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Our Favorites: Tech Newsletters

Technology plays a critical role in today’s workplace, whether you work in the IT industry or not. We used to have cell phones, for example, for the sole purpose of getting in touch with others while being on-the-go. (Landlines are a thing of the past!) Now cell phones have internet, and we can use them for just about anything. In our daily lives, technology is needed everywhere, and found everywhere. We’re here to help narrow it down and provide a few of our favorite sites to keep on top of what’s trending and what you can expect next in the industry. According to an article on Forbes.com, “poor or outdated technology limits human experience in significant ways,” so in today’s world, it’s even more important to stay ahead!

If you’re looking for fresh, new ways to stay on top of the ever-changing world of technology, consider subscribing to newsletters. The site can email you daily or weekly updates, or just be there for you when you need to look up a specific topic.

We took a poll from some of our employees and asked for their go-to sources for the latest trends and must-reads. Here are some of our favorites!

 

 

Security Newsletter

GDPR: What Happens Now?

 

“In January 2012, the European Commission set out plans for data protection reform across the European Union in order to make Europe ‘fit for the digital age’.  Almost four years later, agreement was reached on what that involved and how it will be enforced.”[1] The result: The General Data Protection Regulation, otherwise known as GDPR. At its core, it is a new law that gives European Union citizens more control over their personal data, which requires users to be notified when companies use any form of general personal data such as photos, names, address, or credit card numbers. It also extends to IP addresses, genetic data, and biometric data.

In this month’s Security Newsletter, we will take a look at some of the positive outcomes of the new law, and some of the new challenges facing the information security world.

 

First, the positive.

Improves Customer Trust

When customers feel that their information is protected, they stay loyal to a business. Picture Company A and Company B who sell similar products. Company A complies with GDPR and therefore has never been breached. Company B has no security standards and is more susceptible to breaches. In a world where technology effects our everyday lives, customers are more aware of the security standards held by their product owners. Think of the GDPR as a competitive edge to your business.[2]

Transparency

Complying by the GDPR means that your company is required to report a known breach within 72 hours, which is a giant step in a positive direction for customers. In a recent Yahoo breach, 500 million users had usernames, email addresses, dates of birth and passwords stolen. Yahoo did not report this for over two years and left users in the dark in order to protect the company’s reputation. The GDPR will now require businesses to be transparent by notifying users of breaches within the appropriate time period.

 

And now, the challenges.

 Non-Compliance Fines

A consumer may not be affected by this challenge, but as a business this is a major concern. Fines for not complying to the GDPR regulations can become extremely detrimental. Google and Facebook faced up to $9.3 billion in fines within the first effective day of the GDPR.  More detail on the fine parameters can be found within the following link https://www.gdpreu.org/compliance/fines-and-penalties/  (1)

Global Reach

If you are an international business owner with a third-party cloud service located in the UK for example, you are now also required to comply with the GDPR. “The GDPR won’t just affect companies based in the EU, despite the fact it concerns the data of EU citizens. Any business handling the data of EU citizens – whether customers, employees or other stakeholders – must comply, no matter where the business is located.”[3] This is a new challenge for global businesses who may need to restructure their policies in other locations.

 

It is important for businesses and consumers to understand that the GDPR is not just another regulatory obligation, but a means for aligning business and technology. Now that data and technology are becoming the leaders of our digital world, businesses and consumers alike must consider a comprehensive approach to information and data management policies within their companies.

 

Don’t live in the EU but want to know more? Check out this video.

 

By, Matthew McCaffrey

 

[1] https://www.zdnet.com/article/gdpr-an-executive-guide-to-what-you-need-to-know/
[2] http://theconversation.com/why-did-yahoo-take-so-long-to-disclose-its-massive-security-breach-66014
[3] https://www.openaccessgovernment.org/the-five-key-business-benefits-of-gdpr/44554/

Sweat, Smile, Repeat

By, Cristina Moreno

*Runs to the computer* Hi everyone, I am back and out of breath! This month, to continue Sulzer’s summer wellness challenge series, we turned up the heat. According to the Mayo Clinic, adults should get at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity per week. So, our challenge was to complete just that! When divided across five days, the challenge called for about 30 minutes of exercise per day from Monday to Friday. Totally feasible!

To hold participants accountable, we created a chart to track your daily minutes of exercise completed each day. We set one rule to make sure it was fair: workouts had to be completed outside of work hours – we were encouraged to practice exercising at home in hopes it would create a new routine!

While I do not consider myself a fitness guru, I generally exercise a few times a week. For this challenge, I promised myself to at least get a little exercise every day. Did I achieve my goal?

 

Day #1: It’s Monday- I’m tired, but I wanted to start this challenge off on the right foot (literally). I quickly got ready for work and took my puppy, Molly, out for a brisk morning walk around our block. Since it is early in the morning, the weather is perfect and I have time to enjoy a cup of coffee. I enjoy taking morning walks whenever I can because it helps me wake up and get the blood flowing. After work, I went home and quickly changed into workout clothes. Before doing anything else, I went to my mini-home gym and completed minutes on my Stairmaster. I believe that it is important to get my workout in before getting too comfortable at home because once I sit on the couch or begin household chores, forget about exercise!

Daily exercise: 45 minutes

Molly posing during her walk!

Day #2: Tuesday- and for me it was more like Doomsday. I took Molly out for another walk and decided to take a different route resulting in 25 minutes of exercise and it is only 8am! When I got to the office to log my minutes for Monday, I couldn’t help but notice that some people completed upwards of an hour on Day 1. Refusing to get discouraged, I reminded myself to never compare! After work, I went home and tried a time under tension class on the Daily Burn . I have been a member for over 3 years and I love being able to take a class from anywhere using the app. The class for today was so INTENSE that I found myself unable to walk up the stairs for a good 10 minutes.

Daily exercise: 60 minutes

Day #3: Wednesday- So now I am sore from Tuesday’s workout and I am not a happy camper. I still went for a walk in the morning with Molly before work. Feeling a little unmotivated, I stopped by Marshall’s after work and got some fun fitness gear. I would be lying if I said athleisure was not one of my favorite fashion trends of all time. How do I justify owning so many leggings and sneakers? By reminding myself that I can wear it to both work out and hang out. Also, cute sportswear motivates me to work out.

Daily exercise: 20 minutes

Day #4: Thursday- and I am still sore… why? Two days out from Tuesday’s intense workout and I can barely get out of bed. I took 15 minutes this morning to stretch and try to release my muscles- I guess that means I had a good workout! After work, I decided to go outdoors for a jog. I live near a track so I walked over, jogged a mile, and walked a mile. As I cooled down and walked home, I treated myself to an ice cream.

Daily exercise: 45 minutes

Day #5: Fri-YAY! Good news is that I am less sore thanks to Thursday’s jog. I was able to make it through the work day without falling out of my seat. Fridays during the summer, we have 1.5 hours of free time to relax and bond as a team. I took advantage of the nice weather and played a little frisbee. Having completed the 150 Minutes challenge, I could have easily gone home and binge watched The Office. Instead, I kept the momentum going when I got home and completed 20 minutes on the Stairmaster to start my weekend.

My mini-gym!

Daily exercise: 35 minutes

Committing to five straight days of exercise with my schedule was not as easy as I thought, but I surpassed the minimum amount and worked out for a total of 205 minutes! It wasn’t easily achieved, however. Three reasons why I struggled: things happen last minute, life gets busy, or I am just plain tired. I will also throw in, “the weather is gross” as a valid excuse. I did, however; learn that endorphins are like magic and that simple fact kept me going. Getting to the Stairmaster was tough on occasions, but I never once regretted it when I was done.

This fitness challenge was there to push me out of my comfort zone (which typically consisted of sitting on the couch) and showed me how much better it feels to get up and move. Moving forward, whenever I feel lazy, I need to remind myself of how great I will feel after a workout. Now that I’ve completed this challenge, I have learned that I am capable of exercising more frequently and I just need to stop with the excuses!

Super excited for our next challenge!

 

#FridayFavorites

We’re in a summer state of mind…

Our #FridayFavorite this week features wallpapers for every summer flavor! So if you’re looking for ways to incorporate this sun-loving season into every part of your life (like we are), get your inspiration from one of these summery scenes to put on your laptop, computer, or phone!

These are just some of our favorites we’re using to celebrate #summer!

Top Tips from Sulzer’s Top Talent on How to Create the Perfect Resume

As a recruiter in IT (even as new as I am!) I have seen a lot when it comes to resumé mistakes. When applying for any job, that single piece of paper is the first impression that a business or recruiter will have on you – so why not spend a little extra time to make it stand out? If you want the chance to prove your skills in an interview, you need to build a resumé that will catch the recruiter’s eye, without drowning them in every single technology you can think of. While the art of resumé writing may seem challenging, it doesn’t have to be!

Here are some tips for putting together a resumé that will stand out without stressing you out!

Start with a Strong Summary

Give your readers – in this case it could be, an IT Recruiter, Developer, Hiring Manager – something that will grab their attention and lure them in to continue reading, but it shouldn’t be too long either. In your summary, include a brief insight into your strongest skills and experience as a developer, and why you’re interested in the role you’re applying for – make sure to double check that your core skill set aligns with what the job posting is requiring.

 

List Your Best Features First

No, this doesn’t mean you should attach a glamorous headshot. (Whereas headshots are more commonplace in Europe than in the US, different regions have different standards of what should be on a resume so, be sure to do your homework! Recruiters will firstly see what’s at the top of your resumé, so it’s important to put your best accomplishments there. Create an accomplishment section and list using quantifiable descriptions. Did you build your team from the ground up? Did you take the lead on a major project? Did your app win a major award? This will make it easy for the recruiter to see and understand what you’re proficient in, without being overwhelmed. Also, be sure to write in your experience section the technologies used and what your individual role was in the project. This will keep the recruiter from guessing!

 

Customize Your Skills

It’s important to use the same technique as above – customization. Whether applying for a back-end developer or a UX designer role, you should be customizing your accomplishments and skills by catering to the requirements of the job you are applying for. You may be qualified and applying to two different roles that both have similar yet distinctly different technology stacks – this should be highlighted per role! You could also refer to the job description before deciding to apply. The skills listed here will be the foundation of how you should word the skills you choose to write but please, don’t copy and paste.

 

It’s Ok to Ask for Help

Although you may be a master at writing code, that doesn’t mean you’re a master of resumé writing! Don’t be afraid to use a template to form the layout and organization of your resumé or hire a professional resume writer – you can usually find freelancers on sites like UpWork for this! However, while using a template is helpful to organize the flow of your accomplishments and experience, it’s not meant for copying information. We’ve experienced this ourselves when our technical developers received two identical resumés – as if copied and pasted with a different name slapped on the top (that’s a big no-no!).

 

No Errors

As a developer, you already understand the importance of being accurate in your work. One small mistake can mean the difference between a successful deployment or hours of checking and testing code. Double check your resumé for misspelled words, typos, and grammatical errors – it’s MongoDB not MangoDB, and yes, we’ve seen that too. Autocorrect can be your best friend or your worst nightmare, so it couldn’t hurt to have a real-life friend check, as well!

 

Know Your Resumé Inside Out

Have a friend sit down and quiz you on every word. You should be prepared to answer any question a recruiter may ask you. After all, anything written on your resumé is fair game! This means you shouldn’t inflate your skillset. If you studied Java in one class, that one time in college and haven’t used it since, you’re probably not the Lebron James of Java! Interviewers want to see your real worth, and they’ll hire you for being you!

 

Take these tips into consideration when applying to your next role! Remember that no single resume is right for every job, so take the time to read it through and make necessary changes before submitting. Good luck and happy job searching!

“A Day in the Life” Series: Application Developer

Meet: Javnika

Title: Application Developer

Location: Montvale, NJ

Time with Sulzer: 11 months

Team Size: 4

 

Quick overview of role:

As an Application Developer, I work mostly in the Back End on our Build Your Own configurator team, and recently started working on some projects in the Front End, too. I am always striving to create modern and efficient software, and I love learning new technologies and tools.

On an average day…

9:00am – Arrive at work

After clocking in, I attend our daily stand-up meeting, in which our team of four goes over work completed the day before, work we are going to do today, and if there are any challenges we are facing. In the case of any, we discuss the issues and try to come up with solutions.

10:00am – Start my work

After the meeting I get to my desk, switch on my laptop, and respond to any urgent emails. Then I look at my task list, which I have created the day before. Keeping a list gives me an idea of where to resume my work and what needs prioritization. Now I’m able to get working.

Depending on the stage of the project I am working on, I define my course of action:

Initial stage: Start discussing requirements with our Team Lead to get clear understanding of the project before starting implementation. Then, begin planning and creating a system design. Once the planning phase is finalized, the features are divided into smaller tasks and assigned to the developers in the team. Usually, each project life cycle can span from 3 to 4 weeks.

Implementation phase: I consider the priorities of the tasks assigned to me and start working on them accordingly. Along with coding on each task, I may even write the unit tests to simultaneously test and code.

12:00pm – Lunch time

There are lots of options around the office – all of which are within a 5 minute walk. I sometimes go to Chipotle, but when I can’t decide what to have, I’ll go to Wegman’s because they have all varieties of food. In the summer, our company provides free lunches on Fridays – something different every week! It’s always fun to hang out with my coworkers and enjoy lunch together.

1:00pm – Back to work

After lunch I resume my work tasks and put on my headphones. I like to listen to music while I work – my favorites are Selena Gomez or Charlie Puth! I’ve realized that time goes by quickly when writing software, so the music helps me concentrate and get my work done.

3:00pm – Meetings and Testing

I also work closely with the other developers. After brainstorming myself, I like to discuss my ideas with them, since there are always so many ways to accomplish the same thing! It’s good to work with your peers to get a different perspective.

Once I’ve finished coding the feature, I test it thoroughly before deploying.  Once everything is checked and ready to go, the team either deploys the application (success!) or regroups and deploys again.

5:00pm-5:30pm– End of day wrap-up

Depending on the project, we may follow different methodologies.

Recently we have been following a SCRUM methodology and work in one-week sprints. This essentially means that features are broken down into multiple small tasks for us to all reach our goals.

If this is a sprint planning day, we may get together with the product owner, and do retrospective before planning the next sprint. In retrospective, each team member can discuss what they felt went well or what didn’t go as planned, and then we go through the list of tasks that are to be completed in the next sprint.

We define the goal for that sprint and determine the tasks necessary to achieve the goal. We do this by estimating the complexity of each task and assigning points: 1 represents no complexity while 4 represents very complex. Generally speaking, the higher the point value, the longer the task will take. We have a certain amount of points available for each sprint so, the Product Manager can prioritize the tasks in order of importance.

Referring back to our daily stand-up, we can make sure we are heading in the right direction!

6:30-7:00pm – Time to head home

At the end of the day, I commit most of my code and create a task list for tomorrow.  My day has come to an end and I can head home sweet home!

 

Favorite part about role:

There is a never-ending supply of fun things to learn and satisfying projects to work on. My work allows me to help so many people!

Words of advice for someone starting their career:

Be open and ready to learn and don’t be afraid to ask questions.

 

 

 

 

 

 

We Are One

We have quite a diverse group of employees that hail from outside of the United States. Some of the home teams we represent are Germany, Russia, China, South Korea, England, and India!

Even though they might not be in the World Cup finals, they will always be #1 in our hearts!

We invited our employees to wear their favorite international sports jerseys to work this week in celebration of the World Cup! Pictured here: (from left) Holger, Frank, Rachael, and Julian

Everyday I’m Guzzlin’

By, Cristina Moreno

Cristina, HR Coordinator

Ever heard of the 8×8 rule for drinking a healthy amount of water daily? 8 glasses of 8 ounces everyday. Easy to remember, and realistic to achieve. Or so we thought…

Last month, we embarked on an office-wide activity as part of our summer challenge series. The task: drink the recommended 8 cups of water per day for an entire work week. That’s 320 ounces between Monday and Friday! Many were excited for some friendly competition, and I was all game. To keep track of our water intake, we had a chart by our water cooler that we would mark every time we finished a glass – we relied on the honor system.

Before the challenge, I thought I was pretty good at consistently drinking water throughout the day, and thought this would be a breeze! But when I factored in how busy my workday sometimes gets, I realized that some days I would forget to drink any water at all – not acceptable! I changed my mindset and dedicated myself to this challenge, and here’s how my week of intense hydration went:

Day #1: Easy as Pie: I came into work ready to tackle the challenge. First, I filled my handy Sulzer branded S’well bottle which holds 17oz of water. While I was waiting for the coffee to brew, I took advantage and drank some water. Off to a great start! I successfully finished Monday’s water intake without thinking twice.

Day #2: Chug-a-Thon: I think I came into Tuesday a little too confident. By lunch-time I didn’t even finish my first bottle of water. Many team members finished their water for the day and I was really behind. At 4pm, I challenged a colleague of mine to a power hour of sorts. Determined to complete the challenge, I drank 34oz in one hour. Granted, I may have not felt so great after. 

Day #3: Time to Strategize: Disappointed with Tuesday’s results, I promised myself to be more mindful for the remainder of the week. I made sure to drink an entire 16oz water bottle before even touching my coffee mug. It felt great to walk into the office and mark the water chart before anyone else did. In the afternoon, I grabbed a sparkling flavored water as a pick-me-up that also allowed me to mark the chart.

Day #4: No Cutting the Bathroom Line: Things got real at the office as the water challenge was in full effect…there was an actual bathroom line! Throughout the day I like to drink coffee, mostly because it warms me up. On Thursday, I decided to swap my coffee for some tea, which allowed me to continue the streak even as I got home.

Day #5: Feeling Fine on a Friday: I woke up feeling energized! Could it be all the water I was drinking? Determined to finish strong, I scoured the internet for an app that would help me track my water. The search led me to WaterMinder, an app that syncs with my phone and iWatch. I used WaterMinder to set reminders for myself during the day and it worked great! By early afternoon, I had completed the water challenge. #HYDRATIONMOTIVATION

From left: Frank, Shannon, Elliot, Cristina, and Holger

In the end, this challenge really proved that I was not drinking enough water, or any on some days! Thinking back before the challenge, I was quick to grab a coffee, soda, or juice often, which didn’t help.

Now, I wake up craving water before anything else! I find myself feeling more energized and even sleeping better through the night. I feel fully committed to drinking water more in general, and feel confident I can do so with ease. It’s amazing how 5 days launched me towards a healthier me, and I’d like to thank some friendly office competition for it.

First summer challenge down… I‘m ready for what’s next.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Happy Fourth of July!

Land of the free, because of the brave!

Our office will be closed tomorrow for the July 4th holiday.

Enjoy the holiday!

From your favorite HR team

Birthday Celebrations

People born in July tend to have a more optimistic outlook than those born in colder months, according to Business Insider, so this month, we are celebrating our sun-loving birthdays!

Whether we’re celebrating a birthday, a milestone, or an accomplishment, we believe office celebrations are more than just eating cake and signing a card. They’re about being appreciated and recognized for hard work, coming together as a team, and feeling motivated to work even harder.Employees can gain these intangible benefits from any company event – during work hours or after! Here at Sulzer, we celebrate everyone’s birthday, holidays, and completions of major projects,  because we believe in celebrating life’s big and small moments!

Birthday gatherings are for much more than celebrating just the person born on that day. When you get a team together, it provides a sense of a support system that goes beyond saying “Happy Birthday!” It says, “We appreciate you and want to be a part of your special day.” Before you light candles and surprise an employee with a song and treats on their birthday, think about all the other great reasons to celebrate, not just for that one person, but for all the benefits you’ll see from it within your entire team!

Recognition

Celebrations, no matter the size, allow employees to be recognized for their accomplishments both in the office and in their personal lives. When employees are recognized for their accomplishments, they feel valued and can see that their employers are taking a personal interest in their lives. Most people appreciate being recognized either for birthdays, retirement, or just a job well done!

Team Building 

Since celebrations often have a relaxed atmosphere, employees can unwind a bit and enjoy being with their team in a more care-free setting. Celebrations provide a short break from their work which allows them to reset and return to work fresh and clear. What better way to bring the team together than in an environment where they step away from their work for a moment, tell some stories, and eat some cake?!

Motivation

Oftentimes when employees are recognized for their accomplishments, morale and motivation increases. Seeing others get recognized will boost their own work ethic in hopes of receiving the same appraisal. It’s an endless, positive cycle: Recognize accomplishment, boost morale, improve motivation, recognize more accomplishments!

Here at Sulzer, we look forward to any celebration that involves good food and great people!

 

Happy birthday to our upcoming July celebrants!

Touhid, July 5th

Evgeny, July 6th

Frank M, July 21st

Christian, July 26th