As artificial intelligence (AI) becomes more ingrained in the workplace, professionals will spend less of their time on tedious, repetitive tasks and more on activities that require specific cognitive skills that machines don’t currently possess. The ability to the nuances of the human experience can largely only be done by actual human beings. However, there are companies that are looking to change that paradigm by introducing the concept of empathy into AI.
Empathy is traditionally viewed as a human characteristic. It involves being able to see something from the perspective of another, proverbially being able to put yourself “in their shoes.” By adopting another person’s viewpoint, even for a moment, it is easier to increase the benefit experienced when two people interact. Often, this is seen as a key to successful customer service outcomes as well as increasing employee satisfaction.
However, empathy isn’t flawless. It requires drawing on your own experiences and memory to assume how someone else is perceiving a situation. Since no two people have the exact same life experience, this means that there can be disconnects between the parties even when a significant amount of effort is put into the interaction.
Additionally, emotions are complex and powerful. Being able to assess the emotional state of another person accurately is incredibly beneficial, as it allows you to adjust your approach based on how they are feeling. But picking up on certain cues can be a challenge as different signals mean different things to different people.
Empathy in Technology
While an AI system can’t necessarily “feel,” that doesn’t mean it couldn’t potentially assess someone’s emotional state and use that information to adapt its responses. Sensor technology, machine vision, and audio analysis can measure specific signals that indicate particular emotions in real-time, giving an AI the ability to mimic empathy.
For example, an EKG can measure a person’s heart rate variations, helping to pinpoint increased levels that may indicate excitement, fear, or boredom. Changes in a person’s voice, such as tone, volume, or cadence, can signal anything from relaxation to anger. Facial expressions, no matter how minor, may also provide information about a person’s emotional state.
By integrating the proper sensors and technologies into an AI, chatbots could adjust their approach to a customer inquiry based on their perceived emotional state.
In fact, some of the technology already exists. There are solutions that allow call center representatives can receive data from an AI that alerts them to changes in the customer’s voice that suggest a shift in how they feel, empowering the employee to make certain adjustments quickly to de-escalate problems.
Over time, empathy, something we perceive as a human trait, may be integrated into AI and other technologies, allowing machines to mimic a level of emotional intelligence that was previously impossible.
If you are interested in learning more, the professionals at The Armada Group can help. Contact us to discuss your business needs today and see how our expertise can benefit you.
Build and release engineering is an exciting but complex specialty within the IT world. Typically, you are responsible for a wide range of duties, including software design, building, testing, troubleshooting, and release.
The variety that is inherently part of build and release engineer roles make these positions attractive to professionals who appreciate both variety and challenges. You have to compile code, install libraries, create scripts, select hardware, and manage the deployment of each package, making sure that everything works seamlessly together to ensure a project’s success.
If you are enticed by the idea of working in build and release engineering, here’s how to know if this IT specialty is right for you.
Since the duties associated with build and release engineering jobs are so varied, you’ll need a broad technical skill set to be successful in the role. Typically, a bachelor’s degree in computer science or an allied field serves as a foundation. Then, you need to gain a thorough understanding of key concepts like configuration management, version control systems, and branch management.
Additionally, the ability to write complex scripts for a range of platforms is a must. This allows portions of the build and deployment processes to be automated effectively, increasing the likelihood of a positive outcome through increased reliability. Further, it enables these processes to be easily repeatable, saving additional time and energy on subsequent projects.
Thorough knowledge of testing and troubleshooting systems is also essential since you are typically responsible for handling those duties. You’ll also need to be able to create release schedules, adjusting your approach based on the complexity of the software.
A successful build and release engineer will also possess a variety of soft skills that can help them excel in the role. Verbal communication skills are often critical, as you will need to both work as part of a larger team as well as with customers who may not be overly tech-savvy. Written communications skills are similarly a necessity, both for the use of collaboration platforms and the development of any documentation that is required for the project.
Due to the complexity of these roles, attention is detail is an incredibly valuable skill. If you accidentally use the incorrect version of the source code or omit an essential library, the scripts may fail, leading to issues when you attempt to deploy the software.
Problem-solving is also a core competency. Since you are responsible for troubleshooting, being able to identify the issues and find suitable solutions is crucial to your success.
Build and release engineers can have lucrative careers, similar to the level of success a software engineer or similar professional can experience. As you build your level of experience, six-figure salaries are possible, especially if you are highly efficient in your role.
If you are interested in learning about build and release engineering opportunities, the professionals at The Armada Group can help you explore your options. Contact us to speak with a member of our knowledgeable staff today and see how our services can make getting your build and release engineering career off on the right foot.
Your resume is often the first impression a hiring manager gets about your capabilities as well as you as a person. If certain red flags are present, it isn’t uncommon for your application to be sent directly to the discard pile.
By removing negative points and making specific corrections, you can increase your odds of being selected for an interview. If you want to make sure there aren’t any red flags on your tech resume, here’s are some key areas to examine.
Spelling, Grammar, and Formatting
Misspelled words, poor grammar, and formatting issues can significantly harm your chances of landing a job. They can suggest a lack of attention to detail or that you didn’t care enough to review the document before you submitted it for consideration.
Before you send your resume to the hiring manager, make sure it is error-free. Run it through several spelling and grammar checks, read the entire document line-by-line, and adjust the formatting to increase readability, ensuring there are clear divisions between the sections and a reasonable amount of white space.
The Total Length
When you create a tech resume, you need to make sure it is an appropriate length based on the complexity of the job. Typically, if you are applying to an entry-level role, a single, full page is the ideal target. If you are aiming at a higher level position, then a two-page document is acceptable, as long as all of the details are relevant.
Including Skill Lists
While it may seem wise to include a list of your skills on a tech resume, this isn’t the best approach. A basic list doesn’t provide any context when it comes to your skill level or how you applied your skills in a professional or educational environment.
Instead, work your relevant skills into your resume by including those details when you discuss your accomplishments. This approach is much more valuable as it allows hiring managers to see not just what skills you have but where you used them and your level of success.
Weak Word Choice
The language you use to describe your skills can either inspire confidence or doubt in your abilities. Phrases like “familiar with,” “knowledge of,” or “some experience” suggest you don’t possess much experience in those areas, and that can harm your chances of being selected for an interview.
Instead of using those weaker phrases, make your resume bullet points achievement-oriented and quantify them. Typically, this will eliminate the ability to discuss your skills in an ambiguous fashion, which may be an easier approach than simply searching for a more powerful phrase. Plus, by highlighting your accomplishments, it is easier for the hiring manager to see your value, increasing the odds that they will see you as a competitive candidate.
By using the tips above, you can remove red flags from your resume. If you are interested in learning more or are seeking out new employment opportunities, the professionals at The Armada Group can help. Contact us to speak with one of our skilled team members today and see how our services can make it easy to take your career to the next level.
As technology becomes increasingly ingrained in companies operating in nearly every sector, IT departments are no longer just supply and troubleshoot various forms of equipment. Now, they are active players in selecting and crafting solutions that can improve operations in every business area, fundamentally changing the function of many tech roles.
The increasing levels of involvement and responsibility mean CIOs need their IT departments to be as productive as possible. At times, this requires a significant cultural shift, and that can be difficult to implement.
Luckily, there are things CIOs can do to boost productivity in IT. If you are ready to take on the challenge, here’s how to get started.
Make Change Part of Your Culture
Technology evolves at a rapid pace, but people aren’t always quick to embrace change. After all, change can be scary, even threatening, leading many IT professionals to resist implementing something new unless it is absolutely necessary.
However, this resistance to change can stymy productivity. It can cause unnecessary delays at critical junctures, slowing the progress of the team or the organization as a whole. Instead of allowing this attitude to permeate in your IT department, work to create a change-oriented culture.
Typically, this involves focusing not on the technology being added or adjusted, but the larger company goals. Discover what benefits the users and IT team will experience once the solution is identified and implemented, relate it to the business objectives, and use that to highlight the value of embracing that particular change.
Additionally, embrace the notion that IT can be a proactive part of the equation and not just a provider of requested technology. When a department requires a new solution, they may only have a general idea of what they genuinely need to be successful. Instead of allowing your tech pros to wait for others to define the desired technology, have them get involved in the conversation to help identify the requirements and locate viable solutions. This allows them to be a driving force behind beneficial change instead of a casual participant.
Locate the Right Candidates
When you need to add someone to your IT team, it’s wise to seek out those who are passionate about the field and excited about discovering new solutions. Then, give them opportunities to handle challenges, innovate solutions, or explore emerging technologies.
While you might not be able to make that the entirety of their job, by allowing them to explore the world of tech during projects, you help nurture their curious natures. This can make it easier for them to embrace change and to create a culture where introducing something new isn’t scary but invigorating.
Ultimately, by finding talented job seekers that aren’t afraid of change in the workplace, you can increase your odds of building a culture that supports the shifts that are necessary for your business to thrive. If you are looking for a skilled tech professional to join your staff, the professionals at The Armada Group can help you find the ideal candidate quickly and efficiently. Contact us to discuss your hiring goals today and see how our services can benefit you.
Whether you are a recent college graduate looking to take your first steps into the IT field or a seasoned professional interested in a career change, you likely possess some skills that an employer would find valuable. Certain soft skills transcend the boundaries that define specific industries and showcasing yours can help you stand out in the eyes of hiring managers.
By focusing on the right transferable skills, you can demonstrate why you could be successful in the role and an asset to a prospective employer. If you want to know which ones are worth featuring, here are a few that can set you apart from the competition.
Most tech jobs are analytical in nature. Whether you need to draw insights from data, troubleshoot problematic systems, or monitor traffic patterns, having an analytical mind is beneficial.
If you want to impress a hiring manager, consider what analytical tasks were associated with your previous jobs or educational experience. This can include data-oriented research, report generation, or even incidents where your problem-solving abilities were put to the test.
When you work in IT, juggling multiple tasks and assignments usually comes with the role. Most tech professionals have to review their workload and define priorities, ensuring the most important activities are completed first.
Prior experience in project management can directly relate to your ability to prioritize tasks. Similarly, taking on a leadership role at any level can also qualify. If you have experience with productivity tools, mention those as well, particularly if you were responsible for making assignments and identifying which activities were more critical than others.
Beyond simple problem-solving, innovation involves forging a new path to create a viable solution. This includes identifying more efficient approaches that were previously used as well as crafting something entirely new to tackle an issue that had not occurred before.
When you write your resume, highlight points where your ideas were implemented and led to a success. You can also discuss troubleshooting approaches that weren’t previously used in the organization that you discovered or created.
The vast majority of IT professionals function as part of a larger team. Group projects are commonplace, so showcasing your ability to work with others can help you stand out when you apply. Additionally, demonstrating your communication skills is also wise, especially since skilled communicators are typically more effective in group settings.
Mention any collaborative experience you have on your resume, focusing on those where the outcome was improved through effective teamwork. You can also list any communication tools you’ve used previously if they may be relevant to the role.
Ultimately, all of the skills listed above can be highly transferable, helping you stand out as a top candidate for a tech position even if you haven’t worked in the field previously. If you are interested in learning more or are seeking out new IT employment opportunities, the professionals at The Armada Group can help. Contact us to learn more about job openings in the area and see how our services can benefit you.
IT managers are typically tasked with deciding whether certain websites should be blocked on the next work. Members of the leadership team usually favor the idea, asserting that restricting access to potential “timewasters” like social media sites ensures employees won’t be distracted by non-work activities.
However, many workers push back on the idea, insisting that these sites offer a source of enjoyment and can be beneficial to morale. Additionally, many managers and employees are fully aware that, even if you block a site, that doesn’t mean a worker won’t turn to their personal smartphone to access the websites anyway.
Considering that you can’t prevent an employee from wasting time entirely, can blocking websites actually boost productivity? If you are wondering the same thing, here’s what you need to know.
Does Blocking Sites Help Productivity?
According to a recent survey, blocking websites does have a positive impact on productivity. When a company restricts access to classic timewasters, such as social media, employees spend less time on sites that are unrelated to their jobs during the course of a standard workweek.
The reduction in such activity is actually fairly dramatic, too. In businesses that don’t block sites, 58 percent of workers admitted to spending a minimum of four hours a week on timewaster website. Over the course of a year, that means that more than half of the organization’s workforce wastes approximately 26 days every year on sites that don’t relate to their job.
When social media websites alone are restricted, only 30 percent of workers admit spending four or more hours each week on such timewaster sites.
What Sites Should Be Blocked?
Social media is often an obvious target when it comes to blocking sites, but there are a variety of other websites that should potentially be on the table. Anything illegal or unethical are obvious additions to the list, and dating sites are also timewasters that should be on the chopping block.
Personal instant messaging sites are also potential targets. Music and video streaming websites are also frequently blocked and just because they could potentially be distracting, but also because they can require a substantial amount of bandwidth.
When you are examining which sites to block, also consider if any websites pose a security risk. This can include sites that may contain malware as well as those that may allow business communications or data to be sent and stored outside of the organization (regardless of the presence of encryption) without the company’s knowledge or approval.
Ultimately, the decision regarding which sites should or shouldn’t be blocked usually lies in the hands of leadership and the IT team. However, it’s wise to create a robust policy regarding the use of business assets for personal activities and to make it clear that certain websites will be blocked as well as the general reasoning behind those decisions. This ensures your staff is well-informed regarding the choice, decreasing the odds that they’ll object.
If you are interested in learning more, the professionals at The Armada Group can help. Contact us to discuss your business needs today and see how our expertise can benefit you.
While the term “postmortem” may conjure up some grisly images, that is the word Google decided to assign to its process of assessing its failures to allow them to make improvements. It involves an internal process of documenting mistakes and analyzing missteps so that the company can learn from these errors.
Ultimately, any organization can embrace Google’s approach, allowing them to benefit from this tried-and-true system. If you are ready to see your failures in a new light, here’s how to get started.
Identify the Most Significant Problems
Not every incident is as serious as others. When you want to focus on improvements that provide the most value, it’s wise to focus on issues that are genuinely important.
To determine which events qualify, you need to define what constitutes a major problem for your company. This may include evaluating the potential ramifications of an incident, ranging from the level of impact the organization feels to how it affects customers, as well as how severe the long-term implications are should the issue remain unresolved.
Creating a written record of the issue is a critical part of the process. It allows you to review precisely what occurred, what led to the problem, how it was mitigated, and the final resolution. Then, you can focus on defining steps that can prevent the misstep from reoccurring in the future.
If you want the documentation process to be successful, it’s wise to gather input from all involved parties. This ensures you get a complete picture of the incident as well as the perspectives of anyone who worked on the matter.
It also allows every team member to reflect on the scenario, which can potentially lead to additional insights that weren’t clear during the height of the incident. The process can be a little time-consuming, but it is worth it in the end.
Focus on Growth
When something goes wrong, it’s easy to play the blame game. After all, no one wants to believe they are even partially responsible for what occurred.
However, focusing on blame isn’t constructive. It creates an environment that is based on fear as people work to dodge any repercussions.
Instead of allowing blame to dominate the conversation, shift the discussion to a more constructive place by making growth the priority. This will enable you to reframe the incident as a chance to improve instead of as a setback.
Additionally, when you remove blame from the equation, your team will be more likely to admit their mistakes or failures, increasing the odds that you’ll be able to learn from the entire situation. Leaders also need to be honest about their errors. Otherwise, your employees won’t be as open.
By following the tips above, you can use Google’s approach as a positive example for addressing problems as they occur. If you would like to learn more, the professionals at The Armada Group can help. Contact us today to speak with one of our knowledgeable staff members and see how our expertise can benefit you.
Let’s face facts: figuring out if you need to quit your IT job isn’t easy. Ultimately, you want to make sure you are making the right choice, and it’s common to feel conflicted about leaving.
However, there are certain signals that could suggest that making a move is the best option. Here are seven signs that quitting might be the right move.
The Idea of Work Fills You with Dread
While every day at work can’t be a walk in the park, constantly dreading heading into the workplace is a sign that the job may be a poor fit. If you keep trying to convince yourself that it’s just a “bad week” or “bad month,” but things never improve, leaving may be the best option for preserving your well-being.
Your Boss Isn’t Knowledgeable
No one knows it all. But, if your manager doesn’t seem to be knowledgeable in critical areas that relate to your department or role, then that can quickly become frustrating. If you don’t trust that your boss has the knowledge and skills required to make good decisions and lead things in the proper direction, it can cause feelings of anger, doubt, or anxiety.
If you find yourself repeatedly doubting your manager’s level of competence, then it may be wise to move on.
The Company is Failing
Working for a business that may not survive is challenging. While some employees feel that sticking it out is the “right” thing to do, hanging on to an employer that is going under is going to increase your stress levels.
Even if you feel loyal to the organization or your manager, if you witness signs that the end is on the horizon, it could be wise to at least plan for your exit, and the sooner, the better. If you wait until the company closes its doors, you could be stuck hitting the job market with your former coworkers, leading to more competition when you find a new opportunity. In contrast, by starting early, you may be able to land another job before everyone else starts applying.
You Hate the Work
While it is unrealistic to expect to love every task that falls into your hands, if none of your duties ignite your passion, then moving on could be a smart decision. Being enthusiastic about your work is necessary for long-term success. Whether you need to find a job at a different company or shift into a new career depends on how far your distaste for the field goes, so be honest with yourself about how you feel and then make an appropriate change.
You’ve Hit a Ceiling
Being comfortable on the job isn’t automatically a bad thing. But, if you aren’t improving your skills, engaged in exciting activities, or given a chance to advance, your job could be holding back your career.
In some cases, if you’ve hit your career peak, that’s okay. However, if you have bigger goals, then you may need to seek out an employer that can help you get there. Otherwise, you could end up feeling trapped and stagnant, and that isn’t good for your overall well-being.
Your Health is Suffering
No job is worth your health. If job stress is leading you to experience depression, anxiety, frequent illnesses, headaches, or worse, then it’s better to move on.
Your Personal Life is Gone
Whether its job stress, long hours, the inability to take a vacation, or anything else, if your job is significantly affecting your personal life, it could be time to leave.
Ultimately, staying in a bad job can be harmful to your career, your health, and your overall well-being, and any of the signs listed above could signal that it’s time for a change. If you are interested in exploring new employment options, the professionals at The Armada Group can connect you with leading employers throughout the area. Contact us to speak with one of our staff members today and see how our services can help you find your ideal role.
With the implementation of GDPR in May and information about leaks and breaches continuing to make headlines on a regular basis, cybersecurity is increasingly at the forefront of every company’s mind. This has created substantial opportunities for professionals working in the field, but some are more lucrative than others.
While your skill set and level of experience play a substantial role in determining your current or future salary, one seemingly innocuous factor also has an impact: your job title.
Even when the core competencies and experience level are predominately the same, the title associated with your current or next position can either help or hurt you when it comes to pay. If you are wondering why your title affects your cybersecurity salary, here’s what you need to know.
Job Title Nuances
Certain words within a job title can alert how you are perceived. This can lead to salary variances, impacting the amount you earn today and your worth in the eyes of a potential employer.
At times, these differences reflect differences in the nature of the duties. For example, an analyst role may spend more time monitoring and examining systems, identifying potential vulnerabilities, and creating plans to overcome weaknesses in the system. Testing may also be more prominent in an analyst position than some others, though this isn’t always the case.
Cybersecurity engineer jobs may focus more on actual system changes and physical or technical interventions. Design activities may also be more common.
However, in some cases, two roles with differing titles may be incredibly similar. Companies are free to label a position how they see fit, so there isn’t an inherent standard that all businesses must adhere to when deciding which title to use.
While each organization controls the salary range it offers for a particular job, one survey showed that certain job titles tend to come with higher levels of compensation.
When the survey examined “Cybersecurity,” “Cybersecurity Analyst,” and “Cybersecurity Engineer,” as job titles, they found that the analyst positions tend to come with lower salaries than the other two in every major city they included in the analysis. Additionally, the generic “Cybersecurity” also tended to trend higher than the analyst roles.
However, it is possible to boost your value in the cybersecurity analyst field if you possess the CISSP certification. It can also have a positive impact on cybersecurity engineers, so don’t forgo the credential simply because you focus on the engineering aspects.
How to Make the Most of Your Cybersecurity Career
If you want to increase your earnings potential as a cybersecurity potential, it pays to seek out engineering roles over analyst positions. This small change can significantly improve your salary when you land a new job and throughout your career.
Should the option be available, consider listing your current cybersecurity position as an engineering role on your resume as well. This may make you appear more valuable in the eyes of potential employers, potentially leading to a higher salary offer. However, only do so if your employer supports that title as being appropriate to your position. Otherwise, a reference check may lead the hiring manager to see your resume as inaccurate or inflated, which could harm your chances of landing the job.
If you are interested in learning more or are looking to make the most of your cybersecurity career, the team at The Armada Group can help. Contact us to discuss your professional goals today and see how our services can make finding your ideal job easier than ever before.
When you get a job offer, the excitement can easily overtake you, leading you to say “yes” before you really look at whether the opportunity is right for you. While the new role might be great for you, it’s also possible it isn’t, so taking the time to make sure is a smart move.
If you are trying to determine if a tech job is right for you, here are five questions to ask yourself before you accept.
Is Now the Right Time to Make a Switch?
As the saying goes, timing is everything. While you may be dying to leave your position, how your exit impacts your current employer is a point worth examining.
Will you be heading out in the middle of a big project? Is your involvement in the project critical for its success? Can you give sufficient notice?
Everyone’s situation is different, but it’s wise to consider how your quitting will affect your current employer. After all, if you leave them in a bind, they may not be willing to give you positive employment references in the future.
Additionally, you want to reflect on whether your personal life can support a change. If you need to relocate, how will that impact you and your family? If the new job comes with longer hours, can you still maintain an appropriate work-life balance while meeting all of your obligations? Will your spouse or partner need to take on more to accommodate the shift or will the decision impact their career (which can occur if you need to relocate)?
Make sure to review the points above before you say “yes,” especially if other people will be accompanying you on the journey.
Are You Excited About the Opportunity?
Sometimes, you apply for a job that seems amazing on the surface, only to later discover you aren’t really excited about the opportunity. Maybe something came up during the interview that changed your perspective, or you found details about the company that gives you pause.
Regardless of the reason, if you aren’t enthusiastic about the new role, then it might be better to say “no” and continue looking for something that’s a better fit.
Is the Culture a Match?
Every company has a culture. If you feel comfortable in the environment, then you are more likely to excel. However, if it doesn’t seem like a good match, you might want to decline the offer.
Being the odd person out or trying to force yourself to fit into a culture that doesn’t jive with your personality can be harmful to your well-being and may impact the quality of your work. If the culture doesn’t align with your values and preferences, then looking for an opportunity that does is usually a smarter choice.
Will You Receive Better Compensation?
While pay, benefits, and perks aren’t everything, they are always something. You need to consider whether you come out financially ahead by taking the job or are at least able to maintain the status quo.
Examine the entire compensation package, including the value and expenses associated with your benefits, to see if you are making positive strides. You also want to look at the shift in your costs, such as whether a change in your commute helps you save money or if it will lead to higher expenses.
If the math doesn’t work in your favor, then carefully consider whether making the change is a wise decision.
Will This Job Help My Career?
Sometimes, even if you will take a financial hit by accepting a job, it’s worth it because you can use the experience to move your career in a better direction. However, even if you are getting a substantial raise, it’s always smart to consider whether taking the position will help or hurt your chances when it comes to making progress in your field.
Ideally, you want your new job to lead to additional opportunities after you gain experience with your new employer. If that isn’t likely to happen and you’re not looking for your last role before retirement, then you might want to continue with your search.
Ultimately, it’s always wise to carefully consider whether saying “yes” is the right decision. If it isn’t, then don’t hesitate to turn the job down. You can always continue your search and, by doing so, give yourself the chance to find an opportunity that is genuinely a good fit.
If you are interested in learning more or are seeking out a new position, the professionals at The Armada Group can help. Contact us to discuss your career goals with one of our knowledgeable team members today and see how our services can make finding your ideal role easier than ever.