“A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies, said Jojen. The man who never reads lives only one.”
― George R.R. Martin, A Dance with Dragons
September isn’t just back to school or the beginning of pumpkin spice – it’s also Read a New Book Month! So, whether picking up that novel you’ve been meaning to finish, taking some time to catch up with the daily newspaper, or diving into that technical manual to finish a project, dedicate some time this month to reek the many benefits of reading.
Reading has many important health benefits, including reduced stress levels, alleviating anxiety and depression, boosts happiness, and help you fall asleep at night! Just 60 minutes of reading per day is all you need to dramatically change your life.
Need some fun, creative ways to fit reading into everyday life? Make reading a habit throughout the year by listening to audio books on your commute to work, re-stocking your bookshelf with a mix of classics and must reads (check out Amazon’s 100 Books to Read in a Lifetime), or establishing a book club with friends or colleagues! Don’t let Read A New Book Month go by without discovering a new author!
“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.” 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.
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.
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)
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.” 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
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
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.
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!
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!).
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!
We believe in doing activities outside of the office for the opportunity to bond with our teammates, and we love taking pictures to remember these great times! In our kitchen, we have a bulletin board full of these memories, and as we add more valued employees and participate in more activities, the less room we have on the board! Here are a few photos from our 2017 Holiday Party, a Spartan Race, rock climbing, and more!
Cups: For drinks or for games? We vote games. In 2012, Anna Kendrick in Pitch Perfect performed a song using just her voice and a cup, and had teens clapping and singing using a cup as a musical instrument. At Sulzer, we decided to use them for fun, too, for another team building exercise!!
Just cups, a rubber band, and string. The goal was to build up the cups to a pyramid, but without using your hands…even when it falls on the floor!
When we did this exercise, we recently had a few new faces join the team, so it was the perfect time to do a team exercise and give everyone a chance to get to know each other better. Here’s what some of our new teammates had to say:
“It was a lot of fun! We may have been the slowest team, but quality cup construction takes time.
It was great to see how the team was able to communicate and work together.” – Stephanie, Application Developer
“It was interesting to see how everyone kind of took a role without even communicating one!” – Matt, Jr. Cyber Security Consultant
“I think the team exercise we did was really awesome. It’s a great way to interact with people that work on different teams from one another.
It was definitely a fun experience, and I’m looking forward to more of these.” – Olivia, HR Coordinator