Wednesday, Jul 23 2014

Building a Diverse IT Workplace

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Building a Diverse IT Workforce

Diversity isn’t just an HR buzzword; it increases productivity and business results by offering different perspectives. This can single-handedly increase an IT agency’s overall efficiency and help it to produce more with less. In addition, many technology companies are now seeing the benefits of a diversified workplace. Here are a few tips on finding qualified, diverse candidates:

The National Black Data Processing Associates group (NBDPA) is dedicated to African-American individuals in the IT field. They are geared specifically towards those with an interest or profession in computer science or Information Technology, and have a very qualified candidate pool to draw from. With a chapter in nearly every city, their national presence is very strong and extremely capable.

The Hispanic Chamber of Commerce is a great place to begin searching for more diverse talent. Also, the American Association of Hispanics in Higher Education has a large number of well-educated  technology experts. While neither of these are aimed specifically towards IT, a conversation with their associations and a job posting on their website will certainly net results.

The National Association of Professional Women is a great place to look for female talent, as is the American Business Women’s Association. Both of these have large U.S. presence, and, while neither is aimed towards IT as a profession, there are undoubtedly women in both who are in the IT field, and are qualified professionals.

Veterans groups are a little harder to narrow down, but the best place to start is and Veterans who receive the Post 9/11 GI Bill will have access to education far more easily than others, which make them great candidates. Moreover, they tend to do well under pressure and have the type of precision skills that allow them to excel in the field of information technology.

Diversity is important, not for political correctness, but for the overall mission of the team. Having different viewpoints will bring different solutions to the same problem, and being able to present multiple solutions allows an IT workplace an agility and flexibility that otherwise might not exist.

At The Armada Group, we recruit the top talent – regardless of gender or race. We work with some of the fastest growing and most innovative companies in the nation, and recruit diverse, unique talent – with the soft skills that enable a business to work more flawlessly. Contact us today to see how we can help you! 




Should You Streamline Your Hiring Process

With the explosion of the IT sector the last decade (or two) it seems to logically follow suit that onboarding and hiring should be automated and streamlined. Recruiters who have trouble communicating with either the candidate or other personnel involved in the decision will waste considerable time and effort, not to mention the undue frustration that will inevitably result. Here are a few reasons why streamlining the hiring process will help your business tremendously.

Time. Having a single source of all documents required and an integrated task list will eliminate a substantial amount of time, and free up recruiters and HR personnel alike for other tasks – like hiring other candidates. Time is always of the essence, and streamlining a hiring process can help you recover what is otherwise lost.

Efficiency. In addition to time, having a streamlined process puts all the documents in one place. This is especially important if there’s more than one person involved in the hiring process. The hiring manager can look and see what the recruiter still needs to do, and the HR manager can quickly access forms that need to be filled out for background checks or a W-4. Having everything integrated and streamlined avoids the frustrations of a disorganized service.

Communication.  A streamlined process will enable everyone to see who needs what done, and when. This eliminates several people running back and forth with a stack of papers to complete, unnecessary conference calls for status updates, or losing paper applications. Telling a candidate that they need to re-complete an application because it was misplaced is a great way to make them question the company’s ability.

When it comes to hiring and onboarding, technology plays as much a part as it does anywhere else. Having a streamlined and automated process will eliminate overlaps and duplication of efforts, as well as avoid “bottleneck” efforts which are held up by one person’s task.

At The Armada Group, we use a streamlined process to help you find the top tech talent. We work with some of the most innovative and fastest growing companies in the nation, and recruit the most diverse talent with a wide array of skill sets. Contact us today to see how we can help you!




IT Jargon- 10 Phrases We Love

In the tech world, jargon is inescapable. These sneaky buzzwords and phrases creep into our lexicon almost unnoticed, and suddenly we’re spouting off terms like “synergy” and “paradigm” while our peers nod along — as if they know what we mean, any more than we do.

The thing about jargon is that it’s nearly universal among IT professionals. It’s attractive because it’s almost like a secret code, the way school kids use Pig Latin so their other friends won’t know they’re talking about them. But just because we use it, doesn’t mean we have to like it — because let’s face it, jargon (and Pig Latin) can get annoying.

Here are 10 popular IT buzzwords and phrases we can’t stand — and can’t stop saying.

The Cloud

What it’s supposed to mean: This nebulous term refers to the vast collection of data, programs, and infrastructures that are stored in and run from third-party data warehouses, and accessed through individual devices with Internet connections.

What it sounds like: Data heaven, where all the good little programs wait to bestow themselves on people with magic devices. The problem with “the cloud” is that everyone uses it, but most non-tech people don’t understand what it really means. Everything on the Internet is not in the cloud.


What it’s supposed to mean: The process of bringing a new employee on board and up to speed with the company.

What it sounds like: The process of bringing a new employee on board…a pirate ship. At sword point. And making them galley slaves.


What it’s supposed to mean: Using elements of game playing at work to make things seem more fun and drive a competitive spirit.

What it sounds like: Your bosses have just been replaced by Mr. Rogers and Dr. Seuss. Everybody have fun…or else!

Code Monkey

What it’s supposed to mean: A computer programmer, especially when referring to an inexperienced or unskilled programmer.

What it sounds like: All that training and experience you have doesn’t matter, because a monkey could do your job. In fact, we’re thinking of hiring monkeys and firing you.

Coding Ninjas / Rockstars

What it’s supposed to mean: This term is most often used in job descriptions to entice brilliant programmers and developers to work for a company. Flattery will get you everywhere.

What it sounds like: We get to show up at work in ninja outfits, carrying electric guitars, and sneak around the office blasting wicked riffs at unsuspecting co-workers. Surely, everyone will take us seriously then.


What it’s supposed to mean: The entire process of installing new software or hardware, testing it, fixing it, testing it again, fixing it some more, and finally getting it all up and running 30 days after the deadline. Or just installing, configuring, and smoothly launching software or hardware.

What it sounds like: Ready to install that new software? We’ll send five black vans full of IT people in full S.W.A.T. gear to your workplace, who will launch tear gas canisters through your windows before going in to attack your infrastructure. Don’t worry — we’ll keep the casualties as minimal as possible.


What it’s supposed to mean: [verb] To design and configure in the capacity of a software architect; to build a software architecture.

What it sounds like: Pretentious. Just say “build.”


What it’s supposed to mean: In software programming and development, an iteration is a phase at which improvements are made — in short, a do-over.

What it sounds like: We don’t want to seem really anal about changing the background for this app to gray instead of blue, so we’ll just take the “re” off the fancy word for do-over and pretend it’s all part of the process.

Data Mining

What it’s supposed to mean: The process of analyzing and sorting large amounts of data in order to extract useful business applications.

What it sounds like: Meet your new IT team: Happy, Sleepy, Bashful, Sneezy, Grumpy, Dopey, and Doc. Don’t worry about those pickaxes — they’re highly trained professionals.


What it’s supposed to mean: To take something you’re already doing at work, and turn a profit from it.

What it sounds like: Our jobs involve magically spinning code into cash. Note how we’re all retired billionaires living on yachts in the Caribbean.

If you’re tired of people speaking jargon at you, and looking for people with real industry knowledge, contact The Armada Group. We hire highly trained IT individuals for some of the top companies across America, and place impeccable candidates with their dream jobs. 

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Xcode 6 Swift CloudKit and more surprising developer news from WWDC 2014

Unexpected and exciting news for developers has emerged from the 2014 Apple Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), where the keynote revealed an Xcode update, new tools for iCloud, updated APIs and app extensions — and most notably, a new programming language for iOS and OS X app development.

Introducing Swift

The biggest surprise at WWDC 14 was the announcement of Swift, a brand new and completely re-architected programming language for applications using the Apple operating systems. Swift allows developers to continue writing Objective-C code alongside it, but the new language produces much faster code compared to both Objective-C and Python.

Optimized into native code, Swift’s features are thoroughly modern — fast iteration, generics, and functional programming patterns make the language easy to work with, and Apple is providing a free iBook with all the details of using Swift. Developers who build applications in Swift will be able to ship to iTunes and Mac App Stores once iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite come out of beta later this year.

Playgrounds and sidebars: Xcode 6

Another previously unannounced bit of news came in the form of a fresh update to Apple’s Integrated Development Environment (IDE), Xcode. One of the most exciting features of Xcode 6 is Playgrounds, a feature that lets developers try out a bit of code without creating an entire project. An interactive sidebar displays the output of the code typed into Playground, and the sidebar can also show SpriteKit or SceneKit animations, graph variables, or drawing steps.

Also new to this version of Xcode are live debugging codes, including a built-in UI inspector that’s similar to Reveal and Spark Inspector.

Increased functionality with app extensions

Previously, applications on the iTunes and Mac app stores couldn’t talk to each other, but at WWDC 14 Apple unveiled app extensions that will now allow them to do just that. These extensions allow Apple-based apps to provide an extension as a service, which lets other apps tap into them.

The example used in the keynote was a Pinterest app that pins items to an associated account. The app uses a Pinterest pin button that can appear in share sheets, allowing the other apps to call on it to provide a user interface for the extension task of pinning the item.

CloudKit saves developers time and money

Creating applications that rely on custom-built web services is a time-consuming and expensive process for developers. With the introduction of CloudKit, Apple is expanding the functionality of iCloud and allowing developers to skip the provisioning and hosting for their cloud services.

CloudKit brings developer tools to iCloud that include user authentication, private and public database utilization, and alternate asset storage solutions. These tools offer very high storage limits, they’re free to implement, and they arrive provisioned to accommodate all of the app’s users.

A great year for Apple developers

In addition to the major developments, WWDC 14 announced a slew of new features and tools — from PhotoKit for camera and photo services apps, to HealthKit and HomeKit for health and fitness apps, to new features for SpriteKit and SceneKit, and more. Altogether, the new functionalities help developers create improved and more seamless experiences for Apple-based app users.

Keeping up on the latest IT trends, and navigating the ever-changing technological world are traits that The Armada Group takes pride in. We can help your company stay updated on all the newest and biggest facets of the IT industry. For help with finding a perfect IT candidate or position, contact our expert recruiting team today! 




10 Tips to Make Your Company Appeal to Women in Tech

Women in technology make up just over 10 percent. Studies show that the interest simply isn’t there, as very few women going into college pursue a computer science degree. It will take an industry-wide effort to generate more female enthusiasm, and results won’t follow overnight. However, here are seven tips you can use to make your company appeal to women:

1. Hire women. This seems almost too obvious, but it’s often overlooked. Women who walk in to an all-male IT operation are less likely to feel comfortable working there.

2. Involve the community.  Find local groups who focus on empowering women in the workplace. Once your company establishes an effective relationship, most groups will go to great lengths to help you.

3. Contact Sororities. Because most sororities include a GPA stipulation, they will tend to have a higher quality education – or, at the very least, prove to have the more earnest students. Forming relationships with sororities extends a branch from your company to women interested in technology.

4. Increase flexibility. Women, statistically, are much more prone to accepting offers from jobs that are willing to adjust for family planning. Flexible hours and work from home jobs will open a number of opportunities.

5. Have a female recruiter. At least one female recruiter on your team will drastically increase the odds of appealing to other women. This also remains true for women in management or administration, even if they’re not directly involved in IT.

6. Have an intern program. If you have multiple internships, reserve a proportion of slots exclusively for female participants – while making an effort to bring in more than one. 

7. Bring in outside help. Consider bringing in a female consultant to find small changes to your workplace that could help to build a more gender neutral atmosphere.

Increasing the number of female candidates is a long-term goal for most IT workplaces, as females bring in a different perspective that can positively affect the outcome. These seven tips can help your company become a more female-friendly environment.

At The Armada Group, we’re dedicated to female talent, as well as elite talent from both genders. We have some of the best and brightest in candidates and serve the fastest growing companies in America. Contact us to see how we can help you!



Friday, Jul 11 2014

How Soon is Too Soon?

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How Soon is Too Soon

Especially after a very strong interview, most candidates impatiently await the news from a recruiter. However, it’s a professional faux pas to call a few hours after interviewing to see if the interviewer has made a determination. This causes frustration and – chances are – there’s other candidates who have yet to interview. Here are a few keys regarding recruiter etiquette and proper follow up contact:

  • Be patient. There are usually between three and five final candidates for a single slot, and some companies require interviewing them all prior to making a determination. Most recruiters have a massive workload, so it’s nothing personal – there’s just a lot going on behind the scenes.
  • Send a follow up email first. This is the best and quickest means to professionally tell the interviewer and recruiter “Thanks for your time and the opportunity.” It’s generally accepted best practice to send this email the day after. The only exception is if your interview is early in the morning; in this case, sending an email that afternoon is acceptable.
  • If you don’t hear back from your recruiter after a few days, don’t fret. The worst mistake a candidate can make is to not follow up. The second worst is to call the recruiter repeatedly.
  • After three days or so, it’s within the expectation to call the recruiter. If he or she doesn’t answer, leave a voicemail. Most professional companies will call you and tell you either way, but after a few days, a reminder is warranted.
  • If, after following up, you don’t hear from the recruiter for a few days – try again. Try different methods every few days, and vary calling times. However, it is not customary to call or email more than twice a week. Any more than that is unprofessional. However, after a two week period – it’s probably time to send a final email thanking them again, and request that they hold on to your resume for future career opportunities.
  • Asking for the position subtly is great – especially in person – but on a follow-up call, do not ask “Did I get the job?” Instead, try “I wanted to follow up and see if you and/or the manager have made a determination?”

Finding a new job can be stressful, but it’s worth it once you get the best offer from the right job. There’s a lot of time that goes into it on the recruiter’s end, and it’s not usually an overnight process. Follow these tips for professional etiquette in following up.

At The Armada Group, we take the stress out of the process. We work directly with candidates to ascertain their skill set and company view, and pair them together with the best fit. This helps long-term job satisfaction, and increases overall success. We work with elite talent from some of the largest and fastest growing tech companies in the world. Contact us today to see how we can help you