When it comes to tech, which skills are considered to be in-demand can seemingly change on a dime. While options like Tableau and Linux were once popular with employers, interest in these skills diminished significantly during 2017.
React Engineering of the Rise
Over the course of two years, employer interest in React has skyrocketed, based on a recent study. Job site Indeed examined two periods, October 2015 through September 2016 and October 2016 through September 2017, and found that the number of companies seeking out React skills rose by 229 percent.
That level of growth far outpaced other in-demand skills, including Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Azure at 40 percent and 62 percent respectively.
Another point that spurs growth is the amount of developer interest in React. Many coders appreciate its simplicity and flexibility, often leading them to consider React to be one of their favorite library options.
While developer support doesn’t guarantee employer buy-in, it can have an impact. As more coders touted Reacts benefits and began using the library in their work, the level of prevalence increased, leading companies to experience the benefits and start seeking out others who could work with React.
Why is React Popular with Employers?
React was developed by Facebook, a giant in the social media space. That fact alone should stand as a testament to React’s capabilities in the front-end development arena. However, the number of big name companies that embrace React doesn’t stop there. Dropbox, Expedia, Netflix, The New York Times, and Reddit all use React in some capacity, showcasing just how many organizations have shifted to the library.
Overall, React is highly adaptable, adjusting the renderings as new data is provided or current data changes. It also provides for a substantial amount of customization and offers a significant amount of functionality. Further, React works with a broad selection of frameworks, making it incredibly flexible too.
Additionally, thanks to React Native, mobile development can also be more straightforward from a company perspective. Since the transition from the web-oriented React to React Native is fairly easy to handle for most developers, this allows organizations to secure talent that has the potential to create designs in both web and mobile formats.
Ultimately, Reach provides a significant number of benefits and it is becoming more widely used. This increases employer interest in React, leading to additional opportunities for those interested in React engineering.
If you are looking for a new position, the skilled professionals at The Armada Group can help you explore opportunities in the area. Contact us to discuss your career goals with one of our experienced recruiters today and see how our services can benefit you.
Standing out in a competitive job market means going the extra distance beyond polishing the formatting of your resume. It can mean investing significant time and energy into developing the skills and qualifications to put on the resume. For project managers, PMP certification is one credential to consider obtaining.
A Commitment to Project Management
Choosing to obtain the PMP certification demonstrates to potential employers that you have a commitment to learning about project management and applying standard, proven methodologies to project development.
Obtaining the PMP requires a significant level of dedication. Beyond an undergraduate degree, it requires 4,500 hours leading projects, completion of 35 hours of specialized project management training, and passing the certification exam. There are costs in dollars as well as time; exam preparation tests can cost thousands of dollars, and the test itself costs between $400 and $600, depending on whether the test-taker is a member of the Project Management Institute or not. Membership in PMI costs $139 annually. Maintaining PMP certification requires completing 30 professional development units annually, usually through taking additional coursework, usually with additional expense.
Employers See the Value in PMP
For professional project managers, PMP has value beyond its importance on a resume, as it provides skills that lead to job success and professional growth. Treating it as a professional development opportunity rather than a "hoop" you need to jump through to get a job will provide the most value to you.
For employers, the PMP certification provides "proof" that candidates have a baseline level of knowledge and skill to cope with real-world complex project management problems. They also know that candidates with this certification have invested in themselves and spent significant time and effort to acquire the certificate. This demonstrates the candidate is self-motivated and serious about the project management profession.
For these reasons, employers often included the PMP in the mandatory qualifications for an open position and use the lack of certification to weed out candidates if they receive a large number of resumes in response to a job listing.
Working with a staffing agency like Armada Group can help qualified project managers find their next job, whether or not you have the PMP certification. Through understanding your employment history and capabilities, as well as the qualifications needed to fulfill a job's responsibilities, our recruiters match you to the opportunities you're best suited for and most likely to excel at. Contact us to learn how we can help you succeed in your job search and in your next job.
Technology has a diversity problem. The shortage of women and minorities in STEM fields including computer science and engineering is well known. As a result, it's difficult to have a diverse workforce. That doesn't mean it's not possible; it just means diversity won't happen on its own—you need to work at it. Make sure diversity is addressed by every step of your hiring pipeline.
Look for Candidates in the Right Places
If you look for candidates in just one place, you're likely to find just one kind of candidate. Widen your net to find a bigger, more diverse pool of potential employees. For example, don't limit yourself to elite universities; graduates of second tier schools aren't second rate. And while there are definite advantages to hiring based on employee referrals, those candidates are likely to be similar to the employee who referred them.
Write Job Descriptions That Appeal to a Wide Community
No one writes job descriptions today that say they're looking for a man, but the language you use can unintentionally turn off women. So avoid describing the job by making analogies to the military or sports teams; even terms like rockstar developer can drive away diverse applicants. Think carefully about word choices; to build a team, lead a team, or manage a team can all attract a different applicant pool. Even the way the job description is formatted can have an impact, with high or low numbers of bullet points driving away male or female applicants.
Make Sure Technical Screenings Focus on Technical Skills
While you want to evaluate all candidates' interpersonal, communication, and leadership skills, don't mingle that evaluation with the technical interview. Conduct a separate assessment that focuses solely on technical ability to avoid any impact from unconscious biases. For coding tasks, ask the candidate to solve them on the computer. This ensures they can solve the problem in a situation close to the real work environment; some candidates are uncomfortable working at a whiteboard, which isn't a requirement when building technical solutions once hired.
Clear communication is necessary for avoiding misunderstandings, but it's become a challenge these days. We're often working with remote partners, people we've never met, and much of our communication is through email and instant messaging, which lacks body language, gestures, and other nonverbal signals.
Develop a strategy for working with third parties. Set expectations upfront. Because you can't see what's going on when working with someone in another location, plan to communicate frequently. To make your communications effective, don't just fire off emails and hit “Send.” Think through how you use them to make sure your message comes across.
Reply to emails
You don't need to reply immediately, but if there will be a long delay, send a brief note to assure the sender you've seen their message and will respond when you have time to fully address their concerns.
Pay attention to the distribution list
Only address the email to relevant parties, and don't hit "reply all" when it isn't needed. If there are people who need to see the initial email but not all the replies, place them in the "bcc" field.
Limit emails to one topic
It's difficult to track issues when they're buried in messages with other, irrelevant subjects. It also makes it harder to give emails a specific subject line and to let the recipients know why they need to read this message.
Avoid collaborating in email chains
Getting everyone's opinion is great, but email chains aren't the best way to do this. Invest in collaboration software so there's always one final version of a document and all its associated comments.
Use the telephone
It's not the newest way of getting in touch, but sometimes calling someone is the most effective. You can also use videoconferencing. Both methods are more personal than sending emails.
Use in-person meetings
Sensitive subjects and criticisms should be left out of emails and handled in-person, when possible. It's difficult to get the tone right in a message, and the lack of immediate back-and-forth interaction allows anger to build.
Think before you hit “Send”
You don't need to agonize over every brief note, but if you've written a message on an important subject, read it over to make sure it's complete and correct before you send it out to the world. Make sure it says what you intended to say, the way you intended to say it.
Information technology is a competitive business. Companies compete for funding, for sales, and for employees. Because top tech talent is in short supply, sometimes the best hire is working for your competition. If you do steal someone away, make sure your theft is legal.
Take the Employee's Talent, Not Their Employer's Trade Secrets
You should be aiming to gain competitive advantage from the employee's special skills and knowledge, not from their inside information about their former employer's business plans. Trade secrets are protected by law, even if the employee hasn't signed a nondisclosure agreement.
It's important to make sure any ideas the employee brings with them are original and can't be claimed by their current employer. Some employment contracts give ownership of ideas, even if they were developed on personal time or seem unrelated to the company's line of business.
Make Sure the Employee Can Work For You
Some employees are under noncompete agreements with their employer. While courts don't always uphold these agreements if they're challenged, you should consider the consequences of a potential fight before hiring the employee. Litigation can be expensive, even if you win. Court battles require time as well as money, so the employee's contributions may be limited until the case is settled.
Ask about any other agreements the employee signed. In addition to non compete agreements, nondisclosure, nonsolicitation, confidentiality, and other clauses may affect the ability of the employee to perform the services you want.
Make a Clean Break
Under some circumstances, it may be possible to work with the current employer to ensure that the employee doesn't bring over any materials. The current employer can designate a monitor to document that only personal items are removed from the premises and that all required corporate material was returned. This can eliminate the basis for claims of trade secret thefts later. If possible, you can structure the new employee's responsibilities to reduce the possibility of disclosing confidential information.
Consult Your Attorney
The best way to make sure your hiring the competitor's employee is within the law is to consult an attorney prior to offering a position to them. Make sure you and your legal advisor review all employment agreements signed by the employee with their current employer. Once you understand the commitments they've made, you'll be able to determine whether there are any risks in hiring them and if those risks are worth taking.
With the steady increase in cybersecurity threats against businesses, it's no surprise that a recent survey found that two-thirds of firms were increasing cybersecurity spending. For 30 percent of those businesses, the increase included hiring a chief security officer. That's not the only information security role benefiting from increased awareness and increased preventive efforts. For all levels of information security professionals, this increased demand is resulting in increased pay.
Not surprisingly, senior, executive, and other leadership information security jobs have the highest salaries. The Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) is a C-level role with the ultimate authority over all of a firm's information security efforts. Besides strong understanding of the technical aspects of information security, they have the management and political skills to influence corporate policy.
The security director makes sure security procedures are effectively implemented and also oversees the company response to any incidents. Security managers are mid-level managers with responsibility for managing teams of security administrators and supervising the technical work of the security team.
Security consultants have specialized technical expertise in specific aspects of security or specific tools, and work with companies on a short-term basis to solve specific problems.
Security architects are hands-on, senior-level employees who design the policies and protocols to protect the company's systems. They have both technical skills and business skills to perform risk assessments. A security engineer implements the designs created by the security architect. These engineers have detailed knowledge of specific tools such as firewalls and intrusion prevention software.
An incident responder leaps into action when a security breach occurs. During the calmer periods, when they are not acting to contain a crisis, they may participate in penetration tests, audits, and other procedures to verify the network is secure. A computer forensics expert helps retrieve data and collect other evidence as part of criminal proceedings associated with security breaches. A malware analyst helps companies find and remove any viruses, worms, and other malicious software from its systems.
The entry-level role in information security is often as a security specialist, who analyzes security needs, and installs and configures security solutions.
All of these security jobs have substantial salaries that correspond to the job responsibilities. Even entry-level security specialists can earn low six figures. Those in senior roles, particularly as CISO or security director in a smaller company, can achieve significantly greater salaries as reward for protecting the company's vital, valuable information assets.
The Silicon Valley Hiring Case has been one of the most high-profile class action lawsuits in the region, and the five-year battle is nearly at its end after a judge approved Apple, Google, Adobe Systems, and Intel’s proposed settlement of $415 million. Representing 64,000 employees from a variety of professional fields, this class action suit had the potential to damage the reputation of these major companies, as well as result in costly, long-term litigation.
The tech companies were sued after engineers learned of the existence of a “no poaching” policy, in which Apple, Google, Adobe, Intel, Intuit, Pixar, and Lucasfilm agreed not to hire each other’s workers. Labeled as a conspiracy, this policy effectively shoe-horned employees into their positions, limiting their opportunities to move between companies and capping their wages.
The details of the no-poaching agreement were revealed in a series of email correspondences between major players in the tech industry, including late Apple CEO Steve Jobs. In one such exchange, Google executives indicated that they wanted to hire Apple engineers, to which Jobs responded, “If you hire a single one of these people, that means war.”
In fact, the evidence was so compelling that Judge Lucy H. Koh rejected their initial offer of $324 million, believing the amount to be too low. It is extremely unusual for judges to reject settlements, and given that the plaintiffs cited upwards of $3 billion in damages, it’s likely there was overwhelming evidence in their favor.
Intuit, Pixar, and Lucasfilm settled with the claimants for $20 million, leaving the remaining three tech giants to settle or face drawn-out litigation, as well as a media frenzy and poor publicity. Despite critical public attention, each company has declined to comment on the approval of their second offer.
There is a final approval hearing scheduled for July 9, which will hopefully bring the lawsuit to a close. If the settlement is approved, attorneys could claim as much as $83 million in legal fees, while the workers will receive several thousand dollars.
Though the amount of the settlement is a paltry sum considering the value of each company involved, there will be other long-term effects of the class action suit, particularly in regards to under-the-table arrangements between executives. During the course of the case, damaging documents, emails, and other evidence may put the fear of exposure into these tech leaders and discourage other back room dealings in the future.
In the IT industry, change is accelerating — and a large part of that change is due to big data. With organizations just beginning to realize some of the massive potential that big data holds, the demand for IT professionals working in big data-related areas is rising fast.
In fact, technology research firm Gartner predicts that 2015 will see 1.9 million IT jobs created to support big data in the United States alone, with each of those roles creating positions for three non-IT people. In total, Gartner says, the information economy will generate 6 million jobs over the next four years.
The challenge for businesses is filling those jobs, because there simply isn’t enough talent to go around. Gartner estimates that only one-third of IT jobs can be filled with the current talent pool. So if you’re considering a career in IT, there will be ample opportunity to jump on the big data bandwagon.
Here are four areas revolving around big data that will be in high demand as companies struggle to close the talent gap.
The cloud can be described as the foundation for big data. All of the areas that feed into this discipline are build on the cloud — big data itself leans heavily on cloud platforms and apps, social media is powered by the cloud, and mobile is basically a personal cloud.
One of the most talked-about advantages of the cloud is the potential cost savings, but today’s cloud environment is about more than saving money. Employers are now looking for IT professionals who can leverage the potential for new capabilities, architectures, services, and approaches to app design — with big data as the lynchpin for powering the effectiveness of the cloud.
According to Gartner predictions, by 2016:
- 40 percent of the workforce will be mobile
- Two-thirds of the mobile workforce will own a smartphone
- More than 1.6 billion smart mobile devices will be purchased globally
The outlook for tablets is equally strong, with an expected 20 percent of sales organizations to use tablets as their primary mobile platform, and 70 percent of mobile workers using a tablet or hybrid device by 2018. Even now, CIOs are purchasing iPads by the tens of thousands.
With an increasing reliance on mobile devices comes a growing demand for IT professionals who specialize in mobile — including app development, big data integration, and mobile device management. BYOD policies also require mobile specialists to manage the corporate network across disparate platforms.
Even as the biggest social networks reach their limits in terms of growth, social is becoming even more important from a business standpoint as organizations develop a more disciplined approach to social media. Gartner forecasts that at least 10 organizations will spend more than $1 billion each on social media in three years.
Part of that spend will be on talent as organizations hire more IT pros who specialize in social media and big data. There are massive amounts of valuable social data available, and as big data tools and platforms become more refined, more businesses seek talent who can extract actionable insight from this information.
Information and analytics
Finally, big data itself will create more job opportunities directly. Organizations can access a continual flood of information from both internal and external sources, providing them with endless opportunities to innovate, optimize, discover new insights, and transform the way decisions are made.
With big data, companies are able to turn information into revenue. This opens up career opportunities for IT pros who can work with structured and unstructured data, and mine “dark data” — data that is being collected, but not used — for business value.
The majority of IT professionals work to build or improve technologies, making them safer, faster, and more advanced. And then there are some who put their best efforts into exploiting those technologies — finding holes in them and attempting to tear them down.
They’re not malicious cyber-criminals. The descriptions are similar, but the motivations are entirely separate. So-called “white hat” hackers put their coding skills to work searching for chinks in the armor of software programs and platforms, which in turn helps the tech companies who design them improve the performance and safety of their products.
And sometimes, white-hat hackers get paid for exploiting the best of the best.
Google wants you to hack their products
For several years, software giant Google has been offering cash bounties to hackers and researchers who could find exploitable bugs in their offerings. One of the best-known of these rewards is the Pwnium competition, held for the fourth time annually in March 2014. The one-day hacking contest has served as a challenge for good-guy hackers to find a way into the company’s Chrome browser — all in the interests of making the Chrome experience safer for users.
Last year’s Pwnium 4 contest offered the highest rewards yet, with a total of $2.71828 million (the equivalent of the mathematical constant e) up for grabs. Google broke down the prize into six-figure rewards for each successful instance of:
- Browser or system-level compromise in guest mode or as a logged-in user ($110,000 bounty)
- Compromise with device persistence: guest to guest with interim reboot ($150,000 bounty)
For the 2014 event, thousands were awarded on-site, but there was only one confirmed big winner: $150,000 was awarded to a hacker known as Geohot. But the crucial takeaway from the competition was that Google Chrome is one of the safest browsers out there, hands down.
Ongoing rewards for exploiting Google offerings
Currently, no plans have been announced for Google to host Pwnium 5. However, the company maintains an ongoing Vulnerability Reward Program that pays hackers various bounties according to which product they manage to hack, and at what level.
Included in the eligible products for the reward program are the Chrome browser, any Google-owned web service including the search engine itself, YouTube and Blogger, the Google Play Store, and all Google-developed apps and extensions regardless of platform.
Applying technical skills in order to break technology might seem like an unusual career choice, but these friendly hackers help companies like Google make software, programs, and platforms safer and more functional for everyone by finding vulnerabilities before they can be exploited with malicious intent.
The job search is often a frustrating process. And that frustration is increased when you keep landing interviews, but never hear the magic words “You’re hired.” It can be especially challenging to fail at the interview stage, because you aren’t able to receive feedback about what was right and what went wrong. The interview is the last stage—and once you’re off, you can’t go back for another curtain call.
There are many reasons why you might not be getting through at the interview stage. Some of them are beyond your control, such as the other qualified candidates you’re up against for the job. But there are some aspects you can control, and improving them will increase your chances of landing the job you want.
Here’s how you can rethink your interview strategy and adjust your approach to get from “don’t call us, we’ll call you” to “When can you start?”
See what the interviewer sees
One effective way to change your interviewing strategies is to change the way you view the interview itself. If you consider it a performance you’re giving (for an audience of one), this change in mindset can help you spot problems you didn’t realize you were having, and improve your delivery to make a better impression.
So how can you review your own performance? Mock interviews, either with a friend or a professional. They will not only give you more practice and help you sharpen your skills, but they’ll also give you the opportunity to assess your interviewing skills from a new perspective. Go through a mock interview and use a webcam or video camera to record the process. Then you can watch yourself with fresh eyes and pick up any inconsistencies or issues you didn’t notice while you were focused on answering questions.
Make it about the interviewer
If you’ve already gone through some less-than-successful interviews and tried to figure out where you went wrong, you probably already know that it’s important to do your homework. Prior to an interview, you should try to learn everything you can about the company and the specific position you’re going for, and work that into the conversation to demonstrate your genuine interest in this particular job.
But how much time do you spend talking about the actual person who’s giving the interview?
A job interview is often as much about a personal connection as a test for skills and qualifications. You can make a connection with your interviewer by being socially generous—steering the conversation toward the interviewer to make them feel smart and accomplished.
Avoid a straightforward question-and-answer session where you do most of the talking. Instead, ask the interviewer questions about themselves, their concerns and issues, their role at the company, and their goals. Get them talking, and respond with relevant points about your own interests and qualifications. If the interviewer feels that you’re genuinely interested in them as a person, your interview will be far more memorable.
Answer the questions you’re not asked
In some cases, there may be an elephant in the room that’s preventing you from having successful interviews. Aside from the obvious possibilities—sloppy appearance or inappropriate dress, bad first impressions, or obvious non-fit for the job—the most common “elephants” in an interview are current unemployment and long gaps in your resume.
Unless you’re entering the workforce for the first time, it’s important to be prepared to explain why you’re not employed, or why there are long periods of time between jobs on your resume. Be proactive in this regard, and bring it up before the interviewer asks (if they’re planning to ask at all). When you can offer a plausible explanation, you’ll put the interviewer at ease and the remainder of the interview will be smoother.
Ask your own (smart) questions
Just about every employer will ask you whether you have any questions for them at the end of the interview—but don’t save your questions until the end. Asking questions at an interview is a very effective way to demonstrate your interest in a particular company. It shows that you’re not only knowledgeable about the organization and the position, but you’ll also be able to make valuable contributions to the company when you’re hired.
Take the time to come up with a list of intelligent questions that you can ask throughout the interview. Save a few for the end, because you should never answer “Do you have any questions for me?” with “No.” And once your final questions have been answered, close the interview by asking whether there are any gaps you haven’t addressed and how you can follow up or move forward.
Show the interviewer that you’re interested, engaged, and valuable as an employee, and you’ll soon find yourself happily employed with your interviewing days behind you.