed network guru, Darrah Brustein. Your read will go quick and your skill-building understanding of how to develop or improve your networking skills will deepen. It might provide you some much needed momentum into 2016 and beyond.

Happy New Year!