Payment on tablets

Last week I was in NYC, we stopped to take a real coffee in a small coffee store and I see the payment system they have is a tablet with a credit card reader.

I took the coffee and asked the waiter about the application they use. It is Revel, from Revel systems.

Offline mode, data analysis, inventory capability, payment encryption …

So you can purchase a credit card reader and go with your tablet or smartphone and enable your customers to pay.

Cover the gap of knowledge

You are an IT guy and you are doing an interview to a candidate, s/he is explaining you all the activities that uses to perform, answering the questions you do, etc. Everything is fine, you do not see any issue and the person explains the aspects in a very good manner.

Then the HR person does her interview and she finds that the candidate is not able to explain the basic concepts of the basic concepts of the job. The candidate is not able to talk into natural language, to explain the concepts in a way all people should understand. When the interviewer ask for more basic clarifications because she has no IT background, the candidate does not know how to explain these concepts.

After the two interviews, the recruiter and myself had a call about the candidate. It was fine for me but the recruiter discarded the candidate. The point of conflict was: the communication skills of the candidate.

The recruiter told me that the candidate was not able to explain the activities s/he perform and not able to concrete on specific questions.

I was saying that there were concordance and sense on all the candidate was saying, and this is where we were stuck.

The same day I was taking dinner with a couple of friends. She is recruiter for so much years and I commented the issue I had with this candidate.

She told me that my HR recruiter was right because the subject matter experts use to cover the gaps of information that the candidate does not mention and in this way the thread of the story makes sense and sounded fine for me, so here is where it’s supposed I did the mistake.

Then, when the HR recruiter starts to ask for something specific and ask for more details; here is when the candidate did not perform the effort to explain in a natural language, did not understood that the person in front of him was not a SME and was looking for this type of gaps and suddenly he started to get nervous because the responses he received were: “I still do not understand”. In any case the thread of the story made not sense.

Pirineos 2013

(Pirineo Navarro, July 2013)

Cobol

I always was curious about Cobol. I manage one easy application with a good team doing service support for a Cobol batch application, so there is not challenge that I was required to face.

But with this new customer I’m working they have a big application with the possibility of implementing projects on it and it is inviting me to get into more details to get these projects.

This is forcing me to learn things: good!! Starting from basis:

  • Work on batch or Cobol on-line
  • Work directly on Cobol or using Telon.
  • Moving code directly to the environment, using endeavor or implement.
  • Building Job Control Language (JCLs).
  • It can run under IBM z/OS, Unix,
  • There are platforms as Microfocus that enable to deploy Cobol applications on Windows.

One tricky question you can do to a candidate with more than 13 years experience: what are the challenges faced during the Year 2000 problem?

hello_world_cobol

Linkedin, lead builder

If you upgrade your linkedin account to one of the sales subscriptions, you will have access to Lead Builder, that allows you to create and save lists of prospects.

So, they are also enabling freelance and individual sales people to use linkedin as a CRM solution.

You can define search criteria by role, territory… and receive e-mail alerts when new people are appointed in Linkedin with these type of positions.

You can also avoid cold calls, asking for introduction to other connections.

JS FrameWorks

Angular.js, Knockout.js, Backbone.js…

Frameworks are like mushrooms, they grow-up and grow-up in all places without control.

In some moments of your life you start a project where you have the capacity to decide some high level technical decisions such,

What JS framework is the best one for the project situation we have?

And then there are SWAT analysis, comparatives, people giving late night opinions…

At the end of the day each framework has pros/cons and if you go into deep of them all have issues, the perfect framework has still not been implemented, by nature they have positive and negative features.

Apart of the selection of the framework itself, you have to invest on the training and learning curve of your team to really be able to implement functionality with the right approach.

AngularJS implements MVC framework and thanks to a colleague, I have learned that they are implementing MVVM-C framework (Model View ViewModel). I had to go to Wikipedia to see the pattern description.

 

Dancing with procurement

Some notes for reminding when you are dancing with your customer procurement department.

  1. This is pure negotiation, there is not IT or project logic at this point. There are conditions and a transaction in place.
  2. The customer IT lead that requested you the offer, is not the decision maker for a while. He will be asked by procurement to give other vendor alternatives, to make pressure before to send them the offer, but his/her voice is just listened sometimes.
  3. Your offers have expiration dates.
  4. Your offers contain Local Service Agreements and are aligned with the existing MSA.
  5. Your commercial lead is always in the loop of calls, e-mails…
  6. They have their rules, you have yours, follow them, do not accept what is not acceptable,

There are thousand of more things to remind, any suggestion?

Demand

There is people that are so demanding with almost everything. I would like to clarify that have not problem with it, I understand we all receive a lot of pressure and demand to deliver in the position of the chain we are; we take that demand, organize it, share it with others and then we are accountable of the given responsibility; and the cycle starts again.

So demanding people sometimes forget that there is a point where they have also to provide something, not just demand. It’s important you define the limits before the day to day demand comes and the demanding guy starts to send, send…

You can plan all this and be so much good defining it, the problem is that in some occasions the other side is not going to listen you.

What to do then?

so-sodemand

Doing the technical side of an interview

I remember the first time I did an English test for job vacancy in a big corporation. There were a written exam and an oral exam.

The written exam was a test model with just 40 questions that went from easy questions to very complex questions. The difficulty of the questions increase and increase till question #40 that was related to English literature words that belonged to the ancient times.

For the interviews, I call the expert that will do the technical interview and ask him this process and build with him a list of ten questions that goes from the easy ones to complex ones.

I look for the way the person replies, how honest is the person when I ask something he does not know, how the technical answer is described in detail or if it is just beating about the bush.

 

SAINT Tool

I was reviewing how the Vistex add on was installed on SAP and I learned a basic information I did not know: SAINT

SAP and other companies offer a wide range of add-ons that you can use to enhance your standard SAP system, it can be Industry Solutions, plug-ins, or customer-specific development projects.

SAP Add-On Installation Tool (transaction SAINT) enables users to install and upgrade add-ons directly from their standard SAP system.

SAP_SAINT

Doing interviews

Interview people for your teams is not easy thing, specially when you want to enroll someone to your company and is an experience professional.

At the end of the day, everything is related to the needs of both sides of the negotiation, but there are so many areas you need to cover in your interview to sell your organization and really make the people think about a real change.

On the other hand you have to balance the tone of the interview between the fact that you need to persuade the person to engage your company and ensure it is the right person with the attitude and required knowledge.

Other aspect of the interview is the technical side of the discussion. This is performed by a subject matter expert, but I like to ask the SME about five to ten technical questions that I use to use for understanding how interviewed explains them, how s/he expresses him/her self about these topics.

An interview is always a transaction, for me is a way to know a company or a person. I always learn something talking into the interviews.