Texas – Hot Job Market

Recent Dallas Morning News article stated that Texas is one of the hottest job markets in the US.

Texas and Florida top the list, according to a new report from ZipRecruiter. (See full list below.)

Why? The recovery of Sunbelt real estate markets, continued in-migration from other parts of the country and lower business costs translate to more demand for jobs.

Overall, the southern part of the United States has been the top performing region for job creation over the last 20 years. Last year, 23 of the top 50 job markets were in the South, which posted an average jobless rate of 5.5 percent, according to ZipRecruiter, an online recruiting site for small businesses.

Texas ranked No. 2 (+407,400 new jobs) behind California (+471,200 new jobs) in 2014.

ZipRecruiter also analyzed hiring demand trends to determine which industries saw the greatest growth so far this year in Sunbelt metro areas. The biggest job demand has been in the trucking and transportation industry, followed by information technology jobs and biological research.

1 Tampa-St. Petersburg, Fla.
2 Dallas-Fort Worth
3 Houston
4 Richmond, Va.
5 Jacksonville, Fla.
6 Memphis, Tenn.
7 Roanoke, Va.
8 Greenville, S.C.
9 Huntsville, Ala.
10 Orlando, Fla.
11 Cape Coral-Fort Myers, Fla.
12 Durham, N.C.
13 Greensboro, N.C.
14 Winchester, Va.
15 Spartanburg, S.C.
16 El Paso
17 Danville, Va.
18 Lubbock
19 Mobile, Ala.
20 Myrtle Beach, S.C.
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How to work with a Recruiter

In the IT Field, job seekers are typically in one of two categories, they either work with recruiters all the time as contractors, corp to corp, or W2 hourly or they change jobs every few years. Those that work as contractors, typically have a specific skill set and niche that there might be a few recruiters they work with in that skill set -(Business Intelligence & ERP both come to mind). Others may work in a general area (Systems, Networking, Java, .NET, Databases, Open Source) which might require working with multiple recruiters to find a position and aren’t familiar with how things work.

In general, there are some tips you may want to use when looking for a position and working with recruiters.

  1. Make a list and keep track of the positions you have applied to. There are times when companies work with several different recruiting vendors for the same position. This causes an overlap in recruiters going after the same talent. As a result, candidates may be contacted by 2-3 recruiters for the same position. Make sure that your resume isn’t sent by more than one agency recruiter, this will hurt your chances and sometimes eliminate you from being considered.Find out who is submitting you and keep track when it was sent.
  2. If you see a position you are interested in, find out if any of your contacts work there or if any of the recruiters you are working with has them as a client. Sometimes going through a recruiter, your chances are better since they have direct contact with the hiring manager. If you apply directly to the role, the recruiter will not be able to assist you since their fee is tied to presenting the candidate.
  3. Keep your recruiters informed of what is going on with your other interviews. It helps if you are honest with them about your other activity and that way companies can move on to other candidates. If you are certain about an offer pending in the next day or two, it doesn’t make much sense to take a phone screen that day.
  4. Be clear on what you are looking for in a new position when you are talking to a recruiter so they are able to match you with the right company and role. (Location, Salary, Benefits, Duties/Responsibilities). When it comes to salary, be as specific as possible and let them know the range you are looking for and minimum/bottom that you would consider.

Good luck in your search!!

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Happy Hour – Geekmeet – October 22nd

Happy Hour – The Lion & Crown — RSVP!  Also, look out for Happy Hours in Nov & Dec – coming soon.

GeekMeet Dallas

Wednesday, October 22, 2014
5:30 PM – 8PM

Lion and Crown
5001 Addison Cir
Addison, TX

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New Opening: Sept 14th – Windows Systems Engineer – DFW Airport area

Here is a new role that we have available with a client in the DFW Airport area. If you are interested, email me at brandon@dallasetechrecruiter.com

They are looking for a Senior Level Windows Systems Engineer  Immediate need, will move quickly. If anyone comes to mind, we offer $500 referral bonus.

Full-time, direct hire – DFW Airport area
Senior Level Windows Systems Engineer

 Here is what they are looking for:

  • Bachelor’s Degree or equivalent experience
  • 5+ years in Infrastructure experience
  • 5+ years installing, maintaining, troubleshooting Win 2003 / Win 2008 in a large enterprise
  • Windows Server specifications – (Active Directory, DHCP, GPO, etc)
  • Experience with Linux/Unix
  • In depth knowledge of Virtualization – VMWare and/or Hyper-V
  • Scripting knowledge – Powershell or VBScript
  • Automation technologies and tools
  • Networking expertise
  • Fast paced environment, 24/7 with on call rotation
  • Great benefits and good working team

Windows, IT Staffing, Systems, Dallas, Linux, VmWare

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Dallas TechFest – Oct 10th @Gilleys in Downtown Dallas

DALL☆S TECH FEST brings the best and brightest speakers from around the country to provide one day of incredible, densely packed content, focused on increasing your team’s ability to successfully deliver projects. This year we’re adding a strong focus on user experience (UX) and mobile development, ensuring you have the right skills at the right time. From iOS to Windows Phone,NodeJS to ASP.NET vNext, this is your time to learn.



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Improving Enterprises – AgileDotNext – Aug 22nd in Houston

Sign up now to attend Agiledotnext 2014 in #Houston on Aug 22nd – register here -http://agiledotnext.com/    #agile

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Calendar App – Mynd

I have started to play with this iPhone Calendar app and really like it. You can add your LinkedIn Connections, add categories, and the daily display is a lot better than the standard iOS calendar. Give it a try!

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Current Openings

.NET Web Developer
Location: Fort Worth, Texas, local candidate please Type: Direct Hire Company: Strong stable history (20+ years), work/life balance, comfortable work environment, flex time, some remote work possible In-depth and varied professional experience including hands-on application architecture experience with .NET Frameworks and object-oriented and iterative development methodologies. 5+ years experience w/ software programming in an enterprise environment 5-10+ years of .NET Experience using C# (Mid-level to Senior experience)  Good Object Oriented Analysis and Design foundation and principles Web Development skills (CSS, HTML, JavaScript, JQuery), MUST have experience with ASP.NET MVC Development experience using (HTML 5, modern browser-based JavaScript development JavaScript, CSS 3, Responsive Design, Client-Side frameworks like Knockout, Angular, UI frameworks such Twitter Bootstrap or Zurb Foundation Compass/Sass, Backbone). Experience with Entity or similar Experience with GIT Experience with SQL Server – Database Tools & Modeling  Experience with best practices including Pair Programming, Test Driven Development, Behavior Driven Development, Mocking Frameworks, Dependency Injection, IoC, Object Relational Mapping and Design Patterns Preferred – Agile/Scrum or iterative programming

SQL Developer / Analyst
Improving Enterprises is partnering with a client in the Downtown Dallas area that is looking for a SQL Developer / Analyst to join their team. This healthcare firm is very stable and growing. If you enjoy lots of data analytics and reporting, this is the right opportunity for you! Full-time, contract to hire Salary – $80-90K + benefits Free DART rail pass Requirements: Mid-level / ​Senior- Level SQL Server data experience (5+ years experience) SQL Scripting, SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) Experience with Healthcare is REQUIRED, revenue cycle management a plus Experience with MS Office data – heavy MS Excel Experience with Ad-hoc reporting Data extraction, dashboards Project management, ability to meet deadlines Only those authorized to work in US please

Systems Engineer – Linux / Windows
Location: DFW Airport Area Improving Enterprises is partnering with an external client that is looking for a full-time Linux Engineer  to assist with enterprise systems & applications. Duties: ​ Provide administrative functions for Linux Systems, including and not limited to: maintenance, support, upgrades, & future strategies. Collaborate with other system team members to provide a 24/7 operations support group Utilize automation techniques to monitor servers and respond to outages or issues in a timely manner Document servers and networks as needed as it pertains to the environment Support various stakeholders within the organization & respond to their requests – (application development team, etc) Support other Windows servers as needed Complete various projects as needed and within deadlines Qualifications: Mid to Senior level experience supporting & administering Linux Servers (3-7 years experience) Experience with support, administration, deployment in a large enterprise system environment Experience supporting a 24/7 systems environment Experience with supporting software development teams (web servers) Knowledge of database administration (Oracle / SQL Server) Knowledge of supporting Windows Servers – (deployment, group administration, active directory) Excellent communication & interpersonal skills

Junior .NET Developer.
NET Developer Responsibilities: Responsible for adding new features to and maintaining existing web products Experience with the following technologies: .NET JQuery HTML CSS SQL Server Must have excellent development skills Must have a good sense of website aesthetics Qualifications: Strong knowledge in .NET windows and web development skills Strong knowledge in web and windows service. Strong knowledge of HTML and CSS. Proficient in SQL and experience with Microsoft SQL Server. Analyze develop, unit test and debug code. Customized reporting a plus.  All applicants must be currently authorized to work in the United States. No H-1B sponsorship.

Scrum Master
Improving Enterprises is partnering with a client that is seeking a Scrum Master to join their team.  Type: Full-time, Direct Hire Location: North Dallas Salary: Open to market ($100K+) Responsibilities: Providing assistance and direction to the development team regarding Agile/SCRUM principles & processes. Lead, coach & mentor team to achieve development goals & objectives. Manages day-to-day aspects of Agile team, which includes leading Agile meetings (Planning, Review, Retrospectives, and Daily Stand Ups) Mentor and work with Product Owner & the team in creation of good user stories, acceptance criteria, and prioritizations Play Scrum Master role for several development teams Requirements/Experience: 5+ years working in an Agile software development environment Previous experience working in an enterprise environment as a Scrum Master Previous Scrum Master training/education is highly preferred – (CSM or PSM) Software development or Project Management background Familiar with Agile Tools – (e.g., Rally, Version One) Preferred experience with Agile techniques (CI, TDD, etc)

Senior Manager – DevOps
SUMMARY The Senior Manager leads efforts to ensure operational stability in IT-related systems such as store, eCommerce, corporate and associated supporting systems. The role has significant budget responsibility and is responsible for aligning support resources to maximize IT system uptime and ensure full profitability potential.  LOCATION -DFW Airport Area ESSENTIAL JOB DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES Manage a group consisting of DevOps managers and team of developers working with support of enterprise service team Develop and manage IT Systems team strategy; identify and align talent as needed Develop and manage IT Systems team operational budgets Align support strategy with overall business strategy Coordinate the work of IT Systems Support team managers and supervisors Forecast trends and assist with the development of related responses Work closely and collaboratively with senior leaders throughout the organization Create an environment that welcomes change and creative problem solving Build relationships, mold a team, and remove barriers while positively changing the culture BASIC  AND PREFERRED  QUALIFICATIONS (EDUCATION and/or EXPERIENCE) Bachelor’s degree in technology, or any equivalent combination of experience and skills Microsoft development background or knowledge of working with developers in a Microsoft Shop Experience in production support environment  Experience leading DevOps, release management or configuration management Certifications in ITILv3 Foundations and Service Desk operations preferred Application development or systems engineering experience is desired Proven success in similar DevOps Manager role


Sr. .NET Engineer / Architect
Location: Frisco, Far North Dallas, Collin County, T X
External Client / Direct Hire role Job Description Looking for a place to be recognized with an opportunity for upward mobility?  This is not just another .NET opportunity. This new full time hands on software developer / software engineer / architect NET Architect is an opportunity for a software engineer that wants to be challenged to use your mind to solve challenging technical / IT problems, working to build a complex suite of software products. Your colleagues and manager are top notch, yet possess a sense of humor to make your days enjoyable ones. Not only that, they are long term tenured and valued employees, ask me about their bonus plan! You will work in a collaborative, team spirited, highly technical environment. Background / Qualifications:  Your technical background will include a Bachelor’s degree or higher in Computer Science or similar technical degree You will have at least 5 years’ recent and modern experience developing high tech solutions / products using .NET, C# and SQL to build Windows and web applications. Other technical experience includes having experience with a majority of or a comprehensive combination of several of the following: WPF, NHibernate, SQL, Linq to SQL, SOA, WCF, MVC, MVVM, ADO.NET, Continuous Integration, BDD, TDD, Dependency Injection / Inversion of Control, Design Patterns and ideally Agile / Scrum experience. You have a desire to stay up to date with current and emerging Microsoft tools and technologies to build world class, quality software You will have a strong object-oriented (OO) background and be prepared to demonstrate on white board  You will have a work history that demonstrates your ability to stick with projects long term You are self-motivated, easy going, have great interpersonal and communication skills and a desire to advance your career!


SQL Database Administrator – Arlington
Improving Enterprises is working with an external client that is seeking a SQL Database Administrator  to join their team. Great working environment. This role will be for a production database administrator. Experience/ Description: 5 years+ experience with Enterprise level SQL Server databases (multiple servers and TB storage) Provide support & maintenance of production SQL Server databases (2005-2012) Experience with installation, setups, maintenance of databases Experience with stored procedures, logs, performance tuning, updates, etc Responsible for security policies and procedures Experience with both physical and virtual machines Experience with Idera & Quest products (Diagnostics, Log Shipping, & Backup) Responsible for disaster recovery & high availability (24/7), possible on call for outages Collaborating with team and developers on projects on reports & making recommendations for enhancements

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Time Management Article

I saw this the other day from the Muse and thought I would share. I am going to try to incorporate some of these ideas.



How to Bite Off More Than You Can Chew—and Get it All Done

By Sarah Chang, April 06, 2014

Some days, I wake up and feel like everything is just moving too quickly. Dozens of emails poured in during the night. A handful of meetings, coffee chats, and calls are scattered throughout the day. There are so many people to get a hold of, errands to run, and loose ends waiting to be tied up. Life seems to be hurtling forward and propelling me with it.

I’m sure you’re familiar with the feeling.

But then I remember a line by racing legend Mario Andretti, “If everything seems under control, then you’re not going fast enough,” and I realize this sense of not having everything under control may not be a bad thing. After all, feeling like you’re on the fast track simply means that things are getting done, and things you had been planning are now set in motion.

The key, I’ve learned, is to not resist the speed of everything that’s happening, but to stay mindful to make sure it’s not getting the better of you. If you’re starting to feel a little overwhelmed, but cutting back isn’t exactly an option, try some of these seven tactics to keep getting important work done—without going crazy.

1. Find Ways to Compartmentalize

Quite often, the feeling of being overwhelmed is amplified mostly by your perception of the situation. It could be the case that your list of to-dos is actually a mile long, or more likely, that it simply feels like it is—especially if everything from different parts of your life is all tossed in together.

Because how much you’re able to tackle shifts based on where you are and what you’re doing, it makes more sense to compartmentalize and “block off” the tasks or worries that you can’t do anything about at the moment, focusing instead on only one item, task, or project at a time. Presidents Bill Clinton and Ronald Reagan have been known to use this technique with success. Keeping a mental barrier to separate your feelings of responsibility allows you to break down your obligations in sizeable chunks. This way, you’ll be able to deal with them individually when it makes sense to, and preserve a peace of mind at all other times.


2. Carve Out Time to Think Deeply

A lot of the stress of moving too quickly comes from not knowing exactly where you’re headed. Being too caught up in the white noise of constant activity makes it hard to get quality thinking time in to determine where you’re trying to go and if the work you’re doing really contributes to that.

It may help to reorganize your schedule by how thought-intensive your activities are, and schedule less intensive events (such as one-on-one catch-ups) before or after your prime time for productivity and thinking. If you find that you’re most likely to get in the zone early afternoon or late morning, make it a point to preserve a block of uninterrupted time for these key intervals. By identifying your working rhythm and protecting your peaks of clear thinking, these valuable opportunities to truly tap into your brainpower won’t fall to chance or interruption.


3. Evaluate the Nice-to-Haves Versus the Need-to-Haves

In other words, make sure you’re working on the right stuff that will actually take you toward your goals. Determining what’s absolutely necessary to get there suddenly reduces the scope of the problem and helps you filter out distractions, effectively letting you reallocate time to what is truly essential. While this may seem obvious, you’d be surprised at how much of your time ends up being devoted to gaining fringe benefits that seem nice to have but actually divert you from what actually matters.

There are so many opportunities for distraction that isolating what is actually necessary is akin to finding the “big rocks.” Once these are in place, your priorities are immoveable and everything else will fall into place—or, at least as much as will fit—and you’ll discover the rest was probably all extraneous anyway.


4. Prioritize Based on Others

Another good way to prioritize is to make sure that anything on your overloaded plate isn’t preventing anyone else from getting work done. In other words, if someone else’s job is contingent on something you do, get that piece done first.

For example, if I know I’m getting behind in emails, I take a moment to sort out how likely my lack of response will hold other people up. If others are waiting for my reply to complete the next step, then those tasks are my first priority. This way, progress will be made as soon as you hand off the baton to others, lightening your guilt (and perception of stress) for holding them up.


5. Don’t Mistaken Busyness for Productivity

Busyness mimics the actions of productivity, but one gets results where the other, well, may not. Make sure what you’re doing is actually consistent with getting results that you need.

The most common way to fall into the busyness trap is by filling your time with small, unimportant tasks. Checking things off your to-do list may strike a sense of accomplishment, but they may be things that are better delegated to others, or worse, don’t actually matter. Thinking critically about whether the tasks you’re working on are actually important or if they’re just filling your time can mean the difference between feeling like you’re getting stuff done and actually getting stuff done.

6. Focus on the Mission Behind the Tasks

A long string of tasks seems daunting to anyone, but those who are able to push forward are probably not thinking of the tasks in and of themselves, but as small pieces that fit within an overarching goal.

For instance, seeing yourself as the agent in the context of a larger mission allows you to focus less on how much you’re taking on and more on the vision of how your work will have an impact. Often, putting your day-to-day responsibilities in the context of why you’re doing them and how they align within the bigger puzzle can lend more meaning to your individual assignments—and give you the extra oomph to forge through.


7. Opt Out of the Resistance Mindset

A lot of the discomfort that accompanies feeling swamped comes from resistance. The more you expect everything to be manageable but find yourself buried under mounting work, the more you feel the contrast between your idealistic expectation and a tough reality.

It’s counterintuitive, but sometimes trying to maintain control when things are spinning out of control just makes it worse. Accepting that more deals, engagements, or projects are happening more frequently for the next few weeks is an effective way to take a fast-paced life (and everything that comes with it) in stride.

Perhaps actor Paul Hogan says it best: “The secret to my success is that I bit off more than I could chew and chewed as fast as I could.” Taking on more than you can handle all the time certainly is not advisable. But sometimes it’s necessary for moving forward—and when you do find yourself in a situation where you’re feeling overwhelmed, you’ll have some strategies to help you stay level-headed.

And hey, who knows? Maybe you’ll even take yourself by surprise after seeing how much you can gracefully take on under pressure.

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NY Times Article: Telecommuting


WE all know what telecommuting is and who does it. It’s working from home (or maybe a Starbucks), and it’s usually done by someone in their 20s, or a mother with small children.

Well, no. Actually, the typical telecommuter is a 49-year-old college graduate — man or woman — who earns about $58,000 a year and belongs to a company with more than 100 employees, according to numbers culled from the Census Bureau’s annual American Community Survey.

And the phenomenon appears to be growing. The annual survey last year by the Society for Human Resource Management found a greater increase in the number of companies planning to offer telecommuting in 2014 than those offering just about any other new benefit.

This winter might help push the trend even faster. Federal employees in Washington who worked from home during four official snow days saved the government an estimated $32 million, according to Kate Lister, president of Global Workplace Analytics, and its research arm Telework Research Network.

And as this movement grows, being clear about what we mean by telecommuting is important. It’s the only way companies will know “how to build workplaces and design work practices and decide what technology is needed for support,” Ms. Lister said.

What we do know is that telecommuting isn’t limited to one sector of the population. Men, women, parents, people without children, young and old all participate.

We also know that those who work at home tend to put in longer hours and are often more productive. It works best when a company has developed a plan, including the best technology to use. But we also know it can hurt an employee’s promotion chances and that some combination of working at home and in the office seems ideal.

The first thing to tackle, however, is the slippery meaning of the word “telecommuter.” The most complete definition is someone employed full time at a private, nonprofit or government organization, who works at least half the time at home.

By one estimate, telecommuting has risen 79 percent between 2005 and 2012 and now makes up 2.6 percent of the American work force, or 3.2 million workers, according to statistics from the American Community Survey. That includes full-time employees who work from home for someone other than themselves at least half the time, Ms. Lister said.

But that definition has at times been expanded to include the self-employed; those whose work has to be done outside an office, such as taxi drivers, plumbers, truckers and construction workers; companies where everyone works remotely, so there is no brick-and-mortar office; and those who work at home one day or less a week.

If all of those workers are included, the number of Americans who work remotely can reach as high as 30 percent.

“No one would disagree that the U.S. work force is increasingly mobile,” said the Telework Research Network in a 2011 paper on the state of telecommuting. “But, beyond that broad statement, we know little about the rate of increase in mobility — how often people are out of the office, where they are, and what they’re doing. For that matter, there’s no agreed-upon method of defining who they are.”

Jennifer Glass, a professor of sociology at the University of Texas, Austin, who has studied teleworking for two decades, said her research shows that much of what managers and professionals call telecommuting occurs after a 40-hour week spent in the office. These people check email, return calls and write reports from home, but in the evenings and weekends.

“Let’s be honest about what we’re talking about,” she said.

So what is agreed upon? For one, that it is not predominantly women who telecommute. Most research says it is at least equal between men and women, while Cali Williams Yost, chief executive of Flex & Strategy, said a telephone survey released last month by her company found that more men than women said they worked remotely.

Kipp Jarecke-Cheng fits right into the typical teleworker profile. He is 44, and for the last year has been director of global public relations and communications for Nurun, a design and technology consulting company based in Montreal. At his old job, he commuted about 45 minutes to Manhattan from his home in Maplewood, N.J., but he chose to telecommute to be closer to his family.

It took some time to get used to working at home, he said. Like many teleworkers, he found that communicating with his colleagues and subordinates was more difficult, at least initially.

“Probably one of the biggest transitions was that in a physical office, you can stroll by and ask questions,” Mr. Jarecke-Cheng said. “Here I have to accumulate a list of questions.”

But it helped tremendously, he said, that after he was hired, Nurun sent him to its national and international offices to meet people face-to-face.

“I’m not just a name on an email,” he said.

David Haddad of New York City began working remotely as chief executive of a nonprofit start-up in 2011. His company is made up solely of remote workers, with no centralized location.

Mr. Haddad likes the flexibility, but there are downsides.

“It’s difficult to keep tabs of what everyone is doing, as well as keep myself motivated to constantly report on my goals,” he said.

While technology can’t replace the human connection, both Mr. Haddad and Mr. Jarecke-Cheng say it helps. Skype is used, as is Google Hangout, which provides a virtual place for people to drop in and “visit.”

Mr. Jarecke-Cheng also communicates with his boss through Voxer, which he described as a combination of a walkie-talkie and text messaging.

For some people, virtual connections are enough, while for others nothing takes the place of being able to chat with a colleague over a cubicle divider.

Nicholas Bloom, a professor of economics at Stanford University, teamed up with Ctrip, China’s largest travel agency, to test some ideas about telecommuting. Over nine months, about 250 workers volunteered for the experiment; half were randomly chosen to work at home and half in the office.

At the end of the experiment, employers found that the home-based employees worked more than office workers — 9.5 percent longer — and were 13 percent more productive. They also were judged to be happier, as quitting rates were cut in half.

But those working at home were also promoted at half the rate of their colleagues working in the office.

“It may be a case, ‘out of sight, out of mind,’ ” Professor Bloom said. “Or it might be that you’re not drinking in the bar with your boss. Or it could be you’re not managing your employees as well if you’re not around them.”

Also, by reducing office space, Ctrip saved what would amount to $2,000 an employee annually.

However, at the end of the experiment, 50 percent of those who worked at home asked to come back to the office. They said they were lonely and didn’t like being passed over for promotion.

It does seem, Ms. Lister said, that most people like to have some combination of home and office work.

“That’s the sweet spot,” she said.

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