Wednesday, Apr 16 2014

Top Tech Candidates in Silicon Valley

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Product Manager
  • Highly organized and results oriented business leader.
  • Over 10 years of Technical Product Management experience. 
  • Extensive experience with Product Life Cycle Management, Saas, REST, API’s, Ruby on Rails, HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.  
  • Worked for Razorfish, RockYou, eBay, and TEK Systems.  
  • MBA in Global Marketing from University of Kansas. 
System Engineer
  • Joined one of the hottest start-ups in the Bay Area during their explosive growth period.  
  • Was responsible for installation, implementation, and maintenance of their COLO housed at Equinix. 
  • Savvy with Juniper, Cisco, and F5 network equipment. 
  • Holds a CCNA and JNCIA. 
  • Built out their Layer 2 switch environment to a Layer 3 environment with minimal downtime.  
  • Implemented a variety of network monitoring tools (Nagios, Splunk, and Cacti)  
Graphic Designer
  • Graphic Designer with over four years of in-house corporate marketing background for luxury brands, nine years of operations management, and a passion for technology. 
  • Knowledgeable in the significance of branding, designing cleanly with attention to fine details, and execution around a user experience.
  • He has experience designing and coding promotional landing pages, micro sites, and email campaigns. 
  • Developed branding for new company initiatives and ventures. 
  • Worked with Adobe Acrobat, Adobe Dreamweaver CC, Adobe Illustrator CC, Adobe InDesign CC, Adobe Photoshop CC, ExactTarget Email, Final Cut Pro X and HTML/CSS. 
  • He is driven by raw passion for the arts of digital communication and design. Has a certification from Art Institute of California, Sunnyvale, CA.
Sr. UI Engineer 
  • 10+ years of front-end analysis, design, development, testing and deployment experience working with companies like McAfee, BlackArrow, AT&T, and Intuit. 
  • Proficient in hand coding semantic markup using HTML5, JavaScript, CSS.
  • Expertise in handling cross browser compatibility and image optimization.
  • Excellent in analyzing, problem solving and good communication and leadership skills.
  • Used Photoshop, Fireworks for slicing the images.
  • Experienced in Visual source safe, Perforce, CVS, Morant, and Subclipse for version control.
  • Developed user centric Internet, Intranet applications with B2B and B2C focus using HTML, JavaScript, CSS.
  • Assisted with functional designs, design review, coding, testing and product documentation.
  • Effective communication with client, cross-functional teams to achieve project priorities/timelines.
  • Team oriented and self starter.
  • Familiarity with SEO operation and techniques.
  • Knowledge of DOM scripting, progressive enhancement and graceful degradation.
  • Knowledge of Twitter bootstrap, Backbone.js and Mustache.js.
  • Responsive Web Design Using CSS3 Media Queries.
  • Certificate course in Graphics from Big Byte Computer Institute - Mumbai.
  • Certificate course in Java from SSI Computer Institute – Mumbai.
  • Brainbench certified in CSS 2.0. 

The Armada Group is pleased to announce the addition of our “live chat” option on our new website.  Effective immediately, visitors will have the ability to interact with an Armada representative in real time.  The addition of this new service is to fulfill Armada’s commitment to our talent and client communities in providing the best available service possible.   



If we’re being honest about ourselves, we try to fit a 12-hour day into eight or nine hours. It’s not just you; it’s the IT field in general. It stands to reason that IT professionals gain the most when they maximize time in their areas of expertise, and minimize time in the areas that other experts can perform on a higher level.

There’s always a SQL database to maintain, or a network to patch – and there’s always an empty occupation to be filled, but there are better things you could be doing to lighten your load without stressing out over a vacancy.

So, like anyone performing at maximum efficiency, you partner with a staffing firm. What’s next?

  1. Consultation. This allows the firm to analyze current staffing situation compared to optimal productivity.  The agency develops an understanding of your operations as well as the peculiar and unique methods that set you apart from other businesses. This is arguably the most crucial step, as the efficacy of the partnership relies on a complete understanding.
  2. Collaboration. After the agency comprehensively understands your needs, the firm and your business collectively create and implement a plan of the next steps. The agency understands both the IT portion AND the recruiting facets; hence, it is important to trust your agency here – they know what works!
  3. Implementation. This is the handoff period. This is where the agency starts putting the system you’ve jointly created into place. The Silicon Valley staffing agency is able to use their developed talent network to find you top candidates for your positions.
  4. Work. With the firm now fully handling your recruiting plan, you can get back to the 1s & 0s, default gateways, and PHP source code. This is where the firm operates and refines the plan, based on the comprehensive solution. This also reduces operating costs and lowers churn (and coincidentally, your blood pressure).

All staffing firms are not created equal. That’s why we’re here. At the Armada Group, we’re a Silicon Valley based IT staffing firm, specializing in on-demand solutions, and while our full, proprietary methodology is a little more involved, it has won us several awards, including “Best of Staffing,” several years in a row. We also offer a complimentary 8 point consultation to benefit you, and to demonstrate our subject matter expertise so you’ll see why we’re the best. If you are looking for a Silicon Valley based staffing agency, contact our team today.



Businesses make or lose money by image. And that image costs a significant amount of money to create and maintain using branding.

And it works. Brilliantly.

So, don’t reinvent the wheel; brand yourself as a candidate if you’re on the hunt. And, as an IT professional, what better way than to do so using social media? (HINT: there isn’t one) Here are a few tips to help you along the way:

  • Keep your LinkedIn profile clean and polished. This is likely to be the first site a recruiter will check. Also, make sure it includes keywords a recruiter will be likely to search for. In this case, it’s perfectly acceptable to use some tech jargon as long as there’s still plain English somewhere in there.
  • Clean up your Facebook, especially any crazy college years. No future employer wants to see a picture of you performing keg stands just a few short years ago. This also applies to lewd memes or profanity.
  • Don’t appear desperate. Maybe I’m judgmental, but when I see a name like “Joe Looking For Work Smith” on LinkedIn, it’s not good, and certainly not professional. I would probably – no, definitely – veto that candidate immediately. Clean and polished.
  • Create a video. Ever see a video on LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter? Exactly. They’re becoming more and more popular; this is one way you can certainly stand out. Embed it into your media presence, or create a YouTube video with a link in your profile.
  • Participate on IT specific forums, and demonstrate your subject matter expertise. It should go without saying to use the same sort of language and tone that one would use in an office setting.
  • Contribute to open source projects. There are TONS out there, and while this looks good on a resume anyway as experience, it allows you to interact within a community that may know someone. IT is a huge small world.
  • Let people know you’re looking. But, as we mentioned above, don’t be obnoxious about it. There are times to be direct, and times to be subtle – your relationship with the person you’re talking to will be a defining factor. A periodic update letting your connections, followers or friends know that you have a lot to offer helps, too.
  • Be positive, and be confident. It can be difficult for unemployed candidates to stay positive – but it’s necessary. The technology world has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the nation.

If you’re unemployed, we’re here to help you. At the Armada Group, we maintain a wide variety of world class talent with skills just like yours. We also work with some of the largest and fastest growing companies in the world, and we want to help you find the right career opportunity. If you are looking software developer jobs in Silicon Valley, contact our team today.

There seems to be a stigma attached to hiring that, in today’s economy, anyone can find a qualified IT candidate, to the dismay of many great HR professionals. The IT industry has an enormous skills gap where many managers simply cannot find enough qualified candidates. Consequentially, it’s not uncommon to find candidates in a position where they’re underqualified or simply in the wrong place for a mutually beneficial career opportunity.

Often, a skilled recruiter or staffing agency is able to avoid these situations. The problem often arises when one has a particular IT talent, but doesn’t have the required understanding of hiring and recruiting. Here are five mistakes technical managers make while recruiting.

  1. Keywords can be learned overnight. Often, technical managers listen for certain acronyms or keywords to vet a candidate – just because a candidate is able to define a “variable” in a colloquial sentence doesn’t mean they’re a Java programmer. Knowing how to declare a variable and write an if/then statement doesn’t lend them any credence.
  2. A week of lost productivity is bad. Several months are worse. If you’re looking for a networking technician, taking the first person with a CCNA doesn’t always make sense. Make sure they have experience and references to back it up. Many technical managers want to fill a spot yesterday. If you don’t maintain a list of passive candidates, it will take time to find the right fit.
  3. Hiring underqualified personnel. This isn’t always as simple as it seems. Initially, it seems very straightforward – does the applicant know the subject matter and have the degree or certification required? Rooting out who is really qualified is something that takes practice and skill. A resume says only so much; experience in asking the right questions – and listening for the right answers- is paramount.
  4. Talk too much. The interviewer should be asking the questions and listening to the answers. Many technical managers like to ask a few basic questions then rave about the advantages of their company and their job for the remaining allotted time.
  5. Hire the wrong business culture. Skills are the obvious first priority – but hiring the right person also entails the candidate with a viewpoint and methodology that is in lockstep with the company and team. The wrong culture and mindset can cause personality clashes and generally raises the likelihood of turnover, thus costing more money.

Technical managers have a wealth of experience in their role – and there’s something to be said about that. However, it’s also fair to say that their role is not hiring, but managing current employees.

No matter what your recruiting process is, we can help. The Armada Group is a Silicon Valley based staffing agency specializing in many areas of on-demand talent. We specialize in bringing the most elite candidates to some of the fastest growing and most innovative companies in the world. Contact us today to see how we can help you. If you are looking for a technical recruiting agency in Silicon Valley, contact our team today.

For some reason, the IT industry places a different emphasis on certifications than other industries. Perchance it’s because there are so many “self-taught” IT professionals who understand the subject matter but never set foot in college. Or perhaps it’s because IT is such a wide vertical that even a degree can’t teach you everything. Whatever the case, there’s no doubt that certifications provide one of the best measures of demonstrating subject matter expertise.

With that in mind, your career path will help determine which certifications are right for you. Here are some of Microsoft’s certifications to help advance your career:

MTA, or Microsoft Technology Associate, is the most basic MS certification, and usually entails an entry-level (if even that) understanding of the subject matter. The MTA is presently offered in Server, Desktop, Database, and Developer categories. The MTA by itself will not likely land you a job, but it may help familiarize you if you’re new to the field.

MCSA (Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate) is a more common “entry-level” certificate and proves a solid understanding of the fundamentals. This is widely accepted as the standard in beginning an IT career, and is offered in servers (Windows Servers 2008 and 2012) desktop, (Windows 7 and 8) applications and database roles.

After the MCSA is the MCSE (or MCSD for developers) which is a notch above, and is the pinnacle of Microsoft’s certifications since the retirement of MCM/MCSM/MCA programs at the first of the year. The Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert certification is for the elite, and requires documented hands-on experience – as well as the MCSA – prior to testing. Servers, databases, and developers (MCSD) all have this as an option.

The Microsoft Office Specialist and MOS Expert are unique to the applications field. The MOS is the base; while MCSA is the middle and MOS (Expert) is at the top.

When examining credentials, the most important factor to consider is “where will this take me, and is it worth the time, effort, and cost?” The best way to discern the above is to plan out a career path with where you want to be, and then ascertain which certifications will get you there.

This is when talking to a staffing agency becomes the logical next step. At The Armada Group, we know what certifications are important, and as we deal with many different talents, we can help you in terms of finding the right career opportunity for you. We work with some of the most innovative and fastest-growing companies in the world, and we want to help you find the opportunities you’re looking for, and develop the experience along the way. If you are looking for technical employment in Silicon Valley, contact our team today.