Jeff Tavangar

Jeff Tavangar

Beat the Competition and Land Your Dream Job

 

When you have your dream job in sight, it can be as exciting as it is scary. After all, you have to outshine the other candidates if you are going to land the role, and that isn’t always an easy task.

 

Luckily, there are things you can do to beat out the competition and secure your ideal job. If you aren’t sure how to begin, here are five ways you can get started.

 

  1. Bring Something Unique to the Table

When you are applying to a job, you can almost guarantee that your strongest competitors are bringing similar technical ability to the table. After all, if they didn’t have the prowess to handle the tasks, their resume would likely get discarded.

 

If you want to stand out, finding a unique non-technical offering can make a difference. Consider your personality and attributes and identify points that can help you excel in the role. Then, find ways to add them to your resume and cover letter, making sure the hiring manager is aware of the fact that you have more to offer than hard skills.

 

  1. Make an Emotional Connection

How a hiring manager feels about you can play as much of a role in their decision as for how well your skills and experience match the job posting. If you have a chance to bond emotionally with the hiring manager, take it.

 

For example, if you can connect your passion for the opportunity to the company’s mission, that can help forge a bond. Similarly, by being friendly and open during the interview, they may see you as more likable, which can also create a connection.

 

  1. Make Subtle Comparisons

If there are areas where you perform better than average, you can stand out from the crowd with a subtle comparison. While you should never directly bash other candidates, showcasing how you outperform the average person in your field can help.

 

You’ll need to do some research about statistics that apply to your chosen profession and then identify areas where you perform better than average (and can prove it). While this can take some time and energy, it can allow you to highlight why you should be considered for the job.

 

  1. Correct Mistakes When Possible

Nearly everyone makes a mistake during an interview at some point in their career. Maybe they draw a blank on a topic or accidentally get an answer wrong. While this can feel dooming, a single misstep isn’t usually the end of the world. Plus, you may also have a chance to correct your error if you proceed properly.

 

For instance, if you missed an answer during the interview but remember the correct one before the meeting is over, you may be able to revisit the topic in a later response or when you are given a chance to ask questions. While you don’t want to force it into the conversation, as that may not impress the hiring manager, if it can work into the discussion naturally, touch on it.

 

Otherwise, when you send a thank you email, you can also cover it then. Let the hiring manager know that you remember the mistake and correct it quickly and concisely.

 

  1. Have a Closing Summary

As your interview draws to an end, having a closing summary ready that allows you to touch on your key skills and attributes, bringing everything together. This can help you stand out by making sure your last impression is a powerful one.

 

Want the Most Exciting Contracts in Silicon Valley?

By following the tips above, you can beat out the competition and land your dream job. If you are looking for more valuable information, the professionals at The Armada Group can help. Contact us to speak with one of our skilled team members today and see how our expertise can benefit you.

 

 

Blockchain Remains Steady While Cryptocurrency Struggles

 

When people think of blockchain, cryptocurrency also typically comes to mind. Mainly, this is because of blockchains association with Bitcoin, the cryptocurrency that soared to astounding heights as 2017 drew to a close and 2018 began. While there are hundreds of altcoins out there, Bitcoin is the one that was securing the most headlines.

 

However, after cryptocurrency mania peaked in January 2018, the market has mostly trended downward. One estimate suggests that $700 billion in market value was lost between then and now, showcasing just how far digital assets have fallen. While some of the losses are related to the high level of fraud in the cryptocurrency market, changes in investor sentiment and futures trading also played a role.

 

But blockchain isn’t losing any ground even as cryptocurrencies struggle. Predominately, this is because blockchain has uses outside the cryptocurrency landscaping, giving it stability.

 

Blockchain Isn’t Bitcoin

While blockchain allows cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin to function, it isn’t inherently connected to cryptocurrency. Instead, it is a logging mechanism, and it can be completely separated from the cryptocurrency world.

 

Even as cryptocurrencies falter, blockchain maintains value as a standalone technology. Bitcoin and all of the altcoins could disappear tomorrow, and blockchain could remain standing on its own merit.

 

Blockchains Value

Blockchain is a mechanism for logging transactions. It serves as a distributed digital ledger and can’t be altered after a transaction takes place. This makes blockchain incredibly secure and reliable when multiple parties are involved, leading to a significant increase in interest in the technology.

 

While blockchain has obvious connections to the financial world - being a mechanism that supports real-time transactions, even across borders - it also has potential in other areas. Developers could use it to create solutions for monitoring supply chains, logging real estate title transfers, tracking medical information, issuing digital IDs, protecting copyrights, and much more.

 

This means that blockchain has a significant amount of potential, allowing interest in the technology to remain steady even as cryptocurrencies lose their luster.

 

A Fledgling Technology

While blockchain could be a gamechanger in numerous industries, it is still a fledgling technology. Big name companies are just beginning to scratch the surface of blockchains potential, and new developments are almost always on the horizon.

 

However, the speed at which blockchain-oriented solutions may become available may be negatively affected by the lack of tech specialists who can work with blockchain. Since it is relatively new to the larger business landscape and there aren’t many formal educational options focused on blockchain, finding suitable professionals to develop new solutions is challenging. This is especially true when today’s tight labor market (especially the low IT unemployment rate) are factored into the equation.

 

Ultimately, blockchain will likely maintain its appeal for the long-term, even if cryptocurrencies become largely a thing of the past. Since blockchain has potential in some many industries, it may succeed all on its own.

 

Ready to Find Your Next Gig? Start with The Armada Group!

If you’d like to know more, the professionals at The Armada Group can help. Contact us with your questions today and see how our blockchain expertise can benefit you.

 

 

How to Show Gratitude to Your IT Team

 

As the holiday season approaches, many managers look for ways to express their appreciation to their IT team. However, if you want your employees to genuinely feel valued, you have to look beyond the acknowledgements that you typically dole out this time of year.

 

Often, to show your staff that you value them, you need to make an effort to ensure they feel heard, and this can’t be accomplished if you only focus on it during the holidays. If you want to make sure your IT team knows they are valued, here’s what you need to do.

 

Say “Thank You” Often

Managers are typically overtasked. This means it is easy to forget how your team keeps projects and daily activities moving forward, as it’s just part of the day-to-day. However, by actively trying to remember to thank them for their contributions, you demonstrate that you value what they have to offer. Plus, it shows that their efforts aren’t going unnoticed and that they are appreciated.

 

It also helps to extend your thanks beyond yourself. Let your team know when stakeholders appreciate the results of their efforts as well, especially if they don’t have an opportunity to interact directly with other leaders or customers.

 

Be an Active Listener

You can’t make your IT team feel heard if you spend the entire conversation merely waiting for your chance to speak. While you plan your response, you miss critical details in the discussion, and this can cause your employees to become frustrated if their input was ignored, even if it was unintentional.

 

When your employees speak, make sure to focus solely on listening. Take in every word and wait for a natural pause before you even begin to formulate a response. That way, you won’t miss a vital part of the conversation and your reply can be more meaningful.

 

Give Them Challenges

While every IT role comes with a certain level of monotony, giving your employees a chance to stretch outside of their comfort zones or take on a challenge can actually show that you value them. By allowing them to use their unique talents to take on something new, you demonstrate your trust in their abilities and interest in helping them grow.

 

See Them as Individuals

In IT, functioning as part of a team is the norm. This makes praising the group more common when a job is well done since multiple people were critical to the overall success of the project.

 

While recognizing the team’s efforts is wise, you also want to see them as individuals. Highlight each person’s achievements to make them feel seen and single them out if they truly went above and beyond. This ensures that every employee understands that they are valued for what they bring to the table and not just what they can accomplish together.

 

If you would like to know about how you can show your IT team you value them this season and beyond, the professionals at The Armada Group can help. Contact us with your questions or thoughts today and see how our workplace expertise can benefit you.

 

 

Why Do Employees at Netflix Like Its Termination Policy

 

Many Netflix employees extol the virtues of the company’s generous benefits package and positive corporate culture. However, one interesting aspect that often garners positive attention is actually Netflix’s termination policy.

 

If you are wondering why employees embrace Netflix’s approach to assessing whether a worker should stay or be let go, here’s what you need to know about their unique approach.

 

The “Keeper Test”

Netflix understands that to build strong teams, every member needs to provide value. As a means of determining whether an employee is meeting the needs of the business, they are subject to the “keeper test.”

 

With the keeper test, managers consider one key question: If the employee was considering leaving Netflix for another company, would I strive to convince them to stay? If the manager would answer that with a “no,” then the person is either terminated or encouraged to leave on their own.

 

The approach is designed to ensure that only “highly effective” workers are retained. Not only does it ensure that mediocre employees don’t bog down their teams, but it also motivates employees to always be at their best, as everyone is subject to the seemingly ruthless evaluation.

 

“360” Evaluations

Netflix has also employed a formal tool, known as “360,” to give everyone the ability to review anyone else in the company, including CEO Reed Hastings. Additionally, it provides every worker with insight into why any person has been let go, a critical part of the company’s transparency-focused culture.

 

Together, they help managers to determine which employees are actually worth keeping. Additionally, it even leads to shakeups at the upper levels of the corporate hierarchy, serving as a non-traditional playbook for making retention decisions.

 

Is Emulating Netflix Wise?

Ultimately, when combined, the keeper test and 360 are meant to promote objectivity when it comes to hiring decisions. It removes emotions from much of the process, as whether an employee is liked is less important than if they are effective and productive. While this can certainly be beneficial, it doesn’t mean Netflix’s model is ideal for every business.

 

In some cases, the risk of being quickly terminated can lead some to constantly fear being fired, even if they don’t make a mistake. This can increase stress and potentially harm productivity, even in top performers if they have a tendency toward anxiety.

 

Similarly, it relies on management being able to set emotion aside at all times, which isn’t something everyone can do. Further, a good employee who is well liked may be better in your company than a tremendous talent whose personality clashes with the rest of the team, something that can breed conflict and harm overall productivity.

 

However, that doesn’t mean that companies can’t learn from Netflix’s approach, particularly if there is a tendency to keep mediocre workers without just cause.

 

If you would like to learn more about effective internal policies, the team at The Armada Group can help. Contact us to discuss your questions or concerns with one of our knowledgeable staff members today and see how our workplace expertise can benefit you.

 

 

Why So Many Developers Hate Open Source

 

Open source may seem like the greatest thing since sliced bread to some developers, leading to the growth of a healthy and expanding community of highly involved professionals. However, some developers appear to actively avoid open source, shying away from the larger communities and avoiding projects that embrace open source code.

 

While it may seem odd that a highly skilled developer would give open source the cold shoulder, there are numerous reasons why this happens. If you are wondering why so many developers avoid open source, here’s what you need to know.

 

They Are Intimidated

Surprisingly, many developers are actually intimidated by open source. While starting anything new can be scary, many worry that they don’t have the right skills to contribute effectively.

 

This sense of doubt around their abilities leaves them fearful. Often, the idea of being criticized by their peers, especially those with significant experience in open source, makes joining these communities particularly daunting, and many opt to stay away entirely.

 

However, many of the communities are actually incredibly open. People willingly share their advice and are often more than happy to help. Typically, there’s a feeling of everyone facing a challenge together, but developers only discover this after they make the leap.

 

They Don’t Know Where to Begin

Another common issue surrounding open source is a lack of clear pathways on how to get started. Finding a point of entry isn’t always easy, especially because the communities are vast and many of the discussions are long-standing, filled with notes and contributions.

 

Figuring out where to start contributing isn’t intuitive. However, in many cases, the best approach is just to jump in and put yourself out there. Every contribution can provide someone with value, so there really isn’t a reason to wait for a “perfect moment” that probably will never arrive.

 

They Need More Support

While companies are asking developers to do more with open source, not all of them are providing their staff with the support they need. It takes time and resources to make the most of open source, so ensuring that workers have what they require is essential to success.

 

Similarly, many businesses shy away from open source until it is extremely well-vetted. This means, even if an employee finds an amazing solution, management isn’t open to discussing it unless it is already widely adopted. The lack of interest ends up discouraging some developers from diving deeper into the world of open source, creating a scenario where missed opportunities are almost guaranteed to occur.

 

Ultimately, open source options are nearly always worth exploring. However, developers need to learn to set their fears aside and simply jump into the conversations while companies need to focus on being open-minded about what these solutions could potentially offer. Then, and only then, will more professionals and organizations be able to realize the potential of open source.

 

If you are interested in learning more, the team at The Armada Group would be happy to answer your questions. Contact us today to speak with one of our skilled staff members and see how our expertise can benefit you.

 

 

Business Analyst Job

 

When managers picture crafting a robust IT team, they typically focus on hiring individuals with specific technical skills that are vital for reaching their goals. However, if you neglect to add a skilled business analyst to your staff, your tech projects might not be a successful as they could be.

 

Business analysts perform a unique function, acting as a link between your IT team and the rest of the organization. Typically, they have experience in both the tech space and in business, giving them a solid understanding of each groups perspective and enabling them to work with tech pros and other business professionals to find solutions and reach compromises.

 

However, you do need to select the right business analyst to experience these benefits. This includes knowledge of data analytics, change management, and much more. If you want to strengthen your IT team, here’s how to select a business analyst to help you do just that.

 

Understand the Core Responsibilities

If you want to hire a top business analyst, it is critical that you understand the core responsibilities typically associated with these roles. Overall, they are usually tasked with identifying changes to processes, services, systems, and products that will facilitate positive change, such as increased efficiency and productivity.

 

They assist with determining project requirements, analyzing existing processes, and crafting recommendations, ensuring that a new solution is both technically viable and filled with features and capabilities that provide the end users with value. Additionally, they help the end users and IT team to communicate effectively, acting as a translator between the two segments of the business.

 

Critical Skills and Experiences

When you need a highly capable business analyst, it’s important to locate a candidate with the right combination of skills and experience. While every business analyst usually has more experience in either IT or business, it is crucial that they have a solid foundation in both areas. Otherwise, their lack of understanding on one side may hinder the success of the project.

 

For example, if a business analyst is highly knowledgeable on the business end but doesn’t have experience with the IT specialty involved, they may struggle when it comes to determining technical feasibility. This means their recommendations might not be ideal.

 

When it comes to hard skills, cost-benefit analysis, analytics, and process modeling should all be priorities. For soft skills, focusing on communication, problem-solving, conflict mediation, and interpersonal skills is often essential.

 

Additionally, most successful business analysts will have formal education that assists them in their role. This could include either a technical bachelor’s degree, such as computer science or information technology, or a business degree, depending on which area they gave greater focus. In some cases, they may also bring additional certifications to the table, though this may not be a necessity depending on your company’s or project’s goals.

 

Making the Right Hiring Decision

As you start looking for a business analyst to join your team, it’s vital you identify the technologies involved. Otherwise, it will be difficult to determine if the job seeker has the required level of technical expertise.

 

Additionally, you want to find a business analyst that meshes with the company’s culture as well as the IT team. This increases the odds they will connect with other professionals in the business, making it easier for them to perform their duties successfully.

 

If you are looking for the ideal business analyst, the recruitment specialists at The Armada Group can help you find the right candidate. Contact us to discuss your vacancy today and see how our services can benefit you.

 

 

Manage a Remote Team

 

As a means of securing the highest caliber of IT talent, more companies are embracing remote teams. Not only does this broaden their available talent pools, it also ensures a person’s physical location is largely irrelevant when it comes to hiring. As long as the employee has access to a reliable internet connection and the right tools, they can be just as productive from practically anywhere.

 

However, if you want to craft a truly remarkable IT team, then you need to manage them properly. Often, this requires company leaders to rethink how they operate, abandoning old paradigms that don’t always work when overseeing a remote workforce.

 

If you want your remote IT team to be as successful as possible, here are some tips that can help you manage them effectively.

 

Delegate Wisely

With remote teams, how you delegate tasks is crucial to your success. Since your employees aren’t physically together, you need to assign activities based on who is most capable of providing the ideal result. This means concentrating more on the quality of the outputs and less on the methods used to achieve them, giving your remote workers the option to select the approach they prefer.

 

Additionally, it means putting a higher focus on accountability. The remote IT team member assigned to the task must take full responsibility for its completion and success, giving them a sense of ownership and potentially creating a source of motivation.

 

Focus on Trust

When you manage a remote team, trust is essential. After all, you don’t have the ability to peek in on their work by simply strolling over to their desk. Instead, you have to have faith they can use their expertise to deliver the desired results, even if they aren’t directly observed.

 

However, with remote teams, you don’t always have the opportunity to build trust before you empower them to take ownership of a task. Instead, you have to extend it first and give them a chance to rise to the occasion, believing they will live up to their end of the bargain practically from the beginning.

 

While this approach can seem odd, it’s a necessity. Micromanaging a remote team is nearly impossible, so attempting to do so will only breed frustration. But, if you empower them with trust, you give them a chance to thrive.

 

Make Success Collective

With remote teams, you are often their touchstone, acting as their primary connection to the larger organization. When your IT team achieves a victory, they may not receive accolades from other members of the leadership team simply because they aren’t in the same physical space.

 

This means you need to help fill that void. Acknowledge and even celebrate group victories often, and strive to show your appreciation for their contributions regularly. Without recognition, your remote IT pros may feel undervalued, and that can harm morale, productivity, and retention rates.

 

By recognizing everyone’s accomplishments, you demonstrate how valuable they are to you, their teammates, and the company, and that can go a long way when you want to craft a successful remote IT team.

 

If you are interested in learning more or are looking for IT pros to join your staff, the professionals at The Armada Group can help. Contact us to learn more about our services today and see how our workforce management expertise can benefit you.

 

 

Onboarding a New Employee

 

As a manager, it’s often your duty to ensure the success of your team. However, when many companies bring on IT contractors, they don’t take as much time and attention with them as they do with their regular new hires.

 

While it’s true the company’s relationship with a contractor does differ from the one they maintain with their permanent staff, that doesn’t mean you should forgo certain steps. When you properly onboard an IT contractor, you give them the tools they need to excel in their role, increasing productivity, the quality of their outputs, and even their level of job satisfaction.

 

If you are getting ready to bring on an IT contractor, here is some important advice for their onboarding.

 

Build a Relationship

Even though a contractor may only be with your company for a short time, that doesn’t mean you should avoid making a connection. By getting to know your IT contractor, you help turn a transactional relationship into a meaningful one.

 

Not only can this help them feel more welcome and integrated with your organization, fostering positive feelings and potentially a greater sense of loyalty, it can also help you stay ahead in the talent war. A happy contractor is more likely to accept a position with you in the future should you have a similar project or require someone with their skill set down the road, making it easier for you to secure reliable top talent when the need arises.

 

Plus, if your IT contractor genuinely feels like part of your team, they are more invested in the project’s success as well as the success of everyone involved. When there is a sense of connection, most employees, whether short or long term, are more likely to go the extra mile for their co-workers and managers, enhancing productivity and the quality of their outcome.

 

Set Clear Expectations

When you bring in an IT contractor, you usually have a solid idea of how you want them to contribute to the organization. However, if you don’t clearly define your expectations during the onboarding process, your new IT contractor might struggle to meet or exceed these requirements simply because they weren’t aware of them.

 

To ensure your IT contractor is set up for success, take some time during the onboarding process to fully outline what needs to be handled and when. Create a calendar with all relevant deadlines and let them know precisely when and how they need to provide you with status updates.

 

Typically, a contractor isn’t fully aware of any operational standards or office norms in your organization. Additionally, they weren’t exposed to the weeks or months of planning phases that took place before their arrival, so they didn’t have a chance to glean this information over time. This means it is always best to spell everything out clearly, ensuring they understand your expectations, goals, and how their contributions align with the big picture.

 

If you would like to learn more or are seeking an IT contractor for your next project, the professionals at The Armada Group can help. Contact us to speak with a member of our skilled team today and see how our hiring expertise can benefit you.

 

 

Lying on Your Resume

 

When you are hoping to land a new job, you may be tempted to exaggerate about your capabilities, particularly if a role is just barely beyond your skill or experience level. But, if you lie on your resume, the chances of getting caught are especially high. Skilled hiring managers and recruiters know how to spot everything from small fibs to blatant misrepresentations of your abilities. And, once your falsehood is discovered, you’re usually eliminated from contention.

 

If you are wondering how someone you’ve never met can figure out that you are lying on your resume, here are a few ways that hiring managers and recruiters come to that conclusion.

 

Title and Duty Misalignments

Job titles often give an indication of the level of the position, allowing hiring managers and recruiters to predict what sort of duties likely came with the role. When the title and responsibilities don’t align, it’s typically considered a red flag, suggesting that you may have inflated the job title to appear more experienced or valuable.

 

Date Discrepancies

When a candidate wants to appear more experienced, they may adjust the dates on their resume to meet the position’s requirements. However, hiring managers often have access to resources that allow them to crosscheck this information, even without contacting your employment references.

 

For example, older copies of your resume may be stored in the company’s system if you’ve applied for a job there before. Similarly, your social media profiles may have different dates, indicating that at least one of these sources is inaccurate.

 

 

Education Issues

Many candidates assume that prospective employers aren’t verifying their education. However, many companies do, and finding out whether you earned a degree from a specific school is relatively easy.

 

A simple phone call to the college or university generally reveals if you hold a particular degree. Similarly, there are education verification services that provide access to the information.

 

That means, claiming a degree you didn’t earn will usually come back to bite you. Similarly, trying to misrepresent yourself as a person with a degree by showing you attended college for the required number of years, even if you don’t claim to have a degree, typically won’t work if having a degree is a requirement for the position.

 

Contradictions and Inconsistencies

Skilled interviewers understand how to put candidates on the spot, allowing them to assess the accuracy of a job seeker’s claims. In most cases, people who lie on their resumes will struggle to provide certain details or will accidentally contradict themselves, largely because they are making up the story as they go.

 

It is the hiring manager’s job to find the ideal person for the position, so it’s best to assume that they will try and trip you up to make sure you can actually handle the job. Usually, fibbers don’t fare well in these situations, as keeping track of a string of lies, no matter how small, is beyond the capacity of most.

 

Ultimately, lying on your resume is never worth the risk, especially because getting caught comes with serious consequences. Not only will you not get the job, but you harm your reputation, and word may get around about your choice to lie.

 

If you are interested in finding out more, the professionals at The Armada Group can help. Contact us to speak with a member of our knowledgeable team today and see how our hiring expertise can benefit you.

 

 

Real Time Analytics

Determining whether your company should redesign key systems to integrate real-time analytics into your processes can be challenging. For high transaction industries, like financial services or hospitality, being able to tracks information in real-time could be particularly valuable, potentially creating revenue increasing opportunities that may otherwise be missed. Similarly, manufacturing and productions environments may benefit from such analytics, particularly if IoT devices are used to manage operations and maintenance.

 

If you are wondering whether your company should be utilizing real-time analytics, here are some examples of why embracing the technology could be a wise idea.

 

Revenue Opportunities

Real-time analytics may create unique opportunities for service industry businesses where utilization is a key part of their success. For example, a hotel with empty rooms isn’t at full capacity, meaning there is an opportunity to increase revenue by finding additional guests to fill those vacancies.

 

If a hotel chain embraces real-time analytics, they can monitor reservations and vacancies at a specific moment. Then, they can create customized, spontaneous promotions designed to fill empty rooms, allowing more revenue to be generated.

 

Additionally, they can factor in points like demographic information and past usage patterns to help identify customers to target, which may impact the hotel’s odds of success.

 

Production Adjustments

Manufacturing environments can make the most o IoT devices when they partner the technology with real-time analytics. Production rates can be monitored to identify potential equipment issues, emerging bottlenecks, or similar activities that could hinder operations. Then, they can intervene immediately, ensuring things run as smoothly as possible.

 

 

How to Determine if Real-Time Analytics is Right for Your Company

Companies with high transaction volumes that want to maximize revenue can often benefit from real-time analytics. Similarly, manufacturing environments with IoT initiatives can improve operations by welcoming the technology.

 

However, it’s important to determine whether the potential gains are worth the cost, as real-time analytics can be expensive to implement.

 

Many companies don’t actually require real-time analytics to remain efficient and profitable. Instead, robust analytics reporting can provide enough information to help decision-makers reduce expenses or increase revenue, often for a fraction of the cost of real-time analytics.

 

Since real-time analytics is relatively new, many providers offer demonstrations of their technology. As an IT manager, it may be wise to evaluate a few systems to determine if the price is suitable based on the potential gains. Ideally, you want to coordinate with other organizational leaders to develop a set of metrics for the evaluation of a solution, then arrange a proof-of-concept trial to examine the option.

 

Some companies will discover that real-time analytics provides them with enough value to make the costs worthwhile, while others will find the opposite is true. Either way, it is wise to evaluate the potential of the technology, particularly since it may become more affordable as time goes on.

 

If you are interested in learning more, the professionals at The Armada Group can help. Contact us to speak with one of our knowledgeable team members today and see how our expertise can benefit you.

 

 

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