Lisa Sullivan

Lisa Sullivan

Be a Top Systems Administrator

 

Since the world of technology evolves so quickly, systems administrators need to bring a lot to the table if they want to thrive in their field. This is especially true as the cloud gains greater traction in business, introducing something that is still seen as relatively new even as it enters the mainstream.

 

If you want to be a top systems administrator, bringing the right skills and experience to the table is essential. If you aren’t sure that you have what it takes, here are some key points that can help you decide.

 

Experience with Multiple Platforms

By having experience on multiple platforms, even if your career is largely focused on one, you show that you are versatile and adaptable. After all, you had to learn each one individually, demonstrating that you aren’t afraid of tackling something new to remain relevant and valuable.

 

Quick Problem-Solving

Systems administrators need to do more than just resolve issues; they need to problem-solve with speed and a sense of urgency. This ensures that everything is fully operational as quickly as possible, allowing the workplace to remain productive and efficient.

 

Adapt to Changing Security Standards

Security is increasingly a priority in business, and systems administrators need to be able to modify solutions as required to meet new standards. Without the ability, systems may remain vulnerable, and that can be detrimental to the company.

 

Strategic Mindset

Top systems administrators are often tasked with thinking strategically when determining the ideal direction for a system. This requires the ability to look beyond one’s own sphere and focus on the big picture, ensuring that the greater needs of the company remain the priority.

 

Similarly, being able to apply the principles of system configuration management in a strategic way is also vital. This not only requires a deep understanding of the concepts but also the ability to use them effectively for the most gain.

 

Strong Communication Skills

When you work as a systems administrator, communication skills are essential. Not only do you have to function as a vendor liaison, but you may also be tasked with making presentations to clients, customers, and your professional peers.

 

Further, you’ll need to coordinate with a larger tech team and any stakeholders outside of your department. Strong interpersonal skills and the ability to communicate complex ideas in simple language are must-haves. Otherwise, those without your level of technical expertise may be lost in the conversation.

 

Find Your Dream Job Today!

If you have the skills and experiences above, you are poised to one day become a top systems administrator. If you’d like to learn more or are seeking opportunities in the field, the skilled professionals at The Armada Group can help. Contact us to speak with one of our highly knowledgeable recruiters about our current openings or for career guidance today and see how our expertise can benefit you.

 

 

The Mindset Managers Need to Grow

 

For a company to remain successful, it needs to be prepared to evolve with the times. If managers don’t maintain the proper mindsets, they can easily become roadblocks to advancement instead of champions for it. If you want to reach new heights in 2019, here are the mindsets you need to embrace to make sure that forward progress is possible.

 

Connection

People have a fundamental need to connect with others, but many managers try to shut themselves off from their teams, fearing that getting to close would lead to consequences. Typically, this attitude is shortsighted, as it is costing you far more than you risk by forging these connections.

 

When you actively strive to connect with your employees, you allow relationships to form. This can breed loyalty and create a healthier culture, as everyone will feel like they belong.

 

Growth

You can’t improve the performance of your business without embracing growth, and this doesn’t just include the companies. Supporting your professional growth as well as that of your team is also critical, ensuring everyone has the proper knowledge and skills to be at their best.

 

Make your own development a priority as this ensures your employees will have a solid example to follow. Then, provide them with opportunities too to make sure everyone can take steps forward.

 

Trust

Without trust, no team can thrive. Managers often worry about providing their staff with too much autonomy, fearing that, by letting go, something will go awry. However, when you give your employees some degree of freedom, they typically rise to the occasion. Plus, it frees you up to focus on your own tasks, including those that can generate growth.

 

Often, leaders need to extend trust first and not wait for it to be earned. By embracing this approach, your team builds confidence quickly and will strive to meet your expectations. When trust is withheld initially, it can breed discontent and anxiety, especially if your workers don’t know what they need to do to make progress. While allowing yourself to give trust when you are uncertain is difficult, it’s usually worth the effort.

 

Purpose

Employees aren’t going to be at their best when the company’s core focus in on increasing profits. Often, workers feel little benefit from the organization improving their bottom line, so you need to give them something more if you want them to excel.

 

Instead of focusing on profit, adopt a purpose mindset. When professionals can work on something that is intrinsically meaningful and fulfilling, productivity and engagement rise. This can lead to growth and, subsequently, a higher level of profitability, all without making either of those a core focus.

 

Are You Looking For the Most-Talented Tech Candidates?

By adopting the mindsets above, your company can grow in 2019. If you’d like to learn more, the skilled staff at The Armada Group can help. Contact us with questions today and see how our growth mindset expertise can benefit you.

 

 

What is Making Women in Tech Happier

 

There is still a substantial gender divide in tech. Women often earn less, struggle to be taken seriously, and lack strong female role models. However, there has been progress in recent years, even if it is somewhat slow-going.

 

Many women do strive to see the bright side of working in tech, even if they do face challenges in the field. By focusing on the benefits, many female tech professionals are happier in their positions and in the industry as a whole. While every woman is different, here are some of the things that are motivating women in tech.

 

Making a Positive Impact

Whether it's through the performance of their duties or their effort to eliminate gender biases in the field, women consider “making a positive impact” one of the biggest benefits of being in tech. When an employee feels like they are making a difference, it can be intrinsically motivating. Plus, if they believe they are improving the world in some way, be that with the products or services they provide or being a force for change in the industry, that increases their satisfaction.

 

Being a Role Model

Most women in tech want to encourage other women to get into the tech industry. By being a strong performer and respected professional, they are helping to create a culture that is more welcoming to female tech pros. Additionally, they have the chance to become role models for young professionals, especially as they personally rise through the ranks.

 

Facing Challenges

The world of tech is rarely boring. Along with the speed at which the industry changes, much of the work circles on finding solutions to problems, creating something new, and otherwise being highly engaged, all of which can be very motivating. When given a chance to explore emerging technologies or advance in the workplace, often thanks to professional development opportunities, their job satisfaction can increase even more.

 

Exploring Their Passion

Many women who get into the tech industry are highly passionate about the field. After all, female technology professionals are nearly guaranteed to face challenges on many levels - including lower compensation when compared to men, doubt about their capabilities, and company cultures that aren’t always welcoming - Without passion, it wouldn’t be worth it to face the difficulties many women in the industry contend with on a regular basis.

 

How You Can Support Women in Tech

When you hire a woman in a tech role, make sure to offer them the same level of compensation as their male counterparts. This allows everyone to be on a level playing field, ensuring that no one is being treated unfairly because of their gender.

 

Additionally, engage with your current female employees. Learn about their needs and preferences, and see how you can make the workplace and culture more attuned to them.

 

If you would like to learn more about women in tech, the skilled team at The Armada Group can help. Contact us with questions today and see how our workplace expertise can benefit you.

 

Top Security Engineers Must Have These Skills

 

As cybersecurity threats continue to multiple and major breaches hit the headlines on a regular basis, more companies are seeking highly skilled security engineers to make sure their systems are secure against the latest threats. To be a top candidate for these roles, you need to bring certain key skills to the table. Otherwise, you might not catch the attention of the hiring manager.

 

If you are wondering which skills can help you become a top security engineer, here are a few you absolutely need.

 

Security Product Expertise

Security engineers interact with a range of tech products while performing their duties. Everything from firewall management to URL filtering to virus protection fall under their purview, so knowing how to use the tools and technologies required to accomplish those goals is essential.

 

Similarly, security engineers need a firm grasp on what a variety of security products and services should cost. Since many security professionals are tasked with making recommendations when a new solution is required, understanding what is and isn’t a good deal is a valuable area of expertise to bring to the table.

 

Passion for the Subject

New threats emerge on a daily basis, and skilled security engineers understand the need to remain up to date at all times. Those who have an enthusiasm for their field are often more adept at staying informed, largely because the topic is of genuine interest.

 

Additionally, passion makes sorting through information regarding the latest security-related technology updates less cumbersome. Those with enthusiasm enjoy digging into the details to learn more about what the patches or new releases have to offer, making them more valuable in the eyes of employers.

 

Written and Verbal Communication

Security engineers need to be able to relay complex information, both verbally and in writing, to a variety of other professionals and stakeholders. This includes individuals who may not have an IT background, making it a necessity to be able to translate the “tech speak” into simpler language to promote understanding.

 

Technical Experience

Aside from security products, security engineers also need a firm grasp on a range of other technical topics. This can include various operating systems, coding languages, and network operations. Without these core understandings, it can be more difficult to assess a company’s needs, identify vulnerabilities, guarantee compatibility, and troubleshoot problems.

 

Time Management and Organization

Without time management and organizational skills, any security engineer would struggle to remain appropriately productive. Many projects are complex in nature, and even daily duties can be highly time-sensitive, making these core competencies must-haves if you want to excel in the field.

 

By acquiring the skills above, you too can position yourself as a top security engineer, making you a more attractive candidate to potential employers. If you would like to learn more about what makes a successful security engineer or are seeking out a new position in the field, the team at The Armada Group can help. Contact us to speak with a member of our knowledgeable staff today and see how our tech expertise can benefit you.

 

 

 

What Exactly Is Robotic Process Automation

 

While most companies understand that embracing automation is smart business, many leaders are only beginning to grasp the nuances of what is available today. Even as robotic process automation (RPA) garners more attention, not everyone fully understands what the technology can do.

 

If you are one of the many who is wondering what RPA entails, here’s what you need to know.

 

What Robotic Process Automation Is

At its simplest, RPA is a form of business process automation that takes advantage of next-level artificial intelligence (AI). It creates a mechanism to remove manual tasks that are highly repetitive and tedious from the hands of your staff, creating a way to increase overall efficiency.

 

At a deeper level, RPA is a technology that allows humans to create software that can accomplish specific tasks within existing applications, such as processing a transaction, triggering responses, leveraging data, or communicating with other systems. It makes the most of both APIs and user interfaces to fully automate a business process from end-to-end.

 

RPA also have the ability to combine the work of a human user with the software, creating more potential service capabilities. These solutions are often considered hybrids, but embrace RPA at their core as a means of boosting productivity.

 

What Robotic Process Automation Isn’t

RPA isn’t necessarily a method for reducing staff requirements or eliminating certain professions. Instead, it’s a technology that empowers employees to focus on tasks that genuinely necessitate a human touch, such as customer-centric activities or those that require creative thinking.

 

While it may help lighten workloads, RPA is more often seen as an opportunity to reassess staff priorities and realign their duties and objectives to make the most of the new paradigm. Employees can be more productive or branch out into new arenas, creating pathways for growth that can benefit both the workers and the company as a whole.

 

The Benefits of Robotic Process Automation

Typically, RPA allows monotonous tasks to be handled by a technology instead of your workers. Often, these are some of the most hated duties in the company, so allowing them to be managed by a machine can actually boost morale.

 

Additionally, it gives your staff the ability to focus on more revenue-generating, customer-centric, or innovative activities. This can enhance productivity and profitability while also providing a business a competitive edge over companies that have yet to embrace the power of the technology.

 

Ultimately, RPA can be a valuable tool for any company, particularly those who leverage it to enhance productivity and create the needed space to promote innovation and discovery or provide better support to potential and existing customers.

 

If you would like to know more about robotic process automation or are seeking an IT professional with RPA experience to help implement the technology in your company, the experienced staff 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.

 

 

7 Things the Most Successful SREs are Doing Right Now

 

Top performing site reliability engineers (SREs) often have a few things in common. While technical prowess is a given, they also share a certain attitude toward their role and how their efforts integrate into the larger picture. If you are looking to excel in the field, here are seven things you can do to be a successful SRE.

  1. Look at the Big Picture

Exceptional SREs always have the big picture in mind. They are able to analyze how each change could impact the business today as well as in the future. This ability to look beyond the now to effectively consider risk and future impacts is a critical habit for anyone who wants to be successful in the field.

  1. Be Forward-Thinking

Similar to the point above, great SREs are able to determine how their efforts impact others, including the system itself and their coworkers. They strive to break down informational silos and aim to always keep the work of others in the back of their mind, ensuring their changes don’t harm the business by negatively affecting the team.

  1. Let Go of Duds

At times, an SRE has to determine if a process or procedure is actually enhancing productivity. In cases where a well-intentioned effort isn’t panning out, you have to be able to let it go and move on. This means making efficiency and quality results a priority, no matter how much time was dedicated to an approach that isn’t actually beneficial.

  1. Embrace Automation

For some IT professionals, automation feels like a threat to their jobs. However, in many cases, it serves as a way to increase accuracy and efficiency while simultaneously freeing you up to focus on tasks that genuinely require your attention. This is especially true of monotonous, tedious, or repetitive work where opting to automate can actually be a source of relief.

  1. Be an Advocate for Change

At times, you’ll need to convince organizational leaders and stakeholders to make a critical change, such as automating a particular task, that provides a substantial benefit but seems to go against tradition. A top-notch SRE understands that being a confident advocate in these instances is a necessity, and they strive to acquire the skills it takes to do so effectively.

  1. Make Learning a Priority

Technology changes at a rapid pace, so trying to avoid the inevitable often means your skill set suffers. Talented SREs understand the value in embracing every learning opportunity, both as a means of future-proofing their skill set as well as increasing efficiency and productivity.

  1. Strive for Better

While perfection is impossible, as preventing a system from ever breaking down isn’t realistic, successful SREs know that always striving to be better is a critical mindset to maintain. It ensures you remain open-minded about change, allowing you to adjust continuously if something will produce better results.

 

If you would like to learn more about what successful SREs are doing, the professionals at The Armada Group would be happy to answer any questions you may have. Contact us to speak with one of our knowledgeable team members today and see how our technical expertise can benefit you.

 

 

How to Survive a Toxic Work Environment

 

Toxic workplaces are incredibly damaging to morale and are often considered the leading cause of employee burnout. While most professionals would never willingly accept a role in such an environment, it is often hard to understand the severity of the situation until you are in it personally. At times, this occurs once you begin a new job. In others, the existing culture morphs into something toxic over time, leaving you a bit stuck.

 

If you find yourself in a toxic work environment, there are things you can do to make it more manageable. Here’s how to get started.

 

Resist the Urge to Join In

When it comes to a toxic culture, the old adage, “if you can’t beat them, join them,” should not apply. While going along with the crowd may seem like the easiest way to avoid becoming a target of negativity, it is almost guaranteed to damage your reputation both inside and out of the company. This can make it harder to secure new opportunities when the need arises.

 

Similarly, it can also reflect poorly on you as an employee. Even if a workplace is toxic, that attitude rarely extends to everyone. If those above you on the ladder notice your change if behavior, it can harm your ability to grow professionally.

 

Build a Support Network

Having colleagues or other professionals you can trust in your corner can make it easier to survive in a toxic workplace. If you have a few coworkers you can rely on it may be easier to keep your spirits up and avoid negative incidents.

 

Additionally, having a large professional network increases your odds of learning about new opportunities in companies with more favorable conditions. Then, you may be able to make a speedy exit to greener pastures if you feel that is the best course of action.

 

Enhance Your Skills

Even the most toxic workplaces have something to offer. If you get a chance to join interesting projects or acquire new knowledge, make sure to take advantage of them. This gives you more to showcase on your resume, increasing the odds that when you apply elsewhere that you’ll impress the hiring manager.

 

Document What Happens

If you are exposed to toxic events, make sure to keep copious notes about what occurs. Save any emails, record information after meetings, and otherwise track what happened and when it happened.

By documenting everything, you give yourself the evidence you need to either push for change or to simply protect yourself, both of which can be valuable in their own right.

 

Ultimately, by following the tips above, you can survive a toxic workplace. Then, if you feel like you need to make a change, you can do so at your own pace and without undue pressure to escape. If you would like to learn more about how to deal with a toxic environment or are seeking a new position, the team at The Armada Group can help. Contact us today to speak with one of our knowledgeable recruiters and see how our workplace expertise can benefit you.

 

 

Body Language in a Job Interview

 

While having the right mix of skills and experience is critical to landing a new role, how you dress and present yourself during your job interview can also be a factor in whether you are selected for the position. By putting additional effort into your appearance, you can inspire confidence in the hiring manager. Plus, by learning to control your body language, it is possible to use your mannerisms to your benefit.

 

If you are wondering how to make the best impression possible, here is what you need to know about your appearance and body language during an interview.

 

How to Select Your Attire

How you look plays a role in how you are perceived and can significantly impact your first impression on the hiring manager. People will make assumptions about your competence, intelligence, attention to detail, and trustworthiness based on your appearance, so selecting the right attire is an essential part of preparing for an interview.

 

First and foremost, all of your interview clothes need to be in good repair. Holes and stains are guaranteed to leave a poor impression, so they need to be avoided at all costs. Similarly, every piece needs to fit well, as loose clothing makes a person appear disheveled while items that are too tight may seem inappropriate in a professional setting.

 

Additionally, you want to make sure your attire isn’t rumpled when you arrive. While you may not be able to prevent every wrinkle before you come in for your interview, ironing your outfit before you leave home can be beneficial.

 

If you aren’t sure what sort of clothing is appropriate for the environment, always err on the side of more dressed up and conservative. In many cases, business casual is a solid choice, but it’s hard to go wrong with a classic suit and tie or similar outfit if you aren’t sure what the hiring manager expects.

 

Master Your Body Language

During your interview, your body language can be just as important as the words you use when answering a question. By using positive body language, like sufficient eye contact and smiling, you increase your odds the hiring manager will see you as a competent professional.

 

Similarly, learning to maintain an open posture can help you seem friendlier and more self-assured while using power poses and standing or sitting up straight can make you appear more confident.

 

When you rehearse your interview responses prior to the meeting, spend some time reciting your answers in front of a mirror. This will allow you to observe your mannerisms, giving you a chance to adjust your body language to send the ideal message.

 

Ultimately, your appearance and body language do matter during a job interview, so working to improve them both can increase your odds of being selected for the role. If you are interested in learning more about how you can make a positive impression on hiring managers, the professionals at The Armada Group can help. Contact us to speak with one of our knowledgeable team members today and see how our hiring expertise can benefit you.

 

 

Machine Learning Platform

 

Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning are increasing their presences in the business world on a seemingly daily basis. These technologies have the ability to automate repetitive tasks, identify trends in unstructured data, and even make predictions that can assist companies with critical decisions.

 

However, organizations can only take advantage of the technologies if they have a system to support it. For smaller companies, designing a proprietary machine learning platform may be out of reach. However, thanks to open source, that doesn’t mean they can’t create a functional solution based on their unique needs.

 

While using the open source approach may seem risky, particularly since you don’t have full ownership over your creation, when leveraged properly, it can actually be the ideal approach. If you are interested in building a machine learning platform, here’s how to make the most of the open source options available.

 

Explore Existing Offerings

When you want to use open source to craft your ideal solution, you don’t want to merely grab the first option you come across. Instead, explore each one to learn its strengths and weaknesses, allowing you to choose the best approach based on your existing systems, coding preferences, or overall goals.

 

Today, there are multiple open source options available, including many from leading technology companies. For example, Salesforce opened up their TransmogrifAI, the machine learning library used in the company’s Einstein AI platform, that works best with structured data. Oracle’s Graphpipe may be a better option for smartphone and IoT device-oriented machine learning models where cloud-based servers are in play. And, of course, there is also a significant amount of machine learning code available from Google.

 

By taking a close look at the open source options that are available, you can identify existing solutions that can help you craft your ideal platform based on your needs and goals. This can be a significant timesaver, ensuring you begin your project in the best position possible.

 

Embrace the Community

When you use an open source approach to creating your machine learning platform, you also gain an additional benefit beyond having access to reliable starting code; you can also leverage the community. Companies and developers on sites like GitHub are more than willing to look over your code, provide suggestions, make tweaks, or even help you find errors.

 

By embracing the community, businesses with small development teams can make progress more quickly, resulting in a more robust solution in a shorter timeframe. Plus, they can help your IT pros learn and grow in the machine learning development arena, allowing them to enhance their skills and knowledge along the way.

 

Ultimately, by leveraging open source, you can build your next machine learning platform quickly and efficiently. If you are interested in learning more about the power of open source, the professionals at The Armada Group can help. Contact us to speak with one of our knowledgeable team members today and see how our development expertise can benefit you.

 

 

Stay in Touch with Your Old Boss

 

When you move on to a new role, the idea of staying in touch with your old boss may seem odd. This is especially true if your relationship wasn’t always ideal or was downright challenging at times. Even if you had a strong connection, which can occur when a supervisor isn’t just overseeing your work but also helps you grow as a professional, touching base regularly might feel strange, particularly when it comes to discussing how happy you are in your new job.

 

However, remaining in contact with your former manager is actually a smart move, especially when it comes to the success of your career. If you are sure why, here aren’t four reasons to stay in touch with your old boss.

 

  1. Guidance

Just because you’ve started in a new position doesn’t mean your old boss can’t offer you guidance during trying times. In fact, they can be an excellent sounding board when you run into challenges, as they aren’t personally involved in your new work situation.

 

As long as you aren’t in a profession where discussing the details of your new role with someone outside the company could be an issue, don’t discount how valuable your former manager’s advice could be during a time of need. They could become a helpful mentor during your career journey, but that can’t happen if you don’t stay in contact.

 

  1. Professional Development

Ultimately, few people understand your professional strengths and weaknesses like your former manager. This makes them uniquely positioned when it comes to helping you determine what areas you should focus on if you want to grow your skills.

 

While they may have shared some of these details with you while you were part of their team, they may be able to speak more bluntly now that the relationship is over. By staying connected, you can invite them to discuss these points with you without being hampered by policy or formality, and you may learn valuable tidbits you wouldn’t hear about any other way.

 

  1. Opportunities

When you land a new job, the idea of having to secure another one in the future is usually the farthest thing from your mind. However, unless you are approaching retirement, there’s a decent chance you’ll end up on the job market at some point during your career.

 

Like you, your old boss maintains their own professional network, and they may hear about exciting job openings at other companies. Additionally, like you, your boss may secure a new opportunity with another business, giving you a connection to a new organization.

 

By staying in touch with your old boss, you can count on them as part of your network. That way, when it’s time to find something new again, you can reach out and see if they are aware of any jobs that may suit you.

 

  1. References

When you need to provide a prospective employer with contact information for a reference, being able to list a former manager is often ideal. In most cases, your old boss’s input is valuable for a few years after you leave that position, so keeping in touch ensures you can provide their details should the need arise.

 

Even if you landed your dream job, it’s always wise to have a plan in case you end up on the job market sooner than you expected. Unanticipated events, like a layoff or emergency move, can throw your career off track, so having important references available is always essential.

 

Those are just a few of the reasons why it’s smart to stay in touch with your old boss. If you would like to learn more or are hoping to land a new job soon, the staff at The Armada Group can help. Contact us to speak with one of our highly skilled team members today and see how our career management expertise can benefit you.

 

 

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