This is the second edition of a multi-issue Blog introducing and celebrating the successes of Mindteck Academy's current Java "Bootcamp" Trainees in Madison, Wisconsin.
Meet Gabriel G.
Mindteck Academy Java Trainee
Gabe is a real adventurer and traveler, and no stranger to the Carolinas, Hawaii and Colorado. So making the move from Eau Claire to Madison, WI to attend Mindteck Academy’s Java training class was a total walk in the park. He actually started his college career at the University of Wisconsin – Madison and knows the lively city like the back of his hand, which helps a lot when going out with his classmates for a little fun on the weekends!
Gabe has always “had kind of a thing” for computers. Back in middle school, his mom brought home their very first PC – a Windows NT 4.0 – and that’s when it started. In high school, he got even more interested after getting his first graphing calculator, and then later joined the programming club. Growing up with several dogs in childhood, Gabe once thought he wanted to be a veterinarian and “save all the animals”, but he now would love the chance to work in robotics and artificial intelligence. Maybe Gabe will one day help develop a robotic medical device that veterinarians use in surgery. The great thing about technology? It allows us to marry our dreams together!
While very confident in his core programming skills (especially Java), Gabe was drawn to Mindteck Academy because of its ability to teach skills that are typically learned ‘on the job’. “I have a strong base of knowledge and a Computer Science degree, but this training course is a practical application of skills. We get to see how things work in industry.”
Outside of Gabe’s prowess as a software developer, he is quite talented at a few other things! As a swim team member throughout high school and much of college, Gabe is known for his distance freestyle abilities. In fact, these skills propelled him into ocean lifeguarding in South Carolina for many summers! On the other side of the weather spectrum, Gabe is also an avid skier. What is most impressive, however, is his coveted Eagle Scout ranking. Many years ago, he led his Boy Scout troop through a project in which they built and painted benches for a nearby camp using donated wood from a local lumber yard. He is a real leader in the making.
Gabe occasionally likes to take risks, as evidenced by his decision to ride an actual bull on a farm in North Carolina! “I had never done it before. My roommate introduced me to the idea. After falling off, the bull actually stomped on my leg REALLY hard, leaving a very dark bruise.” Taking risks, however, is what got him to where he is now. His advice to others pursuing a career in software development? “Start learning on your own. There are a ton of resources online. Grab the bull by the horns!”
Gabe graduated from Coastal Carolina University (where he served as a science and math tutor) with an ABET accredited Bachelor of Science in Computer Science. Making Dean’s List several times, he graduated with a 3.45 GPA and was a member of Upsilon Pi Epsilon (International Honor Society for the Computer and Information Disciplines.) In addition to his love of the water and the slopes, Gabe enjoys reading in his free time and has been known to disappear for hours hidden behind the pages of a good work of fiction. One of his favorites? “A Song of Ice and Fire: Game of Thrones.” With an imagination like that, there’s no telling what Gabe can do.
Meet Chase M.
Mindteck Academy Java Trainee
This is the first edition of a multi-issue Blog introducing and celebrating the successes of Mindteck Academy's current Java "Bootcamp" Trainees in Madison, Wisconsin.
Trekking all the way from Apple Valley, California (where the temperatures in February remain comfortably in the 70s) to the arctic town of Madison, Wisconsin (which is ranked as the Top 100 Best Place to Live in 2015 by Livability!), Chase M. is welcoming the steep climate change, as it is all part of his plan to elevate his career as a Java developer with Mindteck.
The trip, which took three days, allowed Chase to go through seven new states and see a side of America he never really knew - “I got the chance to see just how large and vast the farming industry is in the Midwest.” When asked how he is adjusting to life in Madison, Chase beamed, “Other than the cold, it has been amazing. The people are courteous, the town is clean, and the sites are beautiful. I’ve never seen frozen lakes before. There are quaint places to eat and drink on every corner, which is nothing like my home in California where there is a McDonalds every few blocks” (insert chuckle). “I’ve eaten at a new restaurant every day!” When asked if he’s met any new people outside of class, he said he really hasn’t found the time. “I get to training about 90 minutes prior to the start of class and get work done. I spend eight hours at training and then go home and code for a few more hours every night. I eat, live and breathe Java right now. I’m putting everything I’ve got into these two months of training.” Upon further discussion, Chase did reveal that he and his classmates have found some time for some fun – whether it’s playing darts at a local pub after class or eating lunch together – they have all really bonded.
As a youngster, Chase wanted to be an Astronaut. His grandfather was actually a part of North American Rockwell and was on the Saturn V missile project that put man on the moon! Asked if given a chance to fly into outer space now, Chase said he would go in a heartbeat. Here on earth, however, his passion is now for programming. He always knew he liked technology and computers, but I wasn’t sure exactly what he wanted to do. In college, he chose a general technology major and after a requisite programming class, he never looked back. “The first time I wrote a program and the computer did exactly what I wanted it to do, I was hooked! Everything clicked and it felt completely innate.” As a long-term goal, Chase would love the opportunity to work in the sphere of Artificial Intelligence.
When asked what attracted him to Mindteck Academy, Chase quickly replied “This was an opportunity of a lifetime. As someone who ‘only’ has an associate degree and has opted not to unduly burden myself with student loan debt, it has been hard to get my foot in the door anywhere – or even to get my resume evaluated. I have been perpetually stuck in the philosophical ‘chicken-or-the-egg’ situation and this was the chance I needed to break that cycle.” Chase went on to describe his experience with Mindteck Academy as ‘phenomenal’. “The Java training is completely preparing me to work as a software developer at the enterprise level. The instructor is amazing; he is unwaveringly focused on teaching us the skills we need to be successful. It has been the perfect bridge for me.”
What is Chase’s advice to a young person trying to prepare to be a software developer? “Just keep doing it. As much as you can. It can feel overwhelming at times, but just keep doing it. Just like we forget how to solve math problems if we don’t keep doing it, the same can happen with programming.” His mantra? Practice makes perfect.
Chase has an Associate of Science degree in Computer Information Systems from Victor Valley College, where he graduated with a 3.9 GPA, Academic Distinction, Dean’s Honors and was a member of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society. He is an avid soccer player and coach, known for his leadership skills as a center midfielder both on his high school varsity team and college intramural squad. He also enjoys playing football, drums and video games.
When you look back in time, think about the things that were “game changers”; things that forever impacted everything we knew or did; things that impacted our economy like climate change on our ecosystem.
Let’s consider the Industrial Revolution: It was a fundamental change in the way goods were produced, and altered the way people lived. It was a major turning point in world history. Factories came to life; farms started to disappear and corporations emerged. The assembly line was born, making for faster creation, faster repairs, and cheaper prices. This benefited the consumers, the corporations and the individual workers. People moved to cities, the middle class was established, and nothing was ever the same.
Just as the Industrial Revolution took the U.S. from an agricultural nation to one rich with manufacturing, the 20th Century took us from a robust industrialized nation to a High Tech Powerhouse with the advent of the Internet. Information was suddenly at our fingertips. Over the years, the World Wide Web replaced, or at least diminished, many other forms of communication such as newspapers, radio/TV broadcasts and even good old-fashioned conversations! The huge bound Britannica Encyclopedia set in our 1970’s living rooms became an artifact as more and more information became accessible on demand through our (rather large) desktop computers. The rapid innovation of the 80’s and 90’s, which included rudimentary video games, PCs and mobile phones further changed the way we worked, played and lived on a day-to-day basis.
So, enter in the 2000s and what do we have? The Internet on speed. Hyper connected to everything and everyone, making digital communication the preferred and most widely accepted form of communication out there. It affects the postal system (no more writing letters or sending checks to creditors.) And though advertisers shifted their focus to the web instead of print, NOW they have to contend with dwindling attention spans and advertising on mobile devices; devices which are rapidly evolving and might one day make the traditional Desktop or laptop obsolete! It’s like we’re on a race that can’t be won -- Cyber schools, social media, Google Glass, iPhone 6…
As a Gen Xer who came into this wonderful world before cable, touch-tone phones and the tech burst (I think “Pong” is the only “high-tech” thing I had in the 1970’s), it is mind blowing to realize how much we’ve had to adapt, both as a consumers and as corporations, to the ever changing rules of engagement.
Now, a technology that has been around for a few decades, but is finally gaining traction, promises (threatens?) to change life as we know it. AGAIN. So, what is it?
3D Printing. Also known as additive manufacturing or rapid prototyping, 3D printing vows to change EVERYTHING – our entire manufacturing system could turn on a dime if this technology gets tweaked and can produce what it claims it can produce. 3D printing is set to revolutionize manufacturing. Also called additive manufacturing, 3D printing is a way to make three-dimensional objects from digital models. While 3D printers have been around for 30 years, it’s only been in the last year or two that they have become efficient, accessible, and even commonplace.
Production of toys, jewelry, cars, plane/ship parts, casts and even functioning human organs could be (and some already can be!) produced using the right mix of software and materials. No more tracking down and ordering parts. No more waiting for that organ to be donated. No more manufacturing plants? Uh oh, what happens to the middle class worker? See? It changes EVERYTHING.
Sound crazy? Even impossible? Click below to see examples of this fascinating process:
This IS coming. In fact, it is already here. What's going to take it from where it is now to where is promises to be? Technology. Software. YOU. We will see the software that is the brains and power behind this technology evolve exponentially over the next few years. Learn how to code. Be a part of the change.
Like many Americans, I pay a premier (as in completely insane) monthly rate for my cable, internet access and VOIP to one of the biggest corporate conglomerations, Comcast (aka Time Warner.) I don’t even USE the VOIP! I only have it because it was cheaper to “bundle” it. Seriously, go ahead and ask me what my home number is…because I have NO IDEA. I may as well have a non-functioning rotary phone hanging on my wall at this point.
Why do I do this? Well, because they are the best game in town. I’ve tried Verizon FiOS (no thanks) and even satellite TV (hated it!). I also survived the age of dial up and subpar ISP providers – and I’m not going back. I blindly pay my ludicrous bill each month because my technology and media needs clearly deserve the hefty price tag. Right?
Maybe not…Comcast and Time Warner, who have basically operated unchallenged for years, are now facing the biggest threat of the decade, of the century (drum roll please!)
What’s Google fiber, you ask? Well, it’s only a 1 Gbps mega connection that is up to 100 times faster than today's average broadband speeds. Straight from Google’s mouth: “At up to 1,000 Mbps, Google Fiber is 100 times faster than today's basic broadband, allowing you to get what you want instantaneously. You no longer have to wait on things buffering; everything will be ready to go when you are. So whether you are video chatting, uploading family videos, or playing your favorite online games, all you need to do is click and you're there.” Google essentially guarantees is can download just about anything – games, photos, music, and HD movies – in 3 seconds. Three seconds!! (Well, movies take a whopping 7 seconds.) Current download speeds (using traditional broadband) for these types of files can range from 66 seconds to well over 20 minutes!
Comcast claimed not to be threatened, but when Google Fiber moved in and essentially took over Kansas City, KS, Comcast instantly boosted its speed times for its customers (free of charge), in a futile effort to remain competitive. Unfortunately for them, it didn’t work - a survey by Wall Street analyst Bernstein Research discovered Google Fiber has signed up almost 75% of homes offered the gigabit fiber-to-the-home service (Dampier, 2014).
Excited? There’s more. It’s cheaper than standard cable – a lot cheaper. And your remote? It’s an app that you run on your phone or tablet! You can store all your stuff in one place and it offers 1 Terabyte of storage to boot. Oh, and you can record up to 8 shows simultaneously with their DVR capability.
Right now it’s “under construction” in Austin Texas, with other cities planned and a whole list of other “potential” cities. Check out the site, use the “Check address” function, and see if your town is next!
Now that the iPhone 6 has made its debut and the buzz is all over the place, it’s really made me think about privacy. It’s not that Apple or iOS8 or the iPhone itself are dangerous…in fact Apple does a great deal to maintain its customers’ privacy by allowing password protected devices to encrypt most personal data, making it indecipherable without knowing the four-number password. Even Apple cannot bypass your passcode. I had first-hand experience with this over the summer when my six year-old son came running up to me and shared that he had found an iPhone in the park. I had no idea who the rightful owner was. All I knew was that her cellular provider was T-Mobile, so I called T-Mobile and asked if they could help and they said there was nothing they could do because of privacies. Fortunately, the owner called her phone, I answered, and she and the phone were reunited within a few minutes!
So, kudos to Apple and other manufacturers of these devices that make it hard for anyone, even law enforcement to “get in” to our phones. But what about EVERYTHING else? Ad tracking, location enabling, wearable devices. When does it become “too much?” When does this hyper-connectedness start to mirror scenes out of George Orwell’s infamous “1984” or Huxley’s “Brave New World”, where the quest for complete efficiency, control and ultimately, power, turns humans into robotic-like creatures?
As summer came to a close and suddenly I realized Christmas was all but 100 days away, I spent all of about 75 seconds on a Web site looking at a few inexpensive pool tables that I am considering buying as a present for my boys. Within a nanosecond, an ad for a pool table appeared in my next Google search. And now I see it. Almost. Every. Day. I realize this is not terribly unusual, but it’s really starting to creep me out. How about you?
I “checked in” recently to somewhere via Facebook and suddenly it tells me which one of my friends has also checked in there before. Facebook has also been telling me when one of my “friends” in nearby. Wow!! Now I know it can “turn off” these setting on my devices and accounts, and it’s my choice to leave them on or disable them, but I don’t think for a minute that the government and/or law enforcement couldn't find me within moments if they wanted to…despite my SmartPhone settings.
Our SmartPhones are truly becoming smarter and smarter. There are so many apps for so many things, and I know that the number of things that our phones can do is going to grow exponentially year over year. I mean, maybe we won’t even call them “phones” in the future, since making or taking a call on it will have become such a microcosm compared to the trillion other things we use the devices for! I envision that one day we will be able to start our cars, place restaurant orders from our tables, take our temperature, measure the air quality, measure our blood-alcohol levels and maybe even weigh ourselves on our “phones”!
We aren’t even far away from Brain-Computer interfaces…do you know what this is? It is a way for a computer to literally read our minds – to turn our thoughts, brain activity and impulses into actions. There are already apps out there that claim to be able to monitor your psychological health based on your social activity and browsing history. Whoa…
So getting back to privacy – all of this information – every step we take, every move we make (and yes, even every breath you take) – is stored somewhere. It’s all the fuss about “Big Data” we hear about. Where is it? Where is it going? Who gets it? What is it used for? I have a feeling this data bubble will eventually burst, and that privacy will be at the forefront of government and technology suppliers at the demand of consumers. Or at least I hope so.
This December, less than a week after she turns 65, my mother will be enjoying a well-deserved retirement. From the age of 21, when she earned her R.N. and started her nursing career, she has worked hard. Really, really hard. The life of a nurse isn’t easy – middle of the night beepers going off, uncooperative patients, and getting up before the birds and the sun. She put herself through college and earned her B.S.N. And then her M.S.N. And THEN she became a Nurse Practitioner. While that’s the incredibly understated version of her career, let’s just say that no one I know has earned their retirement like my mother has.
So why am I telling you this story? Because my mother is a Baby Boomer. Born between 1946 – 1964, Baby Boomers are retiring in droves. What does that mean for us Gen Xers, Millennials and beyond? Well, for some of us it could mean long-awaited career opportunities as we absorb the knowledge of our existing managers and prepare to the lead our companies into the next few decades. So…the baby boomers move out, we move up, and….wait a minute. We’re in trouble here. Who is going to fill all these vacant entry and mid-level positions??
About a year ago, U.S. News and World Report published a report that alleges that the U.S. will face a shortage of 5 million workers by 2020. Five. Million. Whoa…that can’t be possible. Can it?
The report states, “Overall employment is expected to increase by about 24 million to 164.6 million in 2020. The other 31 million positions will open up due to baby boomers retiring” (Bidwell, 2013). Moreover, “of the nearly 165 million jobs, 65 percent will require some sort of postsecondary education or training, up from 59 percent in 2010. In industries like information technology and government, 80 percent of the jobs will require more than a high school diploma.
So, again, I ask what this means for us Gen Xers and Millennials? It means we better start getting on the STEM bandwagon and pushing the agenda in our kids’ schools and even their colleges. And when I say technology, I don’t just mean people prepared to work at a help desk or write code. In the future, almost every job is going to require some level of STEM exposure – gone are the days when the trades (construction, manufacturing, electricians) are only dirty, dark, physically demanding jobs – everything is computerized. Software programs run our machines, draw our blueprints, and design our buildings. In my opinion, also gone are the days when a college student can make it in the business world with an undergraduate degree in Psychology, Philosophy or English Literature. Degrees need to equal real world skills.
We have got to emphasize the importance of formal post-secondary education, whether it is the “traditional” college degree or a vocational trade. But we can’t stop there…we also have to prepare them cognitively. Qualities such as leadership and communication will be in demand more than ever.
Our future depends on it.
“Why should I hire you?”
This can be one of the most dreaded, yet most thought provoking question any employer can ask during an interview. If you haven’t given it enough thought, you will probably just revert back to the hard skills on your resume; you know, say things like “because I am bilingual” or “because I graduated with a 3.5 GPA” or “because I can type 75 words per minute.” But this is not what the hiring manager is looking for, is it? He or she already knows that stuff about you. What the employer is really asking is THIS: “While I know that you meet the basic qualifications of the job for which you are applying, what in the world makes you any better than anyone else I’ve met or am going to meet?”
Hmm…does that change your answer? It better!
What make YOU the BEST person for the job? While certain hard skills are necessary for any position, employers want job applicants with particular soft skills. While it is easy for an employer to train a new employee in a particular hard skill (such as how to use a specific computer program or operate a machine), it is much more difficult to train an employee in a soft skill (such as patience, teamwork, honesty and leadership). “While your technical skills may get your foot in the door, your people skills are what open most of the doors to come. Your work ethic, your attitude, your communication skills, your emotional intelligence and a whole host of other personal attributes are the soft skills that are crucial for career success.” (Why Soft Skills Matter, 2014)
With years and years of interviewing under my belt, I have some bad news for some of you out there, you have a critical “Soft Skills Gap.” After seeing dozens upon dozens of resumes that can often look identical in substance, I can’t tell you how many times a perfectly qualified candidate has failed to turn the spotlight on him or herself during the interview, invariably landing them in the “thanks, but no thanks” pile. So if you’re scratching your head thinking “hmmm….that’s happened to me a few times”, listen up my friends…this blog is for you. Mediocrity is OUT.
When I ask you to “tell me about a time when you worked in a team environment,” I’m really not interested in the technical details of the project. What I want to hear about is what role you took on the team – are you a team player? Are you a natural leader? How do handle disagreements and conflict? Do you have good time management skills? Do you get along well with others? Do you know how to motivate others to perform? THESE are the qualities I want to learn about!
Leadership, personal accountability, conflict resolution, communication skills, creative thinking, inclusion, and collaborative ability are just a few examples of the things that will set you apart from the pack and make the interviewer remember you.
Before you click off this page and switch to another activity, make a list of things you did, either professionally, personally or academically that showcase these soft skills. Commit these examples to memory – and then let yourself SHINE during your next interview.
Just finish high school and trying to decide what to do? Or maybe already in college and that English Literature major with a minor in Women's Studies just isn’t working out for you? Bored with your current job and want to do something different? Are you retired and thinking that it’s not all it’s cracked up to be?
Whatever your reasons for thinking about engaging the world of computer programming, there are a ton of resources out there to learn. Even the most basic beginner can learn! Read more to learn about my top 5 picks for free computer programming Web sites.
Top 5 “How to Code” Web sites
1. Khan Academy – completely free and so very basic! Great for the beginner. Listen, watch and DO!
2. The Little Introduction To Programming – this is more of a “book” than an interactive tutorial, but still a great place for beginners!
3. Treehouse – another great source for beginners.
4. Wikiversity – excellent resource for the visual learner – lots of text and diagrams.
5. Eli the Computer Guy – great for audio learners! Eli’s video is on YouTube and he talks you through it all.
Learn the basics, take some other beginner courses and then be sure to check out the more advanced enterprise-level courses that Mindteck Academy offers that give you the footing you need to break in to the wonderful world of software development!
I remember being in 1st grade and seeing a large poster board display in my classroom, full of shiny, sticky stars – red, gold, blue, green, silver – and these stars indicated something important! They indicated to everyone who dared to look at it who had read the most books in the class. Little six and seven year-olds staring at the row of stars next to their names, wondering how they would be able to squeeze in about 11 more books in one week to catch up with Susie Smartypants (well, at least I did…not so sure the rest of my 1st grade comrades were quite as honed in on the competition!) Little did I know it was my first exposure to the infamous Leaderboard!
For those of you who have never been in a sales position or, you know, ANY type of competition, a Leaderboard is essentially a score board that everyone can see. If you’re at the top of the board, you’re winning…everyone else is essentially losing. Pretty motivating right? Nope. Not so much.
In 5th grade, my teacher had the class play a card game that was designed to teach all of us genius 10 and 11 year-olds how the feudal system worked. The game was designed to separate the class into three groups – the nobility (rich people), the knights (working class) and the peasants. It was such an unfair game! Once you hit nobility status, all of the rules were in your favor, making it easier and easier to stay in the high class. You even got to make up all of the rules after a while! Contrarily, once you wound up in the peasant class, it was almost impossible to get out! I watched my classmates in the lower class start to look deflated; they were frowning, sitting at their desks defeated, and I think at least one person cried. This “game” was incredibly motivating to those of at the top (until we started to feel bad for our friends) and downright destructive to those at the bottom. I don’t know a whole lot about feudal societies, but I do recall the amazing lesson in empathy and psychological warfare.
Stars, feudal systems and leaderboards. Keeping score. Winners and losers. This is ok if you are in the World Series, Super Bowl, or Wimbledon. Other than that, it can be demotivating in the classroom. And it’s doing the same thing in our workplaces.
So what is all this buzz about “gamification.” What is it, exactly? Pinball? Pac Man? Mario Brothers? Minecraft?? Gamification is the concept of applying game mechanics and game design techniques to engage and motivate people to achieve their goals. It taps into the basic desires and needs of the users impulses which revolve around the idea of Status and Achievement. Rewards such as Badges and Points are used to elevate Status by showcasing the talents, expertise, and accomplishments.
A good “gamified” training or learning module needs to understand people’s motivations to be effective. For the competitive over-achiever, public displays of progress, sales, points, etc., can be excellent drivers for increased performance! However, for those with different motivational styles, this approach can backfire and create the exact opposite effect. Programs that use rewards, badges, buttons and points are probably best used where they are awarded to the individual once he/she completes or masters a task, but not shared with the whole group in a competitive manner. In my book, anything that makes learning fun and keeps the learners engaged gets a thumbs up from me!
Lots of companies, big and small, have hiring initiatives in place focused on hiring military veterans. Amazon, Cintas, DaVita, Dollar General, General Electric, Progressive, Sears, and Sprint are just a few household names that are ranked as “Best Veteran Employers” on military.com. Other notable companies with strong veteran programs are Deloitte, Highmark and Hewlett-Packard; they all have major HR initiatives to honor and hire our military veterans.
2014 was labeled “The Year of the Veteran” and The U.S. Chamber of Commerce routinely holds popular “Hiring Our Heroes” job fair events all across the country! So why does the unemployment rate of veterans who served post 9/11 hover around 2-3% higher than the national average? How can this be?
Veterans bring a wealth of character to the human capital table! Leadership, teamwork, efficiency, respect and integrity are just the beginning of what they have to offer. They come with built in soft skills that every employer should die for! When surveyed, employers cited things such as “work ethic”, “dependability, “team-orientated”, and “works well under pressure” in their top 10 desired skills in their hires. Now, I have never personally served in the military, but I’m pretty sure you can’t survive on day in the military, let alone a tour of duty in a foreign country, without these skills embedded in you!
So this brings us back to the question – WHY aren’t these younger veterans finding jobs? The answer appears to be fear. And I’m not talking about fear on the side of the soldier – I’m talking about fears of the employers. What are they afraid of? In addition to a general concerns over skills mismatch (“nothing they did in the military relates to the jobs we have”), many admit to being concerned about PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). Some hiring managers are afraid that their newly hired vet might one day just “snap.” Many Vietnam War era vets suffered from this, but unfortunately, it went unrecognized for many years. It is such a real mental health affliction that the U.S Department of Veteran Affairs even houses the “National Center for PTSD.” While PTSD is real, and affects people of all races, color and socioeconomic background, it is now very, very treatable. Using this as a gauge to determine someone’s eligibility for hire and viability as an employee is just as discriminatory as perceiving that someone “might” be diabetic. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) clearly states, “Employers cannot fire or choose not to hire a qualified person now because they fear the worker will become too ill to work in the future. The hiring decision must be based on how well the individual can perform at the present time.” Let’s give our honorable veterans that same protection under the law to which everyone else is entitled.