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The Most Important Skills You Need to Become a Top Manual QA Engineer

 

While automation may be grabbing all of the headlines, manual quality assurance (QA) engineers are still critical for many companies who want to make sure that their software operates correctly. These professionals actually interact with the program as if they were the end user, following detailed test plans to make sure the areas being tested perform to the right standard.

 

If you want to become a top manual QA engineer, then you need to bring the right skills to the table. Here is what you need to know.

 

The Most Important Skills for Manual QA Engineers

Manual QA engineers need a wide variety of skills to thrive in their roles. Often, this includes having strong assessment skills as well as the ability to write detailed test cases, ensuring any testing goes forward properly and is incredibly thorough.

 

Experience with test case management tools, like Zephyr, is also a must. This ensures you can use these solutions effectively, allowing you to be more efficient in the position. Similarly, knowledge of browser-based software testing frameworks is beneficial, though may not be required at all companies.

 

Having the right soft skills can make a significant amount of difference in your level of success as well. For example, strong communication skills are crucial as you will need to share your findings with a variety of stakeholders along the way.

 

Similarly, being a self-starter and highly motivated can help you stand out as a top candidate, allowing you to rise to the top with greater ease. Being a team player is also valuable to employers, especially since a decent portion of the work can be collaborative in nature.

 

Finally, having knowledge of automation is usually beneficial. Even if your activities are predominately manual, automation is becoming increasing prevalent in the QA world, so being capable of using those technologies can help you future-proof your career and provide support outside of the manual testing arena.

 

Acquire Experience to Reach the Top

While starting by learning the skills listed above is smart, you will need to put your skills to work if you want to excel as a manual QA engineer. To put it simply, having some experience under your belt is essential if you want to reach the top of the manual QA engineering field. Typically, within three to five years, you can qualify for mid-level roles, giving you access to more lucrative opportunities. After that, you just need to keep acquiring experience to continue moving forward, refining your current skills, gaining new competencies, and showing that you are effective in these roles.

 

Are You Looking For a New Job? The Armada Group Can Help!

If you are interested in learning more about becoming a successful manual AQ engineer or are looking for a job opportunity in the field, the team at The Armada Group can help. Contact us to speak with one of our IT recruiters today and see how our QA expertise can benefit you.

 

If a High Salary Drives You Try a Career as a Database Administrator

 

For some, the idea of having a large salary is what drives them to pursue a particular line of work. If you are looking for a lucrative career path, then opting to become a database administrator (DBA) might be a wise move. Here’s what you need to know.

 

How Do You Become a Database Administrator?

In most cases, if you want to become a DBA, you need to start with formal education. Learning about database theory and design, the various programming languages, storage technologies, networking, and other required skills is usually best addressed while earning a college degree. Plus, most employers require at least a Bachelor’s from job candidates, it not a Master’s.

 

However, if you want to see if you would enjoy the work before signing up to earn a degree, there are a lot of online courses that can help you get started in database administration, allowing you to gain foundational skills and understanding before you commit. Just understand that these are often insufficient if you want to launch your career in the field, though they will help you get your feet wet.

 

Certifications can also boost your earnings potential. For example, getting certified in IBM or Oracle technologies can lead to higher salary offers.

 

Similarly, an understanding of related cloud technologies can be beneficial. Companies are increasingly shifting to the cloud to experience the cost-savings, have access to more resources or easier scalability, and even enhanced security.

 

A long-term willingness to learn is also essential. The world of database administration has changed dramatically over recent years thanks to the introduction of technologies like the cloud, Hadoop, and even improved analytics. If you are not willing to adapt to the changing landscape when the need arises, you will have trouble thriving in the field.

 

How Much Does a Database Administrator Make?

While DBA salaries can vary depending on the level of experience required, the size of the company, and the exact skill set the person needs to bring to the table, landing a six-figure position is not out of the question. In fact, the average DBA salary in San Francisco comes in right around the $100,000 mark, and those with substantial experience or in-demand skills can even earn close to $150,000.

 

Even entry-level DBA positions can come with livable salaries. Finding an offer around $60,000 with no more than the needed education is possible, especially in the Silicon Valley area.

 

Start Your Job Search with The Armada Group!

If you are interested in learning more about what it takes to become a database administrator or are looking for a new DBA job opportunity in the Silicon Valley area, the team at The Armada Group can help. Contact us speak with one of our IT recruiters today and see how our expertise can benefit you.

 

 

Rethink Your Remote Work Policy

 

Some companies have railed against the idea of remote work. Even though most IT professionals have the technical know-how to telecommute with ease, businesses often fear that employees who are working outside of the office aren’t as productive as they are when someone can peer over their shoulders.

 

However, by limiting remote work options, most companies are doing more harm than good. If your policy is incredibly strict, here’s what you may need to rethink your approach to remote work in 2019.

 

Job Satisfaction

By and large, employees that have the ability to work remotely at least part of the time are substantially more satisfied with their jobs than those that don’t have telecommuting options. Being able to work remotely provides employees with a range of benefits including avoiding the daily commute, the ability to perform their duties in a comfortable environment, eliminate distractions for heads-down work, and more.

 

As job satisfaction rises, so does retention. Employees aren’t as inclined to seek out other opportunities with their employer meets their needs, so keeping your best and brightest on staff may be easier.

 

Productivity

When they telecommute, most professionals become more productive, not less. They have the ability to focus with greater ease and don’t have to deal with the interruptions that come with being in the office.

 

For example, random visits from coworkers are a distraction. If a tech pro is dealing with a project that requires a high level of attention to detail, every time they are pulled away harms productivity beyond the minutes they spend dealing with the interruption as they have to take time to refocus before they can continue.

 

Recruitment

The ability to work remotely is a benefit many tech professionals seek out. Since not every company offers telecommuting options, revamping your remote work policy to be more flexible can differentiate your business as an employer. You may have an easier time attracting top talent simply because a remote work program is in place, making it worth exploring.

 

Additionally, if you are open to having staff members that telecommute every day, you can even expand your recruitment efforts into other cities, states, or potentially even countries. This can dramatically increase the size of your talent pool, making it easier to locate hard to find skill sets that aren’t readily available near your office.

 

Ultimately, having a remote work policy that allows employees to telecommute at least some of the time is beneficial. Retention rates will improve, productivity will increase, and recruitment may get easier, making it a win-win scenario for workers and employers.

 

The Armada Group Can Help!

If you would like to know more about how to update your remote work policy, the skilled professionals at The Armada Group can help. Contact us to discuss your current policy and which changes you are considering with one of our knowledgeable team members today and see how our expertise can benefit you.

2019 Tech Trends

 

Every new year brings a new set of trends. After all, the business and tech worlds are continually evolving, and the points on the horizon often approach faster than many anticipate in the beginning.

 

In 2019, there are a few trends that tech pros should expect to encounter as the year moves forward. Here are the ones that deserve your attention.

 

Enterprise AI

Artificial intelligence (AI) has been a trend for several years, though much of the attention fell on the consumer space. Options like Alexa, Google Home, and Siri are increasingly present in the daily lives of the masses but didn’t provide substantial value to many companies.

 

In 2019, expect an increased emphasis on enterprise-level AI. Advances in natural language processing mean more companies will integrate AI into customer support mechanisms and even certain internal resources. Similarly, the ability to automate a wider range of tasks should be anticipated as well as the chance to derive value from available data with greater ease.

 

More Custom Hardware

As once cutting-edge technologies become more affordable, companies integrate them at a faster rate. Custom hardware is one option that is becoming more financially viable, so businesses may explore opportunities to either develop solutions for internal use or for customers.

 

For example, the Amazon Dash Button concept – where a simple click of the button allowed a preset product to be ordered – could be extended into a variety of consumer experiences. Office-oriented products may also be on the horizon, allowing certain actions to be initiated with a button press, like reserving a conference room.

 

How it will manifest isn’t entirely clear. However, as companies have increased capacity to create custom hardware solutions, they opportunities will be easier to visualize.

 

Data Science Reimagined

Big Data has been a trending topic for years, but what companies expected and what they experienced often differed, leading to frustration. While many businesses initially accepted the limits without much complaint, that climate is changing.

 

While data scientists will continue to clarify what is and isn’t possible, companies are beginning to push for more. As a result, finding methods for overcoming barriers may become a priority, creating opportunities for technological advancement.

 

However, it also means that data scientists should expect pushback when they assert that a particular limit makes a request impossible. Instead of just accepting it as fact, organizations are going to want to understand the “why” behind the “no.” Then, they may rally against the restriction, expecting data scientists and other tech professionals to find a way to turn that “no” into a “yes.”

 

Let The Armada Group Bring Your Team Into The New Year!

Ultimately, 2019 is going to be an interesting year, particularly in the tech arena. If you would like to know more about the trends, the team at The Armada Group can help. Contact us with your questions today and see how our tech trends knowledge can benefit you this year and beyond.

 

 

Beat the Competition and Land Your Dream Job

 

When you have your dream job in sight, it can be as exciting as it is scary. After all, you have to outshine the other candidates if you are going to land the role, and that isn’t always an easy task.

 

Luckily, there are things you can do to beat out the competition and secure your ideal job. If you aren’t sure how to begin, here are five ways you can get started.

 

  1. Bring Something Unique to the Table

When you are applying to a job, you can almost guarantee that your strongest competitors are bringing similar technical ability to the table. After all, if they didn’t have the prowess to handle the tasks, their resume would likely get discarded.

 

If you want to stand out, finding a unique non-technical offering can make a difference. Consider your personality and attributes and identify points that can help you excel in the role. Then, find ways to add them to your resume and cover letter, making sure the hiring manager is aware of the fact that you have more to offer than hard skills.

 

  1. Make an Emotional Connection

How a hiring manager feels about you can play as much of a role in their decision as for how well your skills and experience match the job posting. If you have a chance to bond emotionally with the hiring manager, take it.

 

For example, if you can connect your passion for the opportunity to the company’s mission, that can help forge a bond. Similarly, by being friendly and open during the interview, they may see you as more likable, which can also create a connection.

 

  1. Make Subtle Comparisons

If there are areas where you perform better than average, you can stand out from the crowd with a subtle comparison. While you should never directly bash other candidates, showcasing how you outperform the average person in your field can help.

 

You’ll need to do some research about statistics that apply to your chosen profession and then identify areas where you perform better than average (and can prove it). While this can take some time and energy, it can allow you to highlight why you should be considered for the job.

 

  1. Correct Mistakes When Possible

Nearly everyone makes a mistake during an interview at some point in their career. Maybe they draw a blank on a topic or accidentally get an answer wrong. While this can feel dooming, a single misstep isn’t usually the end of the world. Plus, you may also have a chance to correct your error if you proceed properly.

 

For instance, if you missed an answer during the interview but remember the correct one before the meeting is over, you may be able to revisit the topic in a later response or when you are given a chance to ask questions. While you don’t want to force it into the conversation, as that may not impress the hiring manager, if it can work into the discussion naturally, touch on it.

 

Otherwise, when you send a thank you email, you can also cover it then. Let the hiring manager know that you remember the mistake and correct it quickly and concisely.

 

  1. Have a Closing Summary

As your interview draws to an end, having a closing summary ready that allows you to touch on your key skills and attributes, bringing everything together. This can help you stand out by making sure your last impression is a powerful one.

 

Want the Most Exciting Contracts in Silicon Valley?

By following the tips above, you can beat out the competition and land your dream job. If you are looking for more valuable information, the professionals at The Armada Group can help. Contact us to speak with one of our skilled team members today and see how our expertise can benefit you.

 

 

Blockchain Remains Steady While Cryptocurrency Struggles

 

When people think of blockchain, cryptocurrency also typically comes to mind. Mainly, this is because of blockchains association with Bitcoin, the cryptocurrency that soared to astounding heights as 2017 drew to a close and 2018 began. While there are hundreds of altcoins out there, Bitcoin is the one that was securing the most headlines.

 

However, after cryptocurrency mania peaked in January 2018, the market has mostly trended downward. One estimate suggests that $700 billion in market value was lost between then and now, showcasing just how far digital assets have fallen. While some of the losses are related to the high level of fraud in the cryptocurrency market, changes in investor sentiment and futures trading also played a role.

 

But blockchain isn’t losing any ground even as cryptocurrencies struggle. Predominately, this is because blockchain has uses outside the cryptocurrency landscaping, giving it stability.

 

Blockchain Isn’t Bitcoin

While blockchain allows cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin to function, it isn’t inherently connected to cryptocurrency. Instead, it is a logging mechanism, and it can be completely separated from the cryptocurrency world.

 

Even as cryptocurrencies falter, blockchain maintains value as a standalone technology. Bitcoin and all of the altcoins could disappear tomorrow, and blockchain could remain standing on its own merit.

 

Blockchains Value

Blockchain is a mechanism for logging transactions. It serves as a distributed digital ledger and can’t be altered after a transaction takes place. This makes blockchain incredibly secure and reliable when multiple parties are involved, leading to a significant increase in interest in the technology.

 

While blockchain has obvious connections to the financial world - being a mechanism that supports real-time transactions, even across borders - it also has potential in other areas. Developers could use it to create solutions for monitoring supply chains, logging real estate title transfers, tracking medical information, issuing digital IDs, protecting copyrights, and much more.

 

This means that blockchain has a significant amount of potential, allowing interest in the technology to remain steady even as cryptocurrencies lose their luster.

 

A Fledgling Technology

While blockchain could be a gamechanger in numerous industries, it is still a fledgling technology. Big name companies are just beginning to scratch the surface of blockchains potential, and new developments are almost always on the horizon.

 

However, the speed at which blockchain-oriented solutions may become available may be negatively affected by the lack of tech specialists who can work with blockchain. Since it is relatively new to the larger business landscape and there aren’t many formal educational options focused on blockchain, finding suitable professionals to develop new solutions is challenging. This is especially true when today’s tight labor market (especially the low IT unemployment rate) are factored into the equation.

 

Ultimately, blockchain will likely maintain its appeal for the long-term, even if cryptocurrencies become largely a thing of the past. Since blockchain has potential in some many industries, it may succeed all on its own.

 

Ready to Find Your Next Gig? Start with The Armada Group!

If you’d like to know more, the professionals at The Armada Group can help. Contact us with your questions today and see how our blockchain expertise can benefit you.