Tools

I’ve spent my working life in four professions (programmer, digital marketer, sales, manager), sometimes all at the same time. Here are some of the tools that have helped me, and might be useful to you:

From time to time I post links I think are useful on del.icio.us. Feel free to check them from time to time.

Programming

I started my career as a programmer writing C and BASIC medical software. After 8 years away doing other things, I came back programming, and decided I’ll always be coding. These are tools that have helped me in my programming career:

  • TIOBE Index – This tool tracks how popular different programming languages are. It’s not perfect, but can show you if a language is gaining or losing momentum. You should have a look before starting a major new project or deciding on learning a new language.
  • Rosetta Code – Comparisons of how to implement common programming solutions in different languages so you can see the differences for yourself.
  • Don Knuth’s Art of Computer Programming series is must read for anyone who calls themselves a programmer, software engineer or analyst.

Sales

Everyone is in sales, they just don’t know it.  Here are a few tools that have been more than helpful to me:

  • I can’t recommend reading Dr. Tom Sant’sPersuasive Business Proposals book” enough. Every big deal I’ve ever won was done using his proposal writing method.
  • Which brings me to getting in the door. Anthony Parinello’s Selling to VITO taught me how to kick in doors to sell big deals to important people (or at least people who think they are important). Of course, it’s always easier to get in the door if you know someone…
  • … which leads me to the best book on networking I’ve ever read: Superconnect. Written before social networks were huge, Superconnect will help you understand the science and psychology behind building your network.

Digital Marketing

I built my first internet campaign in 1998 when I built out a website/email driven campaign to market GoldMine and Heat software for a company called Expanse. Ever since then, I’ve been a believer in using technology to market. Here are a few tools I’ve discovered along the way:

  • Search engines are still where most worthwhile traffic comes from.  Digital Point Forums and Search Engine Land provide up to date information and lots of quality discussion on search engine optimization (free search listings) and search engine marketing (paid search advertising) that you can use.
  • Social media has been a passion for me since starting Indy Associates and Professional Blog Service. I read Mashable to keep up, and talk regularly with blogging and social media gurus Erik Deckers and Paul Lorinczi.

Consulting & General Business

I’ve started four companies of my own. Three were consulting/professional services companies. One was a financial service firm.  Here are a few tools that have been very useful to me:

  • Alan Weiss is one of my all time favorite consulting authors.  His book Million Dollar Consulting is a must read if you are an independent consultant or are running a professional services company.  If you consult, you should tear through the free stuff on Alan’s website and subscribe to his newsletter.
  • Security is important in modern business for two reasons: loss prevention and loss prevention. On one hand, you have people using technology to steal, and on the other hand you have people throwing money in a hole buying useless security solutions.  Bruce Schneier does a great job sorting it out and is the man who coined the phrase “Security Theater” to describe the TSA (my thoughts on these idiots are here). Bruce is probably worth at least a weekly read.

Feel free to comment on anything here, or to post you favorites as I’m always looking for new ideas.

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