Houston (and Texas) IT Jobs Blog

Friday, August 26, 2005

9:57 AM     Network Security Engineer

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LOCATION: Dallas / Fort Worth, TX





JOB DESCRIPTION: Listed below are some of the responsibilities but are not limited to the following:

* A review of existing policies and comprehensive documentation of the network.
* Analyze system architecture and network configurations.
* Assess the operational support tools and procedures.
* Investigate physical installations of access points.
* Identify rogue access points, potential issues, bottlenecks and inefficiencies.
* Perform penetration tests.
* Interview users and conduct workshops to keep key personnel abreast of assessment finding.
* Draft and publish network infrastructure findings and arecommendations report.
* Create a detailed handbook for the entire Network
* Perform a security evaluation of the VPN solution

* Provide a comprehensive network assessment
* Able to analyze building diagram/floor plan
* Ability to analyze physical network & local network diagrams
* Perform penetration test and document the results
* Experience with voice communication software experience
* Able to provide support for various operating systems (Windows,Linux, etc.) , applications (Oracle, ERP, etc)
* Perform a security evaluation of the VPN solution.
* Assess the firewall design to ensure protection againstunauthorized intrusion.
* Evaluate DMZ architecture, web servers, routing, and DNSarchitecture.
* Provide patch management policies for the library network computers
* Must have completed some network-related certification(s)

* B.S. in Computer Science or closely related field
* At least 4-5 years of on the job experience
* Additional certification preferable

Send your resume to me at danielrsweet@gmail.com and I'll get back with you within 1 day.

(reference / job number:N/A)

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Thursday, August 25, 2005

5:31 AM     Well Priced Self-Study Program for Lots of Certifications


I got an offer via e-mail recently that I thought might interest some of you looking to get your certifications on the cheap (meaning, pay for them yourself).

Listen; I've talked to a bunch of you who were too busy to get your cert. As I've said before, it's rarely a requirement, but always a plus to have it. So go get it. No, I'm not being paid anything if you sign up. But, now that you mention it, I should be!

Keep in mind that this is self-study information and, if you're not good at reading the tech books you have now, this will probably be money down a hole for you. If, however, you're pretty good about learning new technologies at home, this may be a great (and cheap!) way for you to get those certs you've been putting off.

The offers below expire September 1st - just in case you needed a little more of a push...

What you get, apparently, is a study guide (on CD) related to each course that you would normally take in the classroom. Then, they also include a "practice test" CD so that you get used to the types of questions you're going to run into on the tests.

Please note that I haven't used this brand of training material (any comments on it are more than welcome!), but my experience has been self-study material is, more or less, self-study material. Some is less dry than others, but that's like saying one spot in the desert is less dry than another: it's all pretty dry.

You can get the full MCSE (2003) pack for $89 OR the full CCNA/CCDA/CCNP/CCDP pack for $89.

And, if you get both, you get A+/NET+/MCP training for free. Why you need any of these when you're going for your MCSE and CCNP is beyond me, but that's the deal.

Other training also available:

MCSA/MCSE Training for $119
Exchange Server Training for $49
(Cisco) CCIP Training for $89
Cisco VoIP (UCSE, CIPT, CVOICE, QOS, IPTT) Training for $89
Oracle 8/9 (OCP) Training for $89
Cisco CVOICE Training for $49
ITIL Delivery & Service Support Training (several internations, large companies are ITIL compliant and this would be a leg up there) for $49
SUN Solaris (Solaris Certified) Training for $79
Linux+ Training for $79
Unix Training (No cert, but good knowledge of different flavors of Unix) for $79
Six Sigma Training (preparation for Six Sigma work, but no test prep for green belt / black belt) for $89
Java Programming Training (and prep for the Java Professional test) for $79

Now there's no excuse for not being certified!

[Click Here for More Detail]

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Tuesday, August 23, 2005

4:42 AM     Sr. Network Communications / Security Project Manager

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APPROXIMATE PAY RATE: $75K - $82K + Bonus ($16K - $19K)

JOB DESCRIPTION: Provide leadership, organization, and planning for data and voice communication projects and integration. Document, schedule, and coordinate all activity per change management policy. Design, install, configure, maintain, and secure network and voice equipment and services.

Maintain equipment at proper patch and release levels. Provide cross-training. Maintain documentation, procedures and diagrams. Provide trouble-shooting for data, security, and voice communication problems.

Demonstrate problem ownership and diligence in resolving problems in a timely manner. Escalate issues with vendors and management per policy. Document problems in issue tracking system. Provide planning and analysis to ensure that network/security implementation meets current and future communication and security requirements.

Administer Network Management Systems for alert, monitoring, trend analysis and reporting. Research new technologies and evaluate their viability in environment. Interface with vendors for information, quotes, contracts, and/or billing issues.

Ensure that redundant and disaster recovery equipment, services, processes and procedures are maintained, tested, and readily available. Maintain internal voice and data wiring systems. Update wiring documentation and coordinate changes with vendors. Maintain IP Addressing scheme and IP Management System. Coordinate server, workstation, and phone moves, adds,and changes.

* 6-8 years of experience in networking/telecommunications
* Experience should include TCP/IP, ETHERNET, and LAN/WAN switching,routing, and firewall technologies.
* Knowledge of Windows NT, XP, 2000, 2003, and Unix
* 2+ years Storage Area Networking experience.
* Experience with FCIP,iSCSI, and iFCP protocols.
* Knowledge of Windows and Unix.
* Excellent communication and interpersonal skills

* Certifications with Cisco, security, and Nortel equipment preferred.
* Experience with Network Management Systems desired.
* Experience with PBX and voice peripherals desired.

Send your resume to Erin Hartnett and call her at (214)615-2600. Let her know that you saw the job here!

(reference / job number: EHAT-6EWV52)
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Monday, August 22, 2005

10:42 AM     Linux Technical Writer

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APPROXIMATE PAY RATE: $50/hr - $90/hr

JOB DESCRIPTION: This is a position working for an IT consulting organization at several of their clients. As such, there will be travel around the Houston area, but no overnight travel. They are looking for an "almost expert in LINUX" that likes to write documentation procedures, support documentation for on-going support and projects.

This will be for a wide variety of projects from manuals to procedures to documenting user requirements to reference cards.

* Strong experience in Linux (actual hands-on experience is best).
* Good, demonstrable technical writing experience.

Send your resume to Toni Villareal and then give her a call to get details about this positions at (713)977-6200 x1506. Let her know you heard about it here!

(reference / job number:N/A)

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9:30 AM     Resume Advice from Netscape

Here's a great article originally from Netscape that has a lot of truth to it. Read it. Take it seriously. Then fix your resume!

Have a great week,



More than half of job seekers make this major resume blunder: Filling the page with vague phrases that are meaningless fluff and mumbo jumbo. The No. 1 vague phrase is "communication skills"--found on 12.5 percent of resumes. Coming in right behind it rare "team player," "driven" and "detail-oriented," according to Mike Worthington of ResumeDoctor.com. You may think these buzz words make you sound professional, but in fact they reveal nothing about you. Worthington's advice? Excise the words from your resume.

Now that your resume has all those holes in it where "communication skills" and "detail-oriented" used to be, what do you put in there? Worthington advises
job-seekers to use language that really offers specific details that quantify your successes, such as "grew the sales department by 68 percent" or "produced the payroll for 2,000 employees."

Here's a stunner: Most recruiters spend only 10 seconds reading a resume, so you had better make yours attention-getting. Remember, the resume doesn't get you the job. What it does do is get a prospective employer interested enough to contact you for an
interview. Worthington notes that the resume is a marketing tool. It advertises who you are and what you can do.

ResumeDoctor.com recently conducted a survey of 2,500 recruiters in the United States and Canada to find out their resume pet peeves. The recruiters represented
numerous industries, including engineering, information technology, sales and marketing, executive, biotech, healthcare, administrative, finance, and more.

Top 10 resume pet peeves:

1) Burying important information in the resume
2) Gaps in employment
3) Resumes written in either the first or third person
4) Lacking an easy-to-follow summary
5) Pictures, graphics, or URL links that no recruiter will call up
6) Resumes sent in .pdf, .zip files, faxed resumes, Web page resumes, mailed resumes, and resumes not sent as a Microsoft Word attachment
7) Poor font choice or style
8) Meaningless objectives or introductions
9) Lying or providing misleading information, especially in terms of education, dates, and inflated titles
10) Employer information not included and/or not telling what industry or product the candidate worked in

Good hunting!

DAN'S NOTE: Regarding the note above about "faxed resumes", there isn't a headhunter (or HR person, for that matter) that uses FAXed resumes any more. In some cases, a FAX can get you attention with an HR person (since you're the only one doing it), but if anyone asks you to FAX your resume, chances are they are blowing you off.

The only exception is if they need a signature for something or a handwriting sample (seen it happen!)
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5:00 AM     Something Humorous To Start Your Week

I saw this "Interview with an Honest Boss" online and thought that everyone would appreciate it (unless, of course, you sound like the "honest boss").

Make sure that you have sound capability on your system and head here:

Conversation with an Honest Boss

Enjoy and have a great week!

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Friday, August 19, 2005

4:48 AM     .NET Life Sciences Application Developer

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JOB DESCRIPTION: This is an application lead role in engineering, design and
development. Requires very strong technical, interpersonal,
communication and functional skills.

Excellent knowledge of .NET (C+ or VB.NET),Object Oriented Programming

The successful candidate will also be highly motivated to learn and
eventually take a leadership role in understanding the functionality of
the system and how it supports the business. Also, the candidate should
exude confidence and have strong interpersonal and communication skills
- someone with whom the users will feel comfortable working.

This individual will support current applications and be involved with
any new developmental efforts.

This person should demonstrate a high degree of willingness to learn not only the technical aspects of IT support but most specially fluid dynamics related to DNA, Peptide, and
DNA applications.

This individual should be task-oriented, able to work
in a process-controlled environment and be a self-starter.

Responsibilities will include:
* Support and maintenance, as well as project related tasks.
* Individual will work directly with Engineering and Development on daily support issues and the identification or recommendation of system requirements that provide value to the
* Unit testing of code before submission to test and production
environments is required.
* Daily adherence to change management process
is necessary.

* BS from 4 year accredited university in Computer Science, CIS/MIS, EE,
Computer Engineering and Control Systems Engineers.
* 5+ years in development and/or support of major application systems
* Excellent verbal and written communication skills
* Proficient in SQL 2000
* 3+ years experience in developing solutions using VB.NET or C++
* "Instrument Programming Experience" and "Control Systems Experience"
* 3+ years with Visual Basic 6
* Proficiency with OOP.
* Willingness to learn business principles as they relate to DNA, RNA
and Peptides or life sciences
* Ability to understand the customer request and suggest possible
* Proficient at writing SQL queries, views and stored procedures
* Proven ability to translate business requests and requirements into
technical specifications/solutions
* Strong interpersonal communications with ability to work with various
levels of management
* Self-motivated team player with vision and initiative
* Knowledge in developing scalable solutions with VB.NET platform.
* Experience developing solutions using .NET, SQLand XML using client
server architecture.
* Basic knowleddge of statistical methods including least squares
regression and t-testing.

* Experience working with real-time control would be highly desirable.
* MCP Certified in at least one of the Microsoft Programming Technologies.
* Microsoft Certified Application Developer and/or Microsoft Certified Solution Developer and/or Microsoft Certified Database Administrator.
* Similar Certifications in other high end RDBMS product.
* Product support experience.

Send your resume to Sondra Fuller and then call her at (954)237-3141. Let her know you saw the position on HoustonITJobs.blogspot.com!

(reference / job number:)
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4:40 AM     Networking Technology QA Engineer

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EMPLOYER INFO: This company:
* Is a leading provider of enterprise network configuration and change management solutions that automate critical change, compliance, and activation processes.
* Develops solutions that enable IT professionals to centralize, automate and standardize the way they design, validate, deploy and manage network configuration changes.
* Enables organizations to drive out operational costs, increase network availability, improve security, and demonstrate regulatory compliance.
* It is the only network configuration and change management solution, based on a multi-tiered architecture that can effectively manage tens of thousands of devices across heterogeneous networks.
*No other solution automates configuration management for more enterprise networks than this product.

JOB DESCRIPTION: We are looking for software quality assurance engineer with network engineering background who is driven to design and execute testing processes to certify the quality of enterprise software applications.

* Candidate will be responsible for testing software components within the application that require detailed network engineering knowledge
* Perform thorough testing on software components and the complete system
* Provide clear, detailed problem descriptions to development to aid in solving product issues
* Execute manual test cases as part of regression testing for existing components and record test results
* Enter and close issues in defect tracking system
* Leverage knowledge of application to serve as a background technical resource for resolving customer support issues

* Candidate must have detailed knowledge of networking technologies, including Frame Relay, ATM, VPN, ISDN, and routing protocols.
* Candidate must have broad knowledge of network equipment vendors in the routing and switching, vpn, firewall, and VoIP segments. This should include most of the following vendors: Cisco, Nortel, Checkpoint, Netscreen, Foundry, Juniper, Enterasys, and 3Com.
* Candidate must have operational experience managing a network with the equipment and technologies mentioned above.
* Experience writing test plans and test cases for component, system, and performance testing
* Exceptional attention to detail and ability to recognize and correct errors
* Strong verbal and written communication skills mandatory
* Demonstrable Linux or Unix operational knowledge and skills, with shell scripting knowledge preferred
* Knowledge and understanding of network topologies, protocols, equipment, and terminology a plus

* Operational experience using a formal bug-tracking application as part of the development process, with Mercury Interactive's Test Director
* Relevant accreditations (i.e. CCNA, CCNP)
* Demonstrable knowledge of Java programming language
* BS degree in Computer Science/Engineering or technical discipline preferred.

Call Amanda Campbell at (972)407-1900 x21 for more details on this job and let her know that you found it in HoustonITJobs.blogspot.com!

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

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4:28 AM     Director of Software Quality Assurance

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RELO: On a case-by-case basis.




EMPLOYER INFO: This employer is:
* Five years in business, revenue generating, 100+ personnel.
* VC funded
* Integrated their product into a large software company's(fortune 500) base product
* Leading provider of an enterprise network product.
* Develops solutions that enable IT professionals to centralize, automate and standardize the way they design, validate, deploy and manage networks.
* Enables organizations to drive out operational costs, increase network availability, improve security, and demonstrate regulatory compliance.

JOB DESCRIPTION: The successful candidate will:
* Managing all aspects of the QA efforts for products that will run on both Linux and Solaris.
* Managing a team in the US and in India.
* Upgrading the team and directing the efforts of the team and will provide guidance where required to ensure the success of the various releases.
* Growing the team to support future releases of current products and new products as they are required.

* Prior experience as a QA Manager/Director in fast growing/ start-up or mid-size organization.
* Deep Knowledge of SQA best practices.
* Knowledge of Linux/Solaris to test/QA applications.
* Experience with CVS and Mercury Tools preferred or other automated tools.
* Provide some proof of authoring: QA Test Plans, QA Performance Test Plans, QA Integrated test planning, QA Methodology, QA Processes knowledge
* Ability to work with multiple vendor environment & distributed team (Inside & Outside United States)
* Knowledge of JUnit, XML, SOAP, Linux, Tomcat
* Experience with scripting languages, Perl, Tcl/tk Industry knowledge
* Networking domain experience a must(Experience with firewalls, switches, routers, encryption, and authentication methods. Network management tools and problem resolution equipment and software)
* Knowledge of the demarks between hardware, software, and carrier vendors and effective approaches on managing all network related issues

Call Amanda Campbell at (972)407-1900 x21 to discuss the position further and let her know you saw the job on HoustonITJobs.blogspot.com.

(reference / job number:N/A)
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Thursday, August 18, 2005

6:30 AM     How To Know What You're Worth, Part II

In "How To Know What You're Worth, Part I", I got into a little bit about researching what the market will bear for your position in your area. But, as with everything in our industry, things are more complex than that.

Part II gets into some of the soft-issues involved in getting a new job. They may only change what you're worth a little, but they'll help you get the job you want.

This time, we'll talk about what happens when the market rate for your position and what you're actually paid now collide, how your skills should be valued, and what impact certifications have these days. Strap in, you're not going to want to hear a lot of what I have to say here. But, as always, I'll give it to you straight!

I've spoken with some candidates that have been fortunate enough to have a single, great job over the last 3-5+ years. While seeing the dip in the industry / economy, they weren't affected too much, which is a great thing.

As most of you know by now, pay rates have changed since 2000. However, since most companies didn't cut salary rates for positions that have been retained, and because most of these people have received raises (with which they could buy an additional pack of gum a day!), their salaries are out sync with the market.

For instance, I spoke with a woman who worked for a school district for the last 9+ years in a lot of positions, but ended up in a Deskside Support-type position for the last 5 years, but was recently laid off.

Because of the time that she was with the school district and continual raises, she was making in the neighborhood of $60K. She "knew some people" who were making more than that, so that's what she wanted for her next job.

And, frankly, if she had continued to build her skills over those 5 years, she probably would have been able to get more that $60K. However, she didn't learn any new skills and so the market rate for her position was now around $45K at best, the same as it was 5 years ago.

She didn't want to hear the reality of her situation, and I can't blame her - a 20% pay cut IS painful! However, reality is reality and many of you are in the same situation. If a hiring manager or recruiter tells you this, try not to get upset. It is what the rate is for those skills. Speaking of which...

One of the biggest problems that job seekers (or potential job seekers) don't know how to value their skills. In addition, many IT Professionals haven't added any skills to their resume in the last 3-5 years(!) because either

a) "The company didn't pay for my training"


b) "There isn't any new technology in use where I work"

If you haven't learned any new technologies in the last 3-5 years, whatever the reason, you're cutting your own throat. Whatever the case has been in the past, it is now your responsibility to get yourself trained. Usually, that means a combination of selling your boss on funding training & finding other areas to cross-train, setting aside your own money to get training, and getting to know people in your organization who do other technology and trading informal training.

You also need to get more in-depth on a few technologies instead of learning a lot of new ones. Become a specialist in a hot technology area, even if you have to do it in a job you hate, so that you're much more marketable when it's time to look for a new job.

By the way, you have to have a minimum of 1-2 years in an area to begin to be a specialist. Anything less doesn't really qualify in a hiring manager's mind.

People used to hire based on certifications. They wanted "an MCSE" or a "CNE" or whatever. That is less so these days, which is why many of you haven't kept up your certifications or gotten new ones. The question is, what is the value of certs today?

First note that there are some exceptions to the "not hiring certs" rule. Generally, they have to do with very in-depth certifications such a the security-related CISSP or SAP-related certs. Other than that, however, it's a very different story.

These days, certifications are usually used to separate candidates, similar to education (an issue we'll talk about another time). So, can you make more money because you have an MCSE or CCNP or a CCE? Probably not. Instead, you can get the job over the other guy because you have the cert.

I would say that is worth it to be constantly doing self-study training of some sort in preparation for a cert. Slow, paced-out, but be pursuing these things. Because of the number of lapsed certs, this can really set you apart from the other candidates.

I hope this series has helped you better determine what you should ask for / what you should expect salary-wise. Post any of your comments or e-mail me to ask any questions you may have.

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Wednesday, August 17, 2005

7:33 AM     Solutions Salesperson / RFP Writer

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JOB DESCRIPTION: Employer is looking for an outside Sales Professional who can write RFP’s and can provide solutions in a Microsoft and Novell environment.

They are looking for someone with 2-5 years experience – someone who can and has written RFP’s. Also a go-getter who can sit in front of CIO’s and IT Directors, and talk business, and sell a solution.

They are a small to mid size shop and mainly deal with Novell with some Microsoft. Any one with experience or a CNE doing Sales would be great. Base + Commission. $ is to be determined. And someone who can smile and dial.

* 2-5 years experience in IT Solutions Sales
* Previous experience writing professinal IT-related RFPs
* Professional experience.
* Experience with Novell and Microsoft solutions.
* Someone willing to start from scratch and make a lot of cold calls to build a client base.

* Previous technical experience / CNE

Send your resume to Michael Finch and let him know you saw the job on HoustonITJobs.blogspot.com. Then, call Michael at (713)548-5400 to talk with him about more details.

(reference / job number:N/A)

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6:37 AM     Hyperion HFM Implementation Consultant

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LOCATION: Houston, TX (and many other locations)





JOB DESCRIPTION: This experienced professional role applies in-depth understanding offunctional and/or industry specific processes, consulting & facilitationskills, and their capability to use the specific methods & tools forBusiness Process Design as defined in the IGS Method to:

* Assist clients in defining the impact of the business strategy andbusiness design on the processes within current and future businessenvironment.
* Lead the translation of the new business design into process capabilitiesdefinition.
* Conduct the requirement definition for processes with emphasis on enabling packaged application(s).
* Facilitate selection of the packaged application(s) (e.g. Peoplesoft, i2, Siebel or WebSphere)
* Design, in cooperation with the client, new business processes based onthe related packaged application(s) & organization enablers.
* Define key business process attributes for quantitative & qualitativeperformance measurements.
* Help clients establish process management & governance system.

Provide excellent consulting services to Communications industry clients,specializing in Hyperion Financial Management Business PerformanceManagement (BPM) service offerings. The relevant business processes include:
* Financial Reporting & Consolidations
* Decision Support Analytics/Performance Management

Additional Information : Lead the translation of the the new business design into process capabilities definition. Conduct the requirement definition for processes with emphasis on enabling packaged applications.

Define key business process attributes for quantitative & qualitative performance measurements.

Design, in cooperation with the client, new business processes based on the related packaged application(s) & organization enables.

**Locations: Atlanta, GA; Boston, MA; Charlotte, NC; Chicago, IL; Cincinnati, OH; Columbus, OH; Cleveland, OH; Dallas, TX; Denver, CO; Detroit, MI; Hartford, CT; Houston, TX; Kansas City, MO; Los Angeles, CA; Miami, FL; Minneapolis, MN; New York City, NY and surrounding area; Philadelphia, PA; San Francisco, CA; Tulsa, OK; and Washington, DC

* 5- 7 years of progressive experience in corporate or consultingorganizations.
* Will be an expert in implementing Hyperion software, specifically HyperionHFM.
* Experience Leading and Implementing Hyperion HFM version 3/4. Needs hands on design, configuration and delivery experience for one or morefull lifecycle projects.
* Resource will have a solid foundation in the financial close and consolidation processes, either as a client or as a consultant.
* Resource should have experience designing/assessing and developing consolidated financial reports and processes.
* Experience leading project teams and delivering on consulting or transformation projects.
* Functional consulting experience
* Solid foundation in the financial close and consolidation processes, eitheras a client or as a consultant
* Experience designing/assessing and developing consolidated financial reportsand processes
* Experience with Hyperion Reports and Hyperion Analyzer as part of the implementation experience

* Experience implementing Hyperion Planning
* Experience migrating from Enterprise to HFM
* Financial close and accounting background(ex. CPA,consolidations accountant,etc..)
* Experience in reengineering or process improvement projects related tobudgeting, planning or forecasting processes

Send your resume to Jency Emo and then give him a call at (678)467-3820. Let him know you found it at HoustonITJobs.blogspot.com!

(reference / job number: N/A)

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Tuesday, August 16, 2005

5:42 AM     Business Requirements Analyst

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POSITION TYPE: Long Term Contract

JOB DESCRIPTION: Business Requirements Analyst for Austin, TX. This is a long term contract opportunity starting as soon asthe qualified candidate is accepted.

The Requirements Analyst performs elicitation,analysis, and documentation of requirements in supportof software development projects. The RequirementsAnalyst also provides scope management for theprojects, including review of project deliverables andcomparison to documented functional requirements,documentation and tracking of issues related tofunctional requirements, and escalation of issues thatmight change the scope of the project.

* Must be articulate with good written and verbalcommunication skills.
* Must have strong analytical skills to evaluateinformation gathered from multiple sources.
* Must have experience with requirements managementtools such as Rational ClearQuest and RequisitePro
* Must have experience with project management toolssuch as Microsoft Project.
* Must have ability to work as part of amulti-disciplinary team
* Must have ability to understand client needs anddeliver products and/or services that meet clientneeds and enhance client satisfaction.
* Must be able to interact professionally andeffectively with internal and external projectstakeholders and clients.
* Project management experience desirable in any ofthe following areas:
* Requirements analysis
* Use case methodology and approach
* Technical documentation preparation
* Experience with application testing
* Undergraduate degree required in business/business-related or MIS fields of study.
* Basic understanding of current web-based technology and software development lifecycle.
* Minimum of 4 years experience in a Business/Requirements Analyst role.

Send your resume to Ron Easky here.

(reference / job number:n/a)

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Monday, August 15, 2005

9:59 AM     Upgrade Your Resume Tip

I came across a Word document that was sent to me by someone who I presume got it from a Headhunter. In any case, the information is pretty simple, but the way that it helps you focus on the things that are important to a hiring manager.

This kind of resume-creation aid can be helpful when facing a blank page and trying to summarize your entire career into a couple of pages. It can also give you ammo to go into your annual (semi-annual, monthly, whatever) review and be able to push for a raise.

Initially, I was going to link to it or make it available or something. But, as it turns out, it was going to be a huge pain to link to it and I figured out that it really isn't that complex. So, I've reproduced it below.

Fill out this form for each major project that you participated in. This is not one per position, but one per project. Yes, it'll take a little bit of effort, but this is the way to go.

PROJECT: (list only 1 project)

OBJECTIVES - List up to 5 objectives for each project.

RESULTS - List results that apply to (a) the objectives above and/or (b) business results.

TECHNOLOGIES - List up to 5 technologies that YOU, personally, used during this project.

Once you have these filled out for every project (that you can remember) and every employer, you will have the basis for a great resume.

Or, if you're not looking, you'll have a great proof book for your annual review.

Good luck!

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8:31 AM     Senior Business Development Writer

Senior Business Development Writer
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LOCATION: Dallas / Plano, TX

RELO: Maybe (Isn't certainty nice?)




EMPLOYER INFO: The employer is a large solutions corporation with great benefits, a good sense of work-life balance and an impressive win rate. The team is close-knit, energetic and diverse. This position does have potential for additional bonus and commission.

JOB DESCRIPTION: You will be writing for a high profile proposal team in a large corporation. You will be working with the outsourcing business development team to determine response strategies to large RFPs and develop both tailored and templated proposal modules.

* You must have a minimum of 5 years of professional experience in writing for proposals or business development in outsourcing services.
* A bachelors degree is required.
* A masters in English, Journalism or similar is preferred.
* Relocation may be available for the right candidate

Send your resume to Melisson Ikerd at Aquent Partners. After sending the resume (and referencing the job number below), give her a call at (972)503-8877.

(reference / job number:12802)
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6:05 AM     How To Know What You're Worth

Here's a contentious question that every headhunter has to ask: "So, what kind of salary do you think you're worth?"

In my days as a Headhunter, I have received many different answers (from many of you, by that way!) that range from low self-esteem "I'll take ANYTHING!" to the arrogant and out-of-touch "I'll need a $50K sign-on bonus plus at least $125K to even CONSIDER any position."

As you may have guessed, both of these candidates have the same problem. Neither one knows what they are truly worth and, as a result, send out negative messages by answering without knowing.

So, as part of my "service to the community" (at least, that's what the judge called it), I thought I'd give a little perspective on how to KNOW what you're worth.

(This is Part 1 of How-many-ever-it-takes for this series)

One side-note here: Read this alone in a dark room where nobody can see you and noone knows that you're reading it. It will help you be a little more honest with yourself without losing face in front of everyone else.


The first step to knowing what you're worth is knowing what else you need, other than money. All this means is that you, if you're human, have some flexibility to what you'd accept. You need to take the time to figure out under what conditions you would take less money.

For instance, "if the job is within 5 miles of my home" is one reason some candidates that I've spoken with would take less. Some others are: "If they have a history of promoting from within", "If they'll provide training", and "If they have a great tuition re-imbursement program", "If they have great benefits". The list is potentially endless.

Of course, money is still a big piece of the pie:


Most of the candidates that I've spoken to have, at some time or another, found a salary survey to justify the salary that they are looking for. Having a salary survey under your belt is a good thing, by the way. You can find several of them here:

Salary.com Survey
PSR, an industry consulting group, IT Salary Survey
JobWeb Salary Survey
Certification Magazine IT Salary Survey
DICE.com IT Rate Survey
ComputerWorld IT Salary Survey
Microsoft Certified Professional Magazine Salary Survey

The downside to a salary survey is that every single person I've spoken with that has looked at one determined that they should be on the highest end of the salary range. Obviously, this is unrealistic because everybody can't be on the high end.

In order to be a *little* realistic, here's some tips for using salary surveys:

A) The more local it is, the better - While some of the above-listed salary surveys have regional settings, the most accurate look you're going to get is from one produced locally. For instance, JDA Professional Services, a Houston-based IT Headhunter, has a Houston-only Salary Survey here. This will be more accurate than the others for the Houston area.

B) There's a REALLY wide range - The survey is made of data from all ranges of people in that job. For instance, JDA's Salary Survey says that a UNIX/Linux Administrator can make between $45K - $91K.

Keep in mind that the guy who started doing backups on the Linux network last week is in that number. And so is the guy that has been maintaining a UNIX-based network for the last 20 years.

Also, there are different size shops in that number. There may be a "UNIX / Linux Administrator" of 1 box at a small manufacturer in there. Also, there's a guy that is responsible for 200 Unix / Linux servers in a 24/7 environment in there.

You, most likely, fall somewhere in-between. There are VERY few people that make up the top of the range. Statistically, it is unlikely that you are one of them. Unless you've got 20 years in at a huge, 24/7 shop, don't assume that you're at the top of the range.

C) Just Because You're An "Administrator" At Your Company Doesn't Mean You're An "Administrator" In The Survey - Titles vary wildly from company to company. Especially in IT, there is a fine line beween a "Systems Administrator" and a "Systems Engineer", for example.

In other words, just because your title is, "Lord High & Mighty Over All Networks" (at at 20 user shop) doesn't mean you should be looking in the "CIO / VP of IT" titles for pay. Or even "IT Manager". Whether you like it or not, you're a Network Admin on the lower end of the scale.


A lot of candidates who have been inundated with the "what the market pays" arguement from lots of headhunters will often say, "What does it matter what I make now? It's the market that matters." Well, yes and no.

Here's the thing: Most hiring managers figure you're paid about what you're worth, more or less. At least, when you were hired, you were paid about what you were worth. Your current employer may not have kept up with skills learned, time in position, or raises (which are the best arguements for why you deserve higher pay), but that was what you were worth when you were hired.

It's true (especially over that last few years) that many IT Professionals have taken less salary than they were earning before because of the "minor blip" in the industry. But, if that's true for you, you'd better be able to show where you were earning more (AFTER 9/11) to justify that statement.

Don't lie about what you're making because more and more companies are checking that information up-front. And most will check eventually. If you lied about what you were making, the company assumes you'll lie about anything to get what you want from them. This usually ends any relationship you have/had with that company.

I know it hurts, but pretty-much, the era of 30% jumps from job to job has been over for 5 years. I'm sorry. Suck it up. Learn a few new skills.

Which reminds me. In Part II, we'll talk about skills, what happens when what the market will pay and what you make now collide, as well as other important stuff in figuring out what you're worth.


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Wednesday, August 10, 2005

3:52 PM     Immediate SAP-BW Need

- - - - - - - - - - - - - -
LOCATION: Downtown, Houston, TX


POSITION TYPE: 9 Month Contract-to-Hire

EMPLOYER INFO: The employer is a multi-billion-dollar, international, Oil & Gas-related company.

JOB DESCRIPTION: Thsi company is looking to hire a Senior SAP-BW Developer with extensive BW modelling and implementation experience.

* 4 Years' Experience in SAP/BW
* Significant customization experience versus experience activating/configuring SAP Standard Business Content is a must.
* Must have multiple full lifecycle SAP BW project implementation experience. The experience must be hands on throughout the implementation. Not looking for someone who only worked on one piece of the implementation.
* Configure SAP Business Warehouse in support of requirements from the business community and projects. This includes both SAP BW objects and the R/3 based BW Extractors/User Exits.
* Experience using ABAP and formula editor to customize update rules for ODS Objects and InfoCubes.
* Experience loading data from R/3 using Process chains and from non-R/3 data sources - flat files and DB Connect.
* Assists with analysis of BW processes and analytic/reporting requirements to ensure requirements will be adequately met.

Send your resume to Lilo Burren and then give him a call at (713)977-6200 x1502

(reference / job number:806665)

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Tuesday, August 09, 2005

12:32 PM     Sales Positions @ HP

- - - - - - - - - - - - - -
LOCATION: Nationwide




JOB DESCRIPTION: This is for those of your with a sales bent or for some salespeople that you may know...

HP is looking for some Enterprise Management Software salespeople as well as Storage Salespeople. These are full-time positions and the ideal candidate should have at least 3 years of proven success in these areas.

I don't have a lot of the details, but these are live jobs that might help some of you out. Check in with Susan below for more details.

Send your resume to Susan Graye and she will send you more details.

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9:24 AM     AIX/UNIX HP Openview Administrator

AIX/UNIX HP Openview Administrator
- - - - - - - - - - - - - -
LOCATION: San Francisco, CA; Tempe, AZ; DesMoines, IA (Several openings)



POSITION TYPE: 4 month contract

APPROXIMATE PAY RATE: $50/hr - $55/hr

EMPLOYER INFO: Well-known, national, major Financial Services company.

JOB DESCRIPTION: Client is looking for a Operations System Engineer that has at least 1 to 3 years experience in HP Openview in a AIX or Unix environment. Will be responsible for network monitoring, adminstration and monitoring the alarms with in the servers. Will also be do some installing and configuring of HP Openview for network monitoring. Must have HP Openview operations experience or OVO. Strong Scripting Skills!

* Experienced working with an OpenView implementation in a large enterprise (1000+ managed nodes).
Extensive knowledge of HP OpenView Suite
· ECS (Event Correlation Services)
· Java
· Shell scripting
Platforms: Experience with UNIX Operating Systems
· HPUX 11.11
· Solaris 8
· AIX 5
Strong network skills
· Knowledge of OSI networking model
· Knowledge of TCP networking model
Understanding of relational databases
· Oracle
· Microsoft SQL Server 2000

Send your resume to Tammy Callahan and reference the job number below. After sumbitting your resume, you can give Tammy a call at (713)977-6200 x1501

(reference / job number:8066453)
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Monday, August 08, 2005

5:02 AM     A Question For The Community

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I am working through how best to maintain this Blog and its usefulness to all of you. In doing so, there are some decisions that I need to make and, since they affect you, I thought I'd put the questions to the group.

I appreciate your help in advance.

What I've been doing with the older job postings is just deleting them once I know the jobs are filled or after they've been around long enough to grow mold.


The downside to this, to be candid, is that it doesn't "spread the word" to as many IT folks as possible. As most of you probably realize already, that is because the search engines won't have as many results to index to lead people here for their Houston IT Job community.

Another downside is that the contact information for any job could be useful to our community. When, for example, a UNIX Admin sees that a job for a Java Developer has been filled, he can reasonably assume that there is a good chance that this a not a Microsoft standards shop and, hence, are probably on some version of UNIX (this is what I like to call "complementary job seeking").

He can then send his resume to the resume contact, explain (briefly!) his logic, and shoot off the resume. It can't hurt and, frankly, the novelty of something thinking things through and having a brain may impress the person on the other end. They may not have a job, but they might know someone who does or will remember him when they do have a job.


My premise (and let me know if I'm full of it here) is that the more people we have in the community, the more job leads, information on the jobs themselves, help sources, and general job-seeking help that we all have available to us.

That being said, I'd like to keep around some of the older postings so that more people can find us. Here's are my difficulties, however:

1) I can't remove postings from the main page on a case-by-case basis. Hence, the job listings that are filled can't just be pulled from the main page and kept in the archives.

2) I also can't remove items on a case-by-case basis from the "Last 10 Jobs Posted" area.

3) Without some agreed-upon, obvious, and non-cluttering way of labeling jobs that are filled, it becomes a little unwieldy.

What I would propose is to make the first line of any filled job posting some thing like "--- JOB FILLED / NO LONGER AVAILABLE ---" That way, it's obvious that there is no longer a need.


Click on the "Post a Comment" link below and tell me what you think. Do it anonymously if you're a coward, I don't mind... ;-) Just let me know and we can proceed that way.

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4:48 AM     Free CCNA / MCSE Study Guides

For all of you who are considering getting your MCSE or CCNA (or updating them), but don't have the time or money to do so, I found a deal that might help out.

ExamForce is offering free prep guides. I admit that I don't know much of anything about ExamForce, other than they are a source for certification study information. But, for free, I figured it was worth taking a look at.

To get the prep guides, you can go here to sign up. They want a bunch of information, most of it so that they can "offer you more wonderful certification opportunities", I'm sure.

Something worth noting is that, after you submit your no-doubt 100% accurate information, they e-mail you a link to download the "Cram Sheets".

Thought some of you might like to pursue this...

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Friday, August 05, 2005

7:59 AM     Windows / AD / SUN / Linux Administrator Contract

- - - - - - - - - - - - - -



POSITION TYPE: 12 Month Contract

APPROXIMATE PAY RATE: $40/hr - $50/hr

EMPLOYER INFO: The employer is one of the largest financial services companies in the world.

JOB DESCRIPTION: Contractor will work on the support and implementation of systems maintained by the Operations Support Team. Their role will be to assist Senior Administrators with these systems, and to gradually assume responsibility for the system’s maintenance. All facets of a hosted service are included in this role, such as: database, network, OS, servers, storage arrays, etc. This role includes maintaining the availability and security of existing systems, planning and implementing new systems, and evaluating changes to current and peripheral systems.

* A combination of two or more of any of the following 5 skill sets:
1. (This skillset is a MUST) In depth knowledge of Windows servers and services in an ecommerce level hosted environment - Windows 2000 - Windows 2003 - Active Directory/LDAP - Clustering - Systems automation and programming - Systems monitoring tool experience

2. In depth knowledge of the Unix operating system and enterprise level Sun platforms - Sun cluster - Veritas cluster - Veritas file management - Large storage systems - Systems automation and programming - Systems monitoring tool experience - Backup and recovery management

3. In depth networking knowledge, including routers, firewalls, switches and other enterprise level devices - Complex network security experience - Experience across multiple devices and protocols - Deployment and maintenance experience

4. In depth Internet Security knowledge - eCommerce security experience - Application lockdown experience - OS and database lockdown experience - Application and systems penetration and security assessment experience

5. In depth Internet application development experience - Java programming - Proven Internet development experience

* Automation and scripting experience is key to the long-term success of this candidate.

*Broad knowledge across multiple data center disciplines including network, application, OS, database, security, or application programming.

* Experience in an application hosting or data center environment is critical. Experience in desktop maintenance as well as desktop application support is generally not sufficient for this position.

Send your resume to Lilo Burren and don't forget the job number!

(reference / job number:8065696)

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5:58 AM     Pre-Sales HRMS Engineer

- - - - - - - - - - - - - -
LOCATION: Houston, TX, Austin, TX, and Dallas, TX




APPROXIMATE PAY RATE: $105K - $125K, 30-50K in bonuses

EMPLOYER INFO: A "Fortune 10" Software Company. Of course, anyone who checks out the The Fortune 500 (only accessible if you have a print subscription) knows, that basically means IBM (#10 in 2005).

JOB DESCRIPTION: Fortune 10 Software Company looking for top talent in Texas.

Company is looking for a Sr. level S/E to focus on National Accounts. Strong HRMS experience is a must. Along with excellent presentation skills.

Position also available in: Dallas, TX and Austin, TX

* Qualified candidate must have knowledge of Synchrony eCRM (hands-on technical proficiency)
* Additional experience required.
* Excellent presentation skills, above quota performer.

Send your resume to the search firm that is handling this position, The Datafinders Group, to the attention of Sam Ryan (the recruiter), at: sryan@datafinders.net

(reference / job number: SR102)
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Thursday, August 04, 2005

12:55 PM     Storage Engineer Contract

- - - - - - - - - - - - - -



POSITION TYPE: 3-6 Month Contract

APPROXIMATE PAY RATE: $20/hr - $30/hr

1. System Engineer will work on a server deployment. Engineer will rack, cable, configure, image and test Dell server hardware, SAN storage, networking and web technologies.

2. After setting up, configuring, testing, and checking network connectivity of servers, the worker will break servers down and prepare them to be moved. Worker may travel and set up the servers on a new site.

3. Provide expertise in the design of Wintel based architectures in support of internal applications and projects.

4. The candidate will coordinate with IT standards teams, security teams, database management teams, application development teams and hardware deployment teams to architect scalable solutions capable of supporting a global enterprise with an emphasis on high availability and recoverability.

5. Candidate will routinely apply broad knowledge of systems engineering processes and procedures to the completion of complex assignments and must be able to prioritize work as it relates to Dell's business goals and objectives.

* Bachelor's Degree or equivalent and 3-5 years of enterprise level professional experience required.

* Experience racking, cabling, configuring, imaging and testing Dell server hardware, SAN storage, networking and web technologies.

* Experience coordinating server moves is preferred.

* Required technical skills: Windows OS (NT, 2000, 2003), MSCS, BigIP, 3DNS, VMware.

* Basic experience with Oracle, MS SQL. Linux experience a plus.

* Must have excellent time management skills. Must be goal-driven/ execution driven.

* Must be flexible on work schedule, must be willing to put in extra work hours before deadlines and during crunch times.

* This position requires excellent interpersonal skills with strong written and verbal communications abilities. Excellent time management skills as well as the ability to operate independently with very limited supervision are also a must.

Send your resume to Scott Courville at scourville@tacworldwide.com and give him a call at (888)984-8043.

(reference / job number:8064001)

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4:55 AM     The Best Sources for Jobs

Today, I wanted to talk about some of the best places to find jobs.

Before I start, let me clarify: I don't mean the locations where you can find the most jobs. That's easy.

No, what I'm talking about here is where to find the "highest percentage" jobs. That is, the place where you're most likely to find jobs that:

A) Are real
B) You can talk to a real person about
C) There is less competition for

In other words, the best places to put your time and effort when job searching.

We all know about the famous, seemingly pointless major job sites out there. Monster, Yahoo / HotJobs, CareerBuilder, DICE. The "Big 4" of Technology Job searching. And, many times, a huge waste of time.

So, here are a few alternatives that not a lot of people use, but are very useful. Some require work on your part and, while it usually pays off eventually, you may or may not want to do that. That's up to you and how actively you want a new job.

The jobs that I post here on my Blog (click here for the latest postings) all are useful to you, the technology-oriented professional looking for a job in Texas. These are the criteria that 99% of the jobs listed here will have all of:

a) Located in Texas (preferrably a major metro)
b) Have the majority of job information that you need (some good detail)
c) As many as possible have salary / contract rates (around 75% at this time).
d) Have a person's name, direct e-mail address, and phone number that you can contact.

If they don't have all of these features, I usually won't post them. Exceptions are made every now and then for really good opportunities!

IMPORTANT NOTE: I take great pains (okay, maybe it's just pretty good aches) to make sure that there is a phone number with each listing. If you don't call this number and talk to the person about the job, you might as well be throwing your resume into the Internet Jobs Black Hole. CALL! It makes a huge difference.

As you probably know, the best place to find jobs is from people you know or people they know. That is, if you're looking for a job, you should let people you know in on it.

If you're unemployed, let everyone know. Tell the dry cleaner when your picking up dry cleaning. Tell the cashier when your scrounging for change at the grocery store. Tell everyone you know at your Bridge Club.

Most of them can't help you, but they probably know someone who can. So tell 'em!

NOTE FROM PERSONAL EXPERIENCE: You'd be amazed at the number of people that your friends / aquaintences / associates know who are looking for people just like you to work for them. You don't have to believe me, you just have to do it. You will get some of the most wonderful, out-of-nowhere calls you can imagine.

Frankly, I'm not a real big advocate of paying for job hunting resources. But there are a precious few that are worth it. IF you're the right kind of candidate, Technology Ladder is one of them.

Of course, there's that big "IF..." Basically, "The Ladders" is a job listing service for all sorts of jobs (Sales, Technology, Finance, Marketing, etc.) that are over $100K in potential salary. You subscribe to your specialty (in this case, Technology Ladder) and they send you a weekly update of new jobs every Monday.

Up until recently, these were jobs that you could find on your own if you knew where to look (corporate career pages, etc.) other than it would take a ton of time to go through them all. Recently, however, they've had more and more companies and recruiters advertising directly with them. And many of these jobs aren't posted somewhere else.

It's not super-cheap, but at $100 for 6 months ($18 a month) or $150 for a year ($13 a month), it's also not bad. You can sign up for a free trial (they only show a few positions with all of the details) - but I'm convinced they pull your geography and don't list any free jobs in your area.

The next best thing to having high-ranking friends is an online community of people connected to those high-rankers. LinkedIn, in my humble opinion, does this the best. They even have a Job Search capability where people who are in your network can list available jobs.

The only trick is that you need to be invited in order to join. So, if you want an invitation, click here to e-mail me and I'll invite you. I've got a pretty large network there that you can tap into for jobs.

In fact, I have the largest network of anyone in Houston and San Antonio. I'm still behind in the Dallas and Austin runnings, but I'm working on it! And everyone that goes into my network, if you're connected to me, you can get an introduction to. Pretty cool, huh?

First of all, I know what you're thinking: "It's easy for an (ex) Headhunter to say 'Cold Calling', but I freeze up / can't do it / am uncomfortable with it!"

Here's a little secret: Nobody likes to Cold Call. And that's exactly why YOU should. In other words, there's not a lot of competition.

I'm not going to give a full course on Cold Calling for Jobs here, but these are the basics:

  • Make a list of technology managers in town - This could come from people you know, the Houston Business Journal, searches for "Houston" in trade magazines, or any number of places.

  • Call the main number at their company and ask for them - No big deal here. Main numbers are in phone books or online versions, such as SmartPages for SBC/AT&T.

  • Talk to them - This, of course, is the hard part. Usually, you'll be leaving voice mail, but in any case you need to know what to say. Practice (before calling) a short version of who you are and why you're calling. I GUARANTEE that most Technology Managers A)Are impressed by you calling and B)Will try to help, even if they don't have any open positions (ie, "I heard that they're looking over at JP Morgan Chase... you might call Jim over there...")

As to what you say, specifically, just try a very short version of your situation (we tech guys tend to either not talk at all or talk WAY too much). Something like, "Mr. Frankeloo, (hint: don't laugh when you say funny names - it'll kill the deal!) my name is Jimmy Jones and I'm a technology professional who is currently looking for a job. My last employer went bankrupt / had a massive layoff (whatever is the case - usually those two handle 90% of it) and so I'm looking for a new home. My specialty is SAN Management (or whatever - but you must have some specialty), are you the right IT Guy / King / God (take your pick - a little humor never hurts) to talk with about this?"

You'll be amazed at the response to this. JUST TRY IT!

If you're technical, you probably already know about CraigsList. But, you probably haven't looked there for jobs.

You should!

The nice thing about CraigsList is that it's a scaled down community that is specific to your city. So the jobs posted there (admittedly, there aren't a ton, but several new ones a day isn't bad) are usually posted by people, not HR Departments.

The (usual) result is that you at least get a response from a real, live human being if you send in your resume. Most of these companies are going to be smaller, but they've got IT jobs!

Find your city of interest below:

CraigsList Houston
CraigsList Dallas
CraigsList Austin
CraigsList San Antonio

These are just a few of the lesser utilized sources for jobs out there. There are some of the best around, but by no means the only ones. E-Mail me with your favorites and I'll keep posting them as I get them.


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Wednesday, August 03, 2005

5:55 AM     How / What To Post + "Team Member" FAQ

For those of you that don't know, anyone that is a "team member" can post to this Blog. I know that presents a lot of questions, but let me try to answer the basics:

1) What is a "team member"? Basically, anyone that has received an invitation is a "Team Member". If you haven't received an invitation, AND you've been employed in a technical / management IT position within the last year or so, just shoot me an e-mail at danielrsweet@gmail.com and I'll get you an invite.

2) What should we post? This is an excellent question. I'm glad you asked. While this Blog started as a way for me to publish my own positions when I was doing Headhunting, it has expanded periodically to be more than that. I have started to scrounge positions from other sources and post 'em here so that you folks will know where to find an IT job.

However, you can also help out your Houston IT Brethren by posting information for jobs that you know about and aren't quite the right thing for you (doesn't pay enough, not the right skillset, you don't like the company, etc.) Think of this as a big Houston-based job exchange.

Also, any of you that are a member of any of the "Between Jobs Ministries" or similar support groups can post whatever jobs they've got posted / available.

3) How do we post? This is the easy part. Just go to Blogger.com and sign in (if you're not automatically signed in). You'll see a listing of this and any other Blogs you're a "team member" on. Just click the "New Post" button and you're on your way.

When you post, you'll see the basic template that I use for the jobs that I find. Whenever possible, please keep the information in this format, just for the ease of use / viewing.

If you only have limited information, just put in the part that you know. For instance, if you put, "I hear that there's a job at JP Morgan Chase for a Unix Admin for SUN equipment. Does anyone know anything about that?", that'd be fine. Then your colleages here can post comments with additional information.

4) Will you edit / change / delete our posts? As far as editing and changing them, possibly. If I think a little clarification is needed or some editing to make sense of things, yes I will.

As far as deleting goes, I will delete anything SPAMmy, offensive (and I'm pretty hard to offend), patently commercial, or criminal.

That's about it! I just wanted to make sure that you guys / gals knew that this was a community effort that you're welcome and encouraged to participate in.

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