what if your boss isnt

A manager's job isn't the same as a worker's job, so it's no surprise they don't need to know the same things. In many occupations, that difference in knowledge bases isn’t a big deal, but technology projects and technical decisions require specialized knowledge. Managers who don't come from a technical background sometimes have a hard time understanding all the factors that affect a team's ability to meet project deadlines, and to deliver successfully. Here's how you can work effectively with a non-technical manager.

Recognize That Your Boss Isn't Stupid, Just Uninformed

Your boss got to their position because they're successful at making management decisions. That means they're smart. But making smart decisions means understanding problems and all the details that impact them. Help your boss make smarter decisions by helping them understand the technology and the choices you want to make. You'll need to support your opinions and proposals by providing lots of background information about the way the technology really works, where the problems come from, and why they can't be solved in a different, faster, cheaper way.

Keep Your Boss Out of the Code

At the same time that you're explaining details of the technology to your boss, you don't want to get so low-level that they're looking over your shoulder at the code. Encourage them to focus on managing the end users, budgets, and administrative issues – while you focus on solving the technical problems.

Document Your Discussions

For some technical problems, you may have to accept a non-technical manager's decision that it's not worth spending more time addressing issues before shipping; a report that lacks bolded headers may not look pretty, but isn't harmful. Other problems are more serious and can leave a company open to compliance problems or even cause real injury to users. In those cases, be sure you document your discussions with your manager to make it clear they were responsible for the decision.

Sometimes the frustrations of dealing with a non-technical manager are simply too much to put up with any longer. If you've reached that point of frustration and need to find a manager you'll be more compatible with, The Armada Group can help match you with a position where you'll thrive. Contact us to start your job search now.

top tech jobs that boast

Salary shouldn't be the only factor driving your career; you'll be working for a few decades, so you should make sure that you'll enjoy your hours on the job. That said, a healthy paycheck can definitely boost the satisfaction you experience. Here are five tech jobs that let you take home a big paycheck.

1. IT project manager. Project managers oversee the work of a technical team, developing project schedules, making sure the team delivers quality work, and making sure the clients are satisfied. While the position typically requires a technical background, the functions are primarily administrative. IT project manager salaries average over $98,000.

2. Analytics manager. Companies today are rushing to implement big data and analytics projects to help them understand their customers better and make smarter, data-driven business decisions. Analytics managers with a strong understanding of databases, statistics, and analytics earn more than $97,000.

3. Product manager. While project managers oversee the technical work of building a project, product managers own the scope and functionality of the project. They make the decisions that prioritize features and own the roadmap for product development. Product manager salaries start at around $108,000 and can reach $150,000 or more with experience.

4. Mobile application developer. Smartphones are becoming the dominant way of accessing applications, and many companies now take a mobile-first approach to application development. Developers with skills in iOS and Android app development earn starting salaries around $76,000, rising to $115,000 with experience.

5. Devops automation engineer. While operations roles have traditionally been at the lower end of technology salaries, these positions are becoming more critical as companies migrate to agile, cloud, and continuous deployment approaches. The rise in need for engineers with the skills to automate deployments, monitoring, and support activities has meant a rise in the need for devops engineers and a rise in their salaries. Devops automation engineers now average salaries around $89,000.

There's a wide range of tech jobs, and almost all of them pay well. Browse our jobs database to explore your options. Then contact our recruiters who will help you get hired.

tired of your current position

When you do the same thing over and over again, you develop expertise. Being an expert is valuable in your career, but sometimes doing the same thing over and over again gets boring. Changing technical specialties gives you the chance to develop new skills and new challenges, and it doesn't have to mean taking an entry-level position and salary. Use these five tips to transition to a new IT specialty, and find new excitement at work.

Choose the right new specialty.

Before making a change, make sure the position you're moving into offers the kinds of challenges you enjoy. If you've been working in technical support, but hate dealing with users, you'll probably find working as a business analyst equally frustrating. But you might enjoy working as a QA tester, which often has little need for interacting with end users and can leverage your familiarity with the kinds of problems that occur in systems.

Discuss making a change with your manager.

While your current employer may view you in a specific way and have trouble seeing you in another capability, if you have a good relationship with your manager, talking with them can help make a transition feasible. Your manager can let you know what skills you'll need to make the move, inform you about current openings, and talk you up to the hiring manager for the new position.

Prepare yourself.

You'll need to develop the skills needed for the new specialty before applying for a transfer or job with another firm. Take advantage of any training your company offers; companies often have libraries of online courses available to any employee. You can also take courses outside of work. Completing a sequence of courses and earning a recognized certificate will attest to both your skills and commitment to do the work in the new specialty.

Leverage your current experience.

When you prepare your resume and answer interview questions, relate your past and current project experience to the demands of the new role. For example, if you worked as a QA tester, you've developed insights into the kinds of bugs coders create that can help you write less buggy code if you switch to a programming role.

Consider working for a smaller company.

In smaller businesses, employees need to wear many hats. You won't be locked into a single specific job function, giving you the chance to experience many roles. Not only will you develop multiple skill sets, you'll get insights that help make sure the next specialty you commit to is one you'll enjoy for the rest of your career.

Ready to make a change? At The Armada Group, our recruiting specialists see you as a whole person, not just the skills you've used in your previous jobs. We'll work with you to understand what you want to achieve in your career and match you to job opportunities that allow you to grow. Contact us to seamlessly switch to your new IT specialty. 

why your engineers will

While it's true that managers need to know how to manage; they don't need to know the details of how their employees do their jobs. Managers need to know how to make decisions that help the business achieve its goals. For technology managers, that means understanding technology well enough to make smart decisions that set the technology direction for the business. The best place to find managers with that understanding? Look within the ranks of your engineering and development teams.

Your Engineers Understand Technology

For starters, the talent on those teams already understand the details of your business, and they're already thinking about how to use technology to solve your company’s problems. Because they know both technology and the business, an engineer from your team won't believe that any single technology will magically fix all the issues you face. They'll understand how to bring multiple technologies together to craft a solution.

Your Engineers Understand Technical People

The engineers on your teams also understand the way technical people work. They know that late arrivals at the office don't mean laziness; they reflect late nights spent solving problems at work. They know how the people on team work together, and where the team is struggling because of gaps in skills. They have the ability to assess the way a candidate will fit in and work with the team, as well as the candidate's technical capability.

Finding Leaders On Your Team Encourages Leaders to Develop

When you find your IT leaders from your engineering teams, you encourage the development of more leaders on your engineering teams. Promoting a technical team member to a leadership role demonstrates a true commitment to developing your employees. Other employees who weren't sure if they'd have a future at the company can see it as a real possibility.

Once you promote a technical team member to a leadership role, you'll most likely need to fill the hands-on role they're stepping out of. You might also find that, despite your honest desire to promote an internal employee, no one's ready – or technical employees prefer to remain technical. In either case, The Armada Group has extensive connections with top talent who can get the job done and help your business achieve its goals. Contact us to learn how we can help you build a team of strong developers and leaders who drive your business to technology success.

what youll earn as a

Big data and analytics are among the hottest areas in computing now. Companies are capturing more data than ever: data used by their information processing systems; data generated by Internet of Things sensor-based devices; data that tracks every customer interaction with their website – even the unstructured reviews and comments their customers post on Facebook and online forums.

Then they combine that data with data from third-party sources, like weather forecasts and economic trends, and use statistical methods, machine learning, and other analytics to find patterns and make predictions to help them run their business more effectively, make more sales, and generate more profits.

One result of the growth in data is corresponding growth in data-oriented jobs. These jobs range from data engineers, who focus on putting in place the infrastructure for managing mega-sized data collections, and the data analysts and data scientists who turn the data into insight.

Because the demand for data-wrangling pros is so high, technical staff with data skills, such as SQL, NoSQL, Hadoop, Python, data visualization, data mining, and machine learning earn correspondingly high salaries.

Job sites report average data analyst salaries of $87,000 for jobs in Silicon Valley, significantly higher than similar jobs in other locations. Experience adds to your value and your paycheck, with average salaries around $120,000. The data engineer title in Silicon Valley can earn an even higher salary, around $145,000. Senior data warehouse engineer salaries in Silicon Valley can exceed $150,000. If you've got the skills for the data scientist job title—which typically requires a master's or Ph.D. in data science, analytics, machine learning, statistics, or applied mathematics—you can ultimately command a salary up to $250,000.

Of course, commanding those salaries requires having the skills to produce corresponding value for the company. If your education and experience support your ability to do this work, The Armada Group can connect you with opportunities that will challenge and reward you. Contact us to let our recruiters help you turn data into profit.

Wednesday, Aug 10 2016

The Rise of the Virtual Assistant

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the rise of the virtual assistant

Digital assistants, like Siri, Cortana, and Alexa, are great, and although artificial intelligence gets better and better each year, sometimes getting what you want done requires an actual person to do it. That doesn't mean the person doing it needs to be in the same room with you. In many cases, a "virtual assistant" is the most cost-effective means of getting the job done.

Virtual Assistants and the Gig Economy

It's the rise of the internet combined with the rise of the gig economy that makes virtual assistant work viable. With internet connectivity and remote access applications, a virtual assistant can work from home, or wherever they might be, with the same access to corporate resources they'd have if they were working in an office.

The gig economy has made connecting virtual assistants to their temporary employers seamless. Marketplaces like Fiverr, Upwork, and PeoplePerHour let workers market their skills and availability. Both the workers and the employers can rely on the sites for verification (usually in the form of reviews) and secure payment methods.

Virtual Assistants and the Startup Economy

For many companies, especially startups, virtual assistants fill a real need. With funding tight, the ability to commit to employees without specialized skill sets just isn't there. But the companies still need basic administrative tasks taken care of. By using virtual assistants, the companies can easily find workers to handle those tasks when there's work to be done.

Virtual assistants also bring experience that's valuable to the startup. Because startups are by definition in a state of flux, without many established policies, virtual assistants who've worked for a number of firms can use that experience to figure out how to get things done.

Delegate to Use Virtual Assistants Effectively

Using virtual assistants effectively requires the startup managers to delegate tasks and responsibilities, which can be a challenge during a company's early days. Everything seems so important that letting go of anything feels like it brings the risk of failure. But letting others handle routine tasks frees managers to focus on the more critical tasks that only they can do.

That's true in hiring, too. Using recruiters to filter candidate resumes and do initial screening interviews frees up management to do the tasks that really need management attention. Management only needs to look at resumes and interview the viable candidates, rather than everyone. Ready to delegate your recruiting work so you can focus on your business needs? Contact The Armada Group. Our experienced recruiters are your virtual hiring assistants.