.NET Software Developer

Thursday, April 30, 2009 · 0 comments

.NET Software Developer – Direct Hire

****Must have 4+ plus years experience developing with .NET in a professional environment.****

Description: (This is a high exposure position and plays an extremely important role in current and future business.)

The Software Developer role is to define, develop, test, analyze, and maintain NEW and existing software applications in support of the achievement of business requirements. This includes writing, coding, testing, and analyzing software programs and applications. The Software Developer will also design, document, and modify software specifications throughout the production life cycle.



· Collaborate with (internal and contract) developers, programmers, and designers in conceptualizing and development of new software programs and applications.

· Assist in the definition, development, and documentation of software’s business requirements, objectives, deliverables, and specifications on a project-by-project basis in collaboration with internal users and departments.

· Assist in defining software development project plans, including scoping, scheduling, and implementation.

· Research, identify, analyze, and fulfill requirements of all internal and external program users.

Acquisition & Deployment

· Conduct research on emerging application development software products, languages, and standards in support of procurement and development efforts.

· Liaise with vendors for efficient implementation of new software products or systems and for resolution of any adaptation issues.

· Recommend, schedule, and perform software improvements and upgrades.

Operational Management

· Liaise with network administrators, systems analysts, and software engineers to assist in resolving problems with software products or company software systems.

· Consistently write, translate, and code software programs and applications according to specifications.

· Write programming scripts to enhance functionality and/or performance of company applications as necessary.

· Design, run and monitor software performance tests on new and existing programs for the purposes of correcting errors, isolating areas for improvement, and general debugging.

· Administer critical analysis of test results and deliver solutions to problem areas.

· Generate statistics and write reports for management and/or team members on the status of the programming process.

· Train end users to operate new or modified programs.


****Must have 4+ years experience developing with .NET in a professional environment.****

Knowledge & Experience

· Proficiency in a variety of programming languages, including Visual Basic.NET (Visual Studio 3.5, ASP.NET, ADO.NET, WCF), HTML, XML, and JavaScript.

· Must have experience and knowledge (and prove it) of full project life cycle.

· Understanding of coding methods, best practices, and security best practices.

· Relational database and operating systems experience with Microsoft SQL 2005.

· Knowledge of current Internet technologies, including web browsers, FTP, SMTP, and PGP.

· Prior experience interviewing end-users for insight on functionality, interface, problems, and/or usability issues.

· Hands-on experience developing test cases and test plans.

· Knowledge of applicable data privacy practices and laws.

Personal Attributes

· Highly self motivated and directed. – (MUST)

· Ability to conduct research into software-related issues and products.

· Proven analytical and problem-solving abilities.

· Ability to work both independently and in a team-oriented, collaborative environment.

Formal Education & Certification

· Bachelor’s Degree (B.A.) or (B.S.) from four-year college or university; or two to three years related experience and/or training,

To see this posting on our website click here

Developers connecting in the Twin Cities

Sunday, April 26, 2009 · 0 comments


The Twin Cities Metro area has one of the more vibrant and active Developer communities in the US. Considering our numbers are small, we make up for it by being extremely active at conferences, user groups and on-line. I guess it’s a Minnesota “nice” thing.

I try to list as many events and open training sessions as I can. In continuing with that thread I give you this.

Jeff Brand’s podcast New Spaghetti Code is a must listen. If you remember I referred this podcast back in my post on the top 10 podcasts for developers. About a month ago Jeff did a podcast on the developer community and the abundance of events that propagate the Twin Cities. Jeff and his guests sift through a few good conferences (some now past – see what you missed and what is coming) and explain some of the benefits of networking and getting engaged in your developer community. They also mention the local TechMasters meetings held at New Horizons. Check it out. To hear the podcast click here.

BTW – Jeff is a fantastic speaker. If you ever get a chance see him – take it. 

MinneDemo – 5/7/09

Thursday, April 23, 2009 · 0 comments

MinneDemo This happened fast. The next MinneDemo (in Minneapolis) is May 7, 2009. Again great platform to meet people (building your network) and great for learning about some new products.  Register here - https://minnedemo.org/


Thursday, May 7th

Get ready for another MinneDemo!

MinneDemo is the Twin Cities’ premier technology demo and networking event. Come for the demos, stay for the beer and conversation. We will be back at Intermedia Arts, a cool art/performance space in Uptown’s Lyn-Lake neighborhood.

Date: Thursday, May 7th

Time: Demos start at 7pm

Location: Intermedia Arts 2822 Lyndale Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55408 (map)

Attendees: All are welcome! Please RSVP.

Free Beer & Soda

Since MinneDemo is not at a bar this time, we’re brining in kegs, and it’s all free. Be sure to tip your bartenders. If you need to go all night, there’s tons of bars in the area.

The free drinks come courtesy of our sponsors:

Split Rock Partners
livefront design

New Counsel

ipHouseMagnet 360






We are honored to be presenting this event with our venue partner, Intermedia Arts.

Interested in sponsoring a future MinneDemo? Contact Ben Edwards.

Demo Schedule

We will have 10 7-minute demos. The rules are simple: 7 minutes. Real working software. NO POWERPOINT! Please contact Luke Francl if you are interested in presenting.

  1. ShortJournal — an open source developer journal with a REST API (Zach Johnson)
  2. Skimmer — a lifestreaming app created by Fallon and Sierra Bravo that brings together your Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, and YouTube streams (Chris Wiggins of Fallon and Chris Black of Sierra Bravo)
  3. Zeplay — a kick-ass multi-channel HD instant replay video server for live sports events (John Reilly)
  4. tinyEscrow — Source code escrow for programmers, not for lawyers. (Corey Thompson)
  5. Extendr — one link to rule all links. (Joseph Rueter)

INTERMISSION (30 minutes)

  1. SightWare and SmartWatch — SightWare is an RFID inventory system that integrates with the SmartWatch web application to provide real-time inventory management (Harley Feldman)
  2. Cloudquad — a web-based student information system designed to streamline the daily workflow of school administrators, faculty, parents, and students while connecting the school community through basic tools for social interaction. (Kevin Whinnery)
  3. Chartypes — an online system for plot/character diagramming, for story writers. (Darcy Murphy)
  4. Pen Manufactory — design your own pen using an online CAD program, then have as many as you want custom manufactured using computer controlled milling equipment. (Joseph Hoover)

Additionally, Jennifer Sly of Youth Assets will introduce us to BarCamp Swaziland and talk about how you can help out.

Stay in Touch!

Please join our announce-only mailing list to keep up with the latest MinneDemo and MinneBar events news.

We also have a discussion list for general Twin Cities-area tech event discussion.


Email Ben Edwards or Luke Francl for sponsorship opportunities, problems with this site, or any other MinneDemo questions.

The Eight Levels of Programmers


I have been following posts from Jeff Atwood’s blog (Coding Horror) for a while now, but just realized I’ve not connected him to my Blog. He has a great blog, informative and very useful. I think this post has a lot of relevance to what I advocate. That being - “taking action to become a better developer”

As you read this I assume you are in the “Unknown Programmer” category and you are just getting started. You have things to prove and code to write. Hopefully you are not in the “Bad Programmer” category . My goals is to get you into “Working Programmer” or even “Famous Programmer.” Worry about the higher levels when you get there.

Note: In the “Average Programmer” category Mr. Atwood points out that “You can be very successful if you have business and people skills.” If you have been reading my blog you know what I’m referring to, and here.

I wish there was more explanation as to what skills get you up this ladder, but I still think this is a good hierarchical look at the programmers.


The following is from (Coding Horror) 4/3/09. ____________________________________________________________________

Have you ever gotten that classic job interview question, "where do you see yourself in five years?" When asked, I'm always mentally transported back to a certain Twisted Sister video from 1984.

I want you to tell me -- no, better yet, stand up and tell the class --













what do you wanna do with your life?

You want to rock, naturally! Or at least be a rockstar programmer. It's not a question that typically gets a serious answer -- sort of like that other old groan-inducing interview chestnut, "what's your greatest weakness?" It's that you sometimes rock too hard, right? Innocent bystanders could get hurt.

But I think this is a different and more serious class of question, one that deserves real consideration. Not for the interviewer's benefit, but for your own benefit.

The "where do you see yourself in five years" question is sort of glib, and most people have a pat answer they give to interviewers. But it does raise some deeper concerns: what is the potential career path for a software developer? Sure, we do this stuff because we love it, and we're very fortunate in that regard. But will you be sitting in front of your computer programming when you're 50? When you're 60? What is the best possible career outcome for a programmer who aspires to be.. well, a programmer?

What if I told you, with tongue firmly planted in cheek, that there were Eight Levels of Programmers?

  1. Dead Programmer

    This is the highest level. Your code has survived and transcended your death. You are a part of the permanent historical record of computing. Other programmers study your work and writing. You may have won a Turing Award, or written influential papers, or invented one or more pieces of fundamental technology that have affected the course of programming as we know it. You don't just have a wikipedia entry -- there are entire websites dedicated to studying your life and work.

    Very few programmers ever achieve this level in their own lifetimes.

    Examples: Dijkstra, Knuth, Kay

  2. Successful Programmer

    Programmers who are both well known and have created entire businesses -- perhaps even whole industries -- around their code. These programmers have given themselves the real freedom zero: the freedom to decide for themselves what they want to work on. And to share that freedom with their fellow programmers.

    This is the level to which most programmers should aspire. Getting to this level often depends more on business skills than programming.

    Examples: Gates, Carmack, DHH

  3. Famous Programmer

    This is also a good place to be, but not unless you also have a day job.

    You're famous in programming circles. But being famous doesn't necessarily mean you can turn a profit and support yourself. Famous is good, but successful is better. You probably work for a large, well known technology company, an influential small company, or you're a part of a modest startup team. Either way, other programmers have heard of you, and you're having a positive impact on the field.

  4. Working Programmer

    You have a successful career as a software developer. Your skills are always in demand and you never have to look very long or hard to find a great job. Your peers respect you. Every company you work with is improved and enriched in some way by your presence.

    But where do you go from there?

  5. Average Programmer

    At this level you are a good enough programmer to realize that you're not a great programmer. And you might never be.

    Talent often has little do do with success. You can be very successful if you have business and people skills. If you are an average programmer but manage to make a living at it then you are talented, just not necessarily at coding.

    Don't knock the value of self-awareness. It's more rare than you realize. There's nothing wrong with lacking talent. Be bold. Figure out what you're good at, and pursue it. Aggressively.

  6. Amateur Programmer

    An amateur programmer loves to code, and it shows: they might be a promising student or intern, or perhaps they're contributing to open source projects, or building interesting "just for fun" applications or websites in their spare time. Their code and ideas show promise and enthusiasm.

    Being an amateur is a good thing; from this level one can rapidly rise to become a working programmer.

  7. Unknown Programmer

    The proverbial typical programmer. Joe Coder. Competent (usually) but unremarkable. Probably works for a large, anonymous MegaCorp. It's just a job, not their entire life. Nothing wrong with that, either.

  8. Bad Programmer

    People who somehow fell into the programmer role without an iota of skill or ability. Everything they touch turns into pain and suffering for their fellow programmers -- with the possible exception of other Bad Programmers, who lack even the rudimentary skill required to tell that they're working with another Bad Programmer.

    Which is, perhaps, the hallmark of all Bad Programmers. These people have no business writing code of any kind -- but they do, anyway.

  9. These levels aren't entirely serious. Not every programmer aspires to the same things in their career. But it's illuminating to consider what a programmer could accomplish in ten years, twenty years, or thirty years -- perhaps even a lifetime. Which notable programmers do you admire the most? What did they accomplish to earn your admiration?

In short, what do you wanna do with your life?

Job Search Toolkit – 4/21/09 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM CDT

Tuesday, April 21, 2009 · 0 comments

My good friend Paul DeBettignies offers 60 min on-line seminars for those of you are in the job hunt. Career Generic.  Follow this link to register for today's Webinar now. Details below.

BTW he also offers:

From Paul’s https://www.mnheadhunter.com/ blog.

Free Online Seminar: Job Search Toolkit - Be Your Own Headhunter

Tuesday, April 21, 2009 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM CDT

Webinar Registration

If you have been relying on major job boards, applying to jobs through hr@xyz.com and resume@xyz.com or not getting the response you are hoping for then this seminar is for you.
In this 60 minute presentation (with Q&A to follow) you will learn:
- To plan your job search
- How to market yourself
- Ways to ask for referrals and advice
- Where to find the hidden job market
- Where to research companies
- How to find contact names and email addresses
- Tips on using email and phone for contacting and follow up
Throughout the presentation questions are requested.
All attendees will receive presentation slides.

Twitter user? Tweet during the presentation #BYOH

For 11 years Paul DeBettignies has partnered with companies to locate and find talent. He uses his experience of seeing the process from the inside and teach job search techniques to job seekers of all ages and skill sets in groups of 20-200 and now online.
Paul is frequently contacted by Minneapolis and St. Paul reporters for quotes and background information on topics relating to recruiting and job search with recent stories in the Minneapolis StarTribune and St. Paul Pioneer Press and on WCCO TV (local CBC affiliate) and KARE11 (local NBC affiliate).

GoToWebinar : Webinars & Web Events Made Easy. Award-Winning Web Casting & Online Seminar Hosting Software

Updating your Tech Skills…what employers want

Friday, April 17, 2009 · 0 comments

internet-skills So what are you doing to update your tech skills? A lot of what I talk about on this site is dedicated to increasing your non-Tech skills for the betterment of your career. Obviously both technical skills and soft skills are important. During these “Economic Times” it’s crucial to learn new tools and expand your tech skills where you are lacking. Get ready because when the economy bounces back there will be a higher demand for a wide range of skills.

In addition to giving you a look at what employers want, I hoped to give some resources for tools/skills learning and training. In the course of working on this post, I stumbled across a developer training company offering some great deals in a wide range of developer training topics and I wanted to get this out now.  Thus, this will be a two part post.

If you want to get started now

If you are developer and interested in learning more about Microsoft development tools(Visual Studio .NET, Silverlight 2.0, SharPoint, ASP.NET 3 and certification…and on and on) take a look at www.AppDev.com. BTW – These are extremely important tools in the Twin Cities market. Still in high demand, but you need some experience. They offer training (nation wide) on CD, DVD and on-line learning formats. The reason I post this now is they have a special offer running this month, buy 1 get 1 free and a 75+ title full library offering at a reduced rate. Check it out and take advantage while it’s here.


I’ll cover all the topics in-depth later, but here is a look my clients’ #1 request..

1. Solid understanding and experience in Object Oriented programming.

  • Do you fully understand the core principals of OO programming? I mean do you really get “Objects” and understand Inheritance, Abstraction, Encapsulation, Polymorphism. (not that they ask that on a test. – well I’ve seen it once or twice)
  • Have you developed in C++, C# or JAVA ….Or less sought after, but still important Python or Ruby? You were most likely taught a little C++ or Java in college , have you continued your education? What have you created?
  • Nothing against PHP (great/easy scripting language) and some other languages with OO features, but that’s not really OO programming.

To really learn and experience these technologies you must apply your skills. There are many small companies (also municipalities, places of worship, and nonprofit organizations) out there in dire need of web / software solutions. Most of my candidates have some side project. It’s part of being a developer. Offer your services (free if you have to) just to get experience on a project. It’s better than being out of a job and letting your skills go to waste.

Here’s list of other technical skills/experience my clients look for. I’ll cover these on the next post. I’ll also list more training/learning sources.

  • Backend VS Frontend developer
  • Web Based services
  • Understanding of Quality Assurance
  • XML
  • Win and Web Forms
  • SQL Database

BTW – In full disclosure I worked at AppDev  5+ years ago. They did Not ask me to promote this latest offer, nor am I getting any compensation for this mention. I just noticed it doing research for this post.  If you have any questions contact me at tavis@techcareertips.com.

PHP Developer – Backend Experience

Wednesday, April 15, 2009 · 0 comments

php_1 Web Developer - PHP With backend Experience
We are looking for a PHP Web Developer that can work well in a team, building web-based and back office systems. We need someone that is a good problem solver, a team player, quick learner and has a big picture point of view.


  • LAMP stack Web development (PHP)
  • Will integrate with internal and 3rd party systems
  • Implement solutions as a team or individually


  • The perfect candidate will have a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science or something related
  • Must have 2+ years professional experience in web-based systems
  • Fluency in PHP, Perl, or Python. PHP preferred
  • Must have expert knowledge of (X)HTML, CSS and JavaScript
  • Solid understanding of Object Oriented programming methodologies
  • Experience with SQL (MySQL, Oracle, Postgres, MSSQL)
  • Experience with Web Services and XML
  • Familiarity with Linux/Unit/BSD
  • Must have professional experience with version control systems

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Professional experience with Zend Framework, or similar
  • Experience with J2EE, JSP and Structs
  • Experience with JavaScript libraries - JQuery
  • Experience with JUnit, PHPUnit, etc.
  • Any Certification 

Our client offers competitive compensation and a great benefits package including:

  • Paid time off
  • medical
  • dental and vision

In addition, they work to maintain the best possible environment for their
employees. They strive for their employee to grow with the company and provide
a collaborative/creative environment where each person truly feels encouraged to
contribute to processes, planning, decisions, and culture.
If you are a fit for this opportunity please respond to:

Tavis Hudson

Technical Resources


Top Ten Skills for Developers – sharpen Soft Skills

Wednesday, April 8, 2009 · 1 comments

Gold top 10 winner Another Great Article from James Justin for TechRepublic on “10 skills developers will need in the next five years.” There are the obvious references to tools and web technologies, but we are going to focus on the Soft Skills.







For reference here is the full list:

  1. One of the “Big Three” (.NET, Java, PHP)
  2. Rich Internet Applications (RIA’s)
  3. Web development
  4. Web services
  5. Soft Skills
  6. One dynamic and/or functional programming language
  7. Agile methodologies
  8. Domain knowledge
  9. Development “hygiene”
  10. Mobile development

Personally I would have put Soft Skills higher on the list. Only because most of you are already thinking about the first 3 or 4 on the list. Based on my examination of the industry, you can do more for your career by increasing your Soft Skills quotient, than by increasing your knowledge of .NET. This assumes you have knowledge of one of the “Big Three.”

So lets take a look at Soft Skills

Soft skills
One trend that has been going for quite some time is the increasing visibility of IT within and outside the enterprise. Developers are being brought into more and more non-development meetings and processes to provide feedback. For example, the CFO can’t change the accounting rules without working with IT to update the systems. And an operations manager can’t change a call center process without IT updating the CRM workflow. Likewise, customers often need to work directly with the development teams to make sure that their needs are met. Will every developer need to go to Toastmasters or study How to Win Friends and Influence People? No. But the developers who do will be much more valuable to their employers—and highly sought after in the job market.

Mr. Justin focuses on one single tread in Soft Skills, communicating with non-technical business managers = visibility. Very important: Communication ranks #3 (based on my research) on the soft skills list of what Dev Team Managers are looking for in their employees. BTW- #1 is Passion and #2 is understanding the Big Picture. Obviously good visibility is key to your career.

So should you go out and join Toastmasters? Well if that is your thing then go for it. If anything it’s a great networking opportunity and that alone will sharpen your Verbal communication and presentation skills, not to mention build your network.  BTW There is a technical related Toastmasters in the Twin Cities area - https://www.techmasters-tc.com/ – Now you have no excuse.

I think for most developers that's too big of a step. So try this:

  • Be proactive - push yourself to meet face to face with your users and business managers. 
  • Before meeting, prepare what you are going to say and think about it in plain English terms.
  • Write out your list of questions
  • Think about it from their point of view. Do you know their point of view?
    • Do you know the “Problem” – see #8 Domain knowledge in the “10 skills…” article
    • Do you know the “Users Pain” the “Managers Goals.”
    • Do you know the “Big Picture.”
    See how this all fits together. Increasing your communication skills has a lot to do with understanding your audience. There is no magic here. Like writing the perfect line of code it takes time and practice. It will come, just focus your efforts.

Additional Note: Not directly related, but on a similar thread, I suggest you look at a great blog www.softwarebyrob.com. Rob points out some very important Rules when working with a client that touch on communication.  See Why Expectations Can Kill You and What You Can Do About It

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About this blog

I'm not a blogger. So consume at your own risk.
Since 1995 I've been working with software developers helping them increase their value through technical training and connecting them to great employers. This blog is dedicated to those technical professionals that want to get the most of out their career. I'll answer questions I get daily, common misconceptions and provide direction, but it's up to you to take action.
Please ask questions and leave comments. I can offer so much more with your interaction.

I invite you to connect with me via email, Twitter or LinkedIn.
Email: tavis@techcareertips.com
Twitter: @Tavisd
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