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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of the biggest concerns a hiring manager may have when they see a recent employment gap is that your IT skills may be out of date.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.





In the vast majority of occasions, companies are all too aware that the tech talent gap is real. Many businesses struggle to find the IT professionals they need, and it’s a trend that is expected not just to continue but get worse in the coming years.


As organizations struggle with recruiting top talent, many put other objectives on the back burner. But, if you let your diversity efforts fall by the wayside, you could be missing out on an opportunity to close your tech talent gap.


Women and Minorities Underrepresented in Tech

By and large, women and minorities are underrepresented in tech roles. In fact, the percentage of women holding tech jobs has declined since 1990.


Typically, this is seen as a demonstration that the tech industry doesn’t fully reflect the communities in which the companies are based. And unconscious biases may facilitate a lack of diversity.


But there are steps that can be taken to increase diversity, allowing your company to experience benefits like increased creativity and innovation. Here are a few to get you started.



Always Consider the Impact

A diversity initiative won’t be effective if it isn’t ingrained into your company culture. Instead of treating it as a separate issue, it’s important to consider how any action may impact diversity, and choose approaches that support the objective.


This could include evaluating how the gender and racial makeup of a hiring team could affect who is hired, and whether ensuring that a minority is always present could be beneficial. It could also involve adjusting recruitment approaches, such as what resources are used, to reach a more diverse pool of candidates.


Reexamine Your Job Requirements

For IT roles, it isn’t uncommon to see a minimum higher education requirement, such as a bachelor’s degree in a related field. However, education alone may be insufficient when it comes to actually performing the work.


Instead of limiting your pool of candidates based on an educational requirement, consider shifting the focus to skills and applicable experience. Ultimately, your goal during the hiring process is to find a candidate that can actually do the job and not just have a diploma they can hang on the wall. There are many skilled professionals who acquired their level of competency through routes other than formal education, so don’t automatically eliminate them just because they don’t have a degree.


Recognize the Role of Unconscious Bias

Often, people are more inclined to hire people who remind them of themselves. This can lead teams to predominately consist of variations of essentially the same person, with everyone having a similar education, background, type of experience, and even race or gender.


Unintentional bias can harm diversity efforts, even if people don’t mean to make decisions in that matter. By recognizing that unconscious bias may be influencing hiring decisions, actions can be taken to limit its effect, ensuring a more diverse workforce.


By seeking out diverse candidates, you can access a larger pool of skilled IT professionals to fill your vacancies, increasing the odds that you can overcome your talent gap.


If you are looking for top talent to join your team, the knowledgeable staff at The Armada Group can connect you with some of today’s most skilled candidates. Contact us to learn more about our services today and see how we can help you defeat your talent gap once and for all.



Interview Answers


When you head into a job interview, your goal is to convince the hiring manager that you are the best person for the position. Effectively, the answers you provide to each of the questions functions as a sales pitch, and they all need to be spot on.


Certain interview questions are especially common, so nailing these responses is crucial. To help you do just that, here are a few that you need to prepare answers to in advance to help you achieve interview success.


Tell Me About Yourself

This prompt sounds like an invitation to discuss any part of your life, but it generally isn’t. Instead, they want you to walk them through your career, touching on important points and achievements that highlight your relevant skills and experience. This provides the hiring manager with an overview of your professional background and effectively sets the tone for what is to come.


What is Your Biggest Strength and Weakness?

While this inquiry may be separated into two separate questions, it may also be asked together, so its wise to prepare for both scenarios.


For your strength, it’s best to focus on one that is especially relevant to the position for which you are interviewing. You also want to do more than just spout out a single word. Instead, provide some additional details that highlight why you see it as your greatest strength, such as a specific scenario where it helped lead to your success.


When addressing your weaknesses, don’t try to disguise a positive as a negative, such as “I work too hard” or something similar. Instead, pick one that isn’t particularly relevant to the role, supporting it with an example that demonstrates that point. You can also discuss steps you are taking to improve on your weak area, showing that you have the initiative to overcome your shortcomings.



Why Did You Leave/Are You Leaving Your Last Job?

This question allows the hiring manager not just to gauge what happened with your past jobs, but also what motivates you to make a change. This can help them determine if their workplace is likely to meet your needs, which may encourage you to stay over the long-term, or if there is an inherent disconnect that will cause issues.


For example, if you left your last position because of a lack of opportunities for advancement, then, by all means, share that detail. The hiring manager knows whether the same problem exists in their workplace, and can use your response to decide if the cultural fit is appropriate.


In cases where you were fired or laid off from your last position, you need to be honest about what occurred, but try to keep things brief.


There is a wide range of other common questions a hiring manager may ask, so don’t be afraid to do some research to see which are likely to arise, allowing you to prepare your responses in advance. This will help you respond more confidently and properly, increasing your odds of impressing the hiring manager during your interview.


If you are looking for a new position, the professionals at The Armada Group can help. Contact us today to learn more about our available opportunities and see how our services can benefit you.



DevOps Interview


Companies are continuing to see the benefits of DevOps in their organizations, leading many to create and maintain positions dedicated to these roles. If you are interested in landing a new DevOps position, then being prepared for the interview is likely the key to your success. To help you stand out from the competition, here are some of the most intelligent answers to common questions you’ll probably be asked during your next DevOps interview.


What is DevOps?

Many hiring managers use this question to ensure you have a solid understanding of the main themes associated with DevOps, so failing to nail this question can lead them to question whether you are right for the role.


Luckily, crafting a strong answer isn’t difficult, as long as you focus on the proper points.


Begin by mentioning that DevOps focuses on developing and deploying software (and associated services) with greater agility and flexibility in a shorter timeframe, and how an agile relationship between IT operations, security, and software development play a substantial role in overall success.


You can also discuss how DevOps is the next step beyond Agile methodology, allowing lean practices to be integrated with the full product development cycle.



What are the Highlights of Your DevOps Experience?

When answering this question, you need to have specific examples that you can discuss based on your career experience. This means taking a look back and determining which instances best reflect either the cultural or technical side of DevOps, regardless of whether the project was ultimately a success or failure.


Think of times when you were faced with a problem and relied on DevOps principles to learn, grow, and find a solution. Treat your response like a story by including a beginning, middle, and end based on the project being undertaken, how DevOps played a role in the project, and the final result.


How Will You Help the Company Take DevOps to the Next Level?

For companies that are just starting to embrace DevOps, the hiring manager may be curious as to how you can further their objectives in this area.


Since DevOps is more of a culture than procedure, explaining that you would assist the organization in getting away from silos and embrace cross-functional teams is a great place to start. You can also reference any learning sources that you rely on for insights into DevOps, showing that you intend to continue learning about the approach and growing in the field.


Ultimately, a successful DevOps interview often involves showing that you have the right mindset for the role as well as the technical skills required to perform in the position. By highlighting both, you can leave a lasting impression on the hiring manager, increasing your odds of receiving a job offer.


If you are looking for a DevOps position, the professionals at The Armada Group can identify new opportunities that may interest you. Contact us to see how our services can help you land your ideal DevOps role.