Tag Archives: Soft Skills

Conference, User Groups and Networking Opportunities – why they are so important to your career.

Jun 30, 16
Bob Daugherty
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Blogger: Bob Daugherty,  IT Director at DMLO

I’m fortunate at my firm that they understand the importance of networking and learning from others in your field. CPA and most service firms understand this is beneficial for accountants, lawyers, architects and other professionals.  Not every firm understands how important network and learning is for IT professionals.

I recently returned from the AICPA Practitioners and Tech Conference. Great conference! If you’re an IT professional at a CPA firm, this is the conference to attend.  Tons of great information both on technology issues and running a CPA firm.  I spent my time on the IT track and met some really interesting people and learned some cool and helpful new stuff.

It’s just not possible these days for IT professionals to learn everything they need from manuals, web sites, self-learning tools and of course trial and error. Talking to my peers and other IT professionals has helped me tremendously over the years.  I go to every conference and/or event with one or more questions to I ask everyone I meet.  This conference it was about using the Surface Pro 4 as a laptop replacements. I was surprised by how many are making this work successfully.  Time to test it myself.  Watch for future posts about how this is going.

Attending conferences, user group meeting such as the ITMA gives me the opportunity to bounce ideas for projects off people who have already done them.   The owners of my firm are always asking about what other firms are doing.  At these events and meetings I hear about what other firms are doing, what worked and what didn’t, and sometimes I get answers to problems I haven’t figured out, or even didn’t know I was going to have.  Makes my job easier and saves me a lot of wasted time and frustration.

Plus, it’s nice to have people around who know what your struggles and frustrations are all about. And it’s fun to swap stories about end users and partners.  The only downside is that sometimes you wind up with an action list as long as your arm.  23 action items and counting from the conference I just got back from.  Next post – how to handle a task list that is out of control.

Manage your home computer protection the same way you manage it at the office

Mar 29, 16
James Osborne
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Blogger:  Bob Daugherty, IT Director DMLO

I love the dashboard we have at the office for our antivirus/malware software.  But hate managing the individual installs of AVG I use at home.  I use Sophos at work and love it.  Now Sophos is offering a cloud based dashboard with their “free” home software.  It will protect up to 10 computers per account from malicious software, inappropriate websites and viruses.

Unless you’ve got a family of IT professionals the responsibility of protecting those household computers falls on you.  Who knows when your daughter last ran a virus check on her laptop and your son won’t even let you in his room, let alone look at his computer.  And who is helping your aging grandmother living in Florida with her computer?  You are.

The signup is simple and you can protect 10 computers with one account.   Accounts seem to be based on email addresses, so if you have multiple email accounts (and who doesn’t) you could manage more than 10.  Of course you may have to quit your day job to keep up.

The install was easy once I got my current antivirus uninstalled.  It won’t install if there’s another one.  I’ve been using AVG for years and it’s been great but uninstalling it was difficult.  Once it was gone I was good to go.  To automate the installation, you can send a link to your college student living on campus or your grandmother in Florida.  The only thing it’s lacking is the ability to uninstall common AV apps as part of the install.  You have to do that before you start.

Once installed you can see alerts, run scans and block web sites from any place you have internet access.  Even from work if your boss isn’t looking.  Here’s the link, it might be worth taking a look.  https://www.sophos.com/lp/sophos-home.aspx

Where are the great jobs?

Mar 25, 16
James Osborne
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Bob Daugherty
IT Director at DMLO

What is a great job?  Is it a big salary, a big office, great benefits or interesting and challenging work?  Only you will know if you have a great job.  Everyone’s definition is obviously different.  But salary always factors in somewhere.   See what Robert Half says about IT salaries in their Technology 2016 Salary Guide (https://www.roberthalf.com/sites/default/files/Media_Root/images/rht-pdfs/robert_half_technology_2016_salary_guide.pdf ).

As with anyone’s report on where the jobs are and how much they pay, it’s all a bit subjective based on job descriptions and location.  Be sure to go through the Glossary of Job Descriptions section before comparing your salary to their report.  Don’t forget to adjust for geographical locations.  Louisville is 92.0% of the salary listing and Lexington is 91.5%.

According to Robert Half new jobs will be for developers, business analysts, database admins, network engineers and admins with virtualization skills and help desk support techs.  According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average worker currently holds 10 different jobs before age forty.  Personally I’m beyond that age and beyond that number though only 4 of my jobs were in IT.

How many have you held? How many more are in your future?  As IT professional will we have more than other professions?  I wonder if Robert Half has those statistics.