4 new ways to manage your tech team

Teams that are well-managed have a better chance of succeeding at their projects. Take advantage of these four ways to change the way you guide your tech team and improve the performance of your team.

Make yourself unnecessary.

The more independently your team can work, the more time you can spend working on strategy and achieving your own professional goals. Don't stint on training. Bring on strong leads. Develop a project management process that staff can look at to see their goals, deadlines, and next priorities. Empower your team to interact with your end users; not only do they know the application best, these interactions will help them understand the users better and lead to a better application.

Pay attention.

Most managers are buried under a deluge of emails, but often the most important information is hidden between the lines. Be aware that you may not get honest answers in meetings, so seek out private conversations where people can speak freely. Make sure meetings remain focused on the agenda rather than sidetracked by other issues; schedule another meeting if you need to follow up on another matter. Have an open door policy so your team feels free to come to you with their concerns.

Develop yourself.

Many technical managers come from the development role; they were promoted based on their technical skill rather than their management ability. Take an honest look at your capabilities and knowledge; managers succeed more on business knowledge and interpersonal skills than their programming ability. The better you are at your own job, the more effectively your team will perform.

Focus on the positive.

Projects fall behind schedule; production problems bring the wrath of senior management down on you. It's easy to focus on negativity and the problems you're experiencing, but it's important that your team experiences and celebrates success. Make sure everyone on your team understands the goals for the current week or quarter and what your vision of success is. Then, make sure you acknowledge and celebrate it when your team makes progress in achieving it. Your team will develop positive morale that helps them get the job done.

Managing your team well starts with building a strong team. The Armada Group has spent 20 years connecting employers with talented employees. Contact us to learn how we can help you build a strong team that practically manages itself.

Wednesday, May 04 2016

How to Bounce Back from Job Rejection

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how to bounce back from job rejection

Sometimes you can tell even before you walk out the door that the interview was going badly. Other times, you think everything was going great and are surprised to hear the company disagreed. Whether you can tell the rejection is coming or not, it still stings. Develop positive ways of coping with those negative responses in order to maintain the energy and enthusiasm you need while you search for the job of your dreams.

Find Out What Went Wrong

A lot of times, a company won't give any specifics, but it doesn't hurt to ask why they felt you weren't right for the job. If you were referred to the interview by a staffing agency, they may tell the recruiter, so ask your contact there as well. Once you know why they felt you weren't a good fit, you can work on improving your skills or learning how to present your abilities better.

Target Your Search

Minimize the odds of being rejected by being selective about the jobs you apply for. Although the job market's improved, it's still very competitive. Evaluate your qualifications carefully before you even apply. It's fine to apply for a stretch position, but recognize that your odds of getting that job will be small. By accepting that in advance, rejection won't hurt as much.

Quit Worrying About It

It's impossible not to be rejected at some point during a job search; accept that it's simply part of the process. If you focus too much on the rejections and overanalyze the situation, you undermine your confidence. That sets up a negative cycle where you appear to lack confidence at interviews, which leads to rejections that further undermine your confidence. Learn what you can from a rejection, and put it out of your mind.

Work With a Skilled Recruiter

Minimize the odds of rejection by working with a staffing agency and a skilled recruiter. By understanding your skills and goals, plus the needs of employers, an agency can match you to the jobs you're likely to get. This can reduce the odds of rejection and the time it takes to find a job you want.

Armada Group specializes in matching strong technical candidates with exciting career opportunities. Explore our jobs or contact us to learn how we can help you find your next job.

create a training program that will impress your ceo

Technology changes constantly. If you don't keep your team trained in the latest methods, you're going to have to hire constantly in order to keep up. It's much more cost-effective to help your current staff learn new skills than to build a new team, but ad-hoc training won't cut it. Make training part of your team's annual development plan. While you should encourage developers to take courses that interest them, make sure their training also meets business needs. Make sure to address these three points to create a training program that excites your team and impresses your CEO:

1.Train for the skills your team will need tomorrow, not the skills they need today.

When you hire someone, they should have the skills they need to do the job they were hired for. The purpose of training should be to develop skills they'll need for their next project. That means you need to consider your organization's IT strategy and identify the technology changes the team will need to tackle over the next few years. Focus your team's learning to align with the corporate technology strategy and you'll be ready when you need to start implementing that strategy.

2.Train your team to understand the business, not just the technology.

The purpose of the IT team is to support the business, whether you write software that's sold or software that runs in the back office. The best software is written by developers who understand their end users and the problems the software needs to solve. Help your developers gain that understanding through training that focuses on the business domain.

3.Train your team to work as a team.

Teams are composes of individuals, and they need to work effectively as a team. Improve their interpersonal and communication skills with courses that focus on effective speech, presentations, leadership, and conflict resolution. These skills will improve your developers' abilities to interact with others on their team, with your clients, and in the rest of their lives.

Training can make your team better, but the best teams start with the best-quality employees. The Armada Group's talent search services help employers build a foundation of top-notch technical employees who are eager to learn and develop their skills. Contact us to learn more about our services.

Whats Keeping Developers Up at Night

Some might cite the cliché, "turnabout is fair play." For decades, workers in other industries have feared their jobs might be replaced by automation. Now, losing their jobs to computerization is one of the top fears of developers.

That's one of the findings in Evans Data Corp.'s survey of developers. To be sure, assembly language coding jobs disappeared when high-level languages were developed. But the role of the software developer didn't disappear; the skills still were needed, only the tools used changed. And in general, although the tech industry is an early and enthusiastic adopter of technology, programming languages linger. There are still jobs for Cobol developers out there.

New trends in artificial intelligence, though, are making developers uneasy. Previous applications of technology in programming, like the development of compilers, mostly automated the mechanics of software development. The cognitive capabilities of AI go beyond that, promising—or threatening—to co-opt the creative thinking parts of the software job.

Up 'til now, humans' cognitive abilities were unmatched. But new advances in machine learning mean software can make software design decisions or detect bugs as effectively as human developers. Code databases may let algorithms create applications that match requirements specifications. Those abilities could put development jobs directly at risk.

This is still mostly hypothetical, though; a worry for the future. Statistics show the number of IT jobs increasing, not decreasing, and salaries for these positions are well above median wages for other kinds of work. While developers do need to keep their skills up to date as technology trends change, there's still plenty of opportunity for skilled and experienced developers to work on challenging, exciting projects.

For companies that aren't ready to hire a robot as a programmer yet, and for developers who don't plan to retire any time soon, working with The Armada Group is an effective way to find a new hire or find a new job. With our deep database of jobs, deep pool of candidates, and deep understanding of the industry, we match opportunities and candidates based on education, skills, experience, and aspiration. Contact us to learn how we can help you hire or get hired.

Prove Youre a Rockstar Project Manager

When companies want to hire a standout project manager, they look for a rock star. What does that mean, and how can you prove you're one? Make sure you can point out how you handled these rock star skills in your previous job.

Rock stars know how to command an audience.

They're comfortable getting up on the biggest of stages, speaking to the crowd, and getting the audience behind them. So hone up on your interpersonal skills and develop confidence in your interactions and ability to present. Point out an example of how you persuaded the organization to buy into a successful project.

Rock stars put the band together.

Rock stars lead their bandmates to success; they make the hiring and firing decisions. Explain how you built a successful team, how you lead them towards a goal, and how you handle the inevitable intra-team conflicts that arise.

Rock stars understand what music sells as well as how songs are structured.

That is, rock stars understand the business they're in. As a technical project manager, you need to demonstrate that you understand the business and how to structure technology projects to support the business needs.

Rock stars communicate.

Rock stars document their song lists; they make sure the crew knows where to put the equipment and when to trigger the lights, smoke, and special effects. Prove your communication skills by explaining how you built your network – up, down, and sideways.

Rock stars revel in their position.

Rock stars seek out the spotlight; they love being the center of attention. Demonstrate that you love your job too; passion combined with talent is the best way to achieve a rock star level of success in any profession.

Are you a rock star project manager? Whether you're a rock star or still aspire to reach that level, The Armada Group can help you find a position at the top of the charts. Contact us to learn how to start your search now.

Stop Selling Yourself in an Interview

A job interview is a sales call. Isn't it? You're there to convince the hiring manager that you're the right person for the job. That means you have to sell yourself hard. Doesn't it?

It shouldn't. Go to an interview focused on selling yourself, and you'll be focused on yourself. That's the wrong focus. An interview isn't about you; it's about the company and the company's needs. Focus on understanding the company, the job, and the problem the company needs to solve, instead of on yourself, and you'll automatically stand a better chance of getting hired. Why?

By paying attention, you'll answer the questions that are asked – and the questions that weren't asked.

If you go to an interview with stock answers that you think will impress the interviewer, and then look for opportunities to throw out those lines, you won't be answering the questions that are asked. You'll be missing the opportunity to show your understanding of the company or project through answers that are tailored to the question, or by referring to related subjects.

You don't connect with the interviewer.

he point of the interview is to get to know you; when you focus on selling a prepared image, the interviewer can feel that you aren't being genuine. When you stop concentrating on selling yourself, you are free to let your real self show and the interaction with the interviewer feels much more natural and comfortable to them.

Selling yourself requires hiding parts of yourself.

If you're focused on selling yourself, you naturally try to conceal parts of yourself. You try to avoid talking about times you failed; your answer to "what is your biggest weakness" is that you work too hard. Besides the fact that hiding takes energy, interviewers are likely to be more impressed if you acknowledge a shortcoming or a time that you failed and discuss how you addressed the issue to ensure a better outcome next time.

When you work with The Armada Group, we'll match you to jobs that fit your talents and aspirations so you can be yourself and still land the job. Contact us to stop selling yourself and start an effective job search now.