Career Opportunities

The High-Tech Career Handbook

A weekly ComputorEdge Column by Douglas E. Welch

Joining an "IT Conversation"

March 11, 2005

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One of the most important ways of expanding your high-tech career is finding resources that can help you expand your knowledge beyond your immediate hands on experience. Sure, you can learn a lot by “doing”, but if you don’t have an opportunity to work the latest hardware and software, you need to learn about it in some other fashion. Some of you may be able to visit industry conferences on a regular basis, but, if your work life is similar to mine, finding the time to attend can be a problem. Thankfully there are some options to help you expand your knowledge no matter your time or money constraints.

Hail the Podcast

Since I discovered Podcasting back in September of last year, and started creating audio versions of these columns ( I have been amazed at the information I had been missing in my Internet travels. What started as a small group of people creating quirky radio shows has turned into a major movement with over 2000 podcasts at last count.

Of all the podcasts I have encountered, one is a perfect match for anyone working in a high-tech career. IT Conversations ( provides a wealth of shows that directly relate to your high-tech work. Along with regularly scheduled shows like The Gillmor Gang (with Steve Gillmor, contributing editor at ZDNet and a regular selection of technology pundits), Tech Nation (with Moira Gunn) and the Voices in Your Head interview series (with Dave Slusher), IT Conversations also podcasts a host of conference sessions and panel discussions from high-tech conferences around the world.

Recent sessions have included a wonderful 2 hour talk by Steve Wozniak on the birth of the Apple II, Andy Ihnatko on the development of the Macintosh, sessions from Accelerating Change 2004, Bloggercon III, Gnomedex 4.0, Pop!Tech 2004 and many more. These sessions, well recorded by Doug Kaye, the host of IT Conversations, provide a wealth of information on topics that range far and wide. I know of nowhere else to find such mind expanding information that really gives my thinking a kick – and I don’t even have to leave my house to find it.

If you haven’t already discovered IT Conversations, I highly recommend that you visit today. You can subscribe to a wide variety of Podcast feeds using RSS or simply browse through past recordings, all of which are available directly from the web site.

IT Conversations content has become part of my daily routine as I drive to clients, take my daily walk or simply chill out in my home office.

Even more

As impressive as these shows are, there are even more Podcast/Blogs out there that should be a regular stop on your Internet travels. For the Linux users among you, there are several shows to choose from, including The Linux Link Tech Show ( and the Linux Log ( I also listen to Future Tense ( with Jon Gordon, which also airs on CBC and MPR and Slashdot Review (, a daily audio summary of the top stories from with Andy McCaskey.

A little fun

As the saying goes, “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy!” Your whole life doesn’t need to revolve around technology alone. As a way of balancing the high-tech and high-touch parts of my life, I subscribe to several non-technology podcasts. These include wine information from Winecast ( and GrapeRadio (, Reel Reviews with Michael Geoghegan ( for movie information, Morning Stories from WGBH Boston ( and, of course, the venerable flagships of podcasting, the Daily Source Code with Adam Curry ( and Evil Genius Chronicles with Dave Slusher. (

Expand your mind, expand your career

No matter how you expand your knowledge, via books, the web or Podcasts, it is important that you do expand it. You need to reach out for new information and new ways of thinking as much as you can. Even though a certain piece of information might not seem like it directly effects you today, you will internalize it and it will work its magic on you as it combines with other thoughts, new and old. Before you know it, you’ll be developing new ideas and new ways of working all leading to a better high-tech career.


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