career strategy

  • Is any job better than none?

    Posted August 17, 2010 - 2:21 pm

    Even for those of us who experienced the tough IT times of 2000, this year is different. In the wake of the overall economic challenges that started in late 2008, many of us in the IT profession find ourselves in uncharted waters. And for some, these are troubled waters indeed.
  • IT job satisfaction in a rut

    Posted August 16, 2010 - 8:33 pm

    It's getting tough out there for IT employees facing long workdays, short tempers and limited career options.
  • 5 reasons IT pros should be paranoid

    Posted August 16, 2010 - 8:31 pm

    IT organizations have a lot on their plates, and keeping the data center humming is only part of the equation. Factor in the threats coming at IT from every direction, and you can see why IT pros have ample reason to be paranoid. The invasion of consumer devices into the workplace, the rush toward cloud computing, the constant vigilance to prevent data spills, all while managing a meager budget in an era when your career can be cut short at any time can cause even the most level-headed IT pro to start looking over his shoulder.
  • How I Got Here: John Janakiraman, CTO, Skytap

    Posted July 7, 2010 - 10:38 pm

    From his hometown in Chennai, India, to school in the remote deserts of Rajasthan, to fast-paced sunny California, John Janakiraman has had a chance to see and experience some dramatically different landscapes and cultures first-hand over the course of his own career path. The biggest difference between attending school at the edge of the inhospitable Great Indian Desert, and Los Angeles, wasn't the culture, the available technology, or even the languages, though, John says the biggest difference was the food!
  • How I Got Here: Robert Reeves, Chief Architect, Application Release Automation, BMC Software

    Posted July 7, 2010 - 10:25 pm

    Not many dotcommers and technology executives can lay claim to working on the infamous Warped Tour, the well known annual music and extreme sports festival. And if that's not enough, BMC Software's Robert Reeves followed it up with a position as a tour manager with Flogging Molly. It's not exactly the type of experience CTOs look for when they are researching who runs the companies they are acquiring, but it seems to have worked well for Robert.
  • How I Got Here: Steven Savage, Project Manager, Powered By Gamespy

    Posted July 7, 2010 - 10:11 pm

    Steven Savage, armed with a fresh degree in psychology, got out of college and saw a struggling economy and went to work right away at Wendy's -- not the traditional career choice of a college grad, but one that is increasingly common in times of high unemployment. But that psychology degree proved useful in a short period of time. Computing had always been a hobby, and re-training himself to be a programmer was easy, due to the research and analytical skills he had already acquired in college. He never became a psychologist, but his studies in that field proved to be enormously useful in his new information technology career.
  • How I Got Here: Venkat Rangan, Co-founder and Chief Technology Officer, Clearwell Systems

    Posted July 7, 2010 - 9:37 pm

    Venkat found success right out of the gate with some high-profile dotcom companies, and says that maintaining good connections with people throughout your career is the key to continuing advancement. Through the years, he's seen it all and from two countries -- and has gained some fascinating insights into advancing up the career ladder, creating an entrepreneurial company, and being an early pioneer in developing software solutions for electronic discovery.
  • How I Got Here: Carol Carr, Director of Change Management, Direct Energy

    Posted July 7, 2010 - 9:04 pm

    Carol Carr, Director of Change Management at Direct Energy, knows the value of mentoring programs. Already having embarked on a solid career path with the Big Four accounting firms and then moving to Direct Energy, she learned about the Pathways program, developed by the CIO Executive Council, through Direct Energy's own CIO. The program is designed to encourage professional development in several areas, focusing specifically on leadership, business, and technology; and it starts with a self- and peer-assessment that helps you identify your strengths and opportunities.
  • How I Got Here: Anne Marie Schar, Director of Technology, Mid-Peninsula High School

    Posted June 2, 2010 - 3:17 pm

    Anne Marie Schar went from being an English and History teacher, to being a network administrator. She found her current career path through a very unusual and lucky turn of events, first becoming a network admin in a school simply because she "knew where the 'on' switch was on the server."
  • How I Got Here: Scott Archibald, Managing Director, Bender Consulting

    Posted May 2, 2010 - 6:49 pm

    Scott Archibald has been with both big and small companies, and had the enormous responsibility for the IT infrastructure on the first day of the merger between HP and Compaq. Today he works with a more nimble, entrepreneurial company, where he enjoys tremendous variety -- with a new challenge every day.
  • How I Got Here: Paul Okura, owner, CMIT Solutions of Southern Westchester County

    Posted May 2, 2010 - 3:40 pm

    Is there any such thing as job stability in the investment banking world any more? Was there ever? The nature of the business is that it is constantly changing and evolving -- so there is no stability, and none is expected. Nonetheless, Paul Okura made an enjoyable career out of banking, until he decided to go in a completely different direction and purchase a CMIT franchise, launching his own company offering IT services and support. Moving from banking executive to franchise owner is a major change, but Paul has excelled at it, and now has a successful franchise, where he enjoys leveraging his expertise in so many areas to make a successful small business work.
  • How I Got Here: Harry Labana, CTO, Citrix Systems

    Posted April 16, 2010 - 2:57 pm

    Born into a culture with limited choices and high expectations, Harry Labana, CTO of Citrix Systems, found that the best way to succeed was to get away and find out who he really was. "Practice curiosity," he says. Harry doesn't believe in getting too comfortable in your career -- and when you get too comfortable, it's time to leave.
  • How I Got Here: Rick Treese, CTO,

    Posted April 12, 2010 - 11:42 am

    Rick Treese, Chief Technology Officer at, didn't always know he would combine his interests in technology and finance. In high school at the well-known High School of Performing Arts, on which the motion picture Fame was based, Rick's main interest was music. But it turned out that Rick was as fascinated with finance and banking as he was with music, and went to work for Goldman Sachs after college.
  • How I Got Here: Nir Zuk, CTO, Palo Alto Networks

    Posted April 5, 2010 - 4:05 pm

    Nir Zuk, founder and CTO of Palo Alto Networks, is passionate about technology, and has little patience for large, slow-moving bureaucracies. He's founded small companies, seen them acquired by larger ones, and witnessed what happens as a result -- and he’s determined to keep Palo Alto Networks’ entrepreneurial spirit, no matter how large and successful it becomes.
  • How I Got Here: Kenyon Kluge, Director of Electrical Engineering, Zero Motorcycles

    Posted March 26, 2010 - 2:48 pm

    Kenyon Kluge jumped from a large IT company to a startup to combine his love of technology with his love of motorcycles, and now is the Director of Electrical Engineering at Zero Motorcycles, a Scotts Valley, California manufacturer of gas-free electric motorcycles.
  • How I Got Here: Galina Datskovsky, Senior Vice President of Architecture, CA

    Posted March 17, 2010 - 12:17 pm

    It's not a man's world, it just looks like it sometimes. With only two other women in her graduating class, Galina Datskovsky earned the respect of her classmates early on, and went on to create her own start-up, which was later acquired by CA. She offers insight into how a woman can succeed in a male-dominated field.
  • How I Got Here: Mike Valuck, Senior Consultant, GlassHouse Technologies

    Posted March 9, 2010 - 4:50 pm

    Going from being a political lobbyist to an IT consultant was a decidedly unusual turn in Mike Valuck’s career, but it was one that satisfied his desire for something rational amidst the often irrational and unpredictable quagmire of statehouse politics. But his solid background in public administration turned out to be just the thing for a career as a consultant, where communicating, convincing, and relaying information are key parts of the job.
  • How I Got Here: Dave Bogan, CIO, CSC

    Posted March 9, 2010 - 1:11 pm

    A degree in American Literature and Theology has served this CIO well on his journey in information technology. Dave Bogan, CIO of outsourcing giant CSC, has special insight into the value of such a degree in the business and IT worlds. Dave tells us that the narrowly-focused IT background, while useful, will ultimately place limitations on a career-oriented professional, and he credits his own Liberal Arts education with helping him to achieve his current status.
  • How I Got Here: Lance Watson, Vice President of Case Management, Avansic

    Posted March 9, 2010 - 11:44 am

    Lance Watson has done a little bit of everything -- from working on a fishing boat in the Florida Keys, to digging ditches and delivering pizzas. His job at a company installing and troubleshooting voicemail systems took him to a project in the Arctic Circle, where he went ice fishing and ate whale meat with an Inuit named Harvey. It's been a long and interesting road, to say the least. Always "the computer guy" to his friends and family, but never making a career out of it until a lucky meeting one day took him on the path to becoming an e-discovery and digital forensics expert, Lance's career goal was to have a job that gave him stories to tell - and he's got plenty.
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