java developers

Java is still one of the most widely used programming languages, which means there are lots of opportunities but also lots of competition. Position yourself to stand out from your peers with these tips.

Core Java is a foundation, but not enough to get you hired.

Make yourself more valuable to employers by adding other skills needed on both the frontend and the backend. JavaScript, CSS, and HTML are important; make sure you know popular front end frameworks like AngularJS or ReactJS. For backend development, knowing Python and Ruby also adds to your hireability.

Enhance your database skills.

Every application needs to get its data from somewhere, and most need to store results, as well. SQL databases are still standard, but NoSQL is becoming more important.

Be fully agile.

Almost all companies use some variant of the agile development methodology to manage their projects. Be prepared to explain how agile works and how it's affected your approach to building your applications. Demonstrate the interpersonal skills needed to participate in agile scrums and planning sessions.

Boost your communication skills.

Defining requirements is still the top challenge facing most software projects. Even if your team has business analysts who write the specifications, the better you can communicate with your business users, the better the applications you'll create.

Get certified.

Earning relevant certifications like the Oracle Certified Expert Java EE Web Component Developer not only shows you know your stuff, it shows you are committed to developing your skills to the top of the profession.

Identify the career path you want to follow.

You'll help employers see how you'll fit into their organization long-term if you are clear on the career you want to have. Whether you plan to remain technical or want to move into management, be able to speak to this and show how you're developing the skills that will keep you valuable – even after the project with the opening is complete.

Do you have top Java skills? The Armada Group can connect you with top Java job opportunities. Take a look at the opportunities to see where your skills can take you, and then contact us to show off your talent.

the most thorough way

The more you know about a company before going in for an interview, the better you'll do. You'll have a comfort level of knowledge about what they're looking for, and you'll be able to highlight your skills and experience to match their needs. Understanding a potential employer requires more than simply glancing at their website. Follow this list of things you should do to thoroughly research a company before your interview.

Look at the company website.

Start here, and dig far beyond the landing page. Read about the company's mission, their values, and their products. Take a look at the biographies of management and employees to see if your background is similar. Explore the recruiting section thoroughly; it may tell you what to expect when you come in to the office. There may be interviews or videos with current employees telling you what it's like to work for the company. If they have the information publicly available, read through the benefits section to get a sense of how employees are really treated. Check out their competitors, too, to see how they compare.

Check out the company's social media.

Take a look at the company's posts on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. The first two will let you see how the company interacts with the public and whether there are lots of complaints about their products. LinkedIn offers a more professional view of the company. You can view profiles of company employees and see any posts offering perspectives on the industry.

Hear what employees have to say.

If you have friends who work for the company, ask them for the true inside scoop. While their opinions are the best source, knowing the person lets you know how much weight to give their opinion. Are they perpetually happy, go-with-the-flow types or does every little thing upset them? Use that to give some shade to the information they share. If you don't have friends who work for the company, search for online reviews at sites like Glassdoor. Just be aware that the review sites may not verify that the commenter really works for the company, and you don't have all the necessary information to decide if their opinion is valid.

When you've done your company and industry research and are ready for the interview, The Armada Group will match you to the right open position. Contact us and let our recruiters help prepare you for your interviews and the next step in your career.

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.