Software engineering is a broad spectrum of an occupation and has a wide variety of different roles. There are hundreds of software applications to work on, from one designed in-house to a massive enterprise application. With so many diverse options, how do you market yourself to stand out?
- Diversify. If you’re shooting for a specific niche, ignore this step; however, you will also pass by potentially dozens of other opportunities while you’re doing so. If you’re looking for more options beyond a specific niche, broaden your horizons, especially on your resume. Focus several bullet points on your accomplishments in a narrow area, but continue to expand your knowledge. This changes prospective employers from seeing you as a C++ or Oracle implementation expert to a true engineer with a variety of skill sets.
- Start a blog. Blogs can increase web traffic and a following, but they also provide a tool that separates you from many other software engineers. Moreover, it offers you an opportunity to showcase your subject matter expertise, as well as interact with others – and maybe learn a thing or two in the process, while informing visitors. Put the link on a resume or LinkedIn profile and it allows a recruiter to see your skill sets before they even contact you, generating interest.
- Network. This cannot be understated. Find a local networking group and meet people. Follow up with them via LinkedIn, Twitter or email. Establish rapport.
- Social Media. While probably the most obvious, this is often the most mismanaged. The beauty of social media is that you can market yourself as a true expert in engineering and your specific role simultaneously. You are able to share valuable information with your personal network. Build your personal network and provide valuable resources to them. Also, join LinkedIn groups and participate in discussions to establish thought leadership.
- Pair with a staffing firm. Staffing firms understand the value of the overall concepts in your given field, as well as the individual accomplishments and where they’re the best fit. They know what businesses are looking for, and they know what you have to offer. In many situations, this is the best of both worlds, because agencies look for the best candidate for a company, and the best company for a candidate. This makes for an ideal match and long-term job satisfaction.
At The Armada Group, that’s exactly what we do. We take time to get to know you, and what you have to offer in order to better pair you together with a company where you can be successful. We work with some of the most innovative companies in the world, and we want you to be a part of our success. If you are looking for software engineering employment in Silicon Valley, contact us today.
Theodore Roosevelt said: “People ask the difference between a leader and a boss. The leader leads, and the boss drives.” This is an essential distinction for people in charge at any level—if you want to be a great leader, you can’t hog the wheel.
But what is leading? While there are many different styles of leadership, they all typically have some things in common. Here are some of the characteristics that great IT leaders often share.
Leaders are not islands
Some bosses are convinced they know everything, and they have no need to consult others. However, considering the complexities and the scope of the IT field, it’s virtually impossible for one person to know it all.
That’s why great IT leaders surround themselves with reliable people who are able to complement their strengths, and shore up their weaknesses. The ability to know when you need outside expertise, and to delegate intelligently, is an essential trait for a leader.
Leaders are two-way channels
Bosses broadcast. Leaders communicate. Excellent communication skills are a must for any successful IT leader—and you need to be able to both give and take feedback from people at all levels, in every department, from many walks of life.
Many of the people IT leaders work with are not fluent in tech. As a leader, you have to clearly articulate your messages in ways anyone can understand. This ability to communicate should apply to your emails and phone calls, your presentation style, your negotiations, and even your casual conversations.
Leaders allow their people to fail
While a boss may not tolerate mistakes, shortcomings, or failures, a leader will often encourage them. There can be no innovation without risk, and great IT leaders strive for a safe-to-fail environment where team members have the confidence to try new things, without fear of negative repercussions from management.
Of course, it can be difficult to create a balanced environment that encourages calculated risks, but not wild shots in the dark. You may need to experiment with boundaries to strike the right tone for innovation.
Leaders are often imitated, but never duplicated
Bosses might attempt to copy someone else’s successful managerial style, with mixed results. Leaders understand that authenticity can’t be forced, and remaining true to your own style, values, and personality is the only path to true success.
You may be surprised to learn that being yourself is not only less exhausting, but also far more effective. Playing the role of a leader can be draining. When you are genuine and honest, you’ll find that leadership comes naturally—and your team will be happy to follow your example.
What traits do you believe great IT leaders have? Share your thoughts in the comments! If you are an IT manager looking for recruiting agencies in Silicon Valley, contact our team today.
The technology landscape is transforming faster every day. Mobile technology, Big Data, social media, analytics, cloud computing, and more impact the digital world, creating massive infrastructure shifts and leaving businesses scrambling to keep up. Companies running on legacy platforms need a way to compete with newer organizations born in the digital era—and a CDO might be the answer.
Chief Digital Officer, or CDO, is a new and evolving role in the business world. In fact, CDOs are so new that the positions are barely defined, and few of these professionals have set-in-stone job descriptions. However, that isn’t stopping companies from hiring for this untested position in a bid to harness the latest technologies.
What is a CDO?
Chief digital officers are not to be confused with chief information officers (CIOs). Where the CIO typically runs the company infrastructure and makes technology decisions, the CDO is generally responsible for organizational transformation—helping the company as a whole break down older, legacy frameworks and practices, and transition into a fluid new infrastructure built on new tech.
While the actual responsibilities of the CDO vary from company to company, the core commitment is to develop, implement, and manage a smooth transition. CDOs must be fluent in both technology and business skills, able to truly understand both the company and the ultimate vision for where the organization wants to be.
CDOs: A rising trend
In a recent post on Gartner’s blog, analyst Dave Aron stated, “The Chief Digital Officer is emerging and maturing as a role fast.” Gartner’s data indicates that while only 6 percent of companies currently employ CDOs, the numbers are “springing up faster than we can count them.” By 2015, Gartner projects that 25% of companies will have a CDO.
How to succeed as a CDO
What does it take to land and perform a job that is under-defined and still emerging? Some of the top traits of successful CDOs include:
- Leadership skills. Transformative, large-scale projects require everyone’s cooperation to succeed. A good CDO will be able to earn an organization-wide commitment, despite any internal office politics that may serve as a barrier.
- Detailed planning abilities. The CDO’s primary role is to create an end-to-end digital strategy that covers every corner of the company’s operations.
- A strong network. The best digital professionals are connected with several experts. They aren’t necessarily the most knowledgeable or tech-savvy individual to be found—but they do have a solid network of experts and innovators for consulting and collaboration.
- Business fluency. Tech skills are essential for CDOs. But just as important are business skills in every department, and the ability to communicate on multiple levels—from highly technical to powerfully simplistic. A successful CDO will be able to excite not only in-house staff, but also customers, vendors, and boards of directors about the upcoming transition.
If you’re an aspiring CDO, now is the time to find that perfect position. Established companies are looking for skilled digital experts to help them boldly enter the brave new world of advanced technology, and keep up with their savvy competition. You can be the solution to this problem. If you are looking for employment agencies in Silicon Valley, contact our team today.
Think about how much time you spend in the office each day…and now, consider how much you actually get done. Chances are you’re not as productive as you could be. The good news is, you can boost your productivity—and decrease your stress—by consistently implementing a few simple changes at your workplace.
1. Prep your space for success
The foundation for productivity is an efficient environment—one that lets you find what you’re looking for quickly, and offers easy access to the things you work with most. To turn your office into a productive space, start with a purge: go through your desk drawers, filing cabinets, shelves, stacks of paper, and random cluttered areas, and throw away everything you don’t need.
Once you’ve pared down your office, the next step is rearranging. Think about how you work, and adjust your furniture layout accordingly. For example, if you have to get up from your desk every time you throw something away, you’re likely to leave trash on your desk or floor—so move the wastebasket close to your desk.
Finally, organize your desktop so that it contains only the supplies and devices you use on a daily basis. Everything else should have a permanent home where it can be returned when you’re finished.
2. Develop a system
When you have everything purged and organized, you’ll need a system to help you keep things in place. There’s no right or wrong way to create a system—simply use a strategy that suits the way you work.
A few helpful tips for developing organization systems:
- Establish a paper workflow with an inbox, an “in-process” box, and a filing system (which may be a trash can, if you don’t generally keep paper documents).
- When you’re looking at a paper document to deal with, decide what action you should take and follow through—don’t just put it back on your desk. If action isn’t immediately possible, place the document in the appropriate next-step area of your system.
- Don’t forget to organize electronic files as well, using a system that makes sense with your working style
- Develop an index, or master list, of your files (paper and digital) to reduce duplicates and help maintain organization
3. Implement basic time management
For many, “time management” sounds like a complicated corporate objective that wastes more time than it saves while you’re trying to learn it. The truth is that time management doesn’t have to be difficult. Just a few simple strategies can save you hours every week.
Keep a running to-do list of all your projects, appointments, and deadlines. If you’re using a mobile device to help you keep track, make sure you’re able to sync with your primary computer—it’s easy, automatic, and ensures that your list is at your fingertips no matter what you’re doing.
Choose an hour or so each day to focus solely on projects and tasks. Make sure to build a time cushion into your schedule to account for any (usually inevitable) interruptions. You can also tackle larger projects more confidently by breaking them down into shorter tasks that can be completed one at a time.
4. Create a communication schedule
Most people are not surprised to learn that email is one of the top office time-wasters, and phone calls are a fairly close second. Rather than continuing to handle emails and phone calls all day as they come in—and break concentration on the tasks you’re working on while you deal with them—set aside a few short blocks of time each day to deal with communication.
You can take 10 to 15 minutes in the morning, and again in the afternoon, to tackle your inbox and return phone calls. The rest of the time shut off all of your notifications so you can work uninterrupted. You may be shocked at how much time this saves!
You don’t have to reserve productivity for those rare days when you’re feeling energetic and ultra-determined. When you make organization and time management a habit, you can have a productive day, every day.
If you are looking for recruiting agencies in Silicon Valley CA, contact our team of experienced recruiters today.
Just as with every field, not all IT administrator salaries are the same. Your earnings—both your potential and actual income—can be affected by a number of factors. Figuring it out can be tricky, but it’s good to know what you should be worth while you’re on the job search path. You can use your estimated salary as a negotiating point with potential employers, as well as a tool to discount lowball offers.
Types of IT administrators
One of the major factors in calculating IT administrator salary is the type of job you’re qualified to work. There are dozens of possibilities here, from broad administrator roles to specialized niches. Three of the most common general categories are:
Network and computer systems administrator: This is the broadest type of IT administrator. The role may be described as both network and systems admin, especially for smaller companies—but in larger companies, there may be separate positions for network administrators and systems administrators.
Duties and responsibilities for these positions tend to overlap, which is why they’re often combined. However, when they’re available as separate roles, the systems administrator is usually the more skilled—and therefore the higher paid—of the two.
According to Indeed.com, the average salary for:
- Systems administrators is $77,000
- Network administrators is $70,000
- Network and systems administrators is $76,000
Database administrator: This highly sought-after position is becoming increasingly important to organizations in the age of Big Data. Database admins can find work on a variety of levels, from database integration to creation, development, and maintenance. They may work in-house for companies, or as external consultants.
Indeed.com reports that the average salary for a database administrator is $74,000.
Web administrator: Specialists in maintaining websites, the web administrator approves content, monitors speed, analyzes data on traffic patterns, and implements user suggestions for improvements on websites. In today’s business culture, this role is often blended with other IT responsibilities—so the average salary for web administration alone is $61,000, according to Indeed.com.
Factors that affect IT administrator salaries
Outside the type of IT admin role, there are many things that affect your salary potential. These can include:
- Education. Both the degree earned and the quality of the institution can impact your salary. Having the right degree for the job, obtained at a well-regarded college or university, will give you the best chance at a higher salary.
- Skills. This factor is high on the list for determining salary. The more relevant skills you have, the better you can expect to be paid—as long as you’re able to demonstrate that you can use those skills.
- Experience. Although IT is a relatively young industry, experience still counts for a lot. IT administrators with 5 or more years of experience can command double, or even triple, the salary of entry-level professionals.
- Certifications. Many companies require their IT staff to have certain certifications. If you already have them, you’ll be worth more in terms of salary than a potential employee who has to be certified on the company dime. Optional certifications that are considered a plus can also increase your salary potential.
- Company size and location. This is one salary factor that you won’t have much control over. Salaries vary from company to company, and region to region, in the United States. Generally, you can expect larger companies to pay more than small businesses, and companies in major urban areas to pay more than rurally located companies.
A working knowledge of your anticipated salary can help you ensure that you’ll be paid what you’re worth as an IT administrator. Take the time to calculate your potential salary before your next interview, and you’ll be able to negotiate with confidence. If you are looking for IT administrator jobs in San Francisco CA, contact our team today.
In today’s job market, front-end developers are facing competition for the best positions out there. If you’re looking to land your dream job, you need to be able to stand out from the crowd in this hot market.
What can you do to differentiate yourself as a front-end candidate? Here are three ways to impress potential employers and get the front-end dev job you want.
1. Make your portfolio pop
In addition to cover letters and resumes, front-end engineer candidates need to worry about having a portfolio. These are typically in the form of websites that showcase your experiences, your skills, and coding projects you’ve worked on.
Many recruiters and hiring managers give your portfolio more weight than your resume during the hiring process. The best thing you can do to give yourself an edge is to make sure you have a great portfolio, with at least one good, clean sample website.
2. Know (more than) your stuff
Improve your desirability by knowing something that other front-end developers typically don’t. Some of the possibilities with the highest potential include interactive design, responsive design, Web GL, AJAX, and Android or iOS development.
Get active with personal projects
More so than other hiring managers, IT recruiters and managers are practically guaranteed to look you up on Google. Make sure you’re ready to impress by having some personal projects developed and ready to find, such as apps, demos, and open source projects.
You should also be active online in the places that count. Make sure your LinkedIn profile is detailed and current, along with any other social media sites you use. It’s in your best interests to join and be active in one or more popular developer communities, too. A few of the best known include Stack Overflow.
Your resume is just the starting point to open a conversation with recruiters and hiring managers. Give yourself the best possible chance at landing the front-end developer job you want by using these tips to stand out and get noticed.
If you are looking for front-end engineer jobs in Silicon Valley CA, contact our team today.
While the economy is showing signs of recovery, CIOs and hiring managers are still cautious about adding new positions. The latest information from the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) shows that only 77,600 IT jobs have been added over the last 12 months, with some late 2013 months showing losses of a few thousand jobs.
However, there is some good news on the IT job front. This year, more companies are increasing their hiring budgets in order to bring in more skilled IT contractors.
Cautious CIOs lead to increased reliance on outsourcing
The world of technology is changing faster than ever, with everything moving toward mobile, cloud, and wireless. These rapid shifts have left many companies with aging, legacy infrastructures—and without the budgets to upgrade.
Since hiring new, full-time employees to keep up with the latest technologies represents a significant investment that’s often outside the budget, HR professionals are turning to IT contractors for help.
A recent study from IT recruiting and consulting firm Mondo, drawing on a survey of IT decision makers and data from their contract IT placement network, found that 32 percent of respondents plan to increase their contractor budgets, and 48 percent will hire more IT contractors than permanent staff over the next 12 to 18 months. OnForce, another IT contract staffing provider, says the findings are consistent with their client experiences.
Popular skill sets for IT contractors
What are CIOs and hiring managers looking for in outsourced IT? Developers and marketers are in particularly high demand, across a variety of disciplines and platforms. Nearly every type of business is looking, but those most likely to increase contract spending include the publishing, communications, media, and higher education markets.
The Mondo survey reports that 73 percent of respondents are currently using IT contractors for:
- Application development
- Web and mobile development
- Application maintenance
A further 30 percent will outsource app development, and 27 percent will contract for web and mobile development, over the next 12 to 18 months.
Fluke or emerging pattern?
Is the trend toward hiring more IT contractors permanent, or will companies go back to hiring more full-time staff once the economy stabilizes further? Factors such as an aging workforce, an increased demand for flexibility, and streamlined costs point to a pattern that is here to stay.
OnForce reports an increase in monthly applicants to its Workforce-as-a-Service from around 750 to approximately 1,000 in recent months, and that number is growing. In fact, it is expected that the number of IT contractors in the workforce will double in 2014, and outsourced IT services will remain the norm for a few years, or longer.
If you are looking for IT contract work in Silicon Valley, contact our team to learn more about employment opportunitites.
In the constantly changing world of information technology, it’s always good to pay attention to trends that might help you stay a step ahead of the game. This year, a few of the biggest IT news stories from 2013 could have a lasting impact on your organization.
If 2013 was the year of cloud computing, then 2014 will be the year that the massive migration to the cloud starts slowing, and organizations take a step back to investigate things further. Here are three trends that could lead to potential challenges for your company this year.
NSA revelations increase cloud security concerns
For most businesses, it’s not hard to see the attraction of cloud computing. It’s cheaper than maintaining an in-house infrastructure, cuts down on maintenance and hosting costs, and lets you use someone else’s time and resources to take care of your network and applications.
Security was a minor concern—but it became a potential major issue when everyone started to hear about the true extent of the National Security Agency’s (NSA) capabilities for eavesdropping on electronic communications, whether or not they had permission.
Many organizations are taking this into account, especially those who haven’t yet started using the cloud. Security risks for sensitive data and applications like email and collaboration tools could be called into question, and hybrid cloud solutions that combine private with public clouds may become more prevalent.
Microsoft will have a new CEO
This year, Steve Ballmer is stepping down as CEO of Microsoft—the software giant whose Windows operating systems power the majority of U.S. businesses. What’s more, April 2014 will see the end of support for Windows XP, an OS that is still in active use for a significant percentage of companies.
The direction the new Microsoft CEO takes the company in will set the tone for the future of cloud computing in business. Microsoft may continue the migration initiated by Ballmer toward a device and services organization with a focus on cloud-based software, or return to concentrating on the on-premise software that has long been the core of its service offerings.
Cloud brokers will grow in popularity
Regardless of the NSA and Microsoft, the number and variety of cloud services continues to grow. In 2014, expect to find more cloud brokers and cloud service providers working to put together the best comprehensive solutions for businesses attempting to navigate the sprawling cloud.
Vendor-neutral cloud service companies will be able to work closely with IT pros, and help them find the combination of models, platforms, and services that will best meet the needs of their organization. Once free of cloud configuration and maintenance tasks, IT-based companies can focus on developing new offerings and new revenue streams—making 2014 a potentially profitable year all around.
If you are looking for IT employment agencies in Silicon Valley CA, contact our team today.
This year, job prospects are holding steady for IT professionals. Modest industry growth is leading to opportunities for tech experts with a range of skills and specialties, and unlike other industries, IT is not expected to stagnate.
The annual Forecast survey from Computerworld for 2014 found that 32 percent of U.S. companies plan to increase their IT staff this year. Here’s a look at the most wanted tech skills they’ll be searching for.
Programming and application development
The number one skill on Computerworld’s list for two years running, 49% of survey respondents plan to hire programmers or application developers within the next 12 months. This group of IT professionals actually has one of the lowest employment rates in the country at 1.8%, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics.
The current high demand and low availability for this skill means excellent prospects for IT professionals who specialize in programming. Within this category, the hottest skill subsets for 2014 are expertise in secure applications and mobile development.
Help desk and technical support
Up from No. 3 on last year’s Forecast survey, this skill comes in at second place for 2014 with 37% of employers looking to hire. Tech support skills have always been essential for the IT industry, so the availability of jobs in this area should come as no surprise.
What may be surprising—and encouraging—is the probable reason for the rising demand. After several years of outsourcing these functions to third-party help desk services, companies are returning to in-house tech support due to expanding infrastructures and an increase in company-provided Web and mobile services.
In one of the biggest rank increases from 2013 to 2014, networking skills moved to third place from No. 8 last year on the list of IT specialties employers want. A total of 31% of survey respondents plan to hire professionals with networking skills in the next 12 months.
The increased need for network administration likely stems from a higher demand for wireless connectivity. Unemployment rates are 1.1% for network and systems administrators, who are required to handle increased network traffic as well as troubleshooting.
Mobile applications and device management
Another big gainer in year-to-year rank, mobile skills are up from No. 9 in 2013 to No. 4 in 2014, with 27% of companies planning to hire mobile specialists this year. It’s almost a requirement—any organization wanting to stay competitive, has to jump on the mobile bandwagon.
In excellent shape regarding job prospects are mobile app developers and device management specialists who can implement and manage workplace personal device programs and BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) initiatives.
The demand for project managers is high, with 25% of companies hiring for this skill in the next 12 months. Like the increased demand for tech support specialists, this category is a positive sign for the economy overall. More project management positions mean that more companies are willing to invest in strategic projects and technology initiatives.
Project managers with the best prospects are those that have strong organizational and technical skills, as well as excellent interpersonal skills with the ability to explain and champion projects to potential partners, investors, and key collaborators.
If you are looking for technology jobs in Silicon Valley California, contact us today.