the professional way to cancel

Just like you don't want to burn bridges when you quit your job, you shouldn't burn bridges when you need to cancel an interview. You never know when your path will cross with that recruiter or that potential hiring manager again. Leave a positive impression when you cancel an interview by handling it like a professional.

Let them know you aren't coming.

Unless you're incapacitated, there's no excuse for simply not showing up. Inform the interviewer that you're unable to make the appointment. Try to give the company enough time so people aren't left with holes in their schedules.

Apologize and offer a reason.

Don't grovel, but offer a sincere apology for disrupting schedules. You shouldn't make a lengthy justification, but it's polite to offer a reason for the cancelation. If you don't want to share details, just explain that you're unable to make the meeting.

Use the phone.

Text messages are too casual for an important professional communication like this. Use email if you need to, but using the phone is more personal. Particularly if you want to reschedule rather than cancel permanently, having a phone conversation conveys that you are interested. It also allows you to coordinate a new interview time without a lot of back and forth emails.

Ask to reschedule.

Don't rely on the company reading between the lines of your message. If you want to come in at another time, be explicit and ask to reschedule. If you aren't interested in the position any longer, tell the company you've decided not to pursue this opportunity.

Take a moment before you cancel your interview to think through your reasons for canceling and to make sure they're good ones. If you're canceling because you're afraid you aren't qualified for the position, reschedule instead of canceling completely, and boost your confidence by doing a practice interview or reviewing the technical subject matter. Don't talk yourself out of pursuing what might be a great opportunity.

If you've canceled an interview because you knew the opportunity wasn't right for you but are still looking for a new job, The Armada Group can help. We've been matching great candidates to top open jobs for more than 20 years. We'll take the time to understand what you're looking for and match you to jobs that will challenge and excite you. Contact us to get the interviews that get you your dream job.

how developers want to

Recruiting new employees is as much about wooing as is it about screening. You want to find the right hire, and that requires attracting candidates who can help your projects succeed as well as screening out those who just don't fit. In order to draw candidates to you, treat them the way they want to be treated. When it comes to recruiting developers, this means:

Go beyond acronyms.

Developer resumes are filled with acronyms and buzzwords, which present easy filtering criteria. Think about it from the developer's perspective, though: the acronyms on their resume represent every technology they've ever worked with, not just the tech they work with now or the tech they want to work with in the future. Instead of mass mailing or calling every candidate with the skills you need on their resume, take the time to read the resume and see if their experience with that skill is recent. You might think it's more efficient to let the candidates screen themselves out, but overloading their inboxes with inappropriate job listings hurts your reputation and can cause candidates to ignore every mail from you – even if it describes a job they'd be perfect for.

Don't rely on interviews.

Sure, development is a team effort and everyone needs to be able to interact with their peers. But unless you're hiring a lead or support role, most programming jobs are more about spending time with a keyboard than time with people. So while the interview is necessary, don't overemphasize it; many developers simply are introverts and won't do well when pinned down for verbal answers. Instead, use tests to verify a candidate's technical ability to do the job. And when you give those tests, don't make developers talk through their solution standing in front of a white board. No one works that way in reality. Instead, let the programmers develop their solution sitting in front of a computer – the way they will when they're on the job.

Present the job the way it really is.

Both resumes and job descriptions have an element of exaggeration to them; after all, they're both advertisements, in a way. Despite that, don't stretch the truth in your job description or when speaking with candidates in person. Don't try to make the job seem more exciting than it really is. If it's mostly maintenance of existing code rather than new development or there's little opportunity for advancement, be honest about that. It might cost you the chance to hire this particular candidate, but hiring someone who then quits because the job isn't what they signed up for is more expensive.

The Armada Group has been recruiting top technical employees for more than 20 years. We understand the way developers think and what they're looking for at work, and are the experts at matching developers to opportunities. Contact us to talk about your hiring needs and how we can help you recruit the right developer the right way.

tech jobs hit highest

Today's world runs on technology, and right now is a great time to be a tech professional. Tech accounts for more than 10 percent of private sector employment, with close to seven million workers in the industry; there are another million self-employed tech workers. CompTIA, an industry association, recently produced a report that present encouraging news for those pursuing tech careers. Overall technology employment in 2015 grew three percent from the previous year.

Manufacturing Comeback

Even tech manufacturing, which had a decreasing trend over the past decade, experienced a gain in 2015. The largest gain was in computer and peripheral manufacturing, though control, semiconductors, and component manufacturers also increased their employment.

Core IT Services Dominate

But while manufacturing is showing slight signs of a turnaround, core IT employment continues to boom. The past five years have added close to half a million jobs to the economy. Much growth is driven by the rise in cloud computing, with the software-as-a-service sector adding more than 5,000 jobs in 2015, an increase of nearly two percent.

As the internet continues to be central to modern life, the internet is driving growth for IT workers in the telecom/internet services sector, with a growth rate of close to three percent.

Other industry trends influencing employment are the Internet of Things, mobile computing, and big data. Cybersecurity is also an area of high demand, given the constant rise of new forms of malware. Because of the challenges of keeping up with technical change, many companies turn to IT services for support, and as a result IT services experienced the largest increase in employment of any tech sector.

Wages Reflect Demand

Salaries for tech workers are growing along with the demand. Overall average technical salaries were $105,400 per year, an increase of more than a percent from the previous year. The average salary is twice the non-technical average salary. Within the tech industry, software's average salary was $142,500, followed by manufacturing at $108,100.

Take Advantage of the Trends

With the continued growth in technology employment, jobs are out there for tech workers with the skills and motivation to seek advancement. Explore The Armada Group's jobs list to see the opportunities that are out there, or contact us to discuss your background and interests. We'll work to match you to a position that gives you the chance to use your talents to their fullest.

will free online courses

Keeping current with technology is critically important if you plan to have your career last your lifetime. While some companies offer training in new skills, they may limit you to taking courses in the technologies they expect to use in new projects. If you want to pursue other interests, you need to develop your own course of study. Fortunately, thanks to the internet, there are many online training resources you can use to boost your knowledge.

Product tutorials.

Almost every software product, whether open source or vendor-supported, offers a free download version. Some may have limited functionality and some may expire after 30 days or so, but in either case, you can get your hands on the product and start exploring. In most cases, a search will find multiple tutorials to help walk you through building an introductory product, plus community forums where you can turn to get your questions solved.

Online courses.

You can find many online courses, some free and some at cost, at sites like,, and Online courses vary in their detail, complexity, and how much support you can expect from the instructor, so read class descriptions closely. In some cases, a series of online courses can lead to a certificate attesting to your knowledge.

Online degree programs.

More comprehensive than individual courses, online degree programs offer the equivalent of university study and lead to a degree granted by the institution. Earning a degree through online study requires a commitment to completing multiple courses over several years. Depending on the school, this can also require a significant financial investment.

Before pursuing any online study, think about what you hope to achieve so you can identify the best approach take. You may simply want to pursue a personal interest, or you may want to enhance your skills to qualify for new responsibilities at work. You may want to learn an entirely new technology to pursue opportunities in new, hot fields like big data and the internet of things.

When you've achieved a solid understanding of the technology and are ready to apply it at work, be sure to add it to your resume. Then bring your resume to The Armada Group. Our recruiters are skilled at matching job seekers to opportunities that will make use of all their technical abilities. Contact us to start putting your technical education to work.

Friday, Jul 15 2016

Why are Python Careers so Popular?

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why are python careers

Picking the right technology to learn is important to position yourself for job and career success. Languages and technology vary in how in-demand they are in industry; if you choose to learn a language that's in high demand, you'll have lots of opportunities to choose from. For developers today, the language to learn is Python.

Python is Easy to Learn

Learning Python is relatively easy, compared to other programming languages. The syntax isn't cluttered with brackets; you don't need to declare variables and can just use them as you need them. There's less code needed to accomplish basic tasks. Because the language is object oriented and has built-in support for data structures like lists, programmers can quickly start building application functionality rather than application infrastructure. Because it's interpreted, you can easily test the code you write as you go along, rather than needing to define a complicated and time-consuming build process. 

Python is Used in Industry

One of the biggest companies pushing Python is Google, where it's used as part of the Google App Engine and YouTube. With Google a major driver of technical innovation, it's no surprise that its support for the language has boosted its popularity. Other major companies that use Python cross every industry you can think of—the list includes Yahoo, Industrial Light & Magic, ABN AMRO, the National Weather Service, and more.

These companies like Python because it is efficient and powerful, and there are numerous libraries and frameworks that make developing substantial applications. Django is a popular framework for web development, and other frameworks provide features such as numerical analysis. The language is also portable, with versions that run on any platform, giving companies the flexibility of supporting multiple operating systems.

Python Gets You Hired

There's continued to be an increase in need for Python programmers, making them among the most in-demand and highest-paid developers. If you've got top Python skills and are ready to take on a new opportunity, The Armada Group can help you find a job that'll challenge and excite you. Contact us to start your search. 

seven signs youre not working

Do you feel good when you go home at the end of the day? If you don't, you may not be in the right job or working for the right company. Take a look at these seven signs that it's time for a job change and see if you recognize yourself in any of them.

You don't share the company's mission.

It's hard to be happy at work when you can't stand behind the company's product. If you trade off your values for the sake of salary, or even if you just feel that what the company does isn't meaningful, it's hard to feel good about the time you spend there.

You aren't passionate about the technology.

So much of the fun of a tech job comes from getting to use new technology to build exciting products. If your company is stuck using old tech to support existing systems, you may need to go elsewhere to find a new challenge.

You're underutilized.

When you have skills and abilities that you don't get to use on the job, you can start to get restless. By the time you've been on the job for a while, your manager should feel confident in your abilities and allow you to tackle big problems. If you've asked for those opportunities and been turned down, you may not be as skilled as you think, or your manager may not trust your abilities.

You don't respect your management.

If your managers have made bad decisions that impacted the company, your project, and you, it becomes hard to keep a positive attitude about the work. It also becomes difficult to work together to address problems, leading to even more frustration.

You're in over your head.

Sometimes the job isn't what you thought it was and you don't have the skills. You might have misunderstood what the job entailed or things might have changed at the company between the time you were interviewed and the day you showed up to start work. In either case, your inability to perform as well as you want can make you very uncomfortable every day.

You've been doing the job too long.

You loved your job when you started; it had everything you wanted. But once you've been doing it for a while, it can start to get old. You can try to find ways to change the details of what you're doing and how you do it, but you may need to look for a new job in order to really find a new challenge.

You're overstressed.

If you have too much work to do or not enough time to do it, you won't leave work behind when you leave the office. You'll take it home with you, work nights and weekends, and even when you try to sleep or have fun it'll still be nagging at you that there are tasks undone.

If you see any of these signs in yourself, it's time to think about finding a new job. The Armada Group takes time to understand both candidates and open opportunities to make a good match. Contact us to start looking for the right company now.