Bias in the workplace, whether conscious or unconscious, can be incredibly damaging. Many members of the Baby Boomer and Gen X generations fear that ageism, or discrimination based on their age, will harm their careers.
According to a recent survey, approximately 68 percent of Baby Boomers felt they had been discouraged from applying for jobs based on their age. Nearly 29 percent of all respondents stated they had witnessed or experienced ageism in the workplace.
If ageism makes it way into your tech department, not only are employees affected but the business as well. An environment that appears to hinder older staff members will miss out on excellent, skilled, and experienced workers. This occurs when current employees choose to leave as well as if the company’s reputation is impacted, leading top talent to bypass opportunities with the organization entirely.
Combatting ageism in your tech department doesn’t have to be difficult, but it does require some due diligence. If you aren’t sure where to begin, here are some tips for getting started.
Set Strong Policy Standards
Your internal employee policies can play a big role in fighting ageism in the workplace. Make sure that your organization crafts clear standards regarding discrimination, including any repercussions for participating in discriminatory activities.
Once set, you also need to follow through with enforcement at every level in the organization. If you don’t uphold the standards you create, many will assume they are optional, allowing ageism to proliferate in your organization.
Focus on Equality
One of the most significant steps you can take to avoid ageism in the workplace is to focus on treating all employees equally. This includes everything from the hiring decisions made in the department to the offering of training opportunities and raises.
Discarding strong candidates because of their age is illegal. People who are 40 and older are covered by the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, and being caught in violation of these requirements come with strict penalties. Make sure managers are suitably trained on EEOC standards and emphasize that age should not be a factor in hiring decisions.
When it comes to your current employees, work to ensure that professional development and training opportunities are provided to any worker with the proper prerequisite skills, regardless of their age. Additionally, make sure that a person’s age does not factor into their feedback or performance reviews, particularly by punishing older workers harder for mistakes.
Review Your Vacancy Announcements
Before you post a vacancy announcement, review the language to make sure that it doesn’t discourage older workers from applying. Work to make your job ads inclusive by selecting language and descriptions that do not suggest an age preference.
Additionally, avoid using filters that target the ad to younger professionals, as this can be viewed as discriminatory. If you do want to use filters, make sure they relate to topics like the required skills or potentially the physical location of the workplace. Alternatively, you can avoid placing filters on the ad entirely, ensuring you aren’t unintentionally discriminatory during your search for a great candidate.
If you are interested in learning more about combatting ageism in your tech department, the professionals at The Armada Group can help. Contact us to discuss your company’s goals today and see how our expertise can benefit you.
When it comes to advancing down any career path, knowledge is power. Having the right information empowers you to make smarter decisions and makes it easier to consider the big picture, something that is typically a must for infrastructure engineers.
However, finding reliable and helpful information isn’t always easy, especially with the sheer volume of potential resources that exist today. Whether you are a newly minted infrastructure engineer or are a seasoned professional looking to enhance their career, here are some resources that can help you during your journey.
One of the most accessible options when you want information that can assist you as an infrastructure engineer is the web. There are numerous online publications that have sections dedicated to topics that pertain to your area of specialty and can help you discover emerging trends and process that can increase your level of knowledge and efficiency.
BizTech Magazine is a popular site for those interested in information technology. The resource has subcategories that are particularly beneficial to infrastructure engineers.
The Cisco Small Business Blog is another web destination that covers a variety of IT topics. While the content caters to small businesses, infrastructure engineers at any size company may benefit from the information.
DoubleCloud covers details about cloud-based infrastructure as well as many other cloud-oriented topics. Since many businesses have or will soon embrace the cloud as a means of improving business operations, learning about this subsection of the larger infrastructure world is a smart move for those looking to craft strong careers.
Books have been a popular resource for hundreds and hundreds of years. The benefit of choosing a book, particularly if you purchase a physical or digital copy, is you can reference the material repeatedly and even take notes along the way.
Written by Al Kuebler, Technical Impact: Making Your Technology Effective and Keeping It That Way, is a great book for anyone working in the larger IT field. The book covers tips on how to use technology effectively and also includes guidance on how to communicate the benefits of tech to less tech-savvy stakeholders.
Even though infrastructure engineering doesn’t fall into the Big Data category, Big Data: A Revolution That Will Transform How We Live, Work and Think is still a valuable read. Ultimately, Big Data changed the IT world, creating new requirements that do impact infrastructure decisions and designs. This means that infrastructure engineers can benefit from learning more about the field.
Ultimately, all of the resources above can be incredibly helpful to infrastructure engineers looking to take the next step in their career, no matter where they are standing on the ladder today. If you are interested in learning more or are seeking out new infrastructure engineering job opportunities, the experienced professionals at The Armada Group can help. Contact us to discuss your career goals today and see how our services can benefit you.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Ultimately, when it comes to staying power, not every programming language is equal. Some truly stand the test of time, remaining relevant for decades, while others enter the tech world only to disappear, hardly leaving a mark.
When you’re trying to determine which programming languages are worth the time and energy required to learn, selecting the right options can impact your career in significant ways. By making smart choices, you can get more mileage out of your knowledge while ensuring that your skill set remains in-demand.
No programming language is guaranteed to stay relevant forever, but certain options have more potential when it comes to longevity. If you aren’t sure which ones will benefit you the most, here is what you need to know.
Proven Programming Languages
Some programming languages have remained predominately stable when it comes to use and demand, even as new ones emerged.
Some of the other languages that have similar levels of stability include C#, Java, PHP, and Python. All of those languages are widely used, exist on legacy systems that have remained part of the business world over the long-term, and are even favored by some developers.
C, C++, CSS, and Ruby have also stood the test of time, and aren’t likely to disappear any time soon.
Programming Languages with Potential
In some cases, a programming language has the potential to make a significant mark on the tech landscape, but its staying power isn’t fully realized. On prime example is Swift.
Swift has become popular thanks to its association with iOS. As time moves on, it may even replace Objective-C.
Languages with Uncertain Futures
While some languages could prove useful in the world of development, not all of them have gained traction in the business world. In some cases, programmers really enjoy these languages but, without widespread adoption, they may fizzle out.
In some cases, a lack of flexibility hinders a languages capacity for growth. Others aren’t as user-friendly or simply haven’t been able to overtake alternatives.
One could argue that Go, Haskell, Perl, and R all fall in this category. While the languages aren’t inherently doomed, their future is mostly unclear. New developments could help them gain additional traction, but may also render them obsolete.
Otherwise, make sure to monitor industry trends to see if any new developments may benefit or hinder other languages and make your selections accordingly.
If you are interested in learning more or are looking for a new position, the professionals at The Armada Group can help. Contact us today to see how our services can benefit your career.
If you’re considering adding a programming language to your repertoire, you want to make sure that your time and effort yield dividends. Even if you are familiar with many of the options, and have a few languages under your belt, deciding to pick up Python or Go is a serious decision, and you want to make the right choice.
Ultimately, there are a number of factors that can make one option better than the other. If you're trying to choose between Python and Go, here’s what you need to know.
Maintaining an In-Demand Skill Set
When the decision of whether to learn Python or Go is focused on your career, then you want to make sure you select an option that is in-demand.
Currently, Python is one of the most requested programming languages. Not only can it be used for desktop and web-based application development, but it’s also great for data mining, data science, data analytics, and other forms of scientific computing. Its numerous potential applications means it is generally more prevalent than Go, so you may find that more employers see Python as a requirement.
Go is a relatively new language. This means it isn’t as prolific in the business world as Python. However, it was designed to increase efficiency, such as by reducing compile times, and is particularly focused on simplicity. It’s a powerful programming language that is brimming with potential. Ultimately, adoption may be the only thing keeping it from being as in-demand.
Examining Your Target Job
Both Python and Go have merit, so which you choose may depend more on your larger career goals than the languages themselves, especially since both can be learned in a reasonable timeframe.
If you have a particular job, company, or industry in mind, spend some time examining the vacancy announcements associated with that area. This will let you know what employers are seeking, including whether they require or prefer candidates to have Python or Go experience.
As you do your research, if you find that either Python or Go is more prevalent, then use that to help guide your decision. If not, then either option may be suitable, or even an alternative if you see a particular programming language listed as a requirement that you don’t currently possess.
Ultimately, Python is likely to have staying power in the world of programming and Go has significant potential to become more commonplace. That means that both of them can help you build a strong career. If you have a personal preference, consider exploring it. Additionally, there’s nothing to say that you can’t learn them both if you’re willing to commit the time.
If you are interested in learning more about job opportunities featuring Python or Go, the professionals at The Armada Group can help you explore exciting positions throughout the area. Contact us to speak with one of our skilled staff members today and see how our expertise can benefit you.
Agile was once lauded as the ideal approach to software development. It allowed teams to create software at a rapid pace while also keeping projects aligned to their core objectives. But, as Agile joined the mainstream, many began considering it the answer for every project, even if it wasn’t always an appropriate approach.
While Agile can be an excellent methodology for certain objectives, it may not be ideal for your team or project. Before you default to an Agile approach, here are a few times when you should consider using an alternative methodology.
Your Using Agile to Appear Up-to-Date
A lot of companies adopt the Agile methodology largely based on appearances, wanting to be able to declare to the world that they are an Agile organization. Others choose it because they haven’t used a new methodology for quite some time and they fear that they will be viewed negatively for not using the approach.
However, choosing Agile just because it is the method where everyone recognizes its name isn’t a good reason for bringing it in. Just because a business isn’t using Agile doesn’t mean that their current approach isn’t practical, so don’t abandon something that is working just because of the name.
Your Costs Would Rise
In some highly regulated industries, trying to force an Agile approach to development can actually cost you more money in the long run. Often, if regulatory bodies dictate how certain things must be done (even if they allow for the use of some Agile concepts), it’s best to stick with what is effective, especially if significant documentation and mindset changes could stall your tech teams.
Not every industry is as suited for Agile as others, so it’s okay to bypass this approach if it doesn’t quite fit in your highly regulated environment.
A Two-Week Delivery Schedule Doesn’t Make Sense
Agile uses a segmented development approach in the form of two- to three-week sprints. At the end of each spring, there is supposed to be working code and a demonstrable result. However, not every project can be divided into pieces that align with such a schedule and, if it doesn’t break down properly, but you try to force it by compressing your timeline, you could be pushing your IT staff beyond the limits of what is possible in that timeframe.
Some projects simply don’t break down into Agile-ready chunks and, when that’s the case, trying to make it align with the methodology just doesn’t make sense.
Ultimately, Agile can be a great software development methodology, but only if it makes sense for your project and is appropriate for your industry. If it doesn’t align, then don’t try to force Agile into your workplace. Otherwise, it could cost you more than you expect.
If you are interested in learning more or are seeking a skilled IT pro to join your team, the experienced staff at The Armada Group can help. Contact us to learn more about our services, including how they can benefit your business, today.
IT projects are often complex, requiring a significant amount of time to complete and a diverse set of employees to ensure all needed skill sets are present. To coordinate the associated activities, having a robust project management strategy is a necessity.
Like any other area, there are a number of trends that are poised to change the face of project management in 2018. With that in mind, here are a few that you are likely to notice as the year goes forward.
The EPMO Model
Organizations have begun to favor the Enterprise Project Management Office (EPMO) methodology over the traditional project managing office (PMO) model. EPMOs typically reflect a more strategic approach, aligning the project, portfolio, and program activities to larger company goals. This allows companies to reach a higher level of success, particularly when it comes to creating end results that meet the original objectives. Plus, fewer projects fail using the associated methodologies, which is a benefit that can’t be ignored.
Increased Use of Software and Tools
Web-based project management software and tools have become more affordable over recent years, allowing more companies to access them. This provides smaller organizations with the technology they need to better manage their projects, including by reducing waste, efficiently allocating resources, and keeping them aligned with their goals.
Analytics Play a Bigger Role
Business analytics continues to become more accessible as well, allowing companies to leverage the power of their data in more meaningful ways. Teams can identify trends in advance, spot potential risks earlier in the process, and even examine complex approaches with greater ease, giving them valuable information that can increase the chances that the project will be successful.
This also helps in the development of future projects as lessons learned today can be captured with greater ease, allowing the associated information to guide decisions during the next project.
More Remote Workers
Technology has also made remote work and telecommuting options easier to manage, allowing your full-time staff to experience greater flexibility or you to access top talent in areas outside of your immediate vicinity.
Since work-life balance has become a priority for many professionals, particularly Millennials and the incoming Generation Z, this can be an attractive offering that gives you an advantage over competitors who choose to forgo the option, increasing the odds that you will be viewed as an employer of choice.
Hiring for Emotional Intelligence
Companies and employees are placing a higher value on emotional intelligence in the workplace, and this will likely affect hiring decisions today and into the future, particularly with project managers. The nature of the work requires coordinating with a wide range of professionals, all with different priorities and personalities. Emotional intelligence makes the task easier, making it a valuable skill for anyone leading a diverse group of workers.
If you are looking to hire a project manager or would like to learn more about current trends, the professionals at The Armada Group can help. Contact us today to speak with one of our skilled team members and see how our expertise can work for you.
IT professionals are often trusted with a significant amount of power in any organization. They have access to critical systems and data, some of which is not directly related to their positions.
Employees in any department may participate in some questionable activities, and IT workers are no exception. While some occasional lighthearted actions can be beneficial to morale, when certain lines are crossed, a serious problem exists.
To help you identify these issues and address unruly IT employee behavior, here are some common areas of concern and how to handle them.
IT employees are uniquely positioned when it comes to practical jokes. They can do anything from changing a person’s password to adjusting computer wallpaper, often remotely.
While some of these actions may seem harmless, they can easily become bothersome. For example, another employee’s work may be disrupted by a practical joke, hurting productivity. In more severe scenarios, such as changing a worker’s desktop background to something inappropriate, a staff member may become offended, or worse.
To prevent these activities, you need strong policies in place that define how credentials can be used as well as any consequences that are associated with these breaches of trust. Using alerts that inform the manager when specific actions are taken can also be effective deterrents, as all activities are automatically broadcast to their supervisor.
Accessing Confidential Information
Most IT professionals have administrator credentials that allow them to access a range of systems. While this is necessary for the work, it can cause problems when they abuse the privilege, using their credentials to access confidential or sensitive information not related to their positions.
Further, they often have the ability to delete or alter logs, giving them a chance to cover their tracks.
Setting up alerts can help spot this kind of activity, as well as a robust ticketing system that can help determine which actions are legitimate and which may be illicit in nature.
Since IT often controls what can be accessed over the internet and which activities are logged, the potential for abuse is significant. A worker could give themselves the ability to access entertainment related sites that would otherwise be blocked, giving them the opportunity to slack off while they are on the clock.
While taking a moment to relax isn’t inherently a problem, if they begin spending more than a reasonable amount of time on non-work-related activities, productivity is going to decline. Further, if they access inappropriate content using company resources, you could have a bigger problem.
To help lower the risk associated with such actions, it’s imperative that all employees be subject to the same restrictions based on actionable policies and that any attempts to circumvent certain blocks be appropriately logged and alerted. This helps deter IT professionals from taking advantage of their position, lessening the likelihood that someone will do so.
Ultimately, most IT employees are standup workers and wouldn’t abuse their power. However, it is crucial that the proper policies and monitoring mechanisms are in place to ensure that such activities don’t take place.
If you are interested in learning more or are looking to hire a new IT worker, the team at The Armada Group can help. Contact us today to see how our services can work for you.
When the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted to repeal the policies associated with net neutrality – rules governing how internet service providers (ISPs) must handle web traffic – many people and companies feared how the change would affect their online experience. While ISPs now have more options regarding how traffic is managed, the tenants of net neutrality aren’t necessarily gone forever. Here’s what you need to know.
Are Changes Coming?
The repeal of net neutrality means that one significant change has already occurred, as the rules by which ISPs have to adhere have fundamentally been altered. But, the exact nature of how internet service will change isn’t immediately known, as it will take time for any supplier to adjust their operating procedures should they decide to take advantage of the shift.
For example, an ISP could begin favoring traffic associated with their own content now (which was prohibited under the net neutrality regulations), but the mechanisms that would need to be updated to do so aren’t necessarily in place yet, depending on the ISP involved.
Additionally, there are some legal challenges to the FCC’s decision to repeal net neutrality, which will take time to resolve, and new legislation is also in the works that, if passed, could restore some of the tenants of net neutrality, possibly before any ISP has an opportunity to change how they operate.
Will Every ISP Abandon Net Neutrality?
Not every internet provider is going to take full advantage of the rule changes associated with the repeal of net neutrality. Some companies may shift their offerings based on some of the additional freedoms, but others might not.
Large ISPs, like Comcast, have dropped hints that they might offer “fast lanes,” arrangements where companies can gain better access to the network in exchange for a fee, but essentially every provider has stated that they do not intend to block lawful traffic or throttle traffic to specific sites. And, if an ISP makes this commitment in their terms of service, failing to live up to their promises could result in legal action, enforceable by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). However, that doesn’t mean that users might not experience some speed differences, with sites that have paid for a fast lane loading more quickly than their counterparts who chose not to, or cannot afford, the required fee.
But not every ISP plans on making changes. In fact, some smaller, regional providers have openly stated that they intend to follow the rules of net neutrality, even if they aren’t legally obligated to do so. Additionally, new legislation has been proposed that would restore some of the tenants, though it is too early to say if these will pass.
Ultimately, it is too early to tell for certain if the concepts behind net neutrality will disappear, and some actions, like new legislation or successful legal challenges, could leave much of the original rules intact. However, even if the changes do go forward in entirety, not every ISP is going to alter how they operate, allowing individuals and businesses to switch their services to another provider if their current ISP no longer meets their needs.
If you are interested in learning more, the professionals at The Armada Group can help. Contact us to speak with a member of our knowledgeable staff today.