Saturday, April 28, 2012

Office 365 Volunteer Call

Website services provided by:
Blacks Gone Geek is run by a group of IT professionals who pool their time and energy to deliver projects while developing skills on new technology.  At Blacks Gone Geek our mission is clear: We promote career advancement for African Americans in IT.
We recently started a consulting practice and our customer base has grown. We’ve successfully transitioned 9 websites from Microsoft Office Live for Small Business to Office 365 and now we’re expanding our Office 365 service offering and building our cloud essentials competencies in website development, portals/collaboration, content management and communications using Microsoft Lync 2010.
We’re looking for volunteers (Project Manager, Business Analyst, SharePoint Consultant, Web designer) to help us migrate from the Office 365 for Small Business to the more robust Office 365 Enterprise edition.
Benefits to you:
1) Learn to work in a fast paced environment.
2) Develop project management, web development and content management skills.
3) Add experience and accomplishments to your resume.
4) Receive a professional recommendation.
5) Offer consulting services to Office 365 users (e.g. Walgreens, McDonalds)

If you are interested in working on this project, please send a copy of your resume to along with you available time commitment. And please connect with me on LinkedIn (

Milt Haynes, Founder and Chief Architect
Blacks Gone Geek

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Thursday, April 26, 2012

Global Knowledge - 2012 IT Skills and Salary Report

Global Knowledge

2012 IT Skills and Salary Report

April 2012
The results are in from the fifth annual IT Skills and Salary Survey by Global Knowledge and TechRepublic, and there are finally reasons for optimism. The average salary of this year's respondents was up 6.2% from last year's and, in fact, is the highest in the history of the survey. While salary is a key component of the study, we also examined other factors such as job satisfaction, impact of acquiring new skills and certifications, and trends in pay, including base pay, bonuses, benefits, and geographic impact.
Here are a few highlights:

Job Satisfaction

Job satisfaction among IT professionals is rebounding from its low point in 2010. Sixty percent of respondents reported being satisfied or very satisfied with their position, compared to 43% in 2011 and 40% in 2010.

Impact of Acquiring New Skills and Certifications

The correlation between new skills and salary has always been assumed, and this year's report shows a clear impact. In fact, individuals who trained in the prior year earned an average of 8.6% more than those who did not train. Additionally, 65% of respondents reported earning a certification in the past five years. The impact of new skills and certifications was also echoed by managers. The percentage of managers reporting that their staff was more effective or significantly more effective on the job after receiving a certification rose to 50%, up from 35% in 2011.
As it relates to specific job functions, all areas reported at least modest salary growth. Salaries grew the most for those involved in security, database, data center, and servers and storage, while those working in communications and applications/programming experienced the least amount of growth.

Trends in Pay

Adding to the good news of this year's higher average salary is the fact that 63% of respondents received a raise. The bad news is that the likelihood of receiving a raise varied greatly by salary range. Individuals earning $60,000 or less were much less likely to receive a raise than their colleagues in higher earning brackets.

Geographic Trends

As one would expect, average salary varied widely across the country. There was a variance of more than $9,000 between the top paying (Northeast) and the lowest paying (Midwest) regions. When looking at pay by state, Connecticut, Maryland, New Jersey, Virginia, and Washington, DC, had the highest average salaries. New Mexico, North Dakota, South Dakota, Vermont, and Wyoming were the lowest paying states.
In the complete 2012 IT Skills and Salary Report, you'll find expanded coverage of the above topics, along with 15 detailed charts and graphics addressing intriguing topics, including:
  • Respondents' salary range
  • Salaries of more than 125 popular certifications
  • Salaries by job function
  • Salaries by industry
  • Nationwide salary comparison
Download your copy now

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Sunday, April 15, 2012

GEEKS Gone GREAT Chats with Steve Pemberton

by Sheila Marionneaux

About Steve:

Steve Pemberton is Chief Diversity Officer and Divisional Vice-President for Walgreens, the first such person to hold that responsibility in the company's 110 year history. One of America's most inspiring executives, Steve's journey to corporate America has been all but traditional. He has become recognized as one of the nation's leaders on matters of diversity and inclusion and its importance to the growth of the American industrial complex. In 2006, Fortune named Steve Pemberton one of the Top 20 Chief Diversity Officers in corporate America. In 2007, Steve was called to Capitol Hill to provide expert testimony on best practices in diversity recruiting and in 2008 he was named by Savoy as one of The Top 100 most influential African-Americans in corporate America. Steve currently serves on several boards including The Home for Little Wanderers and UCAN to provide guidance and inspiration to children in need. The Pemberton Fund For The Future has been established at The Home For Little Wanderers to assist children aging out of the foster care system.

A ward of the state for much of his childhood, Steve has made opportunity, access and equality pillars of his personal and professional life. His memoir, A Chance in the World, was published by Thomas Nelson in January of 2012. A Chance In The World: An Orphan Boy, a Mysterious Past, and How He Found a Place Called Home (Thomas Nelson), is his riveting autobiography that chronicles Steve's difficult path through foster care and determined search for his family. It is an inspirational story that crosses generations and cultures, but specifically whispers to those who have had the odds stacked against them. Steve's relentless journey to overcome, find his biological family, and right the wrongs of his parents' past, is a model for all families to follow. It is a true testament of faith, fortitude and forgiveness. A Chance In The World achieved a favorable Kirkus review, was recently featured in People Magazine earning 3.5/4.0 stars, and Amazon reviews give A Chance In The World 5 stars!

Steve is a graduate of Boston College. He is married and has three children.

To Our Geeks Gone Great Readers:

In reading the tragedy to triumph story of Steve Pemberton, readers will experience a gamut of emotions and are likely to reflect on how they personally digest obstacles of great challenge and or painful circumstances in their own lives. Steve’s story is relatable on many levels and is the height of what perseverance and grace under pressure can accomplish. Steve Pemberton has emerged as a debonair, eloquently articulate intellectual and is yet a grounded senior executive in Corporate America. Steve’s life’s path is earmarked of providence.

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Saturday, April 7, 2012

Job Seekers Forum-April 9, 2012, Microsoft Cloud Computing Competencies-Part 2

“The only way to get ahead and stay ahead in this challenging job market is to constantly distinguish yourself from the competition by demonstrating great performance and maintaining highly marketable skills.”  

If you have been looking for a job over 30 days with no results it may be time to do something different! The key to finding and keeping work in tough times is the same as in good times: take action. Economic uncertainties and fluctuations make it especially important for job seekers to learn how to conduct an effective search and to be actively engaged in the process. If you are looking for an internship or a full time position, you must be proactive. Everybody needs help!

Join the job seekers forum today!!

--Come prepared with your 30 second elevator pitch!

Discussion Topics:
--Microsoft Cloud Computing Competencies

Bring your tough job search questions to the meeting.

--Good News
--Staying Energized
--Upcoming career fairs and networking events
--Volunteer Opportunities

Date: Monday, April 9, 2012

Time: 8:00 pm to 9:00 pm, Central Standard Time

Time: 9:00 pm to 10:00 pm, Eastern Standard Time

Dial-in Number: 1-605-475-5950

Participant Access Code: 671366

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2012 IT Job Outlook - Blacks Gone Geek Readers Poll - Survey Results

Stay Current!

To be successful in this ever changing IT industry, you have to know what’s HOT so you can keep your skills current. This is where we could use your help. It’s your opinion that matters. How do you see the job outlook for technology workers in 2012? What is the one thing that job seekers must do in order to advance their careers in 2012?

Survey Results Observations

1) 61% of the survey respondents are IT Professionals (e.g. individual contributor, consultant, contractor) and 23% are in management. This is a demographic consistent with the Blacks Gone Geek online community and also for African Americans in IT.

2) 88.5% of the respondents think the job market is the same or improving and only 11.5% think the job market is in decline. This is consistent with the national sentiment that things are getting better.

3) Careers in the cloud scored high in all categories.

4) Project management and business analysis are still strong career choices, however, the # 1 choice was Cyber Security Specialist.

5) The top 5 IT functional areas:

a. Applications Development/Solutions Delivery

b. IT Leadership & Governance

c. Customer Relationship Management

d. Infrastructure Management

e. Enterprise Architecture

6) Best Advice:

a. Stay current!

b. Network

c. Embrace lifelong learning

d. Update skills and comfort level with new technology, especially in all things dealing with private and hybrid cloud and mobile applications.

e. Be technically proficient and know how the technology translates into benefits to the business process

What is the Wisdom of the Crowd?

The wisdom of the crowd refers to the process of taking into account the collective opinion of a group of individuals rather than a single expert to answer a question. Join the experiment. Join the discussion on the Blacks Gone GeekJob Seekers Forum to share your observations and recommendations.

Thanks! Blacks Gone Geek thanks the 78 respondents who took the time to share their opinion.

For Detailed Survey Results:

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