We’ve all heard the cliché that the most important project any engineer will ever have is the management of his or her own career. The question, of course, is how to do it. Computer professionals just starting out can find part of the answer at the new “Build Your Career” Web site launched in November by the IEEE Computer Society. Although still in its early stage, “Build Your Career” already ranks as the second most visited page on the Computer Society’s heavily trafficked Web site, according to Dick Price, the society’s associate publisher, who oversees the site.
The site has several kinds of content: news, feature articles, tutorial packages called TechSets, material from Harvard Business School, and advertisements for related services and products.
Both technical and management topics are covered. The news items are mostly summaries of stories about the computer industry from sources on the Web. As the site develops, these will be supplemented by original material, and news will be updated daily. In addition, several newsletters will be launched this year and sent to site visitors interested in receiving them.
Offered free of charge, individual articles are drawn from Computer Society archives and grouped under such headings as management, Internet/Web, and software development. Topics include how to make brainstorming more effective, understanding corporate hierarchies, appreciating the importance of software maintenance, and the coming of service-oriented architecture.
Readers who want to dig into a particular topic will appreciate TechSets—collections of articles that have been deemed as especially useful to people early in their careers. The articles are selected from the Computer Society’s digital library by experts (usually guest editors of the society’s magazines) who will also write introductions to the material. Most of the TechSets cost US $29.
PARTNERSHIPS The Harvard Business School material is the fruit of a partnership between the Computer Society and Harvard Business School Publishing, which publishes the Harvard Business Review, Harvard Business School Press books, and various newsletters. The partnership, which Price hopes will be the first of many, allows visitors to “Build Your Career” to purchase articles from the Review and books from the Press. As of this writing, Harvard is offering visitors to the site a free article from the Review: “Why Should Anyone Be Led by You?” by Robert Goffee and Gareth Jones.
Lenovo, which acquired the IBM Personal Computing Division, advertises its wares on the site and offers a discount to visitors.
Although it was not part of the original plan, the Computer Society is considering offering experienced professionals affected by technology change and job outsourcing refresher materials and advice on how to switch gears midcareer, Price says.