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

Igniting Social Communities of Women Leaders

Young business woman in social network

Originally posted April, 2014  on Women’s Center for Leadership

For Women’s Center for Leadership (WCL), we are, at our core, all about community. Our mission is about our members.

 WCL is a consortium of professional women joined in developing leadership skills, sharing knowledge and building community in the Pacific Northwest.

I’ve been a member of WCL for about 10 years. My participation has evolved: from sporadically catching a monthly breakfast event at first, then attending more regularly as my daughter got older and could do more to get herself ready for school, and ultimately joining the WCL Board of Directors. I think many of our members have times when they are active, and times when they have to check out for a while to attend to other things. Many just do their best to stay in touch, even if it’s only reading the email updates and checking out a blog or two.  Having to make tradeoffs like this is just part of the reality for a lot of professional women.

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Sometimes You Have to Unplug to Connect

Relax

If your job is social media or working on a hot project or a project with executive visibility (or in my case, both), you are plugged in a lot – maybe even while brushing your teeth at night, flipping through your streams of communications. If you volunteer in the evenings or have kids on sports teams, you are plugged there too. It’s the only way you can keep all of that going. It’s modern life. Always being plugged in is how we communicate and stay in touch.

I am fortunate enough to work at a company that provides employees an amazing benefit – a two-month employee sabbatical every seven years. I took my second sabbatical this summer and it was great! It was great because I made some tough decisions on my plugged-in-ness. Although my job was going awesome and I was super motivated by my work, I did a full hand-off of all of my activities (and even used it as an opportunity to ditch some things that really weren’t high value). I handed off my duties at the non-profit and let everyone else who depends on me know I was going to be gone and truly not available. And I have to admit, I didn’t do all of the pre-unplugging planning that Baratunde Thurston did, as he documents in his article on unplugging, “Baratunde Thurston Leaves the Internet.” In fact, I just kind of told a few people, set out of office on my laptop, and walked out the door.

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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?

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IT Social Heroes for Employee Social Activation

Young businessman acting like a super hero and tearing his shirt

Originally posted June 27, 2013 on intel.com

In my blog, “Why Intel IT Experts Should Use Social Media” <LINK> I mentioned that I was working on a pilot program is called “IT Social Heroes.”

The goal of IT Social Heroes is to help our busy IT SMEs (subject matter experts) build solid peer relationships and increase their social authority (and that of Intel IT… and Intel) within the IT industry. We wanted the Intel IT SMEs to build social authority by:

  • Building equity in their name plus their area of expertise (by using a unique key equity term (KET)).
  • Improving the SME’s search-ability (SEO for higher Google Rank) over time.
  • Growing social influence (i.e., Klout/Kred score, # of followers & connections)

The pilot started with a few Intel IT SMEs in December 2012. For each SME, we did an assessment (to establish a baseline) and then advised each of them, creating a game plan of focused actions and metrics. We provided metrics to help quantify the value of time and effort they put in — and the impact when they slacked off the plan.

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Short Cut to Get Intel IT employees on Social Media

Concept vector graphic- social network of colorful people icons(

Originally posted July 13, 2012 on intel.com

This week our CIO Kim Stevenson (@kimsstevenson) posted her first public blog in the Intel Open Port IT Community stating her intent to build a social IT organization at Intel. This totally flipped my job on its head and I couldn’t be happier.

My job as the social media manager for Intel IT has to share best practices http://www.intel.com/IT from Intel IT experts with the industry and to help our top IT experts blog in our community.  In that priority order.  Sharing the best practices, it’s really straightforward, programmatic social distribution – it’s not rocket science. I tweet from our handle @IntelITS, post content on Slideshare and Scribd.

The second part, the helping our top IT experts blog is actually the trickier part. That is, until Kim’s blog, which clearly provides the leadership direction (and hopefully the motivation) to our org. The part where she says, “Being a new CIO, I made a commitment to myself that I would be a part of the 10% [of social CIOs] and bring many IT professionals along with me.”  So when you CIO’s goal is bigger than just getting the top 10-20 experts blogging, you’ve got to short cut your process and re-examine your approach.

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