Technical expertise is certainly a necessity in IT. Without the right hard skills, you won’t excel in your career. However, technical prowess alone isn’t enough if you genuinely want to thrive. You also need specific soft skills that can augment your technical ability and ensure that you can be an effective, efficient member of an IT team.
Hiring managers are increasingly looking at the soft skills candidates bring to the table, as well. Falling short of their expectations could mean missing out on an exceptional opportunity. Luckily, by knowing which ones are essential, you can make sure to develop the soft skills you need and showcase your capabilities in those areas.
If you want to get ahead in your tech career, here are the soft skills that you simply must have.
Whether your goal is to launch a career as an iOS developer or you are already working in the field, having the right skills is critical. Today, app developers are in demand. However, those with strong skills in certain areas will often stand out from the crowd, allowing them to start or further their careers with greater ease.
If you are a current or aspiring iOS developer, here’s a look at the skills you need if you want to thrive in these roles.
Some job seekers spend hours trying to perfect their LinkedIn profile. Others throw theirs together in minutes, hoping that just covering the basics is enough to catch the eye on a recruiter. However, few actually have a chance to find out what recruiters think of their LinkedIn profile, so most never really know if they have gotten theirs right.
What a recruiter may think of your profile depends on a few factors. With that in mind, here are some insights that can let you know if your LinkedIn profile is hitting its target.
Site reliability engineering (SRE) is actually older than the DevOps movement. In 2003, Google tasked its software engineers with making the massive sites more efficient, reliable, and scalable. When the skilled team was successful, other large companies adopted the practices. Then, with a little bit of time, the site reliability engineer specialty was born.
Many professionals are intrigued by the SRE niche. Not only can the work be challenging (in a good way), but the roles are often lucrative. Plus, many site reliability engineers get to take advantage of emerging technology, especially in the automation arena, to make their coworkers’ jobs easier, something that can be rewarding on many levels.
To be successful as a site reliability engineer, you need to bring a vast and diverse skill set to the table. If you are wondering whether you have what it takes to excel, here is a look at the top skills and experiences the world’s best site reliability engineers have in common.
Systems or Software Engineering Experience
SRE is technically part systems and part software engineering. If you are interested in transitioning into the field, then having a few years of experience in either of those specialties can help you get your foot in the door. However, you’ll need a solid grasp of both to truly thrive in an SRE position.
If you come from the systems engineering side, then improving your programming skills is a great way to prepare to become a site reliability engineer. Software engineers should expand their understanding of large-scale systems management.
Infrastructure Automation Expertise
Infrastructure automation is at the core of much of what site reliability engineers do. They are often tasked with creating self-service tools for various user groups, allowing activities like test environment provisioning, event logs, and statistics visualizations to be handled with ease.
Additionally, the various automated measuring tasks create opportunities to increase reliability, something else that so is critical to the success in the role that the put the word in the job title.
Fundamental Soft Skills
While technical prowess is a must, site reliability engineers also need a variety of soft skills to excel in their roles. First and foremost, problem-solving capabilities are essential. Similarly, being able to work as part of a team and remain calm under pressure are also must-haves.
Both written and verbal communication are also critical in the SRE niche. Professionals working in the field need to be able to communicate well with their teammates and a range of stakeholders, including many individuals who aren’t as tech-savvy.
Looking For a New Tech Career? Reach Out to The Armada Group!
Ultimately, all of the world’s best site reliability engineers possess the skills and experience listed above. If you would like to learn more about the field or are seeking an SRE position, the team at The Armada Group can help you explore your options. Contact us to discuss your goals and interest with one of our skilled staff members today and see how our SRE expertise can benefit you.
Unless you operate a one-person show, your company likely heavily relies on communication to get things done during the workday. Being able to collaborate effectively makes teamwork possible and quality lines of communication ensure everyone is in the loop.
On the other side, inefficient communication harm your business greatly, including your bottom line. A recent survey on poor communication in enterprises determined that the annual impact of subpar communication could result in a cost of $11,000 per employee. That means a loss of $1,100,000 per every 100 workers on the payroll.
The effects of inefficient communication are far-reaching. It can lead to increased stress, reduced productivity, higher levels of frustration, lower morale, poor decision making, reductions in innovation, and even legal disputes.
To help you identify which communication methods may be harming your company’s success, here are a few points worth considering.
Over-Reliance on Email
In many cases, employees are bombarded with incoming email throughout the workday. While they are simple to create, emails are also easy to miss, intentionally ignore, or accidentally delete. Additionally, multi-person email threads can quickly become confusing, especially if not everyone is responding to the latest message.
When it comes to effective collaboration, email isn’t the ideal tool. Instead, choosing an appropriate tool can help avoid the pitfalls of email, allowing full teams to communicate more efficiently and with easier tracking.
When it comes to giving instructions, clarity is key. However, many managers and team members leave important details out, creating points of contention and fueling misunderstandings. For example, the vague “as soon as possible” deadline may not mean the same thing to the writer as the reader, and its subjective nature can cause conflict. Additionally, deadlines may be missed, harming productivity, because the work wasn’t aware of the actual timetable involved.
To avoid this form of miscommunication, it’s critical that all instruction be clear and specific. Providing step-by-step instructions, hard deadlines, and even estimated time to completion can all help ensure everyone is on the same page.
Lack of Timely Feedback
Feedback can be incredibly powerful in the workplace, but only when it is delivered at the right time. By providing information in real time, employees have the opportunity to quickly correct issues or change courses, keeping productivity up and improving the overall quality of their work. Additionally, timely feedback can improve engagement and reduce turnover, as staff members don’t feel left in the dark when it comes to their performance or progress.
For businesses that want to increase their use of real-time feedback, consider implementing training programs for managers or using HR software designed to prompt for project- or task-oriented performance reviews once certain duties are completed.
By improving communication in the workplace, your company can experience productivity gains, boosts to morale, and more effective teamwork throughout the organization. Ultimately, those are all great for the bottom line, ensuring you get the most from every moment an employee is on the clock.
If you would like to learn more or are interested in adding a new member to your team, the skilled professionals at The Advance Group can assist you in reaching your goals. Contact us to see how our services can positively impact your bottom line today.
Building an impressive resume requires acquiring impressive work experience. Does changing jobs frequently stand in the way of that? Changing jobs frequently certainly lengthens a resume, because there are more jobs to list. This used to be a negative, as companies looked for loyalty. That was fine when 25 years of service got you a gold watch and a pension.
In today's world, managers recognize that loyalty cuts both ways, and since companies often demonstrate little loyalty to employees, they can't expect much in return. The trick with job hopping is to make sure that each job change adds something new to your resume and boosts your value. This means you should consider job hopping if the new position:
Lets you develop a new technical skill.
Technical skills are the most important skills any IT worker brings to their job, but it can be difficult to keep skills current when you stay at an employer a long time, as companies are often committed to a specific tech stack. Job hop strategically to develop a new skill that can position you well for future opportunities.
Gives you a new job title.
If your current employer requires you to keep your title for a fixed number of years before you can add the word "senior" to it, jumping to a new employer can shorten the time it takes to climb the ladder. Although sometimes there's not much difference between job duties, having a senior position on your resume can help the next time you want to change jobs.
Gives you new responsibilities.
You can become a more well-rounded worker by moving to jobs that give you experience in different aspects of technology: programming, QA, support, and management. You'll gain skills that qualify you for a variety of positions in the future.
Whether you've changed jobs often or stayed with one employer for years, when you're ready to make your next change, The Armada Group's recruiters will match you to an open position that takes advantage of the skills you've acquired. Contact us to start looking for your next job now.
One way to demonstrate your commitment to a technical career is to pursue technical projects outside the office. Including those projects on your resume shows potential employers that your interest in technology extends beyond the office; they won't have to push you to develop new skills and abilities.
In order to make the biggest impact, don't simply list everything you've ever done; selectively cull your experiences and highlight how they helped you develop your capabilities.
Keep the list short.
A long list makes the individual items seem as if they must have been small and insignificant. Choose only a handful of projects to list; make sure they're ones where either your contribution made a significant impact to the project, or the project made a significant impact on you.
Choose projects that are relevant to the position.
If your contribution to an outside web project was designing the layout, that might impress an interviewer who's hiring someone to work on user design. It's less likely to impress an interviewer who needs a backend developer.
Quantify the benefit of your experience.
Don't simply list the project as a bullet point. Document how your contribution contributed to the project's success and what you gained from your participation.
Include skills from side projects in your technical summary.
The skills you develop through classes and projects on your own time are as valid as the skills you develop on the job and through company-sponsored training. Make sure you include all the relevant keywords in the technical summary section of your resume.
Create an online portfolio to show off your projects.
The work you complete for your employer is usually owned by the employer and may be behind a firewall or under a nondisclosure agreement. Make the projects you complete on your own time accessible online and provide the links so interviewers can see the quality of your work for themselves.
If you've got a resume filled with solid experience from your previous jobs and from the technical projects you work on for fun, the Armada Group can help you find a new job where your skills will propel you to success. Contact us to learn how we can help you find a job that encourages you to continue to grow.
Being an IT leader starts with technical competence. Without question, if you don't understand the technology, you can't make informed decisions and persuade a team that you've chosen the right course of action. But leading isn't just about making technical decisions. It's about working with the people above you and below you, and guiding them and the project to a successful conclusion. That requires a whole set of skills that go beyond the ability to program.
Understanding the details of how to implement a particular technology on a specific project is important for individual developers. For IT leaders, understanding the general capabilities of a technology and how it can be applied to the benefit of the business is more important.
Using technology to achieve business objectives requires understanding those business objectives. The more the IT leader understands the business mission and operational processes, the better they'll be able to direct applications development to address important business problems.
Interpersonal Communication Skills
IT project leaders need to be able to talk persuasively with several very different sets of people. They need to speak with management and business staff who are concerned that the project is on budget and on schedule, and that it will deliver features that help the business succeed. They need to coordinate with parallel organizations, such as operations and support, to make sure the application will be supported and effective once it's deployed. And they also need to speak with their team of developers, who want to work with appropriate technology on a realistic schedule.
Because IT leaders are not doing the hands-on development work, one of their most important responsibilities is to build an effective team that does do that hands-on work. This includes hiring the right people, and ensuring that the team uses a good development methodology, and helping team members develop the skills that let them take on additional responsibilities.
Work with The Armada Group
Successful IT leaders reach out for support and assistance when they need it. Working with The Armada Group can help IT leaders find their next position or find their next employee. Contact us to learn how we can help solve your job or talent search problems.
When job search takes longer than you expect, sometimes taking a temp or contract role is a solution. It gets you a paycheck, and more than that, it gets you into a company. You may be able to turn the temp role into a permanent one.
The Company Called It a Temp-to-Hire Position
Some companies are explicit about the "trying-before-buying" nature of a temporary job when they bring on a temporary worker. Recognize that "try-before-buy" works both ways; you're under no obligation to stay with the company if the position isn't what you're looking for.
You'll want to do exceptional work to impress them. Treat the job as if you'll be there until retirement and are climbing their career ladder. Be there every day and take on more than they ask of you. Make sure you have positive relationships with your managers, co-workers, and others in the company. If you're difficult to work with, it will be hard to convince them to retain you … no matter how good your work is.
The Company Called It a Temp Position
If the company hasn't held out the possibility of converting your status to full time employee, you still need to do stellar work, but you need to do more to convince them to retain you. When you start, let the company know you'd be interested in a permanent position, and as the contract nears termination, raise the subject with your manager. Depending on the size of the company, you may want to reach out to the HR department as well. If you have a good reputation within your department, they may be able to recommend you for another opening in the company, even if your current position will not continue.
The company may have sized the work they assigned you based on the length of the contract. If there's more work to be done, if there's a follow-up project, or if you've learned skills that are applicable to other ongoing work in the department, point it out to management. You may also want to remind them that you're already here and know how things work, while it will take time for them to find, hire, and train someone else.
Leverage the Temp Role to Boost Your Career
Whether you want the temp role to turn permanent or not, don't treat it as a throwaway. Take advantage of the position to learn about the company, the industry, or the technology you're working with. No matter how short the temp job, it's an opportunity to learn something and develop skills or character that will enhance your resume and lead to the job you want.
Big Data is expected to bring companies big profits, but it can also bring big headaches. The value of big data comes from analytics, algorithms that look for patterns in the data. Knowing those patterns, companies can sometimes gain competitive advantages. But is acting on those patterns legal? It depends.
One example of this kind of risk is the recent news that Google's advertising systems tends to show high-paying jobs to men more often than to women. There clearly isn't a discriminatory intent, but there is a discriminatory effect anyway. In another example, an algorithm used by Athena Capital Research led to the SEC fining the company for illegal market manipulation.
Identify Risks With Using Analytics
In order to understand the risks of their analytics, CIOs need to understand the math behind them. Engineers can build systems that crunch all kinds of data, but the CIOs need to decide which data is ethical to use, how using it ties in with the company's business strategy, and how to monitor the algorithms to make sure they're in compliance with all relevant regulations.
Identify Opportunities by Using Analytics
To find the opportunities for algorithms, businesses – and CIOs – need to start with a business problem first, not the data. Once the problem is identified, you can select the data to use to solve it. By controlling both the data and the problem the algorithm solves, issues like discrimination can be prevented.
Understand How Your Customers Will React
Another usage of algorithms is to personalize the information presented to your customers. Some customers will want this; some may find it creepy. In some cases, it can feel like a violation of privacy.
Understand Public Relations Consequences
Algorithms sometimes drive pricing decisions, with consequences that go beyond their impact on the company's bottom line. Some companies modify prices based on information such as the user's zip code. This can be considered discriminatory, like redlining, as well as becoming a public relations problem. While Uber's legal surge pricing has been widely criticized, it developed into a major public relations disaster when it automatically kicked in during a hostage crisis in Sydney, Australia. When algorithms run the business, the business – as well as the public – can end up losing.