Category Archive : Tech

5 Tips for Managing a Research Lab

Management isn’t easy, whether you’re running a train station, a gallery, or a research lab. That being said, running a lab comes with more risks than running a boutique clothing shop does. There are plenty of hazards that the house team at a lab comes into contact with daily. Various dangerous materials, complicated machinery, and other dangers lie in wait for laboratory workers. There’s a reason that OSHA standards exist, and it’s to make sure that laboratories remain safe spaces for people to work in, whether they’re filled with software developers or chemists.

While this may sound daunting, there are a few key things to keep in mind that can make running a research laboratory a smooth experience. Read more to find out about the best way to maintain occupation safety and avoid unnecessary hazards to your house team’s health.

1. Keep everyone awake and hydrated.

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Sometimes software developers, scientists, and other laboratory employees have to work long hours on detailed tasks. This is especially common if the laboratory you’re running is part of a small business that’s trying to make waves and stand out on the scene. If this is the case, you want to ensure that your team isn’t falling asleep as they work, especially when there are health hazards lying about and dangerous machinery that shouldn’t be operated when drowsy. However, despite wanting everyone to be awake, you also don’t want to blow your entire small business’ budget at Starbucks or Peet’s.

One solution to this problem is to sign up for a coffee delivery service. Really excellent coffee service will allow you to choose the blend and roast of the coffee you’re ordering, whether it’s espresso or brewing coffee, and you can even add flavor preferences or specialty teas to your order. With a coffee subscription, you’ll be saving money on cups of coffee and making sure that the house team at your startup is focused on the task at hand and not keeping their drooping eyelids from closing.

2. Make sure you’re using pure water without contaminants.

If you’re developing software, you don’t need to think about pure water, deionizers, or reverse osmosis processes, but many other research facilities do need to be aware of these issues. If you’re working with delicate materials, you know that tap water will not do the kind of tasks you’re carrying out. Deionized water (DI water) purified through reverse osmosis is free of contaminants and impurities, not to mention minerals like calcium that are often found in ‘hard water.’ If you want to adhere to best practices for maintaining water purity and keeping ions and minerals like calcium, sodium, or magnesium out of your water source, you need to invest in a deionized water solution for your laboratory. While it may seem like an extravagance, bear in mind that impurities and ions in the water can compromise your whole research project, so taking care of the liquid you use is actually a crucial part of managing a successful research facility.

3. Learn more about OSHA requirements.

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Safety has to be the priority, regardless of what you’re researching and which time zone of the United States you’re operating in. After all, a supervisor’s role is to make sure everything runs smoothly, which means keeping the workplace secure and comfortable. Some supervisors show resistance when they learn all they must do to adhere to OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) standards. Still, the truth is that a certificate of OSHA compliance shows that employer responsibility is being taken seriously in a facility.

If you’re a supervisor or project manager who needs to get your facility up to code and aren’t sure where to start, OSHA training courses are available for that purpose precisely. During the OSHA training course, a trainer will walk you through all the steps involved in getting your facility OSHA compliant. Everything from mitigating hazards to fall protection comes up during the training course, so you’ll be sure to be prepared for anything the OSHA representatives ask of you.

4. Put software outsourcing to good use.

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A project manager can keep everyone on task and safe by using a software outsourcing company to manage databases, manage projects, and get customized software geared to a facility’s specific needs. Software out sourcing and working with software developers or software engineers who have the ability to understand your needs and streamline your employee experience will make everything easier.

By employing a software solution grounded in machine learning and artificial intelligence, a business owner or supervisor such as yourself can be using programs that are continuously learning about your specific business needs. Keeping track of suppliers, streamlining workflow and communication, and data management or analysis will all take your capacity to the next level. This is critical for several important reasons. By relying upon an outsourced company for software development, you’ll be working with sharper tools without the expense of paying someone on your house team to figure out the nuts and bolts for you.

5. Invest in employee experience.

Happy employees take more care with their work, and that’s just the simple truth. In fact, this may be the most important thing that a business owner can invest in. You can have the best coffee, the purest deionized water, and the smartest software developers, but if your employees aren’t happy, you can count on a lousy workflow. That, of course, means that you won’t bring financial success to your small business the way that Prabir Purohit brought to Dominion Energy. Take an example from Purohit. He knew that it’s not just about being the most important worksite in the U.S.; it’s about having a development team that cares about company values and feels committed to one another. Whether you’re in South Carolina, Maine, New York, or California, you need to have a finger on the pulse of your house team’s social dynamics. Ensure everyone is happy and fulfilled, and you’ll be running a successful worksite in no time.

5 Excellent Resources for People With Disabilities

Living with a disability doesn’t mean you need to be limited in how you experience life. There is a wide range of resources available to people with disabilities to help them lead active lives. Some simple assistive aids and devices can make a significant difference for those living with disabilities and their families or caregivers, in many cases. Learning what options are available to you may feel difficult because most people are unaware of disability resources unless they directly impact their lives. Here are five resources to be aware of.

Online Hearing Tests

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Going back and forth to the audiologist can be tiresome or complicated, depending on your schedule and transportation needs, not to mention expensive. An online hearing test can cut down on trips needed to the audiologist. Your audiologist can determine if you need hearing aid devices through your online screening. Profound hearing loss is a disability within itself, but it can also exacerbate other disabilities, making it increasingly difficult to communicate. Damage to the ear canal can cause hearing loss suddenly or overtime, depending on the extent of the damage. If you have normal hearing, it’s vital to protect it by avoiding dangerous activities that could lead to severe hearing loss.

There are many types of hearing aids that can help with each type of hearing loss. A licensed physician can help you maintain your social skills and perform all your recreational activities with a new hearing aid.

Day Habilitation Centers

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Day habilitation for the disabled provides a safe and engaging setting for people with developmental disabilities. Community habilitation provides activities, education, and work opportunities while caregivers can rest or go to work themselves. Lifestyles for the Disabled runs day habilitation centers with years of experience in the field to provide the best possible opportunities for their consumers.

The level of engagement varies based on the needs of each consumer. A day habilitation program is a highly valuable resource for both the consumer and their caretakers. Caring for someone with intellectual disabilities is a full-time job and can be mentally and emotionally exhausting. With a resource center, your loved one can go where you know they will be safe, cared for, and engaged, and that is invaluable.

Mobility Aids

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Mobility aids include crutches, walkers, wheelchairs, and other devices that make it easier for people with disabilities to move around. Mobility can include balance or strength, so different options are available depending on individual mobility needs. Some devices can be added to vehicles to help people move in and out of the vehicle to make it easier to leave the house.

Falling creates a serious risk for people with disabilities, and mobility aids will lessen the risk of falling. Removing area rugs, cleaning up spills immediately, and keeping furniture well spaced are other ways to lessen the risk of falling.

Smart Home Devices

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Many view smart home devices as a luxury, but for people with disabilities, they can greatly enhance home life by making it easier to get what they need without having to constantly get up and down or move around. For someone with vision or hearing problems, being able to turn lights on and off from a still position can reduce the risk of falls or injuries. For someone with mobility problems, being able to control things from a still position can make their home life easier and more enjoyable.

Assistive Technology

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Assistive technology includes a wide range of computers and software programs designed to aid people with disabilities. This includes computers that will read any documents, mail, or books out loud. Other assistive technology forms include keyboards, joysticks, and other devices adapted to someone with limited mobility. Vehicles adapted to have handles instead of a wheel or pedals at a different height or spacing are also considered assistive technology because they allow people with disabilities to utilize them without difficulty.

No matter what kinds of disabilities a person is living with, there are assistive options available, and they only get better as technology improves.

How to Succeed in School the Rory Gilmore Way

If you’re looking for some fictionalized inspiration to kickstart your study habits, there’s no doubt that Rory Gilmore will be one of the first characters to come to mind. Whether you’re an avid Gilmore Girls fan or you’ve only seen GIFs of Rory and Lorelai eating junk food, absorbing all the pop culture they can get their hands on, or drinking inordinate amounts of coffee, you probably conflate “Rory Gilmore” and “book smart” in your mind. Luckily, we’ve had eight seasons of the Gilmores to inspire us. Channel your inner Rory for massive success in school!

Do the Readings, Then Read Some More

Always keep a book with you. While it won’t have the all-important book smell, you can even download the free Kindle app to your phone to have a digital library with you wherever you go. When your teacher assigns a book, read it—not the SparkNotes version. But be sure to branch out, too. If a topic comes up in class that interests you, search for book titles in that subject on Amazon or Google. And, don’t forget to have your daily dose of fiction, whether it’s a classic or a new release. Want to go all-in? Check out the Rory Gilmore Reading Challenge to read all of the titles Rory read in the series.

Caffeinate

No true Gilmore Girl would try to get through the day (or a study session) without a pick-me-up. If you don’t like coffee, opt for your favorite energizing drink instead—did you know that Alexis Bledel dislikes coffee and usually had cola in her mug?

Study, Study, Study

This one should be obvious: Rory studies like a superhuman. However, adhering to a study schedule that intense might lead to burnout, which will only detract from your goals in the long run. Check out your favorite studyblr or head to Pinterest for some inspiration to kickstart your study habits. For example, check out the Pomodoro method to prevent study fatigue. Find yourself floundering still? Look into a summer boot camp to boost your standardized test scores (to Rory-approved levels) and build better study habits.

Stock Up On Supplies

A pleasing aesthetic certainly isn’t the most important part of your study routine, but it helps keep you motivated. Color-code your notes. Make the pretty flashcards. Keep your planner updated and ready for scheduling study dates and extracurriculars. Head to your version of Doose’s Market (or, you know, Amazon) and pick up whatever pens, highlighters, notebooks, and other office supplies bring a bit of joy to your school day.

Don’t Forget the Brain Food

Any self-respecting Gilmore girl will be ready with Pop-Tarts, takeout, and whatever the daily choice is at Al’s Pancake World. Your brain needs plenty of food to fuel all that schoolwork, right? Keep a special treat on hand for your study sessions—you can even use it as one of your motivation techniques.

Dress the Part

While you’re studying and working through assignments at home, a messy bun and sweats are fine. But, when you’re actually in class, a little effort goes a long way. Not only will you make a better impression on your peers and teachers, but also you’ll feel better (and work better). Channel Rory’s schoolgirl look with petite cardigans and pleated skirts, or shop around for something that matches your personal style and helps you look like the serious student you’re becoming.

Sometimes You’ll Fall Short (and That’s Okay)

While Rory is undoubtedly the reigning queen of studying, she’s not perfect. Even fictional humans make mistakes (I mean, look at the Gilmore Girls revival…). Sometimes she gets bad grades. She makes poor decisions. She messes up, just like we all do. The most important thing is that you bounce back afterward. Even when you have a bad day, know that your hard work will pay off down the road if you keep it up.

Rory Gilmore might not be the perfect role model, but her study success can’t be beaten. Get dressed in your prep school best, learn the right study habits for you, grab some coffee and a donut, and get to work!

What Equipment Is Needed to Run a Call Center?

When you set up a call center, you streamline the process for your team to achieve goals. A great set up starts with considering how many employees you’ll need and setting concrete objectives for your call center. 

Once those are established, you’ll want to make sure the call center equipment you use is right for your needs. Here are some tips for getting your new system running. 

Find Practical Computers

Call center operations use sophisticated software to enhance the customer experience and ensure that all calls are routed to the right agent for minimum frustration and maximum efficiency. The desktop computer is the basic element undergirding the whole operation. Even when using cloud-based call center software, agents need a way to access it.

Locate your nearest uBreakiFix location so any computer issues can be fixed the right way the first time, and with minimal downtime. As you buy, choose desktops over laptops. While some laptops are cheaper, there are good reasons to prefer desktops: 

  • Faster processing speeds at a lower cost than equivalent speeds on a laptop
  • More storage space
  • More connections for working with headsets, microphones or any other add-ons
  • Greater safety for your investment, as a larger size, makes them harder to steal and less likely to be moved and dropped

Use Efficient Headsets

Your personnel needs quality headsets. The traditional phone simply won’t do the job, and a poor quality headset will result in frustrated customers (and agents). Agents will have difficulty hearing the customer over the noise of the call center, and customers will have trouble making out the agent if the headsets aren’t equipped with a quality microphone.

While choosing a headset is always a balance of cost and quality, good headsets have a few things in common:

  • They are wired since wireless headsets have to be recharged and cost more for equivalent quality
  • They are comfortable so that agents are not tempted to remove them frequently
  • They offer noise reduction technology that enables agents to hear customers clearly
  • They have a reputation for quality, so you don’t have to replace them in just a few months
  • They have USB connections for the best sound quality and voice clarity

Select User-Friendly Software 

The software you choose for your call center should improve quality and speed. Good software gets your agents, customers and business goals all on the same page and reduces handling times, callbacks, and transfers. The right software will also offer you a high degree of functionality without the need to invest in extensive on-premises infrastructure.

There are many types of cloud-based call center software available, but not all are created equal. Here’s what to look for:

  • Omnichannel integration so you can communicate with your customers seamlessly across channels
  • Call center quality management so you can observe, measure, and evaluate how the call center is performing
  • Consistent, reliable uptime with 24/7 customer support
  • Scalability so your call center can respond flexibly to your business needs
  • Predictive dialers with CRM integrations and customizable workflow

Settle In With Comfortable Equipment

Call centers have an unpleasant reputation for high turnover among agents. Every time an agent leaves, you have to find a new one, retrain them, and accept slower speeds and lowered efficiency for a while as the new agent learns the ropes. One simple way of retaining your call center agents is by making them comfortable.

You may choose to make agents comfortable by hiring them to work from home, but if you have them come to your facility, here are some things to consider getting:

  • Chairs comfortable enough to sit in for hours at a time
  • Desks designs and computer mice that minimize repetitive stress injury
  • Lighting that is comfortable rather than glaring
  • Blue light filters for computer screens to minimize headaches and eyestrain
  • A break room where agents can decompress

Which Type of Engineering Should You Study?

Deciding on a major when you get to college can be daunting. What’s even more daunting is when you decide to go into a field such as engineering, which has countless applications in several areas and industries. So, how do you decide which focus is the right fit for you? Looking at successful engineering companies and firms can help you figure out what your most lucrative choices might be. When it comes down to being an engineering student, it’s important to have a solid understanding of what your life will be like as an engineering major as well as post-graduation.

What To Expect As An Engineering Major

Majoring in engineering requires studying a variety of fields, including science, math, and even business. The broad nature of the skills you master in your introductory years as an engineering student means that there are a variety of disciplines for you to choose from as you continue to specify your education. You’ll be trained in identifying and solving problems, communicating effectively, and formulating and carrying out experiments. Depending on your concentration, you may also need to take courses in ethics.

Each engineering major will have a different set of skills that they hone in undergrad. These skills will ultimately prepare you to work effectively in the environment most relevant to your field of study, and each environment is different. For example, if you’re planning on becoming a biomedical engineer, you may need to learn how to use medical technology like MRI machines. You may also need to learn how to use specialized work gear such as flame-resistant clothing if you’re working as a fire engineer. Fire engineers help keep buildings up to code and may also investigate certain fires. If you aren’t as excited about science but are still interested in finding a lucrative engineering job, Civil Engineering may be a good fit for you. While considered one of the “easier” engineering jobs to get, the day-to-day demands of your actual career are much more stressful than other types of engineering. Ultimately, what concentration you choose to focus on as an engineering major comes down to your aptitudes and interests. However, keeping in mind the average starting salaries as well as where you would like to be working in five or ten years can also help inform your decision.

It’s important to note that, regardless of the field of study you choose, a career in engineering entails dedicating yourself to staying up to date on the latest advancements, discoveries, and creations. Engineers are lifelong learners, so you must be willing to attend conferences and presentations even once you receive your degree. Doing so ensures that you will always stay at the forefront of your field and stay competitive in the job market. How exactly do you find a job, though?

Staffing Agencies Are One Route To A Career

Of course, once you graduate with your engineering degree, you’ll need to find a job to put your skills to use. Enter businesses like Enser Corporation. Enser Corp is an engineering staffing agency that was established in 1947 to provide solutions for engineering service demands, including areas like design, testing, and analysis. The agency can help place you in a job ranging anywhere from Mechanical Design to Finite Element Analysis, making them the perfect choice for recent graduates. Enser prides itself on offering a caliber of service that’s unmatched by other engineering firms. Best of all, since they serve both you and a specific client, it’s in their best interest to find suitable job placements for both parties. This can make the job application process much simpler and far less stressful. Some agencies will even be able to help coach you through designing your resume and fielding interview questions.

Where Can I Take a DO-254 Training Course?

There are multiple routes to take when opting for DO 254 training. From certification seminars to accredited college programs, applicants can focus on multiple approaches when opting for extensive training. These also include more technical details pertaining to the DO-254 curriculum, while also learning real-world skills that may be applicable to the job.

It’s ideal to conduct extensive research before opting for any single approach. This is because you need to find the best teachers, the best instructors and the best programs that give you that perfect fit. There is a significant gap between the intent behind DO-254 certification and what students eventually end up learning. That’s why it’s important to find the right program structure, in which students can learn the necessary skills around this specific program.

Opting for Training Programs

Training and certification programs are some of the best ways to acquire the skills needed to become adept at DO-254. Since the DO-254 Design Assurance Guidance for Airborne Electronic Hardware guide is a comprehensive one, it’s best to work with the leading training institutions in your area.

You can also opt for a blended online and offline approach, in which case you’re able to gain flexibility when learning the skills necessary. You should be able to feel like you’re prepared to expand your horizon in the domain of avionics after you’ve graduated from the training program.

It’s also important to talk to some of the graduates from the training institute or company. It helps to get a clearer idea about the teaching methodologies leveraged during the program so that you can understand whether it’s a good fit for you.

Finding the Right Instructors

When figuring out where to take your DO-254 training program, you should look over at the instructor’s sheet as well. Instructors with deep experience in avionics, flight patterns, and technical safety domains are better equipped to teach an engaging class. You can also reach out to them via email if you want to ask a few questions before taking the course.

Students can also work with instructors directly, under the training program, and opt for additional lessons on key domains. Since the DO-254 program is an extensive one, it’s critical to master multiple objectives within the domain. The right instructors should be able to provide guidance on the key contents of the overall program.

Following Up With the Right Questions

Students also need to have the ability to follow-up with the right questions, whether they’re opting for a blended course or an offline program. This is key to the program, as students learn best when they’re able to approach the instructors freely. You can also follow up with professors after class is complete, or when the course is over.

Additionally, in the case of a seminar, it’s best to ask questions as and when they arise. This is so that you’re able to have a more open dialogue with your instructors and communicate doubts early on. You can also share questions after the seminar is over by email or webchat features.

Developing Competence in Hardware

A critical component of the DO-254 program is acquiring competency in the hardware space. By having the right skills in the hardware domain, candidates become more well-equipped when they’re out in the field. They’re also able to deliver on key projects while having complete confidence within the field.

Key subject areas such as avionics systems, airline safety, hardware planning, design and infrastructure, testing and more should be covered under a comprehensive training program. Candidates can opt for these comprehensive courses that allow you to review the curriculum early in the process.

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