Even the most skilled and experienced IT professional can get nervous when an interview is on the horizon. Usually, it is the technical portions of the interview or whiteboard problems that really send their anxiety soaring.
Tech contractors often have to demonstrate their capabilities in front of a live audience (whether that be the hiring manager alone or an entire panel). As a result, they may be afraid of looking foolish, not knowing precisely what the hiring manager wants, or making a simple mistake that derails the exercise.
It isn’t unusual for these fears to harm a tech contractor’s performance. They may stumble in areas where they typically excel on the job or struggle to remember something they rely on every day. Luckily, there are things you can do to calm your nerves and improve how you handle an interview. With that in mind, here are some tips.
Successful senior DevOps professionals typically have a few things in common. When recruiters are looking for top talent, they commonly focus on core areas to help separate exceptional candidates from those who are just good or okay.
If you want to catch the eye of a recruiter or hiring manager, highlighting the right skills and experience makes all of the difference. If you aren’t sure where to begin, here are some insights into what recruiters look for on senior DevOps resumes.
Relevant Technical Experience
First and foremost, you need to showcase that you have the relevant skills to handle the technical aspects of the job. This may include experience in a variety of areas, including anything from Amazon Web Services (AWS) to Apache to JIRA and more.
Similarly, programming language expertise in listed areas is often essential. Whether a company requires SQL, Python, Ruby, or any other language will vary depending on the role, though essentially every opportunity will need at least a few.
Having experience in Windows and Linux environments is also often beneficial, though each business may have its own priorities in that regard. Troubleshooting experience in a range of core areas, including everything from infrastructure to software, is valuable in the eyes of employers, though their precise needs may vary.
Critical Soft Skills
A range of soft skills are important for DevOps professionals. If you are trying to land a senior-level position, then leadership skills and the ability to work independently are both incredibly valuable. Senior team members often have to guide less experienced coworkers in a variety of areas. Additionally, they are expected to be able to work without having to be directly overseen by a manager every step of the way.
Stellar written and oral communication skills are also must-haves. DevOps professionals often work as part of a team, so being able to share critical information with ease ensures peak productivity.
Additionally, they must work with a broad selection of stakeholders, many of whom won’t have the same level of technical expertise. Being able to relay complex ideas and points in a way that can be understood by the masses provides value to the company, making it something recruiters traditionally seek out when looking for top talent.
Nearly every DevOps professional needs at least a Bachelors degree in a related field. This can include computer science, information technology, software development, or a range of other applicable majors that provide tech pros with the proper base set of skills.
In some cases, employers also favor candidates with additional certifications. Often, these support some of the technical skills a job seeker brings to the table, serving as a demonstration that they have a certain level of competence in the selected area.
By showcasing the points above on your resume, you increase the odds of impressing a recruiter with your senior DevOps resume. If you would like to learn more about building a strong senior DevOps resume, the team at The Armada Group can help. Contact us to speak with one of our knowledgeable recruiters today and see how our hiring expertise can benefit you.
When you are looking for a new job, finding a company that offers more than just a competitive salary is a must. If the cultural fit isn’t right, you might not be satisfied in the role, even if the compensation package meets your needs.
Often, assessing a company’s culture during the hiring process isn’t easy. While you may be able to gain insights from the organization’s website and social media pages, or through employee reviews on sites like Glassdoor, these only provide a glimpse into the environment. Luckily, they aren’t your only options for determining cultural fit.
If you want to make sure the company’s culture is the right fit for you, here are some questions you can ask during your interview.
What Do You Like Most About Working Here?
While the question may seem obvious, or even bordering on cliché, it’s also incredibly valuable. If the hiring manager can quickly provide a meaningful response, that’s usually a good indication the environment is positive. In contrast, if they struggle to give you an answer or their response feels shallow, that could be a sign of trouble.
Ideally, the hiring manager should be able to share details about why the company is a great employer. Then, you can consider their perspective and see if those aspects are similarly enticing to you. However, if they can’t, that could signal the company’s culture is lacking in some regard, and it may be wise to continue your job search.
How is Feedback Usually Delivered?
Asking about feedback creates multiple opportunities for you to assess the company’s culture. First, managers that provide guidance regularly are often invested in the growth and development of their teams, as long as they focus on being constructive. In contrast, if the hiring managers only answer involves annual performance evaluations, it could indicate they aren’t as focused in those areas.
Second, how feedback is provided can be critical to your job satisfaction. For example, if a business favors peer review, and that isn’t a paradigm you prefer, that might make the job a less-than-ideal fit. However, if you appreciate continuous, small doses of feedback and that’s the approach the manager uses, you may feel more confident about the cultural fit.
Who Else Is on the Team?
In nearly any job, you’re going to spend a significant amount of time interacting with your teammates. By asking this question, you can gain a variety of insights about their personalities and positions, both of which can clue you into the company’s and group’s cultures. This may allow you to assess whether it’s a team you’ll mesh with or if conflicts may be inevitable.
Ultimately, by asking the questions above, you can gather valuable information that can allow you to assess whether the company is the right cultural fit, ensuring you only accept a role in an environment that meets your needs.
If you are interested in learning more or are seeking out new employment opportunities, the professionals at The Armada Group can help. Contact us to discuss your ideal company culture today and see how our expertise can benefit you.
Most people would agree that artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning are two of the most exciting developments to emerge in the tech center in recent years. They have the potential to change how work is handled in a range of industries and on a broad scale, potentially empowering machines to manage repetitive and tedious tasks while allowing employees to focus on more engaging duties that genuinely require a human touch.
Additionally, AI and machine learning are giving companies the ability to make the most of their data by identifying patterns and trends that may be almost impossible for people to spot, especially when the information is stored in multiple databases or is held as unstructured data.
This has led business of all shapes and sizes to seek out professionals with AI and machine learning skills, and Silicon Valley is one of the hiring hotspots.
Silicon Valley is Hiring AI and Machine Learning Pros
According to a recent study, companies in San Jose and San Francisco are actively hiring AI and machine learning professionals to help them explore these burgeoning technologies.
In fact, San Jose is leading the way when it comes to job postings for machine learning engineers, computer vision engineers, and algorithm engineers, four of the jobs that most commonly require applicants to have machine learning and/or AI skills. The city also took the top spot for research engineers who need experience with AI and/or machine learning.
Overall, 9.6 percent of all job openings listed in Indeed that call for AI skills were in San Francisco. San Jose wasn’t far behind, being the location for 9.2 percent of the vacancies in these tech areas. Together, that’s a stunning 18.8 percent of all AI and machine learning-oriented vacancies in the country.
AI and Machine Learning Salaries
Having the right combination of AI or machine learning skills and experience can lead to an astonishingly lucrative career. There are extreme skill shortages in these specialties, so experts in the field can command massive salaries based on the capabilities.
With five years of experience in the field, an AI professional in San Francisco can receive a salary of about $121,000. Plus, as a tech pro’s experience and skill set grow, they can earn substantially more.
Additionally, while demand is expected to increase dramatically, it’s unlikely the supply of skilled IT professionals will rise at the same rate. This could mean salaries will continue to grow as companies compete for the best and brightest AI and machine learning specialists.
Plus, many AI and machine learning roles come with generous benefits packages, providing workers with even more value when they accept a position.
Ultimately, if you are an AI or machine learning professional, Silicon Valley is an excellent place to find an exciting job that allows you to focus on these technologies. If you are looking for a new IT position, the team at The Armada Group can connect you with some of Silicon Valley’s leading tech employers. Contact us to learn more about our available jobs today and see how our services can help you find your ideal role quickly and efficiently.
Burnout is a serious problem in the IT field. Often, work overload is assumed to be the largest contributing factor, particularly since unemployment is low and many companies can’t fill all of their vacant tech position.
While being over-tasked is a significant factor in burnout, it isn’t the biggest one present in workplaces today. Additionally, there are many other reasons as to why a tech pro may burnout, showing that workloads are only part of the larger puzzle.
The Biggest Factor of Tech Pro Burnout
A recent survey of IT professionals indicated that “poor leadership and unclear direction” was the largest contributing factor to burnout, representing 23 percent of the responses. This is four percentage points higher than the second-place contributor, “work overload.”
The results of the survey showcase the value of strong leadership within an organization, particularly one where the mission and the company’s vision are clear and serve as sources of guidance and inspiration. Similarly, it highlights the importance of direct managers functioning as leaders to their team, something that often requires clear communication and expectations.
However, “work overload” is still a significant cause of burnout for tech professionals, so this point shouldn’t be discounted. If tech teams are constantly tasked with more than they can manage, leading to long periods of mandatory overtime, burnout may be inevitable for some. But, even if additional hours aren’t required, the feeling that catching up is impossible can be just as damaging to morale.
Other Top Reasons for Burnout
Not far behind “work overload,” which came in at 19 percent, was “toxic culture” with 18 percent of the responses. This suggests that many tech businesses and departments are still experiencing culture issues, leading many to turn away from the field or seek out opportunities with other companies.
A “lack of control and career growth” as well as “insufficient reward” were also cited as top reasons for burnout, with 15 and 12 percent respectively. This could also indicate the importance of being appreciated or acknowledged in the workplace along with giving employees a sense of autonomy and room to advance.
Only about 10 percent of survey participants claimed that “burnout isn’t a problem” at their workplaces.
Ultimately, burnout continues to plague tech pros at a range of companies, both inside and outside of the tech industry. At times, problems can be remedied, allowing employees at risk of burnout to recover. However, if companies continue to provide poor leadership experiences, overload their workers, maintain toxic cultures, or not correct any of the other causes of burnout, workers will likely feel forced to seek out opportunities elsewhere to escape the situation.
If you are interested in learning more about how to combat burnout in the workplace, the professionals at The Armada Group can help. Contact us to speak with one of our knowledgeable staff members today and see how our workplace expertise can benefit you.
Database engineers are typically tasked with the creation and management of databases for a specific company or organization. This can include anything from building a new database to meet a specific need, configure new and existing systems, and maintain the databases to ensure everything remains fully functional.
The skills you need to work as a database engineer can vary from one position to the next. However, certain requirements are fairly common, making them must-haves in the eyes of many employers. If you are interested in becoming a database engineer, here are some skills that you need to acquire.
SQL is essentially “the” programming language you need to work with databases. Without SQL skills, you won’t find many opportunities in the field, let alone as a database engineer.
The level of fluency required may vary somewhat for each job. However, it’s best to keep your SQL skills current at all times and strive to learn as much about the language as possible if you want to excel as a database engineer.
There are numerous database platforms available today, and learning the ins and outs is often essential if you want to land a role that works with one.
For example, you may opt to specialize in Microsoft SQL Server, Oracle, MySQL, or a number of others. Then, you need to take a deep dive into the platform and learn all you can about the available features, current limitations, recent releases, how to manage upgrades, and more.
Now, this doesn’t mean you need to forgo all other platforms in favor of one. Instead, it merely means that becoming a platform expert can be beneficial, especially if you want to secure upper-level database engineering roles.
Debugging and Optimization
A strong database engineer has a variety of debugging and optimization skills that can help them correct problems and increase efficiency in a range of applications. In some cases, this ability is essential, particularly if the database engineer is the only team member with complete end-to-end visibility.
Patience and Communication
While patience may not be listed as a required skill in a vacancy announcement, it is usually a must for database engineers. Typically, these professionals are approached with requests, often from people who don’t fully understand how a database operates. What may appear simple to them actually ends up being highly complex, and you need to be able to navigate the situation calmly.
Similarly, being able to explain technical information in a way that is highly accessible, even to those who aren’t as tech-savvy, is vital. This ensures you can work with individuals from other departments or work areas and find compromises when what they are requesting isn’t feasible or requires more time than they initially wanted to allow.
By acquiring the skill above, you can increase your odds of landing a database engineering job. If you are looking for a new database engineering position, the professionals at The Armada Group can connect you to a range of opportunities throughout the area. Contact us to discuss your ideal job and learn more about our current vacancies today and see how our services can help you land your perfect role.
IT managers are typically tasked with deciding whether certain websites should be blocked on the next work. Members of the leadership team usually favor the idea, asserting that restricting access to potential “timewasters” like social media sites ensures employees won’t be distracted by non-work activities.
However, many workers push back on the idea, insisting that these sites offer a source of enjoyment and can be beneficial to morale. Additionally, many managers and employees are fully aware that, even if you block a site, that doesn’t mean a worker won’t turn to their personal smartphone to access the websites anyway.
Considering that you can’t prevent an employee from wasting time entirely, can blocking websites actually boost productivity? If you are wondering the same thing, here’s what you need to know.
Does Blocking Sites Help Productivity?
According to a recent survey, blocking websites does have a positive impact on productivity. When a company restricts access to classic timewasters, such as social media, employees spend less time on sites that are unrelated to their jobs during the course of a standard workweek.
The reduction in such activity is actually fairly dramatic, too. In businesses that don’t block sites, 58 percent of workers admitted to spending a minimum of four hours a week on timewaster website. Over the course of a year, that means that more than half of the organization’s workforce wastes approximately 26 days every year on sites that don’t relate to their job.
When social media websites alone are restricted, only 30 percent of workers admit spending four or more hours each week on such timewaster sites.
What Sites Should Be Blocked?
Social media is often an obvious target when it comes to blocking sites, but there are a variety of other websites that should potentially be on the table. Anything illegal or unethical are obvious additions to the list, and dating sites are also timewasters that should be on the chopping block.
Personal instant messaging sites are also potential targets. Music and video streaming websites are also frequently blocked and just because they could potentially be distracting, but also because they can require a substantial amount of bandwidth.
When you are examining which sites to block, also consider if any websites pose a security risk. This can include sites that may contain malware as well as those that may allow business communications or data to be sent and stored outside of the organization (regardless of the presence of encryption) without the company’s knowledge or approval.
Ultimately, the decision regarding which sites should or shouldn’t be blocked usually lies in the hands of leadership and the IT team. However, it’s wise to create a robust policy regarding the use of business assets for personal activities and to make it clear that certain websites will be blocked as well as the general reasoning behind those decisions. This ensures your staff is well-informed regarding the choice, decreasing the odds that they’ll object.
If you are interested in learning more, the professionals at The Armada Group can help. Contact us to discuss your business needs today and see how our expertise can benefit you.
React is making waves in the front-end development community. It rose to popularity quickly and has been embraced by professionals of all skill levels. Due to its nature, React is even changing the front-end development field, creating new options and approaches that many developers favor over legacy alternatives.
If you are wondering how React is impacting the world of front-end development, here’s what you need to know.
Libraries Over Frameworks
One benefit of using React is the option to work in a virtual browser, instead of a real one. This can create a friendlier experience, allowing the virtual browser to assist the developer by acting as an agent between the professional and the actual browser.
Ultimately, the approach can be incredibly beneficial, avoiding some of the trapping and tribulations associated with traditional front-end development.
When using React to develop user interfaces, a developer describes their desired result, but does not necessarily have to provide full instruction on how to accomplish the task. React does that segment of the build, creating user interfaces on behalf of the developer, based on the description.
The approach reduces the need to manually build the interface, which can be both a significant time saver and frustration reducer. All the developer has to do is tell React what it wants and the system figures out the how automatically.
React has the ability to alter an output, such as a user interface, whenever the input changes. Typically, input arrives through the components, or simple functions as they are referred to in many other programming languages.
Components in React can, unlike functions, hold data that may change over time. Additionally, the output can adjust to the changing input. Since React is declarative, it will render a new interface based on the updated data automatically.
Ultimately, React is an incredibly powerful tool, making it a wise addition to any front-end developers arsenal. Many companies are also getting behind React, increasing demand for professionals who are capable of working with the language.
By acquiring React experience and skills, you can increase your odds of landing a coveted role with a forward-thinking company. If you are currently seeking out new opportunities or are looking to take the next step in your developer career, the skilled professionals at The Armada Group can connect you with some of the area’s most coveted employers and exciting opportunities. Contact us to speak with one of our recruitment specialists today and see how our services can help you advance your developer career.
On average, Americans spend about an hour a day commuting to and from work. In most cases, this time feels largely wasted, as it isn’t always easy to figure out what you can do while being on the road, regardless of whether or not you use public transportation.
Luckily, there are things commuters can do during their travel time to create a more productive morning. Here are four ways you can get started today.
If you take public transportation or are a passenger in a carpool, consider using your commute time to get your daily schedule organized. You can review your calendar on your smartphone, create to-do lists, or set reminders to ensure you don’t miss anything important.
Just a few minutes spent organizing your day can help you start work with greater ease, increasing your overall level of productivity.
For commuters who have their work email synced to their smartphones, the morning drive can be an excellent time to see what arrived overnight or has come in during the morning. Often, professionals are inundated with email on a daily basis, so using your commute to sort through the messages can help you identify important items before you arrive and eliminate junk mail before you reach your desk.
Additionally, this can be an excellent time to review any industry newsletters you subscribe to, giving you time to read through interesting and relevant information before you even start your workday.
Podcasts and Audiobooks
Sometimes, simply gathering helpful information can make your day more productive. By listening to podcasts or audiobooks during your commute, drivers and passengers can benefit by increasing their knowledge of subjects relevant to them.
Everything from daily motivation to complex topics are covered in audio-friendly formats. They allow you to conduct research and learn valuable tidbits while you’re on the road, and many incredible podcasts can be squeezed into an average commute. And, since most cars have interfaces for playing MP3s, nearly anyone can enjoy these during their travels.
Whether during your time on the road or just as you are approaching your workplace, taking a few moments to center yourself and prepare mentally for the day ahead can be incredibly helpful. Consider starting with a short five-minute meditation or listen to a song that either calms or motivates you. You can also give yourself a quick internal pep talk if you anticipate early morning challenges, increasing your confidence and helping you seize the day.
By using the tips above, you too can make your morning commute more productive, no matter how you travel to work. If you are interested in learning more, are seeking out new job opportunities, or are looking for a skilled candidate to fill a vacant position, the professionals at The Armada Group can help. Contact us to speak with one of our experienced team members today and see how our expertise can benefit you.
If you are interviewing machine learning developer candidates, you likely have a strong grasp of technical concepts. Plus, those who make your short list are practically guaranteed to have a level of tech prowess, regardless if they’ve specifically worked in the machine learning arena before.
However, since machine learning development is a relatively new specialty, it can be hard to determine what interview questions will help you sort out those with the right kind of potential. This is especially true since many fledgling fields attract job seekers looking to make a change, so their prior experience may not be in the world of machine learning.
If you are getting ready to interview machine learning developer candidates, here are a few questions you can ask to help identify top talent.
What’s the Difference Between Bias and Variance?
This question is designed to help separate those who have a textbook understanding of the concepts from those who understand how they impact machine learning applications. While the fact-based response isn’t inherently wrong, by looking for candidates who take it to the next level, you can gauge if they have a functional understanding, as well as a conceptual one.
If You Had to Choose, Would You Say Model Accuracy or Model Performance is More Important?
Many job seekers approach this question by attempting to avoid a direct answer, instead focusing on how both are important. However, top talent will understand that, without accurate data, performance is largely irrelevant.
By asking this question, you can assess whether a candidate has a realistic picture of how the two concepts work together. While them mentioning that both are vital for overall success, a skilled developer is going to understand that accuracy is paramount, since low quality data makes even the speediest results unusable.
How Does Deep Learning Contract With Other Typical Machine Learning Algorithms?
Some job seekers are going to assert that deep learning is just a more complex or sophisticated approach to machine learning. However, this is only a surface level response.
The ideal candidate will be able to express a more thorough understanding of deep learning, including the use of the neural network model and how it can eliminate the need for manual feature selection based on the algorithm’s ability to learn meaningful features without the need for intervention.
Ultimately, top talent can go beyond a simplistic definition and actually show how they grasp the concept more fully, as well as how it affects the use of algorithms.
By asking the questions above, you are better equipped to determine which machine learning developer candidates have the strongest understanding of the field and are most likely to meet your needs. If you are seeking high-quality machine learning professionals to join your team, the staff at The Armada Group can connect you with some of the area’s leading developers. Contact us to speak with a member of our knowledgeable staff today and see how our services can help you find the ideal candidate quickly and efficiently.