Getting LinkedIn to the Industry

A little over a decade ago networking with colleagues and potential employers was done directly for the most part. As part of our society’s transition into the digital era, we have digitized this process into what we call social networks. One of these networks in-particular has emerged as a professional networking tool that connects potential employees with prospective employers and gives the employee a chance to sell themselves via a digital profile. This is, of course, LinkedIn which launched in 2003 and serves as a professional network to over 259 million users as they last reported.

The basic functionality of LinkedIn is available to anyone, so making your profile standout among the others competing for your position is worth putting effort into. Researchers at the University of Brussels recently conducted a study, on the influences that social networks have on recruitment and selection procedures, in which they found that nearly 71% of employers use LinkedIn to find additional information on potential employees. Knowing how to maximize the positive influence your profile could have on your prospective employer could be a huge benefit if done properly.

So how do we make the most of our LinkedIn profiles? The first thing that should be done is completing the basics of the profile (i.e. your industry, current/past positions, education, profile picture, etc.), LinkedIn itself walks the user through this part, so there is no excuse to not have this completed. While filling out these details, your profile should be as detailed as possible, don’t be coy, show off your qualifications to your employer, your LinkedIn profile is your chance at marketing your skills and experience (Caers, 2010). Your profile may also serve as a indication of your personality to the employer as well; this is why you’ll want your profile picture to be a simple and professional head-shot that establishes the perception that you are professional.

Making the profile look good is half the battle, if you want to truly optimize your LinkedIn profile, making it visible will greatly increase its benefit. Part of this is growing your network out via friends, past and present coworkers, or other people you know on LinkedIn. Connecting to all these people makes you more relevant in their search results, a good position to be in if they ever need your advertised skills. In terms of visibility, having a fully completed profile helps us out once again, by having all this detailed information completed; search engines are more likely to pick out keywords relevant to your area of expertise in your profile and far more likely to populate the search results, of a search query by a recruiter possibly, with your profile as one of the results.

So there you have it, building an effective LinkedIn profile is worth the relatively small time investment, getting your skills and experience out onto the internet for employers to see could connect you with many opportunities that could have otherwise eluded you.



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Another task bites the dust

As was outlined in earlier entries; the sprint backlog contains requirements. Requirements could mean expected outcomes of pressing a button, what the GUI should look like, or multitude of other things. The requirements themselves, cannot always be converted straight into functioning features, this is why we create task lists.

Task lists are essentially the way agile teams take a big idea, such as a feature, and break it down into smaller and more specific detailed tasks. Interestingly this breakdown can be done in a recursive fashion, meaning that if the team breaks down a task and finds that it is still too broad of an idea to translate into code, they can do it again and again until it is. All that matters is that, however many tasks you have, completing them eventually results in the original user story or requirement. Kelly Waters, author of the book All About Agile and esteemed member of the agile community in the UK, notes that it is important for tasks to be measurable, such that the task is a description of what will be delivered versus what will be done.

Now we have a list of tasks that need to be done, this is where we run into another would-be obstacle. When someone, say a programmer, checks off an item as done; what did he mean by that? This question may sound silly, however I assure you that it is very relevant. The word “done” can be interpreted by two individuals differently. Person A’s definition of done could entail things aside from implementation, like testing, whereas person B’s definition may not include such things. Therefore, it is important to creating a definition of done (Waters, 2007), when creating tasks on the task list such that the team can feel confident that they are all on the same page when an item gets marked as done.

So how do we go about creating a definition of done? The tasks themselves, as stated earlier, should be descriptions of what will be delivered. So a good question to ask ourselves should be, can we ship it as a deliverable as is? This question brings up a couple more: Has the client approved it? Has it been tested? These questions could vary greatly depending on the organization in which this project is taking place (Waters, 2007), but the overall the definition of done should be comprehensive enough such that your team can feel confident that they will not have to waste time coming back to this feature in future and can move on to the next feature.


Agile Task Table [Image]. Retrieved October 12, 2014, from:

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Eberlein, A., & Leite, J. C. S. P. (2002, September). Agile requirements definition: A view from requirements

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Waters, K. (2007, April 8). Agile Principle 7: Done Means DONE! Retrieved October 12, 2014, from