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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.

Armada NovWhat Not to Wear at Your Interview With a Startup

When you're applying for a corporate job, it makes sense to go for a corporate look at your interview. You want to look like you can fit in and do the job. When you're applying for a job at a startup, deciding what to wear isn't so straightforward. Startups are the antithesis of corporate, and without a dress code, their employees usually wear pretty much whatever they want. But that doesn't mean you can wear whatever you want to your interview.

Every startup is different. To some extent, you need to use common sense based on what you've heard about this specific startup and the specific role you're interviewing for. Sales jobs and other jobs that require meeting with customers may require a more pulled-together appearance. So what follows, then, aren't rules but guidelines that will help you decide how to present yourself.

Be clean.

It doesn't matter how casual the dress code is; your clothes should be freshly laundered. You should not be rumpled, smelly or stained, it will seem like you aren't able to handle basic self care, or give the position your respect.

Be neat.

A pulled-together look is always better. That doesn't mean formal, but it does mean looking like you made an effort. It's not so much the specifics of what you wear, but that you give an impression that the interview is a big deal to you.

Fit in.

Not all casual environments are the same. Some are fine with short; others draw the line at jeans. It's better to be one step more formal than the workplace than to push it too far.

For both gents and ladies, khakis and a button-down shirt are always a safe choice. There's no need for a tie. Ladies can also wear a dress; just don't go too short or too low cut. If you go with jeans, darker colors read more formal than light colors. A sports jacket or blazer also step up your style when you wear jeans.

No smart company will make the decision to hire you based solely on what you wear to the interview, but it's another piece of information they'll consider. Miss the mark too badly and they'll wonder about your judgment. Make a smart wardrobe choice for your interview, and once you're hired, you can dress like you belong there.

Armada Nov What Every Android Engineer Should Have on Their Resume

Mobile application development is a hot topic these days. There are many opportunities, but lots of resumes are submitted for each opening. To make your resume stand out in the pile, make sure it lists both the technical skills and other qualities managers are looking for.

Technical Skills

Programming languages and environments are key. Java is required as is the Android SDK. Most real world apps will require getting data through APIs, so provide information on that and other third-party libraries your work used.

Also list the IDE you worked in, including any plugins, plus the emulator you used for testing. If you used Git or some other version control system, list that as well.

If you aren't limited to working on the phone side of the project, you'll be able to contribute in more ways. Backend experience with databases and webservers add valuable skills. 


Provide details on the projects you've worked on, detailing your specific responsibilities and contributions. Detail the Android technical concepts that underlie your development work.

You should be able to show that you understand the process for submitting an app to Google Play and other common app stores. If you can provide links to your apps, that's even better; an online portfolio that lets hiring managers see and even try out your work gives a real picture of what you can accomplish. 

Non-Technical Skills

Software development is a team effort and relies heavily on communication. Work on developing both verbal and written communication skills. Your passion for technology can be shown through membership in organizations. If you have a lead role in the organization, or if you've arranged presentations or given one yourself, be sure to include that information on your resume. Also list any additional training you've taken, online study, or non-work related projects that expand your technical skills.

Getting Hired

A buzzword-laden resume may get you the interview, but it won't get you the job. You need to be able to backup the skills claimed on the resume with solid answers to interview questions. If you've never used a technology, take time to study it and learn it before you put it on your resume. The better prepared you are, the more likely you are to get the job.

Armada Nov 5 Qualities to Look for in a Technical Recruiter

Finding good technical employees can be time consuming. It takes time to publish the job description, sift through resumes, and screen potential employees. Offloading this work to a technical recruiter lets you focus on the work your business needs to get done – if you hire the right recruiter. Look for a technical recruiter with these skills to help you fill your open position fast.

Understanding of technology and the industry

Technical roles require a lot of specific skills. The more a recruiter understands about the skills, the more effectively they'll be able to winnow out candidates who've padded resumes with buzzwords not backed up by experience. And the more they understand about your industry, the better able they'll be to distinguish the “must have” skills from the “nice to have” skills.

Lots of contacts and the drive to make more

If the recruiter has a large database of resumes already, they can start identifying candidates before the job description is even posted. They should also know where to network both online and in the real world, to make more contacts and solicit resumes from more potential hires.

Marketplace insight

With an understanding of the marketplace, an effective technical recruiter can help you determine an appropriate salary for the position you're listing. They can also give you a realistic sense of whether it's an employer's market or an employee's market, and how long it takes the average company to fill an average position.

People skills

Because potential employees have to get through the technical recruiter before they get to you, it's important that they have good people skills. They need to be friendly and build relationships with candidates, and they need to know how to sell your company to make job candidates want to work for you. They need good listening skills to know what candidates want, what you want, and to see when there's a match.

Personal attention

You want personal attention from the recruiter, and so do job seekers. Look for someone who's good at following up, returning phone calls, and replying to emails. When you have questions, the recruiter should have the time to provide all the information you need. If they don't give you enough attention, they probably won't give candidates enough attention, either, and that can frustrate and drive away someone you might want to hire.

Armada Nov Turning Your Temporary Job into a Permanent Position

When job search takes longer than you expect, sometimes taking a temp or contract role is a solution. It gets you a paycheck, and more than that, it gets you into a company. You may be able to turn the temp role into a permanent one.

The Company Called It a Temp-to-Hire Position

Some companies are explicit about the "trying-before-buying" nature of a temporary job when they bring on a temporary worker. Recognize that "try-before-buy" works both ways; you're under no obligation to stay with the company if the position isn't what you're looking for.

You'll want to do exceptional work to impress them. Treat the job as if you'll be there until retirement and are climbing their career ladder. Be there every day and take on more than they ask of you. Make sure you have positive relationships with your managers, co-workers, and others in the company. If you're difficult to work with, it will be hard to convince them to retain you … no matter how good your work is.

The Company Called It a Temp Position

If the company hasn't held out the possibility of converting your status to full time employee, you still need to do stellar work, but you need to do more to convince them to retain you. When you start, let the company know you'd be interested in a permanent position, and as the contract nears termination, raise the subject with your manager. Depending on the size of the company, you may want to reach out to the HR department as well. If you have a good reputation within your department, they may be able to recommend you for another opening in the company, even if your current position will not continue.

The company may have sized the work they assigned you based on the length of the contract. If there's more work to be done, if there's a follow-up project, or if you've learned skills that are applicable to other ongoing work in the department, point it out to management. You may also want to remind them that you're already here and know how things work, while it will take time for them to find, hire, and train someone else.

Leverage the Temp Role to Boost Your Career

Whether you want the temp role to turn permanent or not, don't treat it as a throwaway. Take advantage of the position to learn about the company, the industry, or the technology you're working with. No matter how short the temp job, it's an opportunity to learn something and develop skills or character that will enhance your resume and lead to the job you want.