Crystal McKee

Crystal McKee

Full Stack Engineer

 

Over recent years, companies have become increasingly interested in securing full-stack engineers for their development positions. These professionals need a wide array of skills, ensuring they can handle both front end and back end development while supporting cross-functionality or multi-platform initiatives.

 

Full-stack engineers can easily cross into the six-figure salary category in San Francisco. However, a robust skill set is necessary to reach that pay level. If you are hoping to land a six-figure full-stack engineer position, here’s what you need to bring to the table.

 

Solid Knowledge Base

Full-stack engineers have to have a thorough understanding of a range of concepts and systems to be efficient in their roles. For example, knowledge of hosting systems, such as operating systems and services like DNS, is an essential part of these positions. Similarly, an understanding of the application stack and web applications is also vital.

 

A full-stack engineer can’t afford to have a substantial hole in their knowledge base, particularly if they want to earn six-figures in their next job. Ultimately, a knowledge gap means they may not be able to handle all of the duties, making their cumulative skill set fall outside of the full-stack arena.

 

 

Key Full-Stack Engineer Technical Skills

Working as a full-stack engineer requires a broad skill set that encompasses every development phase. This includes a range of programming languages, such as Python, JavaScript, Ruby, and SQL, as well as frameworks. Additionally, an understanding of networking, cloud services, and UX may also be necessities.

 

Ultimately, every full-stack engineer position may vary slightly from others, but core skills are commonly requested for all jobs. First, you’ll need front-end skills that allow the website or mobile app to be aesthetically pleasing and intuitive. This includes everything from being able to create code to knowing what layouts, color choices, or even fonts are considered the most attractive and appropriate.

 

On the back-end, full-stack engineers need the ability to build and maintain servers, applications, and databases. They have to have the skills required to create a functional solution. Precisely which languages, frameworks, or servers that will be involved may differ from one employer to the next, so having a diverse skill set increases your odds of landing a six-figure job.

 

Essential Soft Skills

Having certain non-technical (or soft) skills is also a must. The ability to communicate effectively with team members is critical to a project’s success, and being able to speak with stakeholders who may not understand the idiosyncrasies associated with the development process is crucial for gathering requirements and sharing what the final product can and cannot do.

 

Similarly, organization, patience, and attention-to-detail are also essential, especially for large-scale projects that are complex in nature.

 

Ultimately, by acquiring the right knowledge and skills, it is possible to land a six-figure full-stack engineer position in San Francisco. If you would like to learn more about exciting opportunities in the field, the professionals at The Armada Group can help you explore your options. Contact us to find out more about our current vacancies and see how our services can benefit you.

 

 

AR

 

Augmented reality (AR), a technology that was once just a dream for sci-fi fans, has quickly become a valuable tool for business. The ability to layer information over real-world settings has a significant amount of potential, making certain errors easier to spot, information simpler to visualize, and three-dimensional planning more accurate.

 

Ultimately, AR has the ability to improve operations, enhance collaborative efforts, and even cut costs. While the potential of the technology is not yet fully realized, it is already starting to make waves in a range of industries.

 

If you are wondering how AR is impacting business in the real world, here’s what you need to know.

 

Instructional Overlays

When an employee is troubleshooting a malfunctioning device or piece of equipment, shifting back and forth between a set of instructions and the object itself isn’t the most efficient approach. With smart glasses that use AR technology, instructional overlays can be displayed across the worker’s field of vision, helping them identify components, handle tricky steps, or otherwise manage the repair process with greater ease.

 

Not only could this be beneficial to repair-oriented professions, but it could also allow other employees to troubleshoot some issues on their own, or at least accurately assess the situation before requesting help from a skilled technician.

 

Design Walkthroughs

Architecture and engineering firms have long embraced AR’s capabilities, using the technology to render building projects to create functional, virtual walkthroughs. This can provide valuable real-world context for designs that were once limited to drawings on paper, making certain problems easier to spot before construction even begins.

 

Additionally, the technology can allow customers to experience their new home or building to ensure it meets their needs, giving designers the ability to make adjustments before they break ground. This can help bridge the gap for customers who don’t have much construction knowledge and may not understand how a plan will look as a finished building, ensuring they aren’t disappointed by the results.

 

 

Virtual Prototypes

The ability to create virtual prototypes is incredibly beneficial for manufacturing and production companies of all kinds. Being able to see how an object would look in the real-world can help companies better assess an item’s size and shape, a critical step when it comes to determining whether a product is reasonably easy to handle or if it will fit into a particular space.

 

Navigation

AR systems could be invaluable when it comes to navigation. Whether it is guiding workers through large manufacturing or warehousing facilities or helping long-haul truck drivers manage unfamiliar routes, the ability to receive directions on smart glasses or heads-up displays allows employees to keep their eyes on the walkway or road. This could not only help them get where they are going but could prevent accidents and injuries as well, increasing efficiency and safety at the same time.

 

Ultimately, AR could become a powerful tool in the workplace, particularly as the technology becomes more robust and affordable over 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.

 

 

Workplace Retaliation

 

Retaliation in the workplace can involve a wide range of scenarios. For example, if an employee files a complaint about a coworker or manager and is subsequently given a bad performance review that isn’t justified, transferred to another department, subjected to verbal or physical abuse, became targeted by workplace rumors, or otherwise had their work life made intentionally harder, that could be retaliation.

 

Often, retaliation is much more prevalent than many managers realize, and it can be seriously damaging to a company’s culture. Additionally, many skilled professionals won’t tolerate environments where retaliation is common, leading them to seek out opportunities with competitors instead of remaining in a hostile workplace.

 

One survey indicated that one-third of IT professionals at large tech firms witnessed or experienced retaliation after they or another employee reported an issue. If you are wondering whether your workplace is affected by retaliation, here are some signs that may be the case.

 

Criticism and Scrutiny

If an employee is subjected to increased criticism and scrutiny after filing a complaint or reporting an issue, that could be a sign of retaliation. Whether it involves inaccurately measuring their performance, being overly critical, or simply questioning their judgment more often, treating the employee differently after they report a problem are troubling signs of workplace retaliation.

 

This is especially true if any negative feedback is being discussed in front of others, such as their coworkers, employees and managers in other departments, or members of the leadership team. Criticizing someone publicly could be seen as an attempt to harm their reputation with others, something that can be detrimental to their working relationships and their career, which can be a form of retaliation.

 

Limiting Access

After an employee reports a problem, if they are suddenly being removed from critical meetings, denied feedback or guidance, removed from training plans, or otherwise having opportunities eliminated, this could be retaliation.

 

Similarly, removing enjoyable job duties and replacing them with less desirable tasks could also be an indication of an issue, as it limits the worker's ability to derive satisfaction from their role.

 

Department, Location, and Schedule Changes

Relocating a worker to a different department, office, or cubicle could be viewed as retaliation if the employee did not express a desire for the change. Similarly, changing their schedule against their wishes could also be seen as punishing the person for filing a complaint or bringing up an issue.

 

Such changes disrupt the worker’s life and could harm their career, which qualifies them as potential forms of retaliation. However, if such changes are made at the employee’s request, they typically don’t fall into that category.

 

Ultimately, retaliation in the workplace is incredibly damaging, and not just to the person who reported a problem. The culture of the organization is negatively affected, creating an environment full of hostility and stress.

 

Managers should actively strive to eliminate retaliation in the workplace. Otherwise, the company will suffer. If you are interested in learning more, the skilled professionals at The Armada Group can help. Contact us to discuss your questions with one of our experienced team members today and see how our services can benefit you.

 

 

Database Engineer

 

Database engineers are typically tasked with the creation and management of databases for a specific company or organization. This can include anything from building a new database to meet a specific need, configure new and existing systems, and maintain the databases to ensure everything remains fully functional.

 

The skills you need to work as a database engineer can vary from one position to the next. However, certain requirements are fairly common, making them must-haves in the eyes of many employers. If you are interested in becoming a database engineer, here are some skills that you need to acquire.

 

SQL

SQL is essentially “the” programming language you need to work with databases. Without SQL skills, you won’t find many opportunities in the field, let alone as a database engineer.

 

The level of fluency required may vary somewhat for each job. However, it’s best to keep your SQL skills current at all times and strive to learn as much about the language as possible if you want to excel as a database engineer.

 

Platform Knowledge

There are numerous database platforms available today, and learning the ins and outs is often essential if you want to land a role that works with one.

 

For example, you may opt to specialize in Microsoft SQL Server, Oracle, MySQL, or a number of others. Then, you need to take a deep dive into the platform and learn all you can about the available features, current limitations, recent releases, how to manage upgrades, and more.

 

Now, this doesn’t mean you need to forgo all other platforms in favor of one. Instead, it merely means that becoming a platform expert can be beneficial, especially if you want to secure upper-level database engineering roles.

 

 

Debugging and Optimization

A strong database engineer has a variety of debugging and optimization skills that can help them correct problems and increase efficiency in a range of applications. In some cases, this ability is essential, particularly if the database engineer is the only team member with complete end-to-end visibility.

 

Patience and Communication

While patience may not be listed as a required skill in a vacancy announcement, it is usually a must for database engineers. Typically, these professionals are approached with requests, often from people who don’t fully understand how a database operates. What may appear simple to them actually ends up being highly complex, and you need to be able to navigate the situation calmly.

 

Similarly, being able to explain technical information in a way that is highly accessible, even to those who aren’t as tech-savvy, is vital. This ensures you can work with individuals from other departments or work areas and find compromises when what they are requesting isn’t feasible or requires more time than they initially wanted to allow.

 

By acquiring the skill above, you can increase your odds of landing a database engineering job. If you are looking for a new database engineering position, the professionals at The Armada Group can connect you to a range of opportunities throughout the area. Contact us to discuss your ideal job and learn more about our current vacancies today and see how our services can help you land your perfect role.

 

 

Empathy

 

As artificial intelligence (AI) becomes more ingrained in the workplace, professionals will spend less of their time on tedious, repetitive tasks and more on activities that require specific cognitive skills that machines don’t currently possess. The ability to the nuances of the human experience can largely only be done by actual human beings. However, there are companies that are looking to change that paradigm by introducing the concept of empathy into AI.

 

Understanding Empathy

Empathy is traditionally viewed as a human characteristic. It involves being able to see something from the perspective of another, proverbially being able to put yourself “in their shoes.” By adopting another person’s viewpoint, even for a moment, it is easier to increase the benefit experienced when two people interact. Often, this is seen as a key to successful customer service outcomes as well as increasing employee satisfaction.

 

However, empathy isn’t flawless. It requires drawing on your own experiences and memory to assume how someone else is perceiving a situation. Since no two people have the exact same life experience, this means that there can be disconnects between the parties even when a significant amount of effort is put into the interaction.

 

Additionally, emotions are complex and powerful. Being able to assess the emotional state of another person accurately is incredibly beneficial, as it allows you to adjust your approach based on how they are feeling. But picking up on certain cues can be a challenge as different signals mean different things to different people.

 

 

Empathy in Technology

While an AI system can’t necessarily “feel,” that doesn’t mean it couldn’t potentially assess someone’s emotional state and use that information to adapt its responses. Sensor technology, machine vision, and audio analysis can measure specific signals that indicate particular emotions in real-time, giving an AI the ability to mimic empathy.

 

For example, an EKG can measure a person’s heart rate variations, helping to pinpoint increased levels that may indicate excitement, fear, or boredom. Changes in a person’s voice, such as tone, volume, or cadence, can signal anything from relaxation to anger. Facial expressions, no matter how minor, may also provide information about a person’s emotional state.

 

By integrating the proper sensors and technologies into an AI, chatbots could adjust their approach to a customer inquiry based on their perceived emotional state.

 

In fact, some of the technology already exists. There are solutions that allow call center representatives can receive data from an AI that alerts them to changes in the customer’s voice that suggest a shift in how they feel, empowering the employee to make certain adjustments quickly to de-escalate problems.

 

Over time, empathy, something we perceive as a human trait, may be integrated into AI and other technologies, allowing machines to mimic a level of emotional intelligence that was previously impossible.

 

If you are interested in learning more, the professionals at The Armada Group can help. Contact us to discuss your business needs today and see how our expertise can benefit you.

 

 

Blocking Sites

 

IT managers are typically tasked with deciding whether certain websites should be blocked on the next work. Members of the leadership team usually favor the idea, asserting that restricting access to potential “timewasters” like social media sites ensures employees won’t be distracted by non-work activities.

 

However, many workers push back on the idea, insisting that these sites offer a source of enjoyment and can be beneficial to morale. Additionally, many managers and employees are fully aware that, even if you block a site, that doesn’t mean a worker won’t turn to their personal smartphone to access the websites anyway.

 

Considering that you can’t prevent an employee from wasting time entirely, can blocking websites actually boost productivity? If you are wondering the same thing, here’s what you need to know.

 

Does Blocking Sites Help Productivity?

According to a recent survey, blocking websites does have a positive impact on productivity. When a company restricts access to classic timewasters, such as social media, employees spend less time on sites that are unrelated to their jobs during the course of a standard workweek.

 

The reduction in such activity is actually fairly dramatic, too. In businesses that don’t block sites, 58 percent of workers admitted to spending a minimum of four hours a week on timewaster website. Over the course of a year, that means that more than half of the organization’s workforce wastes approximately 26 days every year on sites that don’t relate to their job.

 

When social media websites alone are restricted, only 30 percent of workers admit spending four or more hours each week on such timewaster sites.

 

 

What Sites Should Be Blocked?

Social media is often an obvious target when it comes to blocking sites, but there are a variety of other websites that should potentially be on the table. Anything illegal or unethical are obvious additions to the list, and dating sites are also timewasters that should be on the chopping block.

 

Personal instant messaging sites are also potential targets. Music and video streaming websites are also frequently blocked and just because they could potentially be distracting, but also because they can require a substantial amount of bandwidth.

 

When you are examining which sites to block, also consider if any websites pose a security risk. This can include sites that may contain malware as well as those that may allow business communications or data to be sent and stored outside of the organization (regardless of the presence of encryption) without the company’s knowledge or approval.

 

Ultimately, the decision regarding which sites should or shouldn’t be blocked usually lies in the hands of leadership and the IT team. However, it’s wise to create a robust policy regarding the use of business assets for personal activities and to make it clear that certain websites will be blocked as well as the general reasoning behind those decisions. This ensures your staff is well-informed regarding the choice, decreasing the odds that they’ll object.

 

If you are interested in learning more, the professionals at The Armada Group can help. Contact us to discuss your business needs today and see how our expertise can benefit you.

 

 

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.