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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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.
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.
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.
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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.
Over recent years, the networking field has changed dramatically. Thanks to technology that has led many companies to shift away from on-premises infrastructure and servers, network administrators have to adapt if they want to achieve the highest salary possible.
While certain fundamental skills always provide value, new additions are also necessary if you want to reach the upper echelons of compensation. If you want to know which skills can help you achieve your goal, here are a few that should be on your radar.
Since companies are increasingly relying on cloud solutions, network administrators need skills that align with the technology. Typically, cloud-based servers need to be integrated into the organization’s environment, requiring specific infrastructure changes and other adjustments to the overall approach to IT. Additionally, being able to effectively evaluate solutions to see if they can meet a company’s needs is similarly essential.
In many cases, earning a certification that covers networking and the cloud, such as the Cisco Certified Network Professional – Cloud certification, you can show that you have the proper skills to work in a cloud-oriented environment. This can help you stand out from other network administrators who may not have delved into the technology, increasing the odds that your salary offering will be highly competitive.
While not every company embraces BYOD, many do. Network administrators need to know how to contend with employees’ personal devices and how to make sure that the network remains secure.
Often, this means familiarizing oneself with mobile device management (MDM) or similar platforms that provide the necessary protections and capabilities. This allows you to enforce user authentication requirements, remotely wipe missing devices to protect company systems and data, and separate personal and professional data and accounts.
As the workforce continues to become increasingly mobile, being prepared for BYOD and its related concerns can help you stand out. Plus, the skills are often beneficial even in companies that only support company-owned devices, as the approach to management is often similar, though less cumbersome.
Creativity and Flexibility
As the workplace evolves, the role of the network administrator shifts along with it. Without creativity and flexibility, you might not be viewed as a competent professional who is able to adapt when the need arises.
Similarly, creativity and problem-solving often go hand-in-hand. Network administrators have to deal with complex systems to ensure resiliency and the integrity of the network, and being able to solve problems effectively goes a long way in that regarding.
Are You Looking for Your Next Network Administrator Contract?
By possessing the skills above, you can increase your odds of achieving a top salary as a network administrator. If you’d like to learn more about how you can excel in the field or are seeking out new opportunities, the knowledgeable team at The Armada Group can help. Contact us to speak with one of our industry specialists today and see how our network administration expertise can benefit your career.
There is still a substantial gender divide in tech. Women often earn less, struggle to be taken seriously, and lack strong female role models. However, there has been progress in recent years, even if it is somewhat slow-going.
Many women do strive to see the bright side of working in tech, even if they do face challenges in the field. By focusing on the benefits, many female tech professionals are happier in their positions and in the industry as a whole. While every woman is different, here are some of the things that are motivating women in tech.
Making a Positive Impact
Whether it's through the performance of their duties or their effort to eliminate gender biases in the field, women consider “making a positive impact” one of the biggest benefits of being in tech. When an employee feels like they are making a difference, it can be intrinsically motivating. Plus, if they believe they are improving the world in some way, be that with the products or services they provide or being a force for change in the industry, that increases their satisfaction.
Being a Role Model
Most women in tech want to encourage other women to get into the tech industry. By being a strong performer and respected professional, they are helping to create a culture that is more welcoming to female tech pros. Additionally, they have the chance to become role models for young professionals, especially as they personally rise through the ranks.
The world of tech is rarely boring. Along with the speed at which the industry changes, much of the work circles on finding solutions to problems, creating something new, and otherwise being highly engaged, all of which can be very motivating. When given a chance to explore emerging technologies or advance in the workplace, often thanks to professional development opportunities, their job satisfaction can increase even more.
Exploring Their Passion
Many women who get into the tech industry are highly passionate about the field. After all, female technology professionals are nearly guaranteed to face challenges on many levels - including lower compensation when compared to men, doubt about their capabilities, and company cultures that aren’t always welcoming - Without passion, it wouldn’t be worth it to face the difficulties many women in the industry contend with on a regular basis.
How You Can Support Women in Tech
When you hire a woman in a tech role, make sure to offer them the same level of compensation as their male counterparts. This allows everyone to be on a level playing field, ensuring that no one is being treated unfairly because of their gender.
Additionally, engage with your current female employees. Learn about their needs and preferences, and see how you can make the workplace and culture more attuned to them.
If you would like to learn more about women in tech, the skilled team at The Armada Group can help. Contact us with questions today and see how our workplace expertise can benefit you.
Did you know that the day of the week you choose to submit an application impacts your odds of being selected for an interview? It’s true.
If you are applying to a highly coveted role, opting to send your resume along at the right time can make a substantial amount of difference. Here are the days you need to apply if you want to better your odds of getting the job.
Days of the Week
Usually, the best time to send your resume is between Tuesday morning and Thursday morning. Additionally, you should try to submit your application before 10:00 am if you want the biggest increase to your chance of success. However, Monday mornings can also work in your favor, but not to the same degree.
Whenever possible, avoid submitting your resume over the weekend. Since more professionals have Saturday and Sunday off, you are likely tossing your application into the biggest pool at that time, making it harder to stand out.
Similarly, hiring managers might not be as available on Fridays, so your resume could be lumped in with weekend applicants if you choose the last weekday to send in your information.
Timing to the Announcement
Another way in which timing matters is the age of the vacancy announcement. Applicants who submit their resumes within the first four days of the ad being posted tend to have better success rates than those who wait.
But, if you can’t get it in then, if the posting is less than a week old, you’re timing is still pretty good. After a week, your odds of landing an interview decline substantially, even if you choose a better day of the week.
If you send your resume in and, after a reasonable wait, decide you want to follow up on your application, when you choose to do so also matters. Again, Tuesday through Thursday morning are often best, as busy hiring managers likely won’t have time to speak with you or respond to an email on Mondays or Fridays.
Similarly, reaching out too late in the day may negatively impact your chances of getting a response, as many hiring managers are focused on wrapping things up and not on engaging with candidates.
Being an Ideal Candidate
It’s important to note that, while timing can matter, it certainly isn’t everything. You still need to showcase that you are a great fit for the role, so make sure your resume highlights your relevant skills, experiences, and accomplishments in a manner that captures the hiring manager’s attention.
If you would like more tips to help enhance your job search or are seeking out new opportunities, the professionals at The Armada Group can help. Contact us to learn more about our current vacancies today and see how our hiring services can benefit you.
While most companies understand that embracing automation is smart business, many leaders are only beginning to grasp the nuances of what is available today. Even as robotic process automation (RPA) garners more attention, not everyone fully understands what the technology can do.
If you are one of the many who is wondering what RPA entails, here’s what you need to know.
What Robotic Process Automation Is
At its simplest, RPA is a form of business process automation that takes advantage of next-level artificial intelligence (AI). It creates a mechanism to remove manual tasks that are highly repetitive and tedious from the hands of your staff, creating a way to increase overall efficiency.
At a deeper level, RPA is a technology that allows humans to create software that can accomplish specific tasks within existing applications, such as processing a transaction, triggering responses, leveraging data, or communicating with other systems. It makes the most of both APIs and user interfaces to fully automate a business process from end-to-end.
RPA also have the ability to combine the work of a human user with the software, creating more potential service capabilities. These solutions are often considered hybrids, but embrace RPA at their core as a means of boosting productivity.
What Robotic Process Automation Isn’t
RPA isn’t necessarily a method for reducing staff requirements or eliminating certain professions. Instead, it’s a technology that empowers employees to focus on tasks that genuinely necessitate a human touch, such as customer-centric activities or those that require creative thinking.
While it may help lighten workloads, RPA is more often seen as an opportunity to reassess staff priorities and realign their duties and objectives to make the most of the new paradigm. Employees can be more productive or branch out into new arenas, creating pathways for growth that can benefit both the workers and the company as a whole.
The Benefits of Robotic Process Automation
Typically, RPA allows monotonous tasks to be handled by a technology instead of your workers. Often, these are some of the most hated duties in the company, so allowing them to be managed by a machine can actually boost morale.
Additionally, it gives your staff the ability to focus on more revenue-generating, customer-centric, or innovative activities. This can enhance productivity and profitability while also providing a business a competitive edge over companies that have yet to embrace the power of the technology.
Ultimately, RPA can be a valuable tool for any company, particularly those who leverage it to enhance productivity and create the needed space to promote innovation and discovery or provide better support to potential and existing customers.
If you would like to know more about robotic process automation or are seeking an IT professional with RPA experience to help implement the technology in your company, the experienced staff at The Armada Group can help. Contact us to speak with one of our knowledgeable team members today and see how our expertise can benefit you.