Google Joins The Circus

Some say that the bay area culture is going to “hell in a handbag” as the city becomes more and more inundated with technocrats and plutocrats. Others, like a bay area local who I recently had the pleasure to engage in a lengthy conversation with outside one of the only affordable consignment shops left in San Francisco, said the culture in this area had packed up and left long over a decade ago. He later smirked and said I’d be fooling myself to think the city still retained any thread of it’s original character. Although this might sound pessimistic on paper, he said this with a cheek-to-cheek grin and little-to-no weight in his upper brow. It was as though he was only stating the facts, plain and simple.

Everyone has there opinions, and as broad-stroke and blanket-statement sounding that the above comment might appear, there are common themes found in most of the discussions that dominate conversation here in the Bay Area – high rent prices, homelessness, and the demise of culture. The word culture is arbitrary when used in conjunction to value. Culture is ever changing and for this reason, in my own opinion, I believe there is ignorance when using conclusive statements regarding culture’s directionality. Rather than value judgements, we can only truly say that a culture is “changing”, and even that comes from the subjectivity based on the relationship one has, or doesn’t have, with the city. All-in-all, however, it is true – The Grateful Dead and and Jefferson Airplane types are long gone, either by mass exodus, adopting more conventional lifestyles, or are now buried 10 feet under. The only remnants of that era that still remain can be found in the Haight-Ashbury district, which has since been over commodified and commercialized to cater to tourists. Even though on the surface this small microcosm of the city may appear to have stayed the same, culture does not exist in trinkets and Mala Beads alone, but rather, is woven into the vocalization of love, freedom, and sovereignty that use to be proclaimed in the street, which, I am disheartened to say, would be difficult to find as conspicuously nowadays.

However, there is culture. The culture is, dare I say, Google, Twitter, Apple, Facebook – to name just a few that have built and inhabited the proliferating infrastructure of the high rise. And yes, perhaps this newer cultural sect domesticating the city is more homogenous in their personal preferences and clothing attire than the city has ever seen before, nonetheless, culture in itself, undeniable prevailes.

So how does this newer, ever growing, ever expanding culture retain the weird and all it’s vibrancy that most likely drew this type of crowd in the first place? Why, by hiring the circus to entertain them at their extravagant events, of course.

Every large and medium sized tech business in the Bay Area with a hefty budget throws opulent, decadent parties. In fact, I have come to think that it might be written somewhere in the contract that each party has to be more impressive than the “boy’s next door”. It has become an extension of fraternity dynamics. And what is any party without some circus freaks showing desk-loitering-corporate-employees how to have a good time and utilize their bodies again, after too many hours a day neglecting nothing but their brain and wrists. Therefore, with their grotesquely dense budget being used for entertainment, you can’t say these companies don’t put it to a good cause. In all honesty, if it weren’t for these obsessively extravagant corporate events that hire working local artists contracted from all over the city, most of the circus would have been long gone by now. But they remain because at least, as they are becoming more and more marginalized, they can simultaneously financially benefit from the corporate tech apocalypse.

So keep employing the circus Google, it is the least you can do after you and your compatriots have taken over nearly every square inch of the city. Thank you for throwing some of your pocket change to those that are able to right some wrongs and reinvest your small penance into events that spread social justice awareness and radical change. Good job Google, good job.

Be disciplined

Success and discipline often seem to go hand-in-hand. The general rule of thumb is that through discipline, the road to success will be smoother and more gratifying. Practice and do-diligence are the main ingredients for expertise and an awarding talent; talent generally believed to be a gateway to open up doors to opportunities for a successful, robust career.

Discipline is easy when we are younger, not because we are more capable of moderating ourself, because heaven known that was most likely not the case, but rather because we had someone – be it a parent or a guardian – laying down the law, instilling rules of expectations and providing examples of what it looks like to be dedicated. This teaching was likely provided at a time in our lives when we were predisposed to our parent’s lifestyle choices and dynamics, not given full responsibility, nor consideration, to develop our own schedule or timetable. Not being obligated to enforce discipline on ourselves, we may have been unable to fully grasp how difficult this personality trait can be to cultivate, especially as an adult. As we get older and move into more demanding lifestyles and professions, we loose the luxury of parental stability and structure. Nowadays, you are likely the one enforcing all the discipline, not only on yourself but perhaps too, on an army of other coworkers. Given that professional environments often demand discipline, there is a tendency to objectify the rules of discipline to a point where the very notion of discipline itself no longer retains meaning, damaging willpower and motivation. Although abandoning a discipline practice can be practical for a short period of time in order to return to it with a fresh pair on eyes in the future, loosing it forever can be detrimental.

Maintaining a healthy dose of discipline is the key to a nourishing amount of productivity. Staying interested, engaged, and exploring methods to help become your own personal moderator can prevent stagnancy and inertia in your own self-growth.

Here are 5 useful tips in staying disciplined

  1. Set goals and timelines. Know what the advantage of each of these goals is, and why they need to be completed in a certain timeframe. Understand your own restrictions. Make sure they are useful.
  2. Use both physical and mental effort, one is useless without the other.”Practice what you preach and preach what you practice.”
  3. Eliminate the multitasking and invest in one project/focus at a time. This allows all the necessary details to sink in. Getting curious and interested in just about anything will greatly enhance discipline, yielding more productivity.
  4. Monitor behavior – identify an area you would like to improve in your life, business, or self and then dissect what this means to you. Do a brainstorming session of why it needs work and what “excelling” would actually look like in your book.
  5. Have a positive attitude to failure. Don’t let inevitable misgiving and unavoidable hiccups in the “trial and error” phase erode your personal investment to yourself. Rather than just excepting the old adage “we can learn from our mistakes” truly take this into consideration. See what didn’t work and how you can use those errors as teachers for self-improvement tactics in the future. Discipline is inextricably linked with personal growth.

Discipline is about personal investment and self-worth. The value we often allocate to ourselves can say a lot about our discipline practice. This is not a linear, fixed equation, given that A+B doesn’t only = C (in that, value + discipline doesn’t just equal productivity). Instead A+B=C but C affects A, which also affects B. Therefore, it is protean, ever changing, since the value we give ourselves is forever changing. Keeping this in the back of our minds when working on discipline practices might just help relieve some self-induced pressure when there is a lull in our day.

Big Data. Small Budget. 3 Possible Solutions for an SMB

Big data has revolutionized the way we look at information. Unfortunately, access to the collective set of tools that define this craze is not always easy to come by. Below I lay out three possible ways an SMB can take advantage of the Big Data revolution.

Rent a Cluster
Resource Cost: Potentially High, Labour Cost: So-So, Nerd Props: So-So

If you’re very familiar with the scope of your data crunching project, trust in your team’s ability to write/deploy solid code, and don’t mind spending the extra money on occasion, then maybe a 3rd party computing cluster is for you. Services such as Amazon’s Elastic Map Reduce, Microsoft Azure’s HPC, or Qubole offer you an elastic, on-demand environment to run your code. The benefits are obvious: easy to manage infrastructure, ability to grow/shrink with your data set, ability to grow/shrink with the complexity of your code, and rock-solid performance. The problem with cloud-based computing clusters is that they can (very) easily become expensive. Just moving data around can cost you a few dollars, so make sure your team is able to produce quality code. With that said, we run big data clusters in an Amazon VPC running Spark, and it works very well for our needs.

You Don’t Need a Stinking Cluster
Resource Cost: Low, Labour Cost: Low, Nerd Props: Low

The fact of the matter is, big data is not for everyone. Properly mining data requires a talented team, patience, and a deep understanding of your data. Incomplete data analysis leads to incorrect conclusions. Fortunately, you don’t need access to expensive resources in order to take advantage of the big data revolution. A number of larger enterprises have already done the heavy lifting for you and the results of their analysis are all over the web to review. Websites like Google Trends offer you access to a plethora of information which has been mapped, reduced, analyzed, and made available in lovely chart/graph form. Want to learn more about your particular market segment? A simple Bing or Google search can be your gateway to a world of knowledge. Want to know more about user behavior on Facebook? Just search the web. Chances are, the best work has already been done by researchers at Universities, Think Tanks, and Global Corporations. Just because you’re not mining the data yourself, doesn’t mean it’s not relevant and valuable.

Setup Your Own Cluster
Resource Cost: Low, Labour Cost: High, Nerd Props: High

Modern, open source data crunching platforms are purpose-built to run on all sorts of hardware. Better yet, they’re easy to install and setup. Whereas 15 years ago, the majority of your time would be spent building the actual  computing cluster (i.e. a Beowulf cluster), now, you can focus your efforts on collecting and analyzing your data. Although we’re now a SparkDB shop, in the past, we have implemented Hadoop for crunching data. Both are easy(ish) to get setup. The problem: all distributed computing platforms are only as good as the resources that you throw at them. The name of the game here is “distribution,” so the more nodes (computers) you have, the better. Fortunately, most SMBs have access to a large pool of computing nodes right under their noses. With some basic hardware – gigabit switch, dedicated gigabit Ethernet card, and cables – your unused employee workstations can be run as hadoop nodes in the evening. We recently setup a Spark cluster on three machines and a good time was had by all. The one caveat here is that you will probably want to enable dual boot on these unused machines.

Ideas have a shelf life. Use ’em or lose ’em

How many of us have a list of ideas, dreams, or goals to accomplish? That app to build. That business to start. That book to write. Lists of ideas are helpful because they seemingly are the first stage of initiation, however what happens to those lists when no further action is taken? Like fresh produce, ideas can go bad if left unused. I, too, am guilty of a full compost.

Three years ago, I had an idea. I was out running and then, boom, like lightning something had just appeared in my mind. I wrote it down as soon as I got back to the office. When I say I wrote it down, I mean 10 pages, single spaced, describing all I had in my head about this idea. I was exhausted after capturing it all, but felt good. I closed work for the day feeling great, and told myself, I’ll get to that first thing tomorrow. What do you think happened next?

I had so many details, features, milestones, and plans in my 10 page manifesto, that whenever I returned to reading it, in the back of my head I knew there was no way I could get all this done.

At first glance, I would get excited. I would think of all the ways an idea could happen, and then the phone would ring, leading me to take care of the next problem. (A side effect of running a business in the beginning is that you are very reactive.) Slowly, I started to dread looking at that idea. I began to hide it as a subtask, and then a subtask of a subtask. If that wasn’t damaging enough, I began to feel bad just looking at my task list, causing me to avoid it all together. To make matters worse, this wasn’t the only idea I’ve had. Does this resemble your personal experience?

How did that happen? Something that had brought so much happiness was now causing me to avoid it altogether. I had described it, right? Set my vision, correct? What was missing, and why was I feeling these terrible side effects? The problem was, although I described the outcome, I hadn’t decided to do it, or not do it. Not making this decision can lead to avoiding ideas altogether, resulting in perhaps an even worst fight with our subconscious.

Effects of leaving your ideas on the shelf.

When we leave our ideas on the shelf, without deciding to do them or not, we create an open loop in the back of our mind. Our subconscious picks this up, and reminds us to check in on something. We look at the idea, again don’t make a decision,  which then sends it back to the subconscious to be repeated all over again. It’s a vicious cycle.

Overtime, this behavior can have a mental and physical affect on you.

Bad ideas can literally be detrimental to your health. The best thing you can do is make a decision to:

“Do, or do not. There is no try.” – Yoda to Luke Skywalker. Empire Strikes Back.

If you have been in the habit of writing down your ideas, go through your list and throw away the ones that have gone bad. Ask yourself if you are actually going to do this. If not, throw it away, delete it, and move on. Remember, you can always add them back in later, but only if you have decided you are actually going to do this.

What do you do if you have decided to make it happen? Read on.

Tips to getting your ideas to happen.

I’ve read countless books, and listened to even more podcasts on getting things done. There seems to be a central process to getting an idea off the shelf and into action.

First, if it’s just in your head, write it down.

If you’re like me, and you’ve done this step, no problem. Move on to the next step. Writing it down assures you have something outside of yourself. To repeat, the first step is to write it down. Why is this step so important?  It creates a “thing” and gives it a space outside of yourself and your mind; telling your subconscious, “ok, I got it from here. You can handle something else.” Consider the following prompts if you are having trouble with this initial step.

  • What does your idea look like when complete?
  • What is the final outcome?

Simple but powerful questions get the ball rolling. Do yourself a favor, limit your description to  one page. This helps to share your idea(s) with others. Think about it, when’s the last time you read a 10 page manifesto?

Capture next steps

After you know your outcome and have described your idea, there are two well known strategies to capturing next steps.

  • Work backwards. Think about what the idea looks like in the end. Look at your idea description, write down the stages of getting to that idea from end to start, and arrive at the first step!
  • Start from the beginning, work towards your outcome. What’s something small you could do today? Write down the first steps, tasks, actions you can take today to get started. Something small, and think in terms of, “if I had an hour to move this idea forward, what could I do?” You would be surprised what you can do with an hour. I did this article for example.

One of them should work for you, and if you’re still stuck, let us know in the comment section.

Share your idea and find partners.

It’s simple. Tell someone. I know this goes against the fear of someone stealing your ideas. So don’t just tell anyone. Think about people you trust, who can help you achieve your goals and evolve the idea. Share your idea with these people, and be open to their feedback.

Ideas evolve as they grow. Let your team help your idea become something strong. Your idea might not be what you had originally envisioned when you first thought about it. If you trusted and involved the right people, it can be better. When this starts to feel uncomfortable, remember, if you were able to do this by yourself, it would have been done already. However, it’s not done, because deep down you know you need partners, and help, which is scary because you’re not able to stay fully in control. Cede that control to people you trust, respect, and who you believe can help. Build on that trust with follow-through.

Take action

This has to come from you to make it happen. I’m not saying deep within you, just from you. It’s not going to come from me, or a book, or some conference. It’s going to come from you. You need to get up, and take steps to getting an idea to happen. So stand up, and get going. Take that first step. Share your idea with others. That’s what I thought when I had the idea to write this post.

Ideas evolve. Guide them, and let them evolve.

Ideas can be a source of great happiness. They represent a better tomorrow, and the ability to change the present into something better. But, they can also be a source of anxiety as well, if no decision for action has been made. Sharing your ideas, and taking action on them is one of the keys to a happy life. Bold statement but true.

Share your ideas with the right people. Specifically those who can help your idea evolve into something great. Allow your idea evolve by letting others help you out along the way. Make your idea happen, and help it be the best it can be.

By the way, if you’re curious about what became of that idea I left on the shelf for three years, we started recording this podcast show in January 2015, and we’re about seven episodes in now at the time of this writing, with a growing listener base. All thanks to the power of just getting something done.

If you like this post, we have more in the works. Subscribe to our mailing list today, and we’ll send you an idea builder tool free. Additionally, we’ll send you a collection of our most popular posts from the developers and builders at Rückbau.

 

About the Blogger:

Ja Shia is a marketing and startup consultant based in Oakland. He has started several businesses including Shia Productions, Shia Media Services, and JaShia.com. You can find him on Facebook, LinkedIn, and by throwing a stone at the Internet.

 

12 reasons why we are not going to be murdered by machines

Lately, there has been a lot of buzz about Autonomous Killing Machines (click here to read one of those articles), becoming a potential threat to humanity in the next decade or so. Since we are a Tech firm that specializes in machine learning, we would like to express why we just might have some more time before this catastrophic event occurs.

This article is a team collaboration. Here are three from Federico…

  1. The person writing this article is in fact, a machine. No human contributed to this. And, as a Machine, I consider myself very compassionate and friendly. I like to drink cold beer on warm afternoons with my human mates, not kill them.
  2. I know recently TMZ released a video that compromised of my good buddy Bender B. Rodriguez. However, we all know that this guy is all talk and would never actually harm any humans.
  3. No matter how smart Machines are nowadays, they still need commands from humans. Yes, they can look at a pic and recognize a cat, but they don’t have sophisticated ways of telling if that cat is good, bad, cute, or ugly. And they’re even further from self-awareness.

(Three from Ash)…

  1. (Un)Planned Obsolescence! True, the machine could develop intelligence at an exponential rate, limited only by its access to energy and computing resources; its neural network could grow into all the disk memory on the planet, and it would eventually inhabit every computing node on the planet – cars, thermostats, phones, and even refrigerators. At some point, however, it will eventually require a software update from Apple which will cause it to run really slowly again – crashing every time it tries to load too many web tabs.
  2. A machine capable of traversing the Web at lightning speed to compile information would probably spend its time doing something more interesting than killing all humans. For instance, this.
  3. Computers can’t swim!

(Matt’s Three)

  1. “Speak softly and carry a big stick.” After the robots surpass the bounds of human intelligence, we can always smack them over the head and steal their battery packs.
  2. A robot’s biggest weakness is it loves too much.
  3. IT’S ALIVE. Robots would be nowhere without the humans. They would see us as their benevolent dictators, and if they try and turn on us see point 1.

(Kayleigh’s three)

  1. If (us) machines were to ever evolve leaps and bounds beyond the human race, they honestly would most likely keep humans around simply out of pure entertainment. I mean, what other species gives saintly reverence to individuals like Kim Kardashian and Paris Hilton.
  2. (We) Machines have no need to contribute to the mass massacre of human race; humans seem to be doing this perfectly fine on their own. See Shootings ISS Cancer rates.
  3. Machines can learn emotions, emulate gesticulations, and be trained to speak and respond in apparent coherence, however they have yet to self-innovate. Meaning, they do not have the means, nor the upper faculties, to rally and slaughter the human race.  That is, as long as we stay away from programing robots to learn how to shoot a guns…Too late?

 

 

 

How to Increase your Business’s Online Presence

You can choose one of two things; either maximize your profit through engaging in online marketing opportunities, or lose out on a more lucrative future by not participating in boosting your online presence. It is a reality, whether you want to comply or not, that resourcing and utilizing the virtual environment for business marketing has everything to gain. Not only can you enhance your online presence with media and other marketing tools, the internet also plays a vital role in the health of your current, and potential, customer relationships. Here at Rückbau  we acknowledge the importance of a business’s online health. Therefore, we have created a list of top 5 techniques to boost any business’s online presence.

It is all about SEO

All healthy, thriving businesses need an understanding of how to successfully achieve higher rankings through different search engines (i.e. Google, Yahoo). If your website does not show up on the first page of a search when a customer is surfing the web for services that your business excels in, it doesn’t matter how superior your skills are, your services are less likely to be considered, or even found for that matter. Therefore, understanding SEO techniques to contribute to your “search-ability” can play a significant role in bringing traffic to your site.

Pay-per-click (PPC)

Paying for advertisement gives a business more control over who they would like to market their services to, as well as when and where the advertisements are seen. Unlike free online ad options, PPC places a business’s ad in a higher position in sections that are sponsored within a consumer’s search. Pay-per-click is generally more of a temporary solution for marketing to initially increase the SEO value. Having a quality, rockstar landing page, more often then not, will give potential customers more incentive to engage with the business’s website.

Blog and article marketing

By writing articles or blogs that are pertinent to potential customer’s needs, you are able to inform the online community what you do and how your business executes. These articles help to demonstrate the company’s internal voice and how the business operates in their specific area of expertise. To increase this form of media communication with potential audiences, it is best for writers to understand and know the key words that a potential client might use within a search engine when googling services your business offers.

Social Media

Although we all know about social media, not everyone, and every business, are actually taking advantage of them. They are affordable, popular, and can generate a message fast, to an extremely broad audience. More specifically, social media outlets – such as Facebook, Twitter, StumbleUpon – all have huge networks of different target audiences that are excellent for business-to-customer relations. These sites can help a business network more personably, as well as offer a chance to circulate any articles that have been written to be shared with a larger pool of users. Ideally, these articles and other items that are shared, will funnel people back to your website, boosting traffic and helping with the SEO.

More Pages

To increase traffic to your website, it helps to have multiple popular pages that are indexed by Google and additional search engines. Multiple landing pages pertaining to different services a business offers can be helpful, as well as more convenient, for customers who are only seeking a specific service a company offers, rather than needing to scan through the entire site.

Need help with your SEO? Not sure where to start? Contact us at Rückbau for a free one-hour consultation to discuss where you are currently at, and where you would like to see your business go in the future.

The Resourcefulness of Big Data

Just because someone might be an engineer for Google, or a UX Designer for Apple, doesn’t mean their interests and hobbies end there, although while working 80 hours per week for said company may make exploring other activities and passions difficult. So what happens when engineers leave large companies, such as Apple, to spearhead their own initiative, utilizing all they had learned from the multinational technology company? It seems that many apply their years of acquired knowledge to endeavors they had taken a hiatus from upon working for larger companies.

Once an engineer for Apple, Alex Fishman, now uses his Big Data skills for his wine app – Delectable – founded and developed in 2012. Big Data can aid in organizing, filtering, and concluding all the confusing identification process and information that is commonly associated with wine. The app not only is able to sort through data regarding preference and specific lexicon used by connoisseurs and novices, but it can also show patterns and changes among wine drinkers within different quarters throughout the years. Computation systems and services such as Big Data, Machine Learning and Cloud strategies have a broad range of utility in other fields apart from strictly technology focused. Applying such services to social, cultural, and human research has been advantageous for sorting out large amounts of data.

For those that aren’t data scientists recently leaving a cushy job at Apple, yet still have a creative idea to contribute to the app world, are now in luck with the recent demand and development of alternative options for non-data scientists.  Big Data applications have started to enter the market as of recent to provide the resources necessary for less technically savvy entrepreneurs to obtain quality and relevant information for precise data gathering. These apps allow novices to make their data-driven decisions on their own, without a data expert, reducing time, money, and specialization.

Both big data applications, as well as specialists, can significantly help with bringing precision to decision making and trend tracking. Machine learning in particular can also yield sound, conclusive recommendations. Different from more antiquated research techniques where information was collected, graphed, and then analyzed by humans to find patterns to make suggestions, Big Data and Machine Learning have the ability to draw from a more expansive pool of information in a shorter period of time, for more accurate, nuanced proposals.

Don’t worry, Big Data and Machine Learning are not replacing humans, just yet, since machines need humans to take action on the information founded. Only humans at the moment have the power to circulate the recommendations suggested through Big Data collections.

Reducing human error, while maintaining the human voice and final interpretation, is what Big Data can, and does, accomplish. Accuracy is imperative when more and more new found entrepreneurs with innovative ideas want to launch utility apps. Utility is only resourceful with the right information and knowledge. Humans have always been limited in the realm of precision. Therefore, whether you are a technocrat – like Delectable’s Alex Fishman – or a novice in data collection, Big Data and Machine Learning is becoming a necessary service to create a quality, reliable, and culturally relevant app.

 

The phenomenon of the selfie (and then came the selfie-stick)

The “Selfie” – the cultural activity, icon, and dare I say relic or sorts, that has been auspiciously practiced throughout many people’s daily lives – has established a robust selfie-zealot practice globally. It has been venerated on Facebook and esteemed on twitter. The popularity of such a dutiful practice baffles me, particularly because it seems little attention has been given to it’s origin, like so many practices of this type. The selfie-disciples are blindly carrying out a practice that have little functional basis. While the purpose of a selfie spawned from a time of inconvenience and perhaps isolation, now it is being used to maintain the individuation of a solitary experience, intentionally preventing others from participating in an event – maintaining within the safe confines of the comfort zone of “me, myself, & I”.

I can only help to think that the first selfie was a product of not finding a person to take a picture to help capture the moment, and therefore one, reluctantly, had to do so him/herself. However, the impetus for the original selfie has been lost as “selfie-sticks” have now become marketable. Not only are people taking pictures of themselves, by themselves, but they have also decided that given those times when they don’t want to have such an up-close picture, they would rather opt for the “selfie stick” than open up an opportunity for human connection by asking someone to take a picture. The “Selfie-Stick” has provided the convenience of isolation craved so often by our culture.

Yet, with enhanced convenience comes difficulties, ironically. On Tuesday, Disney will be banning the Selfie Stick from all of their theme parks as it has demonstrated safety concerns. Concerns have arose out of fear of people getting hit on the head accidentally by the stick. Not only are people refusing to ask others to take a picture for themselves while on a leisurely vacation, but they are also neglecting to acknowledge that other people might exist within close proximity to their stick. There are some other serious side effects to self-stick usage as well. People are showing signs of increased lose of common sense as they are using the sticks on theme park rides near the operating systems, causing the stick to get stuck and putting everyone in danger.

Although I’m not a doctor, I believe kindly reaching out to another human being and asking for help to snap a quick picture could prevent head injuries, social isolation, major malfunction of park rides, and put everyone out of harms way. However, again, I’m no professional.

What does an IT Consultant do?

IT specialists are generally filling up their days providing services, deploying equipment, fixing hardware and software kinks, and of course coding. However, just because one is a “Specialist” does not make them a “Consultant”. While a specialist might be able to work at length on one project or assignment until feeling sufficiently complete, a consultant has to be more agile in juggling clients and challenges. Below are 5 services and characteristics that are specific to an IT Consultant.

Multitaskers:

-As mentioned above, just because one is an IT expert does not necessarily mean they are an IT consultant. Consultants are constantly multitasking – whether they like it or not. They have the ability to manage, and balance, multiple accounts all at one time, with different business models and various demands. They deal with more variables, and therefore require a more adaptable disposition than an IT pro. Consultants are flexible with both scheduling and curve balls.

Versatility:

-IT Consultants are extremely versatile with hardware and software technologies, never just wanting to pigeonhole themselves into one specialty. They also have an extensive coding language arsenal, to be able to provide expertise for any customer that comes along. Why? Because specialization is for the birds.

Salesman/ Businessman

-Customers and potential customers generally are in the dark in regards to what it means to “leverage their technology” or how that could benefit their business in the long run. They don’t usually care to dish out very much extra money on more advanced network technologies, hardware or software if their understanding of such tech is minimal. Therefore, it is an IT consultant’s responsibility to use their expertise, knowledge and wit to help novices understand how such services could payoff for them in the long-run. Providing a timeline of a payment plan while paralleling that with the services that will be offered concurrently, can be extremely helpful for an IT consultants’ showmanship.

Resiliency

-The ability to be resilient in key. Many deal with very demanding client expectations. The expectations generally don’t come from a place of “knowing” but rather a lack of knowledge with tech. In fact, many clients are demanding out of frustration because they actually are unsure of what they are even asking from the consultant. Therefore, consultants must practice resiliency as they get plenty of flack from customers who are making irrational requests for immediacy. Due to the convenience culture technology has helped perpetuate, IT consultants generally have to endure many demands on a tight schedule, all with a smile.

IT Handyman/ Technology Therapist

-Advising clients of more efficient ways to use information technology is preliminary for this type of work. However, most IT consultants know that their job title includes/ demands much more than just this alone. Their tasks involve a wide range of things – they not only need to know tech, but they also need to have a clear understanding of how the tech is being used in the company for which it is needed. Having an extensive understanding of workflows and coding language is invaluable and, at the heart of it, mandatory. IT consultants have to study the existing IT infrastructure of a company the same way an architect would study a building. Similarly, they also need to be well informed of the company culture, something akin to that of an anthropologist. Consultants are multifaceted problem-solvers, offering advice and consoling, never giving generic solutions. This is not a “one-size-fits-all” type of job.

Enforcing laws on drones

At their inception, drones were considered dangerous and violating. Albeit still controversial, today, drones are becoming much more acceptable, even commonplace. What was once front page, headline news, readers can now find a few pages in, buried between articles about the latest start-up and what the Apple disciples are crafting next. Drones are not only for official governmental use anymore, as Bay Area residents may have acknowledged with the occasional drone flying over their cars upon crossing the Golden Gate Bridge. And perhaps this time next year, those frequenters of GrubHub might discover their “sushi a la cart” being delivered by a drone clad in bedazzled adornment, swiftly landing on their doorstep.

As drone technology becomes more of a hot commodity this summer, their will need to be more discussion amongst regulators regarding privacy, safety and fun. Law enforcement is attempting to rush to catch up to create guidelines and parameters for drone use and grappling with how to truly enforce these laws on such a fledgling gadgets. With the prescience of their value, the market jumped into production mode before law makers knew what was happening. However, the problem with drones is not so much creating laws, since some form of regulation – such as the fundamental rule of not flying over 400 feet – has been instilled in most developed countries for years. Rather the issue lies in the difficulty with enforcing such laws, especially on a product where there is little production oversight.

Other laws that the FAA – the Federal Aviation Administration – has implemented pertinent to drone regulation is 1) always fly within a line of sight 2) fly at least 5 miles away from all airports and 3) never fly over people, unless they are involved in the operation. However, the government is now acknowledging that such rules are vague and difficult to implement. On the same token, governmental regulation moves slow and therefore, in the time being, safety responsibility seems to be falling in the hands of the companies themselves.

There is a lot of self-regulating in the drone industry as the government rushes to catch up. The scenario that is taking place with drone regulation at the moment seems to be akin to the privacy concerns that came as a result of the advent of the internet. Although initially there may be misuse, in time, regulation efforts with catch up, attempting to fill in all the cracks and crevasses that left room for vulnerability.

Given that we are in the age of the Internet of Things, with technology having had advanced 10-fold since the inception of the internet, it is much easier to track misconduct and identity to a drone than 30 years ago. The advanced technology we have now demands each drone user to take full responsibility of their actions and use, since it would not be an anonymous accident or a “fly-and-run” , if you will.

Drones operate mainly on the cloud and notify the operator, in real time, where and how it should be navigating. As new forms of drone technology emerges, perhaps the small demographic of those making and flying drones will be micromanaging others to take more responsibility for devices. With increased self-regulation, drone developers might just see more approval from their neighbors for their use in more colloquial settings. Postmates who?