In the tech world, jargon is inescapable. These sneaky buzzwords and phrases creep into our lexicon almost unnoticed, and suddenly we’re spouting off terms like “synergy” and “paradigm” while our peers nod along — as if they know what we mean, any more than we do.
The thing about jargon is that it’s nearly universal among IT professionals. It’s attractive because it’s almost like a secret code, the way school kids use Pig Latin so their other friends won’t know they’re talking about them. But just because we use it, doesn’t mean we have to like it — because let’s face it, jargon (and Pig Latin) can get annoying.
Here are 10 popular IT buzzwords and phrases we can’t stand — and can’t stop saying.
What it’s supposed to mean: This nebulous term refers to the vast collection of data, programs, and infrastructures that are stored in and run from third-party data warehouses, and accessed through individual devices with Internet connections.
What it sounds like: Data heaven, where all the good little programs wait to bestow themselves on people with magic devices. The problem with “the cloud” is that everyone uses it, but most non-tech people don’t understand what it really means. Everything on the Internet is not in the cloud.
What it’s supposed to mean: The process of bringing a new employee on board and up to speed with the company.
What it sounds like: The process of bringing a new employee on board…a pirate ship. At sword point. And making them galley slaves.
What it’s supposed to mean: Using elements of game playing at work to make things seem more fun and drive a competitive spirit.
What it sounds like: Your bosses have just been replaced by Mr. Rogers and Dr. Seuss. Everybody have fun…or else!
What it’s supposed to mean: A computer programmer, especially when referring to an inexperienced or unskilled programmer.
What it sounds like: All that training and experience you have doesn’t matter, because a monkey could do your job. In fact, we’re thinking of hiring monkeys and firing you.
Coding Ninjas / Rockstars
What it’s supposed to mean: This term is most often used in job descriptions to entice brilliant programmers and developers to work for a company. Flattery will get you everywhere.
What it sounds like: We get to show up at work in ninja outfits, carrying electric guitars, and sneak around the office blasting wicked riffs at unsuspecting co-workers. Surely, everyone will take us seriously then.
What it’s supposed to mean: The entire process of installing new software or hardware, testing it, fixing it, testing it again, fixing it some more, and finally getting it all up and running 30 days after the deadline. Or just installing, configuring, and smoothly launching software or hardware.
What it sounds like: Ready to install that new software? We’ll send five black vans full of IT people in full S.W.A.T. gear to your workplace, who will launch tear gas canisters through your windows before going in to attack your infrastructure. Don’t worry — we’ll keep the casualties as minimal as possible.
What it’s supposed to mean: [verb] To design and configure in the capacity of a software architect; to build a software architecture.
What it sounds like: Pretentious. Just say “build.”
What it’s supposed to mean: In software programming and development, an iteration is a phase at which improvements are made — in short, a do-over.
What it sounds like: We don’t want to seem really anal about changing the background for this app to gray instead of blue, so we’ll just take the “re” off the fancy word for do-over and pretend it’s all part of the process.
What it’s supposed to mean: The process of analyzing and sorting large amounts of data in order to extract useful business applications.
What it sounds like: Meet your new IT team: Happy, Sleepy, Bashful, Sneezy, Grumpy, Dopey, and Doc. Don’t worry about those pickaxes — they’re highly trained professionals.
What it’s supposed to mean: To take something you’re already doing at work, and turn a profit from it.
What it sounds like: Our jobs involve magically spinning code into cash. Note how we’re all retired billionaires living on yachts in the Caribbean.
If you’re tired of people speaking jargon at you, and looking for people with real industry knowledge, contact The Armada Group. We hire highly trained IT individuals for some of the top companies across America, and place impeccable candidates with their dream jobs.
Unexpected and exciting news for developers has emerged from the 2014 Apple Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), where the keynote revealed an Xcode update, new tools for iCloud, updated APIs and app extensions — and most notably, a new programming language for iOS and OS X app development.
The biggest surprise at WWDC 14 was the announcement of Swift, a brand new and completely re-architected programming language for applications using the Apple operating systems. Swift allows developers to continue writing Objective-C code alongside it, but the new language produces much faster code compared to both Objective-C and Python.
Optimized into native code, Swift’s features are thoroughly modern — fast iteration, generics, and functional programming patterns make the language easy to work with, and Apple is providing a free iBook with all the details of using Swift. Developers who build applications in Swift will be able to ship to iTunes and Mac App Stores once iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite come out of beta later this year.
Playgrounds and sidebars: Xcode 6
Another previously unannounced bit of news came in the form of a fresh update to Apple’s Integrated Development Environment (IDE), Xcode. One of the most exciting features of Xcode 6 is Playgrounds, a feature that lets developers try out a bit of code without creating an entire project. An interactive sidebar displays the output of the code typed into Playground, and the sidebar can also show SpriteKit or SceneKit animations, graph variables, or drawing steps.
Also new to this version of Xcode are live debugging codes, including a built-in UI inspector that’s similar to Reveal and Spark Inspector.
Increased functionality with app extensions
Previously, applications on the iTunes and Mac app stores couldn’t talk to each other, but at WWDC 14 Apple unveiled app extensions that will now allow them to do just that. These extensions allow Apple-based apps to provide an extension as a service, which lets other apps tap into them.
The example used in the keynote was a Pinterest app that pins items to an associated account. The app uses a Pinterest pin button that can appear in share sheets, allowing the other apps to call on it to provide a user interface for the extension task of pinning the item.
CloudKit saves developers time and money
Creating applications that rely on custom-built web services is a time-consuming and expensive process for developers. With the introduction of CloudKit, Apple is expanding the functionality of iCloud and allowing developers to skip the provisioning and hosting for their cloud services.
CloudKit brings developer tools to iCloud that include user authentication, private and public database utilization, and alternate asset storage solutions. These tools offer very high storage limits, they’re free to implement, and they arrive provisioned to accommodate all of the app’s users.
A great year for Apple developers
In addition to the major developments, WWDC 14 announced a slew of new features and tools — from PhotoKit for camera and photo services apps, to HealthKit and HomeKit for health and fitness apps, to new features for SpriteKit and SceneKit, and more. Altogether, the new functionalities help developers create improved and more seamless experiences for Apple-based app users.
Keeping up on the latest IT trends, and navigating the ever-changing technological world are traits that The Armada Group takes pride in. We can help your company stay updated on all the newest and biggest facets of the IT industry. For help with finding a perfect IT candidate or position, contact our expert recruiting team today!
Women in technology make up just over 10 percent. Studies show that the interest simply isn’t there, as very few women going into college pursue a computer science degree. It will take an industry-wide effort to generate more female enthusiasm, and results won’t follow overnight. However, here are seven tips you can use to make your company appeal to women:
1. Hire women. This seems almost too obvious, but it’s often overlooked. Women who walk in to an all-male IT operation are less likely to feel comfortable working there.
2. Involve the community. Find local groups who focus on empowering women in the workplace. Once your company establishes an effective relationship, most groups will go to great lengths to help you.
3. Contact Sororities. Because most sororities include a GPA stipulation, they will tend to have a higher quality education – or, at the very least, prove to have the more earnest students. Forming relationships with sororities extends a branch from your company to women interested in technology.
4. Increase flexibility. Women, statistically, are much more prone to accepting offers from jobs that are willing to adjust for family planning. Flexible hours and work from home jobs will open a number of opportunities.
5. Have a female recruiter. At least one female recruiter on your team will drastically increase the odds of appealing to other women. This also remains true for women in management or administration, even if they’re not directly involved in IT.
6. Have an intern program. If you have multiple internships, reserve a proportion of slots exclusively for female participants – while making an effort to bring in more than one.
7. Bring in outside help. Consider bringing in a female consultant to find small changes to your workplace that could help to build a more gender neutral atmosphere.
Increasing the number of female candidates is a long-term goal for most IT workplaces, as females bring in a different perspective that can positively affect the outcome. These seven tips can help your company become a more female-friendly environment.
At The Armada Group, we’re dedicated to female talent, as well as elite talent from both genders. We have some of the best and brightest in candidates and serve the fastest growing companies in America. Contact us to see how we can help you!
Especially after a very strong interview, most candidates impatiently await the news from a recruiter. However, it’s a professional faux pas to call a few hours after interviewing to see if the interviewer has made a determination. This causes frustration and – chances are – there’s other candidates who have yet to interview. Here are a few keys regarding recruiter etiquette and proper follow up contact:
Finding a new job can be stressful, but it’s worth it once you get the best offer from the right job. There’s a lot of time that goes into it on the recruiter’s end, and it’s not usually an overnight process. Follow these tips for professional etiquette in following up.
At The Armada Group, we take the stress out of the process. We work directly with candidates to ascertain their skill set and company view, and pair them together with the best fit. This helps long-term job satisfaction, and increases overall success. We work with elite talent from some of the largest and fastest growing tech companies in the world. Contact us today to see how we can help you
Many hiring managers dream of finding the perfect candidate — someone with just the right mix of skills, experience, and personality – who’s willing to work for the salary on offer and likely to stay with the company long-term. Unfortunately, those perfect candidates are few and far between, and might even be non-existent. So why are hiring managers holding out for them?
In the current job market, as the country continues to recover from the recession, some experts perceive a general glut of talent. Hiring managers believe they’ll have plenty of time, and plenty of candidates to choose from — so if a candidate is good but not perfect, they might decide to wait. Major companies like Microsoft and Google have open positions that have been available for months because the ideal candidate hasn’t walked through the interview door yet.
But is waiting for perfection really the best strategy? Here’s why holding out may be causing more harm than good for your company:
The longer the hiring process, the more money you’re losing
It is undeniably costly to hire the wrong person for the job — but the costs of waiting can add up to even more. When you’re scouting for candidates, you’re typically sinking time, money, and resources into various recruitment strategies and channels. Meanwhile, your company is short-staffed, which typically causes decreased productivity and morale while increasing the strain on your current team as they struggle to fill the gaps.
The ‘talent surplus’ is general, but your needs are specific
Overall, there are currently more job seekers than open positions. But that doesn’t necessarily mean there’s a surplus of the type of talent you want to hire. In fact, there are talent shortages in some industries, particularly in-demand IT positions. When you factor in geographic location and active versus passive job seekers, the talent pool shrinks even further.
The perfect candidate may not be the best choice
Let’s say you’ve found the ideal hire — certified and experienced in all the skills you require, with a positive attitude and lots of motivation to do a great job, and happy with your salary offer. Now, ask yourself this: Where will they go from here?
Hiring perfect candidates can actually be risky. If you onboard someone who has everything they need to perform the job perfectly, there’s nothing to challenge them and nowhere to go but up — or over to another company. In many cases, a strong candidate who’s not perfect will prove a better fit for the long term.
Tips for hiring not-quite-perfect candidates
Saying yes to perfection is easy, but how do you choose someone who isn’t ideal? Consider these tips to help you choose a great candidate who can grow into perfection with your company:
There may be no such thing as perfection, but there are plenty of good candidates who can become great employees. At The Armada Group, we can tell the difference between a great candidate, and a perfect fit for your company. Contact us today for help with every step of your hiring process.
Many employers associate benefits with full-time employees, and don’t think about them in the context of short-term IT workers. But good temporary help is worth the effort of offering incentives — and if you supply benefits for your temporary IT staff, you’ll enjoy advantages like attracting better talent, increased productivity, and a higher ROI on your short-term staff investment.
What do temporary IT workers want?
The first step to a successful incentive plan for short-term IT employees is to identify what motivates temporary workers. These employees know that their time with you is limited, and in many cases they’ve already arranged their careers to take care of typical benefits like health insurance that long-term employees receive.
Effective motivation for short-term IT employees is similar to non-insurance incentives for permanent employees. And since these workers have limited time contracts, creating an incentive program for temps is often more affordable for you as an employer.
The ‘more money’ incentive
Just about everyone likes money, and that includes temporary IT workers. A short-term bonus plan for IT temps can be a great motivation to perform well. You can offer bonuses for meeting deadlines, upon project completion, or even for above-and-beyond productivity.
Creating a strategic bonus or series of bonuses for short-term IT employees will increase morale and fuel the natural human drive for competition, ensuring an overall higher performance.
The ‘cool free stuff’ incentive
Gift cards are a great and inexpensive bonus to offer temporary IT employees. You can usually purchase gift cards from just about any local businesses — opt for retail, restaurant, and entertainment cards to give the best bang for your gift bucks.
If you have short-term IT staff that you’ve hired for a big project, and they’ll be around for several months, you may consider giving reloadable gift cards and placing a small amount on them each week. This will keep temporary workers motivated to continue, and give them the opportunity to spend quality time with family when they aren’t working.
The ‘work-life balance’ incentive
Paid holidays, sick days, and personal days are a popular benefit for permanent employees, but what about temporary staff? Offering paid days off to short-term IT workers isn’t usually feasible for a business, but you can create a smaller scale program that still offers much-needed advantages.
For example, you might give temp workers a half-hour of paid time off for every full day worked, and allow them to take advantage of their accrued paid leave for things like important appointments or the occasional personal day. You could also consider offering time off with half-pay when it’s reasonable and needed.
The ‘good job’ incentive
Simple thanks for a job well done are a strong motivator for full-time staff, that’s also free for your business to offer. With short-term IT workers, you can take your recognition for their work a step further and offer official employee awards. The possibilities range from printing out certificates to holding a fun event for your temp IT team upon project completion — and all are equally appreciated.
In addition, employee awards give temp workers something they can demonstrate their value with to their next temporary employer. For an IT professional who changes jobs frequently, this can be an exceptionally valuable benefit.
At The Armada Group, we can help you devise incentive programs to maximize your fulfillment of temporary IT workers, and to keep your full-time staff happy and productive. Contact us today for more information, or to find outstanding qualified candidates.