Considering a Contract Position the Positives to Expect

At some point, nearly every professional tries to determine if contract work is right for them. Whether they are considering it as a solution to being unemployed or as a potential, long-term lifestyle, temporary jobs can be part of a strong career path.

When you accept a contract position, you do experience a range of positives. If you aren’t sure what to expect, here’s a look at the benefits that come with temporary roles.

Published in Staffing News

Programming

 

If you ask a handful of coders to name their favorite programming language, you’ll likely get a variety of answers. And the same goes for those they prefer not to use. However, there is a short list of languages that many wish would simply disappear off the face of the planet.

 

These programming languages have fallen out of favor for numerous reasons, though the most common one is that more efficient options became available. With that in mind, here are five programming languages that are primed to disappear.

 

Ruby

Though Ruby and its framework, Ruby on Rails, were all the rage in the 2000s, the language has since fallen to the wayside. So much so that even Coding Dojo, a learning platform favored by programmers, is even altering its coursework to remove Ruby on the Rails from the curriculum. One of the key reasons is likely the broadening of JavaScript’s libraries, which has fewer people using Ruby for their projects.

 

Objective-C

The only reason Objective-C is still on anyone’s radar is Swift’s sub-par ABI stability, which is an issue for iOS developers, though it is expected to be remedied with the release of Swift 5. Once the new and improved Swift becomes available, expect Objective-C to fall into obscurity.

 

Visual Basic

While technically considered a technology, Visual Basic is a programming language most coders simply dread. Visual Basic was originally created to provide an alternative to BASIC, which gives an indication of the technology’s age. However, Microsoft is still holding firm on this language, so it may not disappear as fast as some people would like.

 

SQL

Many people are likely startled to see SQL on a list like this. Since data has become a staple in more businesses than ever, SQL certainly has a foothold in almost every industry. However, there are strong alternatives to SQL that may replace this common programming language. Pair that with its general undesirability in the minds of many coders, and it may suffer a swift demise once a reliable replacement gains ground.

 

Assembly

If you’ve never heard of Assembly, you’re not alone. It’s a programming language that is known to be slow and tedious to use, and not nearly as capable as options like Python or C#. In most cases, programmers that encounter Assembly are likely dealing with legacy code, as very few new projects would ever consider it an ideal option.

 

All of the above-mentioned languages are poised to disappear one day, though it likely won’t be too soon. Dealing with legacy code often leaves two options: keep using what’s there or completely rewrite the program in something else. Since recreating a large-scale project in another language is a serious undertaking, especially when you consider the size of some SQL databases, many of these programming languages will likely suffer a slow death. However, it’s smart to keep your eyes open to these points, as dedicating too much time or energy on a less-desirable language isn’t smart for business or a person’s career.

 

If you’re looking for a person to join your programming team or are interested in a new coding position, the professionals at The Armada Group can help. Contact us today and see how our services can get you ahead of the competition.

 

 

Published in IT Infrastructure

5 Open Floor Plan

With today's emphasis on collaboration, you might think an open plan office is the way to go. By eliminating even cubicle walls, it should be easy to encourage communication and collaboration, right?

 

Unfortunately, that's not what happens. What happens in an open plan office is it becomes noisy and full of distractions. There may be a few types of work where that isn't a problem, but software development isn’t one of them.

 

Software development is highly intellectual work. The hands-on-keyboard coding is just typing; that's not where the developers' skills and talents lie. Those skills are in their ability to think through a challenging design problem or a difficult bug in order to come up with a solution. And being able to think like that requires quiet and the ability to concentrate; exactly what's missing from open plan offices.

 

In some companies, the open plan gets in the way of collaboration in other ways, too. Developers who are desperate for the chance to think book conference rooms where they can close the door and block out the chatter. That makes conference rooms unavailable for their intended purpose. When there's no conference room available, either the meeting and its collaboration doesn’t happen, or the meeting is held by telephone, adding to the overall noise level and distraction.

 

It isn't always possible to reconfigure office space, but companies can take a few steps to help developers cope. Even low cubicle walls can help block some distracting sights, and you can offer developers noise-canceling headphones. Noise baffling curtains and ceiling tiles can help reduce the decibel level. Your company culture can discourage the use of speakerphones, and you can also provide small phone rooms and informal meeting spaces to reduce the number of desk-side calls and meetings.

 

You can use your investment in a quiet workplace as a selling point when you meet with prospective employees. Creating a workplace where developers can easily work is a sign of the respect you have for their needs and abilities.

 

The Armada Group can help you find software developers who are a great match for your workplace and project needs. Contact us to learn how our recruiters can help you fill your open positions.

3 Project Manager

You knew a career as a developer meant always needing to learn new languages and new development methodologies. Did you think that moving into project management meant an end to learning? Sorry. You always need to be developing new skills to stay competitive. Here's how you need to evolve as a project manager:

Stay current on technology trends.

You no longer need to know the detailed syntax of every new programming language, but you need to understand the strengths and weaknesses of different technology options in order to evaluate your team's suggestions and your end user's requests.

Understand new project management methodologies.

Running an agile development team is nothing like managing a team that follows the waterfall development method. And chances are, your team isn't strictly following agile, anyway. In all likelihood, none of the "textbook" project management methodologies are perfect for your environment. You need to understand multiple approaches to project management to craft a solution that works for your team. (And that solution may change over time, so you always need to be evaluating new methodologies).

Your job title says "manager," but you need to be a leader.

Don't focus on managing and controlling your team's activities. Focus on inspiring and leading them to where they need to be. The team will be happier and more productive, and you'll feel more rewarded.

Understand your end users.

Project management isn't just about the project. It's also about keeping your business users happy. You should spend as much or more time talking to the business as you do to the tech team. Learn to speak their language, and try to see the issues from their perspective. Ideally, you're able to partner with both the business and with your technical staff to define and deliver a real solution.

If you're a project manager seeking new challenges, or a company needing to hire a driven project manager, The Armada Group can help fill your needs. We've been matching candidates to opportunities for nearly two decades, and have a deep understanding of the information technology workplace and IT staffers. Contact us and let us help make your career and your projects a success.

2 Bad Culture

 

There's nothing worse than starting a new job only to find out the work environment isn't right for you; it's far better to realize it's a problem workplace before you accept their offer. Here are seven ways to spot a bad office culture before you accept the job.

The office space is run-down.

Not every company is going to have designer-selected accessories, and the desk chairs might not all match. But if the chair they give you to sit in at your interview is broken, if you see signs that copiers are out of order, and if the walls are desperately in need of a paint job, it's a sign that the company isn't investing in its workspace and doesn't care about the facilities available to its employees.

The company's founders got squeezed out.

In technology startups, the founders are often the driving force behind the company's success. Losing the founders can mean the company is in trouble and investors are hoping to salvage it; or it can mean the company will soon be in trouble, as the creative minds with vision have moved on to new projects. It can also mean all projects and employees are under close scrutiny.

The interview is all about what the company needs.

Certainly, you should expect the bulk of the interview to be questions directed at you, to help the company determine if you have the skills for the job. But there should be time allotted to explain the company and project to you, and for you to ask questions. If the hiring manager doesn't have time to hear your questions now, they probably won't want to hear them after you're hired, either.

The only part of the workplace you see is the interview room.

This may be related to the fact that the office space is rundown (see bad sign number one), but may also be because the company is afraid to let you feel the vibe of the workplace and see how employees interact with each other—if they even interact at all.

You aren't impressed by the company's leadership.

In most cases, you don't get to meet the company's CEO, even if you're interviewing with a small company. So take the time to find a video of them online, on the company site or elsewhere. If they aren't inspirational, you probably won't find working for the company to be inspiring, either.

The interviewer seems surprised you're there.

Your time is valuable, and the company should have a prepared schedule of interviewers who've reviewed your resume before you arrive; they should certainly know what job you're interviewing for! If the company isn't prepared to meet with you, they may be having a bad day or they may be poorly managed.

The interview is stressful.

Obviously, interviewing is a tense process. Some companies may add stressful challenges not directly related to job skills, such as asking you to solve a puzzle rather than writing sample code. Other companies may ask a lot of questions about how you manage stress, or talk a lot about their intense pushes to make deadlines. Pay attention to the questions you're asked for what they reveal about the stresses you'll encounter on the job.

When you're looking for a new job, it's helpful to get insight into the workplace environment even before you schedule an interview. At The Armada Group, our recruiters know the details of the jobs and companies we're recruiting for, and we'll match you to a job that matches your technical skills and your personality. Contact us to start your search today.

Published in Hiring Managers