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Infrastructure Support Engineer

 

Infrastructure support engineers are a vital part of any business that has its own IT infrastructure. These professionals help ensure that the environment is robust, scalable, and capable of delivering essential services that are required for a variety of tasks.

 

Typically, professionals working in this field are largely focused on physical resources, including a wide range of hardware, software, and tools, ensuring that they are fully operational whenever they are needed. They may be tasked with building new solutions, maintaining current systems, or integrating new technologies into existing infrastructure designs.

 

How much you can earn as an infrastructure support engineer in San Jose depends on a few factors, such as your level of experience and your personal skill set. However, here is an overview of what is potentially available, depending on where you are in your career.

 

Salary Averages

In the San Jose area, the average base pay for an infrastructure support engineer is just over $81,000, which is considered well above the national average. Typically, it takes a minimum of seven years of experience in the profession or a highly coveted skill set to reach salaries above that point, though many professionals who dedicate themselves to the field will see this as perfectly reasonable.

 

The full range of potential pay rates can fall anywhere between $65,000 on the low end, typically reflecting entry-level positions, to $123,000 on the high end, indicative of professionals with a substantial amount of experience.

 

In some cases, senior level professionals can even obtain higher salaries, particularly if they are tasked with overseeing a team of other professionals.

 

 

Factors that Determine Salary

While experience often plays the largest role when it comes to a professional’s pay rate, other factors can also impact salary offerings. For example, most infrastructure support engineers have at least a bachelor’s degree in a related field, and those who obtain graduate degrees may be better equipped to reach a higher level of compensation more quickly than those who don’t.

 

Your skill set is another point that can impact your salary, especially if you are highly competent in a niche area that many other professionals don’t encounter and a company is seeking out a professional who specifically has expertise in that area.

 

Ultimately, pursuing a career as an infrastructure support engineer can be incredibly lucrative, especially if you obtain the necessary level of education and are willing to put in the time to build your skills and level of experience.

 

If you are interested in securing a job as an infrastructure support engineer at one of the area’s leading companies, the knowledgeable professionals at The Armada Group can assist you in reaching your goals. Contact us to speak with one of our skilled staff members today and see how our services can help you take the next step forward in your career.

 

 

Reference

 

Sometimes, it’s hard to figure out who to list as a reference. Ultimately, you need to select people who can speak to your professional abilities in a positive manner, as the information they provide the hiring manager is a crucial part of their decision-making process.

 

That means, there are certain people you should never include on that list. With that in mind, here are six people you should forgo listing as a reference.

 

  1. Anyone Who Fired You

While it seems obvious, it’s still worth saying: anyone who fired you should never be used as a reference.

 

Generally, a manager who terminated your employment won’t have positive things to say about you in the workplace and may be inclined to be honest with the prospective employer about their experience. Even if the reason you were fired wasn’t related to an infraction or issue, such as when it just isn’t a great fit, it is best to avoid using them as a reference at all costs.

 

  1. Someone with a Bad Reputation

Whether their reputation focuses on their performance or their attitude, such anyone who tends to bad mouth their coworkers or company, having such a person speak on your behalf may backfire. Essentially, there is an inherent risk that you will be considered guilty by association or, at a minimum, anything positive they have to say about you won’t carry much weight.

 

  1. Anyone You’ve Never Worked With

Unless a purely personal reference is requested, you should only list professionals with whom you’ve worked. This ensures they can speak to your skills and performance accurately and based on firsthand knowledge.

 

Now, it is okay to list people who worked with you as a volunteer or even classmates that you completed projects with if you are a recent graduate. Otherwise, stick to current or former managers and coworkers whenever possible.

 

 

  1. Someone You Don’t Know

If you have a particular company in mind, and you know someone who knows someone who works there, it may be tempting to ask the inside contact for a reference. But, since they don’t know anything about you, they aren’t going to have much to say. Plus, asking them to put themselves out there for a stranger may not turn out well, doing more harm than good.

 

  1. Anyone You’ve Lost Contact With

Similarly, if you haven’t been in contact with someone for a few years, then they aren’t the best choice for a reference. First, the can’t speak to your recent experience, and that may not reflect well on the hiring manager. Second, you have no way of knowing what is currently happening in their professional lives, and there may be some factors that are relevant.

 

However, you can work to reconnect with the person first and then decide whether they make a suitable reference, particularly if the information they can provide is important.

 

  1. Someone You Don’t Know Well

While an acquaintance may seem like a viable option, they may struggle if any of the hiring manager’s questions require in-depth knowledge about your experience or personality. Vague answers may give the hiring manager pause, leading them to assume that the reference is intentionally hiding something.

 

Ideally, your references need to be able to speak about your experience in a thorough, informed and positive manner, so you need to select people who can do so well. This ensures the hiring manager gets the information they need without having doubts about the quality of your references.

 

If you are seeking out a new opportunity, the professionals at The Armada Group can connect you with top employers throughout the area. Contact us today to see how we can help you take the next step in your career.

 

 

Cybersecurity

 

As the number of cyberattacks seems only to keep growing, and the results of the intrusions get more severe, more and more companies have prioritized their cybersecurity operations, and that often means securing and retaining top talent in the field. Protecting sensitive data and systems is a must-do, so any trouble in the hiring arena can have a significant negative impact on operations.

 

If you are ready to find the next great crop of cybersecurity talent, here’s what you need to do.

 

Invest in the Right Tools

While having up to date cybersecurity tools doesn’t necessarily seem like a key to securing the best and brightest professionals available, it actually is. Having antiquated systems and approaches won’t make you an attractive employer to highly skilled workers, especially if they are already well-versed in the latest offerings.

 

Similarly, you need to make sure that every available tool and technology is designed to help your team be more efficient and effective. This limits the amount of frustration associated with the work, creating a more pleasant work environment and, subsequently, improving morale as well as productivity.

 

If your tools aren’t current, then its time to examine upgrades and implementations that can help your company meet the expectations of today’s workers, particularly those who aren’t interested in taking a step back in the technology arena. Otherwise, you may miss out on great workers simply because you are behind the times.

 

 

Offer Strong Salaries

If you aren’t prepared to offer a reasonable salary for the position, you’re almost guaranteed to have trouble hiring experienced cybersecurity professionals. Demand for their skill set is high, so it’s imperative that your offer be competitive.

 

Now, this doesn’t mean you need to outdo every competitor in your area, just that your salaries need to be in line with the standard. To help you accomplish this, do some research into what certain skill sets and experience levels are worth in your city or metro area, and use that to guide your actions.

 

The same is true for benefits packages and perks, especially if there is a shortage of cybersecurity professionals in your region. Often, it’s helpful to review a variety of online resources as well as vacancy announcements from other businesses, giving you an understanding of what is available today and increasing the odds that your offer will be seen as competitive.

 

Diversify Your Recruiting Efforts

While sticking to tried and true recruitment resources may have been sufficient before, if you are struggling to find the skilled workers you need, it’s time to consider new approaches. This can include listing vacancies on niche job boards, partnering with local colleges and universities, or working with a reputable staffing firm that focuses on IT professionals. By expanding your search, you increase your odds of finding the top talent you need to succeed.

 

If you are looking for a cybersecurity professional to join your staff, the team at The Armada Group can connect you with some of today’s top talent. Contact us to learn more about our services and how they can help you find the right new employee quickly.

 

 

Tech Contractor

 

Technology has changed the workplace in notable ways, particularly when it comes to working remotely. This allows companies to explore opportunities to outsource certain tasks that don’t require a physical presence in the office, and this has given rise to contract work, especially in the tech space.

 

A significant amount of potential exists in this arena, including the ability to piece out larger projects and secure top talent in specific niches, something that would have been incredibly difficult to accomplish only a few years ago. Additionally, the approach allows professionals to focus on particular areas of interest, giving them more control over their careers and the tasks they choose to take on.

 

If you haven’t delved into these arrangements, here’s what you need to know.

 

Not Traditional Outsourcing

Many businesses and professionals maintain an antiquated view on outsourcing, assuming that entire projects or functions need to be offloaded for the arrangement to be effective.

 

However, opportunities exist that allow companies to break larger projects into smaller components, giving them a chance to secure highly specialized skills for a short period. It also allows multiple pieces to be in progress simultaneously as long as each part isn’t reliant on another. This can shorten development times significantly, letting projects reach completion faster than ever before.

 

Further, workers can concentrate on specific skill areas, performing tasks that only relate to their preferred field. For professionals who have a passion for a particular niche, this can be an invigorating way to structure their career, allowing them to get more value from their work.

 

 

Increased Access

When it comes to highly specialized skills, companies may struggle to find suitable workers depending on the availability of talent in their area. Similarly, a professional with a particular focus may not always locate positions in their immediate vicinity.

 

Contract arrangements, supported by remote work technologies, allow businesses and workers to connect even if they aren’t in the same city or even state. This gives both sides more access to what they are looking for, giving companies a method for overcoming skill gaps and professionals a chance to find the kind of work they want to do.

 

Classifying Tasks

In general, most work can be divided into two categories: core and non-core. While core tasks are usually assigned to full-time employees, non-core activities may be ideal for contractors, especially if the arrangement isn’t necessarily going to be long-term. This allows for more effective workflow designs and increased overall efficiency, especially when it comes to completing projects that require a highly defined skill set.

 

Ultimately, the benefits of contractor roles in IT means that they are likely to remain a viable option for companies and professionals for the long-term, particularly as the technologies that support these opportunities only continue to improve.

 

If you are interested in learning more, the team at The Armada Group can help. Contact us today to see how our expertise can help you navigate the world of contract work with greater ease and confidence.

 

 

Test Automation

 

While manual testing skills are still valuable to software professionals, the increased use of automated testing means that workers need to be prepared to develop their level of competency in that area. Otherwise, you risk becoming functionally obsolete, harming your ability to advance your career or even maintain your current position.

 

If you have been hesitant to jump into the world of automation, here is why you should take the leap today.

 

Demand is Rising

A few years ago, hiring professionals began sounding the alarm, letting software testers know that automation was going to become mainstream. Since that time, the demand for professionals with experience in test automation has only increased, reflecting how widely utilized the approach has become.

 

In some cases, companies are choosing to make automated testing skills a requirement, eliminating those who don’t possess the necessary level of competency from contention immediately. Often, this is a reflection of the growing use of Agile development methodologies which promote automation as a means of achieving continuous integration and faster development cycles.

 

 

Top Automation Technologies

Certain automation technologies are more widely used than others, so focusing on those that are most requested can be beneficial.

 

While every company has different needs, Selenium, JMeter, QTP, LoadRunner, and xUnit frameworks (including JUnit, NUnit, and TestNG) are excellent places to start.

 

If you have a target company in mind, research which technologies that business uses and begin exploring those.

 

Are Programming Skills a Necessity?

Often, manual testing professionals fear that improving their understanding of automated testing practices means they have to essentially become programmers. It is true that programming experience can be incredibly beneficial, particularly when interacting with development teams or assisting with black-box or white-box testing.

 

However, that doesn’t mean you need to become an expert in every available coding language. If you are just starting out with programming, consider dedicating some time to learning SQL, as this is a commonly requested area of competency.

 

Java experience is also beneficial, along with popular languages like Perl, Python, and C or C++. General web development skills, such as XML, HTML, HTTP/HTTPS, and CSS are also helpful.

 

In the end, software testers do need to be prepared to do some level of programming, even if it isn’t the focus of their profession. By getting started today, you can better position yourself to continue along your chosen career path, ensuring a higher level of job security.

 

Is Manual Testing Dead?

While the increased importance of having test automation skills is changing the tech landscape, manual testing continues to play a part in many workplaces. However, the shift does mean that automated testing skills are becoming a necessity, so it is crucial that you add them to your repertoire to ensure a reasonable level of job security.

 

If you are interested in learning more or are seeking a new software testing opportunity, the professionals at The Armada Group can help. Contact us to speak with one of our knowledgeable team members today.

 

 

Overwhelmed Team

 

Whether you are short-staffed, inundated with projects, or your team is simply overwhelmed by their current workload, leading a team that feels stretched to the limit can be a challenge. Often, you are in the weeds with them, struggling to make time for all of the tasks that are on your plate. However, supporting your staff during this crucial time is also vital, particularly if you want to ensure that things don’t become more difficult.

 

Figuring out how to lead your overwhelmed team isn’t always intuitive, so here are some tips to get you started.

 

Fight for Your People

When tension in the workplace becomes common, and employees are straining to keep up, making sure you have their back is more important than ever. This includes ensuring that no one is unwittingly thrown under the bus for situations that aren’t their doing, as well as letting your team know that you are here for them when the going gets tough.

 

At times, this may involve you standing up to other managers on your workers’ behalf, be it to protect their reputation when something goes awry or turning down a project that is only going to overwhelm them further.

 

By fighting for your people, you provide them with a sense of security, and that can go a long way during stressful times.

 

Plan Stress Relieving Activities

Sometimes, the easiest way to deal with stress is to release it, and it often isn’t difficult to integrate an appropriate activity into your team’s day. Anything from giving them a physical space where they can actually scream out loud (a great tension reliever!) or stealing a moment to share something funny can help, and they only take a moment to do.

 

Another approach is to help them step away from their desks, even for just a few minutes. Some companies have embraced short walking meetings, where professionals discuss their current project statuses while taking a quick stroll. A little movement can be incredibly beneficial and, if the weather allows, doing it outdoors can be especially refreshing.

 

 

Avoid Tunnel Vision

While adamantly pursuing goals can be an excellent leadership trait, being overly focused on one can actually be harmful, especially if it blinds you to potential problems that you would otherwise notice during less stressful times. If part of your team’s stress is based on constantly stretching for a goal that seemingly remains out of reach, it is wise to stop and reevaluate the objective instead of fervently charging forward.

 

This is particularly true is circumstances have changed, as a goal that was great yesterday might not be realistic today. When this occurs, examine the updated information and formulate a new target that encourages your team. Flexibility here is the key, as just a simple change can have a significant impact.

 

Supplement Your Staff

Being understaffed for the workload is almost guaranteed to increase stress and frustration, so don’t be afraid to bring in an extra set of hands when it is truly needed. Whether you add a permanent team member or a temporary worker, having someone else available to manage some of the tasks can do wonders for morale while allowing their feelings of being overwhelmed to diminish.

 

If you are interested in hiring a permanent or temporary employee, the professionals at The Armada Group can connect you with some of today’s top talent. Contact us to see how our services can benefit you and your team today.