Weblogic Authors: Yeshim Deniz, Elizabeth White, Michael Meiner, Michael Bushong, Avi Rosenthal

Related Topics: Release Management , ColdFusion, Adobe Flex, Agile Computing

Release Management : Article

Personal Branding Checklist

Personal branding is a continual process just as knowing yourself is a continual process

9  Signature
Next to knowing what you want, I think this is the most important, regardless of the industry. Your signature is what identifies you. People associate your signature with you, thus it is a direct reflection of you. Signatures give context to who you are, and provide people with valuable information, namely, an e-mail address and Website. When people are searching on Google for answers to their questions, they may come upon a forum posting or archived e-mail list thread where you answered the question they are seeking answers for. If your signature stands out, you've just gained a new fan.

At a bare minimum, they should include your name and e-mail. That way, when e-mails are forwarded, it's immediately apparent who wrote something, and how to get in contact with them.

Having your Website is nice too because sometimes it can differ from the domain your e-mail is on. While my current work e-mail is [email protected], my Website is jessewarden.com, thus, I include both my company's Website and my own.

Any extra is up to you. I personally like short and sweet signatures.

Jesse Warden
Flex Developer
[email protected]


Jesse Randall Warden
Flex, Flash, & Flash Lite Developer
[email protected]
[email protected]
cell: 123-456-9000
home: 555-867-5309
AOL: [email protected]
MSN: [email protected]
Yahoo: [email protected]

In an age where screen real estate is in high demand, even with multi-screen and widescreen displays, if it fits in an e-mail window, you are visible, and having your brand visible and recognized is a good thing!

Some people like to add their mantras or a favorite quote. Be careful in your choices though. When in doubt don't put one in, as you could offend or alienate someone based on your literary or movie character preference.

The most important thing is that your signature needs to be text. Accompanying an image with your signature is dangerous. We're going for reach here, trying to get your brand everywhere. Not all e-mail clients, Web apps, nor devices support images and HTML layouts the same. You cannot depend on an accurate representation of your brand and that is a bad thing. What you can depend on is that if you make your signature text, it'll show up correctly in Outlook, Outlook Express, Thunderbird, Gmail, Hotmail, and even Gmail on my phone.

Temper that Spartan, lowest-common denominator approach with your industry and technological reach. If you are building your brand in a big company like IBM, for example, you can be sure most have Lotus notes. If you design it, you can depend on, for the most part, that others will see it. If most of your customers have Outlook, you can get away with a lot of HTML and CSS formatted designs. Temper the value of the visual perception with the reach of your audience.

One last thing to watch out for: canned responses. They are rude, non-personal, and dehumanize your brand. You are a person building a unique and personal identity. You want to ensure that your signature is separate from your response. People are not machines and shouldn't be treated as such. Seeing this shows I'm sending mixed messages, and have apathy toward my signature's perception:

I'll get that file to you right away!

- Thanks


Jesse Warden

Closures to e-mails are similar to letters, thus you need to tailor closings to the situation. "Love, Jesse" to my wife; "Sincerely, Jesse R. Warden" to those in business; and "Peace Out!" to my homies. Don't let a machine write sincerity for you; it's cold, shallow apathy at that point.

If you are a programmer, every piece of code ever written by you in the public domain via some open source license or merely uploaded to your blog should have your name, e-mail, and Website listed in it, visibly. If you have code floating around in the wild that you've written that does not have your name in it, fix it now. I built my career by putting my name, e-mail, and Website URL in my code. You can too! There is nothing better for a programmer than looking on the Net for that one piece of example code to help, finding yours, and immediately recognizing that it's exactly what they are looking for. They are henceforth your biggest fan.

Your signature is who you are, your title, and your contact information. You should put this on everything you touch.

10  Logo
Shape and color are the two most important things in design. They evoke emotions, and shape people's perceptions toward what they represent. Brands have a visual representation in the form of a logo. While "Coca-Cola the product" is a bubbling, syrupy black liquid that extinguishes any flame that comes near it, "Coca-Cola the brand" is the white script text on a red background. The logo is the visual bridge of association for the brand, the pneumonic device people have in their heads of what the brand represents. If they see a logo, they should immediately recognize the brand it represents. That is the litmus test of a successful logo.

Nicknames are even invented around the logo, thus completing the loop of brand recognition. IBM's referred to as "Big Blue"; their logo is blue, and they are a big company.

Zorro had his trademark "Z" scratched with a rapier into his victim's clothing, or places of interest for the antagonists to see. It sent a clear message that he meant business, and struck with quick, fierce resolve. So much so, his logo required quite an impromptu canvas, written in swashbuckling candor. That same "I mean business" logo also struck hope into the hearts of downtrodden thousands.

It wasn't just the letter "z."

11  Personal Goals
Life can be measured by how many breaths you take. A journey can be measured in how many steps you take. In working toward what you want, you do so via milestones. Personal milestones are a set of goals. Setting personal goals for yourself helps gives your desire purpose, shows trackable progress, and helps build your self-esteem as you build up a set of personal accomplishments through attaining goals.

My greatest stretch of personal programming growth was a span of two years. In those two years, I had a set of goals for myself. My overall milestone was to be able to duplicate a favorite game of mine in code. The deeper I dug, the more complex things I found that I didn't know how to do. Every day after work, I'd pick something I didn't know how to do.

"These characters in the game somehow know how to walk to a point I click on the screen."

Then I'd dive in for hours, researching online, writing my own test code to compare my results with others. When I'd get a final result, the rush was awesome. I'd do it other ways to see if there were better ways of doing things. Then, I'd do it again.

"These characters seem to know how to walk around things. How in the heck do they know how to do that?"

The abyss of complexity was open at that point. Sometimes I'd take two steps backward in order to relearn the exact same approaches. The whole time I had a file structure that was proof of my accomplishments. It also showcased how far I had come. I'd open code just six months old and go, "I wrote that!? What an idiot...you do it this way now...". It made me feel really good to see I was making progress. A lot of the time I'd get angry that I wasn't progressing fast enough, but I could not deny the reasonable proof of progress.

By having a goal to shoot for, you have a clear path, and thus purpose in your day-to-day work life.

12  More than One Resume
You do not "have a resume." You have a template of your skills in digital form that appears as a resume at first glance, but in fact is a living, breathing document. Every single potential employer or contract should receive a customized resume. This can be as minute as a modified objective, the top part of your resume, to an entirely different design and set of content.

When applying for an "in the trenches" job, your resume's objective should clearly express your desires to work hard, get your hands dirty, and yearn for the approval of your employers on a job well done. If your objective showcases you enjoy leading teams, enjoy managing multiple teams, and are also skilled at delegation, an employer will question why you are applying for a hands-on job when you are clearly looking for a management position instead.

You never lie. Lying is wrong, immoral, and shows that you are not being true to your brand. If you are a trench warrior, proudly announce it as such, and having your objective on your resume clearly indicates your bayonet is ready for duty. If you are a leader, and want to guide your troops to victory, articulate that you are more than ready for marching orders. Life is too short to shortchange yourself and others. Happiness is the ultimate goal. An honest goal, both to yourself and others, will help you attain goals toward that path.

You shouldn't be all over the map, either. Your objective should be directly related to your ultimate want. If your objectives are all over the map because your wants are, this isn't necessarily a bad thing. You will attain goals quicker, with more satisfying results, if you focus your wants into a singular purpose. It makes things a lot easier to articulate, at least to an employer. If you have grander goals in your head, no problem. Just make sure your employer reads an objective that is applicable to the job you are applying for.

Skills can be readjusted based on the job. For example, I sell myself 100% as a client developer. I make no illusions that I want nor am I willing to do server-side development. Flex? Yes. Ruby? Hell, no. If I have a dry run of contract / consulting, you can be sure I'll be changing my tune to adapt to market conditions. I'll only do so, however, when I'm extremely broke. Even so, even Flex jobs can be tailored to. For example, consider the following scenario: "We're looking for someone with experience with Flex to interface with some legacy systems as well as Spring and Hibernate."

I am not going to showcase Flash first in my list of applicable skills. They are looking for Flex, why did you put Flash first? Yes, yes, those of us in the software industry know that job ads are typically not written by geeks, thus are the dumbest things ever written because they don't accurately represent the job in question. Thus, we are of the opinion not to take them seriously, assuming we'll hash out the details in the interview. Don't make that assumption. At the very at least, give them the benefit of the doubt, take them seriously, and organize your skill set to the job. If you are clearly not qualified, don't apply, nor try to finagle your skill list to match. Again, all of these edits and modifications done per job / client are honest and sincere.

Each potential employer or client gets their own, unique resume.

More Stories By Jesse Randall Warden

Jesse R. Warden, a member of the Editorial Board of Web Developer's & Designer's Journal, is a Flex, Flash and Flash Lite consultant for Universal Mind. A professional multimedia developer, he maintains a Website at jessewarden.com where he writes about technical topics that relate to Flash and Flex.

Comments (3) View Comments

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.

Most Recent Comments
rampersad 08/23/09 11:40:00 AM EDT

Have You Created an Authentic Personal Brand?
In life, as in business, branding is more effective, powerful and sustainable than marketing and sales, and an effective way to best the competition. It’s about influencing others, by creating a brand identity that associates certain perceptions and feelings with that identity....READ MORE

Wendy 06/30/09 01:36:00 PM EDT

Mostly good points.

I disagree with your last statement, "Even taste tests are meaningless; it's the brand that sells it."

Taste does matter and buying decisions are not always based on how the product is being marketed. Taste tests have a place in product development as well as marketing and advertising.

Branding and marketing can be important, but they are not the ultimate basis for all buying decisions.

Yakov Fain 12/25/06 10:56:05 AM EST

Nice article, Jesse!

After reading it online, I noticed a short bio under it, which reads:

"Jesse R. Warden, a member of the Editorial Board of Web Developer's & Designer's Journal, is Flex, Flash and Flash Lite consultant for Universal Mind. A professional multimedia developer, he maintains a website at jessewarden.com where he writes about technical topics that relate to Flash and Flex."

If some hiring manager will read one of your other articles followed by this BIO, s/he may be wondering, "Is Jesse a Flex dude, Flash consultant or a journalist writing for WebDDJ?"

What do you think? Should you brand yourself just as "Jesse Warden Flex developer"? Should you have just one blog that presents you as such? What if you also like biking and would love to blog about it? Are you allowed to have another, personal blog where you will use different (street) language or it may hurt your main brand?

@ThingsExpo Stories
"There's plenty of bandwidth out there but it's never in the right place. So what Cedexis does is uses data to work out the best pathways to get data from the origin to the person who wants to get it," explained Simon Jones, Evangelist and Head of Marketing at Cedexis, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Digital Transformation and Disruption, Amazon Style - What You Can Learn. Chris Kocher is a co-founder of Grey Heron, a management and strategic marketing consulting firm. He has 25+ years in both strategic and hands-on operating experience helping executives and investors build revenues and shareholder value. He has consulted with over 130 companies on innovating with new business models, product strategies and monetization. Chris has held management positions at HP and Symantec in addition to ...
Enterprises have taken advantage of IoT to achieve important revenue and cost advantages. What is less apparent is how incumbent enterprises operating at scale have, following success with IoT, built analytic, operations management and software development capabilities - ranging from autonomous vehicles to manageable robotics installations. They have embraced these capabilities as if they were Silicon Valley startups.
In their session at @ThingsExpo, Shyam Varan Nath, Principal Architect at GE, and Ibrahim Gokcen, who leads GE's advanced IoT analytics, focused on the Internet of Things / Industrial Internet and how to make it operational for business end-users. Learn about the challenges posed by machine and sensor data and how to marry it with enterprise data. They also discussed the tips and tricks to provide the Industrial Internet as an end-user consumable service using Big Data Analytics and Industrial C...
René Bostic is the Technical VP of the IBM Cloud Unit in North America. Enjoying her career with IBM during the modern millennial technological era, she is an expert in cloud computing, DevOps and emerging cloud technologies such as Blockchain. Her strengths and core competencies include a proven record of accomplishments in consensus building at all levels to assess, plan, and implement enterprise and cloud computing solutions. René is a member of the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) and a m...
When talking IoT we often focus on the devices, the sensors, the hardware itself. The new smart appliances, the new smart or self-driving cars (which are amalgamations of many ‘things'). When we are looking at the world of IoT, we should take a step back, look at the big picture. What value are these devices providing. IoT is not about the devices, its about the data consumed and generated. The devices are tools, mechanisms, conduits. This paper discusses the considerations when dealing with the...
DXWordEXPO New York 2018, colocated with CloudEXPO New York 2018 will be held November 11-13, 2018, in New York City. Digital Transformation (DX) is a major focus with the introduction of DXWorldEXPO within the program. Successful transformation requires a laser focus on being data-driven and on using all the tools available that enable transformation if they plan to survive over the long term.
To Really Work for Enterprises, MultiCloud Adoption Requires Far Better and Inclusive Cloud Monitoring and Cost Management … But How? Overwhelmingly, even as enterprises have adopted cloud computing and are expanding to multi-cloud computing, IT leaders remain concerned about how to monitor, manage and control costs across hybrid and multi-cloud deployments. It’s clear that traditional IT monitoring and management approaches, designed after all for on-premises data centers, are falling short in ...
With privacy often voiced as the primary concern when using cloud based services, SyncriBox was designed to ensure that the software remains completely under the customer's control. Having both the source and destination files remain under the user?s control, there are no privacy or security issues. Since files are synchronized using Syncrify Server, no third party ever sees these files.
Cloud-enabled transformation has evolved from cost saving measure to business innovation strategy -- one that combines the cloud with cognitive capabilities to drive market disruption. Learn how you can achieve the insight and agility you need to gain a competitive advantage. Industry-acclaimed CTO and cloud expert, Shankar Kalyana presents. Only the most exceptional IBMers are appointed with the rare distinction of IBM Fellow, the highest technical honor in the company. Shankar has also receive...
In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Carl J. Levine, Senior Technical Evangelist for NS1, will objectively discuss how DNS is used to solve Digital Transformation challenges in large SaaS applications, CDNs, AdTech platforms, and other demanding use cases. Carl J. Levine is the Senior Technical Evangelist for NS1. A veteran of the Internet Infrastructure space, he has over a decade of experience with startups, networking protocols and Internet infrastructure, combined with the unique ability to it...
"Cloud Academy is an enterprise training platform for the cloud, specifically public clouds. We offer guided learning experiences on AWS, Azure, Google Cloud and all the surrounding methodologies and technologies that you need to know and your teams need to know in order to leverage the full benefits of the cloud," explained Alex Brower, VP of Marketing at Cloud Academy, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clar...
Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life settlement products to hedge funds and investment banks. After, he co-founded a revenue cycle management company where he learned about Bitcoin and eventually Ethereal. Andrew's role at ConsenSys Enterprise is a mul...
Internet-of-Things discussions can end up either going down the consumer gadget rabbit hole or focused on the sort of data logging that industrial manufacturers have been doing forever. However, in fact, companies today are already using IoT data both to optimize their operational technology and to improve the experience of customer interactions in novel ways. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Gordon Haff, Red Hat Technology Evangelist, shared examples from a wide range of industries – including en...
"Space Monkey by Vivent Smart Home is a product that is a distributed cloud-based edge storage network. Vivent Smart Home, our parent company, is a smart home provider that places a lot of hard drives across homes in North America," explained JT Olds, Director of Engineering, and Brandon Crowfeather, Product Manager, at Vivint Smart Home, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Rodrigo Coutinho is part of OutSystems' founders' team and currently the Head of Product Design. He provides a cross-functional role where he supports Product Management in defining the positioning and direction of the Agile Platform, while at the same time promoting model-based development and new techniques to deliver applications in the cloud.
DevOpsSummit New York 2018, colocated with CloudEXPO | DXWorldEXPO New York 2018 will be held November 11-13, 2018, in New York City. Digital Transformation (DX) is a major focus with the introduction of DXWorldEXPO within the program. Successful transformation requires a laser focus on being data-driven and on using all the tools available that enable transformation if they plan to survive over the long term. A total of 88% of Fortune 500 companies from a generation ago are now out of bus...
delaPlex is a global technology and software development solutions and consulting provider, deeply committed to helping companies drive growth, revenue and marketplace value. Since 2008, delaPlex's objective has been to be a trusted advisor to its clients. By redefining the outsourcing industry's business model, the innovative delaPlex Agile Business Framework brings an unmatched alliance of industry experts, across industries and functional skillsets, to clients anywhere around the world.
Business professionals no longer wonder if they'll migrate to the cloud; it's now a matter of when. The cloud environment has proved to be a major force in transitioning to an agile business model that enables quick decisions and fast implementation that solidify customer relationships. And when the cloud is combined with the power of cognitive computing, it drives innovation and transformation that achieves astounding competitive advantage.
Headquartered in Plainsboro, NJ, Synametrics Technologies has provided IT professionals and computer systems developers since 1997. Based on the success of their initial product offerings (WinSQL and DeltaCopy), the company continues to create and hone innovative products that help its customers get more from their computer applications, databases and infrastructure. To date, over one million users around the world have chosen Synametrics solutions to help power their accelerated business or per...