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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Over time, it is easy to settle into a groove at work. You learn your specific job duties, solidify your technical skills and simply float along with the current. Over time, what starts out as simple familiarity turns into complacency. And that leads to stagnation.
Once we find ourselves in a comfortable pattern, it is only natural to resist change, and we may even create excuses to prevent ourselves from taking risks at work. And only some of those excuses may be valid. To help determine if an excuse is reasonable or simply an imaginary barrier, here are four excuses IT pros make to avoid taking risks, and how to address them.
1. It’s Not a Good Time
In most cases, there is no such thing as a “good time” to take a risk. The stars rarely align in such a manner, so this is an excuse someone may use in perpetuity. It is important to separate any feelings of anxiety related to change from the pressures you may be feeling at work. In many cases, it isn’t the thought of making the change now that is the issue; it is the thought of doing it at all.
However, there can be bad times to take risks. For example, if a project deadline got accelerated and you are pulling overtime every day to meet the new timeline, then it is a bad time for a major change. Otherwise, if business is moving per the usual, you might want to reconsider the excuse.
2. My Manager Hasn’t Brought it Up
Your boss may not overtly encourage you to take risks, but that doesn’t mean advocating for change is inappropriate. Often, managers aren’t fully aware of where your interests lie, how you imagine progressing in your career, or even whether there is a better way to get certain tasks done. This means that a proactive approach is going to be necessary. So, if you have a new idea, take it to them instead of waiting for a prompt. Your enthusiasm may be appreciated, and you might get more support to move forward than you may have anticipated.
3. I Don’t Know What to Do
We live in a time that is dominated by quick access to information of all kinds. That means, even if you don’t know what risk to take, you can likely find options fairly quickly. Simply consider any issues or shortcomings you notice during your workday, take the initiative and do some research. Focus on a topic and look for new developments in that arena. Then, take the time to learn about the possibilities and see if anything seems beneficial to you or the business.
Once you identify a potential solution to a current pain point, you have something on which to move forward.
4. I Could Fail
Risk inherently comes with the risk of failure, and this risk tends to be the main thing that holds people back. But mistakes are part of the learning process. Everyone you work with today has messed up at some point, and they all made it through to the other side. Your best defense against the negative effects of failure is to get proper support and take the time to learn as much as possible as you step into the unknown.
Ultimately, failing to take a risk can be more damaging to your career than never stepping out of your comfort zone. And taking a risk doesn’t mean you are reckless as long as you don’t jump blindly. If you want to progress, it’s time to look risk in the eye and decide to give it a go, after you have a plan in place.
If you are interested in taking a risk in your career by exploring new employment options, the professionals at The Armada Group can help provide you with the information and support to help your risk turn into a success. Contact us today and see what our recruitment professionals can do for your career.
Whether you are pursuing your first step on a career path, or have decided to move away from your current career towards a different future, becoming a project manager can be a satisfying and lucrative career. But how lucrative varies based on certain criteria. Education and experience always come into play for job offers and salary negotiations, and your field of focus can also be a factor.
If you are wondering how much a project manager can make in Silicon Valley, here are some key points to consider.
Your level of experience is one of the largest determining factors regarding potential salary. In the Silicon Valley area, entry-level positions tend to be in the $60,000 area (without accounting for any potential bonus payments). Generally, that is considered a fairly strong starting salary, though the cost of living in the San Francisco can be relatively high.
However, the upper edge of the overall salary potential is well into six-figure territory, even without bonuses. And as demand for skilled project managers increases, and finding candidates in the IT field becomes more challenging, it is possible salary levels will increase in the years to come.
Now, it is possible to avoid a stop at the entry-level salary point if you have significant experience in the field in which you intend to work as a project manager. For example, an IT professional transitioning into project management in a tech field may see higher starting salaries than those who are relying solely on their education.
Often, successful project managers have a combination of experience. First, they likely have a degree in their chosen specialty area. For example, IT project managers may have a degree in computer science or information technology, while those interested in becoming a construction project manager may have a degree in engineering.
Additionally, most project managers complete coursework in the areas of business management or even project management specifically. Some of these options involve graduate-level education, including master’s degrees or professional certificates. For example, the Project Management Professional (PMP) certification can help those working in the field achieve higher salary levels than those who aren’t certified.
Salary and Compensation
As of late 2016, salary estimates for project managers in the Silicon Valley area ranged from $61,874 to $143,241. Additionally, financial compensation may also be available in the forms of bonuses and profit sharing, though this isn’t necessarily standard.
Working as a project manager can also provide access to a comprehensive benefits package if you work as a long-term employee for a business. This can include access to medical insurance and prescription drug coverage and may include dental and vision benefits. Additionally, retirement benefits may also be included.
However, some project managers work as independent contractors or are self-employed. In those cases, benefits are not provided by the companies with which you work. Instead, you will need to select your own solutions in those areas.
If you are interested in becoming a project manager in Silicon Valley, The Armada Group can help you explore your options. Contact our recruiters today to see what options may be available.
As a job seeker, working with a tech recruiter requires a significant amount of trust. You need to feel secure in the idea they are prioritizing your needs appropriately, and not just focused on meeting the needs of the companies with which they work. Without trust, you will struggle to create a partnership with your recruiter that will ultimately yield results.
But determining which recruiters you can trust and which you should pass by isn’t always easy. To help you find the right tech recruiter for your job search, here are some key characteristics to aid you in identifying a recruiter on which you can rely.
A recruiter that is truly concerned about your needs when looking for potential employment opportunities will provide you with all of the information you need to make an informed decision. They will outline the pros and cons of any position or company in consideration and will be thorough in their descriptions of the work tasks involved and how the business operates.
Additionally, they will be open to hearing your concerns and finding answers to any questions you may have about the position. If they truly feel you are a match for a position, there will likely be a level of excitement or eagerness about delivering information to you, and they won’t be inclined to avoid any detail when speaking to you about the opportunity.
However, if it seems your recruiter is hiding something such as withholding important details or glossing over your concerns, then it could be a sign of trouble. If they aren’t willing to share the name of the company, provide information about the work environment or discuss potential compensation, that should be a red flag.
While you want a recruiter to be your advocate, you also want them to be honest. They should be clear about how the process works as well as what they will or will not do to help match you to a position. Additionally, they should be able to provide information about placement rates and current client relationships.
Recruiters who are reluctant to answer your questions with an appropriate level of detail could signal a problem. Additionally, if they say they are interested in helping you, but speak more about how you can help them, there may be another motive behind their actions.
Being a recruiter requires specific skills, just as any technical position does. They need to have knowledge of the current job market, an understanding of what your skills mean and ability to speak with hiring managers to reach a mutual benefit. Those with a high level of competency know what questions to ask candidates to determine their needs and gain thorough knowledge about their capabilities. Additionally, they will have the ability get details about available positions from businesses.
A skilled recruiter wants to create a situation where everyone benefits in the end. However, a less competent recruiter may not get all of the information necessary to truly find a match or may pressure you to accept a deal that doesn’t actually meet your needs. Additionally, they may end up overpromising about what they can do, selling an outcome that might not be realistic. And sometimes, that fact doesn’t come to light until the process has gone on for some time.
Finding a skilled tech employer doesn’t have to be a challenge. By working with a company that has significant experience in the tech recruitment field, such as The Armada Group, you can find a recruiter who will operate with integrity and work diligently to meet your need. Contact us for a consultation and see the benefit of selecting the right recruiter first-hand.
Agile has been on the IT development industry radar for well over a decade, but the principles are just as valuable today as they were at their original creation. It advocates for continuous improvement through flexibility and adaptive planning. In comparison, the term “DevOps” is relatively new. However, it also supports initiatives around improved quality by integrating Automated Delivery and Continuous Deployment into the software development cycle.
Separately, each of these strategies brings value to software and IT development teams. Not only can they speed up the process of creation and eventual release into the market, they also has the potential to improve customer satisfaction and increase brand loyalty. Additionally, both approaches are known to increase employee engagement, aiding companies with their larger recruitment and retention goals.
But, when taken together, Agile and DevOps can accomplish those goals and much more.
The use of Agile and DevOps in conjunction can increase employee satisfaction. Often, involved team members are happier with their work which creates a more productive work environment. This improves recruitment and retention efforts, helping businesses locate top talent and keep them on the payroll over the long term.
Projects move forward with greater velocity, and the ability to improve products to create more value becomes a constant. Additionally, the rapid release of new iterations can actually lower the level of support required with updated releases, as companies focus on implementing a series of small changes instead of large-scale rereleases.
Ultimately, Agile and DevOps work towards the same goals of creating better products while simultaneously increasing employee engagement throughout the development cycle.
Often, when development teams are happier, productivity increases and engagement is maintained. Additionally, product development is seen as continuous, meaning that new value is created within the product at faster intervals than traditional development approaches. And a side effect of this is often greater customer satisfaction.
Customers can witness the quality of the product increasing over time, and many businesses that use Agile and DevOps techniques are able to keep pace with or stay ahead of the competition, which is critical to long-term organizational success. In turn, the higher-quality output can increase brand loyalty while also attracting new customers.
A Combined Effect
Agile and DevOps have the same essential goals; they work to bring high-value products to customers and support continuous improvement and evolution. Since each of these principles focus on streamlining development, businesses that use the tactics are typically more attractive to top talent working in the field. In those regards, Agile and DevOps are natural allies.
If you are looking for your next software developer or are hoping to find an IT manager with experience in Agile and DevOps, The Armada Group can help streamline your hiring processes and find the candidates you need quickly and efficiently. Contact us today to see what one of our recruitment specialists can do for you.