According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job outlook in the technology industry in San Francisco seems bright – with all occupations across the board rising much faster than the national average. Tech jobs in San Francisco and the Silicon Valley are highly competitive, although many positions remain unfilled. For expert advice on getting into the industry, Anthony Smith, the CEO of San Francisco-based Insightly, took a few moments to share his thoughts.

(Photo Courtesy of Anthony Smith)

(Photo Courtesy of Anthony Smith)

What is your background?

“I grew up in Hamilton, New Zealand, and moved with my family to Perth, Australia when I reached high school. I always liked computers, but thought a job as a programmer would be boring. After graduation, I didn’t know what to do with my life so I enrolled in computer science at the university while I figured out what I wanted to do. It was during my first year in computer science that the World Wide Web really started to gain popularity and I knew then that was what I wanted to do. It was the perfect cross between programming, design and art, and I’ve been working with the web ever since. Prior to Insightly, I worked as a consultant for IBM and as a software engineer for global mining consultancy, Snowden.”

Can you describe what your business does?

Insightly is an intuitive cloud-based customer relationship management (CRM) and project management solution specifically designed for small and medium-sized business (SMB) users. The tool allows users to access data through a cloud platform optimized for web access and mobile devices. Insightly integrates with a number of popular SMB applications including Outlook 2013, MailChimp, Evernote, Zapier and Google Apps Gmail. The solution has consistently been ranked as the No. 1 CRM application on the Google Apps Marketplace.”

What advice can you share for someone interested in a career in the tech industry?

“My advice is to dive right in. One of the great things about the internet is you can learn about all aspects of technology using the web. My suggestion would be to start contributing back – through open source projects, joining online communities, answering questions on StackOverflow, writing a technology blog, posting your work to Dribbble and just generally getting yourself out there. The contributions you have made will be looked upon favorably by potential employers.”

Randy Yagi is a freelance writer covering all things San Francisco. In 2012, he was awarded a Media Fellowship from Stanford University. His work can be found on Examiner.com Examiner.com.

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