Setting a Deliberate Path to Principal Engineer

Establishing a technical career path

I ran into Cathy Spence (@cw_spence) at the Intel IT Leader’s Summit in San Jose. She mentioned she had just found out she was promoted to Professional Engineer. I realized I didn’t know much about the process or what that really means, so I interviewed her recently after everything was announced. Here’s our conversation.

Tell me about what you do at Intel.

I have two jobs.  First, I’m the Hosting Portfolio enterprise architect and my domain expertise is in Cloud Computing.  One area where I go deep is in Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) where I am the technical domain owner and have overseen the path to production. In short, I provide direction on how Intel IT can use the cloud to better run Intel’s business. Continue reading

Fast-forwarding IT Careers with Social Media

Fast-forward IT Social

I have been encouraging all Intel IT employees to get on social media (internal and external) for a few years and really embrace mobility (i.e., start by downloading the Intel IT Business Review mobile app for the IT industry intel.com/IIBR). And I am so happy to see so many of my peers in IT now on Twitter or LinkedIn — and blogging on our internal collaboration platform and our external community. 

But it’s 2014 and there are still a lot of people “on the fence” — watching and waiting, but not quite jumping in. Here’s what I am learning about shifting the fence sitters.

It’s about the Benefits 

One thing that seemed to help was collaborating with my peer in Intel IT Training to create an online training series, “The Benefits of Being Social.”  The 5-part courses cover both internal and external social media platforms typically used by IT people (including LinkedIn, Twitter, HootSuite, and Jive). The first portion of the course reviews the benefits to the employee and to the company.

Each of the Benefits of Being Social courses walks through getting set up and creating your profile, how to follow and just lurk for a while, how to comment on things others post, and then how to post your own ideas or share useful information and start to really engage. It’s quite methodical – you do these same actions for each platform. Online training is great because people can go at their own pace. Continue reading

Three Tried and True Ways to Let Your Inner Leader Shine

Summer landscape: beauty sunset over sunflowers field

So you are not the CEO, not even the manager, but you can hone your leadership skills and start behaving like a leader no matter what you do or what level you are in the company. The HBR article “Act like a Leader before You Are One,” author Amy Gallo outlines several strategies to start acting like a leader.

I have been employing a few of these over the past few years. Here are the ones I know work.

  1. Knock your responsibilities out of the park
    This one is a given. You have to be a rock star in your current job. Which means you have to pick jobs and assignments where there are meaty project you are passionate about. Make sure they are challenging enough to keep you engaged and that there are clear key performance indicators, so it’s obvious when you have nailed it. Or hopefully over-nailed it. And don’t be shy about letting others know what you have done. A great way to do this is to send a thank you to the people you worked with on the project thanking them for making the project successful. Build visibility and good will at the same time.
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You Are Irrelevant in Social Media: 7 Things to Do

Social media chart

Working in social media really puts you are out there. People you don’t know or ones haven’t met face to face can easily draw some assumptions about you, socially speaking, by doing a quick scan of your Twitter feed or checking out your Klout score. I learned this the hard way.

I had a colleague tell me he didn’t think I could lead a social media project because he had checked my Twitter feed and basically I was irrelevant. Ouch. But I respect this person. And while the criticism was harsh, there was truth within it. I asked myself whether I was I truly irrelevant (i.e., not adding value). Or was I not doing a good job communicating the value of what I do?

Continue reading