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Full Stack

 

Becoming a full stack developer is no small feat. It involves learning a wide variety of skills and taking the time to master them. While many professionals think pursuing traditional methods for skill development is ideal, you can actually make a surprising amount of headway if you put down the reading material and learn by doing instead.

 

Why is the “learn by doing” approach ideal for many tech pros? Here are just a few reasons.

Beyond Information

When you choose to explore new skills through mechanisms like books, blogs, and classroom-style learning, you have the chance to gain a lot of new information. While what you learn can be valuable, it isn’t necessarily a practical understanding of the skill.

 

Working as a developer means you spend the majority of your time creating and not reciting facts. If you want to go beyond just knowing the information, you need to put it to use in a real way. Spending some time to sit down and actually use your developing skills allows you to explore them in real-world scenarios. You can see the results of your work and have the chance to learn from your mistakes.

 

Yes, the process can be difficult and frustrating, but the lessons you learn during hands-on experimentation often lead to bigger leaps forward than simply reading about them in a book.

Show What You Can Do

If your ultimate goal is to achieve employment as a full stack developer, employers need to know what you can actually do, not just what you seem to know. Companies need to see that you can take their problems and craft strong solutions, which is something book-based learning can’t demonstrate.

 

By taking a “learn by doing” approach, you can create a list of projects that actually show hiring managers your capabilities. And when it comes to choosing a candidate for a position, this will always yield better results. Even the simplest use of these skills means more to an organization than explaining how you have educated yourself through reading.

Support Future Learning

Learning by doing helps develop skills that make learning the next skill easier. If you teach yourself a programming language, the next one is often easier to acquire. Not only does a hands-on approach help you develop a system for pursuing new knowledge, but it shows you can manage the trials and tribulations that come with exploring new skills.

 

You also have the option of building upon your existing foundation by using skills with which you are comfortable to explore those that are less familiar. This allows you to focus on new subjects as a method for augmenting your current abilities instead of starting from scratch.

 

If you are interested in finding a new position as a full stack developer or want to find a job that gives you a chance to learn new skills on-the-job, The Armada Group can help you explore your options. Contact us and see what opportunities may be available in your area.

 

Culture

 

Being able to find top talent remains one of the biggest concerns amongst IT managers in almost every industry. It is closely followed by worries about retaining the employees that are currently on staff. This makes it even more imperative for businesses to have a strong culture that helps attract the candidates they need as well as keep those already working for the company in place.

 

In most cases, competitive compensation can only take you so far. While the associated salary and benefits are a big part of hiring any employee, the company’s culture also plays a role. But what creates a culture that is too good to pass up, and what will have candidates pass you by? To help you understand what it takes to create an environment that woos the best and brightest, here are some tips for cultivating the right culture in your business.

New Opportunities

One of the most enticing offerings for talented candidates is the available to explore something new on the job. This can include the ability to train into different areas or experiment with new technology. Individuals who are especially adept at their job often crave new challenges. This keeps the environment exciting and gives them the chance to test their skills.

 

On the other side, having an environment that begins to feel tedious or dull, and that doesn’t support exploration and professional growth, is sure to be a turn-off when it comes to the best candidates on the market. Essentially, boredom is one of the biggest enemies, and it must be fought at all cost if you want great applicants to come knocking at your door.

Positive Morale

Another important part of the company’s culture is morale. Happy employees will sing the praises of your business, and that makes top candidates interested in becoming a part of the workplace. Ultimately, everyone wants to enjoy their time on the job. So, if the culture doesn’t help keep employees engaged and content, you aren’t going to have access to the top talent you are hoping to find.

 

While some of employee morale is based solely on time spent working, giving workers a chance to cut loose and have fun can also improve the culture. Whether it is through employee appreciation events, team building retreats or a simple thank you lunch, creating an atmosphere that encourages bonding and socialization (at the right times) can work wonders for your company’s reputation as an employer of choice.

Hiring with Care

Once you establish your culture, it is important to hire new employees that fit. Choosing applicants who have similar values and general attitudes ensure your culture will thrive, making it easier to attract more top talent whenever the need arises. If you are looking to hire new IT professionals, The Armada Group can help you find the right candidates for your vacant positions. Contact us to discuss how we can help you create the kind of culture that will keep top talent coming in for years to come.

 

 Talent Gap

The current technology landscape is filled with trials. Unemployment among IT professionals remains low, making it more difficult to find candidates for almost any position. Couple that with growing skill gaps when it comes to various growth areas within the field, and your business is likely struggling to get the employees it needs to move forward with some of your most promising projects.

 

If you intend to seek out tech workers this year, here is an overview of some of the biggest talent gaps, and most challenging specialties to hire, based on the job market today.

 

Mobile

The use of mobile technology is a staple in many workplaces. Add to that the fact that new developments in the area continue to rise, and it’s no wonder may companies are finding it hard to get the right people to fill their vacancies. This is especially true for businesses that choose to use more than one platform, such as Android and iOS, as not every IT professional with skills in mobile application development have working experience in both.

 

Security

IT security professionals will continue to be in high demand, especially as a wider variety businesses rely more heavily on technical products and services as part of their daily operations. Even companies that serve industries other than tech are highly dependent on their software applications, IT infrastructure, and other services to keep things moving forward, and having employees that can secure the organization’s data are a necessity in every one of these landscapes.

 

Business

In many cases, IT professionals are hyper-focused on their technical area of expertise. However, a certain portion of these employees also possess a wider understanding of business operations and priorities. Being able to understand the intricacies of the IT portions of the business within a broader view can make a significant difference in how a business plans for the future. Employees that have the right balance of technical expertise and business acumen are a coveted commodity as it helps develop stronger long-term strategies to meet the needs of the company over the long-term.

 

Cloud

The introduction of cloud-based solutions had a great impact on how many companies do business, and it requires a specific set of skills to support these operations. Being able to support cloud applications and work with various data and storage solutions requires knowledge outside of what is necessary to support in-house operations. Having an IT professional that is familiar with both is often considered ideal as it allows a business to choose a hybrid solution without requiring separate staff for each.

 

Willingness to Learn

While this isn’t as easy to identify as hard skills, finding employees that are willing to learn and grow as technology changes are almost as important as locating candidates with the right skills today. Not every IT professional is open to expanding beyond a specific specialty, so finding a well-rounded individual that can adapt to the changing needs of a business is always a good find.

 

If you are looking to higher individuals with the skills mentioned above, The Armada Group has the industry-specific experience to help you along the way. Contact us to speak with a recruitment specialist about your needs today.

 

 

social media

Recruiting skilled talent is rarely easy, and it can be especially challenging when searching for tech professionals. Aside from the demands that innately come with the job, IT recruiters must stay apprised of technology changes, hardware development, in-demand programming languages, and much more. Additionally, low unemployment levels among IT workers often necessitates finding candidates who aren’t actively on the market, many of whom aren’t concerned about being found.

 

Now, you also have to add social media recruiting to the mix. And that can feel like quite a task for those recruiters who have yet to use these resources for the purpose of recruiting.

 

However, adding social recruiting to your regular repertoire doesn’t have to be complicated. In fact, taking your first steps into the arena can be fairly intuitive, as long as you have the drive to get it done based on the potential it holds.

Tech Pros Embrace Social Media

The primary reason IT recruiters need to embrace social media is the fact that the target market already has. Tech professionals are often active on some form of social media. In some cases, large-scale sources like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn can provide access to a wide range of subject matter experts working in technology fields, and most people are at least somewhat familiar with how to engage others on these platforms.

 

Additionally, there are a variety of resources like GitHub and Stack Overflow, that tend to cater to those interested in tech. These can provide access to dedicated professionals who may shun traditional social media in favor of industry-specific interactions.

Becoming a Resource

The ultimate purpose of exploring social media as a recruiter is the potential to be seen as a resource. By participating regularly and in a meaningful way, they can position themselves as a resource in the community, and not just a person looking to make a placement. For recruiters who specialize in IT, building a strong reputation in the community can provide a natural point in which to engage with professionals working in the industry.

 

And once you are seen as a resource, you are more likely to be exposed to new resources. For example, many social media participants openly share information with others with whom they have built a relationship. This can give you new sources of cutting-edge developments and industry information. You may find yourself better prepared to anticipate the needs of client companies as upcoming trends may enter your radar more quickly.

Professional Connections

In some cases, recruiters may even find an opportunity to locate a candidate for placement directly from these sources, but it is also possible to locate available professionals through association. If your need for a specific tech specialist is known, you may find those with whom you have connected to be a valuable source of referrals.

 

Maintaining more connections gives you access to more potential candidates by extension, and sometimes casting a wide net is the ideal solution when searching for a difficult-to-locate skill set.

 

That is the same principle that can make working with professional staffing firms like The Armada Group so effective. Contact The Armada Group today and let our recruitment network work for you.

 

resume mistakes

In the end, your resume is one of the most important documents you will ever create. It outlines your IT skills and experience to give hiring managers insight regarding what you have to offer. But creating a strong resume is no easy task, especially since there is flexibility regarding how the document can be designed.

 

However, certain mistakes are more common than others. If you are an IT job seeker, and you want to make sure your resume serves as the best introduction possible, here are four mistakes you should avoid.

1. Too Much Jargon

Not every hiring manager looking to fill an IT position is a tech professional themselves. Having a resume dominated by tech terminology can leave those less familiar with the jargon at a loss when it comes to understanding your qualifications. Additionally, diving too deep into the technical can come across as unapproachable or even intimidating to someone who is less comfortable with the subject matter.

 

Now, that doesn’t mean you should avoid key terms completely. Instead, take some time to determine which words or phrases are helpful and which can be removed. For example, feel free to use tech-oriented language that mirrors the job announcement. Additionally, include skills that pertain specifically to managing the job to which you are applying. Otherwise, if it isn’t directly applicable, consider leaving it on the cutting room floor.

2. Inappropriate Length

The correct length for a resume is a hotly debated topic. Some professionals still swear that a one-page resume is the only way to go while others believe a two-page approach is fine for those with longer career histories who are applying to upper-level positions. However, neither stance is entirely correct.

 

The truth is the correct resume length is the one that outlines your skills, experience and education that are valuable (and pertinent) based on the position to which you are applying. If you can include everything a hiring manager needs to see in a one-page format, don’t stretch it to two just because you think that is the standard. If you do, you’ll likely be relying on fluff and filler, neither of which will help you land an interview.

 

In contrast, if squeezing all the information into one or two pages isn’t possible, don’t beat yourself up for going to a third. However, if you are going beyond two pages, consider whether every line is actually valuable. Anything that doesn’t add to the conversation in a meaningful way should immediately be subtracted from your resume.

3. Ignoring Side Projects

Many professionals assume that experience gained outside of traditional employment or education needs to be left off of their resume. And while this is true for side projects that hold no relevance to the position, you can include information about any experience that applies regardless of where it was acquired.

 

For example, if you developed a mobile app, built a friend’s blog or used your technical skills in a way that is applicable to the position, consider including it. Even if you didn’t financially benefit from the project, that doesn’t mean they aren’t good examples of your skills.

 

Just make sure the information is appropriate to display in a professional context. If the subject matter involved is controversial or not appropriate in the work environment, it is better not to mention it at all.

4. Failing to Brag

While no one wants to come across as arrogant, many err too far on the side of caution and avoid discussing their major accomplishments in a meaningful way. A resume is a document designed to market your skills and abilities to hiring managers, making it a perfectly acceptable time to showcase what you’ve done.

 

Feel free to describe your successes, just make sure the tone is professional.

 

If you are interested in improving your resume or are looking for a new IT position, the professionals at The Armada Group are here to help. Contact us and see how you can elevate your resume to the next level to score the position of your dreams.

silicon valley

 

Whether you are pursuing your first step on a career path, or have decided to move away from your current career towards a different future, becoming a project manager can be a satisfying and lucrative career. But how lucrative varies based on certain criteria. Education and experience always come into play for job offers and salary negotiations, and your field of focus can also be a factor.

 

If you are wondering how much a project manager can make in Silicon Valley, here are some key points to consider.

Experience Level

Your level of experience is one of the largest determining factors regarding potential salary. In the Silicon Valley area, entry-level positions tend to be in the $60,000 area (without accounting for any potential bonus payments). Generally, that is considered a fairly strong starting salary, though the cost of living in the San Francisco can be relatively high.

 

However, the upper edge of the overall salary potential is well into six-figure territory, even without bonuses. And as demand for skilled project managers increases, and finding candidates in the IT field becomes more challenging, it is possible salary levels will increase in the years to come.

 

Now, it is possible to avoid a stop at the entry-level salary point if you have significant experience in the field in which you intend to work as a project manager. For example, an IT professional transitioning into project management in a tech field may see higher starting salaries than those who are relying solely on their education.

Education

Often, successful project managers have a combination of experience. First, they likely have a degree in their chosen specialty area. For example, IT project managers may have a degree in computer science or information technology, while those interested in becoming a construction project manager may have a degree in engineering.

 

Additionally, most project managers complete coursework in the areas of business management or even project management specifically. Some of these options involve graduate-level education, including master’s degrees or professional certificates. For example, the Project Management Professional (PMP) certification can help those working in the field achieve higher salary levels than those who aren’t certified.

Salary and Compensation

As of late 2016, salary estimates for project managers in the Silicon Valley area ranged from $61,874 to $143,241. Additionally, financial compensation may also be available in the forms of bonuses and profit sharing, though this isn’t necessarily standard.

 

Working as a project manager can also provide access to a comprehensive benefits package if you work as a long-term employee for a business. This can include access to medical insurance and prescription drug coverage and may include dental and vision benefits. Additionally, retirement benefits may also be included.

 

However, some project managers work as independent contractors or are self-employed. In those cases, benefits are not provided by the companies with which you work. Instead, you will need to select your own solutions in those areas.

 

If you are interested in becoming a project manager in Silicon Valley, The Armada Group can help you explore your options. Contact our recruiters today to see what options may be available.