Houston (and Texas) IT Jobs Blog

Houston and Texas Area IT Job Seeker Listings & Career Advice
Connect with the IT Jobs searching community in Houston and Texas,
learn some new ways & places to find IT Jobs,
and pass along IT Jobs leads to other IT Professionals


Friday, April 07, 2006

4:33 PM     The New Blog Is Up!

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The continuation of this Blog is now up at:

FRACAT.com

Better organized, more advice, better layout.

Go see it now!

-Dan
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Thursday, March 16, 2006

8:18 AM     I'm Still Here!

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I know you've been wondering, "Where in the heck has Dan gone?"

Not to fear - I'm just working on the next version of this blog where it'll be bigger, better, and more helpful to you.

Hold tight. I have (in my head, anyway) an official launch date of April 3, 2006.

Stay tuned and I'll keep you up-to-date!

Dan
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Thursday, February 02, 2006

2:46 PM     Netcool Engineer

NETCOOL ENGINEER
LOCATION: Houston, TX
RELO: No.
TRAVEL: 0%
POSITION TYPE: Direct Hire

EMPLOYER INFO: Connecting People, Inc. is a technology focused staff augmentation and recruiting firm based in Denver, Colorado. Our success is built on relationships - with our clients, our staff and our strategic partners.

JOB DESCRIPTION: Our client is currently seeking qualified candidates specialized in Netcool administration. The Netcool database administrator is responsible for daily administrative duties for Netcool Object server, Impact, Webtop, and RAD. Candidates must be able to build automations and rules associated with alarm and event delivery. Must have knowledge of UNIX operating system as related to a networked server environment using mission critical services and applications. Daily administration, maintenance, troubleshooting, interfacing, and ability to upgrade and update both systems is a necessity.

JOB REQUIREMENTS:
*3-5 years in admin/support of core Netcool object server for UNIX 3.6 required
*Experience with setting up and maintaining hot backup for failover object servers and supporting equipment
*Demonstrated ability to document processes and procedures related to Netcool server and apps environment.
*Experience with Object server gateways for Sybase
*Familiarity with generic probes for Netcool
*Familiarity with syslog, Jel, Webtop, Impact a plus
*Experience or familiarity with Remedy ARS version 4 or 5, Sun Solaris8/9/UNIX, Sybase
*Programming languages: C++, .NET, PERL, JAVA a plus Network or OS certifications a plus
*Experience with working large projects in a highly competitive corporate environment involving custom applications
* Experience writing custom rules
* Experience configuring automations
* Experience writing and implementing Impact policies
* Demonstrated experience working in a Solaris environment
* Excellent written and verbal communications skills
* Demonstrated experience working in a Solaris environment
* Excellent written and verbal communications skills

HOW TO APPLY
Send your resume to Jared Purvines and give him a call at 720-977-9350.

(reference / job number:N/A)
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Thursday, January 26, 2006

2:27 PM     Infrastructure Engineer

INFRASTRUCTURE ENGINEER
LOCATION: Houston, TX
RELO: No.
TRAVEL: 0%
POSITION TYPE: 3-6 month Contract
APPROXIMATE PAY RATE: $45/hr - $50/hr

JOB DESCRIPTION: * Seeking an Infrastructure Engineer to work within a client team to provide technical designs for network and systems projects. Detailed knowledge of either LAN networking, Windows systems, or Linux systems and general understanding of each. Responsibilities include deriving technical solutions from business requirements, developing and documenting detailed systems and/or network designs, and providing technical/hands-on guidance for implementing system and/or network solution

JOB REQUIREMENTS:
* Needs 3-5 years Experience doing networking Communication Design
* Primary Skill: WINNT
* Required Skills: SQL, IAS, IIS, AD

HOW TO APPLY
Send your resume to Matty Arciniega and give her a call at (713)977-6200. Tell her you saw it here!

(reference / job number: 8076331)
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Thursday, December 29, 2005

8:53 AM     The Art of the Customer Service Letter

When I write customer service letters for whatever reason, they tend to be lengthy, sort of like my normal posts here (sorry!) However, I do my best to make them at least entertaining to make sure that the custome service drones get a little humor in their day and, perhaps, just maybe, read the whole thing.

So, I'm on the road for business this week and I have had an interesting experience at a Hilton-branded hotel. So, I took the time and effort to write an e-mail to the frequent stayer program about my experiences.

Perhaps it's just spending all that time on the letter knowing that there's a 75% chance that it'll end up in a bureaucratic black hole, but I thought I'd at least share the letter with you guys here.

Let me know what you think...

-----

My name is Daniel R. Sweet and I'm a business traveller (Hhonors #:XXXXXXXXX). I've got a problem and I'm hoping that you can help me with it. Let me tell you about my most recent experience:

Whenever I stay at a Hilton-branded hotel, I always get the impression that there are two different factions fighting it out for control of the hotel. Usually it’s just minor stuff, but I’m currently staying at the DoubleTree Hotel Austin and the clash of the "Good Faction" and the "Bad Faction" is so conspicuous, I had to write.

(Just a note upon re-reading: Yes, this is a long letter. But I promise that it'll be worth your while to read every last, stinking word. I've tried to give you a very clear and somewhat entertaining look inside of a business traveller's brain. The only reason that I've taken the effort is because I like the Hilton chain and the HHonors program.

Please don't disappoint me by glancing at it and sending a "We really value your feedback. Signed, Computer #4" form letter back. You spend tons of money to figure out what your frequent stayers are thinking. Don't get scared off because of a little reading. Print it out and take it on your next flight somewhere.)

MR. GOOD FACTION

The "Good Faction" has obviously been at work in this hotel. There are things that without a doubt make my stay better, my life easier, and me want to run through the streets shouting the praises of Mr Good Faction, yelling, "My hotel chain is better than where you're staying. Leave now and stay with 'The Good Faction'!"

Some of the good things that the "Good Faction" is doing:

  • That new alarm clock - This is one of those things that makes me hit my head with the heel of my hand and say, "Now, how hard was THAT?!" Figuring that travelling businesspeople really didn't want to memorize the iffy, unpredictable, more-sensitive-than-my-wife-when-I-forgot-our-anniversary operation of 1,000 different models of alarm clocks, the "Good Leader" picked one that is not only easy to set, but the same everywhere we stay. Wow! Something so simple!
And then, on top of that, he makes it easy to pick a radio station to wake up to for a guy who obviously doesn't live here without tuning the whole dial or doing in-depth Internet research. AND he made a radio that actually can receive some stinking radio stations! Mr. Good Faction has been on the road once or twice and it shows. I think I really like Mr. Good Faction.

  • The bendy-out shower curtain - I know every hotel room can't have as nice of a shower stall as I have at home. But I'm a big guy and I never got used to taking a shower standing in a tiny tub with that wet, clammy, icecicle of a shower curtain threatening to freeze off a limb at any moment.
God help me if the A/C or Heat kicked on and started blowing that sheet-from-Hell at me and I had to back away from it while avoiding the iceberg-of-a-tile-wall. While wonderfully adventurous, I'm not sure I've fully enjoyed the daily, Indiana Jones-like "dance of death" with the shower curtain.

All I can say is, "Thank you, Mr. Good Faction, for coming up with the brilliant, yet simple, idea of having a curvy-out shower curtain bar!" It's another one of those relatively cheap, easy, smart solutions that makes me love the Hilton chains. I can't believe that there are other chains out there that still don't have this! Mr. Good Faction is becoming one of my closest friends.

  • The new bed - Okay, I saw the commercials for this bed and thought, "Listen, I just need a flat surface to conk out on for a few hours. I'm not going to make a special trip for that silly Sweet Dreams bed!" After awaking this morning in that bed drooling on my pillow (sorry, next-guy-that-stays-in-my-room), I must admit that it's pretty darn comfortable. I wasn't out drinking or anything, either!
With all of the excuses I hear about cost-cutting and cost control, however, I'm wondering what exactly it is that drove you to add another pillow to this bed. Is there really a contingent of traveller that says, "Unless I have 13 pillows on my bed, I'm going somewhere else"? My wife uses a number of pillows that I wouldn't have thought possible before seeing it, but even she would be drowning in pillows in your Sweet Dreams bed.

Of course some of those pillows (all of them but one for me) end up on the floor or, if I'm thinking about what may be ground into the carpet, on the couch. So, now it has cost you more money for the extra, extra pillows and for the time for the maid to put back and rearrange the "pillow castle" on the bed every day.

So, thanks for the really comfy bed, Mr. Good Faction, you're becoming like family. But when I get up from my drooly-sleep, don't complain to me about cost-cutting!

  • The Little Things - There are a lot of nice touches that make my stay pleasant, but wouldn't draw me into a hotel on their own. Things like a towel hook outside the shower (since you're asking me not to wash my towels every day), the hair dryer so I don't have to bring a dop kit the size of a small suitcase, and the desk with several power plugs for me to actually do work while in the room instead of stare blankly at the TV. Okay, at least I can seem like I'm doing work...
And those cookies! While I can't eat them, they sure make the elevator ride and room smell nice. I don't know if the idea behind the cookies was that you couldn't figure out how to fight a persistent funky smell in the elevator, but it works!

So, for all of this, Mr. Good Faction, I humbly and sincerely thank you. I think I'm starting to have feelings that one man isn't supposed to have for another...

Unfortunately, I know that if I were to lure some businessmen here, they would seen experience the "Bad Faction" leader. And then they'd probably hunt me down and stone me.

MR. BAD FACTION

Unfortunately, there isn't just Mr. Good Faction at Hilton hotels. Once here, we also see the work of the Bad Faction Leader, Mr. Bad Faction.

Mr. Bad Faction is obviously a little bit, shall we say, "limited" in the cranial capacity arena. He is also a serious bean counter and has never left his cinder-block-walled, windowless, off-white (from age, not preference), flickering-florescent-light office. And he feels a need to take that out on us poor business travellers.

Here are a few of the signs that Mr. Bad Faction has sent a memo to this hotel:

  • $10 a day for Internet access - I know this isn't the same for every Hilton property, but give me a break! I'm pretty sure government housing in the inner cities of America have free high-speed broadband. Why do you have to gouge me to have Internet access!? This is just plain ridiculous. You are a bad man, Mr. Bad Faction!
  • Fancy, not functional, desk chairs - Boy, they sure are pretty, Euro-designed, leather swivelly chairs. Darn pretty. Unfortunately, they offer absolutely no back support while I'm doing my endless typing on my laptop. And if I lean back and manage not to fly out of my chair, I'm now reclining in the most uncomfortable, feet off of the floor (this for a pretty tall guy!), staring-at-the-ceiling position imagineable.
And, while the chair does raise and lower, Mr. Bad Faction obviously hasn't actually seen the desk and chair together. For me, with the chair at it's highest setting, I'm in an incomfortable, "reaching up to type on my laptop" position. I can only imagine the "kid at Daddy's desk" feel for the more average-height businessman trying to use his computer in this set up. Why do you torture me so? Isn't my impending carpal-tunnel enough to keep you happy, Mr. Bad Faction!?!

  • Two foot ethernet cables - So, there I am looking like a crab all hunched over my laptop, but still reaching up in a carpal-tunnel enhancing, kung-fu, "attack of the dragon" position with my wrists pressed against either the edge of my computer or the edge of the desk and, hence, slowly losing the feeling in my hands as I type away. I think to myself, "Self, this isn't going to work. I know! I'll just go sit on the couch right next to the desk. I'm so brilliant!"
Sadly, though Mr. Bad Faction has never stepped foot in one of your hotels, he thought of this one. You see, he apparently sent a note to the Hotel Manager telling him to have a two-foot network cable from the desk. So, not only is it tough to get the cable to one's laptop on the desk itself, apparently Internet work is not allowed elsewhere in the room. Just because you work in a crappy office, Mr. Bad Faction, is no reason that I can't be relaxed on a couch when I work!
  • Crappy wireless Internet access - I know that getting wireless Internet access is tough in an older, classic hotel like this. The walls are thick (a good thing, usually) and the layout isn't particularly conducive to good coverage. I get it. But perhaps you could get Mr. Bad Faction to make up his mind whether you really wanted it or not. As it stands, he's spent the money to have it, but not enough to make it work well.I thought, after I unplugged from the Internet access, that I'd just check to see if you had wireless Internet access, since your little sign on the desk didn't mention it at all. Turns out that there was some...sort of. The signal was very weak at sub-30% (which means that it'd be cutting out periodically, but at least it was something), but I gave it a shot.
Mr. Bad Faction had thought ahead for this one, though. As soon as I connected, I was notified that I would have to pay another $10 for 24 hours of wireless Internet access. Wonderful. Fantastic. What's another $10 between friends? Why don't you get your hands out of my pocket, Mr. Bad Faction!
  • $7 a day parking - You know, I'm used to paying for parking for businesses that I visit in downtown Austin, Dallas, or Houston. I've even paid for parking at hotels before. On the "Miracle Mile" in Chicago. On Founder's Square in San Francisco. But at 290 and I-35 in Austin? Are you kidding?
Not only does Mr. Bad Faction have me pay $7 a day for parking, but the entire 1st floor is reserved for handicapped folk (understandable) and valet parking (ridiculous). So, if I understand this correctly, $7 a day gets me treated like a second-class citizen in the parking garage. To be treated as a valued customer, I've got to pay $7 per day, plus the valet parking fee (I didn't even bother to notice, other than it's not free), AND a tip? All for the opportunity let some kid scratch my car and see if there's anything in it he'd like to help himself to? No thanks.

Mr. Bad Faction, you truly are diabolical. I'm sure the fee is just for the protection of my car and my valuables, however. Except for that big sign on every floor of the parking garage that says that Hilton is not responsible if someone breaks into my car, steals everything of worth inside it, sets it in fire, and then hunts me down and shoots me just to finish off the job. Other than that sign, I've got a warm and fuzzy feeling about my $7 parking investment.

Or is the justification that most of your guests are walk-ins off of Interstate 35 and it wouldn't be fair to make them pay for the parking, too? Yeah - now that I think about it, that's probably the situation. It's the walk-in business.

HEADING OFF THE EXCUSES

Please, please, please don't come back with your first question being, "Did you call the main desk with these problems? They can usually fix these things." To me, what that is saying is, "Yeah, we know about all of those problems, but we don't really care enough to fix them. Unless you call, of course. It's cheaper to just fix it for people who call." Please don't make me think those things about you.

I've been at quite a few hotels where I could have dragged my luggage back down to the front desk because the "Non-Smoking Room" had obviously been smoked in recently. I've been to hotels where I could have mentioned to the front desk that the Internet access was painfully slow. I've even been at a Hilton-branded hotel (though this has been 3-4 years ago) where there was feces spread all over the front of the toilet and I could have pitched a fit, called the health inspector, and gotten a new room.

I don't know why I don't complain to the minimum-wage worker at the front desk. I don't know why I don't get all huffy and demand to see a manager. I don't know why I don't expend a whole lot of my own energy getting upset about your problems, even though they've very temporarily become mine. Frankly, I'm probably too lazy.

As I did in every one of those previous situations I mentioned, I just left and found another hotel. Some people charged me for the room, others didn't. But every one of those places has seen their last dollar from me or anyone that I can talk out of it.

Let me be brutally honest: I don't really care that a maid quit or the previous guest smoked where they weren't supposed to or that your front desk person has only been there for a couple of months. If I'm going to get those excuses anyway, I'll just go stay at a Motel 8 where I expect them and save a little money.

WHAT CAN I DO TO AVOID MR. BAD FACTION?

I don't mean to beat up on your mercilessly. It has been a few years since I’ve been on the road regularly and so I was pleasantly surprised by some of the changes that have been made to all of the Hilton brands. I wanted you to know that I can see the attempt to better service we weary travellers who need an accomodating space to work and rest while we're away from home.

But it's experiences like those set up by Mr. Bad Faction above that still makes me shake my head and wonder, "What were they thinking?!"

It seems that Mr. Bad Faction has too much of a toe-hold in this hotel, so I will undoubtedly not be staying here again, as nice as the hotel archetecture, rooms, and location are. Is there a listing of Hilton-branded hotels that Mr. Bad Faction isn't so prevelent in that I could get? What can I do to avoid Mr. Bad Faction? The only think I know of for sure is to stop staying at Hilton hotels, and I'd rather not do that if I can avoid it. However, if I can't...

If there is anything I can do to avoid these circumstances in the future, please let me know. If you're serious about your 100% satisfaction guarantees, I would expect some sort of personal correspondence back letting me know A) What you think you can do to help me feel better about this stay, B) Some reassurance that this isn't a system-wide problem and I can still rely on Hilton, and C) How I can avoid these types of problems in the future.

Thanks for your attention to this matter,

Dan
-----
Daniel R. Sweet


PS: If you have read the beginning of this letter and then jumped down to the end to see if I'm someone important enough to care about or to save yourself some precious reading time, please let me know. There is no hope that you care enough about your guests' actual experiences to ever get them fixed. Just please shoot me a quick e-mail titled, "Take a Hike" and I'll get the message.
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Thursday, December 22, 2005

9:11 AM     Salary Negotiation Article

Salary Negotiation is a tough area for a lot of job seekers. Particularly, it seems, for technical folks.

When talking to people who are in the middle of interviews, I always give the same advice: "Salary negotiations are about more than salary."

As this article from BusinessWeek (by a woman I know) points out, some companies have very strict restrictions on salary, but are very flexible in other areas.

Read. Learn. Apply.

Enjoy!

Dan
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Monday, December 19, 2005

8:16 AM     IT Audit Executive

IT AUDIT EXECUTIVE
     LOCATION: Texas
     RELO: YES!
     TRAVEL: 0%
     POSITION TYPE: Direct Hire
     APPROXIMATE PAY RATE:$160K - $180K + Bonus

JOB DESCRIPTION: This role is responsible for Information Systems and Departmental Audit operations. This role reports to the Group Vice President and
the Chief Auditor of Internal Audit. This company has been recognized across their industry as being one of the top organizations in their industry.

This role offers a full relocation package including help with the sale of a home. This role is specifically responsible for:

* Guiding direct reports on conducting audits to mitigate the company's risk using an established methodology and documentation process;
* Pro-active management of the day-to-day audit operations, including time, scope, testing, conclusions and reporting of audits;
* Assist with the development and communication of the annual audit plan;
* Develop and implement directives for the Department, including objectives and milestones;
* Ensure that department standards are followed, control objective are met, and consistent messages are delivered to management and the audit committee;
* Provide accurate and objective audit reports to senior management on the overall assessment of systems, data processing and operational activities with appropriate corrective recommendations;
* Maintain both technical and professional awareness of developments in fields that could affect audit requirements and approach to reporting.

JOB REQUIREMENTS:
* Requires a BA/BS with at least 12 years of professional experience of which 7+ years have been in an audit management role.
* The successful candidate will have a good technical understanding of financial / banking business processes, internal control structures, risk-based audit methodology and information systems.
* The candidate must have exceptional interpersonal, project management and
leadership skills.
* The candidate will have the ability to:
* Advise auditors using an established methodology for addressing risk;
* Make risk-based scoping decisions, assess documentation, the work
performed and related conclusions performed by auditors;
*Effectively communicate sound recommendations to management based on audit
findings;
* Be sensitive and supportive of the operating objectives of the company while ensuring that assets and resources are safeguarded and sound practices are followed.

* Personal characteristics will include:
* A high-energy, motivating, hands-on individual willing to work in a team environment;
* Innovative and creative with superior intellect, combined with good business judgment and strong, practical problem solving skills;
* Mentally tough with an ability to maintain personal and professional integrity under pressure;
* Understands the importance of developing effective goals and objectives and enjoy challenges and rewards of performing against stated targets;
* Management maturity to be comfortable in a position requiring an extensive amount of self-motivation, with the ability to execute decisively and effectively in a fast-moving, growth oriented environment;
* Presentation style that is forceful, pro-active and self-confident but not arrogant.
* Practical and pragmatic with solid decision making ability combined with sound business judgment;
* Professional image with superior verbal and written communication skills combined with strong planning and organizing skills.

* Specific technical skills will include:
*Large IBM mainframe shop, currently on ES9000;
* Large Windows NT/Cisco network; JCL, COBOL, Easytrieve, CA Utilities (1, 7, 11), S/390, CICS, JES2, TCP/IP, Client Server, CA Examine, DB2, TSO-ISPF, CA-Top Secret, etc.

PLUSSES:
* An MBA is preferred along with a CISA, CPA and/or CIA certification.

HOW TO APPLY
Send your resume to Maureen Masetti and give her a call at (757)549-6985. Let her know you saw it here!

(reference / job number: N/A)
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8:06 AM     6 Quick Resume Tips from CIO

6 QUICK RESUME TIPS FROM CIO
Ladies and Gentlemen,

I just saw an article in CIO magazine titles, "Your Resume is Mission Critical". Yes, it's primarily aimed at CIOs, but the advice given by the author, Dora Vell (a headhunter), holds true for any professional.

You are a professional, right?

Anyway, head on over to CIO Magazine's Career Section and see if your resume stands up to the competition!

-Dan
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Wednesday, December 14, 2005

9:47 AM     Senior Q/A Engineer / Lead

SENIOR Q/A ENGINEER / LEAD
     LOCATION: Dallas, TX
     RELO: No.
     TRAVEL: 0%
     POSITION TYPE: Direct Hire
     APPROXIMATE PAY RATE: Competitive

JOB DESCRIPTION: We need an energetic, team-oriented Senior Quality Assurance Engineer to take charge of the total QA effort.

You will be working as part of a close knit team in a startup environment where flexibility is key; you must adjust to changing priorities rapidly. You will be primarily responsible for implementation and execution of the Quality Assurance program.

You must be prepared to:
* manage an offshore QA staff
* perform review of product specifications
* develop test plans
* perform feature functionality and usability testing
* Manage test management and automation tools

Another essential element of this position is to continually review and implement improvements to the QA process, to include evaluating and recommending automated QA tools appropriate for our products.

JOB REQUIREMENTS:
* Excellent written and verbal communication skills
* Degree or certification in a Computer Science discipline or equivalent experience
* Experience preparing and executing QA test plans and publishing clear results
* Ability to work with minimal supervision with general direction as to the tasks to be performed
* Must be a self-starter
* Past experience leading SQA teams of three or more people
* Willing to perform hands-on testing of systems.
* Past experience setting up and developing SQA processes including:
* Test plan writing
* Creating test harnesses consisting of hardware and software
* Manage test suites
* Manage testing multiple products
* Create a test process including regression testing, extended duration testing, performance testing
* Establish and manage a bug tracking system.
* Test development
* Experience reporting to management team
* Ability to establish regression tests, Ability to construct test plans from published and local specifications.
* Ability to analyze test results and to provide test cases for Engineering

PLUSSES:
* Familiarity with PC workstation and server hardware and operating system configurations
* Formal QA training
* Deep understanding of .Net software
* Background in Webcasting or Digital Signage
* Management experience of offshore QA staff

HOW TO APPLY
Send your resume to Dennis Osha and give him a call at (972)231-2000. Let him know yo saw it here!

(reference / job number: N/A)
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9:40 AM     .NET Enterprise Software Developer / Architect

.NET ENTERPRISE SOFTWARE DEVELOPER / ARCHITECT
     LOCATION: Dallas, TX
     RELO: No.
     TRAVEL: 0%
     POSITION TYPE: Direct Hire
     APPROXIMATE PAY RATE: $90K - $95K + stock options (2 openings)

EMPLOYER INFO:
* Top management team with history of startup success.
* Current clientele and revenue producing
* Three rounds of funding
* Hit Q1 2005 sales goals
* Technical team has an average of 15 years experience
* Casual but intense and productive environment
* Titles not important but getting to IPO is, you will receive an equity
position where the opportunity of success equals higher rewards.

JOB DESCRIPTION: Our client is building a new Software Technology for Enterprise Scale Applications on .Net platform
* Building a new software product that will change how development and test
is done, thus providing more functionality and success to client's process.
* IP makes this firm unique, ability to offer a value proposition that other
firms can't
* Will be responsible for architecture, design and development

JOB REQUIREMENTS:
* 10+ years software development experience
* .Net/C# experience
* Enterprise scale application
* Full life-cycle development

HOW TO APPLY
Call Amanda Campbell at (972)407-1900 x21 and let her know that you saw it here!

(reference / job number:N/A)
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9:33 AM     Technical Recruiter

TECHNICAL RECRUITER
     LOCATION: Houston, TX
     RELO: No.
     TRAVEL: 0%
     POSITION TYPE: Direct Hire
     APPROXIMATE PAY RATE: Base + Commission

EMPLOYER INFO: For 60 years, AllStates Technical Services has put the right people to work in the country's leading project and technology-driven companies. We specialize in outsourcing and staffing solutions, providing our clients with just-in-time, hard-to-find engineering and information technologies talent. People with the technical know-how to tackle tough jobs and meet critical deadlines.

AllStates is a wholly owned subsidiary of our parent company BE&K. BE&K has been recognized for 8 consecutive years as one of this countries premier places to work, and has been on Forbes Top 100 Companies to work for list.

We pride ourselves in providing an energetic, goal driven, productive and team oriented work environment.

We offer a wide range of benefits for the right employee, including company supplemented medical, dental, and vision plans; company paid STD and LTD plans; Life and AD&D Insurance, and a 401k plan with company match.

JOB DESCRIPTION: We are searching for an experienced professional Recruiter that will research and locate talented professionals to fill our wide variety of professional openings in the IT, Pharmaceutical, Oil and Gas and Engineering industries. Qualified candidates will have a minimum of five years recruiting experience in one or more of these fields, and be familiar with the Houston market, but capable of recruiting anywhere in the US or overseas.

JOB REQUIREMENTS:
* 2+ years' Recruiting experience in IT, Pharmaceutical, Oil & Gas, & Engineering.

HOW TO APPLY
Send your resume to Stephen Judd and give him a call at (205)972-5472. Let him know you saw it here!

(reference / job number: N/A)
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Tuesday, December 13, 2005

10:14 AM     SQL Server DBA

SQL SERVER DBA
     LOCATION: Dallas, TX
     RELO: No.
     TRAVEL: 0%
     POSITION TYPE: 6 Month Contract
     APPROXIMATE PAY RATE: $30/hr - $41/hr


JOB DESCRIPTION: Duties include deployment and configuration of Microsoft SQL Server software, server instances, and databases. Monitoring of the DB performance and assist in performance tuning.

This position provides installation and DB support services for mission-critical customer businesses. Duties include deployment and support of Microsoft SQL Server in both clustered and non-clustered environments.

JOB REQUIREMENTS:
* 5+ years' experience in a production environment with SQL Server 2000 Installation Management.
* 5+ years' experience in a production environment with SQL Server 2000 Security
* 5+ years' experience in a production environment with SQL Server 2000 Performance Analysis / Tuning
* 5+ years' experience in a production environment with SQL / T-SQL Scripting
* 3+ years' experience in a production environment with SQL Server 2000 Replication
* 5+ years' experience in a production environment with Backup Strategy Management
* 3+ years' experience in a production environment with DTS Packages
* 3+ years' experience in a production environment with Schema Design
* 4+ years' experience in a production environment with Failover Design

HOW TO APPLY
Send your resume to Guy New and give him a call at (972)345-6424

(reference / job number:JOL-E13855)
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9:46 AM     CCIE/CCNP Network Engineers

CCIE NETWORK ENGINEERS
- - - - - - - - - - - - - -
LOCATION: Dallas, TX; San Antonio, TX (also Denver, CO; Tampa, FL; St. Louis/KC, MO)

RELO: No.

TRAVEL: 50% - 75%

POSITION TYPE: Direct Hire

APPROXIMATE PAY RATE: $85K - $110K + Bonus

JOB DESCRIPTION: This position is responsible for Pre-Sales and Post-Sales
installation and support, assisting in developing statements of work, and assisting Inside Sales Representatives with technical questions. Qualified candidate should have 5 to 7 years of hands-on Cisco experience. IP Telephony, security, and/or wireless experience are preferred. 50% to 75% travel is required. Excellent oral and
written communication skills, customer service skills, and presentation skills required.

NOTE: Dallas, TX position is less pre-sales and more straight engineering.

JOB REQUIREMENTS:
* CCIE -OR- CCIE written and lab candidates encouraged to apply. If you have
only a CCNP, and have at least 5 years experience, along with at least one year of Voice, please also send your resume.

HOW TO APPLY
Send your resume to Jared Higgens and give him a call at (925)736-1800. Let him know you saw it here!

(reference / job number: N/A)
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9:45 AM     Web / Application Developers

WEB / APPLICATION DEVELOPERS
- - - - - - - - - - - - - -
LOCATION: Dallas, TX

RELO: No.

TRAVEL: 0%

POSITION TYPE: Contract-to-Hire

APPROXIMATE PAY RATE: Competitive

EMPLOYER INFO: RedSalsa Technologies, Inc. in Dallas, Texas is a leader in IT outsourcing and resource management. The company has been recognized by industry leaders as a fast and aggressive player in the global IT market, and has built an impressive list of Fortune 500 clients.

Our client, an Insurance company in North Dallas, is looking for dynamic personalities to join their growing team. We offer competitive benefits and exceptional work environment. Qualified candidates must have a Bachelors degree in Computer Science or equivalent.

JOB DESCRIPTION: Candidates will be responsible for providing assistance in the company's application development division in the creation and maintenance of various web components.

Successful candidates should be totally comfortable with all aspects of HTML and JavaScript, client server architectures, and has experience with a variety of active-page methodologies and database structures.

JOB REQUIREMENTS:
* 3+ years' production experience with C
* 3+ years' production experience with C++
* 1+ year production experience with C#
* 3+ years' production experience with FGL
* 3+ years' production experience with SQL

PLUSSES:
* DB2 and various other technologies is a plus.
* Candidates will Property and Casualty insurance background are greatly desired.

HOW TO APPLY
Send your resume to Terri Lynn Casey and give her a call at (972)503-4200, x3626. Let her know you saw it here!

(reference / job number:N/A)
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7:07 AM     UNIX System Administrator

UNIX SYSTEM ADMINISTRATOR
- - - - - - - - - - - - - -
LOCATION: Houston, TX

RELO: No.

TRAVEL: 0%

POSITION TYPE: Direct Hire

APPROXIMATE PAY RATE: $100K


JOB DESCRIPTION: Participate as a member of the Technical Support team providing 1st through 4th level technical support and solutions to customers on a nationwide basis that range from mid-size to the Fortune 50. Work in a fast paced, dynamic environment where technology experience and customer service skills will be challenged on a daily basis. Work with leading edge technologies and multiple infrastructure architectures that are maintained in state-of-the-art data centers and designed to support the specific needs of each customer.

Must have demonstrated technical expertise and work experience in providing technical support with the ability to communicate and work directly with customers to identify and resolve technical issues. Must have a broad based understanding of all aspects of complex infrastructure architectures and technologies including networking, server operating systems, system management tools, and remote connectivity.

JOB REQUIREMENTS:
* Must be willing to work one of the following shifts: Sunday - Wednesday 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. (CST) OR Wednesday - Saturday 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. (CST)
* 4+ years overall experience with at least the last 1 ½ years focused on providing technical support across a broad range of Unix technologies including:

* Sun Solaris/Red Hat Linux production server environment
* Sun Solaris OS
* Sun Hardware
* Experience performing administrative tasks with Apache, iPlanet/SunOne Webserver, Veritas NetBackup required.
* Experience with shell scripting and perl scripting required.
* Internet and TCP/IP networking requried.
* Sun Solaris 2.6 and Red Hat Linux AS 3.0 or higher experience preferred.
* Familiarity with J2EE applications preferred
* Sun Certified System Administrator (CSA) and/or Sun Certified Network Administrator (CAN) preferred.
* Position requires experience with Unix server configuration and administration that extends beyond day-to-day monitoring and maintenance activities.
* Knowledge and experience with server hardware components and internals as well as server build and configuration experience is required.
* Experience working in a multi-server environment is required with knowledge of clustering technologies and strategies.
* Unix certifications are highly desirable.

HOW TO APPLY
Apply online at UNIX System Administrator position at Technology Ladders - they have a great level of responsiveness for online applications. If you don't have a Technology Ladder account, you'll have to register for (a FREE) one.

(reference / job number:329107)
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6:56 AM     Windows System Administrator

WINDOWS SYSTEM ADMINISTRATOR
- - - - - - - - - - - - - -
LOCATION: Houston, TX

RELO: No.

TRAVEL: 0%

POSITION TYPE: Direct Hire

APPROXIMATE PAY RATE: $100K


JOB DESCRIPTION: Participate as a member of the Technical Support team providing 1st through 4th level technical support and solutions to customers on a
nationwide basis that range from mid-size to the Fortune 50. Work in a fast paced, dynamic environment where technology experience and customer service skills will be challenged on a daily basis. Work with leading edge technologies and multiple infrastructure architectures that are maintained in state-of-the-art data centers and designed to support the specific needs of each customer.

Must have demonstrated technical expertise and work experience in providing technical support with the ability to communicate and work directly with customers to identify and resolve technical issues. Must have a broad based understanding of all aspects of complex infrastructure architectures and technologies including networking, server operating systems (Windows and UNIX), system management tools, and remote connectivity (i.e., Citrix).

JOB REQUIREMENTS:
* Must be willing to work a shift (Wednesday - Saturday 12 noon to 11:00 p.m.
* Must be able to work independently to troubleshoot, perform root cause analysis, identify and isolate technical issues, and work in a collaborative effort with other team members as necessary to quickly and effectively resolve technical issues and provide timely status and progress reporting to customers.
* Must be willing to take ownership of the issue analysis and resolution efforts and commit to "doing what it takes" to resolve technical issues regardless of the effort or timeframe required.
* 4+ years overall experience with at least the last 1 ½ years focused on providing technical support across a broad range of Microsoft technologies including:

* Server operating systems - Windows 2000 and 2003
* Active Directory
* Exchange 2000 and 2003
* Position requires experience with Windows server configuration and administration that extends beyond day-to-day monitoring and maintenance activities. Knowledge and experience with server hardware components and internals as well as server build and configuration experience is required.
* Experience working in a multi-server environment is required with knowledge of clustering technologies and strategies. Microsoft certifications are highly desirable.
* In-depth experience with Active Directory (AD) and Exchange is required with
demonstrated knowledge and experience with AD and Exchange design and configuration architectures and strategies. Previous experience with providing support for remotely connected customers and the associated technologies (e.g., Citrix, Cisco PIX) is required.

HOW TO APPLY
Apply online at Windows System Administrator position at Technology Ladders - they have a great level of responsiveness for online applications. If you don't have a Technology Ladder account, you'll have to register for (a FREE) one.

(reference / job number:329105)
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6:46 AM     Tivoli / Websphere Administrator

TIVOLU / WEBSPHERE ADMINISTRATOR
- - - - - - - - - - - - - -
LOCATION: Dallas, TX (If preferred, this position could also be located in St. Louis, MO or New Haven, CT)

RELO: No.

TRAVEL: 0%

POSITION TYPE: 6 Month Contract (there are 2 of these)

APPROXIMATE PAY RATE: $40/hr - $45/hr

JOB DESCRIPTION: Support the outgrowth of Tivoli Identity Manager (TIM) and Tivoli Access Manager (TAM) on the SBC Extranet (WebGate) providing user identity and access management for multiple applications. The new individual will perform installation, support and consulting for TIM/TAM security. This requires managing multiple projects while interfacing with application developers and security administrators. Responsibilities include product implementation planning, tier 2 support for the chosen products, and upgrading the products as appropriate. The position holder will have the opportunity for exposure to the growing security field of single-sign-on and authorization management.

JOB REQUIREMENTS:
* 2+ years' previous production experience with Tivoli Identity Manager.
* 2+ years' previous production experience with Tivoli Access Manager.
* 3+ years' previous production experience with UNIX-based operating systems.

PLUSSES:
* 2+ years' previous production experience with Websphere Administration
* 2+ years' previous production experience with UNIX scripting.
* 2+ years' previous production experience with J2EE and related Java-based (light) coding.

HOW TO APPLY
Send your resume to Guy New and give him a call at (972)345-6424. Let him know you saw it here!

(reference / job number:JOL-E13885)
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Monday, December 12, 2005

6:02 PM     Technical Development Lead

TECHNICAL DEVELOPMENT LEAD
- - - - - - - - - - - - - -
LOCATION: Houston, TX

RELO: No.

TRAVEL: 0%

POSITION TYPE: Direct Hire

APPROXIMATE PAY RATE: $100K+

JOB DESCRIPTION: Summary of Job Requirements

* Fulfills a leadership role in planning, designing, coding, testing, debugging, configuring, and documenting software.
* Applies generally accepted programming standards and techniques to assure efficient program logic and data manipulation.
* Analyzes the performance of hardware and software interfaces and identifies alternatives for optimizing the usage of computer resources.
* Provides assistance and routine consultation to internal users of software.
* Works with others to develop system and software designs.
* Coaches and leads other developers.
* Works with Project Manager, Developers, and QA to estimate resources required for new activities.

JOB REQUIREMENTS:
* Fourth or Fifth year college or university program certificate plus ten or more years related experience and/or training.
* Excellent Object Oriented development experience - C++/Java (6+ years).
* 10+ years experience developing commercial grade applications with large-scale deployments.
* 5+ years experience leading development teams of 4+ developers.
* Ability to effectively present information in one-on-one and small group situations to customers, clients, executives, and other employees of the organization.
* Good team work skills.

PLUSSES:
* Experience with Internationalization
* UML or other formal design techniques
* Experience with cross-platform application development.
* Participation in projects using Scrum methodology.

HOW TO APPLY
Apply online at Technical Development Leade position at Technology Ladders - they have a great level of responsiveness for online applications. If you don't have a Technology Ladder account, you'll have to register for (a FREE) one.

(reference / job number:323024)
[Click Here for More Detail]

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5:47 PM     Sr. Application Support Analyst

SENIOR APPLICATION SUPPORT ANALYST
- - - - - - - - - - - - - -
LOCATION: Houston, TX

RELO: No.

TRAVEL: 0%

POSITION TYPE: Direct Hire

APPROXIMATE PAY RATE: To $105K

JOB DESCRIPTION: A Technical resource is required for providing day-to-day technical support of an internal Producer Services Gas system. This role includes small enhancements, identifying system problems, determining the appropriate resolution for such problems, and executing the resolution quickly with minimal disruption.

Duties and Responsibilities:
1. Design and develop minor enhancements in support of business group / function, including any 3rd. party customers where appropriate, specifically related to the CPS-EMS

2. Collaborate with and apprise IS Manager of Market Interactions and Business Analyst of critical project and end-user issues, and status of ongoing projects, and work effectively towards department and corporate goals.

3. In the short term, must be able to effectively transition technical knowledge base from another resource while supporting the CPS-EMS system.

4. Interact with IS Client Services staff where appropriate ensuring that services are proactive and/or highly responsive, and that staff is thoroughly trained in appropriate business processes and current with new releases and upgrades.

5. Leverage support staff to develop, implement, and administer fixes and minor enhancements.

6. Perform other related duties as required.

JOB REQUIREMENTS:
br>1. Bachelor's degree in MIS, Business Administration, other technical discipline or equivalent experience.

2. Minimum four (4) years related experience in a fast-paced information technology environment.

3. Experience supporting a gas gathering and marketing group is a plus.

4. Must have four (4) or more years of experience with MS SQLServer.

5. Must have three (4) or more years of experience developing reports using T-SQL (SQL Server).

6. Must have four (4) or more years of development/support experience with the SQL language and its application and tuning.

7. Must have four (4) or more years of development experience with DELPHI development environment, and supporting toolsets. Experience in the following toolsets would be preferred:

* Crystal Reports - V9.00
* DbOvernet (V2.7) - Middleware
* Orpheus (V4.01) - used for online screens
* SysTools (V3.03) - used for online screens
* InfoPower 3000.3 - used for online screens
* Dynazip (V4.00) - Delphi software components
* TEmail (V2.10) - Delphi software component
* TwebUpdate (V1.40) - Delphi software component
* ImageLib Suite (V6.00) - Delphi software components

8. Must have a minimum of four (4) years supporting and developing reports in Crystal Reports V. 9.0 or an equivalent reporting tool.

9. Experience with Mercury/ITG Release Management tool and PVCS/Version Manager a plus.

10. Excellent interpersonal, verbal and written communication skills with the ability to collaborate and interact confidently with individuals at all levels; must be dedicated to a high degree of customer service with the ability to work well in a team environment.

11. Ability to work well in a fast-paced environment, and perform well under extreme time constraints and demands during emergency conditions.

12. Ability to effectively express technical concepts to non-technical personnel. This includes being able to take business requirements and effectively translate them into a design document and deliver the code necessary to meet the desired design and requirements.

13. May require quick access via cell phone or pager in addition to responses to after hours service interruptions.

14. Must be able to effectively communicate verbally and in writing with clients, supervisors, co-workers, staff, vendors, executive management and other constituents.

15. Occasional travel to client sites and other company locations.


HOW TO APPLY
Apply online at Sr. Application Support Analyst positiong at Technology Ladders - they have a great level of responsiveness for online applications. If you don't have a Technology Ladder account, you'll have to register for (a FREE) one.

(reference / job number:N/A)
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Monday, December 05, 2005

9:04 AM     You Are Leaving Your Career To Chance. STOP IT!

As a guy who has held a bunch of jobs, has spent nearly 15 years in the IT staffing / placements / solutions industry (am I that old already?!), and has worked as a headhunter, I get a lot of people asking my advice for a job search.

Because I am an extraordinarily nice guy (no, really!), I usually will oblige them with some good, solid recommendations that they can use to start the "getting a new job" process.

Also, over the years, I have ceased to be amazed at the numbers of people who leave their career to chance and are unwilling to put any significant effort into their job search.

Perhaps you're one of these people.

I know I was.

LEAVING YOUR CAREER TO CHANCE

Based on the folks that I've talked to, I would estimate that 90%+ of people out in the job market leave their careers to chance. Think about it:

  • How much intense research did you do on your current employer before hiring on?

  • How many current and former employees of the company did you talk to before accepting an offer?

  • Why was this company the best possible choice for employment? (And no, "because they were the ones that made me an offer" doesn't count)

  • What does this company offer to help further your career goals?

  • Do you have any thought-out, written-down career goals?


This is just a short list of the possible questions, but most of the candidates that I've spoken with don't have really good answers to even these questions. Do you?

A SLAVE TO THE MONEY

The truth of the matter is that most people are a just slave to the money. You'll do all sorts of demeaning, insulting, and career-limiting things just because of the money. I did, too, by the way.

And when the money runs out (fired, company goes out of business, big layoff, etc.), you scramble to find another source of money. Be honest - that's most of the jobs that you've picked are, aren't they? Another source of money.

Now, we all need money (and, more specifically, we all need MORE money!), so I'm not criticizing that. But, if you're a slave to the money you're getting now, you're a slave to your boss and your company.

And that might not be such a bad thing, if your boss AND your company have your best career options in mind for you. However, usually, they only know where they have "slots" or "gaps" and aren't particularly concerned with where YOU want to be.

JOB HOPPING FOR FUN AND PROFIT

In reality, this method of operation doesn't seem like a bad thing when there are lots of jobs around. That was the case in the late '90s and, no matter what you read in the newspaper and hear on the news, it will be the case again shortly (1-3 years).

Before you think I'm secretly calling you names for doing the job hopping thing, understand that I was there, too. In the late '90s, I job hopped a bunch. And who could blame me, really? I got a 20% - 40% raise every time I jumped. And I wasn't alone!

The problem becomes when the party is over. After the dotcom era ended, jobs were a lot tougher to come by. After 9/11, even more so. That's when I had to take a serious look at what my resume said: 'This guy can't stay put for very long and will jump the first time more money comes along. He's not worth the investment.'

The reason that I'm telling you this is that the job hopping option is coming back around and I urge you to think twice before doing it.

SOLUTION #1: STAYING PUT

Okay, so you find yourself in a less-than-wonderful position. You boss is a pain-in-the-butt, they aren't investing in any new technology, and they've fired enough people so that you're doing just about everything: desktop support, network administration, development, testing, and whatever else that comes up. Oh, and you're a manager, too.

Headhunters are starting to call and tell you about wonderful new jobs that pay more than you're making now. They're desperate. They need you!

How can you NOT leave a place where you're undervalued, underpaid, and underappreciated for one that needs you, wants you, and is willing to pay for you?

A HEADHUNTER'S SECRET ABOUT JOBS

Let me tell you a little headhunter's secret: moving jobs is a lot like getting remarried. Compared to your old harpy, haranguing, sloppy, wench of a wife, this new one seems much more vibrant, interesting, exciting, and exotic. How could you go wrong?

Because, while all women are different, they're all alike in one way: they've got problems. Before you start your hate e-mails, men are the same. We've all got problems. It's a human condition.

So, while your new wife may not have the exact problems your old one did, she's got problems that you'll get to discover (at the most inopportune times) that you may find are even more annoying than your old wife's.

What's this got to do with your job? It is this: Almost all companies have problems valuing their employees. Almost all companies have difficulty showing appropriate appreciation for their employees. And almost all companies underpay their employees, even if the initial pay is better than what you were making before.

Yes, almost all of them. I know both the next company and woman (or man) that you meet will seem to be pretty perfect. You won't be able to see any real flaws with them. And now, you know where to look, right?

If you remember nothing else, remember this: You are a technical person. You know that raw numbers don't lie. That new woman and that new company have problems as serious (though different) than your currant woman and job. If not more so. The numbers don't lie.

SOLUTION #2: STAYING PUT TO FIND A NEW JOB

Let me be real honest with you here: If you haven't been in your current position for at least 3 years, you shouldn't be looking to move jobs. It's too career limiting. And, in the scheme of things, you can stand anything for 3 years.

Besides, I'm going to keep you busy enough that you won't even notice the years fly by.

Are there exeptions to the 3 year rule? Yes. Here they are:

  • Your boss physically beats you. Daily. If it's only weekly or so, suck it up.

  • You're being sexually harassed. How do you know? Remember the old rule: if you like it, it's not harassment.

  • You're being laid off. Important here is not that you THINK you're being laid off. HR has actually TOLD you that you're being laid off.

  • Your life is in danger. And don't give me any of this namby pamby new age junk about, "The stress is going to kill me", "My chi is so wrong here that I might die", or any such nonsense. I mean that there is a real, honest-to-goodness bad man with a knife, gun, or really sharp letter opener that is threatening to make you look like swiss cheese.


Those are the exceptions. If you don't fall into one of those, stop your whining.

THE HARD WORK IS JUST BEGINNING

Let me demystify this for you: Getting the right job for you is hard work.

And long work. Finding the right job for you is a process that will take 8-18 months. But look at it this way: that's a small amount of time to invest for a job that you'll love for many years to come.

Yes, I know you've had offers that you've turned down. Yes, I know headhunters have set you up with interviews and the companies are very interested. Yes, I know that you're in the process and so, if these don't work out, you'll start the hard work.

My answer is this: 1)If what you're doing is working out well for you, why are you turning down the offers and asking me for advice? and 2)If you haven't put the work into finding out what you want, how will you know if any of these offers are any good?

You can argue with me all you like. I can guarantee that I'm right. And you know it, too.

THE FIRST STEP

So, let's assume, just to make me feel better, that you're ready to start with the hard work of getting your new job.

Where do you start?

Step #1 is this: Decide what you really want to do with your life.

I'll be posting step 2 this week. If that's not fast enough for you, e-mail me letting me know what you've done from Step#1 and, if you're ready, I'll tell you step #2.
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