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Friday, Jul 05 2013

Making Feedback Useful

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Methods for success

Customer satisfaction ranks as one of the most vital facets of a successful company, as it demonstrates more than anything else the effectiveness of a brand in retaining and pleasing its clientele. Where it becomes complicated is in the accurate measuring of—and response to—customer feedback, which is the ultimate barometer of your market’s satisfaction. Thankfully, a few keys for both before and after data collection can make the most of this essential info.

Get the right data

As with any survey-type collection, a proper sample makes the difference between an accurate measurement and a less than useful one. The right tools and methodologies create a base that lend credence to your results, which means you can follow the rest of these tips with the assurance that the data is reliable. Without this foundation, all the analysis you can tackle still won’t be able to accurately translate.

Focus on the forest, not the trees

When customer feedback is received, particularly negative responses, many companies’ first reaction is to contact the individual or release a statement to “fix” whatever went wrong. Where this errs, however, is that surveys and other common satisfaction measurements are best taken in aggregate; looking at just one or two negates the valuable overall impressions that these collections can provide.

Check your policies

A commonly forgotten step is to go beyond problems with a customer service representative and reevaluate the procedures and rules your workers are following. Sometimes customer satisfaction data is enlightening—multiple complaints can be more reflective of behind-the-scenes policies that need changing, not representatives’ behavior.

Wednesday, Jun 26 2013

Top IT Candidates - June

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Sr. Visual Designer

• 25 years of industry experience with most recent experience at Symantec.
• 5 years of experience with UX design in mobile app's and web design.
• Lead visual design for projects from conception to development, translating rough ideas into working, intuitive and elegant solutions.
• Understands responsive design, web 2.0 standards, SEO best practices, browser compatibility issues and usability testing.

Program Manger –Scrum Certified

• 20 years experience in engineering, development and QA with most recent experience at Ellie Mae Inc.
• Experience in building and managing QA teams both Onshore/Offshore and globally distributed teams (50 + QA engineers) following 24 x 5 sun model in known silicon valley companies.
• 7 years of experience as a Scrum Master and Agile coach.
• Certified Scrum Master and is currently in the process to get CPM.
• Well versed with 2 – 4 week sprints, user stories creation/product backlog grooming/sprint planning/Agile release planning.

Sr. QA Automation Engineer

• Master's Degree in CS with more than ten years extensive experience in SDLC
• Working experience in Java, C/C++, Spring/Hibernate, Servlets(JDBC), Tomcat/Apache, XML,HTML XSLT/CSS, Perl, Php, and Oracle/MySQL
• Proficient in data modeling using Microsoft Visio, working knowledge in OOA/OOD, Design Patterns, and experience in J2EE
• Proficient in writing automated tools using Java and scripting languages (Perl, Python) on server side, QuickTest Professional, Selenium on GUI side
• Highly self-motivated team player and fast learner.

FE Java Developer

● Around 5 years of IT experience in Software Design, development & Implementation/Integration.
● Proficient with Object Oriented Programming using Java and J2EE technologies.
● Experience in Software Development Life Cycle - SDLC (Analysis, Design, Development and Testing), requirement gathering, use Case Design and understanding
● Experience in design and implementation of applications based on MVC pattern.
● Strong experience in data analysis and Proficient in writing Mysql/SQL queries.
● Excellent communication and analytical skills, self-motivated, ability to conceptualize, document and communicate project ideas and plans.
● Strong module management skills including Planning, providing estimates Problem Solving and Decision Making abilities.
● Team player with good interpersonal & communication skills and ability to multi-task.
● Self-motivated professional providing creative solutions, working constructively as a team member or independently.
● Experience in testing, defect tracking and management.
● Strong experience on Innovative development with new ideas, tools development to reduce development time.

Sr. Java Developer

• An IT/IS professional with around 9 years of experience in building robust, reliable and intelligent software solutions for networking, utilities, energy and other industries.
• Highly experienced in developing Java/J2EE based Web applications (Web Client Model), Client-Server model; loosely coupled Distributed applications using Web Services (SOAP, REST), XML-RPC.
• Experienced in front end (WebUI) development based on GWT (Google Web Toolkit), GXT (GWT on top of EXT-JS), Java Script, JQuery, JSP and HTML.
• Strong hands-on skills in design and implementation of distributed mission-critical systems (involving proprietary and commercial technologies, database components); processing and managing huge data contents. Knowledge of mature technologies that give a manifold increase in quality and productivity of product, while significantly reducing implementation time.
• Complete SDLC experience: Requirements gathering; Writing Business Requirement Documents, Technical Design Documents; Design database schema and components; Complete application development (Interface/backend); working closely with QA and providing support for the applications.
• Extensively used UML in writing Technical Design Documents, exposure in reverse engineering existing code.
• Experience in developing Model-View-Control Architecture (MVC) applications using Spring, Struts, Casper frameworks and with application/understanding of various design patterns.
• Experience working on ORMs like Hibernate and eMatrix (GE proprietary)
• Good experience in designing the database schema model, developing database components using SQL, PL/SQL and worked extensively with Oracle databases.
• Extensively worked with the XML based technologies like XPath, XQuery and used various parsers for processing XML files.
• Experience developing Enterprise applications using EJB and JMS and JPA
• Extensively worked with application servers like Tomcat and JBOSS, WebLogic.
• Well versed with CMM level 5 methodologies, Six Sigma Green Belt Trained.
• Exposure to SDLC methodologies like Agile/Scrum, and worked in TDD - test driven development using JUnit.
• Good domain knowledge on networking, utilities, energy; complete working knowledge of Energy Axis Smart Grid (Utilities).
• Worked on Python scripts for file processing and developing a meter data factory interface.
• Exposure with Java, C++ integrations using Jawin (JNI) and Java, Python using Jython.
• Worked with charting utilities like JFreeCharts.
• Great ability to work both independently and in a team. Versatile and adaptable team player with strong analytical and problem solving skills.
• Experience in coordinating work with global teams, worked extensively in onshore – offshore model.

Data Warehouse Engineer

• Over 10+ years of experience in delivering Data Intensive solutions in Data Warehousing, Business Intelligence, Analytics, Data Quality/Profiling,MDM, ETL and various OLAP applications.
• Specialize in the strategy, design, and implementation of Enterprise Data Management solutions including Big Data and Cloud based BI solutions.
• Experience in deriving physical data models from a logical data model and reverse engineering a physical data model. Experience developing both OLTP and Data warehousing data models.
• Knowledge of reporting and ETL technologies/methods, including data warehouses, operational data stores, data marts, star and snow-flake schemas.
• Experience working with and managing large data sets with large relational databases (e.g., Teradata, Oracle, MS SQL Server) , including extraction and merges from source systems, data cleansing and transformations, and providing preliminary descriptive statistics.
• Execution experience with project management (PMI -PMP) and Agile (Scrum) software development methodologies.
• Translate the strategy into an integrated project roadmap, key performance indicators and metrics for measuring progress. I ensure that the strategy is adapted and modified to be measurable in terms of customer outcomes.
• Have hands on experience in information management, data warehousing, data quality, advanced analytics and data integration with ERP and CRM application.
• Involved into customer-facing role including deep analysis, developing dashboards, KPI's using OBIEE, Microstrategy utilizing data from source systems like SFDC, Siebel CRM, SAP, Mainframe legacy systems.
• Hands on experience in data modeling for data warehousing - star, snowflake schema designs and consolidate data using ETL tools.
• Strong understanding of Data Mining concepts and techniques.
• Good Understanding of HADOOP eco system – Hive, HBASE, Sqoop and enterprise data integration.

Interested in any of our top candidates? Call today (800)408-2120

Contacts happen on the go, so get your info moving

Employees have long provided connections to potential candidates for open positions—and with mobile referrals, that process can be easier than ever. Take advantage of your employees’ networks and knowledge by providing them with the tools to effectively connect their peers to your positions. You’ll reap the benefits with great new hires and even more loyal workers. With a solid mobile employee referral setup, everything will be in place to direct people to your door. Connect with a successful staffing firm to help you expand your network and utilize their connections.

Mobility is power

In a world where everyone has gone mobile, keeping your referral system tethered to the workplace means most likely missing out on a host of good leads from your employees when they are not on the clock. Along with pretty much everyone else, they are already mobile, with nonstop social media and perpetually closer access and connections through messaging, emailing, and texting. The social interactions already occurring among your employees and their friends are prime locations for you to find new talent, so capitalize on what they can offer.

Information is vital

By enabling employees to access a referral program from anywhere, you also receive the added benefit of keeping them more aware of your openings and needs. If someone is talking to a friend who happens to be looking for a specific type of position, your employee will have the capability to find job specs for a possible company match.

Additionally, a mobile employee referral system lets employees inform the recruitment team or manager right on the spot, bypassing the need to write down details at a weekend event to email or call days later when the office is open. After all, there’s no reason to delay and risk forgetting, misspelling, or losing what could turn out to be your best lead.

Connections are key

A lead doesn’t require nearly as much effort as an application; it’s simply a preliminary step. Sending a name and contact information, with perhaps a brief bio, is easy for both the potential candidate and the referrer. There will be plenty of time to collect a resume, references, and other details later. For the moment, focus on making the connections that help you satisfy those hard-to-fill positions. To effectively expand your company, it only makes sense to utilize the people you already have, as well as their networks. An experienced staffing firm has developed networks that they can use to find pre-screened talented candidates.

Power to the people

There are plenty of options for mobile job seeking, but fewer companies have jumped onto the bandwagon of mobilizing employee referrals. From a simple dedicated email to a more back-end complex arrangement of writeable forms and a downloadable app, putting your open positions in the hands of current workers is never a bad call. As ever more pieces of the world become mobilized, you can stay on the leading edge of getting leads, anytime and anywhere. The Armada Group has the resources to help you find the most talented IT professionals in California. Contact us today to help develop your job search strategy.

Tuesday, Jun 18 2013

SWOT Yourself - Job Search Advice

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Self-analysis can help define your career

First developed over fifty years ago, SWOT analysis is still a useful tool to chart a career path that capitalizes on what you have to offer and where you want to be. It stands for Strengths and Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats—two dichotomies that can direct your future along a course that you’ll both enjoy and prosper at. Self-analysis isn’t easy, and requires owning up to your less than optimal traits and patterns. Still, it gives you a valuable look at your true potential at work.

From the inside

Strengths and weaknesses are internal factors, built into you by predisposition, education, interests, and other shaping forces. Your strengths, where they align with your passions, will determine your dreams, goals, and objectives, both in life and your career. Analyzing your strengths and weaknesses is a challenge, and requires uncomfortable honesty; ask yourself, what do I avoid doing? What are the areas where I’ve received less than positive feedback?

At the same time, ensure you acknowledge and celebrate your strengths: Which tasks do I enjoy doing? In what work environments do I thrive? Knowing both the positives and negatives about your internal talents will give you a clear base from which to examine the outside factors surrounding your career.

From the outside

Opportunities and threats are factors that affect your career externally. You have minimal control over them, if any, but you can use opportunities to your advantage, and minimize the risk of threats. This section of your SWOT analysis is less personal, but equally important: it’s where you integrate reality into your self-investigation.

Not all advantageous openings or unexpected concerns can be predicted, but a thorough look at where your career might go and what events or people might hinder it can help prepare you for your best future. Ask yourself what could potentially be coming your way, and whether it’s something you want to pursue or avoid. Having that direction will allow you to more effectively utilize your strengths and weaknesses.

From others

Feedback from one or more individuals outside your job, preferably who’ve known you for years, can really tighten your SWOT analysis. They can point out areas you excel or typically avoid, and bring an outside perspective on your workplace and desired career path. By connecting with someone who isn’t invested in your career, you can trust that they will ask hard questions and bring a more unbiased opinion to the table.

A person who knows you as an individual, not just an employee, will have a broader spectrum from which to draw their queries and conclusions. At the same time, it’s important for you to convey how critical honesty is—this person should be tactful, but not try to spare your feelings too much when it comes to weaknesses and concerns.

On the right path

Conducting a self-analysis will help you chart a vision for your future or at a minimum, have more information at your disposal when a new position opens up, you receive a negative review, or you find yourself contemplating a career move. SWOT is an excellent place to start to get a handle on whom you are and where you can go. If you are looking for IT jobs in California, contact the experts at The Armada Group today. We have the network and resources to help you advance your career.

Three Errors to Watch For

The saying “the devil is in the details” certainly didn’t originate with programming, but it’s an apt truism for the world of code. Three simple categories of mistakes and oversights can cause numerous headaches for developers, but it can be difficult to stay on top of all the minutiae. Are you prone to one or more of these missteps? They happen to everyone, but a little practice can give you a sharper eye and reduce your workday stress.


It isn’t always easy to remember what you’ve named a past piece of data, but when you’re dealing with thousands of bits of information, consistency is your best friend. Call a spade a spade, every time you reference one—or as the case may be, refer to a “product number” as ProductID or ProdID, but not a conglomeration of the two. The same goes for dates and times: rely on the internal clock, or set a company-wide standard—otherwise, you might be faced with endless debates on whether 6/8 refers to June 8th or August 6th.


Sometimes, excitement can impede logical thinking, and a fad is born. These fads can be genuinely good trends, but they’re easily overused or pushed on the wrong audience. Just because something is in style, doesn’t make it the right choice, and could actively harm your end goal. Another common error due to overenthusiasm comes from code completion tools. It’s great to have help with code, but you need to stay on top of even the best tools, even when it’s all too easy to click away and wait for the magic.

Forgetting the basics

After weeks, months, and years spent tackling complex programming, it’s easy to forget the initial lessons you learned. This most commonly shows up when checking the logs—or, rather, not checking them. You need to find an error message before resolving a problem, but programmers often seem to skip over that first step and then find themselves befuddled. If something isn’t making sense, step back and make sure you’ve checked all the avenues for gathering information before calling in reinforcements.

Don’t beat yourself up

If you catch yourself making some of the above mistakes, don’t stress. Even advanced programmers get caught up in little details and find themselves wading through inconsistent timestamps or gleefully showering clients with the latest UI fashion. Instead, take an error as a warning sign, and keep your eyes peeled. These common programming flubs are only true problems if they are consistent; one or two won’t hurt your reputation or work output. But for fewer headaches all around, beware the details that can try to trip you up.

If you are looking for a career in IT, contact the staffing experts at The Armada Group today. We have the network and resources to help you land your next job.

Interview questions boil down to one of three things

During an interview, you may get asked hundreds of off-the-wall questions. Some don’t seem relevant to the position at all, while others are so specific you wonder who goofed up that intricately in the past. It can be easy to let these inquisitions throw you for a loop, but the vast majority actually fit into one of three categories.

Recognizing the underlying concern of the interviewer can help you make sense of even the most unexpected question in your pre-job interrogation—so take a deep breath, sort your puzzling problem into one of the following groups, and take it away.

Can you do it?

The main factor that interviewers need to sort out is whether you are capable of the job for which you are being interviewed. Rather than ask outright if you can complete the tasks—some of which they’ve surely seen on your resume—they will often pose detailed scenarios involving a capability you’ll need, or probe your work history for clues as to what you’ve handled before. Often, these types of questions will occur on the phone or through the application process, as the field of candidates gets whittled down in preparation for face-to-face interviews.

Do you want to do it?

A trickier set of questions involves discovering if you are motivated to do the job in question. These too can be scenario-based or related to your work history; this section of an interview also talks generally about your interests and passions, in hopes that they’ll line up with the open position.

Here, the interviewer is hoping to uncover your level of commitment, regardless of stress or difficulty. If you can portray yourself as someone who perseveres and doesn’t let trouble get in the way of success, you’ll always have the right answer to a motivation-based question.

Will you do it with us?

This last category of interview questions pertains to the work environment and, frequently, the hiring manager. No matter how great a candidate you may be, the right skills and desires are irrelevant if you don’t mesh with the company and existing employees. You need to complement the team that’s already established. A tip—don’t try to make it sound like you’ll fit if you have your doubts. Be upfront and honest with your interviewer, or you’ll run the risk of getting hired at a place that isn’t right for you, which can breed resentment from all parties.

Revealing the hidden question

It’s almost always the case that the questions posed at an interview are just different ways of asking the same three things. If you’re thrown a curve ball, it’s worth taking a moment to try to categorize the question. When in doubt, be honest, dedicated, and agreeable—that’s what interviewers most want to see.

If you are looking for IT careers in California, contact the experts at The Armada Group today.