To say that call center agents spend a lot of time on the phone is an understatement. In most cases, their entire shift is dedicated to helping callers by answering questions and resolving issues. As the day wears on, it can be hard to maintain a level of enthusiasm, especially when the calls are some repetitive in nature. Additionally, fatigue makes it more difficult to judge the emotional state of the caller, which can be harmful.
Now, a software program called Cogito is looking to improve the call center experience for agents and customers alike. Here’s how.
At its core, Cogito is software that analyzes the tone and pattern of the speaker’s voice, making adjustments based on word choice and even the length of time the line goes silent. It does this through robust algorithms supported by machine learning, allowing it to use data from other voice records to assess the status of a call as it progresses.
Cogito Call Center Software
When Cogito notices that a call participant, including agents or customers, has a voice pattern that suggests a potential problem, it alerts the call center representative.
For example, if it determines the agent's tone isn’t as cheerful, a notification that looks like a little cup of coffee pops up on the screen. This lets the representative know that their mood has changed, giving them a chance to refocus and correct it.
Similarly, if the software detects that a customer may be experiencing heightened emotions, either positive or negative, a heart icon displays. When they see the heart icon, the agent knows that the caller is having an emotional reaction and can adjust their approach if necessary.
What Does This Mean for Jobs?
Ultimately, Cogito isn’t designed to replace people in call centers. Instead, it functions in a support role, helping them assess how a call is going more quickly and efficiently so that quick action can be taken should the need arise.
The goal of software like Cogito is to provide customers with a better experience by bringing things to the attention of representatives that a person may have a more difficult time ascertaining. While an employee can certainly notice a heightened emotional state in a caller, they might not be as aware of their own tone. Additionally, the software may recognize changes in mood and cadence used by the customer more quickly than the agent, allowing them to intervene more rapidly to diffuse tense situations.
Some similar software offerings, like one from State Collection Service, can even display congratulatory messages to agents when it believes that a customer was satisfied with the interaction. These quick moments can help boost morale and confidence among agents, allowing them to be more effective at their jobs. Additionally, it can provide helpful tips, like steps to calm an upset customer, as soon as a potential issue is detected, giving the representative guidance when it is needed most.
In the end, software like Cogito isn’t going to replace workers, only give them new tools to help them be more productive and effective in their roles.
If you would like to learn more, the team at The Armada Group can help. Contact us today to see how our expertise can benefit you.
When it comes to maintaining your health, getting quality sleep is a must. Not only can it help lower your risk of developing certain chronic conditions, but it also supports healthy brain function, digestive health, and immune function.
While most healthcare professionals recommend that people get between 7 and 9 hours of sleep every night, many struggle with reaching that target.
Luckily, there are things you can do to help you get more uninterrupted sleep, and eating the right before-bed snack may be one of them. If you need to get sounder sleep, here are a few snacks to try.
Almonds provide a number of health benefits, and some suggest that better sleep may be one of them. Like certain other nuts, almonds contain melatonin, a sleep-regulating hormone. Additionally, a single serving provides 19 percent of your daily magnesium needs, and magnesium can improve the quality of your sleep.
Anecdotal evidence that turkey makes people sleepy is available in abundance. Some attribute this to the presence of tryptophan, an amino acid that helps with the production of melatonin. However, research is somewhat divided regarding whether turkey contains enough tryptophan to have an impact.
But, turkey is also a source of protein and having a moderate amount of this macronutrient before bed is associated with sounder sleep.
While chamomile tea is a beverage and not a snack, it could help you get better quality sleep. Not only is it usually caffeine free, but it also contains the antioxidant apigenin, which may promote sleepiness.
A small study found that those who consumed chamomile extract before bed fell asleep faster and had less nighttime waking. While the study used an extract, drinking chamomile tea is worth a try if you have trouble falling and staying asleep, especially since a separate study suggested the tea also provided benefits.
A study involving 24 adults showed that those who consumed two kiwifruits one hour before heading to bed fell asleep 42 percent faster than when they didn’t have a snack. They also reported less nighttime waking, increasing their total sleep time.
Kiwis contain serotonin, a chemical that can help regulate a person’s sleep cycle. Certain antioxidants in the fruits may also promote better sleep. However, additional research is required to determine if either of those points are responsible for the benefits.
Like almonds, walnuts contain melatonin. Additionally, they are a great source of healthy fats, including ALA, which may help a person sleep sounder.
Limited studies have been conducted on walnuts, so additional research is required to support it’s potential. However, eating a handful of walnuts before bed may be worth a try.
By choosing one of the snacks or drinks above, you might find that you fall asleep faster and experience less nighttime waking, allowing you to get the rest you need to support your overall health and productivity.
If you would like to know more, the professionals at The Armada Group can help. Contact us to speak with one of our staff members today and see how our expertise can benefit you.
When you’re getting ready to drift off to sleep, a single noisy distraction can leave you jolted awake, struggling to reclaim the sense of ease you need to get some quality shuteye. Whether it’s your neighbor’s dog barking in the yard, a car alarm that is set off by the slightest breeze, or the sound of your refrigerator kicking on, reducing the amount of noise you are exposed to should be an essential part of your nighttime routine.
If you struggle to get the rest you need, here are some options for eliminating noisy distractions so you can get some sleep.
Sometimes, the easiest way to deal with noises is earplugs. If you purchase high-quality industrial-strength versions, they can both be comfortable and effective.
You’ll need to find a brand that offers the proper size for your ears. Otherwise, they may become dislodged in the middle of the night. Once you do, consider purchasing them in bulk, so you can replace worn out or missing earplugs as needed.
Additionally, make sure you can hear your alarm through the earplugs, so you don’t sleep longer than intended.
Hang Heavy Curtains
Thick, sound-absorbing curtains can make a world of difference when you need to keep noises from entering your bedroom. Select options that will fully cover any windows, buying different curtain rods if necessary to ensure the fabric provides sufficient coverage, and hang a set over your doors as well. This helps give you protection from sounds that may slip through any cracks, making your room significantly quieter.
If your floors are wood, tile, laminate, or similar material, then invest in some carpeting to help dampen the noise. You can either install wall-to-wall carpet or purchase area rugs, as both can help. For additional noise reduction, consider adding a sound-absorbing pad, giving you an extra buffer. You can also layer area rugs over each other or place them on top of carpeting to reduce noise even further.
Try a White Noise Machine
White noise helps by overpowering ambient sounds, ensuring that any extraneous sounds don’t affect your sleep. You can purchase a white noise machine (including versions with built-in alarm clocks) or find a suitable app for your smartphone or tablet.
Alternatively, you can use a fan to accomplish a similar goal. So, if you already have a decent fan, consider turning it one every night instead of investing in a white noise machine.
If white noise doesn’t do the job, you can also try a sound machine that includes natural-sounding audio that you find soothing. You can also find nature sound tracks in a variety of apps or as downloads from a range of music stores.
By following the tips above, you can eliminate noisy distractions, helping you get a better night’s sleep each and every day. If you would like to learn more or are seeking out new opportunities, the professionals at The Armada Group can help. Contact us to speak with a member of our knowledgeable team today and see how our expertise can benefit you.
After Bitcoin’s meteoric rise in 2017, the world has become fascinated with cryptocurrencies. The virtual currencies were designed to be an alternative medium for payments, employing new ledger mechanisms to record transactions and monitor the flow of funds.
However, the largely unregulated cryptocurrency market has also come under fire. Scams aren’t uncommon, and some question whether they help support illegal activities simply based on how they are designed, even if it is an unintentional side effect.
Cryptocurrencies are shaking up the global market. If you aren’t familiar with how they are used, here’s what you need to know.
The Appeal of Cryptocurrencies
While initially considered a novelty by many governments, cryptocurrencies have significant potential when it comes to international dealings. The funds are easy to use and can provide alternatives to individuals or companies operating in countries where the local currency is unstable.
Additionally, cryptocurrencies are primarily unregulated, providing people with the ability to circumvent strict controls regarding taxation and the flow of money, both internally and across borders.
The technical mechanisms are also appealing to some. Blockchain ledgers provide some benefits for the recording and tracking of transactions, being mostly transparent and unalterable.
Government Responses and Perspectives
As cryptocurrencies gained traction, many governments began examining the digital currency market in an effort to develop proper controls, particularly when it comes to preventing issues like tax evasion. However, few limitations on the use of cryptocurrencies are currently in place, and it may take time to resolve any potential problems, as some may not yet be especially apparent.
Issues of High Volatility
One of the biggest concerns regarding cryptocurrencies is their volatile nature. At one point in 2017, Bitcoins were valued at over $19,000 each. However, the market has since experienced significant declines, even falling below the $8,000 mark.
While the high experienced by Bitcoin has led some to invest in it and other altcoins as a means of diversifying their portfolios, the future of most cryptocurrencies is incredibly uncertain. Some financial experts fear that a crash is inevitable while others claim that a recovery is on the horizon.
A boom or crash can impact global markets in a variety of ways, though the low total market capitalization should prevent a drop from having the same level of impact as those in other areas, such as when mortgage-backed securities led to a global financial crisis.
The size of the market likely means that there is little systemic risk today, though that may change depending on how much traction cryptocurrencies gain and how investors react. Additionally, new legislation will impact the effect virtual currencies have on larger markets, but the precise impact of regulations won’t be fully known until they are in place.
Ultimately, cryptocurrencies are a fledgling part of the global market, so the full effect of their presence may not be known for some time.
If you are interested in learning more, the professionals at The Armada Group can help. Contact us to speak with one of our knowledgeable staff members today and see how our expertise can benefit you.
More and more companies are looking for full stack developers. These jacks of all trades have detailed knowledge of every software development layer, understand front- and back-end technologies, and can create fully functional products from prototypes.
Since it requires a substantial amount of knowledge to become a full stack developer, not everyone chooses to pursue the profession. That means those that do are in high demand, often commanding large salaries based on their robust skill set.
If you’re ready to increase your level of competency so you can become a full stack developer, and possibly land a six-figure salary, here are some e-books worth reading.
HTML5 & CSS3 for the Real World
If your looking to gain a strong foundation in web development technologies, this easy-to-follow guide is ideal for the task, providing you with the fundamental skills in two of the most commonly used tools in the world of web development. There’s hands-on instruction, ensuring you have a chance to get the skills down, and information about building exceptional websites as efficiently as possible.
Jump Start Responsive Web Design
Now that a smartphone is in nearly everyone’s pocket, websites need to display properly on more than just computer screens. This e-book provides guidance on using HTML and CSS to create responsive designs that will appear correctly on any screen, making it a valuable text for any would-be full stack developer.
Researching UX: User Research
Ultimately, a project is only successful if it appeals to your audience. This e-book teaches you about user research, including a number of techniques for collecting data, and how the information can help you create designs that are most likely to resonate with your visitors.
Essentially, Git is a version control system that allows collaborating developers to track cumulative changes that are made to a project, ensuring everything is centralized and accessible. This e-book explains the value of Git, as well as methods for maintaining control of both your assets and your code.
By reading the e-books listed above, you can improve your skillset and pave the way to a strong career as a full stack developer, increasing your odds of landing a six-figure salary as you progress in your profession.
If you are seeking out full stack developer opportunities or would like to learn more about the skills required to be successful in these roles, the professionals at The Armada Group can help you explore your options. Contact us to speak with one of our knowledgeable staff members today and see how our services can help you launch or progress in your full stack developer career.
While every developer has their most and least favorite programming languages, not every company knows which ones are predominately despised by the community as a whole. But, a recent survey provides some insight into the topic, showing which languages the vast majority of developers would just assume avoid.
In total, more than 100,000 developers responded to the survey, so the information can be considered at least reasonably reliable. If you are wondering which programming languages are hated most by developers, here’s what you need to know.
Visual Basic 6
The programming language that was considered the most dreaded option was Visual Basic 6. Approximately 89.9 percent of survey respondents identified an extreme dislike for the language.
Ultimately, Visual Basic is moving toward obsolescence, so many developers aren’t excited to work with a language that is largely seen as dying.
Coming in second was COBOL with 84.1 percent of developers saying they hated this language.
COBOL has been around for nearly 60 years, so there isn’t a lot of excitement surrounding the language, leading to a fall in popularity. Additionally, companies that still use the language might be viewed as behind the times, as there are certainly more robust options available today.
With 82.7 percent of developers indicating a dislike for the language, CoffeeScript came in third on the list.
Rounding out the top four was VB.NET with 80.9 percent. Some consider VB.NET and the VB variants difficult to use, while others simply prefer to use the C# language, as it can accomplish similar tasks.
Additionally, VB.NET uses a different syntax than C#, which can be frustrating for developers. And, since their libraries are effectively identical, many don’t see the justification for learning a new language from the library calls perspective.
Plus, VB.NET does not have certain functions, like multi-line lambdas, that some developers rely on regularly, which can make using VB.NET particularly frustrating.
What Languages Do Developers Love?
There are certain languages that developers love to use. Currently, Rust is at the top of the list, based on the survey results, followed by Kotlin, Python, and TypeScript.
While certain languages may be considered hated by many, that doesn’t mean certain developers don’t love them. However, if you are filling a developer position, be aware that requiring a despised language may make it harder to secure top talent for the role.
If you are looking for a developer to join your team, the professionals at The Armada Group can connect you with some of today’s top talent. Contact us today to learn more about our services and how they can help you improve your hiring process from beginning to end.
Many tech professionals struggle to quiet their minds when their head hits the pillow at the end of a long day. Often, people have to fight against invasive thoughts regarding whether they finished their to-do list, if an upcoming presentation will go off without a hitch, or whether a project will finish on time.
These racing thoughts can leave some wide awake, even if they’re exhausted. And, if they keep a person from being able to get enough shuteye, they may have issues staying conscious during the day, let along focused.
Luckily, there are things tech pros can do to quiet their busy minds, letting them get better quality sleep. If you struggle to get enough shuteye, here’s what you can do.
Avoid Activities in Bed
Ideally, your bed should be associated with sleep only. That means you need to avoid participating in a range of activities once you lay down.
For example, avoid the urge to watch tv or talk on the phone. Don’t jump on your smartphone for anything, including checking emails, reviewing your social media accounts, or even just cruising through the news.
Your bed needs to be a place for rest and relaxation, and that means avoiding unnecessary stimulation once your head hits the pillow.
Establish a Daily Wake Up Time
One of the biggest things you can do to ensure you can fall asleep with ease is getting up at the same time every day. This helps train your body clock to a specific waking time, making sure you’ll feel sleepy at the right time too.
Only Go to Bed When You’re Sleepy
There’s a big difference between being physically tired or without energy and actually being sleepy. If you aren’t sleepy yet, you’ll likely have issues drifting off into dreamland.
Trying to force yourself to go to sleep is often counterproductive, particularly if you get frustrated when it doesn’t happen. Instead of forcing the issue, wait until you are actually sleepy to lay down.
Don’t Toss and Turn
If you can’t fall asleep, then you shouldn’t just lay there, tossing and turning while hoping that sleep overtakes you. Instead, get out of bed and participate in an activity that doesn’t increase your overall level of alertness, like reading or listening to music while enjoying a non-caffeinated beverage.
Address Your Worries
In some cases, anxiety about the upcoming day can keep you up. If this happens to you, it’s wise to take a proactive approach to managing worry.
For example, you can take about 20 minutes in the early evening to write down all of your concerns. Then, for each worry, write down a “next step” that will help you find a solution. This process can reduce your stress levels by planning for how to take action in the future, ensuring you don’t feel overwhelmed when it’s time to get some rest.
By following the tips above, tech pros can quiet their busy minds, making it easier to get some well-deserved shuteye.
If you would like to learn more or are seeking a new job opportunity, the professionals at The Armada Group can help. Contact us to speak with one of our experienced staff members and to learn more about our services today.
A lot of tech professionals enjoy their jobs for a variety of reasons, but one recent study shows why careers in the field can be so satisfying, and why so many people are interested in joining the ranks of the technology-oriented workforce.
The minds behind Indeed, one of the largest job sites in the country, examined jobs across multiple industries and compiled a list of the Best Jobs in the United States, and tech positions are featured prominently.
If you are wondering why tech jobs are the best jobs in the United States, here’s what you need to know.
Many tech positions have substantial salaries. This is partially due to the fact that it requires a substantial amount of skill to be successful in these roles. Plus, the current shortage of skilled IT workers pushes compensation rates higher as companies compete for some of the industries best and brightest professionals.
For example, full stack developers, number two on the list, command annual salaries above $111,000 on average. Computer vision engineers, who placed third, can earn more than $130,000, while machine learning engineers can reach an annual income of over $136,000.
Typically, these salaries are also accompanied by comprehensive benefits packages and a variety of perks, making IT professions particularly lucrative.
Indeed also examined growth rates as a means of ranking the best jobs in the United States. High growth rates show that demand for the specified skill set is increasing, often indicating that there are a wealth of opportunities in the field.
For example, requests for full stack developers increased by an astonishing 198 percent since 2014 while machine learning engineer opportunities increased by 166 percent.
Development operations engineers saw demand for their skills rise by 128 percent and data scientist saw growth reaching 106 percent.
As more companies embraced Agile, Agile coaches became a hot commodity, experience a growth rate of 113 percent.
What This Means
Ultimately, the study suggests that the tech jobs market is incredibly healthy, creating a wide range of opportunities. Additionally, professionals working in the field can usually expect strong salaries, particularly as their skill sets grow and they gain experience.
It’s important to note that the study did have qualifiers, including only examining positions with base salaries of $75,000 at a minimum. Additionally, the information was based on job postings submitted to the site and did not include feedback from professionals working in these roles.
However, pursuing a career in tech can lead to lucrative opportunities, and demand for skilled IT workers is expected to continue over the long-term.
If you are interested in finding a new tech job, the professionals at The Armada Group can connect you with some of the area’s leading employers. Contact us today to learn more about our current opportunities and to see how our services can help you further your IT career.
Technology dedicated specifically to sports and athletics, both at the professional and amateur levels, is becoming more prevalent, leaving many wondering if it will morph into a field of its own. The systems are designed to do more than just monitor performance, supporting other objectives like health tracking and providing access to visual tools that can help them improve.
New products are being introduced on a regular basis, but that only scratches the surface of what the field may have to offer. If you’re wondering what’s next for sports technology, here’s what you need to know.
New Devices and Wearables
Since fitness trackers like the Fitbit became all the rage some years ago, there have been significant advances in the available devices and wearables that are designed to help athletes improve. Activity-specific devices are becoming more prevalent in the market while the capabilities of general devices are increasingly robust.
The field is poised for additional growth, particularly as interest in sport-specific technologies grows, and there is certain room in the marketplace for more sophisticated advancements.
A Connection with Big Data
While most sports technology devices are capable of collecting data about the individual using the tool, big data is also making an appearance in the field. Supporting applications are able to use information about other users to provide additional information and recommendations to users, giving them the opportunity to improve their performance or simply see how they measure up to others.
Analytics are also often integrated into these applications, some of which have predictive capabilities that allow a user to anticipate their results if they choose a specific course of action.
One of the tricks associated with this rapidly advancing field is that, though a number of performance metrics are being included, tech professionals weren’t always knowledgeable about which metrics are actually valuable to users. As the sports technology field grows, however, the professionals behind the devices and applications are learning more about the sports, allowing them to select better information.
This means that tech professionals who have a solid understanding of athletics are highly sought after in the industry, allowing them to be well-positioned when it comes to securing a top-notch position. And, if a software engineer or data scientist has explicit knowledge about the specific sport being targeted in the device and supporting app, all the better.
Whether sports technology will become a full-blown field of its own, in an official sense, is yet to be seen. But, the potential is undoubtedly there, giving sports-minded tech professionals the option of specializing in an area that may combine two of their passions.
If you are interested in learning more about the burgeoning sports technology specialty or are looking for a new tech position, the team at The Armada Group can help. Contact us to speak with one of our knowledgeable staff members today and see how our services can benefit you and your career.
The DevOps approach to software development has gained significant moment over the past few years, making its way into more workplaces and industries. As with everything associated with tech, it also moves and shifts on a regular basis, making it important to stay on top of trends.
If you are wondering what DevOps trends deserve your attention this year, here’s what you need to know.
CALMS and DevOps
There is some argument about the true definition of DevOps, but one recently developed acronym is making significant headway in the field and is likely to make a larger impact throughout 2018.
CALMS (culture, automation, lean, measurement, and sharing) is a reflection of the most current mindset in the area of DevOps, reflecting current priorities and goals. It also shows that each aspect is vital to organizational success, as even a single missing component can harm a company’s ability to truly transform.
DevOps at Scale
Like with Agile before it, many companies have declared an acceptance of DevOps principles, though not all have taken active steps to use it in their organization. As 2018 progresses, however, this is anticipated to change, with wide-scale adoption resulting in legitimate action on the part of enterprises.
Ultimately, 2017 reflected an interest in experimenting with DevOps, while 2018 is poised to be the year when it actually takes real shape.
The Rise of the SRE Role
When an approach begins to become mainstream, a specialty role is often created that supports these objectives. For DevOps, that’s the site reliability engineer (SRE), a professional that marries ops prowess with software development skills to improve architectural flexibility, the use of automation, and empowerment of developers to create higher quality applications at a faster rate.
Increasing Use of Serverless Technology
The DevOps world has been buzzing about serverless technology, and that interest is likely going to translate into a wider adoption of the approach, similar to the rise of the function-as-a-server solution.
Serverless technology has the ability to provide a range of benefits, including from a development perspective. So, it shouldn’t be surprising if more DevOps professionals and companies embrace these solutions based on what they have to offer.
DevSecOps Will be More Prominent
With some many companies focused on IT security, it’s no wonder that the field is finding its way into the DevOps arena. Ultimately, the approach allows security professionals to join the conversation earlier, ensuring that their needs and goals are considered from the beginning.
It also means that DevOps teams will become more informed about security principles, allowing them to act appropriately even without direct guidance. Over time, security considerations will become a habit and not an afterthought, changing how projects are approached well into the future.
If you are interested in finding a new role in DevOps, the professionals at The Armada Group can connect you with leading opportunities throughout the area. Contact us today to find out more about our current openings and how our services can benefit you.