Thrive for Developers: Microsoft’s New Site for Developers Looking for Work

This article also appears in Canadian Developer Connection.

Motivational poster: Sad "Star Wars" stoprmtrooper sitting alone on a train: "Unemployment: Sucks when your job gets blow'd up"

If you’re a developer looking for a job – or if you already have a job and are looking for a better one – you’ll want to check out Microsoft’s new Thrive for Developers, which describes itself as a one-stop community hub for advancing your career, enhancing your skills and connecting with your community. Having stuff like this has always been important, but it’s even more so in the middle of what I like to refer to as “The Econopocalypse”.

Some of the features on Thrive for Developers are:

  • Driving Your Career: A 32-week screencast series that takes a look at some skills that developers need to thrive in the current climate. The fact that they’re called “soft skills” suggest that many people don’t think much of them, but if you’ve seen my own personal example (laid off by a startup last September, invited to a dozen interview, hired by Microsoft three weeks later) or read books like Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers, you know that soft skills are valuable and anything but “soft”. Screencast Brian Prince will cover things like quick learning techniques, building consensus and the oft-difficult task of communicating with those pesky carbon-based lifeforms.
  • Connecting with Your Community: There’s a whole section that makes it easy to meet with other developers in your area or across North America, whether you want to find a job, join a user group, attend a developer gathering or catch a “nerd dinner”.
  • Developing in a Downturn: A lively 10-week podcast with stories, insights and real-world lessons from developers in all sorts of work environments – from small companies to multinationals – who share their top recession survival strategies.
  • Enhance Your Skills: Interactive lab sessions and resources covering both web development and Windows client application development.

Whether you’re looking to get into the game or stay on top of yours, Thrive for Developers is a great resource worth checking out.


Your Last Chance to Get JPG Magazine

Stack of issues of JPG magazine. JPG magazine was beautiful but unsustainable. A photography magazine whose contributors were also its readers, it was part publication, part online community and part art project. You didn’t have to be an established professional photographer to get published in JPG; all you had to do was submit a really good shot (and everyone’s got one really good shot in them). Photography magazines aren’t really my thing, but I actually bought a couple of issues of JPG because the photos and articles they featured caught my eye.

With the public’s flagging interest in print media, the current economic situation and the costs of running a print publication on photo magazine-quality paper, JPG magazine was running out of money. They tried for months to find buyers or investors without success. Yesterday, they announced that they will be shutting down completely – not just the print magazine, but their website as well – on Monday, January 5th.

If you’re a JPG reader or are just interested in what the magazine was all about, you should follow their suggestions, which include:

Remember, if you want to download PDF back issues, do it before Monday!

[This article was also published in The Adventures of Accordion Guy in the 21st Century.]p>