How To Break into the IT Industry

Some important tips from Jim Gibson who has over 25 years of IT experience.

As a kid, if you found yourself tinkering with that gadget and this radio, you probably knew from an early age that you wanted to go into the world of technology.

And as you grew, your interest developed into a passion you wanted to turn into a career. All of those days and nights breaking down equipment and putting it back to together will have never gone to waste when you realize you can pursue a career in the Information Technology world.

So, now that you know what you want to do for a career, the only real concern you might have is: How.

There are a few ways to break into the world of IT . You can google it. There are 6 Tips on How to Break Into… well, anything. Some of the information is useful and some isn’t.

What is useful, however, is the very real-life, applicable experience that Jim Gibson of has to impart on all of you young whippersnappers who want take their interest in IT to the next level.

1. If you have no experience at all, it’s still okay. What most potential employers want to see is that you have a passion for the IT industry. Meaning, have you taken your interest in the IT world to any other level besides saying the words, “I want to work in IT”? Be able to show that you’ve researched it or that you are taking courses. Let your passion for IT come through by understanding and relating knowledgeable information. Talk about the fact that you’ve read, Network Plus or the CCNA book from Cisco.

2. Effort. When breaking into the IT industry, effort in learning all there is to learn about it shows. Employers can see  when you have a genuine interest or when you simply need a gig to pass the time.

3. Don’t be such a wise guy. Sure, you want to dig into the extremely complex and exciting world of IT. You want to bat with the big boys (who have been in IT since before you were born, mind you). Pump the breaks. Learn the basics and master that first. Cabling. Ask questions and learn cabling. Once you have the foundations of cabling, building codes, techniques, and the like, you can move on to the other disciplines.

4. So, you’ve learned some stuff. Great. Now’s your chance to shine. If you landed your first interview, congratulations. Wear a tie. You know your stuff and can recite terms and talk about the difference between crossover and twisted cables. Awesome. Wear a tie. You’re willing to work hard and even brought  a pen and a copy of your resume with you to the interview. Nice work. Wear a tie. Speaking of your resume, you had your nerdy smart sister proofread it for you and it is perfect. No typos or misspelled words. You’re this close to having that first job! Wear. A. Tie.

5. Be positive, honest, and work towards your ultimate goal of being the best IT professional you can be.

And you’ll be glad you did. The IT industry is always ready to have new generations of smart and passionate IT professionals. Jim says it best: “You’ll never hear about a starving IT professional. There’s always room for a skilled IT professional in America.”


Experiments in viral journalism: Trinity Mirror launches Ampp3d for sharing data-driven stories


As we pointed out recently, everyone seems to be trying to come up with an Upworthy or BuzzFeed-style portal that does “viral” content, and that includes media outlets like the Washington Post, with its Know More project. One of the more recent experiments comes from Trinity Mirror PLC in Britain, and launched on Monday — it’s called Ampp3d, and its focus is on trying to blend viral or socially-shareable content and data-driven journalism.

Ampp3d is actually the second such project from Trinity Mirror: the first — which, like Ampp3d, was created by former Guardian journalist and designer Martin Belam — was UsVsThem, which was launched in May and is a similar kind of site, but focused more on pure entertainment rather than serious journalism. In an interview on Monday, I talked with Belam about the rationale behind Ampp3d and what he has learned from the success of…

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Why Do You Buy Online?

shoping online
Online shopping

I just spent around $8,000 on a commercial quality video camera without looking the salesperson in the eye. We never shook hands and we never spoke about what our kids are up to these days. He didn’t give me a long sales pitch and he didn’t try to upsell me. I entered my credit card information to B& and within a few days, I had a new piece of equipment. Just like that.

Sure, I did my research. I had a family member advise me on what type of camera I should get. Other than that, I was left to my own research. And where do you suppose I looked? Online. Reviews online. Not only on the camera itself but reviews on the best place to purchase said camera. It might not have been as thrilling as elbowing my way through a strip mall on a Saturday. Nor did it provide me with the rush one might get from mentally duking it out with a pushy sales guy.

It was none of that. It was easy. It was fast. It was…convenient.

And this is why I buy online and have been for over ten years.

Consider the latest online shopping stats. We just had Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and now Cyber Monday. Year-Over-Year, the Black Friday online sales increased by 17.5%. The brick and mortar sales went down by 3%. Oh, just 3%? Well, that translates to 4 billion lost in revenue since last year.

Here’s more:
Cyber Monday on Amazon was up by 44%, Ebay up buy 32%
Paypal payments from mobile devices went up by 500%

Shopping and buying online isn’t something that will go away. 20% of all total sales at the retailer Target from iPads alone is an indication of where the future of purchasing is heading. I’d say we are on the right track in being a leader in ecommerce for telecommunications needs.

The fact is  that when you buy items online, you save time, money, stress, and can be certain  that you are going to get the exact style, color, quality, and brand you are paying for. Nothing could be clearer when the product specs are listed right there. Usually, if you do have a question, there is a way to contact the online retailer. This is helpful, but with attention detail that most good sites provide, you have all of the answers there for you.

In our 25+ years of experience in the telecommunications industry, we at are confident that materials, equipment, and tools we market are of the best quality. Our competitors sell parts; we sell experience.

So why do you buy online? With secure, trustworthy sites that cut out ridiculous department store markups it’s easy to see why you’d buy online.

I suppose, then, that the bigger question is for the small majority out there: Why DON’T you buy online?

Tech Company Relocating To Texas, Plans To Add 10,000 Jobs

CBS Dallas / Fort Worth

COLLEGE STATION, Texas (AP) — A major information and technology company is relocating its U.S. operations hub from New Jersey to Texas and expects to add 10,000 jobs nationwide over the next three years.

Cognizant is headquartered in Teaneck, New Jersey. But President Gordon Coburn said Monday the company is relocating to the college town of College Station in part to draw potential employees from Texas A&M University.

Appearing at an event with Gov. Rick Perry, Coburn praised Texas’ business climate and said 750 of the positions — or perhaps more — would be created in the state alone by around 2016.

Perry and Cognizant also announced a 3-year, $150,000 grant to support science, technology, engineering and mathematics education at Texas A&M.

Cognizant employs about 166,000 people worldwide, and already has 2,000 in Texas.

(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast…

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What is a “Legacy” Device?


Legacy” is a slang term for technology that’s already in place in an organization – the old stuff as opposed to the new stuff. So, a “legacy system” is an existing computer system or application program which continues to be used because the user (typically an organization) does not want to replace or redesign it. A “legacy device” is an existing (and possibly outdated) hardware device, such as a computer or phone server.

Many software engineers consider legacy systems to be potentially problematic. Legacy systems often run on obsolete (and usually slow) hardware, and spare parts for these computers become increasingly difficult to obtain. These systems are often hard to maintain, improve, and expand because there is a general lack of understanding of the system within the organization. The original system designers may have left the company, leaving no one behind (and limited documentation) to explain how it works. Integration with newer systems can be difficult because new software may use completely different technologies.

If legacy software runs only on older hardware, the cost of maintaining the system may eventually outweigh the cost of replacing both the software and hardware unless some form of emulation or backward compatibility allows the software to run on new hardware.

However, many of these systems still meet the basic needs of the organization. The organization might not be able to afford stopping them, and some can’t afford to update them, either.

We are pretty sure that most organizations have moved beyond the microfiche, however.