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Tuesday, Jan 05 2016

10 Interview Tips for 2016

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10 Interview Tips for 2016

Going to be looking for a new job in the new year? Update your resume and brush up on your interviewing skills with these 10 tips:

1. Have good manners.

Be nice to everyone you meet during the hiring process, including the administrative assistants who schedule the interviews and bring you into the office. Even if the hiring process doesn't formally solicit their feedback, you can be sure any bad impression you make on them will find its way back to the hiring manager.

2. Don't focus solely on technology.

If you're interviewing for a leadership or managerial role, your job is more about people than tech. If you are looking for a technical job, you'll have to interact with co-workers and colleagues in other business departments. If you make it clear you enjoy those interactions, you'll appear more flexible than someone who wants to keep their head down and just code.

3. Be ready to explain how you'd get started.

Companies are often hiring because they have an urgent need. Be ready to explain how your skills, background, and approach will let you hit the ground running.

4. Dress appropriately.

It's rare to need a suit and tie when interviewing for a technical position, but you should still bump your style up a notch. In some startups, casual, even sloppy, dress may still be appropriate for an interview, but even if you're rumpled, you need to be clean.

5. Be ready to show your portfolio.

Particularly for positions that emphasize creativity, such as user interface design roles, you may be asked to show samples of your work. Be mindful of any confidentiality or nondisclosure agreements you have with your current employer, but bring examples of your work when possible. (Don’t force an uninterested interviewer to look at it, however!)

6. Be ready to ask questions.

You can plan questions in advance based on information you gather about the company online, but you'll make an even better impression if you ask relevant questions about the specific opportunity that relate to information the interviewer gave you.

7. Indicate your interest in continuing development.

No one can afford to stop learning, whether in a technical or managerial role. Express your interest in continuing to develop your capabilities, including technical and leadership skills, and the company will know that your value to them won't end just because a technology becomes obsolete.

8. Have your references ready.

Companies expect that you'll be able to provide references; not having a list of names handy makes you seem unprepared and can raise suspicions that you don't have anyone who will vouch for you. Make sure you let your references know you'll be giving their information out and they are willing to respond on your behalf.

9. Rehearse.

You don't want to give canned answers to interview questions, but you don't want to ramble, either. Anticipate what you may be asked and think about your answers in advance. You can't anticipate specific technical questions, but you can brush up on the relevant technologies to refresh your memory.

10. Remember the evaluation process goes both ways.

Interviewing isn't just about you impressing the company; the company also needs to impress you. Pay attention to the facilities and people you see; do you think you'd fit in and enjoy working here? That's the most important interview question of all.

What Security Pros Need in the New Year

From an information security perspective, 2015 was a headline-making year, and not in a good way. Major breaches occurred at healthcare insurance companies, an online dating site, financial firms, and government agencies including the FBI. The challenges facing security pros are daunting. These are a few of the things they need to make their jobs easier:

Integrated security tools.

There are plenty of security products out there, including firewalls, intrusion detection systems, data loss prevention tools, threat feeds, and security information and event management products, but they mostly provide independent services. Security pros wish for integrated tools that would provide a comprehensive view of the network security posture and work together to address threats.

Increased security awareness.

Security doesn't make money for companies, so it often gets little attention—and money—until after a problem has occurred. Security pros wish consciousness of the importance of security would penetrate the entire business hierarchy, from the boardroom where strategic funding decisions are made to the lowest-level employees who are vulnerable to phishing and social engineering attacks.

Security implemented throughout the technology stack.

It's no longer possible to secure corporate data by securing the network. Security needs to be built into applications and databases to defend against attacks that originate from within the network. Security concerns should be part of an application's earliest design phases, not an afterthought ineffectually bolted on at the tail end of the development process.

Security focused on major risks.

It's impossible to provide effective security when you don't know where the biggest risks are. Companies need to perform risk analysis to understand which data is being used by which applications and where that data is being stored. Then security efforts can focus on protecting sensitive data which would do the greatest harm if exposed, rather than applying equal levels of protection across all applications regardless of risk.

More security engineers.

There's a shortage of security professionals, so even when a business is committed to investing in security, it's hard to find employees with the skills to implement the necessary tools and policies. Engineers with solid training and up-to-date security certifications will find plenty of opportunity in the new year.

Armada Dec How Much Should You be Earning as a Senior Front End Engineer

Front-end engineering is one of the most in-demand developer skills. With the need for applications to run on multiple devices, companies need skilled front-end developers to create interfaces that work on every platform. There's a lot of reward in the good feelings that come from creating attractive interfaces that are easy to use, but front-end developers also get the rewards of a competitive paycheck, especially at senior levels.

Senior Front-End Engineer Skills

Before you can become a senior front-end engineer, you need to have a couple of years experience with core skills, plus additional skills to round out your ability to contribute to a team.

Every front end developer needs to know standard front-end technologies like HTML and CSS. JavaScript is key; you should have expert knowledge of base JavaScript language capabilities including scope, closures, and inheritance. You should also be familiar with libraries and frameworks like jQuery, Node.js, and Angular.js. You should also have a solid understanding of AJAX and JSON.

Since front-ends are so dependent on images, the ability to manipulate images in Photoshop is also a useful skill.

At many companies, front-end developers pinch hit on the backend, and knowing a server-side technology like Python or .NET, in addition to front-end languages, increases your value to your employer.

Senior Front-End Engineer Salaries

Salaries vary across geographic regions and industries, but you can still find useful information. According to Glassdoor, the national average salary for front end engineers is more than $99,000. They also provide a salary breakdown by company, with Facebook's front-end engineers averaging more than $135,000 and Yahoo's front end engineers averaging about $111,000. Not surprisingly, the numbers go up when you add "senior" to the title; Glassdoor reports an average figure of close to $120,000 for senior front-end engineers at Yahoo.

Other surveys report even higher figures in specific locations. Indeed reports an average salary for senior front-end engineers of $105,000, but the same title in New York or San Francisco pulls an average salary of more than $140,000. 

 Armada Dec Six Ways to Make a First Impression That Establishes Yourself as a Leader

Most companies probably schedule your interviews to be 30 minutes or an hour long, so you have plenty of time to sell your strengths and get the job, right? Nope. It turns out you have precisely 385 seconds – less than seven minutes – before the interviewer makes up their mind. And a good part of the interviewer's opinion is based on their first impression of you, not how well your skills and education match the requirements for the position. Make the strongest first impression you can with these tips:

Be there on time.

Show up late and it's hard to overcome the impression that you just weren't interested or didn't care enough to make the effort to get to your interview on time.

Be happy to be there.

Smile and make eye contact with the interviewer. You need to look like you want to be there, not as if you want to hide. Another advantage of smiling? Smiling decreases stress levels. And the less stressed out you feel, the easier answering interview questions will be.

Offer a strong handshake.

Strong handshakes demonstrate self-assuredness and an eagerness to impress the interviewer. A candidate with a strong handshake is more likely to be remembered than a candidate with a weak, unconfident one.

Control your body language.

Your overall body language should demonstrate confidence, besides your handshake. Make sure your posture is upright – stand up straight when you walk, and sit up straight, too. Control nervous behaviors like fidgeting or twirling hair. Mirroring the interviewer's body language (they cross their legs, you cross your legs) can help give the impression you share the same feelings, as well as the same position.

Speak clearly.

How you speak is almost as important as what you say. Make sure you sound calm, relaxed, and not overly excited. You should anticipate typical interview questions and have the outline of an answer prepared, though you don't want to sound overly rehearsed.

Dress appropriately.

Help your interviewer see how you'll fit in by looking like you'll fit in. Do some research to learn the dress code at the firm and plan your interview wardrobe accordingly. A suit and tie may be too much, but it’s always better to be too formal than too informal. And while casual may be OK, your clothes need to be clean. There's no environment where stains on your clothes leave a good impression.

Armada Dec Site Reliability Engineer Why Experience Will Get You the Job

Getting hired for any position depends on having the right education and experience. For site reliability engineers, more than many other positions, having the right experience is more important than the right degree.

The reason for this is that site reliability engineers need to keep critical applications running. This requires a level of understanding that only comes from real-world experience; book smarts just aren’t enough to provide the insights that let SREs resolve problems quickly.

Build Technical Experience

The SRE position also requires systems understanding that runs both deep and broad. SREs need to understand networking, systems administration, databases, applications development, and all the interactions between them. SREs can be involved in architecting the environment where the applications will run and need to know how to bring all the components together effectively.

Experience working with programming languages, including both high-level languages like Java and scripting languages like Python, is necessary to develop the tools SREs use. Writing a few "hello world" level programs doesn't offer deep experience to build and debug complex applications.

Develop Trouble-Shooting Skills

The more problems you solve, the better you get at solving problems. A large part of the SRE role is solving problems; often, they're solved by recognizing similarities to a previous issue. The more experience you have solving problems, the bigger the dataset you can apply pattern recognition to. You don't have to start solving every problem from first principles; you can jump right to the most likely sources of trouble. Shortcutting the problem-solving process means shortening the length of time the problem exists.

Develop Serenity

Another reason companies look for experience in their SREs is that the position requires interacting with other internal organizations to investigate and resolve problems as quickly as possible. Things get stressful fast; when a core application is down, business doesn't get done and companies lose money, as well as potentially taking a hit to their image. Developing the ability to stay calm and focused, and work through analyses when managers are losing their cool around you, is key to getting the job done. This kind of battle hardening only comes from living through complicated real-world problems and makes you more effective at your SRE job.

Armada Dec Five Simple Ways to Build Your Brand on LinkedIn


Are you a brand? Whether you realize it or not, you have a personal brand: the way others see you when they look you up online. When you're job hunting, you don't want your online brand to consist solely of your Facebook page and the funny posts you share with your friends. Building a professional brand on LinkedIn helps you stand out and impress recruiters and potential employers. Use these tips to turn your online profile into a brand that attracts attention.

1. Stand out from the start.

Your LinkedIn headline, like the headline in a newspaper article, needs to grab the reader's eye. It also needs to emphasize the main subject matter – easier to do for a news story than for your personal history. You've got limited space and characters to work with, so keep it tight. Provide your location, your title, and your primary skills or significant accomplishment.

2. Back up your headline claim.

Your headline makes a claim for how good you are; the rest of your profile needs to provide the details that prove it. Be sure to mention your awards, certifications, and other credentials that support your qualifications.

3. Get found.

For your profile to be found during searches, it needs to include the keywords that people search on. If there are multiple ways a key phrase might be worded, include all possibilities. Keywords can include things like titles, skills, or credentials, so include that information throughout the profile – in the headline, the summary, and other sections. Be sure to complete the “Skills” section completely. Adding additional custom sections for information like recent coursework is a great way to create more room for keywords.

4. Ask others to vouch for you.

Testimonials provide proof of the claims you make. Ask your former employers and colleagues for testimonials including the keywords you're emphasizing to add additional weight.

5. Participate in groups. 

Post updates and contribute to group discussions to get your name and information "out there." The information you share online in LinkedIn should be professional; this isn't the forum for being outrageous. Present a professional image so that when others read your opinions, they can envision you working for their organization.