An Objective Case for Optimism

For over a decade, I, along with Intertech leadership, get our economic guidance from Brian Beaulieu of ITR Economics.  He recently published Economic Recovery and Profits: Know This Trend to Make More Money.  In my experience, Mr. Beaulieu has provided reliable insights and a leading indicator with a high correlation to what eventually happens in the economy with enough lead time to take action before a downturn or uptick.

Despite how the current world feels, he believes the economy will grow, and it’s time to act.  US Industrial Production in July had a massive surge from June.  Based on their guidance, the worst for the economy is behind us.  The reasons for optimism are with the lockdown and semi-sequester (e.g., less spent on restaurants, travel, personal services, etc.), we have money to spend, and employment is picking up.

They have some insights on what to do for your business:

  • Have a plan of how to maximize opportunity and minimize risk
  • Know where you are in the business cycle
  • Make sure you have the right team.  An excellent team beats an awesome plan, eight days a week

All the above said, a big part of the optimism is an expectation of a vaccine, and governors can safely keep most of their economies open.  As leaders, our response needs to match the exponential, not linear, nature of COVID.

How to Best Manage through these Times

There’s been a break in my blogging.  Sorry. 

Between leading Intertech through this time to being a tutor as my kids take classes through the summer to wrapping up an Audible version of my book, things are busy.  Regardless, a big thing that’s keeping our business on track is the daily huddle.

If you’re familiar with the concept of Scrum development, you already know about the value of daily huddles. Our leadership team and individual work teams alike engage in these regular standing meetings, which lasts 15 minutes or less. In this “new normal,” team members join the huddle through a conference call or other platforms like Teams or Zoom. 

In a huddle, we share significant updates, metrics, and issues or problems.  Since we know we’ll have a chance to touch base at the end of each day; we avoid interruptions as things pop up during the workday. By asking for problems daily, huddles also help with “slaying monsters early.”

The purpose of our huddles is to review anything that requires action from others, to share the good news, and to reveal any stuck items or problems. It also strengthens our culture of open communication and teamwork.

Huddles can also be quickly scaled.  For example, in March, when this whole thing started, we upped our huddles to twice per day (noon and end of the day) to make sure we as a leadership team could stay informed and quickly make considered decisions.

We are in unchartered times. If I can help you and your team, from copies of my book to a presentation, please let me know.

Intertech Foundation Fall 2020 STEM Scholarships

One of the Intertech Foundation’s focuses is the inspiration of young people towards the building of science, engineering, and technology skills. To further that pursuit, the Foundation has announced its Fall 2020 STEM scholarship for students interested in pursuing careers as professional software developers. This opportunity helps current college students or college-bound high school seniors who have excelled in the areas of Math and Science and plan to pursue college studies in the field of computer science.

This non-renewable scholarship* (only awarded for one year to any scholarship recipient), in the amount of $2500, will be available for college or high school applicants starting January 1st, 2020. To be eligible, the student must possess:

  • Cumulative high school or at least one full year of college GPA of 3.3 or better
  • An intent to study computer science
  • Currently enrolled at or accepted to an accredited college or university within the US (not required at time of application)**

Free Learning for Technical Team Members: What You Need To Know About .NET 5.0 And Microsoft’s Accelerated Release Schedule!

It’s easy to delay adopting new technologies, even when the stakes are high. In so many cases, the energy is spent on improving business strategies (building more widgets, increasing quality, refining services). At the same time, technology updates take a back seat when it comes to corporate reinvestment, even when security is a priority, and using older technologies is often the weak link when it comes to protection and slower performance. As your business grows and to maintain a competitive edge, you should watch and consider the latest tools and frameworks for your current technology stack.

If You Work With A .NET Framework, You Can’t Afford To Miss This Presentation!

Enter .NET 5.0, Microsoft’s new version of the .NET framework scheduled for release in November 2020. Prerelease versions of .NET 5.0 are available now. The .NET 5.0 release is a fully encompassing version of .NET that includes almost all of the other development libraries (Xamarin, etc.) that sprouted around the original .NET framework, which makes it impossible for developers to ignore new releases of .NET. The past lack of urgency in keeping up with .NET updates (only seven major releases since 2002) is a thing of the past.

Take a look at Microsoft’s new release schedule:

As you can see, Microsoft is changing its release strategy for .NET. After .NET 5.0 is released, they will continue to release a new major version every year in November. Microsoft is also changing its support strategy for .NET with Long Term Support (LTS) versions. Specifically, going forward, even-numbered version releases will be LTS versions with odd-numbered releases being General Availability (GA) releases. This new rapid release schedule can easily be overlooked by teams maintaining software solutions. It’s a significant shift in the release strategy for .NET by Microsoft. Software using the .NET framework will need to be updated to maintain security and performance.

You can’t afford to miss this one-hour presentation by Davin Mickelson of Intertech, Inc. if your company is on the .NET framework!

Missed last week’s presentation? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Watch the video and download the slide deck from Davin’s presentation. Questions? Reach out to us! We’re here to take the worry out of software development.Watch This Must See One-Hour Seminar or Download Slide Deck

About Intertech

Founded in 1991, Intertech delivers software development consulting and IT training to Fortune 500, Government, and Leading Technology institutions. Learn more about us. Whether you are a developer interested in working for a company that invests in its employees or a company looking to partner with a team of technology leaders who provide solutions, mentor staff, and add true business value, we’d like to meet you. 

Second 2020 Intertech Foundation Scholarship Recipient

Every year brings a host of qualified applications from talented college-bound high school students across the country who are interested in pursuing a degree in computer sciences. This year was no different. Amazed by the drive, inspiration, and accomplishments of these young individuals, picking among so many qualified applicants is always a struggle. But this year’s selection took on additional meaning for us. Amidst COVID-19, the 2020 graduating class has faced numerous challenges and unprecedented situations. Yet despite it all, what came through in reading all of the applications was an unwavering excitement to take the next step and an unfailing commitment to pursue their goals.

In light of what’s happening in the world, instead of one scholarship, we are awarding four recipients for the 2020 Intertech Foundation STEM Scholarship. We will award two more scholarships this summer.

Congratulations to Emily Dahl

Emily, a senior graduating from Eden Prairie High School in Eden Prairie, Minnesota, captain of her varsity Track & Field team, and a black belt in karate, is planning on attending Creighton University in the fall to pursue a degree in Computer Science. One of the things that stood out to us about Emily was her unique interest in applying computer science to an early passion of hers, biology.  Emily hopes to use her computer science degree to explore and aid research within the biological sciences, an area where technology has helped make several exciting advancements in the past years. We think she’s got a few things going for her!

Q: When did you first decide you wanted to be a biotechnology software engineer?

After completion of the AP biology course at my high school, I knew I had a love for the science behind our existence. For a long time I thought I would pursue a degree in biology, but realized that I didn’t want to commit to the tedious career path many aspiring doctors take. My AP biology teacher recommended I look into a career within the biology field, but use my computer skills to help in a very different way than I envisioned — as a software engineer.

Q: What made you interested in this field and computer science?

The basis of computer science is founded in math and problem solving, two things which I loved throughout my k-12 education. I knew I wanted to help others, and in this field I realized I could directly contribute to the health and well being of others!

Q: Did you have any educational or extracurricular experiences during your K-12 years that helped you decide on computer science?

Freshmen year, I took Advanced Placement Computer Science Principles which introduced me to the world of computer science. That was the only true computer class I took, but somehow coding managed to find its way into my other classes. I would use the basic skills from this course to create applications for business, english, and science classes!

Q: What school have you selected to attend and why did you choose it for your undergraduate studies?

Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska. I landed on Creighton University because of the hands-on education they provide, my acceptance into a selective research program, and the strong liberal arts curriculum.

Q: What does the Intertech Foundation Scholarship mean to your academic journey?

The value of the Intertech STEM scholarship will be invaluable to my academic journey. Knowing that there are people who support my desire to pursue a career in a male dominated industry gave me so much confidence and reassurance in my choice. I couldn’t be more grateful for this opportunity.

Q: What would you like to share with others who may be considering a computer science career?

Computer science develops the skills necessary to think logically, collaborate with others, and innovate in extraordinary ways. There also isn’t a better time to pursue a career in computer science! Computer technology is at the heart of many endeavors to make a meaningful difference in the world, whether through medical advances, scientific research, helping marginalized groups, or many other areas.

Thank you, Emily, for applying. We look forward to hearing about many great things from you in the future!

More STEM Scholarship Opportunities

If you are interested or know someone that is looking for some financial help, we are offering two more STEM scholarships this fall. Deadlines and application information can be found at 2020 Intertech Foundation STEM Scholarships

Apply Now For A STEM Scholarship