Episode 22: Kathryn Minshew, CEO of The Muse
Our next guest is Kathryn Minshew, the CEO and founder of The Muse, a website devoted to providing jobs, coaching, and advice to the next generation of job seekers. The site’s content covers everything that job candidates need to succeed in a dynamic and often uncertain job environment, from common interview questions to the need for soft skills to overcoming imposter syndrome.
Her position gives Kathryn extraordinary insight into the job market at the moment. Let’s listen in as we talk about everything from the current economic environment to remote work to finding purpose in your job.
As you'll hear during the podcast, there’s a lot of reason for optimism out there. The news headlines seem focused on layoffs and the possibility of a recession, but companies are still hungry for talent, and job candidates have a lot of opportunities out there.
Here are a few takeaways from our discussion:
First, even though there are widespread fears of an economic recession, job candidates still expect to be able to vocalize their preferences and have their top priorities met. Many of them want a sense of purpose and an opportunity for growth. That means companies still need to provide the benefits, perks, and mission that candidates want.
Second, employees aren’t willing to stick in a job they hate, especially if they have highly specialized skills that make them valuable. Many employees are experiencing “shift shock,” where a new job’s reality doesn’t match up to their expectations going in; some 72 percent of those surveyed by The Muse had experienced this phenomenon at some point. To avoid this kind of mismatch, companies must be honest, accurate, and straightforward about company culture and what they’re offering candidates.
Third, if you’re a tech professional (or any other kind of worker) on the job hunt, take the time to do a personal inventory and figure out your career priorities. For example, do you want a position that allows you to engage in deeply focused work, or do you want to work constantly with a team? Are you willing to sacrifice a chance at higher compensation in order to work for a particular cause? Once you perform that sort of breakdown, you can get a better sense of the moves you need to make to have a truly fulfilling career.
And that’s it folks! We covered a whole lot of other topics, of course, so give it a re-listen if there was something you missed. We’ll see you next time—and remember, Dice is your best resource to find the tech talent you need to fill your open roles, and for technologists, the best place to grow your tech career.
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33. Episode 33: Sastry Durvasula, CIO and Client Services Officer of TIAA27:13Our latest ‘Tech Connects’ guest is Sastry Durvasula, who’s the CIO and Client Services Officer of TIAA, the huge provider of financial services for those in academia, government, medicine, and other fields. It has more than a trillion dollars under management. As you can imagine, the tech infrastructure supporting all of that is quite vast, and Durvasula has an enormous job. In addition, he’s also guiding the organization through a digital transformation that includes generative A.I. and other cutting-edge technologies. Let’s listen in as he describes what it takes to grow into and thrive in a senior technology role, and the big changes he’s helping shepherd at TIAA. If you’re a tech professional who’s interested in climbing the ladder into a senior management position, I hope you learned something from Durvasula’s story. Here are some quick takeaways from our discussion.First, if you want to move into a managerial role, much less take the CIO or CTO seat, you have to focus on people. When you’re running an organization’s tech, you’re going to be building and decommissioning platforms, and instituting and unwinding processes. There’s going to be constant re-engineering. If you want to get through all of that smoothly, you need to invest in people and help them grow, so that they’ll help you and your organization grow in turn.Second, the higher up you climb in terms of your roles, the more you need to embed yourself in the core business. You need to understand a business’s domain, its culture, and its problems. Being a technology leader also means often being a business leader. That’s a pretty hard shift for some tech professionals, but if you want to make a real difference, you have to take charge and become another voice at the table.Third, if you’re helping shape your company’s A.I. policy, it always pays to think “safety first.” Start by thinking about the guardrails that need to be put in place, and the ways you need to lock down your company’s data. Once you’ve thought all that through, you can put A.I. into production in a safe way.We covered a whole lot of other topics during the episode, of course, so give it a re-listen if there was something you missed. We’ll see you next time—and remember, Dice is your best resource to find the tech talent you need to fill your open roles, and for technologists, the best place to grow your tech career.
32. Episode 32: Tariq Shaukat, co-CEO of Sonar19:48Our next 'Tech Connects' guest is Tariq Shaukat, who’s co-CEO of Sonar, a company devoted to enabling developers and other tech professionals to write cleaner code. Previously, he was president of Bumble, and before that, he was President of Google Cloud, where he was responsible for product, engineering, and much more.I wanted to talk to Tariq because the software industry is at an inflection point. The rise of low- and no-code tools, along with code-writing chatbots like ChatGPT, could fundamentally alter software engineers and developers’ workflows, and even enable people without much coding experience to produce acceptable software. With its tools providing analysis and coding guidance, Sonar could help developers navigate this interesting new environment. Let’s listen in!Here are some quick takeaways from our chat:First, while the current generation of code generators—say that five times fast—is exciting, the practice of coding is going to need human attention for quite some time to come. There’s every chance that auto-generated code could introduce security, compliance, and other issues into your tech stack.Second, across every industry, more and more companies are becoming “software” companies. Developers are more important than ever to a company’s strategy and outcomes. If you can build software in a reliable and secure way, you’ll find a plethora of opportunities in a wide variety of places—you don’t have to focus your job-hunting efforts exclusively on the tech industry.Third, tools such as Sonar will likely lead to even more people within an organization generating code, even if they don’t come from a traditional tech background. If you’re in any kind of management or team leader position, keep that in mind as you plot workflows for your future products.
31. Episode 31: Ed Frederici, CTO of Appfire27:35Our next ‘Tech Connects’ guest is Ed Frederici, who’s CTO of Appfire, which is a company that builds apps that boost enterprise collaboration and workflows. He’s focused on ways to enhance the functionality of companies’ software ecosystems, especially if they’re trying to manage projects and services across multiple platforms and tools. That gives him fascinating insights into key issues such as automation, democratizing data, acquisitions, and knocking down internal silos so tech pros can work more effectively.Here are some takeaways from the conversation with Frederici that I found particularly interesting:First, it’s important to keep in mind that A.I. isn’t going to instantly solve all of your problems and challenges. As A.I. tools and services become more sophisticated, you should think of them as force multipliers, freeing up time and resources so you can focus on things that truly matter. It’s an enhancement for work, not a replacement.Second, scaling up is a key goal at many tech companies. However, scale isn’t something you achieve purely though tools or even tactics—instead, it comes down to building an effective culture that allows you to recognize great opportunities and work toward them. You ultimately need people who are engaged, well-trained, and who know what they’re doing.Third, siloing is a huge issue. A lack of transparency and an inability to share learnings and data can prevent teams and companies from achieving their goals. In the end, it comes down to the three ‘c’s: communication, coordination, and collaboration. If teams can effectively communicate, coordinate, and collaborate, those silo walls will come crashing down.Fourth, if you’re going through an acquisition or acquihire, you can make a difficult process a little easier by assuming good intentions. Don’t let the uncertainties of the situation drive you completely insane. Instead, making a point of asking questions and doing your best to keep lines of communication open.We covered a whole lot of other topics during the episode, of course, so give it a re-listen if there was something you missed. We’ll see you next time—and remember, Dice is your best resource to find the tech talent you need to fill your open roles, and for technologists, the best place to grow your tech career.
30. Episode 30: Ben Marx, Director of Software at True Anomaly21:50Our latest ‘Tech Connects’ guest is Ben Marx, who’s Director of Software at True Anomaly, a startup focused on space-based security and sustainability. Their current projects include Jackal, an autonomous orbital vehicle that can swoop close to other satellites and carry out surveillance imaging, as well as a new manufacturing facility in Colorado. As you’ll hear during our discussion, Ben has deep experience in software, which comes in useful when you’re trying to write code for something zooming around orbit—there’s not a lot of room for error, as you can imagine. There’s a lot of buzz around space lately, and I was really curious about what it takes for software developers and tech pros to break into this rapidly evolving arena. Let’s break it down with Ben! Here are some takeaways from the conversation with Ben that I found particularly interesting. First, you’ll remember Ben mentioned he studied philosophy and economics, worked at a number of different startups, and experimented with different fields before finding his way to coding in the context of space. For software developers and other tech professionals out there, his experience just goes to show that your skills and experience can translate into many different fields—it’s all a question of what interests you. Second, if you’re managing a complicated software project, it’s important to evaluate languages and tools in the context of what you need done. For example, Ben chose Elixir for True Anomaly’s space applications because it’s fault-tolerant, scalable, low latency, and more. Even if you’re new to a particular industry and you feel like you’ve been thrown into the deep end, you know how languages and tools work, and you can build your success off that. Third, if you’re tasked with helping to develop an internal software culture, keep two things in mind. First, don’t be afraid to be expressive and speak up about what you think is working well (and not so well). Second, it’s important to know when to say ‘no.’ Sometimes you need to turn something down or go in another direction in order to succeed. Saying ‘no’ can save a lot of time and effort. We covered a whole lot of other topics, of course, so give it a re-listen if there was something you missed.
29. Episode 29: Jeff Spector, co-founder and president of Karat27:59Our next guest is Jeff Spector, who’s co-founder and president of Karat, a cloud-based platform for technical interviewing. Karat conducts technical interviews on behalf of companies, making sure to align the interview process with the client’s needs. It’s designed to help companies rapidly scale their technical interviewing and, ultimately, their hiring.I wanted to talk to Jeff because Karat recently released its latest hiring trends report, which offers a ton of insight into how tech leaders are approaching hiring right now. What are companies using to source their candidates, and how are they valuing the engineers they bring aboard? Let’s jump into the discussion!It’s always interesting to take a top-level view of the tech industry, particularly the hiring aspect of it. Here are some quick takeaways from the discussion with Jeff:First, when companies talk about employees that add significant value, they’re often referring to those who can solve very difficult tasks using their combination of skills and experience. These valuable employees often have a very deep understanding of a specific space. But there are also employees who are very good team members, who use their soft skills to make those around them more effective. When you’re hiring, you can adjust your hiring process to try to find employees who have some combination of these abilities.Second, some companies are moving away from referrals as a way to source talent. This can open the door to companies creating more inclusive teams, because it opens the door to drawing talent from all sorts of places. While steering away from referrals might mean it takes longer to make a higher, it could also result in stronger teams.Third, even though there’s a lot of chatter right now about how A.I. will impact the hiring process, it’s intensely important that human beings remain in the hiring loop. While A.I. could run a coding challenge or evaluate a technical answer to a question, you ultimately need human recruiters and hiring managers to figure out whether a candidate will fit in with the team, for example, or possess the ability to talk through concepts in an easy-to-understand way.And that’s it, folks! Thanks for listening in. We covered a whole lot of other topics during the episode, of course, so give it a re-listen if there was something you missed. We’ll see you next time—and remember, Dice is your best resource to find the tech talent you need to fill your open roles, and for technologists, the best place to grow your tech career.
28. Episode 28: Lisa Gevelber, Founder of Grow with Google.25:05Our latest guest is Lisa Gevelber, who’s Google’s CMO of the Americas and the founder of Grow with Google. If you’re unfamiliar with Grow with Google, it’s an initiative to give tech pros—and aspiring tech pros—the training, tools, and resources they need to grow their tech skills and land great jobs. Grow with Google has produced career certificates in data analytics and other industry specializations, which tech professionals can use to stand out in a crowded field of applicants when applying for jobs. Let’s listen in as Lisa and I talk about Grow with Google, the program’s most popular certificates, how tech skills programs can boost diversity, employers’ desperate need for tech specialists, and much more! No matter where you are in your career, learning new skills is absolutely vital. Here are some key takeaways from our discussion with Lisa: First, as Lisa said, only a third of Americans have a four-year college or university degree. So, there’s a huge gap out there between what people are capable of doing and the jobs they can access. Certification and training programs can potentially close this gap. If you’re a tech professional or an aspiring one who’s strapped for time and resources, consider whether obtaining certs and training can open up job opportunities to you. Second, data analytics is hot. Tons of organizations all over the country are increasingly mining their datasets for strategic insights, and they need tech professionals who are capable of storing, securely moving, and analyzing that data. If you’re looking into tech, consider a data-centric career. Third, if you’re in the market for a tech job, keep in mind that durable skills are always key. Durable skills include problem solving, critical thinking, communication, and others. Before you head into a job interview, make sure you have some stories prepared about how you’ve used problem solving and critical thinking to move past challenges and help projects succeed. Recruiters and hiring managers will weigh such things just as much as your technical skills. And that’s it, folks! Thanks for listening in. We covered a whole lot of other topics during the episode, of course, so give it a re-listen if there was something you missed. We’ll see you next time—and remember, Dice is your best resource to find the tech talent you need to fill your open roles, and for technologists, the best place to grow your tech career.
27. Episode 27: Dylan Etkin, CEO and co-founder of Sleuth33:18Our next guest is Dylan Etkin, CEO and co-founder of Sleuth, a company that helps engineering teams measure and improve their efficiency. If you’ve used JIRA, the application that allows teams to manage projects and keep track of bugs and other issues, you’re already familiar with Dylan’s work, as he was the lead developer on JIRA for five years. He was also head of development and operations teams for Bitbucket, which I’m sure many of you are familiar with. In other words, Dylan is uniquely positioned to provide some fascinating insights into making engineering teams more efficient, how development teams can make great decisions that take everyone’s views into account, and much more. Let’s listen in! Here are some key takeaways from our discussion: First, there’s a growing realization that engineering is a combination of the creative and the scientific. It’s not about how many lines of code you write or how many features you ship within a particular quarter; sometimes, the most effective developer or engineer on the team is the one who only writes a few lines of code after thinking very carefully for days or even weeks. As you figure out your team’s deliverables, KPIs and measures of efficiency, you need to think carefully about what actually matters in terms of goals and measurements, and plan accordingly. Second, when it comes to project management, automation will only get better. In theory, project management tools will allow teams to hand off more monitoring and management processes to an algorithm, allowing them to focus more on important work. And that’s a good thing! But as we pursue automation, we need to be careful to make sure the proper “guardrails” are in place so that automation doesn’t mess up processes or make things overly complicated.Third, it seems like big tech companies such as Meta are embracing efficiency and trying to take away layers of management. Across the tech industry, it’s all about smaller teams, fewer managers, and more individual contributors. As Dylan says, this is going to be an interesting experiment over the next few years. Do you really need a thick layer of middle management? How many managers are too much? And should managers actually be coding, or devoting all of their energies to actually running teams? We covered a whole lot of other topics, of course, so give it a re-listen if there was something you missed. We’ll see you next time—and remember, Dice is your best resource to find the tech talent you need to fill your open roles, and for technologists, the best place to grow your tech career.
26. Episode 26: Ted Hellmuth, founder and general manager of IQ Clarity29:08Our next guest is Ted Hellmuth, founder and general manager of IQ Clarity, a talent acquisition and sourcing company based in Colorado. Ted has spent fifteen years helping companies throughout the state find solutions to their tech talent needs. Prior to that, he was a talent acquisition consultant for Comcast/NBCUniversal. Given his current focus and background, I was really in interested in talking with Ted about the current state of the tech hiring market, how he sees the road ahead, and what companies can do to ease their sourcing issues.Here are some brief takeaways from our chat:First, the tech industry experienced a hiring surge during the pandemic. Now there are a lot of new macroeconomic factors in play, which are causing some companies to cut back on tech hiring even as others try to grab all the talent they can. But the net result is that it’s still a challenging hiring environment for companies, and they’ll still need to fight to secure the best tech professionals.Second, numerous industries are interested in hiring lots of tech talent, including healthcare, entertainment, and manufacturing. Many organizations in these industries are increasingly curious about cutting-edge tech such as machine learning and artificial intelligence. If you’re a tech pro with specialized skills, don’t be afraid to cast a wide net—you could find some interesting opportunities in a whole new industry. For recruiters and hiring managers, landing talent is more than just offering high salaries—you’ll need to convince tech pros that they’ll find the right mix of benefits, perks, and purpose at your company. Third, culture is extremely important when it comes to convincing tech candidates to join your company. It’s also a really difficult thing to get right. Companies need to define their culture, then figure out the best way to promote it via the channels available to them. If you can show a tech candidate that your company culture aligns with their own values, you’ll have a higher chance of hiring them.We covered a whole lot of other topics during this episode, of course, so give it a re-listen if there was something you missed. We’ll see you next time—and remember, Dice is your best resource to find the tech talent you need to fill your open roles, and for technologists, the best place to grow your tech career.
25. Episode 25: Mark Chaffey, CEO of Hackajob27:20Hello, and welcome to Tech Connects, Dice’s podcast where we dig into the topics on tech hiring, recruiting and careers that matter to you! I’m your host, Nick Kolakowski, and I’m going to talk to great guests every month about the current state of the tech careers world, including the tech job market, the hottest tech skills, what companies are doing to attract and retain technologists in a historically tight market, and much, much more. Our latest guest is Mark Chaffey, who’s the CEO of hackajob, which is attempting to upend the tech job market. With the traditional job hunting model, tech professionals apply for jobs. But with hackajob, everything is inverted: companies must apply for tech professionals whose skills and experience match what they need. It’s a fascinating idea, and the experience of spinning up hackajob has given Chaffey some key insights into the tech job market at the moment. We’re going to discuss everything from the current state of tech hiring, to the most in-demand tech skills, to the potential impact of generative A.I. on the job market. Let’s get to it! Here are a couple of quick takeaways from our discussion that could help you out as you negotiate the job market. First, despite all the headlines about layoffs, companies are still having a hard time finding the tech professionals they need, especially when it comes to sourcing specialized talent. That makes some companies desperate, and more likely to spam candidates who might not fit their requirements. If you’re a manager or team leader on the hunt for talent, it’s worth taking a considered, careful approach to your sourcing—you may need a bit more time to fill the position, but the odds are higher you’ll find the right candidate for the job. Second, A.I. is going to have an impact on hiring. But it’s going to be quite some time, if ever, before automation can potentially take over recruiting and hiring entirely—job candidates want the human touch, and it’s up to companies to provide that. Third, there’s a lot of chatter out there about how A.I. will impact how tech professionals do their jobs. We’re already starting to see the effects of this, but it could take years—if not decades—for the impact of generative A.I. to fully play out. And while automation may eliminate some jobs, there’s every chance it could end up creating quite a few more, different ones. Which leads us to the fourth and last point: soft skills such as communication and empathy matter just as much as technical skills. If you’re out on the job market right now, take the time to emphasize your soft skills in your resume, application materials, and job interviews—it could really set you apart from other candidates. We covered a whole lot of other topics during this episode, of course, so give it a re-listen if there was something you missed. We’ll see you next time—and remember, Dice is your best resource to find the tech talent you need to fill your open roles, and for technologists, the best place to grow your tech career.