The Entire World is Hiring

The Entire World is Hiring

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Bonnie Tyler starts her song, 'I Need a Hero' with the lyrics, " Where have all the good men gone and where are all the Gods?" Now, coming from someone who just watched that music video for the first time while trying to get the lyric exactly right (1984, need I say more?) I don't know if we have that kind of desperation, but it does strike a particular chord in our current hiring climate.I know we're not unique in our hiring woes.  Heck, the whole world is hurting for new hires right now.  But somehow, this problem doesn't feel recent in the IT and insurance world.  I'm guessing you're probably in the same boat? The IT Industry is Crying Out for Help! The continued growth and reliance on technology opens…
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SEO Fun Facts

SEO Fun Facts

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Here at ASI we're all about fun... so lets talk about SEO and some fun facts about the topic!  SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is the process of maximizing the number of visitors that come to your website by ensuring that the website appears high on the list of search engine - like Google! Let's get into some fun facts (according to websitebuilder.org) all about Search Engine Optimization...Around 50% of all searches were voice activated in 2020.Google handled about 88.14% of all desktop searches in 2020.63% of US consumers start their product research on Amazon.Google processes over 40,000 searches per second.Around 50% of all internet traffic comes from a mobile device.Claiming your Google My Business page is the number one thing to do to improve your local site ranking.More than…
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Website Accessibility:  Why it’s Important to YOUR Company’s Website

Website Accessibility: Why it’s Important to YOUR Company’s Website

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Is your company's website accessible?  Website accessibility refers to a website design that is easily used and navigated by people who experience disabilities, including temporary disabilities like a broken hand or arm.  ASI wants you to know how important it is to make your site reachable and usable for as many people as possible.  According to worldbank.org, one billion people, or 15% of the world's population, experience some form of a disability.  Web accessibility encompasses all disabilities that effect access to the Web, including auditory, cognitive, neurological, physical, speech, visual, etc.  These disabilities cause a struggle to access the same services and products as people without disabilities have.  Not only is website accessibility important for inclusion, but for the success of your business as well!Title III of the Americans with…
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Are Hackers out for Legacy Systems? (Yes, Yes They Are)

Are Hackers out for Legacy Systems? (Yes, Yes They Are)

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Colonial Pipeline - JBS - Microsoft - and most recently, Kaseya.  These high-profile news stories provide only a tiny sampling of the recent ransomware attacks hitting critical business infrastructures every, single, day.  And they're getting more and more common.  US ransomware attacks skyrocketed by 300% last year alone.What are ransomware attacks?  Well, that's a good question.  Essentially hackers breach a company's cyber defenses and thus have full access to their system and files.  Hackers will then encrypt the company's files, or somehow prevent them from doing business.  Essentially, they'll hold this data hostage until the company pays up. What's wrong with legacy systems? Now, there are a lot of factors that are contributing to this increase in ransomware attacks.  But one of the big ones - that we just so happen to deal…
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Why Won’t Legacy Systems Stay In The Past?

Why Won’t Legacy Systems Stay In The Past?

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We've got three stories today that may surprise you...  See if you can find the common thread!Story #1:  We recently hired a new (experienced) COBOL developer (this is a programming language – one of the first!).  And we had chuckles on both sides that companies are still hiring for COBOL skills.  In 2021!Story #2:  Last year we found an easter egg in a client's code that essentially read 'Happy Y2K!  There's no way this code will still exist in 20 years'.  But, it did, and, uh, we fixed the problem this developer didn’t think would still exist 20 years later.Story #3:  When we took a survey for our continuing education programs, COBOL and C/C++ were among the most desired skills our employees wanted to learn and improve upon for their career development.That's right,…
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A Merry Coding Christmas

A Merry Coding Christmas

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The holidays are a time to celebrate the season and eat way too many cookies.  But what happens when your IT systems won't cooperate?  Dun dun duuuunnnn...  ASI will be there to save the day!'Twas a cold night in December, when all through the house,Not a laptop was stirring, not even a mouse. Our notebooks were placed by our monitors with care,In hopes that our screens wouldn't need to be shared. Our customers were nestled all snug in their beds,while visions of inquiries danced in their heads. Little did they realize that during their nap,Their year-end projects couldn't be completed in a snap. When pinging from the servers created such a clatter,We sprang from our chairs to see what was the matter. Away to the Windos (DOS) we flew like…
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Programmers: They Are Just Like Us

Programmers: They Are Just Like Us

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Have you ever accidentally hit some unknown keys on your keyboard and saw some?gobbledygook?like?the following pop up? In case?you?re?wondering,?you?ve?accidentally hit CTL +?U.?And?this has?revealed?your?website?s?source code! Congrats!?This?is?the?source?code,?or skeleton?that our web browsers?use?to?turn?mundane letters and?numbers into?the beautiful?things we?mindlessly?scroll?through every?day.?? It?s?2020. You probably?know?all?of?this?by?now.?But?what you?may?not?know is how to?read that code.?Sure?you recognize?a lot of?words,?but?the?language??Whaaaat??And while?many?of?us?have?dreamed?about??learning?to?code,??if?you?re?like?me,?you?take one look?at the image?above and think??That?s?WAY?over?my?head.?? However,?that?may?not?be?so true.?Programming?is?simply?learning?a new?language ??several?new?languages,?in?fact.?Before?you sign?up for classes?though,?let?s?dig?into that first?step?in?learning???Computational?Thinking.? ?What is computational thinking,?you?ask? Great question.?It?s?really?not?so different than?critical thinking, and?you probably utilize it?more often than you would think.?For instance, if?you?ve?ever looked in the cupboard and?turned?that?old box of?Bisquick?and frozen chicken (let?s?hope the?chicken?was in your freezer and not your?cupboard!) into Chicken Dumplings, congrats!?You?ve?computationally thought that through!?Going from?raw ingredients, imagining how?to substitute,?merge, divide,?reimagine, and?apply external processes (uh,?like putting it on a?stove),?to end up?with a?delicious?hot?meal.?? And?here?s?the comparison:?Software?algorithms can?be?likened?to?a recipe. You take?random?ingredients,?and?following…
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Life Lessons While Working From Home

Life Lessons While Working From Home

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We don?t know what feels better ? the summer sunshine, or the smile on our coworker?s faces as we slowly (and safely!) head back into the office. It?s been an interesting few months, and to focus on the positive, here are a few things we?ve learned while working from home... No one cares that your house is a little messy and you haven't combed your hair. But we do want to say hi to your pets and kids!  Even if no one will smell your breath, brush your teeth. No one can resist Rocky's pleas for a walk. When working from home - your button-down shirt gets replaced with a Comfy REAL quick! We're all looking for a synonym to 'unprecedented' by now. Puzzles are cool again. When I work…
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Establishing Our Legacy

Establishing Our Legacy

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Early Days As our founder Scott Kissinger likes to tell the story, ASI started from as humble beginnings as Amazon, Apple, Disney, Google, and Harley Davidson; over a garage. His garage to be specific. Now back in the days of the mid to late 90s, running a software company out of your garage wasn?t as easy as it would be today. Just think ? Dial-up internet.  (Did you shudder there too?)  According to Scott, at one time he had seven phone lines leading to his house. And not subtly either; for a few months, they were stretched across his backyard until the Wisconsin winter thawed the ground enough to bury them! Yikes. Garage Office (post office tenure) He got to enjoy that short commute (complete with homemade lunches and kitten…
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ASI Is Here For You

ASI Is Here For You

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In many ways, our industry has been a bit ahead of the curve in responding to the COVID-19 situation. Tech giants, such as Google and Facebook, were among the first to adapt working from home policies, whether this is due to their urban office locations or the ease of which this industry can operate remotely, or perhaps a mix of both. Many of the last workers still around are arriving to empty parking lots, dark cubicles, and offices where they could play a rousing game of catch in or nine-pin bowling. Virtual ghost towns. At ASI, we?ve been dealing with this situation for the past 25 years. Well, not necessarily the arriving in an empty parking lot per se. In fact, our parking lot has always been welcoming and the…
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