Book Review : Land the Tech Job You Love

Is your résumé is ready and updated? Are your skills up to date? Do you keep things you achieve in a logbook? You never know when an opportunity will show up, you need to be ready to take it.

Does your current job give you enough challenge to be able to add skills or experience to your résumé every three to six months?

If not, you might be in a career rut and maybe it's time to look elsewhere.

I recently read Land the Tech Job You Love by Andy Lester. The book explains the process of getting a good job ( a job you are going to enjoy ) in IT. I decided to buy the book after listening to Andy's podcast. I will try to summarize what I’ve learned from that book.

Andy describes the whole cycle of getting a job, from the résumé writing process to the resignation letter. There's a good part of the book that is about getting ready for an interview.

Get a good job network, since most of the jobs offers are not on publicly posted. You will most likely to get a job opportunity by knowing someone, either a friend, a former workmate or someone inside the organisation you are seeking a job in. Do not forget to maintain your network.

When you consider a job, do you only look at the salary? You should really ask yourself what are the criteria that make you enjoy the job. Don’t forget that you are spending most of your time at work. Sometimes new challenges worth more than a salary rise. You should know what you like and what you don’t. Make a list, and prioritize it. That will help you to select a job that will fit your interests and your values.

The book gives very good tips on how to write a good résumé, and how to avoid clichés. As you may know when it's time for a job interview, everyone is very professional, hard worker and great at teamwork! I think that this book shows some tricks on how to get above those traditional clichés and really distinguish yourself from the mass.

When you write a résumé or you go to an interview you need to show to your next manager that you are the one that can solve his problems, and not the opposite.You have to focus on how you can help the company to achieve their goals. Put yourself in the manager's shoes, why they would pick you up?

During an interview, you need to know how to handle tough questions and how to behave correctly. Never say bad things about former managers or former teammates, even indirectly. Nobody likes to work with gripers and whiners, they are the #1 team spirit killers. Managers will do everything they can to avoid choosing those ones.

Another very important chapter is about staying up to date with your skills. Except if you are going to retire soon, you are most likely to seek for a new job. You just don’t know when yet. Even if you really like your current job, you never know. An organization shift might force you to quit, or worst make your job unbearable. Don’t forget that in the end, you are working for yourself, so invest in your skills.

Even if you like the company you are working for, you need to understand that there is no such thing as company loyalty, as Andy wrote :
People can be loyal, but organizations cannot. The best someone could promise you is “You’ll have a job here as long as I’m around,” but what happens when that person leaves or is fired?
 I recommend the book, even if you aren't looking for a job... for now...


ICA Citrix Client & plugin on Ubuntu 10.04 64 bits

Here are the steps to install  Xen App Citrix Client aka ICA Client and the browser plugin on Ubuntu 10.04 64bit

ICA Client

Make a temporary directory
mkdir /tmp/citrix

Go to : 
(don't use wget, it wont work)

Fetch the tgz and save it to this directory : /tmp/citrix/

Setup this variable

TAR_FILE=`ls /tmp/citrix/linuxx86*.tar.gz | tail -1`

Extract the file
cd /tmp/citrix
tar xzf $TAR_FILE
sudo ./setupwfc

Press "1" (Install Citrix Receiver for Linux 11.100)
Press "enter" ("/usr/lib/ICAClient" for destination)
Press "y"  (Do you want to proceed?)
Press "y" (Proceed with installation?)
Read the disclaimer and press 1 (I accept)
Select defaults options. And quit when installation is done.

After this, /usr/lib/mozilla/plugins/npica.so should exists

Now it's time to get /usr/lib/ICAClient/wfcmgr work with your 64 bit installation.

For this you need to install ia32-libs
sudo apt-get install ia32-libs

There still one library missing (libXm.so.4)
If you do :
ldd /usr/lib/ICAClient/wfcmgr  | grep not

Fetch libmotif3 32bits and make it look like libmotif4... (I know it's bad)

You will see that libXm is in fact missing. Unfortunately this library is not available for Ubuntu 10.04
You will need to fetch libmotif3 from a 32bit distribution and install it by hand in /usr/lib32, and make it look like the version 4 of openmotif using a symlink this is far from ideal... But it works.

mkdir -p /tmp/libmotif3/libmotif
cd /tmp/libmotif3/
dpkg -x  libmotif3_2.2.3-2_i386.deb libmotif
sudo cp -rv  /tmp/libmotif3/libmotif/usr/lib/* /usr/lib32/
cd /usr/lib32/
sudo ln -s libXm.so.3.0.2 libXm.so.4

From now on this should not output anything :
ldd /usr/lib/ICAClient/wfcmgr  | grep not

Browser Plugin

To install the plugin, you must fist stop firefox, and install nspluginwrapper

sudo apt-get install nspluginwrapper

"wrap" the npica.so plugin
nspluginwrapper -i /usr/lib/mozilla/plugins/npica.so

check with :
nspluginwrapper -l

Start firefox check about:plugins you should see ICA client.


Scrum and XP from the Trenches

I've just completed the reading of "Scrum and XP from the Trenches" by Henrik Kniberg.
The book is availiable for free as a pdf  at http://www.infoq.com/minibooks/scrum-xp-from-the-trenches (registration required).

I've got the paper version from The Book Depository.com

This is a very straightforward book about Scrum. I would say that it is a very good starter for learning the basics of Scrum. This excerpt from the foreword by Mike Cohn describes pretty well the spirit of the book :
"Instead, Henrik jumps right in and immediately begins describing how his team manages and works with the product backlog."
It gets down to the point, with many practical examples from his experiences with scrum. The book is pretty quick to read, only 125 pages. No "I've got no time to read" excuse for this one!

I really enjoyed the reading, and I suggest it to everybody that wants to know more about how to use Scrum on a daily basis.

I will probably add to my pile of "to read" books the other title from Henrik Kniberg : "Kanban and Scrum - Making the Most of Both".