Highly effective IT teams don’t happen by accident. Instead, they are carefully crafted, bringing together the right mix of skills, experiences, and even personalities to ensure the team can collectively thrive.
But figuring out what such a team should look like isn’t always easy. However, there are certain traits that are common among top-performing IT teams, allowing them to serve as potential indications of the viability of the group’s composition.
If you are wondering what hallmarks are part of highly effective IT teams, here’s what you need to know.
For a team to thrive, they need to align in a few key areas, including with the broader mission, the values of their peers, and the priorities of the leadership team. When it occurs, everyone is working toward the same collective goals, keeping everyone on target. Additionally, when every team member believes in the mission, this can boost morale, job satisfaction, and productivity, providing them with intrinsic value as a source of motivation.
Highly effective IT teams genuinely identify as part of a team. They exhibit self-awareness regarding how their actions impact those around them, giving them an additional source of guidance when they need to make decisions or solve problems. Additionally, they recognize that success is based on the cumulative work of the group, not the accomplishments of the individual. The perspective can increase teamwork and their willingness to help each other when problems arise, enhancing the sense of cohesion.
A team can only be effective if they have a strong leader. Without proper guidance, the group will typically not flourish. Often, this involves having a manager who works as a coach and mentor, and not just a person delegating tasks. Further, open communication and transparency are necessities, ensuring everyone has vital information whenever something new comes down the pipe.
Genuinely stellar teams understand there is always something new to learn. Whether it’s a new approach to managing a project, a unique way to solve a problem, or an emerging technology that can provide value, they are open to exploring it. When it comes to knowledge, effective teams are never stagnant, and they typically aren’t fearful of change if it could potentially lead to better outcomes or increased efficiency.
Strong IT teams feel inherently supported by each other. Typically, this means everyone has a voice and feels like they belong, creating an atmosphere that allows for constructive debates that don’t devolve into morale-crushing arguments.
Ultimately, it involves a sense of inclusion, the understanding that everyone is valued and that what they bring to the table is relevant. Without that, team members may be fearful when it comes to expressing their opinion, and that can stymy the group’s success.
All of the traits above are commonly found in highly effective teams, so forming a team that exhibits these characteristics may increase your project success rates. If you are interested in learning more or are seeking IT professionals to join your staff, the professionals at The Armada Group can help. Contact us to discuss your company’s goals today and see how our services can benefit you.
When you move on to a new role, the idea of staying in touch with your old boss may seem odd. This is especially true if your relationship wasn’t always ideal or was downright challenging at times. Even if you had a strong connection, which can occur when a supervisor isn’t just overseeing your work but also helps you grow as a professional, touching base regularly might feel strange, particularly when it comes to discussing how happy you are in your new job.
However, remaining in contact with your former manager is actually a smart move, especially when it comes to the success of your career. If you are sure why, here aren’t four reasons to stay in touch with your old boss.
Just because you’ve started in a new position doesn’t mean your old boss can’t offer you guidance during trying times. In fact, they can be an excellent sounding board when you run into challenges, as they aren’t personally involved in your new work situation.
As long as you aren’t in a profession where discussing the details of your new role with someone outside the company could be an issue, don’t discount how valuable your former manager’s advice could be during a time of need. They could become a helpful mentor during your career journey, but that can’t happen if you don’t stay in contact.
Ultimately, few people understand your professional strengths and weaknesses like your former manager. This makes them uniquely positioned when it comes to helping you determine what areas you should focus on if you want to grow your skills.
While they may have shared some of these details with you while you were part of their team, they may be able to speak more bluntly now that the relationship is over. By staying connected, you can invite them to discuss these points with you without being hampered by policy or formality, and you may learn valuable tidbits you wouldn’t hear about any other way.
When you land a new job, the idea of having to secure another one in the future is usually the farthest thing from your mind. However, unless you are approaching retirement, there’s a decent chance you’ll end up on the job market at some point during your career.
Like you, your old boss maintains their own professional network, and they may hear about exciting job openings at other companies. Additionally, like you, your boss may secure a new opportunity with another business, giving you a connection to a new organization.
By staying in touch with your old boss, you can count on them as part of your network. That way, when it’s time to find something new again, you can reach out and see if they are aware of any jobs that may suit you.
When you need to provide a prospective employer with contact information for a reference, being able to list a former manager is often ideal. In most cases, your old boss’s input is valuable for a few years after you leave that position, so keeping in touch ensures you can provide their details should the need arise.
Even if you landed your dream job, it’s always wise to have a plan in case you end up on the job market sooner than you expected. Unanticipated events, like a layoff or emergency move, can throw your career off track, so having important references available is always essential.
Those are just a few of the reasons why it’s smart to stay in touch with your old boss. If you would like to learn more or are hoping to land a new job soon, the staff at The Armada Group can help. Contact us to speak with one of our highly skilled team members today and see how our career management expertise can benefit you.
While each member of your tech team likely possesses a range of valuable skills, some are probably more effective in their positions than others. And, in many cases, their hard skills are only part of the story.
Successful IT professionals often have a range of qualities that help them excel, allowing them to stand out from their peers. By hiring tech pros with these traits, you can improve the overall performance of your team. To help you get started, here are seven qualities your new tech hire should possess.
If you're looking for a top performer, seek out candidates who are insatiably curious about their area of technical expertise. This can include professionals who explore their field both inside and out of the office, as well as those who stay abreast of rising trends and devour new details about emerging technologies.
Technology is an ever-changing world, and the best tech pros are prepared to roll with the changes. Ultimately, IT teams can’t afford to stand still when it comes to examining the potential of different technologies and must be willing to make a transition when it benefits the company. Otherwise, it’s easy to stagnate or, worse, fall behind the times.
In the world of IT, rarely does everything go to plan. If your team is going to be successful, your employees need to be able to identify problems, analyze the situation, and find solutions.
People who are problem-solvers are typically also strong learners, as they have to take in new information to get to the root of an issue and correct it.
The ability to teach others is a highly valuable trait, particularly in a world filled with skill gaps. A willingness to teach also indicates that they put the needs of the team first while being effective in this role shows they have a range of important soft skills, like communication and patience, that aren’t always easy to find.
A willingness to receive feedback and adjust their approach is also a valuable quality. This indicates the candidate isn’t necessarily set in their ways and is open to constructive criticism that helps them improve.
As technology becomes ingrained in nearly every department, having a foundational understanding of business is beneficial. It will make it easier for them to understand the needs of the company as a whole as well as individual departments.
Leadership isn’t limited to telling people what to do. Instead, it also includes being able to bring people together to achieve a common goal or encourage others to be at their best.
A tech pro with leadership skills can help ensure your team works well together, making it easier for them to accomplish joint goals.
By seeking out the qualities listed above, you can find a tech pro who can do more than just complete individual tasks as they are assigned.
If you are looking for a skilled IT professional to join your team, the experienced staff at The Armada Group can connect you with some of today’s top talent. Contact us today to learn more about our services can how they can help you find the ideal tech pro for your open positions.
When companies look to hire new employees, they often focus on the candidate’s experience and available skills. However, this information isn’t always indicative of the job seeker’s potential to succeed, and failing to account for this point can lead to a bad hire.
While a candidate’s potential can’t necessarily be the only consideration when selecting a new hire, it should play a role in your decision-making process. If you are wondering how much their potential should factor into your hiring, here’s what you need to know.
A job seeker’s potential is a reflection of their ability to grow and adapt to a particular role or environment. Those who are more capable in these areas may have an easier time achieving success, even if they don’t possess the same level of skill as other applicants.
It is important to understand that the candidate’s past accomplishments or the length of their resume may not accurately portray their potential. This means you will need to delve deeper if you want to find out details that can help you assess them in this manner.
In some cases, a job seeker who appears to be highly experienced may have a lot of years in the profession but has actually been relatively stagnant in their career. For example, a 20-year veteran of the field who has held the same position for nearly a decade may not have experienced much growth, depending on whether their duties evolved over time.
In contrast, a person with five years of experience who has been steadily moving forward is actively progressing in their career, which can be an indication of their level of drive and interest in furthering their skills.
Similarly, whether a job seeker is still actively learning about their field or has resigned themselves to coasting through their career is valid. Someone who is constantly pursuing knowledge may be more valuable, even if they have less starting experience than someone who has stopped actively learning about their area of expertise.
The Value of Accomplishments
Many hiring managers would assume that a candidate without a major accomplishment isn’t what they need. However, a person who has a steady, solid performer over the course of their career may be more valuable than a job seeker who had a single great accomplishment that amounts to no more than a flash in the pan.
Additionally, a candidate’s level of participation in an achievement is also valid, particularly when the accomplishment is related to the work of a team. Often, not everyone contributes equally, so you need to determine whether the individual’s contributions are as significant as they seem.
Ultimately, the presence or lack of a significant accomplishment needs to be closely examined if you want to figure out its true value, particularly when you measure potential.
If you are interested in learning more or are seeking a talented professional to join your team, the recruitment specialists as The Armada Group can help. Contact us to speak with one of our skilled staff members today and see how our services can benefit you.
In the near future, when you talk to yourself, someone – something – might be listening. Voice assistance is developing into the next big thing in tech, pushed by the development of hardware and software that make voice control natural.
The fact that voice control is natural is the biggest factor behind the development of voice assistance. We all vocalize, almost literally from the moment we're born. When digital devices and assistants can react to our voice commands, there's no need for us to learn complicated interfaces to control them.
Voice also eliminates the need for space for an interface. Sure, keyboard shelves let us make room on our desktop. But smaller devices, like smart watches and other wearable tech, don't have lots of room for a physical interface to control them. Making them controllable by voice eliminates the need for learning gestures or clicking through layers of menus to find the detail you want.
People are also getting used to controlling devices with voice. While Siri, Cortana and Alexa aren't perfect and their funny responses lead to internet memes, this means it no longer seems strange to talk to a computer.
Talking to a computer is even becoming part of gaining secure access, as voice biometrics are being adopted as a security measure. And talking to a voice assistant doesn't have to mean giving up all your privacy, with new in-ear assistants where only the user can hear their responses.
New methods in analytics and improvements in speech recognition mean audio files become data, so companies can work with recorded conversations and use the unstructured data the same way they'd analyze a file of the clicks you made on their website.
Taken together, these trends mean there's going to be lots of opportunity for companies and workers with technical skills to create new voice-based products. The Armada Group has been helping companies find world-class talent for more than 20 years. By staying on top of technology trends and understanding the industry, we're able to match job seekers with opportunities and help both companies and candidates build their futures.
Many people are drawn to technical careers by a love of technology; they enjoy the creativity those careers require and the challenges they provide. Others are drawn to technical careers by more practical concerns: tech careers are among the best-paying opportunities out there. But even if your developers love their jobs because they love technology, they still want to be fairly compensated. That compensation isn't limited to their paycheck; benefits and perks matter, too. Work with your human resources and budgeting teams to make sure your company provides developers these crucial perks:
Start with a basic benefits package – 401K, stock options, paid time off including vacation, sick days, and personal days. Don't be tempted to leave insurance to the government-run exchanges; employer plans can offer better options and better networks. Offer, and subsidize, the cost of dental and vision insurance as well as medical insurance.
Sure, developers can work on any old computer, but they'll get a lot more done and be a lot happier with top-of-the-line equipment. The larger the monitor, the better, and the more monitors, the better, too. Make sure you have enough printers, so developers don't have to walk all the way around the building to pick up a printout. The paperless office isn't a reality for developers or anyone.
Quiet space where they can think.
Coding problems aren't solved on the computer; they're solved in the developer's mind, first. The open workspace with low cubicle walls is filled with distractions that make concentration difficult, which frustrates developers who want to get their jobs done. Even if you can't give everyone an office with real walls and a door, provide a quiet space where they can go to simply think through a tough challenge.
Freedom to use the best technology to solve the problem.
You need a stable technology platform, and mixing multiple technologies can complicate support, but don't force your team to use a tool that isn't appropriate for the task at hand just because you have the support capability. Developers want to work with new technology that makes it easier and more fun to solve the hard problems.
Training in new technology.
To use the best and newest technology, your team needs to understand it. Support your developers in learning those skills; don't force them to study on their own time but encourage them to attend off-site seminars where they can concentrate on learning without being distracted by day-to-day business issues. The commitment to their development will boost morale as well as their technical capabilities.
These perks help developers get their jobs done and demonstrate the value your company places on their skills, which boosts morale and their loyalty to your business. Contact The Armada Group to learn how we can help your business find employees who love technology and want to apply their skills to solving your problems.
There are many business applications still running on Cobol, but new developers would never base their career solely around learning Cobol. Even for developers who are working with more modern languages and methodologies, specializing in a single technology isn't the best basis for a career.
Besides the fact that technology changes rapidly (Cobol aside!), developers with a skill set across the technology stack are more valuable to their organization. These developers can step up and pitch in wherever help is needed, and their understanding of the challenges of different technologies provides a foundation for working in architecture, project lead, or managerial roles in addition to a varied programming career.
Software ultimately runs on physical facilities, so understanding the limitations of hardware and networks helps engineers make appropriate design decisions. Projects can either take advantage of, or be limited by, the specific operating system they are running on, so understanding this is key. Network configurations raise performance issues and security concerns, especially with growing use of the cloud. Mobile devices offer unique challenges as well. Applications won't succeed unless developers understand these issues and handle them appropriately.
There are fads and trends in programming, so while knowing a specific language is helpful for a while, having a solid foundation in good software engineering practices is more important. Developers need to fully grasp the concepts of object-oriented design in order to write reusable code that speeds projects. Debugging skills are often overlooked, but crucial. So is the ability to reverse engineer and work with existing code, so developers should practice reading and analyzing code they didn't write.
Ultimately, most applications require manipulating data, so developers should be comfortable with a variety of databases. Developers should be able to write SQL queries and work with stored procedures. Although many data-dependent projects will have DBAs to fine-tune the database, developers should be comfortable with the basics of database design and performance tuning. Because "big data" is increasing in importance, developers should learn how to work with very large datasets.
Understand Front Ends
Applications aren't useful until someone uses them, so developers need to understand what makes an effective front end. A designer may polish the look and feel, but developers should understand what works well on different platforms – thick clients still exist, and web applications and mobile apps present different challenges.