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.

 

automation testing

 

All software testing comes with a level of risk, and automated testing is not immune to that risk. Even organizations that focus on agile methodology need to make sure that an appropriate amount of time and care is dedicated to the process before taking a product to market. Many businesses select an automation tool and assume it will manage all of their problems.

 

Initial test cases often lead to quick wins, but further developing the tool and creating a strong test portfolio takes effort. Additionally, many companies become overconfident based on automated test case results without accounting for the use of poorly defined tests and issues of inconsistency.

 

The use of Agile can shift focus onto the speed of development and release. While staying ahead requires moving swiftly, failing to avoid certain pitfalls associated with automation tools can lead to errors, subpar releases and unstable products. To avoid some of the risks associated with automated testing, here are some tips to follow.

Slow Down Implementation

Once an automation tool or solution is selected, it is important to dedicate a significant amount of time to planning. Implementing too quickly can lead teams to work on solving a particular issue within their overall testing strategy instead of seeing how the tools fit into the big picture.

 

It is critical to review Agile development and continuous testing principles and work to apply the concepts in a broad manner. That way, decisions are made based on the benefits that will be made available throughout the organization, including everyone from developers and testers to managers and executives.

Be Thorough

A side effect of overconfidence in the automation tool or solution is failing to complete adequate amounts of testing. Rushing a product to market creates a sense of tunnel vision where reaching the end of the race to market is the sole focus. However, allowing that urgency to create an environment where testing becomes less thorough increases the risk of a notable defect reaching the consumer market.

 

Failing to catch certain defects before a product reaches the market can have long-lasting negative impacts on the company’s reputation. Over time, the affects the entirety of the brand, even if the issue was limited to a specific product offering, and affects customer loyalty.

 

Customers have high expectations regarding the functionality of their tech. Whether it is a mobile app, web-based application, large-scale software solution, or anything in between, failing to meet expectations will have consumers looking for alternative offerings.

Hire Competency

Some organizations believe that using automated tools lessens the amount of technical expertise they need among their staff. However, automated testing still relies on a strong test infrastructure and competent code. Ignoring the human factor in the overall testing landscape can lead to shortcomings based on a lack of appropriate skills. And that can lead even the best testing tools and solutions to provide unreliable results.

 

Automated testing is intended to supplement the traditional testing process by eliminating certain tasks from an individual’s workload. However, it cannot fully stand in for all testing professionals. These tests are meant to be part of the development pipeline, but are not a reason to abandon traditional manual testing entirely.

 

If you are interested in finding skilled testing professionals to ensure your process yields the best results, The Armada Group has the recruitment experience you need to find top candidates in the field. Contact us to explore available candidates today. 

 

big data market

 

IT leaders often shoulder a high level of risk when it comes to implementing a big data and analytics solution; the risk of making the wrong choice. Often, adding new solutions are costly ventures, requiring significant financial and time investments to get everything online. And, if the chosen solution doesn’t produce the anticipated results, it can cause the entire project to be considered a waste.

 

Finding appropriate solutions can be challenging. It isn’t uncommon for current IT employees to have limited experience with the technologies, especially if they have been with your organization long term. And, even if they stay abreast of industry happenings, that doesn’t mean they possess enough knowledge to guarantee a result.

 

Often, decision makers look to mitigate this risk by reviewing the choices of similar companies operating in the same sector. Then, they focus their recommendations based on successes experienced elsewhere based on the presence of similar resources.

 

So, how does an IT leader get the information they need to move forward? By reviewing key information points in the Big Data market today.

In-House Expertise or Outside Consultation

The presence or lack of in-house expertise is going to be a driving force for information gathering. If you don’t have employees with experience in the Big Data and analytics field, then your choices need to be driven by that fact.

 

Often, this makes consulting a necessity. Whether you choose to work with a specific consultant who can recommend suitable solutions or prefer to work with industry-leading vendors directly, you may have to look outside your organization for the knowledge you require.

 

However, certain options, like SAS and Cognos, are considered tried-and-true solutions that have been part of the IT landscape for years. That means there is a higher chance that staff members have experience with the platforms, and may make it a wise choice based on that familiarity.

Available Resources

In most cases, your decision will come in one of two formats. First, you can choose to use technical resources in your own facilities and data centers to build your own analytics operations. This has the benefit of using hardware with which your IT team may already be familiar, though functional changes will be necessary to complete analytics operations.

 

However, those without on-site resources (or who prefer not to dedicate resources to the task) can choose cloud-based solutions. And you may even have access to some of the same solutions regardless of that choice.

 

For example, IBM’s Watson is available as an off-the-shelf solution for use in internal data centers as well as in a cloud-based variant. This makes the option accessible to businesses of almost any size.

You Aren’t Starting from Scratch

Big Data and analytics have become a well-developed sector. That means you and your business aren’t having to step in blindly. Instead, the information about potential solutions is often highly accessible, whether from internal staff or external consultants. Begin your process with research regarding your current in-house capabilities and then see what options best integrate into your current landscape.

 

If you are interested in bringing in Big Data experts as employees or consultants, The Armada Group can help locate the best candidate to meet your goals. Contact our experienced recruiters today, and we will work with you to find your ideal solution.