social media

Recruiting skilled talent is rarely easy, and it can be especially challenging when searching for tech professionals. Aside from the demands that innately come with the job, IT recruiters must stay apprised of technology changes, hardware development, in-demand programming languages, and much more. Additionally, low unemployment levels among IT workers often necessitates finding candidates who aren’t actively on the market, many of whom aren’t concerned about being found.

 

Now, you also have to add social media recruiting to the mix. And that can feel like quite a task for those recruiters who have yet to use these resources for the purpose of recruiting.

 

However, adding social recruiting to your regular repertoire doesn’t have to be complicated. In fact, taking your first steps into the arena can be fairly intuitive, as long as you have the drive to get it done based on the potential it holds.

Tech Pros Embrace Social Media

The primary reason IT recruiters need to embrace social media is the fact that the target market already has. Tech professionals are often active on some form of social media. In some cases, large-scale sources like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn can provide access to a wide range of subject matter experts working in technology fields, and most people are at least somewhat familiar with how to engage others on these platforms.

 

Additionally, there are a variety of resources like GitHub and Stack Overflow, that tend to cater to those interested in tech. These can provide access to dedicated professionals who may shun traditional social media in favor of industry-specific interactions.

Becoming a Resource

The ultimate purpose of exploring social media as a recruiter is the potential to be seen as a resource. By participating regularly and in a meaningful way, they can position themselves as a resource in the community, and not just a person looking to make a placement. For recruiters who specialize in IT, building a strong reputation in the community can provide a natural point in which to engage with professionals working in the industry.

 

And once you are seen as a resource, you are more likely to be exposed to new resources. For example, many social media participants openly share information with others with whom they have built a relationship. This can give you new sources of cutting-edge developments and industry information. You may find yourself better prepared to anticipate the needs of client companies as upcoming trends may enter your radar more quickly.

Professional Connections

In some cases, recruiters may even find an opportunity to locate a candidate for placement directly from these sources, but it is also possible to locate available professionals through association. If your need for a specific tech specialist is known, you may find those with whom you have connected to be a valuable source of referrals.

 

Maintaining more connections gives you access to more potential candidates by extension, and sometimes casting a wide net is the ideal solution when searching for a difficult-to-locate skill set.

 

That is the same principle that can make working with professional staffing firms like The Armada Group so effective. Contact The Armada Group today and let our recruitment network work for you.

 

recognition

Receiving public praise is often a key to greater job satisfaction. It demonstrates that your contributions have been noticed and the work is appreciated. However, not every IT position lends itself well to inherently getting noticed, and that can leave you feeling as though your efforts are being taken for granted.

 

But there are ways to increase your chances for recognition without coming across as self-centered and entirely self-serving. To get started, consider focusing on these areas first.

Keep Your Manager Up to Date

A manager rarely has the ability to stay on top of the contributions of every individual within a team at all times. While the progress of specific work groups may be monitored and end results examined, you should consider it your responsibility to ensure your manager has information about your work.

 

Consider implementing a weekly email progress report to keep your manager informed regarding the status of current projects, and feel free to forward any positive feedback you receive from key stakeholders or customers. Both of these serve as platforms to keep your boss up to date without coming across as a braggart. Just make sure that when accomplishments are based on team success, every person is appropriately mentioned in these messages.

 

These approaches give your manager points on which praise can be given, creating a clear opportunity for recognition.

Offer Recognition to Increase Recognition

Not every company has a culture that focuses on praise and recognition. However, you may have the ability to make changes in that regard. If a team member does something worth recognizing, feel free to give them a shout out. Team meetings and project reviews can be suitable times to acknowledge a team member’s contribution and may encourage other team members to do the same.

 

Similarly, you can inquire about adding a peer-to-peer recognition system within your organization. Again, this can help develop a culture where offering praise is part of the norm and not the exception.

Take the Initiative

Sometimes the easiest way to get what you need is to ask for it. Individuals often prefer different rewards for a job well done, and if your preferred method doesn’t match those around you, it may simply be an overlooked point in larger employee retention plans.

 

When more recognition its the goal, you can seek opportunities for more high-profile projects. Similarly, seek out chances to take on certain duties or projects on your own, or when certain tasks aren’t being well managed, publicly volunteer to take those tasks on; then solicit feedback to ensure your work is meeting everyone’s needs.

 

You may need to embrace self-promotion to a degree if you want to increase your visibility. Just make sure to remain professional as you do so.

Reevaluate Your Position

If your efforts to facilitate more recognition by invoking change in the company culture, or your request for additional feedback to support your career growth are met with blank stares and zero enthusiasm, it may be time to reevaluate your workplace. Not every company culture meets the needs of all individuals, and if recognition is a critical part of your overall job satisfaction, it may be time to find an environment that can meet that need.

 

Begin preparing your resume and start exploring what new employment opportunities may be available. If you aren’t sure where to begin, contact us to speak with one of our IT recruiters. The skilled professionals at The Armada Group have the experience necessary to help you find a work environment that better suits your needs, allowing you to receive the recognition you need to feel satisfied in your work.

 

resume mistakes

In the end, your resume is one of the most important documents you will ever create. It outlines your IT skills and experience to give hiring managers insight regarding what you have to offer. But creating a strong resume is no easy task, especially since there is flexibility regarding how the document can be designed.

 

However, certain mistakes are more common than others. If you are an IT job seeker, and you want to make sure your resume serves as the best introduction possible, here are four mistakes you should avoid.

1. Too Much Jargon

Not every hiring manager looking to fill an IT position is a tech professional themselves. Having a resume dominated by tech terminology can leave those less familiar with the jargon at a loss when it comes to understanding your qualifications. Additionally, diving too deep into the technical can come across as unapproachable or even intimidating to someone who is less comfortable with the subject matter.

 

Now, that doesn’t mean you should avoid key terms completely. Instead, take some time to determine which words or phrases are helpful and which can be removed. For example, feel free to use tech-oriented language that mirrors the job announcement. Additionally, include skills that pertain specifically to managing the job to which you are applying. Otherwise, if it isn’t directly applicable, consider leaving it on the cutting room floor.

2. Inappropriate Length

The correct length for a resume is a hotly debated topic. Some professionals still swear that a one-page resume is the only way to go while others believe a two-page approach is fine for those with longer career histories who are applying to upper-level positions. However, neither stance is entirely correct.

 

The truth is the correct resume length is the one that outlines your skills, experience and education that are valuable (and pertinent) based on the position to which you are applying. If you can include everything a hiring manager needs to see in a one-page format, don’t stretch it to two just because you think that is the standard. If you do, you’ll likely be relying on fluff and filler, neither of which will help you land an interview.

 

In contrast, if squeezing all the information into one or two pages isn’t possible, don’t beat yourself up for going to a third. However, if you are going beyond two pages, consider whether every line is actually valuable. Anything that doesn’t add to the conversation in a meaningful way should immediately be subtracted from your resume.

3. Ignoring Side Projects

Many professionals assume that experience gained outside of traditional employment or education needs to be left off of their resume. And while this is true for side projects that hold no relevance to the position, you can include information about any experience that applies regardless of where it was acquired.

 

For example, if you developed a mobile app, built a friend’s blog or used your technical skills in a way that is applicable to the position, consider including it. Even if you didn’t financially benefit from the project, that doesn’t mean they aren’t good examples of your skills.

 

Just make sure the information is appropriate to display in a professional context. If the subject matter involved is controversial or not appropriate in the work environment, it is better not to mention it at all.

4. Failing to Brag

While no one wants to come across as arrogant, many err too far on the side of caution and avoid discussing their major accomplishments in a meaningful way. A resume is a document designed to market your skills and abilities to hiring managers, making it a perfectly acceptable time to showcase what you’ve done.

 

Feel free to describe your successes, just make sure the tone is professional.

 

If you are interested in improving your resume or are looking for a new IT position, the professionals at The Armada Group are here to help. Contact us and see how you can elevate your resume to the next level to score the position of your dreams.

universities

Technology has become a disruptive force in almost every industry. The Internet of Things (IoT) has increased awareness regarding the potential connectivity of systems, including real-time monitoring and reporting through certain city infrastructure components. Additionally, new service-oriented businesses whose foundations are in technology, such as Uber, are changing how people use certain services within a city, changing revenue flows. Even advancements in automation can fundamentally change how a city operates as technology changes employment levels throughout an area.

 

All of these shifts require leaders and planning professionals within city areas to have a new understanding regarding the impact of technology on the landscape. Whether it is the relevance of data analytics for acquiring needed information, the technical expertise required to implement and maintain certain pieces of infrastructure, or the foresight required to anticipate changes based on market trends, formal education is often required to support these smart city developments.

 

And universities across the country are embracing the challenges of today’s smart cities to create the professionals that will be required tomorrow.

Adding Data Analytics

The value of data analytics can be applied to a variety of fields, and more colleges and universities are acknowledging that fact. Entire degree plans are dedicated to the subject, and a variety of fields have individual courses designed to cover the most relevant aspects of the topic within particular industries.

 

Additionally, many schools have used the increased demand relating to data analytics to create separate certificate programs for professionals looking to expand their knowledge and skills. This provides working adults who may have already secured a college education in the respective fields to gain knowledge regarding data analytics to support the continuation of their careers.

Technology Integration and Sustainability

Technology is giving cities new options in regards to sustainability within their infrastructure. One of the early developments included the use of sensors to manage street and traffic lights to reduce energy costs, as well as monitor water mains to identify early signs of leaks. Advancements of this nature have the ability to lower city operating costs through the better management of resources as well as spot potential issues before a major failure results and large-scale repairs are needed.

 

All of these points can help a city become more sustainable by limiting the excessive use of natural resources and making system repairs for lower costs by addressing issues early. The addition of these technologies requires professionals who are prepared to work with these systems and have led to the creation of suitable higher educational options designed specifically to meet that demand.

And More

Smart cities can include many more technology-driven features designed to help municipal employees manage certain conditions more effectively and improve the resident experience in regards to daily living. Public safety can now include courses on the use of traffic, dash or personal cameras as information sources. Additionally, urban planning now involves the use of digital signage to direct traffic based on the precise driving conditions that are detected within areas traditionally subject to congestion.

 

The potential for other advancements is also vast, and many colleges and universities are stepping up to the plate to create courses and programs designed to meet these developments if they haven’t already. This helps shrink the talent gap and provides areas with new options for technological advancement in their daily operations.

 

If you are looking for a technology professional to help your organization meet the demands created by the smart city movement, The Armada Group has the expertise to find your ideal candidates. Contact our skilled recruiters today and let our recruitment technology help make your hiring practices smarter than ever.

 

Friday, Feb 17 2017

Is Code Coverage Effective?

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code coverage

 

When software developers need to measure the quality of their code, many turn to code coverage. The technique provides a metric regarding how much of the code is covered by the testing plan, giving definitive feedback regarding the thoroughness of applicable testing.  But how effective is code coverage, and does it actually help you create a better product?

Shorten Development Timetable

Professionals working in the software development field state benefits regarding the amount of time required to complete testing. Since code coverage serves as a tracking mechanism, less time is required to maintain the code. It also supports initiatives like agile and DevOps by creating a more efficient test plan and limiting technical debt.

 

Some development programs include code coverage within their product. For example, Microsoft Visual Studio provides internal tools for measuring code coverage. Additionally, third party solutions are available to test code based on a variety of languages. That means you do not have to dedicate internal resources to the creation of these solutions. However, manual methods are also available, though they can add time to the development cycle.

Clear Coverage Results

Code coverage allows developers to see exactly which code was tested and which code wasn’t. This helps confirm the portions that are working properly while guiding further testing to reach portions of the code that were not covered in prior testing.

 

Since the status of the testing is easily measured, this allows companies to set minimum thresholds before a release is scheduled. However, many businesses find it unnecessary to reach 100 percent coverage before considering release. Instead, a target of 80 percent or more may be sufficient. Then, if issues arise post-release, developers already understand which code was not previously tested, helping to speed up troubleshooting efforts.

Code Coverage Shortcomings

One area where code coverage is lacking is in the potential quality of the code. The system lacks the ability to determine whether the underlying tests were of a high enough quality to evaluate the product code properly.

 

Additionally, there is nothing to prevent developers from focusing on unit tests when higher code coverage targets were required. If a business puts extreme pressure on developers and focuses on particularly high code coverage requirements (such as 95 percent or higher, depending on the amount of source code involved), testers may not have the time required to create high-quality tests while also meeting the requirement.

 

Ultimately, code coverage cannot judge how meaningful a test may be, only what was tested. To ensure quality testing, additional policy may be required to guide efforts. Additionally, the tests may need to be reviewed to ensure best practices are being used.

 

This means that the results of code coverage will only be as useful as the code driving the test. Organizations will need to create standards regarding how the analysis will be performed to yield high-quality results.

 

If your company is interested in hiring new developers familiar with code coverage, The Armada Group has the skills required to find your ideal candidate. Contact us and see how our hiring solutions can work for you.

 

big data specialists

Big Data has taken the world by storm and along the way, has increased the pressure on the technical specialists who focus on the area. The push to get results more quickly and to make the results more meaningful can leave many working in the field scrambling to keep up, and creates some major pain points for Big Data specialists to struggle against.

Not Seeing a Traditional Asset

While many businesses consider their data an asset, they don’t necessarily treat it as one. While a company may be able to tell you exactly how many packages of printer paper were ordered within a given time period, they can’t do the same with their less tangible assets.

 

The lack of tracking increases pressure on those working with the data, as they have to do more than use the data to produce results; they have to quantify it. Additionally, they often have to surmise how to value the content along the way, adding a duty many Big Data professionals aren’t sufficiently prepared to accomplish.

Improper Data Collection Strategies

Once a company has their hands on a data collection tool, it is tempting to use it to its fullest capacity. However, this can lead to mountains of unnecessary data. For example, if a business chooses to monitor the number of visitors actively viewing a particular product webpage and use an option that reports back once a minute, that is likely way more information than is necessary.

 

The number of data points being produced and stored likely exceeds the amount necessary to achieve useful metrics. Instead, it simply creates an excess of data that then needs to be managed.

Devaluing Their Skills

Often, it is hard to explain the different skill sets required for IT operations unless you actively work in the field. Additionally, cloud-based offerings for data analytics can leave many members of upper management to disregard the amount of skill it actually takes to provide meaningful results, especially within a large enterprise landscape.

 

Failing to recognize the need for a highly skilled individual or team to manage Big Data tasks can put unfair pressure on IT professionals who do not work within the Big Data landscape. Additionally, it leads some organizations to devalue the skills of true Big Data specialists. Typically, the quality of a company’s results are directly tied to the skill level of those performing the work, and not understanding the differences between IT skill sets can create pain points throughout the department.

Rushing Initiatives

All successful IT implementations require time and planning. Even if a business is able to secure a suitable analytics solution quickly, it takes time to ensure everything is properly managed to produce the desired results.

 

Similarly, if the use of Big Data is new to a company, they also need to acquire individuals with the necessary skills and experience to create value from the solution. Securing the tools is only the first step in Big Data analytics, and rushing through the early stages of implementation can lead to less favorable, if not entirely unusable, results.

 

If your business is looking for a skilled Big Data Specialist, The Armada Group has the industry expertise necessary to identify your next potential superstar employee. Contact us and let our experience in the IT job market guide you to the ideal candidates for your goals.