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02 Fine Tune Your Resume Top Skills of a Computer Software Engineer

Being a computer software engineer is an exciting, challenging, and lucrative career choice. Software engineers are responsible for developing, creating, and modifying computer programs and applications — designing custom software, improving existing programs and applications, and ensuring optimal efficiency for software operation.

As with any career, landing a great job as a computer software engineer requires more than technical skills. The hard skills and specific program knowledge you have are essential, but there are a number of general technology skills and “soft skills” you’ll need to impress employers and get hired.

Here are the top skills outside of programming you can use to enhance your computer software engineer resume for better employment opportunities.

General technical skills for software engineers

Troubleshooting: Identifying the causes of various operating errors, and determining how to fix those errors

Technology design: Determining, generating, or adapting the appropriate equipment and technology to serve the needs of users

Equipment selection: Understanding the selection process for the right equipment and tools needed to do a particular job

Installation: The ability to install machines, equipment, wiring, or software to user or customer specifications

Operations analysis: Analyzing the needs and product requirements for the creation of application or program design

Systems analysis: Understanding how a particular system should work, and how alterations or changes in operations, conditions, and / or the operating environment will affect system outcomes

Quality control analysis: The ability to evaluate the quality or performance of software products, services, or products through tests and inspections

Systems evaluation: Being able to identify the best indicators or measures of system performance, and decide on any actions required to correct or improve performance with relation to the system’s goals

Soft skills for software engineers

Critical thinking: The ability to use logic and reason in approaches to a problem, including identification of strengths and weaknesses, alternate solutions, and conclusions

Complex problem solving: Developing and evaluating options for identifying and solving complex problems by drawing on both existing knowledge and additional research of related information

Decision making: The ability to weigh the pros and cons of various solutions, including potential benefits and relevant costs, and choose the most appropriate action in a given situation

Communication: The ability to convey information effectively to others, including explaining complex technical issues to non-tech people, as well as active listening skills that foster clarity in communication

Active learning: Understanding the importance of continued education and the acquisition of new skills in technology fields, and continual efforts to remain up-to-date with the latest available information

Time management: Knowing how to manage your own time and the time of others to ensure that projects continue smoothly and reach completion upon deadline

Self-assessment / monitoring: The desire and ability to monitor and assess the performance of yourself and your team members, in order to take corrective action when required or make improvements when possible.


The Pros and Cons of Allowing Personal Devices in the Workplace

The Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) phenomenon is still under debate in many workplaces. Some employers have strict policies that prevent employees from using personal devices like smartphones, tablets, and laptops at work. Others allow limited usage under guided policies — and some feel there’s no point trying to stop the flood of devices, and do nothing.

The use of personal devices is spreading faster than any new technology before, and there are already more smartphones than people in the United States. Should your company give in to the BYOD pressure? Here are the pros and cons of allowing personal devices in the workplace.

The Pros: BYOD and consumerization

Allowing employees to use personal devices at work can do more than satisfy their desire to check Facebook on their lunch breaks. BYOD has been linked to the consumerization of IT — an emerging process that’s helping to connect companies with customers, develop stronger consumer relations, and increase employee participation and job satisfaction.

The benefits of IT consumerization through BYOD for your company include:

  • Faster communication and more efficient mobile employees through the internal use of personal devices
  • Increased consumer relationship building and the ability to shape customer perceptions of your company with consumer tools, especially social networking
  • Mobile devices as an HR tool: Younger employees rely on their smartphones and other devices, so refusing to allow BYOD will make it difficult to attract and retain fresh talent
  • The self-supporting nature of consumer technologies allows BYOD policies to actually decrease the burden on your IT department and increase IT productivity

The Cons: Limited control and security risks

While there are many benefits to BYOD, there are also downsides — particularly for companies who manage sensitive information digitally that must be protected. Due to the lack of a unified device platform and the non-existence of regulated mobile security standards, a diverse range of devices in the workplace can be difficult to manage at best, and can sometimes pose a high risk for employers.

Some of the disadvantages of BYOD include:

  • Managing security: Security is one of the biggest and most significant challenges for BYOD. With multiple employees using multiple devices, it’s difficult to meet both compliance and security standards, particularly for companies in industries that must adhere to certain security measures. There is also the risk of employee devices containing sensitive data falling into the wrong hands.
  • Acceptable use control: In any workplace, especially larger organizations, there may be little control over the way employees use personal devices at work. Even with acceptable use policies in place, monitoring every device at all times to ensure that employees follow those policies is not a feasible or cost-effective strategy.
  • Performance and productivity: While some BYOD workplaces achieve increased productivity, others see a drop in productivity when personal devices are permitted. This may be due to several reasons. Larger workplaces are unable to monitor all employees and restrict the use of personal devices. What’s more, the addition of multiple personal devices to the business network can strain resources, affecting network performance and connectivity speeds — and ultimately productivity, as employees’ workstations are slowed.
  • Data retrieval: Finally, BYOD environments can pose a risk when employees leave the company, taking all of the data on their devices with them. This can be particularly problematic in sales environments, when employees often leave for competitors — but still have access to their previous company’s contacts and information.

When it comes to tech, employees are DIY

Today’s personal devices are engineered for simplicity on the user end. User-friendly interfaces mean that more employees are finding innovative ways to put personal devices to work for their companies — whether or not IT allows it. This can be either a positive or a negative aspect of BYOD environments.

In some cases, BYOD can improve productivity. With an endless list of business tools available on personal devices, from social media to Google Docs, Dropbox, Flipboard, productivity apps, CMS access and more, most employees need little to no guidance integrating their devices with their working lives. It makes things easier for employees — and for IT, who doesn’t have to babysit a network of personal devices and can focus on core responsibilities instead.

However, the perception of mobile devices as DIY technology can also pose risks in BYOD workplaces. Employees may not be as stringent with security measures for their own personal devices as is required for business-related applications, and can neglect to apply security features such as multi-factor authentication. They may also not change their passwords frequently enough, and fail to apply security updates as needed — leaving personal devices open for security breaches.

The decision to allow personal devices in a workplace rests on a number of factors. These policies can be effective in smaller businesses, or those without strict industry security regulations. But for large companies dealing with sensitive information, mobile device standards for security and platform unification may not be advanced enough to permit safe BYOD environments.

If you need help implementing a BYOD policy at your company, contact the experts at The Armada Group today. 



Published in IT Infrastructure


4 Productivity Apps to Advance Your Job Search

Looking for a job can get hectic. There’s so much to do and keep track of, it might seem like a miracle when you get anything done at all. But many job seekers have a powerful tool that can be used to stay organized, boost your productivity, and streamline your job search — your iPhone or iPad.

Here are four great productivity apps for iOS and OS X devices that can give you a hand in finding the perfect job.


For job seekers, email is crucial. Apple’s Mail program allows you to easily connect to and manage your email account from your device, whether you’re using IMAP, POP3, an Exchange server, or a web-based service like Gmail.

Mail is designed to be user-friendly on a smaller screen. This streamlined application focuses on the tasks and information you use most often, and offers rich functionality such as support for multiple email accounts and multiple signatures, and a Smart Mailbox that automatically alerts you of critical messages — like interview requests from potential employers.

The best part is that Mail is already built into the OS X platform, so you can start using it right away to configure your inbox for your job search.

iWork Suite

Similar to Google Docs, the iWork suite comes with programs for creating documents, spreadsheets, and presentations. Like Mail, this app is designed for easy use on a small screen, and the interface is intuitive when it comes to common tasks.

The individual apps are Pages for word processing, Keynote for presentations, and Numbers for spreadsheets. The iWork bundle includes a large collection of professional templates, including several for resumes and cover letters. With iCloud integration, you can also quickly share any content created in iWork.

This app bundle is free for devices using OS X and iOS 7 and later.


Need to focus on writing a killer cover letter, taking notes on prospective employers, or preparing great answers to interview questions? WriteRoom helps you out by eliminating distractions so you can focus on the task at hand.

This full-screen app has an old-school feel, with green text on a black background. Distractions are eliminated with a simple interface that doesn’t contain all the bells and whistles of other word processing programs. And while using WriteRoom, your email alerts and other notifications are blocked to help you avoid the procrastination of checking your messages every five minutes to see if you have a job offer yet.


A whiteboard can be a great brainstorming and planning tool for job seekers, but they’re not exactly portable. Scapple turns your iPhone or iPad into an electronic whiteboard that allows you to quickly build lists and ideas, specify relationships intuitively, and capture the results in PDF format.

This nonlinear planning tool encourages creativity in your job search. Some of the features include the ability to change font colors, backgrounds, and note shapes, add or edit arrows to indicate relationships, and a drag-and-drop interface for organizing and combining notes.

The app comes with a free 30-day trial, and costs $14.99 to purchase.

Need help in your search for a new IT career? The Armada Group can help! We specialize in placing job seekers in top IT positions throughout the nation. Contact us today to learn more.



Published in Staffing News


Looking for Java Developer Jobs in Mountain View?

Java has been around since the 90’s, but that doesn’t stop it from being one of the world’s foremost object oriented programming languages. With the tech boom the last decade or so, IT has positively exploded once the average person realized how revolutionary it really is. Along with this explosion was the abundance of new positions.  Now, twenty years later (has it been that long?) Java has evolved into a lucrative and defined (no pun intended) field.

As there is much debate as to the differences between programmers and developers, we will report numbers for both. Here are some of Palo Alto’s salaries for these positions.

If you’re new to Java, and have very little or no experience, it is a great place to begin – and with an average salary of $66,600 for a Java Programmer I, there are certainly worse entry-level career paths. The lower 25% still brings in $59,500, whereas the upper 25% yields $75,500. Not too shabby, Palo Alto, not too shabby.

After 3-5 years, it’s time to move up in the world to Java Programmer II. The mean income rises to $83,400, and the lower quartile rakes in $73,500. Finally, the highest quartile brings home $94,300.

As a Java Programmer III, or Senior Programmer (generally 5-10 years in) the average jumps to $103,600. The upper and lower quartiles are $14,700 and $93,000 respectively. There are certainly worse ways to earn a living.

On the Development side, the average is $99,000, with $83,100 and $110,600 as the outliers. (One can debate about what “Developer” means, but the general consensus is that developers attend more meetings. While it may or may not be true, it does pay more, to be sure.) Most people in this position have 3-5 years’ experience and a strong background in Java programming.

As a Senior, there is (naturally) a sizable pay increase. As a senior Java Developer, one can reasonably expect to be offered $114,800, although between $101,700 and $132,800 are all possible, depending on experience and company. The top 10% net $149,148, though it’s doubtful their experience level is 5-*10 years like the rest of the senior positions.

Regardless of where you are in your career, Java is an incredibly important computing language that pays well, especially around Silicon Valley. And we want to help you get there.

At The Armada Group, we specialize in elite, on-demand talent. We work with some of the most innovative ad fastest growing companies in the world, and we recruit for a variety of roles and positions. If you are looking for java developer jobs in Mountain View, contact us today.


Published in Recruiting