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Professional Persona

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The components of an online professional presence: the professional portfolio, technical engineering blog, and so forth.

The components of an online professional presence: the professional portfolio, technical engineering blog, and so forth.


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  • 1. Professional Persona Philip Johnson Collaborative Software Development Laboratory Information and Computer Sciences University of Hawaii Honolulu HI 96822
  • 2. What is a professional persona? Your online presence that is visible to colleagues and employers. Your online presence can make you more attractive to employers, or make you less attractive to employers. A goal of this class is to help you establish an attractive professional persona.
  • 3. The side effect By working explicitly on a professional persona, you start to recognize your own strengths and weaknesses. The professional persona creation process can help you to recognize activities you should be engaging in and skills you should be developing before you hit the job market!
  • 4. Components of your Professional Persona 1. Your professional portfolio website 2. Your online engineering log 3. Your participation in social networks. 4. Your participation in open source projects. 5. Your participation in technical societies and groups.
  • 5. 1. The professional portfolio A website that provides a “portal” for a recruiter to learn about your skills and accomplishments. Links to documents (resume, etc.) Subpages devoted to projects you have worked on. Other professional capabilities Your professional portfolio can and should be enhanced throughout your career. You will implement your portfolio using Google Sites.
  • 6. 2. Online Engineering Log A Blog devoted to technical topics: Your views on certain technologies Status reports on projects you ’ve been working on. etc. The online engineering log allows potential employers to assess your ability to write clearly and concisely.
  • 7. Write for the world, not the teacher. Write each blog entry so that any software professional can read it, understand it, and gain insight into you. Don ’t simply “submit a homework assignment” Only I can understand it (i.e. no introduction to problem to be solved or purpose of post.) Only I would care (i.e. no insight into you)
  • 8. Which ELs are written for the world? When writing for the “world”: You learn something interesting about the person, even if you knew nothing about the class or assignment. The entry is interesting, even though you ’ve already read many others on the same topic. When writing “for the teacher”? You only find out “the answer”. The entry is boring.
  • 9. Hints for worldly blogs Customize format to expand text width. Default width too narrow for code, etc. Use headings to provide logical structure. Divide posting into sections. Make sure source code is formatted correctly! Need to use <pre> or <code> tags. Make sure your blog looks right with standard Western OS setup. No “????” characters. Use correct grammar, spelling. This will be harder for non-native speakers.
  • 10. 3. Open Source Projects One of the most important parts of your professional persona is your participation in open source projects. This gives potential employers a way to: See code you ’ve written. See how you ’ve worked in a group setting. See what development technologies you have concrete experience with. You will use Google Project Hosting for your open source projects.
  • 11. 4. Professional Social Networks A professional social network (LinkedIn, Plaxo, TechHui) provides a way for you to make connections with other technical professionals and participate in forums. You will join TechHui for this class.
  • 12. 5. Technical Societies and Activities Participation in technical societies and activities outside of class can help you build your professional persona. For example, participation in Honolulu Coders, the ACM Student Chapter, or the TopCoder software engineering competition.
  • 13. Your persona is a long-term project “ But wait, I haven’t done anything yet!” This is a common anguished cry from a beginning 413 student. Two answers: You have probably done more than you think you have, if you think about it. If you feel your persona is lame, then use this (and next) semester to improve it.