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Boost Your Skills with 5 Online Tech Education Programs

Continuing education is a great way to boost your tech skillset. Today, there are tons of online platforms that can give you quick access to a range of courses, many of which you can complete at times that work for you.

If you are looking to boost your skills, here are five online tech education platforms worth exploring.

and the top ten highest paying IT jobs are

Technology helps make our lives comfortable. If you work in technology, that's even more true, because tech jobs tend to have great salaries. Here are 10 of the highest-paying IT jobs (including salary and bonus) according to a survey by Computerworld.

Chief Information Officer.  You won't start your career as a CIO, but if you aim to climb the corporate career ladder, technology can take you all the way to the executive suite. This C-level job title has a total compensation package that averages around $170,000. Other C-level job titles, like Chief Security Officer and Chief Technology Officer, also claim comp above $150,000.

Internet Technology Architect. The Internet is a key driver of technology, so it's no surprise that this top-level tech strategist role also receives top compensation. Look for a package around $150,000 if you guide your company's Internet development.

Application Development Manager. Take ownership of an application's development path and you can take home salary of around $120,000. Two titles that often lead to the application development manager role take in slightly less, with product managers earning around $116,000, and project managers earning close to $108,000.

Data Warehousing Manager. Data is becoming a key driver of corporate decisions, and with the growth of Big Data, data warehousing managers to oversee the safe storage and retrieval of this data are in demand. Their total salary averages around $127,000. The related role of database manager averages around $102,000.

Computer Operations Manager. Operations roles are also important to a business's technology success. The average compensation for computer operations managers is around $106,000. Help desks are also a key part of tech operations, and the help desk/technical support manager can make around $78,000.

Enterprise Architect. Help guide the company's overall tech strategy as an enterprise architect, and total salary is close to $132,000. With a more specific role as a database architect, you can take home about $125,000 and as a network architect, close to $120,000. 

Storage Architect. The storage architect role is becoming more important due to big data; storage architects and engineers can earn total comp of about $113,000. Storage administrators can make about $101,000.

Mobile Specialist. Helping the company get its applications working on mobile platforms is worth about $115,000 in salary and bonus. While Web development is still important, those positions average $76,000. 

Systems Analyst. Someone has to figure out what all those programs do. The systems analyst job title has total comp of about $82,000, while the technology/business systems analyst title compensation is about $89,000.

Application Developer. Build the application and your total salary may be nearly $95,000. As a systems programmer, it could be over $105,000.

Published in Staffing News

personality over skills

In the IT job market, your technical abilities can often be the be-all and end-all. The idea often seems to be that if you don’t meet the long list of necessary skills, you simply aren’t the right person for the position. However, this isn’t always the case. For many hiring managers, certain aspects of your personality may actually be more important than skills you’ve picked up along the way.

Below are a few examples of soft skills that may land you that IT dream job, and why hiring managers may choose them over more technical capabilities.

Willingness (and Ability) to Learn

A thirst for knowledge is a highly sought-after character trait in any industry, but it can go a long way in tech. You may not have mastered PHP or networking just yet, but if you have a voracious appetite for new information, you may find that hiring managers are willing to teach you the necessary skills. Quick learners are often a worthwhile investment, as they tend to stay on top of their skills and constantly refresh and update their knowledge base.

Enthusiasm

Passion and motivation can be invaluable for IT companies, particularly startups and those who specialize in innovative technology. Hiring someone who’s emotionally invested in their finished product will improve both the quality of their work and their drive to complete it. An infectiously enthusiastic personality can also impact the morale of co-workers, creating a more effective (and happy) workforce overall.

Self-Direction

In tech, it’s often expected that you be capable of a certain degree of autonomy. No matter how advanced your skills are, it simply isn’t worth the investment if your manager has to hold your hand through every project. A candidate who possesses self-drive, on the other hand, will not only be able to complete tasks on their own, but will be able to occupy themselves with meaningful work when they aren’t given explicit direction.

Ambition

A desire to succeed in your industry can be very appealing to hiring managers. This soft skill often translates into intuitive insight into what’s best for the company, granting you the opportunity to impress your managers with the added benefit of improving your place of work. Ambitious candidates are also fiercely competitive, and this competitiveness can inspire your team to work harder, particularly when you’re incentivized by upper management.

These are just a few examples of personality traits that hiring managers may prioritize over technical capabilities. Don’t let the fact that your skill sets don’t perfectly align with the position’s requirements discourage you from applying. You may find yourself pleasantly surprised by how valuable your soft skills really are.

Published in Hiring Managers

08 Big Data Means Big Jobs 5 Areas to Specialize in for Career Success

In the IT industry, change is accelerating — and a large part of that change is due to big data. With organizations just beginning to realize some of the massive potential that big data holds, the demand for IT professionals working in big data-related areas is rising fast.

In fact, technology research firm Gartner predicts that 2015 will see 1.9 million IT jobs created to support big data in the United States alone, with each of those roles creating positions for three non-IT people. In total, Gartner says, the information economy will generate 6 million jobs over the next four years.

The challenge for businesses is filling those jobs, because there simply isn’t enough talent to go around. Gartner estimates that only one-third of IT jobs can be filled with the current talent pool. So if you’re considering a career in IT, there will be ample opportunity to jump on the big data bandwagon.

Here are four areas revolving around big data that will be in high demand as companies struggle to close the talent gap.

Cloud skills

The cloud can be described as the foundation for big data. All of the areas that feed into this discipline are build on the cloud — big data itself leans heavily on cloud platforms and apps, social media is powered by the cloud, and mobile is basically a personal cloud.

One of the most talked-about advantages of the cloud is the potential cost savings, but today’s cloud environment is about more than saving money. Employers are now looking for IT professionals who can leverage the potential for new capabilities, architectures, services, and approaches to app design — with big data as the lynchpin for powering the effectiveness of the cloud.

Mobile skills

According to Gartner predictions, by 2016:

  • 40 percent of the workforce will be mobile
  • Two-thirds of the mobile workforce will own a smartphone
  • More than 1.6 billion smart mobile devices will be purchased globally

The outlook for tablets is equally strong, with an expected 20 percent of sales organizations to use tablets as their primary mobile platform, and 70 percent of mobile workers using a tablet or hybrid device by 2018. Even now, CIOs are purchasing iPads by the tens of thousands.

With an increasing reliance on mobile devices comes a growing demand for IT professionals who specialize in mobile — including app development, big data integration, and mobile device management. BYOD policies also require mobile specialists to manage the corporate network across disparate platforms.

Social computing

Even as the biggest social networks reach their limits in terms of growth, social is becoming even more important from a business standpoint as organizations develop a more disciplined approach to social media. Gartner forecasts that at least 10 organizations will spend more than $1 billion each on social media in three years.

Part of that spend will be on talent as organizations hire more IT pros who specialize in social media and big data. There are massive amounts of valuable social data available, and as big data tools and platforms become more refined, more businesses seek talent who can extract actionable insight from this information.

Information and analytics

Finally, big data itself will create more job opportunities directly. Organizations can access a continual flood of information from both internal and external sources, providing them with endless opportunities to innovate, optimize, discover new insights, and transform the way decisions are made.

With big data, companies are able to turn information into revenue. This opens up career opportunities for IT pros who can work with structured and unstructured data, and mine “dark data” — data that is being collected, but not used — for business value.

Published in Recruiting

Sick of Getting the Interview and Not the Job

The job search is often a frustrating process. And that frustration is increased when you keep landing interviews, but never hear the magic words “You’re hired.” It can be especially challenging to fail at the interview stage, because you aren’t able to receive feedback about what was right and what went wrong. The interview is the last stage—and once you’re off, you can’t go back for another curtain call.

There are many reasons why you might not be getting through at the interview stage. Some of them are beyond your control, such as the other qualified candidates you’re up against for the job. But there are some aspects you can control, and improving them will increase your chances of landing the job you want.

Here’s how you can rethink your interview strategy and adjust your approach to get from “don’t call us, we’ll call you” to “When can you start?”

See what the interviewer sees

One effective way to change your interviewing strategies is to change the way you view the interview itself. If you consider it a performance you’re giving (for an audience of one), this change in mindset can help you spot problems you didn’t realize you were having, and improve your delivery to make a better impression.

So how can you review your own performance? Mock interviews, either with a friend or a professional. They will not only give you more practice and help you sharpen your skills, but they’ll also give you the opportunity to assess your interviewing skills from a new perspective. Go through a mock interview and use a webcam or video camera to record the process. Then you can watch yourself with fresh eyes and pick up any inconsistencies or issues you didn’t notice while you were focused on answering questions.

Make it about the interviewer

If you’ve already gone through some less-than-successful interviews and tried to figure out where you went wrong, you probably already know that it’s important to do your homework. Prior to an interview, you should try to learn everything you can about the company and the specific position you’re going for, and work that into the conversation to demonstrate your genuine interest in this particular job.

But how much time do you spend talking about the actual person who’s giving the interview?

A job interview is often as much about a personal connection as a test for skills and qualifications. You can make a connection with your interviewer by being socially generous—steering the conversation toward the interviewer to make them feel smart and accomplished.

Avoid a straightforward question-and-answer session where you do most of the talking. Instead, ask the interviewer questions about themselves, their concerns and issues, their role at the company, and their goals. Get them talking, and respond with relevant points about your own interests and qualifications. If the interviewer feels that you’re genuinely interested in them as a person, your interview will be far more memorable.

Answer the questions you’re not asked

In some cases, there may be an elephant in the room that’s preventing you from having successful interviews. Aside from the obvious possibilities—sloppy appearance or inappropriate dress, bad first impressions, or obvious non-fit for the job—the most common “elephants” in an interview are current unemployment and long gaps in your resume.

Unless you’re entering the workforce for the first time, it’s important to be prepared to explain why you’re not employed, or why there are long periods of time between jobs on your resume. Be proactive in this regard, and bring it up before the interviewer asks (if they’re planning to ask at all). When you can offer a plausible explanation, you’ll put the interviewer at ease and the remainder of the interview will be smoother.

Ask your own (smart) questions

Just about every employer will ask you whether you have any questions for them at the end of the interview—but don’t save your questions until the end. Asking questions at an interview is a very effective way to demonstrate your interest in a particular company. It shows that you’re not only knowledgeable about the organization and the position, but you’ll also be able to make valuable contributions to the company when you’re hired.

Take the time to come up with a list of intelligent questions that you can ask throughout the interview. Save a few for the end, because you should never answer “Do you have any questions for me?” with “No.” And once your final questions have been answered, close the interview by asking whether there are any gaps you haven’t addressed and how you can follow up or move forward.

Show the interviewer that you’re interested, engaged, and valuable as an employee, and you’ll soon find yourself happily employed with your interviewing days behind you.

Published in Recruiting

Stop Making These 5 Job Search Blunders

Looking for that great new job is a complicated and time-consuming process. With so much involved, even the most savvy job seekers can make small mistakes — that may end up having huge consequences. But you can increase your chances of successfully landing your dream job by being aware of potential pitfalls in the job search process, and knowing how to avoid them as they come up.

Here are five of the most common job search mistakes, and what you can do to ensure you aren’t making them.

Sending unsolicited resumes

One common bit of advice that’s been thrown around to job seekers over the years is to apply widely, and send your resume out to as many companies as possible — even if they’re not hiring. Some have recommended using this strategy to get into your dream company. But the high volume of resumes that are sent to any given company, hiring or not, combined with widespread use of Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) practically guarantees that unsolicited resumes are a waste of your time and efforts.

Instead of sending out resumes blindly, your time would be better spent identifying a handful of ideal job opportunities, and customizing your resume and cover letter to match each individual job’s requirements, company information, and job description.

Relying on job boards and online listings

Generally speaking, online job boards are not the best sources for leads. Even worse are online “classifieds” or “want ads,” which are often riddled with increasingly clever scams posing as opportunities. But even legitimate online job postings will often end up wasting your time — simply because of the high volume of applicants these listings receive.

While it’s okay to dedicate a small portion of your time applying through online job boards, the majority of your efforts should be spent on more productive and effective strategies for finding opportunities. Networking is absolutely the most effective, since a majority of today’s new hires are referral-based. The Jobvite 2014 Social Recruiting Survey reports that 60 percent of hiring managers and recruiters said their best hires were through referrals.

Working directly with a recruiter is another highly effective way to find great opportunities. Recruiters have access to job openings that aren’t posted to the public, which means you’ll apply with a referral from the recruiter and compete against a smaller pool of candidates for the position.

Networking ineffectively

While many job seekers understand the importance of networking, at least in theory, most aren’t using this powerful tool effectively. Networking is best when it’s made the focus of your job search, and when it’s approached in a structured and professional way that allows you to measure the results of your efforts.

For example, “being on LinkedIn” is not an effective networking strategy. Simply joining the social network doesn’t bring a flood of recruiters and potential employers to your virtual doorstep. You need to optimize your LinkedIn presence with a detailed, relevant profile that lets people know you’re in the job market, connect with industry professionals, influencers, and potential employers, and interact through groups and discussions in order to attract attention and grow your network.

Flying solo on your job search

This refers not only to networking, but also using career experts in general. Of course, when you’re actively looking a job, you should let family, friends, and colleagues know that you’re in the market to keep your network open — you never know where the next opportunity might come from.

In addition to asking for help from people you know, you can substantially increase your chances of getting hired by working with a professional. Career coaches, resume experts, staffing agencies, and recruiters have extensive resources for job seekers that can help you every step of the way, from identifying opportunities to making it through the interview.

Not asking for the job

It’s incredibly disappointing and frustrating to trip at the finish line — but that’s what can, and often does happen when you forget to ask for the job. You might make it all the way through the application process and a round of interviews, but if you don’t express your genuine interest in the position, you may be passed over anyway.

The very last step of every interview should be to thank hiring managers for their time, and state clearly that you want the job, in plain language. This makes your final impression as someone who’s both qualified and enthusiastic, which exponentially increases your chance at getting hired.

Need more assistance in your job search, or have questions about any of the job search blunders above? Call The Armada Group today and talk to one of our career guidance experts!

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Published in Staffing News

 

Emotional Intelligence in Leadership

Being a great leader — whether you’re already in an executive position or looking to be promoted to one — requires strong emotional intelligence. And an important part of emotional intelligence is the ability to keep negativity out of your communication and interaction with other people. Negative thinking and emotion prevents you from getting results both for yourself and with others. What’s more, negativity can spread stress like it’s contagious — studies have shown that negative thoughts transmit stress-producing hormones that affect those around you.

Even if you have high emotional intelligence, you may be putting out negative vibes without realizing it. Here are five subtle but common ways you might not know you’re being negative, and what to do if you spot yourself engaging in them.

Not accepting compliments

For many people, responding to compliments with a demurral is an instinctive reaction. If you’re told you did a good job, your instinct may be to downplay the sentiment by crediting someone else, insisting it wasn’t that hard, or even saying you were just lucky. You may think you’re being humble — but this type of reaction actually undermines your confidence and makes it harder for other people to trust your skills or abilities.

Instead of demurring, learn to accept compliments with grace (and a dash of humility). Own your positive actions or accomplishments, even if your response is a simple “thank you” with no further discussion on the subject of the compliment.

Negating a positive

Negative inferences happen when you make a positive statement, and then follow it up with something negative that undermines the effect. For example, you might say, “My last performance review was fantastic, but I’m still not making the salary I should.”

The first part of this statement is positive and worth both consideration and discussion. But when it’s followed immediately with negativity, the positive value goes out the window — and suddenly you’re one of those people who always sees the glass as half empty. Negative inferences crush enthusiasm and prevent others from taking your side.

Instead, keep your positive statements positive and focused on your options. For example, you might say, “My last performance review was fantastic, so now I’m going to work on presenting my accomplishments better so I can negotiate a higher salary.”

Reacting too quickly

When something goes wrong, people have a tendency to react — and in the heat of the moment, your reaction might be less than emotionally intelligent. For instance, if a team member says something unfortunate during a meeting, you might approach them after the meeting with a comment along the lines of, “That was a stupid thing to say!” This type of reaction is not constructive, and can quickly break down relationships.

A better way to handle moments like these is to focus on responding, instead of reacting. When you respond to a problem, issue, or negative situation, you give yourself time to consider what really happened and why it might have happened — and then formulate a thoughtful reply that is constructive and considerate.

“Yeah, but…” mode

Everyone’s said it from time to time. Someone makes a suggestion, and you want to agree, but you immediately calculate the problems with the idea and your response sentence starts with “Yeah, but…”

This opening is a blocker. The word “but” dismisses anything positive that came before it, and makes collaboration with other people difficult. If you find yourself saying “Yeah, but” frequently, people will lose interest in listening to you.

Instead of agreeing, and then immediately disagreeing, focus on validating ideas that you believe are worthy, and offering possible changes or alternatives for those that don’t quite seem there yet. Keep the “but” out of your responses.

Bringing others down to raise yourself up

Emotionally intelligent people understand that the path to success is not forged by blatantly stepping on others along the way. However, you could be engaging in a more subtle form of diminishing other people, through statements that contain gossip or put-downs — even if they seem innocuous.

Besides the risk of having these negative comments get back to the people you’ve made them about, the person you’re talking to may wonder what you’re saying about them to others. If you’re tempted to put someone else down in order to feel better, ask yourself what your real motivation is for making these damaging statements. It might be insecurity about your own performance, jealousy of someone else’s abilities, or simply just a bad habit of engaging in gossip.

This type of negativity can be the most difficult to overcome — but it’s also the most rewarding. When you have genuine respect and kindness for others, they’ll reciprocate, and you’ll be better positioned for leadership.

Want to learn more about being an emotionally intelligent leader? Contact the staffing and recruiting experts at The Armada Group. We can help you find – and retain – the best in IT management and professionalism

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Published in IT Infrastructure

 

5 Tips for Becoming an Outstanding IT Leader

What makes a great leader? There are nearly as many definitions as there are leaders in IT, but certain characteristics tend to stand out when you consider outstanding IT leaders. And if you’re aspiring to greatness as a leader in your field, emulating these characteristics will help you improve your own performance as well as your team’s — and place your career on the path to success.

Here are five tips that will help you understand what makes an outstanding leader, and how to implement best practices in your own leadership career to achieve greatness.

1. Communicate effectively

Do you assign tasks or projects to your team, only to find that the end results are far from what you had in mind when you implemented the project? Does your team ask you a lot of questions that you feel they should know the answers to? Are there frequent disagreements among your team about how, when, and with whom work should proceed? If these problems are present, you may have communication issues.

Great leaders are able to describe what they want done succinctly and clearly. The key to effective communication is considering not only what you’re saying, but how the people you’re addressing will receive your message. If you can’t communicate your vision, your team won’t be working toward the same goal — and the end results will suffer.

2. Embrace delegation

Some people in leadership positions subscribe to the philosophy that if you want something done right, you have to do it yourself. Unfortunately, this is the opposite of what leadership is all about — motivating and inspiring others to perform to the best of their abilities.

The ability to delegate is an essential quality for a great leader. You can’t do everything yourself — and you shouldn’t, because your team will suffer. Failure to delegate tasks (without micromanaging the implementation of the tasks you’ve assigned) demonstrates a lack of trust in your team, which leads to a breakdown of loyalty and motivation.

3. Generate confidence

Outstanding leaders know that confidence breeds confidence. This means remaining confident in the abilities of your team when things are going right — and when they’re going wrong. One small crisis can set off a chain reaction of issues and problems, especially in IT. If you react negatively to everything that goes wrong, you’ll create an atmosphere of uncertainty and doubt that will severely impact productivity.

Maintain a positive attitude, and remind everyone on your team — including yourself, if necessary — that setbacks are natural and expected. When you remain calm and confident through a crisis, you help to keep everyone on track and working toward the common goal.

4. Walk the walk

When making a distinction between bosses and leaders, it’s common to point out that bosses talk, but leaders walk. The very best leaders are those who lead by example — you can’t expect your team to turn in their best performances, unless you’re putting forth your best efforts too.

Commitment is a vital quality for outstanding leaders. You need to demonstrate through your actions that you’re committed to producing great work right along with the team — in other words, you need to be the person you want to lead.

5. Hone your sense of humor

One of the easiest ways to spot a great leader is to observe the workplace environment. Are the employees excited and engaged? Do they show up every day with a positive attitude, and look forward to tackling the challenges ahead? If this is the case, you’re sure to find a leader with a great sense of humor at the head of the team.

The ability to find humor in struggles and challenges can transform your work environment, creating a happy and healthy space that your team will enjoy coming to every day. Learn to laugh at yourself, even in the midst of crisis, and you’re well on your way to becoming an outstanding IT leader.

If you need more help distinguishing these characteristics in your management team, or yourself, contact the recruiting experts at The Armada Group today. We know what it takes to cultivate a strong leadership team, and have a wide talent network of top candidates who exhibit the five traits mentioned above. 

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Published in IT Infrastructure
Thursday, Oct 16 2014

Big Data Gets Big Results

 

Big Data Gets Big Results

The buzz about Big Data continues to grow, but are companies that have already started working with it seeing any returns on their investment? According to a new study from tech consulting firm Accenture, an overwhelming majority of executives who’ve launched big data projects are pleased with the power and effectiveness of this new digital tool.

Big Data is consistently valuable

The Accenture study looked at big data projects and installations implemented by CIOs, CFOs, COOs, CMOs, CDOs (chief data officers) and other senior IT leaders across seven industries, in 19 different countries. Responses indicated astonishingly high rates of satisfaction and ROI from big data investments:

  • 92 percent of executives were satisfied with the results of their big data installations
  • 89 percent said big data is “very important” or “extremely important” to the digital transformation of their business
  • 82 percent said big data provides significant value to their organization

The research and observations from senior executives point to big data as not just a passing fad, accessible only to a small percentage of huge, multi-million dollar corporations, but a truly effective strategy that delivers actual benefits like streamlined operational efficiency, an expanded base of loyal customers, and increased revenues. With effective use of big data, businesses are able to develop a competitive advantage in an increasingly crowded online market.

Big Data pinpoints new sources of revenue, enhances customer experience

One of the most common ways businesses are using big data is to find new sources of revenue — and this area is also delivering the most tangible benefits. According to the Accenture study:

  • 94 percent of executives use big data moderately or extensively to identify new revenue sources — and 56 percent report extensive tangible benefits
  • 90 percent use big data moderately or extensively to retain current customers and acquire new customers
  • 89 percent use big data moderately or extensively to develop new products and services

While bringing in new customers creates new sources of revenue, organizations are also using big data to improve customer relations. Of the executives surveyed, 47 percent report extensive, measurable benefits from winning and keeping customers through big data, and 51 percent say enhancing the customer experience through big data has achieved measurable gains. Considering the next five years, 63 percent of executives believe that big data will have the largest impact on their customer relationships.

Challenges to big data implementation

As with any relatively new technology, using big data comes with some challenges and concerns. Accenture found that security is the greatest challenge, with 51 percent of executives citing security as the top issue — particularly as the number of big data users in their organization expands.

Other major challenges facing big data include:

  • Budget (47 percent)
  • Lack of talent for big data implementation (41 percent)
  • Lack of talent to run big data / analytics on an ongoing basis (37 percent)
  • Integration with existing systems (35 percent)

Flexibility and a willingness to experiment with approaches and strategies has been the most effective means to overcoming the challenges presented by big data. Accenture states that it’s vital for organizations to recognize that no single big data solution will fit every situation.

Tips for success with Big Data

With the increasing accessibility and cost-effectiveness of big data technology, companies of any size in every industry can take advantage of the benefits big data provides. Accenture’s key recommendations for capitalizing on big data include:

  • Start small. Attempting to accomplish everything at once with big data can, and typically will, result in a scattered focus and little to no return. Instead, choose a single business area to target first, and launch a proof of concept or pilot program to prove value before implementing wider strategies.
  • Stay flexible. The technologies that drive big data are still relatively new, and in a constant state of change. Companies using big data must remain nimble and alert to the opportunities presented by these evolving technologies.
  • Focus on talent. In order to capitalize on big data, companies need a workforce that’s able to implement strategies effectively. One solution is to offer training for existing employees to build big data skills — a strategy 54 percent of executives said they are currently implementing.

But don’t rely on your in-house team alone — only five percent of executives said their company uses solely internal resources to develop, implement, and manage big data strategies. Outsourcing IT talent for big data is a fast and effective way to start reaping the benefits of the latest technologies for your business.

If you want to learn more about the benefits of big data, or find staff who are already well-versed in big data implementation, contact the recruiting experts at The Armada Group today. 

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Why Your Developers Should be Focusing on Innovation

With the rise of easily accessible technologies like the cloud and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), the digital landscape is more competitive than ever. Organizations looking for an edge need to focus on innovation — especially when it comes to apps.

App development is the new frontier for innovation and organizational change. The best way to achieve this is to give your developers room and encouragement to innovate, by making their lives easier and providing them with the tools they need to produce great apps and secure valuable intellectual property (IP) for your organization.

The following tips will help you help your developers, leading to increased innovation and driving competition in a fast-paced technical world.

Go all in with the public cloud

For most organizations, building an in-house infrastructure with enough servers, storage, and services to provide developers with sufficient resources for innovation just isn’t practical, or even feasible. The public cloud is a faster and more economical choice, both for developers and the organization as a whole.

Public clouds offer highly efficient, flexible infrastructures that can scale up as needed, and consume only those resources developers actually use. Embracing the public cloud reduces project completion times and product time-to-market, and saves you significant money.

Broaden access to tools and services

With the rise of SaaS and PaaS (Platform-as-a-Service), the many tools and resources employed by developers can be readily available. In the past, most organizations relied on long-term contracts for services and tools, often spending hundreds or thousands on legacy and enterprise software in the interests of cost efficiency over time — complete with drawn-out approval processes and lengthy installations and rollout.

This approach is detrimental to app developers, who may switch the tools and services they use from day to day and prefer to test out a tool before making a long-term commitment. You can encourage innovation by foregoing long-term contracts and letting developers self-select the tools they’ll use.

One of the most effective ways to do this is by giving them access to enterprise developer marketplaces, such as those from Windows Azure, Red Hat, and Heroku. These marketplaces allow developers to work with a wide variety of enterprise-ready tools and APIs, which help them build better applications, faster.

Encourage freedom from locks and controls

When your developers are locked down to a single platform or language, innovation is stifled. Allowing and encouraging them to design platform agnostic apps for the Web, mobile, and Internet of Things devices will save your developers a lot of time and grief.

What’s more, you can encourage innovation by limiting the controls placed on developer experimentation. Consider monitoring tools and API management solutions that take security measures into account, but still provide developers a window into network traffic.

Give developers time for pet projects

In general, developers are highly creative and love to make things. Regardless of what they’re working on for the organization, chances are high they’re also invested in a few personal side projects. They’ll work on these projects on their own — but your organization can benefit by allowing developers to pursue pet projects at work.

The ability to collaborate with co-workers on side projects and invest paid time in developing them often leads to positive, unanticipated developments, such as solving a business problem that was previously intractable. You may also end up with new products to add to your organization’s portfolio — AdSense, Gmail, and Google Hangouts all began as Google employees’ side projects.

If you provide your developers with tools and resources they can use without limits, and the time they need to pursue creative solutions, you’ll benefit from the innovative apps and products they turn out.

For more information on innovation – for your employees or your recruiting strategy – contact the innovative recruiting experts at The Armada Group. We know what it takes to stay at the forefront of our industry, and can help you with any staffing issue today. 

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Published in IT Infrastructure
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