5 ways to make enterprise technology sexy for new grads …

As young software engineers and developers wrap up school and begin their careers, many may naturally be drawn to the gaming or consumer technology industries. While these fields may be alluring because of their appeal to personal interests, job seekers would be remiss to not take a serious look at enterprise technology, which can be just as exciting. Augmented and Virtual Reality (AR/VR), machine learning, artificial intelligence, big data analytics and the Internet of Things (IoT) are just some of the emerging technologies that are disrupting the enterprise realm – and all of them require innovative, creative minds to bring them to life. Here are five tips for how to grab the attention of young and rising talent and get them hooked to your business:

Today’s engineers are expressing a desire to engage in meaningful work that has a real impact on society. While video games are fun and exciting, they aren’t necessarily changing the world. In contrast, enterprise technology is doing just that – solving real-world challenges and changing the way businesses operate. For instance, Upskill develops AR software that helps some of today’s industrial giants, like Boeing and GE, increase worker performance and productivity while building wiring harnesses for airplanes and wind turbines. Demonstrate the value of your company and your technology, and sell that vision every day.

Engineers can be incredibly zealous about the tools they use and how they use them. OS X, Windows or Linux? Vim or Emacs? One tip for attracting and retaining developers is to give them free reign in choosing their environment, tools and hardware when possible. Engineers spend much of their day staring at their screens, so shouldn’t they use a computer and tools that they enjoy using.

Over-engineering your team’s processes can be as much of a turn-off to engineers as introducing too much rigid hierarchy. At Upskill, we bring the teams together on a regular basis to look at the tools and processes we’re using to support our development efforts. If the team doesn’t like them, we change them. Also, keeping your organization’s structure as “flat” as possible is important. In my experience, a sure-fire way to incite churn is to give engineers the idea that they’re doing certain things just to satisfy the requirements of an arbitrary hierarchy.


It’s cliché for executives to tell their teams, “My door is always open,” but this is not quite proactive enough for engineers (or any employee). Instead, put some regularly scheduled “face-to-face” time on the calendar. This will give you better insight into what’s happening and give them the opportunity to bring up topics they may have deemed not “important enough” to warrant a meeting. Often, those topics can build into other discussions that lead them to start looking at other opportunities.

Last but not least, engineers want to build cool stuff. If you give them that opportunity, you won’t have to worry about turnover. Even if you don’t work on the cutting edge of technology, encourage creativity in other ways. For instance, if the day-to-day work is a bit more middle of the pack, you can still sponsor your engineers in hackathons or run internal contests for office hacks that can stir the pot and bring some excitement into the mix.

Enterprise software development is more exciting than most people think – and it gives engineers the opportunity be a part of something bigger than themselves (or a video game). Take this advice, and you’ll more readily build a team of creative, smart and passionate engineers.

Sphera Alliance Program Making Fast Traction with 20 Leading Environmental, Health & Safety Channel Partners – SYS



CHICAGO, July 19, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — Sphera, the largest global provider of Operational Excellence software and information services with a focus on Operational Risk, Environmental Health Safety (EHS) and Product Stewardship, has announced the creation of a new, collaborative Alliance program with channel partners.



Sphera’s new program fosters go-to-market relationships with four unique types of strategic partners including industry consultants, system integrators, technology firms and value added resellers. Each of these relationships enhances our solutions with expertise and capabilities to address customers’ current and emerging needs.

Sphera is the largest global provider of software and information services in the environmental, health safety, operational risk and product stewardship markets. The partner Alliance Program invites strategic firms to extend our value proposition to existing customers and new prospects. Sphera has committed significant resources to developing a new partner ecosystem based on a well-organized joint sales and marketing model.

“This is all about delivering greater overall value to our shared customers and reinforcing Sphera’s mission to help keep people safe, products sustainable and operations productive,” said Paul Marushka, Sphera’s President and CEO. “Re-establishing strategic and collaborative relationships with key channel partners furthers our mission across our customer base.”

Sphera is proud to announce relationships with a number of iconic firms, including ADL Technologies, AECOM, Arcadis, CH2M, E2 ManageTech, EnVizTec, ERM, Frostbyte Consulting, Huco Consulting, Indra, JSA Services, Kozo KeiKaku Engineering, OSIsoft, RegScan, Tetra Tech, Trinity Consultants, UIT and Vanguard Risk Safety Asia.   

More information on the Alliance program can be found at www.spherasolutions.com/partners/.

About Sphera Solutions
For more than 30 years, Sphera has been committed to creating a safer, more sustainable and productive world by advancing Operational Excellence. Sphera is the largest global provider of Operational Excellence software and information services with a focus on Environmental Health Safety (EHS), Operational Risk and Product Stewardship. The Chicago-based company serves more than 2,500 customers and over 1 million individual users across 70 countries. Sphera is a portfolio company of Genstar Capital, a leading middle-market private equity firm focused on the software, industrial technology, financial services and health care industries. Learn more at www.spherasolutions.com. Connect on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook.

Media Contact:
Diana Dixon 419.297.0222 [email protected]


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SOURCE Sphera Solutions

Real estate agents can help buyers and sellers ‘MoveEasy’

Have suggestions for products that you’d like to see reviewed by our real estate technology expert? Email Craig Rowe.
MoveEasy is a comprehensive move management platform for agents to provide to clients via white labeling or referral.
Platforms: Browser; companion app
Ideal for: All agents who assist clients with moving decisions and home services vendors
Top selling points

Highly detailed
White-labeled or personal URL
Extensive moving task list
Automated launch via CRM connection

Top concerns

Few. Luxury home buyers already entrenched with full-service moving coordinators would have little use for this software.

What you should know
MoveEasy is about 90 percent complete. It will formally launch soon as part of a national partnership with Realty One Group, hopefully before Inman Connect San Francisco.

Agents have been using the software in beta and the company is not exclusive to Realty One.

Having just completed a move, which took three days too ma…

DeltaV Code School filling a need in tech, software development sector

Alexandra Connor

The Gazette

CEDAR RAPIDS — In a blue and white room wedged into the corner of the first floor of the NewBoCo building on 12th Avenue SE in Cedar Rapids, Jess Bertling and Keith Dahlby are conducting rigorous training sessions in the name of filling a need in the technology and software development sector in Eastern Iowa.

The duo’s DeltaV Code School was launched in December, said Bertling, with an initial 12-hour boot camp-style software development course targeted for beginners.

Since that time, class participants have been working their way through other, higher-level courses. An intense four-week Code 201 class recently wrapped up and the more difficult Code 301 class started earlier this month. A 10-week Code 402 class starts in August and ends in October.

By the end of it all, students will be able to apply computer science fundamentals in decision-making, create an online brand and understand professional software development techniques and practices, among other things.

And most of these students, Dahlby said, had no previous experience in coding.

“Genuinely, half the class … (had never written code) or only had three days’ worth of exposure to this stuff,” Dahlby said of the Code 201 class, adding each day participants walked away with a new technique.

“It’s definitely a roller coaster,” Bertling added. “It’s such a rapid fire of assignments and the intricacy and the detail picks up every single assignment, every day.”

The curriculum for DeltaV is powered by Code Fellows, a professional software development training program based in Seattle.

Eventually, as DeltaV expands across Iowa through new locations, Dahlby would like to look into shaping the curriculum to better fit the state by asking, “How do we adapt this (course) to Iowans?”

Bertling and Dahlby, both formerly of J P Cycles, are hoping that DeltaV eventually has locations in other parts of the state, like Des Moines or Cedar Falls. The duo is looking to hire a teaching assistant to help keep up with demand.

“We’re the ones that are getting it off the ground,” Bertling said. “We may expand at some point but for now it’s just the two of us.”

Jason Logan, 31, of Cedar Rapids, enrolled in the program after learning about the school through his wife’s mentor Stacy Van Gorp, a NewBoCo board member.

After 10 years of service with the National Guard, Logan said he wanted to pursue his interest with tech but was bored with the more traditional two- and four-year higher education route.

DeltaV, he said, is a near perfect fit.

“I enjoy this (boot camp) style a lot,” Logan said. “I haven’t been challenged this much in a very long time and that’s a good thing for me.”

Logan said he also likes the teamwork aspect of the course.

“It reinforces the fact that development is not an individual job anymore like you see in media,” he said. “It’s not someone hunched over a keyboard environment. You’re in a team-based environment so you need to know how to do that and work well with others.”

But even working in a collaborative environment, the individual work level still is fast paced.

“It is rough. It’s 12-hour days, basically. You come here, you work, you go home and you work some more. It’s very condensed,” Logan said.

Bertling and Dahlby said they are excited for their current students to graduate but hoping future classes are more diverse.

“We’d love to have people from underrepresented groups in the classes,” Dahlby said. “Our biggest failure here is that we have a class of all young white dudes. That’s the last thing programming needs.

“Not that we don’t want capable young white dudes, we just want that class to not only be (made up of them).”

Bertling and Dahlby said they are hoping that DeltaV will eventually be able to offer scholarships and other opportunities to recruit a more diverse class.

What it all comes down to, Bertling said, is the need for development talent in the area.

“There is definitely a need to get people in the workforce,” Bertling said.


Here is a look at upcoming DeltaV courses and prices for each course. Note, the courses build off each other, so one would have to enroll and pass Code 101 before applying for Code 201, for example. To apply, go to deltavcodeschool.com.

Code 101 — Next class: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday. Tuition: $99.

Code 102 — Next class: Not yet determined. Tuition: $299 for two-day class.

Code 201 — Next class: Not yet determined. Tuition: $3,500 for four weeks.

Code 301 — Next class: Class is in session and runs through Aug. 4. Next class is not yet determined. Tuition: $4,500 for four weeks.

Code 401 — Next class: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays from Aug. 14 to Oct. 20. Tuition: $12,000 for 10 weeks.

l Comments: (319) 368-8531; alexandra.connor@thegazette.com

How a big thinker from Silicon Valley is now helping to bring world-changing ideas to life – in Miami

Go big.

That’s the advice an expert on exponential technologies has for the startup ecosystem in Miami.

Salim Ismail is the founding executive director and now the global ambassador for Silicon Valley’s Singularity University and a board member of XPRIZE, well-known organizations that inspire, educate and fund people and projects trying to solve world-changing problems through technology.

“In Silicon Valley, people think on a global scale. In many other parts of the world, Miami included, people are trying to build a niche product or feature,” said Ismail, the author of “Exponential Organizations.”

Yet Ismail, now a Miami area resident, also said Miami has passion that you don’t find everywhere. “When you can align the natural passion of the residents here with a very big purpose or outcome, there is literally no limit as to what could happen.”

Ismail is being honored with Endeavor Miami’s Impact Award at its fourth annual benefit gala, which will be held Oct. 21 at the Faena Forum in Miami Beach, Endeavor Miami announced. During an address to gala attendees, Ismail will share his vision for entrepreneurship and what emerging technology trends mean for the future. Endeavor Miami is an arm of the global organization that selects, mentors and accelerates high-impact entrepreneurs around the world.

“We choose honorees each year that reflect the characteristics we believe will inspire our entrepreneurs and exemplify the progressive mindset that Endeavor selects in its companies,” said Laura Maydón, managing director of Endeavor Miami. “Salim is a visionary leader whose accomplishments are shaping the future of entrepreneurship and technology.”

Of particular local interest, Ismail is also the co-founder of Fastrack Institute, along with South Floridians Rodrigo Arboleda, an architect who co-founded the global nonprofit One Laptop Per Child and CEO of Fastrack, and Dr. Maurice Ferré, co-founder of Mako Surgical and now is running Insightec and other healthcare-technology ventures. Fastrack, a one-year-old nonprofit developing in Miami, plans to partner with cities that then become launching pads to rapidly build companies that can solve critical urban problems – such as mobility or access to quality healthcare or education, for example – in those cities and then scale those technologies globally.

It’s not enough to have a great product – it needs to effect meaningful change in the world.

Salim Ismail

Because Fastrack teams work through legal, regulatory and safety issues with cities as they are building the companies, “we found with Fastrack we can solve a problem facing a city at about one tenth the current cost, which makes it economically very compelling,” said Ismail, in an interview this week. “What we want to do is make Miami the capital for this kind of thinking … what an ideal city should look like.”

Fastrack, which counts University of Miami’s Center For Computational Science as a partner, has been running pilot programs in Medellín, Colombia, and now about 20 cities around the world are interested in becoming Fastrack cities, including Miami, he said. One Fastrack problem could be traffic, he said. “Think about it. If we can solve it in Miami then that becomes an export industry that applies to every city in the world.”

Exponential companies, however they are built, need to be information-based because that scales, said Ismail, who also helps established companies quickly incorporate an exponential mindset through his company ExO Works. “Airbnb’s information is enabling people’s extra bedrooms. Ride-sharing is creating more of a liquid workforce,” he explained. Just as importantly, he said, exponential companies also need to have a massive transformative purpose. “It’s not enough to have a great product – it needs to effect meaningful change in the world.”

Ismail believes solar energy will be one of the world’s most powerful exponential technologies.

“Energy has been scarce for the whole of the history of humanity. It is about to become abundant in the next five to seven years and that will radically change the global geopolitics of it,” he said. “The Middle East will be essentially rendered mostly worthless. In Canada, the Keystone Pipeline will be irrelevant before it is even built. The poorest companies in the world are also the sunniest countries in the world; solar will really change the global equation.”

And there are other exponential technologies, including autonomous cars, drones and artificial intelligence, he said. Bitcoin and blockchain-based technology will radically change government services and public services even more so than the private financial sector, he said. Biotech technologies give people the power to edit the human genome, allowing the human body to become a software engineering problem.

Ismail believes solar energy will be one of the world’s most powerful exponential technologies.

Ismail, who was an executive at Yahoo and started companies before joining Singularity in 2008, moved to Miami in 2014 and has led or spoken at several events, including most recently eMerge Americas. “I love it. I am an avid tennis player and I am from India originally so I am like a lizard on the rocks – I love the humidity. I travel a lot and the airport is one of the best connected airports in the world.”

He also loves the natural diversity of the region – the ethnic makeup, the arts, the mix of industries, he said. “Absolutely the biggest success factor for any city is diversity and the richness that comes from it. All great ideas come when you cross disparate domains together.” And it has the power to attract: “It’s fascinating to see the talent that is now arriving in Miami, it really is.”

Calling himself a massive technology optimist, Ismail sees climate change as South Florida’s biggest urban challenge. “Miami has an opportunity to act as a world leader because it is going to be first affected. Whatever solutions come out of here, it will apply to about 60 percent of the global population.”

He calls Endeavor one of the most important and interesting initiatives to ever get created in entrepreneurship.

Endeavor Miami is the first U.S. affiliate of Endeavor Global. Since Endeavor Miami’s 2013 launch, 15 South Florida companies and 24 entrepreneurs have become part of Endeavor’s global network of business leaders, mentors and investors.

Previous IMPACT award recipients include Jessica Goldman Srebnick, CEO of Goldman Properties; Jim McKelvey, co-founder of Square and founder of LaunchCode; and Alexandra Wilkis Wilson, co-founder of Gilt and GLAMSQUAD.

The 2017 Endeavor Miami Gala will be held Oct. 21 from 7:30 p.m. to midnight at the Faena Forum. Proceeds from the event directly support Endeavor Miami’s mission. Find more information about the gala here.