Crystal McKee

Crystal McKee

Network Engineers

 

When you get a job offer, the excitement can easily overtake you, leading you to say “yes” before you really look at whether the opportunity is right for you. While the new role might be great for you, it’s also possible it isn’t, so taking the time to make sure is a smart move.

 

If you are trying to determine if a tech job is right for you, here are five questions to ask yourself before you accept.

 

  1. Is Now the Right Time to Make a Switch?

As the saying goes, timing is everything. While you may be dying to leave your position, how your exit impacts your current employer is a point worth examining.

 

Will you be heading out in the middle of a big project? Is your involvement in the project critical for its success? Can you give sufficient notice?

Everyone’s situation is different, but it’s wise to consider how your quitting will affect your current employer. After all, if you leave them in a bind, they may not be willing to give you positive employment references in the future.

 

Additionally, you want to reflect on whether your personal life can support a change. If you need to relocate, how will that impact you and your family? If the new job comes with longer hours, can you still maintain an appropriate work-life balance while meeting all of your obligations? Will your spouse or partner need to take on more to accommodate the shift or will the decision impact their career (which can occur if you need to relocate)?

 

Make sure to review the points above before you say “yes,” especially if other people will be accompanying you on the journey.

 

  1. Are You Excited About the Opportunity?

Sometimes, you apply for a job that seems amazing on the surface, only to later discover you aren’t really excited about the opportunity. Maybe something came up during the interview that changed your perspective, or you found details about the company that gives you pause.

 

Regardless of the reason, if you aren’t enthusiastic about the new role, then it might be better to say “no” and continue looking for something that’s a better fit.

 

 

  1. Is the Culture a Match?

Every company has a culture. If you feel comfortable in the environment, then you are more likely to excel. However, if it doesn’t seem like a good match, you might want to decline the offer.

 

Being the odd person out or trying to force yourself to fit into a culture that doesn’t jive with your personality can be harmful to your well-being and may impact the quality of your work. If the culture doesn’t align with your values and preferences, then looking for an opportunity that does is usually a smarter choice.

 

  1. Will You Receive Better Compensation?

While pay, benefits, and perks aren’t everything, they are always something. You need to consider whether you come out financially ahead by taking the job or are at least able to maintain the status quo.

 

Examine the entire compensation package, including the value and expenses associated with your benefits, to see if you are making positive strides. You also want to look at the shift in your costs, such as whether a change in your commute helps you save money or if it will lead to higher expenses.

 

If the math doesn’t work in your favor, then carefully consider whether making the change is a wise decision.

 

  1. Will This Job Help My Career?

Sometimes, even if you will take a financial hit by accepting a job, it’s worth it because you can use the experience to move your career in a better direction. However, even if you are getting a substantial raise, it’s always smart to consider whether taking the position will help or hurt your chances when it comes to making progress in your field.

 

Ideally, you want your new job to lead to additional opportunities after you gain experience with your new employer. If that isn’t likely to happen and you’re not looking for your last role before retirement, then you might want to continue with your search.

 

Ultimately, it’s always wise to carefully consider whether saying “yes” is the right decision. If it isn’t, then don’t hesitate to turn the job down. You can always continue your search and, by doing so, give yourself the chance to find an opportunity that is genuinely a good fit.

 

If you are interested in learning more or are seeking out a new position, the professionals at The Armada Group can help. Contact us to discuss your career goals with one of our knowledgeable team members today and see how our services can make finding your ideal role easier than ever.

 

 

Python Skills

 

Technology has made it easier for companies to secure talent from across the country, and even the world. Hiring remote employees can provide a lot of advantages, including locating hard to find skills and saving money on physical office space.

 

However, building trust with your remote workforce can be a challenge, largely because it requires a different management approach than you may use in the office. Managers often worry that remote employees aren’t doing their fair share and workers may not feel connected to the team, increasing feelings of isolation or fears that they are out of the loop.

 

Luckily, there are things you can do to increase trust with your remote employees. Here are three tips to get you started.

 

  1. Create a Communication Plan

Regular communication is crucial if you want to increase trust. Often, the best way to ensure that everyone is communicating often enough is to craft a schedule. For example, daily 10-minute progress meetings can help keep you up to date while allowing the employee to request additional information or guidance. Video conferences can provide everyone with face time, increasing the sense of connection.

 

Similarly, providing your entire team access to an instant messaging system can facilitate quick conversations, making project planning and information sharing simpler. Plus, many solutions allow for document sharing and multiple chat rooms, adding to overall efficiency.

 

  1. Use Outcome-Based Goals

When it comes to managing a remote workforce, outcomes are usually more important that the amount of time they spend working. If you set outcome-based goals and fully define the employee’s responsibilities, you ensure that your expectations are clear.

 

Put the goals in writing and use them to monitor the worker’s progress. Make sure the employee is completely aware of what you expect, and use your regular check-in meetings to request updates.

 

  1. Provide the Right Tools

Remote workers need a range of technologies to be effective in their role. Aside from the above-mentioned communication platform, they may need access to other software or cloud-based resources to manage their tasks. VPN services may also be necessary, particularly if your employee needs to remote into your internal network.

 

Additionally, helping them acquire items to create a comfortable workstation at their location can be beneficial, as well as technology like computers, scanners, printers, and whatever else they need to do their job.

 

Ultimately, building trust with your remote employees doesn’t have to be a challenge. By following the tips above, you can create pathways for regular communication, ensure that your expectations are clear, and that your workforce has all of the tools they need to excel in their role.

 

If you are interested in learning more about managing remote workers or are looking for skilled professionals to join your company, the team at The Armada Group can help. Contact us to discuss your unique goals with one of our knowledgeable staff members today and see how our services and expertise can benefit you.

 

 

Cloud Architect

 

Cloud systems are becoming increasingly important to organizations in a variety of industries, providing them with access to robust computing options that were previously inaccessible. However, it also complicates operations from a computing architecture standpoint, leading many businesses to wonder if adding a cloud architect to their team is a wise move.

 

What is a Cloud Architect?

Cloud architects are IT specialists who focus on the nuances of computing in an environment that includes cloud-based resources. This can include everything from front-end platform design and management to network structuring to content delivery.

 

As companies create more involved cloud strategies, particularly those related to multi-cloud environments, having employees that can manage the organization of assets is a must. Without the knowledge of a cloud architect, the complexity of the designs can easily become unmanageable, particularly during the transition phase.

 

Typical Skill Requirements

While each organization may have different requirements when it comes to the ideal skill set for a cloud architect, certain core competencies are commonly needed.

 

An understanding of application, integration, and network architect is often a necessity along with experience with IT security. Since cloud architects must discuss complex topics with less tech-savvy individuals, strong communication skills are a must. Having strong organizational skills should also be considered a requirement, particularly if the company is looking to begin their journey into the realm of cloud computing.

 

 

The Responsibility of Cloud Architects

Cloud architects have a range of responsibilities associated with cloud implementations. They provide guidance and support cultural change related to cloud adoption and migrating to new services. Additionally, they develop cloud architectures and strategies to make sure the resources are used effectively.

 

It is common for cloud architects to play a significant role in the vetting of third-party providers as they can leverage their knowledge to help identify service options that best suit the needs of the company. Over time, they can also provide input regarding best practices, assist in budget management, create risk mitigation policies, and perform required maintenance.

 

Cloud Architect Salaries

An employee’s salary is often a major consideration for businesses. For a skilled cloud architect, organizations should anticipate paying between $82,000 and $185,000 annually, depending on the amount of experience that is required, the physical location of the job, and the skills the person must possess.

 

On average, in the US, cloud architects earn just shy of $125,000 per year.

 

Do You Need a Cloud Architect?

Any business that is embracing the cloud as part of their standard operational paradigm could benefit from having a cloud architect on staff. This ensures you have an employee available who is familiar with the associated technologies and how they can impact other operations. Additionally, they can provide valuable input during the planning and migration phases, making the transition easier to manage.

 

If you are interested in hiring a cloud architect to join your tech team, the professionals at The Armada Group can connect you with some of the area’s leading talent. Contact us to discuss your hiring needs and see how our services can benefit your company today.

 

 

Golang

 

In today’s job market, having IT skills can certainly help you get ahead. However, some are more valuable than others, especially in the world of development and programming.

 

Golang, which is also known as Go, has become an increasingly in-demand skill. Instead of being designed for single threaded environments, like Java or Python, Golang uses goroutines. The approach is more efficient, in regards to computing resource use, and was designed with multi-core processors in mind from the beginning.

 

Additionally, Golang is recognized for its simplicity thanks to its reduced number of keywords. That makes it an attractive option for developers, regardless of whether it is their first programming language or their ninth.

 

But, just because a skill is in-demand doesn’t guarantee a lucrative opportunity. However, professionals who focus their career on Golang could achieve substantial salaries.

 

Starting Golang Salaries

Precisely how much you can earn in your Golang career depends on the exact position you hold. However, even starting Golang developer salaries are respectable.

 

At the low-end, starting developers and engineers can usually find salaries of at least $57,000. However, those can quickly rise, especially after acquiring a few years of work experience in the field.

 

 

Average Golang Salaries

Usually, after building a bit of experience with Golang, developers and engineers can begin to see significant changes in their salaries. The average developer that focuses on Golang makes around $112,000 per year, putting them solidly over the six-figure mark. Senior developers tend to have higher salaries, with an average of more than $136,000.

 

Engineers earn just over $125,000 on average, though senior software engineers make more, coming in at approximately $146,000 annually.

 

Platform engineers do particularly well on average, coming in at over $156,000. Full stack developers with Golang also outdo traditional developers, reaching annual compensation rates above $128,000.

 

Full Salary Potential

If you have a career in Golang, it is possible to reach a salary that is significantly above the average. In some cases, annual compensation can cross $200,000 or even $250,000, though the latter isn’t as common.

 

Some of what determines salary potential is the size of the company and the precise tasks associated with the role. For example, supervisory duties might not be uncommon after you rise through the ranks a bit. Additionally, you may need to know several in-demand languages, even if Golang remains your focus.

 

Ultimately, a career in Golang can be especially lucrative, especially if you are willing to dedicate yourself to your chosen field, acquire additional experience and skills, and work to find opportunities that will help you advance.

 

If you are looking for a Golang position or any other kind of developer or software engineering position, the skilled team at The Armada Group can connect you to exciting opportunities throughout the area. Contact us to discuss your career goals with one of our recruiters today and see how our expertise can help you find your ideal position quickly and efficiently.

 

 

Front End Development

 

React is making waves in the front-end development community. It rose to popularity quickly and has been embraced by professionals of all skill levels. Due to its nature, React is even changing the front-end development field, creating new options and approaches that many developers favor over legacy alternatives.

 

If you are wondering how React is impacting the world of front-end development, here’s what you need to know.

 

Libraries Over Frameworks

Technically, React is a JavaScript library, not a framework. This means it does not apply certain constraints on front-end developers and will not make automatic assumptions about other portions of the full solution. It concentrates on a specific area, allowing it to be well-managed without the same level of entanglements.

 

Virtual Browsers

One benefit of using React is the option to work in a virtual browser, instead of a real one. This can create a friendlier experience, allowing the virtual browser to assist the developer by acting as an agent between the professional and the actual browser.

 

Ultimately, the approach can be incredibly beneficial, avoiding some of the trapping and tribulations associated with traditional front-end development.

 

Declarative Approach

When using React to develop user interfaces, a developer describes their desired result, but does not necessarily have to provide full instruction on how to accomplish the task. React does that segment of the build, creating user interfaces on behalf of the developer, based on the description.

 

The approach reduces the need to manually build the interface, which can be both a significant time saver and frustration reducer. All the developer has to do is tell React what it wants and the system figures out the how automatically.

 

 

“Reactive” Nature

React has the ability to alter an output, such as a user interface, whenever the input changes. Typically, input arrives through the components, or simple functions as they are referred to in many other programming languages.

 

Components in React can, unlike functions, hold data that may change over time. Additionally, the output can adjust to the changing input. Since React is declarative, it will render a new interface based on the updated data automatically.

 

Ultimately, React is an incredibly powerful tool, making it a wise addition to any front-end developers arsenal. Many companies are also getting behind React, increasing demand for professionals who are capable of working with the language.

 

By acquiring React experience and skills, you can increase your odds of landing a coveted role with a forward-thinking company. If you are currently seeking out new opportunities or are looking to take the next step in your developer career, the skilled professionals at The Armada Group can connect you with some of the area’s most coveted employers and exciting opportunities. Contact us to speak with one of our recruitment specialists today and see how our services can help you advance your developer career.

 

 

Digital Transformation Goals

 

Typically, a digital transformation represents a significant overhaul of how a company does business. It leads to the integration of new processes and procedures, introduces technologies that weren’t previously in the workplace, and may even require a fundamental shift in mentality. However, like any large-scale undertaking, a successful digital transformation plan involves goal setting. Otherwise, you’ll struggle to determine whether the change produced positive results in the proper areas.

 

If you are ready to get started, here are some tips for setting digital transformation goals for your company.

 

Don’t Automatically Follow the Other Guy

There is a significant amount of information online, including tails of successful digital transformations. While it may be tempting to model your goals after another company, this isn’t always the wisest move.

 

Ultimately, every business is different. And, if your priorities differ from those of the example, their goals might not be appropriate for you.

 

Identify Important Metrics

Before you set goals, you need to understand which metrics, such as key performance indicators (KPIs) mean the most to your business. For example, you may want to increase profits, improve production rates, eliminate bottlenecks, or achieve an optimal inventory based on demand.

 

Unless you understand which metrics are most valuable to you, you’ll have trouble selecting measurable goals. And, if the objectives aren’t measurable, you may struggle to determine if your digital transformation was actually successful.

 

 

Align the Approach

After identifying key metrics, you need to align your approach with the broader objectives. Digital transformation can mean a lot of things, involving a wide range of technology options that may not be ideal for your business. You don’t want to incidentally waste time by focusing on a particular tech implementation that isn’t going to create meaningful value, so you need to focus on opportunities that actually align with what you hope to achieve.

 

During this phase, you’re effectively creating a project overview. You can identify potential technologies that could positively impact your KPIs and determine priorities, including whether any steps are prerequisites to others. After examining these points, create a rough outline of the project to help guide further goal setting.

 

Create Milestones

With the overview in place and your KPIs noted, you can create meaningful milestones to function as short-term goals in the larger project. Additionally, you can monitor related metrics as you move forward, giving you the ability to visualize the impact of the digital transformation as it takes place.

 

This approach gives you the ability to not just see your progress, but also make course corrections as necessary, helping you shift your strategy if you don't see the results you hope to have. Further, you can share this information with your staff, helping them stay on target and keep their priorities in the proper places.

 

By following the tips above, you can create customized goals for your digital transformation. 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 experience can benefit you.

 

 

Linux Systems

 

Whether you are looking to get promoted or are seeking a new senior Linux systems administrator job, certain skills should be viewed as must-haves. Without them, you’d likely struggle in the role, or may not be selected for the position in the first place.

 

By improving on the skill areas below, you can showcase why you would make an excellent senior Linux systems administrator. To help you get started, here are seven skills you must have.

 

  1. Experience on Multiple Platforms

At the senior level, familiarity on multiple platforms is a must. Plus, it’s helpful to have a minimum of four years experience with the current platform, establishing your expertise in that specific system and guaranteeing you can hit the ground running.

 

  1. System Configuration Management Knowledge

Another expectation on senior Linux systems administrators is a strong knowledge base regarding system configuration management. Additionally, understanding how configuration can play into larger strategic organizational goals should also be viewed as essential.

 

  1. Strong Problem-Solving Skills

In the vast majority of situations, the ability to identify and solve problems quickly is a significant part of the senior Linux system administrator’s role. This requires a strong fundamental understanding of the systems involved, as well as techniques for troubleshooting and error identification.

 

  1. Process Establishment and Automation

Senior-level professionals are often tasked with reviewing current processes to find potential areas for improvement and establishing new approaches to increase efficiency and effectiveness. Further, the ability to automate tracking is incredibly beneficial, particularly as the business world continues to embrace automation as a means of increasing productivity.

 

 

  1. Security Modifications

Security standards are ever-evolving, and a senior Linux systems administrator needs to be able to modify current systems to meet the demands of today and, potentially, tomorrow as well. Vulnerability detection can also be a necessity in the eyes of certain companies, giving the organization the ability to intervene before a threat can exploit the vulnerability.

 

  1. Giving Presentations

Typically, high-level professionals need to strong communication skills, allowing them to craft and lead presentations with a variety of stakeholders, vendors, and customers as well as to peers involved in the process. Effectively, a senior Linux systems administrator is a liaison, taking complex technical ideas and ensuring the information is accessible to the target audience, including those who aren’t necessarily as tech-savvy.

 

  1. Written Communications

The creation of reports, proposals, and numerous kinds of papers is a common task for senior Linux systems administrators. This makes a strong command of the English language, particularly in writing, vital if you want to be a success at this level.

 

If you are seeking a new senior Linux systems administrator opportunity, the professionals at The Armada Group can connect you to exciting positions throughout the area. Contact us to speak with one of our knowledgeable team members and see how our expertise can help you take the next step in your career today.

 

 

H 1B

 

Most tech employers are at least familiar with the basics of the H-1B visa program. However, not as many companies are fully aware of where these visa holders are actually working. And some may be surprised to discover that the number one spot doesn’t go to a city traditionally associated with tech.

 

If you are wondering where H-1B visa holders are actually working, here’s an overview.

 

The Number One Spot

Based on a Pew Research Center study that analyzed data associated with H-1B visa approvals between 2010 and 2016, the city with the highest number of approved workers was College Station, Texas. In total, approximately 32 of every 100 H-1B visa applications made it through, reflecting a much higher rate than anywhere else in the nation.

 

Out of the approved visas, 99 percent of those workers went to Cognizant’s headquarters, which is located in College Station.

 

Other Major Cities

Overall, the east coast of the US has more H-1B visa holders approved than the west coast. For example, Durham-Chapel Hill, North Carolina, had around 4 for every 100 applications approved, and New York-Newark-New Jersey City’s rate was 2.5 per 100. The Trenton area had just shy of 5 approvals per 100 applications while the Washington DC metro area saw 2 approvals for every 100 applications.

 

In contrast, the San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara area had just over 2 H-1B visa approvals per 100. Other west coast cities, like Seattle, had less than 1 approval per 100.

 

Ultimately, this shows that, while H-1B visa holders are certainly present, they may not be as common as some people would think. The numbers represent only a tiny fraction of the total number of employees in the workforce, even in areas like College Station.

 

 

Salary Offerings

Even though College Station has the most H-1B visa holders working in the area, it doesn’t take the top spot when it comes to salaries. That honor goes to Bridgeport, Connecticut, with an average salary of $100,200.

 

Seattle came in second with $98,100, and Phoenix was third with $97,100.

 

In comparison, College Station had an average salary of $82,600.

 

H-1B Program Changes

President Donald Trump has expressed an interest in overhauling the H-1B visa program, though sweeping changes have yet to occur. Various federal agencies have been tasked with reviewing H-1B policies with the goal of revamping the system, though measures in Congress that would alter the program have mainly stalled.

 

Some smaller actions have impacted the H-1B visa program, including a measure that prevents H-1B visa holders’ spouses from gaining access to H-4 visas. However, even though a larger action hasn’t gone forward, that doesn’t guarantee that they won’t come along in the near future.

 

If you are interested in learning more or are seeking tech talent to fill your vacant positions, the skilled professionals at The Armada Group can help. Contact us to speak with one of our knowledgeable team members and see how our expertise can benefit your company today.

 

 

Healthy Snacks

 

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

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.

 

Turkey

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.

 

Casper sleepuniv hunger v012x

 

Chamomile Tea

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.

 

Kiwi

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.

 

Walnuts

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.

 

 

Noise

 

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.

 

Industrial-Strength Earplugs

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.

 

Casper sleepuniv noise v012x

 

Buy Carpet

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.