Wednesday, September 09, 2009
Horizontal Scroll Bars and Favorites Folders in Outlook
Yesterday, I learned about a little detail in Outlook that I wasn't previously aware of. You may be familiar with this already, but I thought I'd share it anyway:
There are 2 things I do not like all that much about recent versions of Outlook (up to 2010): 1) the tree of mail items does not have a horizontal scroll bar for some reason, and 2) I never use the favorites, but can't get rid of them.
As it turns out, there is a workaround for both issues, and by some odd coincidence, they are the same workaround. If you switch to the "Folder List" view (which shows everything and not just the mail items), you get your horizontal scroll bar (no idea why it is there in one view but not the other, but this seems to have been consistent for the last few versions) and the Favorites node is not there taking up space if you don't use it.
So that's cool. Not quite as nice as having actual options to turn these things on and off (and what's up with the horizontal scroll bar anyway?!?) but it still gets me where I want to be.
Posted @ 12:14 AM by Egger, Markus (email@example.com)
Monday, September 07, 2009
Developer/Contractor Work and Training Opportunity at EPS/CODE
We have another interesting opportunity for developers at EPS Software and CODE Magazine/ CODE Consulting/ CODE Staffing: Basically, we offer the opportunity to become part of EPS/CODE as either contractors or possibly (later?) employees and pick up some (or a lot of?) work during the current tough economic climate. We are offering the opportunity to align yourself with EPS/CODE and get a lot of benefits for free out of this. If you are interested, you get some free training and mentoring, regardless of whether you actually end up doing work for us. So right there might be an interesting benefit for everyone.
CODE Consulting and CODE Staffing
You may have heard of this by now: We are in the process of re-booting our consulting division at EPS. The core of EPS has always been our consulting division (with custom software, mentoring, staffing, and all that…), and we have always tried to be at the forefront of modern software development, both in the technologies as well as the process we are using. To remain at the leading edge, one has to re-think one’s approach every so often, and that is what we are in the process of right now. We are doing some hard thinking about “how should software be built today”, and “what technologies should we use”, and “what is our software development paradigm”. (And yes, these are things we are always thinking about, but right now, we are making a very active push for this).
In a lot of ways, we are making a software developer’s dream environment.
The Unique Opportunity
At the same time, we are gearing up for what we expect to be “better times” and we thus believe we will need more developers, whether they are internal or external developers. We are doing some of that by hiring employees (if you are interested in that, send me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org). However, the opportunity I am currently talking about is not the employment one. At least not directly. This is about the opportunity to align yourself with EPS/CODE and become part of the organization at an informal level, and thus get a lot of the benefits our staff gets, and also have the opportunity to pick up some work.
Our goal with this is to grow our network of people we can draw from for the projects we are working on, so we can bring these people in as contractors when the opportunity arises. Of course we are interested in making sure that group of people is well trained and we have a good idea of the exact skills each individual has. So we simply want to offer the opportunity to be part of all our internal training (such as actual training sessions, brown bag meetings, paired-programming, “tag-along programs”, technical discussions, being able to ask internal questions and draw from our resources/expertise, and all the other stuff we are doing…) as well as our normal CODE Training classes. If you are part of this program (which we informally call the “CODE Network”), you of course get all of that free of charge.
Heck, we consider all members of the “CODE Network” to be “one of us”, so you are free to come to all the cool stuff we are doing, such as team BBQs and all that. Frankly (without wanting to sound like a conceded jerk), it has never hurt to be associated with us and have “I worked with EPS/CODE Magazine” on a resume. Plus, you get to use all our resources and connections. For instance, if you are interested to write for magazines or break into user groups or conferences as speakers, or anything along those lines, we can probably greatly help you in that.
Also, one interesting angle is that this opens the door for people who run into larger business opportunities and projects than they can normally handle, to use EPS/CODE to handle these projects and get referral fees in addition to their normal income.
What We Want in Return
Our main goal is to grow our network and have well-known resources available (which went through EPS/CODE training) whenever we need them. So that is exactly what we expect in return: We want people that become part of this program to be generally available as contractors for a price we agree upon ahead of time (hourly rate). We do not have a set hourly rate in mind. That is something we would negotiate based on your skills, and it will also change over time as people who are going through our training become more capable. (Of course we expect the increase to be within reason, since the know-how comes from us). We are also generally assuming contractors are available to work either on-site at EPS or a customer’s location. (Some projects may also support off-site scenarios, but one can never count on it…)
Of course we do not expect that you sit around doing nothing until we call. It all has to be within reason. So we do not expect that you would drop working with another customer. But we do expect you to fundamentally be in the market of picking up contracting work. If you are a full-time employee with some other company and have no interest in changing that, then this opportunity is probably not for you… ;-)
We haven’t decided all the details yet (and some of it is different for each person), but we like to sign a very short “letter of understanding” that says “yes, I am available for contracting and charge $X per hour”.
We are looking for independent contractors or small consulting firms. Obviously, we do not want to train competitors for free. If you own a consulting company together with your brother (for instance), and it’s just the 2 of you, then this might be for you. If you are the manager of a larger consulting organization that competes with us and you are looking to send a bunch of people for free training, then expect to be turned down :-).
In short: You have to be really in the market to pick up some work like this.
Obviously, we are not interested in training competitors. Of course there always is the possibility that you will end up getting hired by a competitor. Such is the real world, and we obviously don’t like it, but we can live with it. There are some scenarios we obviously want to protect ourselves from. All common sense stuff.
So that’s it. I think this is a really cool opportunity for people who are looking to further their career and get the opportunity to pick up extra work and income. Of course all the people who are part of this program are generally the first in line to get work from EPS, even if that is just working on our internal projects (which we have several of).
If you are interested, send me an email at email@example.com.
Posted @ 2:43 PM by Egger, Markus (firstname.lastname@example.org)