Extra Life – Year One

Playing Video Games to Benefit Others?

I have decided to sign-up and participate in Extra Life, which will benefit Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin. Extra Life is essentially a fundraiser for gamers. So, while some people run marathons for fundraisers, Extra Life allows gamers to participate in a good cause while doing something they already love.

I am excited about this event not only because of the positive impact it will bring to the community and children, but also because it gives me an excuse to play video games for an ENTIRE day. I mean, I would not normally feel good about playing video games for an entire day, but due to this event I have a reason to finally beat The Witcher 3 (again), own some noobs in Fortnite, and possibly, shout at some Dovah (Dragons) in Skyrim. All the while, I can smile and know my hard efforts are benefiting the community and those at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin. Plus…. Kenz (my bride-to-be), has to be OK with it :). Come on, how cool is that?

Below are my top hopes for this event:

A). Have so much fun I will sign-up for next year!

B). Raise $500.00 or more to help support some sick kids.

C). Create a team/have some people over to participate in the fun (and hopefully live stream some of it).

D). Drink plenty of mountain dew, eat Doritos, and maybe…just maybe…. have a glass of whiskey.


Every little bit helps and NO amount is TOO LITTLE! So, if you want to join me in helping to make a difference in the community, Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, or because this event will help out at least one sick kid hopefully get better, donate here today!


Thanks for reading, and your consideration!



New Job, New Career.

So….I decided to start a new opportunity with Excelion Partners. I am very excited about this role, and the first week has gone great so far!

It was hard to leave my last role at TEKsystems. TEKsystems is a great organization, and I worked with some great people while I was there, especially my Milwaukee team of co-workers! I will miss many of the consultants, clients, and great people I have worked with over the years, and I cannot thank everyone enough for partnering with me during my time at TEK. Hopefully, our paths will cross again in the near future!

With that said, the future looks bright for me at Excelion Partners! I am really pumped to start diving into some of our customer’s data and analytics challenges, and how we can help them achieve their goals. With data being the lifeblood of any organization in the 21st century, I can only foresee complex and difficult challenges coming my way, but I am optimistic the end result will be worth all the headache. If not, I am in luck as the new office is located above a fantastic brewery :).

I will be traveling a lot in this new role – mainly between the Fox Valley and Madison. So, if you are in the area and you want to grab a lunch, coffee, or a drink, please let me know. I love meeting new people and reconnecting with old contacts.


-Arin Olson

Meeting of the Milwaukee Meetups on a Monday….Too many M’s in one sentence? Probably.

Short review of the first “Meet the Meetups” in Milwaukee.

May 14th, 2018 was Milwaukee’s first meeting of “Meet the Meetups.” It was a gathering of some of the largest Meetups in the greater Milwaukee area (some Madison Meetups/attendees as well). Bringing together over 20 Meetup groups seems like a crazy initiative, but Matt Cordio and the rest of the Milwaukee Meetups groups managed to do this the other night. What was the result?

It was fantastic!

Sure, people complained about the audio (and the overflow room) – but other than that – it was a great event… which will only get better over time. (Presently, there is a survey going around to improve upon these previously mentioned items and more).
The ability to bring together so much diversity into one event and have everyone networking with each other was an incredible experience, to say the least. Personally, I was able to say hello to people I see often but this event also helped me generate new contacts and to grow my network that much more – a network that will hopefully benefit me as much as the people I met that day.

Matt Cordio, the sponsors, and the organizers deserve every bit of thanks for helping to put on such an incredible event. They are the ones that are helping to transform the atmosphere in Milwaukee, to connect us with others to generate more business and ideas and to show the rest of the country that we are very good at other things than drinking beer and making cheese.


So, thank you again to Matt Cordio, the sponsors, and the organizers. I look forward to next event!


Note: Credit for the photo goes to Matt Cordio, Twitter, and Roman Reynebeau.

Reaction to React.JS Job Descriptions?

Are you a ReactJS developer?

If so, the opportunity summaries you might be seeing in the marketplace may appear to look the same.

Need some of the job responsibilities to help you recall? How about these bullet-points:

  • “Experience with popular React.js workflows (such as Flux or Redux)
  • Familiarity with newer specifications of EcmaScript
  • Experience with data structure libraries (e.g., Immutable.js)
  • Knowledge of isomorphic React is a plus
  • Familiarity with RESTful APIs”

These look familiar?

If they do that is because there are many react.js job postings that include these bullet-points within them. Don’t believe me? Copy and paste between the quotes, and you should get a few returns that demonstrate what I mean.

OK, so maybe some of these responsibilities are the same, but that does not mean the job descriptions are….right?

Copy and paste this into your favorite search engine:

“We are looking for a great JavaScript developer who is proficient with React.js. Your primary focus will be on developing user interface components and implementing them following well-known React.js workflows (such as Flux or Redux). You will ensure that these components and the overall application are robust and easy to maintain. You will coordinate with the rest of the team working on different layers of the infrastructure. Therefore, a commitment to collaborative problem solving, sophisticated design, and quality product is important.”

What did you find?

If you got the same results I did, there were a number of Job Opportunities that looked exactly the same. They not only had the same bullet-points, but also the same descriptions (it appears to be a template from here).

OK, why am I trolling on this? 

I am trolling on this because right now, ReactJS developers are in high demand, which is probably why some of these posts even exist. While I understand the potential reasons in using a post like this to attract a React developer to your organization, how are you differentiating yourself against the many other companies looking for this type of talent (like your competition)? If your job description looks like everyone else, your company will not stand out. That is why I am trolling on this type of job description…it is basic and offers virtually no employee value proposition, nor does it address some of the technical-business challenges your company faces, which will help attract the talent you are seeking.

With developers in short-supply and very high-demand, in my opinion, a job description like this will get you around the same amount of quality candidates as the effort that was put into it….very little.

What are your thoughts? Comment and share!