C Programming

 

When a programming language has been around for as long as C (46 years and counting), many professionals wonder if it is still relevant in today’s business world. After all, that level of longevity is rare, particularly in the technology space, and new languages often garner a significant amount of attention, making it seem like it’s smarter to concentrate on those.

 

However, C isn’t just relevant; it’s actually in-demand. It continues to crack the top ten in a variety of lists that focus on the desirability of programming languages, both from the employer and the developer perspective.

 

Additionally, the C language likely isn’t going anywhere soon, so it’s a smart skill to keep in your repertoire. If you are wondering why brushing up on your C programming skills is a wise move when you want to find a new job, here’s what you need to know.

 

Continually Evolving

The C programming language has remained relevant largely because of its ability to evolve. The original iteration shifted to meet changing demands, leading to the development of ANSI C (or ISO C) in the late 1980s, then C99 and C11.

 

The ability of C to evolve keeps it from becoming obsolete, and programming professionals must do the same if they want to land a coveted opportunity. If you haven’t updated your C skills in a while, now is a perfect time, giving you a chance to reach a new level of proficiency based on the needs of businesses today.

 

 

Substantial Footprint

Since C has been around for nearly half a century, there is a significant amount of existing code that was written in the language. The sheer volume of code helps C maintain its relevancy, especially since replacing legacy systems with alternatives featuring other languages could be costly and predominately unnecessary if the existing solutions still meet the needs of the company.

 

Unless there is a substantial benefit associated with making a change, even forward-thinking organizations are likely to shy away from replacing legacy systems that are fully functional. This means that, by keeping your C skills current, you aren’t necessarily limiting yourself in regards to opportunities.

 

Overall Popularity

The level of enjoyment developers derive from working with a language also plays a role in longevity and how widely a language is used. When given a choice, coders will usually select an option that is comfortable for them, and their level of familiarity with C keeps the language alive.

 

Additionally, like companies deciding whether or not to maintain legacy systems, many developers won’t switch away from a language that works without a notable incentive. Since other programmers you may work with likely favor C in some regards, the odds that a company’s systems will feature it increase.

 

Overall, the popularity of C in the development community supports the notion that staying up to date with the language is a smart move, as C will likely stay relevant for years to come.

 

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

 

 

Social Media

 

Social media screening has become increasingly popular with companies. Traditionally, it’s used to find additional information about candidates beyond what is contained on their resumes including as a way to learn details that reflect a job seeker’s beliefs and personality.

 

While social media screening can be beneficial, the approach also comes with some drawbacks. Here are some of the pros and cons of using social media screening to find your ideal candidate.

 

Pro: More Than a Resume

By design, a resume is a fairly short document, usually being limited to one or two pages. Even if the applicant provides a cover letter, you’re only getting a glimpse into their skills, abilities, and experiences.

 

Social media screening is a great tool for learning about a job seeker’s capabilities beyond what can be expressed in a resume. You may find blog posts that highlight their knowledge as well as their skill with the written word. Information about less applicable, though still potentially valuable, skills may also be readily available. Portfolios of past work may also be accessible through their social media pages.

 

By screening their social media accounts, you can learn a lot of helpful information about who a candidate is as a professional, giving you a better ideal if you want to continue considering them for the role.

 

Con: Protected Status Details

Most social media users reveal a significant amount of information on their profiles, including items that could associate them with a protected group. For example, a person’s picture may allow you to determine their national origin, race, gender, and approximate age. Posts or affiliation with certain groups may relate to a disability they have or religious preferences.

 

Even if you did not intend to find these details, using them in a hiring decision could be viewed as discrimination. This could lead to a lawsuit or other forms of legal trouble.

 

 

Pro: Spotting Red Flags Early

While perusing through an applicant’s social media profiles, you may discover behaviors or incidents that show the person might not be the ideal employee. Posts that include racist or sexist remarks should be considered a red flag. Images that show irresponsible behavior or messages that speak poorly of their current employer are also warning signs. Even poor writing skills may suggest you may want to move on to another candidate, especially if written communication is a substantial part of the job.

 

Con: Equal Opportunity Concerns

A large portion of the popular maintains social media accounts. However, not everyone takes part in social media, and some of the reasoning is both logical and justifiable. If a lack of active accounts or profiles leads you to discard a candidate, then the job seeker may be inclined to file a lawsuit over that decision.

 

If you do use social media screening, ensuring that those who don’t maintain a presence aren’t immediately cut from contention is a must. Otherwise, you might not only open yourself up to a lawsuit but could also miss out on a great candidate.

 

Ultimately, social media screening can be a powerful tool, but it needs to be managed wisely and should only be a small part of the larger process. If you are interested in learning more or are seeking candidates for your vacant positions, the skilled professionals at The Armada Group can help. Contact us to discuss your business needs today and see how our services can benefit you.

 

 

Company Details

 

Coming prepared for a job interview is a must. But, even knowing that, many job seekers stop short when it comes to getting ready, focusing largely on practicing routine interview questions and digging up information about salaries.

 

If you want to make the best impression on the hiring manager, then you need to take it a step further by researching details about the company itself, as well as their products or service offerings. If you aren’t sure how this extra effort can help you land the tech job you want, here’s what you need to know.

 

It Shows You’re Informed

During an interview, the hiring manager wants to do more than just assess your background; they want to determine if your skills and experiences translate into value for their organization. While rehashing your accomplishments is helpful, it doesn’t always provide the interviewer with the context they need to feel confident in your capabilities.

 

By learning about the company, as well as their products or services, you can showcase your skills in a meaningful way based on their anticipated needs. You can craft your responses to be particularly relevant to their industry or offerings, showing you took the time to become informed about the business and how it operates.

 

Luckily, gathering this kind of information isn’t as difficult as it once was, thanks to the plethora of online resources. Refer to the company’s website to get a solid overview, dig into their social media accounts to discover recent news and developments, and check out employee review sites to get some background information that may not be available elsewhere. Anything you can find out about what they do and why they do it can give you an advantage during the interview, so don’t skimp on the research if you really want the job.

 

 

It Demonstrates Interest

Hiring managers generally favor candidates who seem genuinely interested in not just the role, but the company and its products or services, as well. When you dig into the details and use that information to color your responses, it’s easier to assert your interest in the position.

 

When a candidate doesn’t perform this level of research, the hiring manager may question whether they are truly passionate about the opportunity. This is especially true if they ask questions that pertain to their particular industry or offerings, and an interviewee can’t adjust their response to answer fully.

 

By knowing the details, you can stand out from other candidates who didn’t go the extra mile. This can help you make an especially positive impression on the hiring manager, and may make it easier to land the job.

 

If you are currently seeking a new position, the skilled professionals at The Armada Group can connect you to exciting opportunities throughout the area. Contact us to speak with one of our experienced recruiters today and see how our services can help you find your ideal job.

 

 

Employment Gaps

 

Most job seekers have seen the warning; gaps on your IT resume can hurt you when you try to find a new position. This can be particularly disheartening, especially when the gap was at least partially unavoidable.

 

In some cases, candidates try to disguise or minimize their gaps by adjusting employment dates. But, falsifying information, even with the smallest tweaks, can come back to bite you if they are discovered.

 

Luckily, there are things you can do to address employment gaps on your IT resume the proper way. If you are dealing with a gap in your work history, here’s how to get started.

 

Highlight Your Skills, Accomplishments, and Education

One of the biggest concerns a hiring manager may have when they see a recent employment gap is that your IT skills may be out of date. However, you can put those fears to rest by showcasing any competencies, accomplishments, or education that demonstrates you have the required level of knowledge and experience to succeed in the role.

 

An easy way to make sure that what you have to offer is front and center is to add the proper details to the “Professional Summary” section of your resume. Make sure that the points you make are targeted to the job if you want to make a positive impact on the hiring manager.

 

 

Going to School isn’t Inherently a Gap

Just because you stepped away from the workforce that doesn’t mean you are necessarily dealing with an actual gap. Most employers don’t view someone choosing not to work will they pursue an education as a red flag, particularly if the field is challenging.

 

If you left a job to earn a degree and are now looking to re-enter the workforce, make sure to list your recently educational accomplishments near the top of your resume, especially if you are changing fields or specialties. This allows you to show precisely what you were doing while you weren’t employed, eliminating the issue quickly.

 

Connect with Area Recruiters

Many companies turn to recruiters to help fill IT positions, particularly if the required skills are hard to find. If you haven’t made a connection with a recruitment agency, now may be the perfect time to get started.

 

Typically, you can build a relationship with a recruiter, allowing you to explain the nature of your employment gap to someone who can then function as your advocate. In most cases, a single gap in your work history won’t hurt your chances of landing a great job, especially if you have someone to go to bat for you with local hiring managers.

 

If you are seeking a new IT opportunity, the experienced recruiters at The Armada Group can connect you with leading companies throughout the area. Contact us to speak with one of our knowledgeable staff members today and see how our services can help you take the next step forward in your career.

 

 

Bootcamp Graduates

 

Some have begun to question the usefulness of bootcamps. Not only are the expensive, but they also require a substantial time commitment. Additionally, they might not be an ideal path to a job in tech.

 

Often, bootcamps are touted as a way to break into the development field. However, the majority of attendees already work as developers, using the bootcamp to help advance their skills. And, for those that aren’t currently employed in the field, completing a bootcamp isn’t a guaranteed path to employment.

 

In fact, nearly 20 percent of bootcamp graduates don’t land jobs as developers within the first 90 days of graduating, according to a recent survey. When those who are currently employed in the field, that results in odds of landing a job within three months of graduating just only slightly better than 1 in 3.

 

But why is that the case? Here’s what you need to know.

 

Not All Businesses Trust Bootcamps

By and large, the bootcamp world is unregulated. This means there are no set standards regarding the quality of instruction or what topics or skills will be covered.

 

Plus, there are some irreputable bootcamps floating around, thanks to the lack of regulations and the high potential for profitability, that don’t leave graduates equipped to function in developer roles.

 

Overall, this leaves a lot of companies hesitant to trust that a bootcamp graduate who doesn’t have any other experience or education in the field is actually capable of meeting the demands of their developer jobs.

 

 

You May Leave Ill-Prepared

As mentioned above, not all bootcamps offer the same quality of education. This means, if you select the wrong one, you might not end up with the skills you need to succeed as a developer, particularly if you have no background in the field or supporting education.

 

Now, this doesn’t mean that all bootcamps are worthless, just that you have to be incredibly diligent in selecting one. Do your research before enrolling, and don’t assume that a high price tag means quality, as that isn’t necessarily the case.

 

Additionally, you need to look beyond the placement rate advertised by the bootcamp, as these figures may be artificially inflated by attendees who entered the program as an employed developer and left to rejoin their existing team.

 

Some bootcamp graduates do find a developer role quickly after graduating, or even immediately after finishing their program. However, there is a range of factors that can play into those statistics, including prior experience and other forms of education.

 

Can a bootcamp be beneficial to your career? It certainly can. But it’s important to remember that graduating from a bootcamp isn’t a guaranteed path to employment, so consider weighing other options, like courses through a local community college or university, before you pay for a bootcamp. 

 

If you are interested in learning more or are seeking a new tech position, the professionals at The Armada Group can help. Contact us to speak with one of our experienced team members today and see how our services can benefit your career.

 

 

Data Scientist or Engineer

 

As big data made waves in the business world, a range of new job titles emerged that described some of the critical functions associated with harnessing the power of a company’s data. But, with many of them being similar, it can be hard to identify the differences between the roles based on their job titles alone.

 

The data scientist and data engineer titles are a prime example, as they may seem similar on the surface. However, these are unique professions, and which you choose with impact how your career develops.

 

If you aren’t sure whether a data scientist or data engineer career path is right for you, here’s what you need to know.

 

Data Scientist

A data scientist is a professional who can take raw data and turn it into something meaningful. Often, an understanding of statistics, analytics, and machine learning are required, enabling these specialists to solve a variety of critical business problems or answer important questions.

 

At their core, data scientists take large quantities of data and use the information to generate actionable insights. This requires strong programming skills, an understanding of algorithm creation, data visualization skills, and high-level problem-solving skills.

 

Some of the commonly requested hard skills include Apache Spark, Hadoop, Python, R, deep learning, machine learning, and statistics.

 

 

Data Engineer

A data engineer is usually responsible for handling the infrastructure that supports the big data activities of data scientists. Often, this includes designing systems, building solutions, and creating mechanisms that allow information from a variety of sources to integrate.

 

They may also compose complex queries, ensuring that the data is accessible and the larger system operates efficiently, and design data warehouses.

 

The ultimate goal of most data engineers is to ensure that the proper system design and architecture are in place, and usually aren’t expected to have high-level skills in areas like analytics and machine learning.

 

However, commonly requested skills include Hadoop, MapReduce, SQL, NoSQL, MySQL, and Cassandra.

 

Which is Right for You?

Ultimately, which career path is right for you depends on your skill set and personal preferences. Both options can lead to a lucrative and long-lasting career, particularly since companies are likely to continue pursuing data-oriented objectives for years to come.

 

Both roles are important in the data landscape, so one isn’t inherently more valuable than the other. Without data engineers, data scientists wouldn’t have the infrastructure they need to get their jobs done.

 

There are also other roles associated with big data that may be appealing, such as data analyst positions, so you aren’t restricted to only exploring data scientist or data engineer job.

 

If you are interested in finding a new opportunity in any of the above career paths, the professionals at The Armada Group can help you explore your options and connect you with leading companies throughout the area. Contact us today to learn more about how our services can benefit you.