June Writing Roundup

I’m a little slow coming out with this roundup for June.  It was a good month.  I’ve been quite busy finishing a couple of contracts and putting together a new application.


The application is LinkedIn Tip of the Day.  Each day I post to LinkedIn a Tip to help you improve your LinkedIn Profile.  I’ve already begun testing.  You can see the Tips by searching for the hashtag #linkedintipoftheday.  I was not totally satisfied with the initial results.  I thought that the writing style I used was not quite right, maybe too stern, too professorial.  Too much like a Linux man page. Continue reading “June Writing Roundup”

Using LinkedIn Notifications

One of the advantages LinkedIn has over other social media is that your connections share the same core interests as you.  That’s probably why you connected with them in the first place, right?  After all, they are your network.  The best advice is to always be nurturing and developing your network because that is where your best opportunities will come from.

linkedin-notificationsLinkedIn helps by softly nagging you to keep in touch using the Notifications feature.

Notifications advise you of many events that are good excuses to say hello and updates these connections, people you might not speak with frequently, but with whom you want to keep in good contact.

But what should you do with those notifications? Continue reading “Using LinkedIn Notifications”

LinkedIn Update – Weekly Search Appearances

It seems LinkedIn recently updated their user interface. You can see the change by clicking the “me” icon, then select “view Profile” to view your own profile. Scroll down below your photo, headline, and summary and there is a short block showing the count of “Who’s viewed your profile”, “Views of your post in the feed”, and the new count “Weekly search appearances”. This is the number of times your profile appeared in searches during the previous calendar week.weekly-search-appearances Continue reading “LinkedIn Update – Weekly Search Appearances”

How to be Seen in Search

I write frequently about the LinkedIn platform and how it can help boost and build your career.  Today I’m talking about the Experience section of your LinkedIn Profile.

linkedin-profile-experienceThe Experience section of your LinkedIn profile is where you describe your work history, listing all or as many jobs as you think necessary.  In this regard, it is the section most similar to a resume or CV.  When you get the Experience section right, your LinkedIn Profile will consistently appear in search results.

To better understand this section of the LinkedIn Profile and to help you craft yours appropriately, we need to do the numbers.  The Experience section has 9 components, 4 objectives, and 1 writing exercise.  Let’s look at those numbers one-by-one. Continue reading “How to be Seen in Search”

Use Excel for Least Cost Routing

Excel is such a powerful tool because there are so many ways to use it in Telecoms.  Bangkok Beach Telecom offers a Least Cost Routing (LCR) Application for Voice.  The application is written in Perl, uses a MySQL database, and is light enough to run on just about any hardware and Operating System.  The application has achieved blended cost/MOU less $0.004.  That’s quite a bit lower than half a cent per Minute of Use.

The application performs several functions:

  • It accepts costed routes from multiple Long Distance Service Providers,
  • compares the cost route-by-route,
  • identifies the cheapest IXC for each route,
  • produces a file of the new switch translations,
  • and, using an Operator-provided historical call distribution, estimates the expected savings using the new routes.

I wanted an easy way for about anyone to check what would be the impact of running the LCR Application in their situation.  Microsoft Excel is capable of doing this, although it won’t easily generate a file of switch translations.  Only the route-by-route cost comparison and blended cost estimate are produced. Continue reading “Use Excel for Least Cost Routing”

Is Network Security Impossible?

Kyle A. suggested I write an article about Cyber Security and Telecoms.  It is certainly a timely request.  The last several weeks have seen the WannaCry ransomware affecting innumerable computers.  Estimates vary, but it seems probable that more than 100,000 computers around the world were affected.

Beyond this specific attack, there are no reliable estimates of the number of attacks or victims of cyber attacks.  Attackers don’t seem to be advertising their successes.  Often victims, especially companies, are reluctant to admit to being hacked or attacked.  The potential for negative publicity deters them. This reticence may benefit the attacker.

If a better understanding of the magnitude of the problem was widely known, a greater will to confront it and solve it might exist.  It is clear that cyber attacks represent an uncontrolled risk.  One that, anecdotally, seems to be growing. This risk is to everyone, not simply specific groups of users. It is this uncontrolled risk that must be addressed. Continue reading “Is Network Security Impossible?”

13 Traits of Lousy Corporate Culture

lousy-culture
Today’s post is a bit, how to say it?  Tongue in cheek?  Bittersweet?  Ironic?
A short list of traits found in a company, an entirely fictitious company I assure you, having a lousy corporate culture.  If this list is familiar, it surely is time to update your LinkedIn Profile! Continue reading “13 Traits of Lousy Corporate Culture”

Cool is an Expensive Word for Engineers

Not long ago I made a video about Excel-based reporting. You can read it or just watch the video. The best part, the sexy “Only 3-steps required to update the dashboard”, starts at 5:00, and the updated report is shown at 06:15.  This is a data-rich, comprehensive report, I call it a Dashboard, and once the whole scope is understood, I feel no hesitation to call it cool!how-cool-is-that

Cool is an expensive word for Engineers. A thing must be quite special for an Engineer to call it cool. Automated Excel reporting is one of them. It was many years ago when

I began to appreciate the power of Excel for Telecoms. The first time I used Microsoft Excel was on a Mac in 1989. My first computing experiences had been using UNIX Computers, and once I had even been forced to use a Compaq luggable running CP/M. But I had never before used a Mac. Continue reading “Cool is an Expensive Word for Engineers”

Don’t Apply for That Job, Yet

I’ve recently been working with a couple of very distraught folks.  People who were looking for jobs. Desperately looking.  “What the Hell am I gonna do?” looking.  Guys with babies to feed, wives to comfort, mortgages to pay for, parents needing care.  Not having a job can be worse than terrifying.  It can feel suffocating, humiliating, life-threatening, even.  The lack of control, the uncertainty, the expectations, all put a huge burden on your soul.dont-apply-for-job

Most people in Telecoms have been “between jobs” at one time or another.  It is one of the facts of life.  It is the way things are.  It’s a rough patch for sure, but you must have faith that it will pass.  As much pressure as you feel, as much stress as you are under, as bleak as things seem now, try to maintain perspective.   The desperateness of your situation and the job you seek are not the same thing.  Allowing your desperation to show in a job application can hurt your chances.

Recruiters and hiring managers will respond to people that can be hired.  You’ll get your next job because you are competent, confident and likable.  If you show the desperation you feel it will detract from your confidence and make you seem, well, desperate.  That won’t be good.  Here is what you should do instead. Continue reading “Don’t Apply for That Job, Yet”

My Telecoms Story

my_telecom_storyPeople frequently ask me about my background in Telecoms. How did I get started, where have I been, what have I done.  I decided to write my story as a blog post so that people could have a place to find it, and a single text which I might refine and improve over time.  If you want to add your own tales, please put them into the comments.

Welcome to Telecoms

My Telecoms story began when I moved to California in 1979. I needed a job and it I thought my incomplete studies as an Electrical Engineer might qualify me for a job with the telephone company. I applied and was fortunate to quickly be offered a position, one of the very best technical roles the phone company had. Continue reading “My Telecoms Story”