Getting work done on the go is a part of modern life. Whether working at the airport waiting to leave on a business trip, or just checking email at a coffee shop while taking a break from the office, we're always online. Free public Wi-Fi makes it possible to access your company network from wherever you are, but it also exposes you to security risks. Here's how to make your public Wi-Fi use safer.
Use a VPN.
Virtual private networks create an encrypted channel between your device and the company network. While hackers can still potentially access the Wi-Fi connection, any traffic they see will be unreadable.
Connect to the Right Network.
Anyone can create a Wi-Fi hotspot with any name; don't assume the network "coffeeshopWifi" is actually the coffee shop's network. Find out the correct name and don't connect to random networks.
Use HTTPS in Your Browser.
Only use https connections in your browser. This will ensure that any traffic between you and the website is encrypted.
Don't Connect Automatically.
If you don't need Wi-Fi to get your work done, don't connect to the network. If you aren't connected, there's no way for hackers to get into your device. If you need to connect, tell your device to forget the network when you're done, so it doesn't automatically reconnect the next time you stop in for coffee.
When you work from home or the office, features like allowing file sharing or remote login are a convenience. Out on the road, they're a risk. Turn them off to protect your data.
Use Antivirus Software.
Run antivirus software on your device and keep it up to date. Scanning for viruses and deleting infected files is key to staying protected.
Are you accessing public Wi-Fi because you frequently travel for business? If you're tired of business travel and want to find a new job that will let you stay closer to home, contact The Armada Group. We're experts in matching technical professionals with challenging opportunities. We'll take the time to understand what you want in a new job — including how much business travel or the ability to work from home matter to you — and connect you to opportunities that are right for you.
The online TED Talks are among the best places to hear from top experts in every field. You can keep up with advances in every field of study, and get advice about how to live your best life. Here are some of the best TED talks to help you get further in your career.
1. If you're working in technology, you're undoubtedly smart. But a high IQ isn't enough to make you successful. Listen to Angela Lee Duckworth's talk about the power of grit and determination.
2. If you want to get hired — or to hire the best talent — you need to understand how the job market really works. Wingham Rowan discusses how technology can support flexible hiring.
3. The job you're doing today may not be around tomorrow. Artificial intelligence, droids, and robots mean machines can do more and more of the work that currently requires people. Where will there still be jobs? Listen to Andrew McAfee to find out.
4. For most people, work takes at least 40 hours per week. That's more time than we spend on anything else, except maybe sleeping. Learn how to find meaning in your work in this talk by Dan Ariely.
5. You'll enjoy your time at the office more if you adapt principles of simple living to the workplace. Learn six rules for simplifying work in a talk by Yves Morieux.
6. The best workplaces are collaborative, not command-driven, but that doesn't mean you can't learn about leadership from a general. Hear what Stanley McChrystal has to say about effective leadership.
7. While building your career is important, so is enjoying the rest of your life. Nigel Marsh's talk will help you take control and find the balance between working and living.
If you've absorbed the lessons from the TED Talks and want to further your career by exploring a new opportunity, The Armada Group is ready to help. We have years of experience connecting candidates to employers who need their skills and value their contributions. Check out our hot jobs database to see some of our openings, and then connect with one of our recruiters to start your search. Your next job is out there waiting for you!
You work at your job, but do you work at your career? Whether you're happy in your current position and can't imagine wanting to leave, or are so busy with projects inside and outside the office that you don't have time to think about it, it's dangerous to assume the job you have is safe and permanent.
Stable companies can be upended by unexpected changes in the market, leading to layoffs, and changes in technology can mean that the technical skill set that got you hired is no longer needed. In order to be prepared to cope with challenges like these, make time every year to review your career, your goals, and the actions you need to take to keep your job or find a new one.
Review Your Career Goals Regularly.
The goals you had when you took your current job may not be appropriate for you anymore. Make sure you're still excited by the opportunities that will be available to you in the future if you keep doing what you're doing. If you aren't, identify where you want to go next on your career journey and what you need to do to get there.
Build Your Network.
If something happens and your current position was to go away, the best way to find a new opportunity is through talking with your contacts. Take advantage of LinkedIn and in-person networking opportunities to stay in touch and update your former colleagues with what's happening in your professional career and to make new professional connections.
Learn a New Skill.
Know what industry changes are happening and take a class or work on a personal project using one of the new technologies that's becoming popular. You should also work on developing your interpersonal skills, because those will help you impress on interviews as well as succeed at the office.
Keep an Eye on the Job Market.
Even if you don't expect to transition to a new job this year, become aware of what technologies and roles are in demand. You should also track the salaries being offered for the job you currently have; it's common for long-term employees to lag behind market rates as raises don't keep pace.
Be Aware of What's Happening in Your Company.
The better you're plugged in at your workplace, the less surprised you'll be by anything that happens. Maintain a good relationship with your boss, and take advantage of one-on-one and skip-level meetings to gain insight into corporate plans.
Talking with recruiters is also a great way to become informed of what's happening in the job market. A recruiter can let you know what openings exist and what changes they see happening. At the Armada Group, our hot jobs database lets you see what skills companies are hiring. Check out what's in demand, and if you decide you're ready for a change after all, contact us to start getting connected to opportunity.
In the near future, when you talk to yourself, someone – something – might be listening. Voice assistance is developing into the next big thing in tech, pushed by the development of hardware and software that make voice control natural.
The fact that voice control is natural is the biggest factor behind the development of voice assistance. We all vocalize, almost literally from the moment we're born. When digital devices and assistants can react to our voice commands, there's no need for us to learn complicated interfaces to control them.
Voice also eliminates the need for space for an interface. Sure, keyboard shelves let us make room on our desktop. But smaller devices, like smart watches and other wearable tech, don't have lots of room for a physical interface to control them. Making them controllable by voice eliminates the need for learning gestures or clicking through layers of menus to find the detail you want.
People are also getting used to controlling devices with voice. While Siri, Cortana and Alexa aren't perfect and their funny responses lead to internet memes, this means it no longer seems strange to talk to a computer.
Talking to a computer is even becoming part of gaining secure access, as voice biometrics are being adopted as a security measure. And talking to a voice assistant doesn't have to mean giving up all your privacy, with new in-ear assistants where only the user can hear their responses.
New methods in analytics and improvements in speech recognition mean audio files become data, so companies can work with recorded conversations and use the unstructured data the same way they'd analyze a file of the clicks you made on their website.
Taken together, these trends mean there's going to be lots of opportunity for companies and workers with technical skills to create new voice-based products. The Armada Group has been helping companies find world-class talent for more than 20 years. By staying on top of technology trends and understanding the industry, we're able to match job seekers with opportunities and help both companies and candidates build their futures.
Building an impressive resume requires acquiring impressive work experience. Does changing jobs frequently stand in the way of that? Changing jobs frequently certainly lengthens a resume, because there are more jobs to list. This used to be a negative, as companies looked for loyalty. That was fine when 25 years of service got you a gold watch and a pension.
In today's world, managers recognize that loyalty cuts both ways, and since companies often demonstrate little loyalty to employees, they can't expect much in return. The trick with job hopping is to make sure that each job change adds something new to your resume and boosts your value. This means you should consider job hopping if the new position:
Lets you develop a new technical skill.
Technical skills are the most important skills any IT worker brings to their job, but it can be difficult to keep skills current when you stay at an employer a long time, as companies are often committed to a specific tech stack. Job hop strategically to develop a new skill that can position you well for future opportunities.
Gives you a new job title.
If your current employer requires you to keep your title for a fixed number of years before you can add the word "senior" to it, jumping to a new employer can shorten the time it takes to climb the ladder. Although sometimes there's not much difference between job duties, having a senior position on your resume can help the next time you want to change jobs.
Gives you new responsibilities.
You can become a more well-rounded worker by moving to jobs that give you experience in different aspects of technology: programming, QA, support, and management. You'll gain skills that qualify you for a variety of positions in the future.
Whether you've changed jobs often or stayed with one employer for years, when you're ready to make your next change, The Armada Group's recruiters will match you to an open position that takes advantage of the skills you've acquired. Contact us to start looking for your next job now.
For management, it's tempting to want to keep your top performers in their current roles. They're doing a great job; everything's under control. If move them to a different position, someone else will have to take over their job. You'll have to train that person and they might not be as good. It seems better to keep your programmer doing that job.
The problem is, programmers work in a world where there's always something new; most programmers have curious minds and want to try out the new technology. Forcing a programmer to stay in the same job makes it likely your developer will make the decision to move out, and you'll be even less prepared to cope with their absence.
Instead, recognize that retaining your top-performing programmers doesn't mean keeping them in the same role on the same team on the same project in the same department. Focus on offering them challenges that will keep them in your company while giving them the opportunity to learn and grow.
Let your developers move to new projects with different roles, responsibilities and technologies. Encourage your top individual contributors to take leadership roles or apply their technical insight to solving a new problem.
Help your talent discover and develop all their talents. Assign mentors who can help programmers envision their long-term career path. Offer support for continuing education, and don't restrict company support to training that's immediately applicable at work.
Monetary rewards are important; top programmers can definitely find well-paying work. But other rewards are also important; praise, both public and private, assures developers that their work is both noticed and appreciated.
Despite your efforts to retain top talent, sometimes they'll decide to leave anyway. When that happens, you need an effective recruiting process that will bring in someone equally good. When you work with The Armada Group, you leverage our 20 years of experience. We make sure we understand the role you're filling so the job description will attract the best candidates, we prescreen potential hires who respond to the description, and we help your team interview and evaluate the candidates. You'll quickly stop worrying about the employee who left and start focusing on how to retain the new talent on board.
Working from home used to be a favor that a manager would occasionally grant under special circumstances. Today, working from home is an option that employees expect. As a result, teams need to communicate and collaborate effectively even though they're highly dispersed geographically. Making use of technology is key to helping these teams get their work done.
It isn't quite the same as meeting face to face, but video conferencing is an effective option. Many videoconferencing tools allow screen sharing as well, letting you look over someone's shoulder and see exactly what they're talking about. Some popular videoconferencing tools are Skype, Join.Me, GoToMeeting and WebEx.
Working on shared work documents is difficult when the documents need to be emailed around and changes tracked and consolidated manually. File sharing sites like Dropbox, Box and GoogleDrive make documents accessible from anywhere, allow multiple users to access them simultaneously and track changes. Some sites support business rules and workflow, incorporating the documents into your business processes.
Google's versions of word processing, spreadsheet and presentation software make it possible to work on any business document from any device in any location.
Not Facebook, but enterprise social media platforms, like Yammer, that let teams have organized, trackable and searchable conversation threads that support getting work done rather than wasting time. The tools also encourage employees to connect and establish interpersonal relationships that can be difficult for remote staff to achieve otherwise.
Source code control
For tech companies, keeping a clean codebase is critical, especially if the team works remotely. GitHub is unquestionably the current industry standard for version management. The ability to fork and merge changes lets developers work creatively and independently but ultimately combine their efforts.
Another underrated tool? The telephone. In today's world, we tend to send messages and emails, but picking up the phone and talking is still a great way for remote workers to connect and interact with their peers.
The Armada Group has two decades of experience connecting employers and job candidates. We understand the challenges you face meeting business and professional goals. Contact us to learn how our recruiting skills can help solve your work problems.
If there was something easy you could do to make yourself stand out from other job seekers, you would do it, right? Well, there is something you can do that your competition doesn't: include a cover letter when you submit your resume through an online job application. Rather than skipping over that optional field, take advantage of it to sell yourself and highlight your skills in ways that just uploading your resume fails to do.
You'll stand out.
For starters, most people who upload their resume won't include a cover letter, so you'll stand out. Taking the time to write a cover letter emphasizes you have real interest in this position.
You can explain how you fit.
While it's true a lot of resumes are scanned and matched for keywords, your cover letter can help explain how you match the job opportunity even if it isn't obvious from your work history.
You demonstrate writing skills.
One place resumes fall down is in demonstrating communication skills. Incomplete sentences are the norm and sections tend to be a single paragraph per heading. Writing a cover letter lets you demonstrate you can write effectively, which is still a necessary skill on technical jobs.
You make reviewing your resume personal.
Cover letters tell the person reviewing your documents something personal about your goals. You're no longer an anonymous stranger, and they'll connect better with the details included on your resume.
You can be creative.
Resumes are formulaic, and by the time they get in front of a reviewer, they may be stripped down to fit inside the company's candidates database format. Your cover letter provides an opportunity to present your information structured differently and make it more enjoyable for the reviewer.
Whether you're ready to find a new job or need to hire the best, The Armada Group's recruiters work to match the right job to the right candidate. Rather than sending cookie-cutter resumes, we work to personalize the job-hunting process and help candidates stand out in the search. Contact us to learn how our services can help make the job hunt and hiring processes faster and easier for you.
Future-proofing your career – making it last a lifetime – requires keeping an eye on technology trends. Develop skills in an emerging technology area and you'll have the satisfaction of working with innovative technology and inventing new products, as well as being in high demand and receiving high levels of compensation. These are the tech areas that are just starting to take off now.
Internet of Things
Internet of Things (IoT) devices—small, sensor-based devices that transmit data and receive instructions over the internet—are everywhere. Whether in homes with smart alarm systems, smart thermostats and smart light bulbs, manufacturing plants where connected devices control industrial process, or hospitals where smart pumps deliver medicine, they offer convenience and control critical services.
Wearables, which include smart watches, fitness trackers and Google glasses, combine aspects of mobile technology and IoT applications. Companies are starting to incorporate these devices into their business processes, especially in locations where hands-free access is important.
Autonomous cars rely on the Internet of Things as well as artificial intelligence methods to drive safely on streets and highways. Although they're not yet ready for consumer use, there's widespread commitment to developing them; Google's efforts get much media attention, many startups as well as the established automobile manufacturers are working on the problems.
Big Data and Analytics
All of these new devices, plus all of the new online interactions people have on social media and websites, are deluging companies with massive amounts of data. There's a big push to move beyond collecting and storing information to making it useful through sophisticated analytics processes. Companies hope to find insights in the data that give them a competitive advantage, so the engineering, programming, and analytical skills that can uncover that value are in top demand.
Plan your career with the long term in mind. The opportunities in these areas offer technology workers in all roles – developer, designer, engineer, tester, support – the opportunity to work on projects that will shape the future. Check out the opportunities in The Armada Group’s jobs database and contact us to connect with a recruiter who can help set you on your lifetime career path.
The software industry is full of very creative and inventive people. Unfortunately, plenty of those people apply their creativity to the development of malware and other attempts to hack into corporate and government systems. In order to defend themselves, companies need to hire more information security workers with more sophisticated skill sets. Other industry trends also mean a greater demand for IT security engineers. The supply simply can't keep up, leading to rising salaries and great opportunities for those with the skills.
Protecting Customer Information
There are probably very few people in America who haven't received a notice from some company that their information was stolen due to a data breach. The increasing numbers of malware attacks have made information security a major focus at every business, whatever its size. This means a high demand for security experts who can help companies design and implement an effective defensive strategy.
Protecting Internet of Things Devices
The internet doesn't just connect people today; it connects "things," too; the Internet of Things connects billions of devices that are largely hidden from view. While the initial connected devices offered smart-home features like alarm management and thermostat controls, IoT devices are no longer limited to homes and offices. The devices are now in factories, industrial facilities, and even automobiles. The consequences of a hacker taking control of those devices can lead to dangerous situations in the physical – not just online – world. The creators of these devices are devoting increased attention to keeping them secure, increasing the demand for developers with security skills.
Protecting Data in the Cloud
Cloud computing has moved company applications and data outside of a data center on its own property into remote facilities "in the cloud" that are shared with other companies, and outside of the company's direct control. As a result, companies need to take additional steps to protect their data. To do this, they need security experts with the skills to help them develop a strategy around the use of cloud, as well as to implement specific protective measures.
As a result of these trends, salaries are rising for all technical workers who have security responsibilities – including programmers, network administrators, security engineers, and all the way up to the Chief Information Security Officer. For IT experts who want to find a job with job security, information security jobs offer lots of rewards. Contact The Armada Group to start your search today.