Technology, Stand-By-Ready and You

This status of Stand-By-Ready may be with us for a while and some of you may be asking yourselves what it is you are supposed to be doing while remaining ready in case the government needs you for something. While you don’t need to be sitting in front of your phone or computer eight hours a day just in case you get that call or email, you do need to be contactable and ready to respond each day. This means checking your email frequently, keeping an eye on incoming texts, and paying attention to incoming phone calls throughout the day. If you are like me, though, I don’t answer phone calls from numbers not already in my contact list, but if I get one of those I am now in the habit of immediately checking for voice mail afterwards “just in case.”

We are very lucky to be allowed the Stand-By-Ready state and the ability to bill those hours through our contracts to the CARES Act, which I think brings with it an obligation and duty on our part to do something worthwhile with that time we have been given. Honing or expanding technical skills should be high on the list for each of us since that is something that will provide immediate benefit back to the government. In the last two weeks I have attended the free Esri “Text Analytics and Location Intelligence” webinar on how to apply AI to spatial analysis problems; registered for multiple sessions at the free virtual IBM Think conference happening next week; registered for the virtual Esri User Conference in July; purchased new eBooks on blockchain and started reading them; and rediscovered a number of geospatial eBooks I had bought last year through Packt.

I am sure there are similar resources available for the technical skills that each of you possess and use each day for the government. It just takes going out and looking for opportunities. And there is always ESS University – another free resource for everyone in the company. If you don’t see something you are interested in within ESS University let Lisa and Sydney know, and they can check with Precipio to see if we can have it added.
I challenge each of you to spend the “free” time that the government is giving to us and pay some of it back by freshening up an old skill, learning a new one, taking part in some online webinars, or finding and attending a virtual conference. I know I am guilty of saying “I wish I had the time to do X” – well now I do. If you are having a hard time finding something, let me know and I will help you find something.
This also means there is no excuse for everyone to have their Security training requirements completed in the next several weeks and not the day before the deadline. 😎