Items filtered by date: August 2018

Full Stack Engineer

 

Over recent years, companies have become increasingly interested in securing full-stack engineers for their development positions. These professionals need a wide array of skills, ensuring they can handle both front end and back end development while supporting cross-functionality or multi-platform initiatives.

 

Full-stack engineers can easily cross into the six-figure salary category in San Francisco. However, a robust skill set is necessary to reach that pay level. If you are hoping to land a six-figure full-stack engineer position, here’s what you need to bring to the table.

 

Solid Knowledge Base

Full-stack engineers have to have a thorough understanding of a range of concepts and systems to be efficient in their roles. For example, knowledge of hosting systems, such as operating systems and services like DNS, is an essential part of these positions. Similarly, an understanding of the application stack and web applications is also vital.

 

A full-stack engineer can’t afford to have a substantial hole in their knowledge base, particularly if they want to earn six-figures in their next job. Ultimately, a knowledge gap means they may not be able to handle all of the duties, making their cumulative skill set fall outside of the full-stack arena.

 

 

Key Full-Stack Engineer Technical Skills

Working as a full-stack engineer requires a broad skill set that encompasses every development phase. This includes a range of programming languages, such as Python, JavaScript, Ruby, and SQL, as well as frameworks. Additionally, an understanding of networking, cloud services, and UX may also be necessities.

 

Ultimately, every full-stack engineer position may vary slightly from others, but core skills are commonly requested for all jobs. First, you’ll need front-end skills that allow the website or mobile app to be aesthetically pleasing and intuitive. This includes everything from being able to create code to knowing what layouts, color choices, or even fonts are considered the most attractive and appropriate.

 

On the back-end, full-stack engineers need the ability to build and maintain servers, applications, and databases. They have to have the skills required to create a functional solution. Precisely which languages, frameworks, or servers that will be involved may differ from one employer to the next, so having a diverse skill set increases your odds of landing a six-figure job.

 

Essential Soft Skills

Having certain non-technical (or soft) skills is also a must. The ability to communicate effectively with team members is critical to a project’s success, and being able to speak with stakeholders who may not understand the idiosyncrasies associated with the development process is crucial for gathering requirements and sharing what the final product can and cannot do.

 

Similarly, organization, patience, and attention-to-detail are also essential, especially for large-scale projects that are complex in nature.

 

Ultimately, by acquiring the right knowledge and skills, it is possible to land a six-figure full-stack engineer position in San Francisco. If you would like to learn more about exciting opportunities in the field, the professionals at The Armada Group can help you explore your options. Contact us to find out more about our current vacancies and see how our services can benefit you.

 

 

Published in IT Infrastructure

AR

 

Augmented reality (AR), a technology that was once just a dream for sci-fi fans, has quickly become a valuable tool for business. The ability to layer information over real-world settings has a significant amount of potential, making certain errors easier to spot, information simpler to visualize, and three-dimensional planning more accurate.

 

Ultimately, AR has the ability to improve operations, enhance collaborative efforts, and even cut costs. While the potential of the technology is not yet fully realized, it is already starting to make waves in a range of industries.

 

If you are wondering how AR is impacting business in the real world, here’s what you need to know.

 

Instructional Overlays

When an employee is troubleshooting a malfunctioning device or piece of equipment, shifting back and forth between a set of instructions and the object itself isn’t the most efficient approach. With smart glasses that use AR technology, instructional overlays can be displayed across the worker’s field of vision, helping them identify components, handle tricky steps, or otherwise manage the repair process with greater ease.

 

Not only could this be beneficial to repair-oriented professions, but it could also allow other employees to troubleshoot some issues on their own, or at least accurately assess the situation before requesting help from a skilled technician.

 

Design Walkthroughs

Architecture and engineering firms have long embraced AR’s capabilities, using the technology to render building projects to create functional, virtual walkthroughs. This can provide valuable real-world context for designs that were once limited to drawings on paper, making certain problems easier to spot before construction even begins.

 

Additionally, the technology can allow customers to experience their new home or building to ensure it meets their needs, giving designers the ability to make adjustments before they break ground. This can help bridge the gap for customers who don’t have much construction knowledge and may not understand how a plan will look as a finished building, ensuring they aren’t disappointed by the results.

 

 

Virtual Prototypes

The ability to create virtual prototypes is incredibly beneficial for manufacturing and production companies of all kinds. Being able to see how an object would look in the real-world can help companies better assess an item’s size and shape, a critical step when it comes to determining whether a product is reasonably easy to handle or if it will fit into a particular space.

 

Navigation

AR systems could be invaluable when it comes to navigation. Whether it is guiding workers through large manufacturing or warehousing facilities or helping long-haul truck drivers manage unfamiliar routes, the ability to receive directions on smart glasses or heads-up displays allows employees to keep their eyes on the walkway or road. This could not only help them get where they are going but could prevent accidents and injuries as well, increasing efficiency and safety at the same time.

 

Ultimately, AR could become a powerful tool in the workplace, particularly as the technology becomes more robust and affordable over time. If you are interested in learning more, the professionals at The Armada Group can help. Contact us to speak with one of our knowledgeable staff members today and see how our expertise can benefit you.

 

 

Turn Down an Interview

 

When you apply for a job, it may be days, weeks, or even months before you hear back about an opportunity. During that time, you might land a new position, have a change in your personal circumstances, or simply become less interested in a particular role. Then, if you get an invitation to interview for the job, you find yourself in a tough spot.

 

While some would argue that you should attend every interview, even if it’s solely for the practice, that isn’t always a practical choice. Plus, it means potentially wasting the hiring manager’s time, and that might not be something you want to do if you don’t want to burn bridges at that company.

 

Luckily, it is possible to turn down a tech job interview invitation without harming your reputation with the hiring manager. If you aren’t sure how to manage the situation, here is the most amicable way to decline the opportunity.

 

Express Your Appreciation

Being asked to interview is something to be grateful for, even if you no longer want to pursue the job. By expressing your appreciation to the hiring manager, you are more likely to make a positive impression, even if you are declining the opportunity.

 

Let the hiring manager that you are thankful that they reached out before you say anything else, as your gratitude will help soften the next part of your response.

 

 

Clearly Decline

If you are turning down a tech job interview, you don’t want to be ambiguous. Instead, you need to clearly state that you are declining the opportunity.

 

For example, saying, “I am unable to attend” might suggest to the hiring manager that the date or time doesn’t work, but that you are still interested in interviewing. This can lead to an awkward and unnecessary back and forth that could have been avoided had you been clear from the beginning. Instead, let them know that you “need to decline the opportunity,” removing any question about your intention or interest in attending.

 

Whether you provide a reason is up to you. However, if you do choose to let the hiring manager know what you are declining, make sure to keep it both vague and brief. Additionally, by honest if you opt to provide a reason, as a fib could come back to haunt you later.

 

End on a Positive

After declining the interview, it’s wise to end on a high note. Before you close, consider saying something positive about the company. You can also add that you are confident they will find a great candidate for the role.

 

You don’t have to be overly specific, but adding some positive can increase your odds of being remembered fondly should you decide to apply to a role in the company in the future.

 

By using the tips above, you can gracefully decline a tech job interview. If you are interested in learning more, the professionals at The Armada Group can help. Contact us with your questions today and see how our expertise can benefit you.

 

 

Published in Staffing News

Lying on Your Resume

 

When you are hoping to land a new job, you may be tempted to exaggerate about your capabilities, particularly if a role is just barely beyond your skill or experience level. But, if you lie on your resume, the chances of getting caught are especially high. Skilled hiring managers and recruiters know how to spot everything from small fibs to blatant misrepresentations of your abilities. And, once your falsehood is discovered, you’re usually eliminated from contention.

 

If you are wondering how someone you’ve never met can figure out that you are lying on your resume, here are a few ways that hiring managers and recruiters come to that conclusion.

 

Title and Duty Misalignments

Job titles often give an indication of the level of the position, allowing hiring managers and recruiters to predict what sort of duties likely came with the role. When the title and responsibilities don’t align, it’s typically considered a red flag, suggesting that you may have inflated the job title to appear more experienced or valuable.

 

Date Discrepancies

When a candidate wants to appear more experienced, they may adjust the dates on their resume to meet the position’s requirements. However, hiring managers often have access to resources that allow them to crosscheck this information, even without contacting your employment references.

 

For example, older copies of your resume may be stored in the company’s system if you’ve applied for a job there before. Similarly, your social media profiles may have different dates, indicating that at least one of these sources is inaccurate.

 

 

Education Issues

Many candidates assume that prospective employers aren’t verifying their education. However, many companies do, and finding out whether you earned a degree from a specific school is relatively easy.

 

A simple phone call to the college or university generally reveals if you hold a particular degree. Similarly, there are education verification services that provide access to the information.

 

That means, claiming a degree you didn’t earn will usually come back to bite you. Similarly, trying to misrepresent yourself as a person with a degree by showing you attended college for the required number of years, even if you don’t claim to have a degree, typically won’t work if having a degree is a requirement for the position.

 

Contradictions and Inconsistencies

Skilled interviewers understand how to put candidates on the spot, allowing them to assess the accuracy of a job seeker’s claims. In most cases, people who lie on their resumes will struggle to provide certain details or will accidentally contradict themselves, largely because they are making up the story as they go.

 

It is the hiring manager’s job to find the ideal person for the position, so it’s best to assume that they will try and trip you up to make sure you can actually handle the job. Usually, fibbers don’t fare well in these situations, as keeping track of a string of lies, no matter how small, is beyond the capacity of most.

 

Ultimately, lying on your resume is never worth the risk, especially because getting caught comes with serious consequences. Not only will you not get the job, but you harm your reputation, and word may get around about your choice to lie.

 

If you are interested in finding out more, the professionals at The Armada Group can help. Contact us to speak with a member of our knowledgeable team today and see how our hiring expertise can benefit you.

 

 

Published in Recruiting

Incompetent Boss

 

At some point, nearly everyone experiences stress related to their boss. However, when your manager is genuinely incompetent, dealing with the situation can be incredibly taxing.

 

While severe ineptitude is generally rare in the workplace, it does occur. Usually, it is the result of an individual receiving a promotion for the wrong reasons or being tasked to oversee positions when they aren’t overly familiar with the person’s specialty.

 

Luckily, it is possible to thrive at work, even if you have an incompetent boss, though it does require getting into the proper mindset. Here’s how to get started.

 

  1. Be Empathetic

What may initially appear to be incompetence may, in fact, be something quite different. If your boss is overtasked or under significant pressure, their missteps may be the result of those stresses and not a lack of understanding.

 

By assuming an empathetic mindset, you may be better equipped to discover the nature of the issue. This could lead to a revelation that they aren’t actually incompetent or at least make it easier to understand that bosses, like all people, are human and can make mistakes.

 

  1. Get Advice

Sometimes, your frustration can cloud your judgment, making it hard to find a reasonable approach to the situation. If this occurs, requesting advice from a trusted colleague or mentor may help you gain perspective and find workable solutions, giving you the tools necessary to cope with an incompetent boss.

 

 

  1. Identify Solutions

When you discuss an issue with your boss or have a request, don’t just approach them with the problem. Instead, also provide them with potential solutions that can help them fulfill your needs. For example, if you need their help, require their input, or need permission to go forward in a particular direction, make that clear. Then, if your boss can’t fulfill that need, present an alternative that allows you to get what you need.

 

This approach allows you to help your boss solve the problem, making the entire situation easier on everyone.

 

  1. Practice Self-Care

Prolonged periods of stress can be harmful to your health, so practicing self-care is a necessity while you navigate the situation. For example, resist the urge to victimize yourself or spend a significant amount of time complaining to others, an approach that typically doesn’t yield positive results.

 

Instead, focus on the positives of your job and use those points to stay motivated and happy, limiting the psychological impact of working for an incompetent boss.

 

  1. Move On

In some cases, looking for a new job may be the best solution if your manager is genuinely incompetent. It gives you the ability to find a boss and environment that better meets your needs, allowing you to obtain greater job satisfaction and reduce stress.

 

If you are interested in finding a new position, the skilled professionals at The Armada Group can connect you with leading employers throughout the area. Contact us to discuss your ideal role today and see how our services can benefit you.

 

 

Published in Staffing News

Workplace Retaliation

 

Retaliation in the workplace can involve a wide range of scenarios. For example, if an employee files a complaint about a coworker or manager and is subsequently given a bad performance review that isn’t justified, transferred to another department, subjected to verbal or physical abuse, became targeted by workplace rumors, or otherwise had their work life made intentionally harder, that could be retaliation.

 

Often, retaliation is much more prevalent than many managers realize, and it can be seriously damaging to a company’s culture. Additionally, many skilled professionals won’t tolerate environments where retaliation is common, leading them to seek out opportunities with competitors instead of remaining in a hostile workplace.

 

One survey indicated that one-third of IT professionals at large tech firms witnessed or experienced retaliation after they or another employee reported an issue. If you are wondering whether your workplace is affected by retaliation, here are some signs that may be the case.

 

Criticism and Scrutiny

If an employee is subjected to increased criticism and scrutiny after filing a complaint or reporting an issue, that could be a sign of retaliation. Whether it involves inaccurately measuring their performance, being overly critical, or simply questioning their judgment more often, treating the employee differently after they report a problem are troubling signs of workplace retaliation.

 

This is especially true if any negative feedback is being discussed in front of others, such as their coworkers, employees and managers in other departments, or members of the leadership team. Criticizing someone publicly could be seen as an attempt to harm their reputation with others, something that can be detrimental to their working relationships and their career, which can be a form of retaliation.

 

Limiting Access

After an employee reports a problem, if they are suddenly being removed from critical meetings, denied feedback or guidance, removed from training plans, or otherwise having opportunities eliminated, this could be retaliation.

 

Similarly, removing enjoyable job duties and replacing them with less desirable tasks could also be an indication of an issue, as it limits the worker's ability to derive satisfaction from their role.

 

Department, Location, and Schedule Changes

Relocating a worker to a different department, office, or cubicle could be viewed as retaliation if the employee did not express a desire for the change. Similarly, changing their schedule against their wishes could also be seen as punishing the person for filing a complaint or bringing up an issue.

 

Such changes disrupt the worker’s life and could harm their career, which qualifies them as potential forms of retaliation. However, if such changes are made at the employee’s request, they typically don’t fall into that category.

 

Ultimately, retaliation in the workplace is incredibly damaging, and not just to the person who reported a problem. The culture of the organization is negatively affected, creating an environment full of hostility and stress.

 

Managers should actively strive to eliminate retaliation in the workplace. Otherwise, the company will suffer. If you are interested in learning more, the skilled professionals at The Armada Group can help. Contact us to discuss your questions with one of our experienced team members today and see how our services can benefit you.

 

 

Published in Hiring Managers

Mobile App Builds

 

If you’ve ever considered building an app, the platform you choose can have a big impact on your level of success, particularly if you aren’t a professional developer. Luckily, there are a variety of options that can help beginners get started with ease while allowing experts to speed up their development timelines.

 

If you are looking to build mobile apps, here are five platforms worth exploring.

 

  1. Appery.io

One of the biggest benefits of using Appery is the fact that it is a cloud-based system. This means you can access the platform without having to download or install anything on your computer, which can help save valuable resources. Additionally, it allows you to get started fast, since you can begin using the system immediately.

 

Appery can be used for both iOS and Android apps, and features a visual editor for those who prefer a drag-and-drop approach to UI building. The platform autogenerates the applicable code for the UI, saving you time too.

 

  1. Mobile Roadie

Mobile Roadie is largely language agnostic, giving you the ability to pull in data using a range of popular formats, including PHP, HTML, and CSV. Additionally, the platform is highly visual, supporting a wide range of media types and making the build process relatively simple.

 

The app preview on Mobile Roadie is highly accurate, allowing you to see how the app would appear to users quickly and efficiently. The platform can also provide guidance regarding the App Store submission process, increasing the odds that your app will be accepted.

 

 

  1. Good Barber

Good Barber provides users with the ability to create apps and optimized web applications without writing any code at all. The platform provides you with access to customizable design templates, allowing you to get started quickly. Plus, Good Barber includes a wide selection of icons and fonts to help you achieve an ideal final look.

 

The platform can support Android and iOS app development, though each requires a separate plan.

 

  1. AppMachine

Another platform that embraces the drag-and-drop interface, AppMachine is an easy-to-use platform that can produce both iOS and Android apps. Users can design apps based on their own styling and with a wide range of features, including video or photos. The apps can also be easily linked to social media accounts or online stores, and fully tested before they are submitted to the App Store or Google Play.

 

  1. BiznessApps

Ideal for smaller businesses looking to create a mobile app, BiznessApps has a broad selection of features, including shopping carts, user review sections, messaging, ordering, analytics, and third-party integrations. The platform is very simple to use, letting a person design a functional app in mere minutes.

 

BiznessApps also helps it users succeed with the platform, offering weekly webinars to assist with app construction and hundreds of articles and tutorials to guide users along.

 

Any of the mobile app platforms above can be suitable for beginners and experts alike. If you are interested in finding out more, the professionals at The Armada Group can help. Contact us to discuss your questions with one of our knowledgeable staff members today and see how our expertise can benefit you.

 

 

Real Time Analytics

Determining whether your company should redesign key systems to integrate real-time analytics into your processes can be challenging. For high transaction industries, like financial services or hospitality, being able to tracks information in real-time could be particularly valuable, potentially creating revenue increasing opportunities that may otherwise be missed. Similarly, manufacturing and productions environments may benefit from such analytics, particularly if IoT devices are used to manage operations and maintenance.

 

If you are wondering whether your company should be utilizing real-time analytics, here are some examples of why embracing the technology could be a wise idea.

 

Revenue Opportunities

Real-time analytics may create unique opportunities for service industry businesses where utilization is a key part of their success. For example, a hotel with empty rooms isn’t at full capacity, meaning there is an opportunity to increase revenue by finding additional guests to fill those vacancies.

 

If a hotel chain embraces real-time analytics, they can monitor reservations and vacancies at a specific moment. Then, they can create customized, spontaneous promotions designed to fill empty rooms, allowing more revenue to be generated.

 

Additionally, they can factor in points like demographic information and past usage patterns to help identify customers to target, which may impact the hotel’s odds of success.

 

Production Adjustments

Manufacturing environments can make the most o IoT devices when they partner the technology with real-time analytics. Production rates can be monitored to identify potential equipment issues, emerging bottlenecks, or similar activities that could hinder operations. Then, they can intervene immediately, ensuring things run as smoothly as possible.

 

 

How to Determine if Real-Time Analytics is Right for Your Company

Companies with high transaction volumes that want to maximize revenue can often benefit from real-time analytics. Similarly, manufacturing environments with IoT initiatives can improve operations by welcoming the technology.

 

However, it’s important to determine whether the potential gains are worth the cost, as real-time analytics can be expensive to implement.

 

Many companies don’t actually require real-time analytics to remain efficient and profitable. Instead, robust analytics reporting can provide enough information to help decision-makers reduce expenses or increase revenue, often for a fraction of the cost of real-time analytics.

 

Since real-time analytics is relatively new, many providers offer demonstrations of their technology. As an IT manager, it may be wise to evaluate a few systems to determine if the price is suitable based on the potential gains. Ideally, you want to coordinate with other organizational leaders to develop a set of metrics for the evaluation of a solution, then arrange a proof-of-concept trial to examine the option.

 

Some companies will discover that real-time analytics provides them with enough value to make the costs worthwhile, while others will find the opposite is true. Either way, it is wise to evaluate the potential of the technology, particularly since it may become more affordable as time goes on.

 

If you are interested in learning more, the professionals at The Armada Group can help. Contact us to speak with one of our knowledgeable team members today and see how our expertise can benefit you.

 

 

Tech Burnout

 

Burnout is a serious problem in the IT field. Often, work overload is assumed to be the largest contributing factor, particularly since unemployment is low and many companies can’t fill all of their vacant tech position.

 

While being over-tasked is a significant factor in burnout, it isn’t the biggest one present in workplaces today. Additionally, there are many other reasons as to why a tech pro may burnout, showing that workloads are only part of the larger puzzle.

 

The Biggest Factor of Tech Pro Burnout

A recent survey of IT professionals indicated that “poor leadership and unclear direction” was the largest contributing factor to burnout, representing 23 percent of the responses. This is four percentage points higher than the second-place contributor, “work overload.”

 

The results of the survey showcase the value of strong leadership within an organization, particularly one where the mission and the company’s vision are clear and serve as sources of guidance and inspiration. Similarly, it highlights the importance of direct managers functioning as leaders to their team, something that often requires clear communication and expectations.

 

However, “work overload” is still a significant cause of burnout for tech professionals, so this point shouldn’t be discounted. If tech teams are constantly tasked with more than they can manage, leading to long periods of mandatory overtime, burnout may be inevitable for some. But, even if additional hours aren’t required, the feeling that catching up is impossible can be just as damaging to morale.

 

Other Top Reasons for Burnout

Not far behind “work overload,” which came in at 19 percent, was “toxic culture” with 18 percent of the responses. This suggests that many tech businesses and departments are still experiencing culture issues, leading many to turn away from the field or seek out opportunities with other companies.

 

A “lack of control and career growth” as well as “insufficient reward” were also cited as top reasons for burnout, with 15 and 12 percent respectively. This could also indicate the importance of being appreciated or acknowledged in the workplace along with giving employees a sense of autonomy and room to advance.

 

Only about 10 percent of survey participants claimed that “burnout isn’t a problem” at their workplaces.

 

Ultimately, burnout continues to plague tech pros at a range of companies, both inside and outside of the tech industry. At times, problems can be remedied, allowing employees at risk of burnout to recover. However, if companies continue to provide poor leadership experiences, overload their workers, maintain toxic cultures, or not correct any of the other causes of burnout, workers will likely feel forced to seek out opportunities elsewhere to escape the situation.

 

If you are interested in learning more about how to combat burnout in the workplace, the professionals at The Armada Group can help. Contact us to speak with one of our knowledgeable staff members today and see how our workplace expertise can benefit you.

 

 

Published in Staffing News

Database Engineer

 

Database engineers are typically tasked with the creation and management of databases for a specific company or organization. This can include anything from building a new database to meet a specific need, configure new and existing systems, and maintain the databases to ensure everything remains fully functional.

 

The skills you need to work as a database engineer can vary from one position to the next. However, certain requirements are fairly common, making them must-haves in the eyes of many employers. If you are interested in becoming a database engineer, here are some skills that you need to acquire.

 

SQL

SQL is essentially “the” programming language you need to work with databases. Without SQL skills, you won’t find many opportunities in the field, let alone as a database engineer.

 

The level of fluency required may vary somewhat for each job. However, it’s best to keep your SQL skills current at all times and strive to learn as much about the language as possible if you want to excel as a database engineer.

 

Platform Knowledge

There are numerous database platforms available today, and learning the ins and outs is often essential if you want to land a role that works with one.

 

For example, you may opt to specialize in Microsoft SQL Server, Oracle, MySQL, or a number of others. Then, you need to take a deep dive into the platform and learn all you can about the available features, current limitations, recent releases, how to manage upgrades, and more.

 

Now, this doesn’t mean you need to forgo all other platforms in favor of one. Instead, it merely means that becoming a platform expert can be beneficial, especially if you want to secure upper-level database engineering roles.

 

 

Debugging and Optimization

A strong database engineer has a variety of debugging and optimization skills that can help them correct problems and increase efficiency in a range of applications. In some cases, this ability is essential, particularly if the database engineer is the only team member with complete end-to-end visibility.

 

Patience and Communication

While patience may not be listed as a required skill in a vacancy announcement, it is usually a must for database engineers. Typically, these professionals are approached with requests, often from people who don’t fully understand how a database operates. What may appear simple to them actually ends up being highly complex, and you need to be able to navigate the situation calmly.

 

Similarly, being able to explain technical information in a way that is highly accessible, even to those who aren’t as tech-savvy, is vital. This ensures you can work with individuals from other departments or work areas and find compromises when what they are requesting isn’t feasible or requires more time than they initially wanted to allow.

 

By acquiring the skill above, you can increase your odds of landing a database engineering job. If you are looking for a new database engineering position, the professionals at The Armada Group can connect you to a range of opportunities throughout the area. Contact us to discuss your ideal job and learn more about our current vacancies today and see how our services can help you land your perfect role.

 

 

Published in Hiring Managers
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