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Archive for the ‘Boolean Search’


SourceCon, a groupie’s perspective 2

Posted on March 19, 2013 by lisaa

Last month, I had the pleasure of attending SourceCon for the first time. Unlike most attendees, however, I was neither a sourcer nor a recruiter. I attended as support for netPolarity Sourcing Manager and MARS Head Instructor Mark Tortorici, who was speaking at SourceCon.

As the marketing manager for netPolarity and its training arm, MARS, I came to SourceCon to meet my target audience in person. That’s a given. Above all, however, my mission was to connect Mark to those who seek his expertise, in a meaningful way — beyond the exchanging of cards, beyond adding contacts on LinkedIn.

Not being a sourcer or a recruiter, it was a challenge explaining to other attendees exactly what I was doing there. To keep introductions short, I introduced myself to people as the lead groupie for Mark the Tortorici.

It was an appropriate title, I thought. This was, after all, the conference to meet and learn from rockstars of the sourcing world.  Meeting The Lance Haun of ERE, Amybeth Hale, a Jim Stroud and Glen Cathey sighting within the first hour, I was star-struck from the beginning.

“OMG, OMG, OMG…I think that’s Lance Haun, should we go introduce ourselves to him?” This band of groupies consists of me and my multiple personalities. “Is it really Glen Cathey? And Jim Stroud! We’ve only seen him in pictures!” some other Lisa said. “OMG, OMG, OMG, it’s @researchgoddess!”

Star speaker after star speaker, Donna Quintal, Bryan Chaney, Shannon Van Curen, Jackye Clayton, John Vlastelica, Jeff Weidner, Sarang Brahme and of course, Mark the Tortorici…this conference was gnarly and I mean that in the most intense, the most righteous of ways.

Luckily, SourceCon was held at the Georgia Aquarium, so as overwhelmed as I was with all the star power around me, this mermaid was well within her element with fish friends swimming close by to calm me down.

I even met a fellow mermaid, Julia Stone, aka @BizWerkerJulia. Together, we stared at the giant aquarium, geeked out on fish, launched the Occupy SourceCon movement and demanded better internet connectivity. Surely, Ronnie Bratcher can relate.

Hats off to the Marketing Team at Dice Employers Network for a job well done sponsoring SourceCon with Rockstar Sourcing Moves…and for making my SourceCon mission such a breeze to accomplish. I could not have come up with a better stage for Mark the Tortorici, or a funner party to not just meet — but most importantly — bond with my target audience, the sourcing community, all while Mark rocks on stage. I’m a big fan, Dice marketing studs!

You know who else I was an instant fan of? The organizers of SourceCon After Dark: Ronnie Bratcher, Chris Havrilla and Eric Jaquith. Check out Bratcher’s post on the origins of SourceCon AD.

While SourceCon presentations were all awesome, conference speakers rarely give out their real secret sauce in the form of a slide. The most eye-opening information presented in conferences usually happen in more intimate settings like mini sessions where the environment is more interactive, relaxed and alcohol is present. SourceCon AD was the perfect venue for hardcore extra-curricular sourcing.

The most enjoyable part of SourceCon AD was hanging out with sourcers and recruiters, finding out about their biggest sourcing puzzles and guiding them over to The Tortorici. As great as Mark is onstage, he shines even brighter in small group settings, with a connected laptop and an ultra-challenging req to conquer.

Next SourceCon is this Fall, and it will be held in Seattle. In the weeks that have passed since the last one, I’ve come to know more of the good people I met in Atlanta and I look forward to seeing them again in the fall, maybe stay an extra day or two for a swim in Puget Sound with Julia Stone, a bike ride with Ronnie Bratcher, and in a city where it rains plenty, a mushroom foraging trip with Suzy Tonini is in order.

Did you miss Mark at SourceCon? You can view his SourceCon presentation here, and yes, for more Tortorici goodness, may I recommend a recording of his SourceCon follow-up webinar via ERE and sponsored by Jobvite: “New Sourcing Tools and Trends for 2013.”

More Tortorici and you want it now? Attend one or both of our webinars this week: From Boolean Basics to Advanced String Creation (tomorrow, March 19, 11am PST) and Secrets of Social Media (Thursday, March 21 at 11 am PST). You can sign up for both and save. Use this link to register.

Namaste,
Lisa

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The candidate is a fit because he told me so 0

Posted on February 07, 2013 by lisaa

Sometimes it happens. You come across a candidate profile/resume that is so perfect for the job, that you will believe ANYTHING the candidate tells you. The combination of this hope/desire/need to fill the job coupled with the difficulty or desperation of the situation can sometimes cloud your vision.

Of course we want to find candidates that are a fit for the job. Of course we want them to be “The One”. 

But we should use our wiser powers of judgment and logic to figure out if the person is a right fit for the job.

We do this by asking what the candidate does vs. what skills they have. *

There is no shortage of candidates out there. Sometimes it can feel like you are trying to dodge bullets with the number of candidates who tell that you can do the job. Whether you source or recruit, the qualification of candidates should be dealt with throughout the hiring process.
For sourcing, you have to establish what the candidate is doing and how they are doing it. In other words, if you need a candidate that has:

“Ruby development experience for a PHP web application with UI experience”

Here is a Google search for this req. The focus should be on ruby development with front end web technologies like HTML, JavaScript libraries, and PHP.
Also, putting “Ruby by itself can be a loaded term, because many engineers just add that to their resume since it’s a hot technology. So instead, we add some other words to describe the use of Ruby in action.

(inurl:resume OR intitle:resume) (“ruby gem” OR “developed ruby” OR “in ruby” OR “ruby developer” OR “ruby application” OR “ruby framework”) php html (javascript OR “java script” OR jquery OR mootools OR dojo OR extjs OR “ext-js”) (ui OR gui OR “user interface” OR “front end” OR frontend)

So let’s say you find a candidate that has this in their resume:

“Programming Languages: C++, Java, C#, Visual Basic, XML, HTML, Javascript, CSS, Perl, Shell, Cobol, ADA, Erlang, Lisp, Haskell & Ruby”

Does that mean we have a match? Well, no. We have to qualify the candidate, if you even want to go that far into the process. Most candidates will put the technologies they are the most familiar with at the beginning of a list.

What we would like to see on the candidate’s experience is:

“Developed a web application framework in Ruby and PHP with front end components written in Jquery, HTML5, and PHP”
This is much better of course, because we can see the development experience in the languages that we want.
Now in either case with these resumes, you still have to qualify what the candidate is doing, what type of company and software they are developing, and how many years’ experience they have doing it.

If you decide to pursue either candidate, then you have to ask them the right questions about their experience:
“What have you written with the Ruby language?”
“What did the application do?”
“How many people or users did the application support?”
“Is the company still using the application?”
“Was this a research/school project?”
“How many lines of code can be attributed to you alone?”

Asking the right questions of the candidate is necessary. The candidates who are a better fit will be able to talk in depth about their work based on the questions you ask. The wrong candidates will not/cannot do that. The more you follow this path of detective work, the better you be at sourcing/recruiting.
I will be presenting at Sourcecon in Atlanta. I highly recommend that you attend if you are at all interested in learning about the secrets of sourcing from the experts.

I also conduct trainings for those who wish to learn how they can improve their sourcing skills and their technical understanding of job reqs. You can contact me for more info about training for sourcers & recruiters: markt (at) netpolarity (dot) com

- Mark

#sourcing #training #sourcecon #netpolarity

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Upcoming Classes 0

Posted on March 20, 2012 by lisaa

As those of you who have signed up for our MARS mailing list already know, we have two upcoming classes in April.

First up is a full-day class on Saturday, April 7: Advanced Sourcing with Mark Tortorici. The class will be held here at netPolarity Headquarters in Campbell.

If you are looking to supercharge your sourcing skills, this class is going to do that and more. even experienced sourcers and recruiters will find Mark’s Advanced Sourcing class eye-opening and invaluable. In this class, Mark will go through cutting-edge sourcing tricks, techniques and the latest sourcing tools that will give your recruiting and sourcing skills an instant boost.

If you are out of the area and cannot attend the class onsite, we are offering a 75-minute webinar on Tuesday, April 10: Secrets of Social Media Sourcing, also by Mark Tortorici.

This session is geared for advanced sourcers who want to learn about social media searches and complex Boolean strings that very few are using. Mark will teach you how to create complex Boolean queries to manipulate front-facing social network profiles that will give you a very high yield of targeted candidates.

For more information on the above classes or to register by phone, please feel free to contact me directly at 408.385.8924 or lisaa at netpolarity.com.

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Yes that’s a Sys Admin, but is it a Sys Admin? 0

Posted on January 26, 2012 by MarkT

This may sound like a crazy statement, but it’s something we hear all the time from clients. Corporations want System Administrators who can handle large production environments and who can support 1000’s of servers that run distributed applications used by millions of users.

If you do a general search for a Unix Sys Admin, you could get someone who fits this description. But you could also get someone who is a Sys Admin for a 100 person company. In that case, they are probably administering 10 servers at the most. And that’s if the company has a customer application or hosted service.

So how do we get the high caliber Sys Admins who work in high volume production environments? First take a look at candidate profiles that have this experience. When you see candidates that are administering servers in a production environment, then that is something you should search for. When you come across a candidate who is supporting servers for a distributed application (like a social network, an e-commerce site, a banking site, or a search engine), then you should get more just like that.

First, let’s capture some resumes for a search in Google:

(inurl:resume OR intitle:resume)

Everyone knows how that works. Next we want to capture the job titles. Now there could be many job titles that will work for this position. It could be “linux administrator” or “systems administrator” OR “unix administration” OR “sys admin” or any combination of those words.

Since Google only allows 32 words per search string, we want to figure out a way to shorten the string. You can use embedded parenthesis in Google only.

(inurl:resume OR intitle:resume) “(linux OR unix OR systems OR system OR sys) (administrator OR administration OR admin)

This search only works in Google. All of the job titles that we are trying to capture will be 2-words. The first word of the job title could be anything in the green part of this string, and the second word of the job title could be anything in the blue part of this string. By using this embedded parenthesis search, we cut down on the amount of words we have to use in the string. In this case the quotes are on the outside of the sets of parenthesis.

Now we add in the scripting languages and operating systems that this person must have. In this case, it would be a Unix or Linux operating system and someone who is strong in Perl.

(inurl:resume OR intitle:resume) “(linux OR unix OR systems OR system OR sys) (administrator OR administration OR admin)” (unix OR linux) perl

Finally, we need to capture the production environment that we are looking for. Like I said before, we’re looking for systems guys who support distributed applications, or production servers, or search engines, or server farms for a telecomm company.

(inurl:resume OR intitle:resume) “(linux OR unix OR systems OR system OR sys) (administrator OR administration OR admin)” (unix OR linux) perl (production OR 24×7 OR “24 x 7″ OR operations) (distributed OR cluster OR redundant OR “large scale” OR “search engine” OR “server farm”)

Click here to see the results of this string.

Now these last sets of words can be interchanged or combined with each other. You just have to ask yourself some questions when you look at a resume with this experience on it:

1. Where are they working?

2. What are they supporting? Is it an application? A web service? A search engine?

3. How many servers do they support? Is this a 24 x 7 or 99.999% uptime environment?

4. What is the systems environment like? Is it all windows? Is it linux?

I will be attending the next Sourcecon event in Atlanta. I highly recommend that you attend if you are at all interested in learning about the secrets of sourcing from the experts.

I also conduct trainings for those who wish to learn how they can improve their sourcing skills and their technical understanding of job reqs. You can contact me for more info about training for sourcers & recruiters: markt (at) netpolarity (dot) com

- Mark

#sourcing #training #sourcecon #netpolarity

Mark Tortorici is a seasoned staffing industry professional with over 14 years of experience in sourcing, recruiting, and training. As netPolarity’s Sourcing and Training Manager since June 2009, Mark is in charge of managing the sourcing team, devising new sourcing strategies, training recruiters and sourcers and training corporate staffing organizations. You can connect with Mark on LinkedIn and Twitter.

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Turning Technology Information into Sourcing 0

Posted on October 19, 2011 by MarkT

This cartoon is funny but it’s also true. The problem with many sourcers and recruiters in the business these days is a lack of understanding with the jobs they are working on.

As staffing professionals, we are required to source and recruit on technical reqs all day long. If you only have a surface-level understanding of the technology (“Do you have C++ programming experience? Great!”), then you will only land surface-level candidates (ones who will say yes to ANY job).

Understanding the technology in the jobs you work on is vital. Not only does it give a better idea of what the job is about, but it will give you much more credibility with your candidates (hiring managers too!). So how do you get a better understanding? Well, you can start with the tools that are available to everyone:

Answers.com is a good place to start for most technology terms and concepts. It is not just Wikipedia. It is an aggregator of encyclopedias & dictionaries that includes Computer Encyclopedia, Wikipedia, Acronym Finder, Encyclopedia Britannica, and Merriam Webster to name a few. But don’t stop there. There will be times when you have to search Google for lists of technology or product information that is not available on Answers.com.

For example, if you need a c++ software engineer who works at the file-system level for network storage devices, then you can’t use a simple string. Most engineers put c++ on their resumes even though they really don’t have the experience. And if you just put in “storage” then you might get higher level SW developers or even systems-level engineers.
First, do a string to capture developers:

(“software engineer” OR programmer OR developer OR “c++ engineer”) AND c++


Next, research and add the different file systems that are used for network storage devices (there are many more besides these):

(“software engineer” OR programmer OR developer OR “c++ engineer”) AND c++ AND (nfs OR vfs OR cifs OR samba OR xfs OR “file system”)

Then, add in the companies/storage technologies. You can research these on Answers.com as well:

(“software engineer” OR programmer OR developer OR “c++ engineer”) AND c++ AND (nfs OR vfs OR cifs OR samba OR xfs OR “storage file system”) AND (netapp OR emc OR hds OR nas OR “hitachi data” OR “network storage”)

Finally, if this is a string for Google, then add in some operators to get resumes:

(inurl:resume OR intitle:resume OR inurl:cv OR intitle:cv OR inurl:vitae OR intitle:vitae) (“software engineer” OR programmer OR developer OR “c++ engineer”) AND c++ AND (nfs OR vfs OR cifs OR samba OR xfs OR “storage file system”) AND (netapp OR emc OR hds OR nas OR “hitachi data” OR “network storage”)

That is a very quick and easy way to break down the specifics of one technical requirement from a hiring manager. Obviously there are other specifics like location and job function/level that play into this, but at least by getting the basics down, you will be able to build from them.

I will be hosting a post-Sourcecon wrap-up event in November at the main offices of netPolarity. There will be some good presentations, tweetups, networking, food & drinks. Make sure you sign up if you would like to go, as space is limited. There will be many past graduates of my training programs and sourcing experts from the industry. You can contact Lisa Amorao for more info about the event: lisaa (at) netpolarity (dot) com and please contact me about training for sourcers & recruiters: markt (at) netpolarity (dot) com

- Mark

#sourcing #training #sourcecon #netpolarity

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Search string creation: new grad search 0

Posted on July 25, 2011 by MarkT

If you want to target new grads, there are a couple of approaches you can use. One of the best ways is to target your search using the site: operator with the type of degree you want. Let’s say we want to find computer science-degreed new grads from Berkeley. We start off looking for resumes, cv’s, bios and other profiles. You can easily do this search in Google by using the similar ( ~ ) function:

~resume

Which will get you pages with the words résumé, cv, curriculum, bio, profile, and jobs. We will get rid of the pages that contain jobs later. Now let’s target the school we want:

~resume site:berkeley.edu

Next, let’s add in the type of degree we’re searching for, which is a computer science degree. For recent graduates, we will also add in the year:

~resume site:berkeley.edu (bscs OR mscs OR “computer science”) (2010 OR 2011)

And finally, let’s get rid of any job pages that may come up in your search using the intitle: operator.

~resume site:berkeley.edu (bscs OR mscs OR “computer science”) (2010 OR 2011) -intitle:job -intitle:jobs

Search Example in Google

The year section of the string (2010 OR 2011) should refer to years of graduation,  but they are just numbers.  Keep in mind that the numbers could refer to anything, but at least they will get you on the right track.

Now that you have your string set up, you can switch out the school domain with other top-tier universities like Stanford, Carnegie Mellon, and MIT.

Mark Tortorici is a seasoned staffing industry professional with over 14 years of experience in sourcing, recruiting, and training. As netPolarity’s Sourcing and Training Manager since June 2009, Mark is in charge of managing the sourcing team, devising new sourcing strategies, training recruiters and sourcers and training corporate staffing organizations. You can connect with Mark on LinkedIn and Twitter.

 

 

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Creating new versions of the Super-Sourcer & Super-Recruiter 0

Posted on July 15, 2011 by MarkT

For some reason, corporations and staffing groups don’t take the time to train their employees. Some feel that training will take away from the production of the employee, and some don’t know which types of training they should even be looking at. But some sacrifices for training now will save you low performance and heartache later.

Every staffing manager is concerned about the candidate quality and quality of hire metrics. These are very hard to measure. But if you have sourcers, recruiters, & candidate specialists who know what they’re looking for, and who know how to ask the right questions of the candidate that they’re talking to, then you vastly improve the Quality of Candidate, which in turn, improves the Quality of Hire.

If we don’t understand the technical functions of the job, then whole hiring process will be wrong, from start to finish. Here are the 4 problems that can occur:

  1. The job reqs you post won’t be compelling because you can’t speak to the strengths of the project that the candidate will be working on. Or worse, the candidate doesn’t know what they will be doing even after you explain the job.
  2. The search strings that you create will pull up a whole variety of people who are not necessarily a fit because you are not searching for the right keywords.
  3. When sourcing for resumes, you just end up “buzz-wording” the resumes and sending them on, without understanding the context or meaning of the keywords.
  4. And the worst one of all: When you talk to a candidate, you are trying to sell them a job that they are not a fit for. Example: You need an engineer who will build a Java Swing front end application for an OS in a router, and you’re talking to the 500th J2EE developer.

The technical understanding of a job is the hardest concept to explain to the average person and the one that is the most necessary. But the right training will combine higher-than-average technical knowledge, razor-sharp search string skills, and in-depth behavioral interviewing questions.

Understanding the Technical Requirements and the Job Function [Do the PreSearch or PreSourcing]
It’s not that we want you to have a MSCS degree (though that would be nice!), we just want understanding of technology on a basic level. This is one place where I see many people in staffing fail. It’s not just a matter of copying and pasting technical acronyms from job req into a search string. With every job req, there is an underlying technology that average people cannot discern.

Formulating the correct advanced Boolean strings [Anyone can create a Boolean string, but do you understand it? Can you create the right one with the right keywords?]
No matter how many times you’ve looked at someone’s search string cheat sheet, if you don’t understand the technology, won’t find the right people. If you need a c++ engineer and the best you can come up with for a search string is: c++ AND (programmer OR developer OR engineer), then you may be in trouble.

We, as staffing professionals have to remember that engineers do not write resumes for recruiters or sourcers. They write them so they can describe what they’ve done in the technical terms they understand. So that means that YOU have to understand what they do, what tools they use, what companies they come from, and what products they work on.

The right screening questions [How do you ask the right questions to screen out the good from the bad candidates?]

Many sourcers in the corporate world do the initial contacting of candidates, so they must get their telephone sourcing skills up to par. Not only do they have to do that, but they need to know how to weed out the mediocre candidates from the superstars.

To the average sourcers or recruiter, this is not always evident. A complete understanding of the job requirements and what the company is looking for will bolster their credibility with the candidates and hiring managers.

We have to create the open-ended questions that will help our assessment of the candidate’s skills. Instead of:

“Do you have Agile software development Project Management experience”

You should be asking:

“Tell me about the software project you managed?”
“What were the deadlines for the project and how did you meet them?”
“What were the budgetary constraints that you ran into?”
“What was the software product and how widely was it distributed?”

In Conclusion…

Companies need sourcers and recruiters with expert-level abilities. They need to be able to deliver the Quality of Hire that the hiring managers so desperately want. If you train your employees to do their “Presearch” for every req, to get the research/sourcing process right from the beginning, then you can increase your Quality of Hires and your own success.

Mark Tortorici is a seasoned staffing industry professional with over 14 years of experience in sourcing, recruiting, and training. As netPolarity’s Sourcing and Training Manager since June 2009, Mark is in charge of managing the sourcing team, devising new sourcing strategies, training recruiters and sourcers and training corporate staffing organizations. You can connect with Mark on LinkedIn and Twitter.

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Head in the clouds III: Something to blog about 0

Posted on June 27, 2011 by MarkT


Who is blogging about cloud computing and how do we find them?

Blogs are a great way to search for potential candidates. For one, there are millions and millions of them. They cover every range of topic imaginable. The thing that we need to do is not only find the blog authors, but also find their contact information. This can be difficult considering that most techies on the internet who don’t want to be contacted will put limited or no information on how to get a hold of them.

Most blogs have a page or section to talk about the author. The main idea is to find those blog authors with some sort of contact information posted. This can be email, phone numbers, cities, states, or countries. With the proper sourcing skills, you should be able to track down the individual with this information and their name.

The following string illustrates how this search would be executed in Google. The technology keywords from our previous posting on cloud computing form the competitive intelligence piece of the search:

blog (“about me” OR “about the author” OR “complete profile”) (cloud OR “windows azure” OR ec2 OR s3 OR huawei OR “google app” OR saas OR “software as a service” OR zoho OR nimbus OR netsuite OR “salesforce.com” OR sfdc) develop

NOTE: By adding some “action” keywords like (develop OR developed OR developing), you can focus more on developers for cloud technology and less on the people who are talking about it from a more general focus. Google automatically does word-stemming of your keywords you enter. So by putting develop in the string, I get all variations of the word. If you want to specifically search a word and ONLY that word, then you must add a plus sign ( + ) in front of the word: (+develop OR +developed OR +developer)

Once you’ve conducted the search, you can then evaluate the blog postings, click through to their author page, and then contact them. Depending on what information they give you, this could be a direct email or pieces of information that you use to conduct a people search.

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Head in the clouds II 0

Posted on June 22, 2011 by MarkT



In our previous blog posting about cloud computing, we talked about the definition and the examples of cloud computing. Now we need to put together a search string that focuses solely on the companies and/or technologies that will lead us to candidates with cloud computing experience. How is this done? By following these steps:

  1. Start with www.answers.com – Most recruiters and sourcers have been using this site for a long time, but it’s still a good place to start your search. Most of your questions about technical topics will be answered here. Answers.com is meta-encyclopedia website. It collects topics from Computer Desktop Encyclopedia, Wikipedia, Acronym Finder, Merriam Webster and many others. When you search “cloud computing”, you get information about the technology (SaaS, PaaS, cloud platforms) and major providers (Google, Microsoft, Apple, Amazon, etc.).Some of these names in the article are not good to put in a string. For example, instead of Google OR Microsoft, put in the cloud technologies they make: “Google App” OR “windows azure”. Same thing for Amazon, instead of mentioning the company, put in the platforms they use: EC2 OR S3. Also on the cloud computing page are lists of client software, server platforms, and cloud applications that are in existence. These can be added to the string as well. There are always some that are more esoteric than others, so test the keywords and only add the popular ones.
  2. Search for lists of providers/platforms of cloud computing in Google. This is another easy search to do. Running this search in Google (list of cloud service providers) will bring you to this page and give you lists of infrastructure providers and cloud platforms.Running a Google search for cloud apps (list of cloud applications) leads you to this page and gives you a nice list of cloud applications that companies provide to their users.Now we come up with a search string. We can’t put every single technology out there in the string, but we will but the most popular/most used technologies in the string:

    (cloud OR cloud* OR “windows azure” OR amazon OR ec2 OR s3 OR huawei OR “google app” OR saas OR “software as a service” OR zoho OR nimbus OR netsuite OR “salesforce.com” OR sfdc)

    The above string is for a job board search. For Google, it would be:

    (cloud OR “windows azure” OR ec2 OR s3 OR huawei OR “google app” OR saas OR “software as a service” OR zoho OR nimbus OR netsuite OR “salesforce.com” OR sfdc)

    NOTE: I took out Amazon from the keywords in the Google search, since there are so many pages that talk about Amazon in other contexts. That’s ok, we have their cloud technologies in the string (S3 and EC2).

Join us next time as we target developers who write about their experience with cloud computing.

Mark Tortorici is a seasoned staffing industry professional with over 14 years of experience in sourcing, recruiting, and training. As netPolarity’s Sourcing and Training Manager since June 2009, Mark is in charge of managing the sourcing team, devising new sourcing strategies, training recruiters and sourcers and training corporate staffing organizations. You can connect with Mark on LinkedIn and Twitter.

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