What is Making Women in Tech Happier

 

There is still a substantial gender divide in tech. Women often earn less, struggle to be taken seriously, and lack strong female role models. However, there has been progress in recent years, even if it is somewhat slow-going.

 

Many women do strive to see the bright side of working in tech, even if they do face challenges in the field. By focusing on the benefits, many female tech professionals are happier in their positions and in the industry as a whole. While every woman is different, here are some of the things that are motivating women in tech.

 

Making a Positive Impact

Whether it's through the performance of their duties or their effort to eliminate gender biases in the field, women consider “making a positive impact” one of the biggest benefits of being in tech. When an employee feels like they are making a difference, it can be intrinsically motivating. Plus, if they believe they are improving the world in some way, be that with the products or services they provide or being a force for change in the industry, that increases their satisfaction.

 

Being a Role Model

Most women in tech want to encourage other women to get into the tech industry. By being a strong performer and respected professional, they are helping to create a culture that is more welcoming to female tech pros. Additionally, they have the chance to become role models for young professionals, especially as they personally rise through the ranks.

 

Facing Challenges

The world of tech is rarely boring. Along with the speed at which the industry changes, much of the work circles on finding solutions to problems, creating something new, and otherwise being highly engaged, all of which can be very motivating. When given a chance to explore emerging technologies or advance in the workplace, often thanks to professional development opportunities, their job satisfaction can increase even more.

 

Exploring Their Passion

Many women who get into the tech industry are highly passionate about the field. After all, female technology professionals are nearly guaranteed to face challenges on many levels - including lower compensation when compared to men, doubt about their capabilities, and company cultures that aren’t always welcoming - Without passion, it wouldn’t be worth it to face the difficulties many women in the industry contend with on a regular basis.

 

How You Can Support Women in Tech

When you hire a woman in a tech role, make sure to offer them the same level of compensation as their male counterparts. This allows everyone to be on a level playing field, ensuring that no one is being treated unfairly because of their gender.

 

Additionally, engage with your current female employees. Learn about their needs and preferences, and see how you can make the workplace and culture more attuned to them.

 

If you would like to learn more about women in tech, the skilled team at The Armada Group can help. Contact us with questions today and see how our workplace expertise can benefit you.

 

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

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.

 

 

Silicon Valley

 

When people think of the technology sector, they generally focus on the tech itself. Advances like artificial intelligence, machine learning, chatbots, big data, and drones often capture headlines, but they aren’t necessarily the most valuable assets in the IT landscape.

 

Many high-level tech professionals, including everyone from CIOs to venture capitalists, understand that there is more to the technology arena that the tech itself; the people are just as (if not more so) important. And, by managing people properly, you can create thought leaders, inspire innovations and increase productivity.

 

Human Motivation

For the technology industry to thrive, the environment has to be conducive to innovation. Often, this doesn’t happen by chance. Instead, it must be cultivated and curated, and strong leaders can make that happen.

 

One approach to creating such a workplace is the use of Objectives and Key Results, or OKRs. Ultimately, the premise asserts that, by providing clear objectives and outlining measurable steps to monitor success, employees have something to focus on.

 

Plus, it removes any ambiguity regarding what management or the organization as a whole wants its staff to accomplish. This gives everyone a common goal, aligning internal activities and defining priorities.

 

 

Community Building

Similarly, workers who feel as though they are part of a community tend to outperform their peers. Creating a strong corporate culture that focuses on teamwork and collaboration may do better than one that concentrates on individual achievement and competition.

 

Understanding how one employee’s outputs impact the entire project, or even the company’s larger goals, can also breed a sense of unity. It allows everyone to see how they fit into the larger whole, giving meaning to daily tasks that, without this context, may seem inconsequential.

 

Additionally, encouraging relationships that mimic friendships (or even genuinely become that close) also leads to a positive culture. This is especially true when management doesn’t fully distance themselves from their staff and, instead, creates an environment filled with support.

 

Mentorship is also powerful in the workplace, allowing strong connections to form while the youngest in your staff get valuable guidance that can help them grow as professionals, both for their benefit and that of the company.

 

The “People” Factor

Regardless of how far technology comes, there is also a “people” factor to the industry. There are hardworking individuals and talented leaders behind these developments.

 

Without a focus on how to create an environment that supports the needs of the human beings behind the code and tech, revelations may not come as quickly as they otherwise could. By crafting an ideal workplace, you can increase productivity and innovative thinking, helping make the next step in technology possible.

 

If you are interested in learning more, the skilled 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 support your business as it strives to reach new heights.

 

 

Programming Language

 

Ultimately, when it comes to staying power, not every programming language is equal. Some truly stand the test of time, remaining relevant for decades, while others enter the tech world only to disappear, hardly leaving a mark.

 

When you’re trying to determine which programming languages are worth the time and energy required to learn, selecting the right options can impact your career in significant ways. By making smart choices, you can get more mileage out of your knowledge while ensuring that your skill set remains in-demand.

 

No programming language is guaranteed to stay relevant forever, but certain options have more potential when it comes to longevity. If you aren’t sure which ones will benefit you the most, here is what you need to know.

 

Proven Programming Languages

Some programming languages have remained predominately stable when it comes to use and demand, even as new ones emerged.

 

For example, JavaScript is still an in-demand skill thanks to its flexibility and broad level of use. Today, there are more lines of code written in JavaScript on a daily basis than any other, showing that it remains relevant.

 

Some of the other languages that have similar levels of stability include C#, Java, PHP, and Python. All of those languages are widely used, exist on legacy systems that have remained part of the business world over the long-term, and are even favored by some developers.

 

C, C++, CSS, and Ruby have also stood the test of time, and aren’t likely to disappear any time soon.

 

 

Programming Languages with Potential

In some cases, a programming language has the potential to make a significant mark on the tech landscape, but its staying power isn’t fully realized. On prime example is Swift.

 

Swift has become popular thanks to its association with iOS. As time moves on, it may even replace Objective-C.

 

Languages with Uncertain Futures

While some languages could prove useful in the world of development, not all of them have gained traction in the business world. In some cases, programmers really enjoy these languages but, without widespread adoption, they may fizzle out.

 

In some cases, a lack of flexibility hinders a languages capacity for growth. Others aren’t as user-friendly or simply haven’t been able to overtake alternatives.

 

One could argue that Go, Haskell, Perl, and R all fall in this category. While the languages aren’t inherently doomed, their future is mostly unclear. New developments could help them gain additional traction, but may also render them obsolete.

 

In the end, choosing programming languages that are widely used and likely to stick around is a smart career move. This means, if you don’t know them already, consider investing time and energy into JavaScript, C#, Python, or any of the others with known staying power.

 

Otherwise, make sure to monitor industry trends to see if any new developments may benefit or hinder other languages and make your selections accordingly.

 

If you are interested in learning more or are looking for a new position, the professionals at The Armada Group can help. Contact us today to see how our services can benefit your career.

 

 

Published in IT Infrastructure

Facebook Jobs

 

Facebook released their new job posting feature, providing opportunities for businesses and candidates to connect more easily across the platform. It gives companies the chance to connect quickly with potential candidates who are already fans of the brand, while also extending beyond those limits. But whether you will get the kind of applicants you want depends on how effectively you use the tool.

 

Since the feature is currently free to use (and it may not stay that way), now is a great time to experience the process for yourself. If you want to increase your odds of success, here are some tips to get you started.

You Must Check Your Page Regularly

The job posting tool has one quirk that may change how your business needs to manage its Facebook page; all notifications are sent via the internal messaging system and not to an external inbox. This means you will have to check for messages often and be prepared to communicate with applicants via Facebook Messenger.

In many cases, this isn’t a process recruiters are used to, even if some recruitment is already managed through Facebook. Having every response to a job posting directed in this fashion means a potentially significant increase in the messages received, and more time spent sorting those for other communications.

Target the Right Demographics

Facebook allows users to include a large amount of information about their past experiences and education. The job posting feature allows companies to target based on the associated demographics, enabling you to reach the exact kind of candidates you need to find.

 

While some companies may be tempted to cast as wide a net as possible, it is important to realize how big the potential sea of candidates is on a site as vast as Facebook. Without the use of demographics, you might get a lot of attention from applicants who aren’t truly suited for the position, and that can be a lot of information to sort through to reach those who may actually fit the bill.

Keep Mobile and Media in Mind

The majority of Facebook viewing is done over smartphones, not computers. This means you need to consider how the job posting will look on a mobile device if you want to attract the most attention from job seekers. And don’t be afraid to add images, as media-rich posts typically get significantly more attention than those that don’t, regardless of the platform.

Think Entry-Level before Executive

While many executives have Facebook pages, it isn’t necessarily their platform of choice for employment-related communications, especially if they are well set up on LinkedIn. However, more entry-level workers might not have created a strong profile on LinkedIn but may be accessible through Facebook.

 

In this regard, the ability to reach a wider audience can be key when you need employees who might have less experience or education and may feel they don’t have enough to say to create a profile on LinkedIn. And, when unemployment is low, any advantage to reach those looking to start their careers can be beneficial.

 

If you are looking for more ways to reach job seekers, The Armada Group can help you connect with today’s top talent. Contact us to discuss your current vacancies and see how our services can help your job postings get seen by more candidates in your target market.

 

Published in Recruiting

Data Trends

 

Data and analytics have dominated the technology landscape for the past few years, acting as a dominating force for change throughout a range of industries. Within these segments are a series of trends that suggest what the space has in store for business throughout 2017 and possibly beyond. Here are some of the key points that are garnering attention today and deserve your attention through the rest of the year.

Artificial Intelligence is Center Stage

The concept of artificial intelligence has danced its way in and out of our awareness since the founding principles were established in the 1960s. Now, significant developments in the area are seeing what once was considered science fiction to become fact within workplaces across the country. Platforms have been created with processing models that are beginning to bring AI to life.

 

Whether you call it AI, machine learning, cognitive computing, or neural networking, it looks like the technology is finally entering business in a meaningful way. While the beginning applications will involve eliminating repetitive, menial tasks from the hands of employees, where it can go has yet to be determined.

Individualized Applications

Big data stormed in with limited structure or direction. Often, businesses collected massive amounts of data from any source that could be reached. Now, companies are aiming for applications that meet the unique needs or their organization. This not only increases efficiency through targeted data analytics, but it also provides more value than the blanket approach of yesteryear.

 

To meet the need, platforms will become more agile. The ultimate goal is to create singular solutions that cover the data analytics tasks while marrying them to other operations within the company. If the solution doesn’t provide long-term value, then customers will likely look elsewhere.

Preemptive Analytics

Data analytics have typically focused on collecting information and providing either real-time or post-event outputs designed to improve processes through optimization. Preemptive analytics provides the opportunity to drive the transaction, allowing for interventions before an event has even taken place. In the end, these data-driven processes may help create new revenue opportunities, cut costs, and even improve customer interactions through a higher level of personalization.

The Rise of Data Engineers

While data scientists will still have a place in the workplace, data engineers will become the new specialty de jour. Instead of examining data to resolve business issues, data engineers create and manage the larger infrastructure behind big data. Since system operations are a critical part of the data analytics field, those who can design, support and maintain these systems will be more coveted than ever.

 

If your company is looking for the skilled IT professionals, it needs to prepare for the use of data and analytics through 2017, and beyond, the recruitment professionals at The Armada Group can help locate the employees you need. Contact us and see how finding the right employee can position your business for success throughout the year and into the next.

 

Published in Staffing News

taking risks

 

Over time, it is easy to settle into a groove at work. You learn your specific job duties, solidify your technical skills and simply float along with the current. Over time, what starts out as simple familiarity turns into complacency. And that leads to stagnation.

Once we find ourselves in a comfortable pattern, it is only natural to resist change, and we may even create excuses to prevent ourselves from taking risks at work. And only some of those excuses may be valid. To help determine if an excuse is reasonable or simply an imaginary barrier, here are four excuses IT pros make to avoid taking risks, and how to address them.

1. It’s Not a Good Time

In most cases, there is no such thing as a “good time” to take a risk. The stars rarely align in such a manner, so this is an excuse someone may use in perpetuity. It is important to separate any feelings of anxiety related to change from the pressures you may be feeling at work. In many cases, it isn’t the thought of making the change now that is the issue; it is the thought of doing it at all.

However, there can be bad times to take risks. For example, if a project deadline got accelerated and you are pulling overtime every day to meet the new timeline, then it is a bad time for a major change. Otherwise, if business is moving per the usual, you might want to reconsider the excuse.

2. My Manager Hasn’t Brought it Up

Your boss may not overtly encourage you to take risks, but that doesn’t mean advocating for change is inappropriate. Often, managers aren’t fully aware of where your interests lie, how you imagine progressing in your career, or even whether there is a better way to get certain tasks done. This means that a proactive approach is going to be necessary. So, if you have a new idea, take it to them instead of waiting for a prompt. Your enthusiasm may be appreciated, and you might get more support to move forward than you may have anticipated.

3. I Don’t Know What to Do

We live in a time that is dominated by quick access to information of all kinds. That means, even if you don’t know what risk to take, you can likely find options fairly quickly. Simply consider any issues or shortcomings you notice during your workday, take the initiative and do some research. Focus on a topic and look for new developments in that arena. Then, take the time to learn about the possibilities and see if anything seems beneficial to you or the business.

Once you identify a potential solution to a current pain point, you have something on which to move forward.

4. I Could Fail

Risk inherently comes with the risk of failure, and this risk tends to be the main thing that holds people back. But mistakes are part of the learning process. Everyone you work with today has messed up at some point, and they all made it through to the other side. Your best defense against the negative effects of failure is to get proper support and take the time to learn as much as possible as you step into the unknown.

Ultimately, failing to take a risk can be more damaging to your career than never stepping out of your comfort zone. And taking a risk doesn’t mean you are reckless as long as you don’t jump blindly. If you want to progress, it’s time to look risk in the eye and decide to give it a go, after you have a plan in place.

If you are interested in taking a risk in your career by exploring new employment options, the professionals at The Armada Group can help provide you with the information and support to help your risk turn into a success. Contact us today and see what our recruitment professionals can do for your career.

1 Armada FaaS

 

Features-as-a-Service (FaaS) is the latest trend to come down the developer pipeline. The driving force behind the movement is to give developers quick access to come features using a traditional off-the-shelf software model. Instead of having to recreate the same features every time they create a new application, the developers select the features they need from FaaS providers.

FaaS Offerings

Many applications have certain features in common. For example, mapping services and certain social components are regularly included by developers. Instead of having to mess with an API to have the options fit into the project, developers simply choose FaaS options that meet those needs.

 

What makes FaaS different from some other “as a service” development is the fact that the features don’t operate as a standalone product. Instead, they are intended to be components of a larger offering, providing an additional function on the front-end once integrated.

 

Since FaaS providers focus on creating these modular options, the quality of the feature should remain high. Instead of being created by developers with larger missions, for an FaaS developer, the feature is the entire product. That means that significant time and attention were likely paid to ensure it provides the best experience possible since it is intended for resale and not just internal use.

Benefits of FaaS

In essence, the features are designed to be plug-and-play, limiting the amount of work required on the developer's part to get a function that is featured in a wide array of applications. Some product features, like video chatting and news feeds, can be fairly complex in nature. And spending the time to reinvent the wheel every time a developer wants to include a certain feature isn’t an efficient use of resources.

 

FaaS allows developers to bypass the work required to create features that many apps have in common, like intuitive search-as-you-type and deeplinking. Instead, they can concentrate on the aspects of the application that are unique to that specific product.

 

The overall benefit is a more cost-effective approach to application development. Internal resources are focused solely on new development, allowing development timelines to be shortened while still ensuring a high-quality product.

 

Additionally, companies that embrace FaaS may find themselves more attractive to top developers working in the field. Often, the best and brightest end up fighting boredom on the job, and repeatedly creating the same feature could play into that feeling. By removing more repetitive portions of the development process, developers get to work on the parts of the app that are new without having to reinvent the wheel along the way.

 

If you are looking for a new application developer who understands the benefits of FaaS, the experts at The Armada Group can help you locate the ideal candidate quickly. Contact us and see how our recruiting experience can help you avoid reinventing the hiring wheel.

Published in Staffing News

Armada Tach Skills

Businesses have reevaluated their goals and determined their IT budgets in preparation for 2017. Along with that comes plans regarding which tech skills will be a priority. And, even though unemployment in IT is still especially low, having the most in-demand tech skills positions you to take advantage of everything the job market has to offer. To help you on your way to career success, here are the seven tech skills you need to excel in 2017.

1. Software Programming and Development

Companies are typically allocating larger portions of their budgets to software programming and development, increasing the demand for those with the proper skills. Whether businesses are interested customizing off-the-shelf products or want to develop from scratch, developers and programmers are needed to make those goals a reality.

Along with high demand comes higher salaries, so pursuing or furthering a career in software programming and development can be a highly lucrative path.

2. Help Desk Technical Support

Help desk professionals often don’t get a lot of glory, but they are critical to the operations of large enterprises. Being able to manage incoming trouble tickets effectively, while also improving processes and procedures is incredibly valuable.

Success in these positions requires a fairly wide knowledge base, and that isn’t always easy to find, especially at Tier 2 or Tier 3 levels. If you enjoy diversity in your daily tasks, then focusing on Help Desk operations may be ideal.

3. Security

It’s no surprise security will remain a priority. Threats change constantly, so having skilled professionals who are able to keep up with the shifting demands of these critical positions will be a top concern for more organizations. Positions will be available in larger enterprises, as well as consulting options for those who prefer to work with a variety of businesses to help them meet their needs.

4. Cloud Services

The cloud is now considered fairly mainstream technology. Many companies have already invested in cloud storage and services, including SaaS, and those that haven’t may be contemplating the move. Professionals who are familiar with the idiosyncrasies of how these services work in companies of varying sizes are well-positioned to move forward in their careers during 2017.

5. Data Analytics

Big data is still very relevant in today’s business climate, so skills in data analytics will remain in-demand. Most industries can benefit from data analytics, so positions may be available in everything from healthcare to retail to manufacturing.

6. Web Development

The need for quality websites isn’t set to change anytime soon. In fact, some companies are spending less time concentrating on mobile app development and, instead, redirecting those energies to mobile versions of their websites. With that in mind, experience in web development and associated skill can provide new employment opportunities through the next year.

7. Project Management

There will always be projects that need oversight and coordination. Having a solid understanding of IT and project management principles gives you the ability to take on projects that may be outside of the experience of project managers not as familiar with IT. To command top dollar, education and certification in the skill area are often preferred.

If your career is focused on any of these areas or you are interested in exploring new employment options, The Armada Group has the industry experience needed to match your skills to the best opportunities available in the area. Contact us and see where your knowledge can take you in 2017.

Published in Staffing News
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