Tech Salaries

 

While low unemployment had previously spurred significant growth in regards to tech salaries, 2017 somewhat bucked the trend, at least when it comes to the average pay over all specialties. However, certain skill sets are highly valued, allowing salaries in those areas to soar. Additionally, whether you work as a full-time employee or a contractor also plays a role regarding the level of compensation you can likely obtain today.

 

National Averages

Across all specialties, the average salary tech pros received was $92,712 in 2017. This reflected only slight growth (a 0.7 percent increase) when compared to 2016.

 

However, IT contractors saw a 5 percent increase year over year, with the average hourly rate being $72.32.

 

Additionally, specific skill sets achieved above-average growth when it came to pay. For example, PAAS professionals had compensation rates around $127,702 in 2017, a marked increase from 2016 levels where the average was $120,403.

 

Some other skills that outpaced the slow growth trend were MapReduce, Elasticsearch, Redshift, and Cloudera.

 

 

Tech Salaries in Silicon Valley

The average tech salary in the Silicon Valley region was notably higher than the national average, reaching $114,654. Along with a high demand for skilled IT workers in the area, the difference can likely be partially attributed to the increased cost of living in California. But, that doesn’t mean that Silicon Valley salaries don’t outpace other regions with high costs of living.

 

For example, New York is considered a more expensive state, but the average pay rate there came in at only $103,941. Similarly, Washington DC had salaries below the six-figure mark, at $99,937, even though the cost of living is generally seen as higher.

 

Additionally, tech salaries have experienced some significant increases over the past few years. Between 2013 and 2017, the change was measured as an 8.4 percent increase, which is certainly notable.

 

However, in 2017, the region did experience a slowdown, with growth only coming in at 0.4 percent.

 

What These Trends Mean

At times, there can be a significant disconnect between what tech professionals believe their skills are worth and what the market data suggests is reasonable. This can make filling vacant positions difficult for companies as a skilled candidate may have a stated salary expectation that isn’t within their budget, or workers can assume that they are underpaid, leading to frustration, when they are actually well within the standard.

 

Ultimately, both sides would be well-served by researching the going rates for particular skill sets and using that information to set their expectations. This can ensure that businesses are offering a suitable salary for the skills and experience they hope to find and that candidates aren’t over or undervaluing their capabilities when seeking a new job.

 

If you are interested in learning more, are seeking a new position, or are looking to hire additional team members, the professionals at The Armada Group can help. Contact us today to see how our services can benefit you.

 

 

AR

 

Augmented reality (AR) has garnered a lot of attention, particularly as the technology advanced throughout 2017. Significant launches by major tech companies propelled the forward momentum, generating a considerable amount of excitement about the potential AR technologies hold.

 

As they continue into 2018, many professionals are wondering what the future of AR development looks like. With that in mind, here are a few things to expect from AR developers this year.

 

AR Growing Pains

AR-capable applications are going to become significantly more prevalent in 2018, but that doesn’t mean the technology isn’t experiencing some growing pains.

 

From a developer perspective, the potential of the tech is hard to pass up, particularly as the tools become widely available. Additionally, the functionality is relatively easy to integrate, making it especially appealing.

 

While many AR advances will be incredibly exciting, the technology isn’t suitable for every application. This means there will likely be a push to add AR into apps that don’t require the functionality to be effective. Developers will need to manage their interest in the tech and thoroughly assess whether AR improves a particular application or is simply being added because it is possible. In many cases, this will lead some projects to be scaled back, if they are properly assessed.

 

 

Toolkit Exploration

Now that many tech giants, including Google, Apple, and Amazon, have created suitable platforms for AR exploration, developers working in the arena will need to spend some time exploring the various toolkits to identify which offerings provide the level of capability you need and reasonable ease of use.

 

As with any emerging technology, there is a learning curve, so comparing the available options to assess their suitability for specific projects will be a necessity.

 

In some cases, additional education or training may be necessary, particularly for developers who intend to focus their careers in the AR field. While a solid background in other forms of development provides a strong foundation, every technology has its idiosyncrasies, so time must be dedicated to learning those associated with various AR platforms and toolkits.

 

More Robust Technology

Another caveat associated with emerging tech is that the platform and toolkit offerings themselves will also change. You may have access to more robust features or an increased level of stability in the near future, but every adjustment means having to potentially relearn a particular solution, especially if you want to make the most of what the technology has to offer.

 

Ultimately, AR is still experiencing significant growth and change, and that is almost guaranteed to come with some hiccups along the way. But, by staying on top of new developments and spending time studying the new offerings, developers can become adept quickly, allowing them to experience the benefits that AR can provide to applications.

 

If you are interested in securing an AR developer position, the professionals at The Armada Group can connect you with leading employers in the area. Contact us today to learn more about our services and see how we can help you take the next step in your career.

 

 

Blockchain

 

Blockchain has garnered a lot of attention thanks to its association with cryptocurrencies, especially bitcoin. The solution allows transactions to be tracked in a new way, using an approach that many consider more secure than many other options available today, increasing interest in the technology and how it can benefit a number of industries.

 

Since blockchain is relatively new, many companies have just begun exploring how they can benefit from the technology, particularly when it comes to ensuring transactions and data exchanges are more secure. If you are wondering how you can get your start in blockchain, here’s what you need to know.

 

The Appeal of Blockchain

As mentioned above, most people associate blockchain with cryptocurrency, though its potential stretches well beyond that role. As a mechanism, blockchain increases accountability and security related to various transactions or information exchanges, including contract signings, while also reducing error rates.

 

Generally, blockchain is prized for its ability to verify a transaction’s validity. Blockchain records cannot be altered after the fact, and all transactions can be published to shared ledgers, allowing trusted involved parties to easily review details while maintaining a suitable level of access control.

 

It also offers companies a way to increase the speed at which transactions can be completed while also providing a method for substantial cost-savings, as blockchain eliminates the need for intermediaries, such as banks or government agencies, to be involved in the execution of an agreement.

 

 

Blockchain for Business

As of today, “blockchain-as-a-service” isn’t a common offering, so some businesses have struggled to find an entry point to begin using the technology. However, two tech giants have embraced the concept, giving organizations a way to get started with relative ease.

 

Microsoft has provided blockchain tools into Azure, its popular cloud services offering. In just five simple steps, you can get started with blockchain through Azure through the “labs” profile. This gives you a relatively quick way to create a blockchain instance, opening the doorway to the larger world associated with the technology.

 

IBM also has a solution that includes a little more polish than Microsoft’s offering thanks o the ability to not just create a blockchain instance, but satellite features as well. Along with the developer environment, chaincodes and contracts can be generated through IBM Blockchain. The solution is also interoperable with Hyperledger Composer, a Linux Foundation offering. Through IBM Blockchain, it is possible to do anything from create a single blockchain application to building an entire network.

 

Over time, additional options for bringing blockchain into business will certainly arise, including possible “as-a-service” providers who can make the technology more accessible, though gaining an understanding of what blockchain can do now is indeed a worthwhile venture.

 

If you are interested in learning more, need a blockchain professional to join your staff, or are looking for a blockchain developer position, the knowledgeable team at The Armada Group can help. Contact us to speak with one of our specialists today and see how our services can benefit you.

 

 

Java 9

 

Java remains one of the most popular programming languages, so many professionals who develop with the language need to stay on top any changes that occur. Java 9, which was released in September 2017, does have some notable shifts, even when compared to its predecessor, Java 8.

 

To help you stay up to date, here’s what you need to know about Java 9.

 

Say Hello to Modules

While Java 8 was all about lambdas, Java 9 is essentially focused on modularity, or Java Platform Modules.

 

Modules reflect a new way of building and deploying software, which brings certain benefits, like helping developers create software with a better underlying architecture and a smaller runtime footprint.

 

However, like any technological change, there are some challenges. For example, migrating a project from Java 8 to Java 9 does involve a few hurdles, such as the changes to the behavior of the “public” keyword.

 

In Java 9, if a class is not included in the module API, including public methods, then it cannot be called in the software. Further, reflection and method handles provide little help, as these calls can also be prevented based on the new runtime. This can result in an “illegal access” error, which is likely to be present in any migrated project.

 

 

A Series of Upgrades and Retests

Based on the arrival of modules, changes to items may be required. For example, particular major libraries must be upgraded to function properly with Java 9, leading to the issue commonly referred to as the “library lockstep” problem. Since multiple upgrades are involved, specific applications being transitioned to Java 9 may require a full retest, and remediation work will likely be a necessity along the way.

 

Additionally, not everything in Java 9 is backward-compatible. This means certain classes for Java 9 features will have to be addressed, typically by shipping a jar, if the software also needs to work on Java 8. “Multi-release jars” allows a multi-release flag to be set, giving the runtime the ability to include version-specific paths for the classpath resolution. Since the flag isn’t known by Java 8, the system ignores it, keeping the versioned directories from being involved.

 

Ultimately, Java 9 represents a modernization of the language through its use of modules, allowing developers to craft apps with well-built architectures. However, the changes do have a learning curve associated with them, so not every team or project will automatically see the benefit in the update immediately.

 

However, familiarizing yourself with Java 9 now allows you to prepare for the future of Java development, ensuring your skill set remains on the cutting edge.

 

If you are interested in finding a new position as a Java developer, the professionals at The Armada Group can assist you by connecting you with opportunities throughout the area. Contact us today to speak with a member of our knowledgeable staff and see how our services can help you advance in your Java career.

 

 

Career in Data Analytics

 

As more companies look to leverage their data, a career in data analytics becomes more enticing. Data allows businesses to make smarter decisions, making it particularly powerful in today’s marketplace. But there’s more to data analytics than meets the eye, and professionals must have a strong skill set to be successful in the field. If you are considering a career in data analytics, here’s what you need to know.

 

A Forward-Thinking Perspective

Before, analyzing data was something companies did to take a look back, giving them an avenue for examining past decisions. Now, data analytics is generally viewed as a forward-thinking pursuit, allowing businesses to make smarter decisions today in hopes of securing a better tomorrow.

 

While this doesn’t necessarily innately affect how the work is done, it does demonstrate the kind of perspective successful professionals in the field must maintain. This means that assisting with future growth and profitability is a large driver for many people working in these positions, reflecting the mission of many of these roles.

 

It’s More Than Just Numbers on Screens

While the work is predominately computer-based, that doesn’t mean it is relegated to working with existing software. A lot of creation can occur in a data analytics role, including possibly working on devices designed to help capture valuable data.

 

For many people, this means that a career in data analytics can involve exciting tasks beyond reviewing information for insights, as improvements in how data is collected can be incredibly valuable to companies and rewarding to those who work on the projects.

 

 

People Matter

Many people assume that data analytics derives its value from software outputs, with the human element being secondary. However, professionals in the field generally discover that their skills and input play a substantial role in the success of data-oriented projects and goals.

 

While a system may provide outputs, data analysts are often responsible for giving the data meaning and assisting with the decision-making process, and that is a role that should never be downplayed. Even if you aren’t in a position to make large-scale decisions personally, your work guides those who are making those calls, allowing you to be a big part of instituting change within the organization and beyond.

 

Beyond Technical Skills

Having the technical know-how to perform in a data analytics position is obviously essential, but other skills are just as vital. Having a strong understanding of business terms, particularly those related to your company’s industry, is also incredibly valuable, as well as the nuances of how the business operates.

 

Communication skills are also highly coveted, as you’ll often need to relay complex information to stakeholders who aren’t as well-versed in the technical side of things. Additionally, teamwork skills are crucial, as most people in the data analytics field work closely with others.

 

If you are interested in pursuing or furthering a career in data analytics in 2018, the professionals at The Armada Group can connect you with some of the area’s most in-demand employers. Contact us today to see how our services can help you take the next step.

 

 

Wednesday, Jan 10 2018

Will Your Job Survive AI?

Written by

Survive AI

 

Many people are concerned about how AI will affect their job or career. While the technology is predicted to eliminate 1.8 million jobs by 2020, it should also create 2.3 million new positions, which actually leads to a net gain.

 

However, how it will affect you largely depends on the role you hold and current skill set, and nearly everyone should expect to experience some change to how their tasks are performed as AI becomes more prevalent. With that in mind, here’s what you need to know about how AI could affect you.

 

Tech Will Experience Sweeping Change

One of the industries that will be most affected by AI is the one that created it: tech. AI platforms are poised to take over a variety of tasks, such as security monitoring, data analysis, and even low-level programming. This eliminates the need for people to manage repetitive and tedious tasks, allowing them to focus on other pursuits.

 

It is also possible that AI will limit the need for middle managers as these systems could be adapted to handle tasks associated with resource allocation. Likely, adjustments in this arena will be slow, as companies may be hesitant to rid themselves of middle managers until the technology is proven to be effective.

 

However, that doesn’t mean that your position will be eliminated. Instead, managers are taking advantage of these advances by refocusing their workers’ priorities, using the technology instead to augment the activities of employees and not simply replace them.

 

Currently, AI isn’t capable of certain functions, especially those associated with understanding the context surrounding a problem, and not just the data being presented. Additionally, creative pursuits aren’t easily replicated by technology yet, leaving those tasks firmly in the hands of professionals.

 

 

New Opportunities

At this point, an AI is not a self-sustaining entity. These solutions require skilled professionals to be implemented, programmed, and supported, creating a range of job opportunities that weren’t previously present in the field.

 

For professionals interested in working with the technology, having the right skill set is imperative. This can include commonly used programming languages, like Python and R, as well as an understanding of data analytics. Some tech workers may be able to gain these skills on the job, while others may need to pursue additional education.

 

By understanding how the technology may impact your job, you can make smart decisions about the direction of your career, allowing you to position yourself to take advantage of the emergence of AI instead of becoming a victim of it.

 

If you are interested in learning more or are seeking a new tech position, the team at The Armada Group can help you evaluate your options and choose a direction that will allow you to meet your goals. Contact us today to see how our services can assist you as you navigate the changing tech landscape to find a new role.