How the US Plans to Become the Global Leader in AI Research

 

Artificial intelligence (AI) is making waves in nearly every industry and country. President Donald Trump’s recent “American AI Initiative” aims to make the United States a forerunner in the area of AI research, taking on challengers like China to make sure the geopolitical landscape favors the US in this arena.

What Makes an Outstanding Senior Java Developer

 

Java continues to be one of the most popular and in-demand programming languages around, even though it was created about 30 years ago. Not only is it in wide use in legacy applications, but tons of code is produced in Java on a daily basis, asserting the amount of staying power people believe Java has even as alternatives emerge.

However, simply knowing Java isn’t enough to excel in the field. If you want to be an outstanding senior Java developer, here is what you need to bring to the table.

Published in Staffing News

Wht to Know About C Programming Language This Year

 

The C programming language can easily be viewed as an anomaly. Unlike some languages, it has really stood the test of time, remaining relevant after more than 45 years. Plus, C is consistently popular, with many developers still enjoying the language to this day.

However, even with its longevity, that does not mean C does not experience change. With that in mind, here is what you need to know about the C programming language this year.

 

C18: The New Standard

In late 2018, a new C standard was ratified. Labeled C18, the updated standard is not necessarily something that is dramatically different from prior versions. Instead, it includes more fixes, essentially functioning as more of a continuation of C17 than anything else. In fact, there hasn’t been a significant change to C since C11, where multi-threading support, variable length arrays, anonymous structures and unions, along with a few other differences became official.

By and large, only compiler writers who have a desire to be 100 percent conformant will need to take a deep dive into C18. Nearly everyone else will be able to continue per the usual.

 

C Remains the Common Language

C is still considered the lowest-level portable language. As a result, many compilers still output C source code, and will likely continue to do so for the foreseeable future.

Since C is considered a common language, its long-term use is still supported by the community. While C++ has made some headway in recent years, including for open-source compilers, C++ code is usually a bit larger than if C is used. Code size can be important, particularly when it comes to IoT and the use of microcontrollers, allowing C to actually gain market share between 2005 and 2018.

 

Programmers Support C

While most programmers do not learn C as their first language, C is incredibly popular as a second or third language to pick up. Additionally, it is a functional stepping stone for learning C++, which is technically a superset of C, thanks to how easy C is to pick up by comparison.

As a result, most programmers support using C professionally. This increases the likelihood that they will consider it as a viable option for a variety of projects, as enjoyment and prevalence can play a role. Additionally, it is still encountered by programmers on a regular basis, keeping it highly relevant for them and increasing the odds that they will add it to their repertoire if they do not know C already.

Ultimately, while options like Go and Rust are increasing in popularity and, at times, are considered more modern and better alternatives, C is so integrated into the world of technology that the likelihood it will fade into obscurity remains very slim. C is as much a part of the past as it is the future, and programmers from around the world are not inclined to see that change.

 

Looking to Brush Up on Your Skills? Contact the Experts at The Armada Group!

If you would like to know more about the C programming language, the team at The Armada Group can help. Contact us to speak with a member of our skilled team today and see how our programming trends expertise can benefit you.

 

Published in IT Infrastructure

3 Risky Areas Where Automation Shouldnt Solve Your Business Issues

 

Automation has been a blessing for many businesses. Not only can it help cut costs, but it can also achieve amazing results while removing tedious tasks from the hands of your employees. In essence, it’s a win-win-win, making it hard to ignore.

 

However, automation isn’t always the way to go. There are some situations where using the technology introduces significant risk, at times in unexpected ways. Before you automate every aspect of your operations, here are three potentially risky outcomes.

 

  1. When It Allows the Manual Skill to Disappear

While automation is touted for reducing the need for manual processes, freeing up employees to focus on activities that genuinely require the human touch, using automation to the point where the manual approach is no longer known isn’t a great idea.

 

Even though technology is robust, it is bound to fail at some point. Technical issues happen every day, so you can’t assume that your company will be immune to trouble. If you rely too heavily on automation, when that problem occurs, no one will know how to default back to the manual process. This can bring business to a standstill.

 

  1. When It Leads to Disengagement

Automation is often an excellent way to boost engagement as it gives your workers the ability to handoff duties that are a bit mundane or repetitive. However, when technology is used to make decisions for employees or allows them to distance themselves emotionally from the company’s operational essence, disengagement can occur.

 

For employees to feel satisfied on the job, they need to connect with the company. Automation has the ability to eliminate core business knowledge over time, making it harder to create a bridge between what the worker is doing and the success of the organization. If morale begins to decrease, productivity generally falls and turnover increases, creating a less than ideal scenario for everyone involved.

 

  1. When It Creates Poor Customer Experiences

At some point, everyone has had a poor customer service experience thanks to automation. For example, being stuck talking to an automated call attendant that won’t let you reach out to a person can be infuriating, especially when the system can’t provide you with the information you need.

 

While using automation to make customer interactions easier can be wise, it shouldn’t be used to dehumanize the entire process. Instead, striking a balance is essential. Otherwise, customer frustration is going to lead to poor word-of-mouth, and that can be incredibly damaging to your business.

 

Ultimately, automation is a powerful tool, but it must be used wisely. Without an adequate balance between technology and the people-factor, automation can actually do more harm than good.

 

Ready to Hire Talented Developers? The Armada Group Can Help!

If you would like to learn more about how to use automation to your advantage without harming operations, morale, or customer service, the professionals at The Armada Group can help. Contact us to discuss your questions with one of our experienced team members today and see how our workplace automation expertise can benefit you.

 

 

Published in IT Infrastructure

What is Making Women in Tech Happier

 

There is still a substantial gender divide in tech. Women often earn less, struggle to be taken seriously, and lack strong female role models. However, there has been progress in recent years, even if it is somewhat slow-going.

 

Many women do strive to see the bright side of working in tech, even if they do face challenges in the field. By focusing on the benefits, many female tech professionals are happier in their positions and in the industry as a whole. While every woman is different, here are some of the things that are motivating women in tech.

 

Making a Positive Impact

Whether it's through the performance of their duties or their effort to eliminate gender biases in the field, women consider “making a positive impact” one of the biggest benefits of being in tech. When an employee feels like they are making a difference, it can be intrinsically motivating. Plus, if they believe they are improving the world in some way, be that with the products or services they provide or being a force for change in the industry, that increases their satisfaction.

 

Being a Role Model

Most women in tech want to encourage other women to get into the tech industry. By being a strong performer and respected professional, they are helping to create a culture that is more welcoming to female tech pros. Additionally, they have the chance to become role models for young professionals, especially as they personally rise through the ranks.

 

Facing Challenges

The world of tech is rarely boring. Along with the speed at which the industry changes, much of the work circles on finding solutions to problems, creating something new, and otherwise being highly engaged, all of which can be very motivating. When given a chance to explore emerging technologies or advance in the workplace, often thanks to professional development opportunities, their job satisfaction can increase even more.

 

Exploring Their Passion

Many women who get into the tech industry are highly passionate about the field. After all, female technology professionals are nearly guaranteed to face challenges on many levels - including lower compensation when compared to men, doubt about their capabilities, and company cultures that aren’t always welcoming - Without passion, it wouldn’t be worth it to face the difficulties many women in the industry contend with on a regular basis.

 

How You Can Support Women in Tech

When you hire a woman in a tech role, make sure to offer them the same level of compensation as their male counterparts. This allows everyone to be on a level playing field, ensuring that no one is being treated unfairly because of their gender.

 

Additionally, engage with your current female employees. Learn about their needs and preferences, and see how you can make the workplace and culture more attuned to them.

 

If you would like to learn more about women in tech, the skilled team at The Armada Group can help. Contact us with questions today and see how our workplace expertise can benefit you.

 

C Programming

 

The C programming language has been around for over 46 years, and many people would consider that quite a feat. After all, few languages have that level of longevity.

 

Not only is C still relevant, but it’s also in demand, cracking many top 10 lists focused on the most desirable languages for programming professionals. But how has C managed to succeed while so many others have, by comparison, failed? If you are wondering about its retained relevance, here’s what you need to know.

 

C Evolves

The C programming language of today isn’t the same iteration as the original. ANSI C (or ISO C) raised to prominence in the late 1980s. C99 and C11 later became standards in many organizations.

 

Since C is ever-evolving, the language changes to meets the demands of today’s IT world. This has allowed those with C skills to simply update their level of competency and businesses to keep moving forward, treating it as an advanced version of the status quo.

 

 

C Footprint

C has been around for nearly five decades. That means a lot of existing code is written in C. Approximately 31 percent of Debian Linux was comprised of C programming, along with various legacy database systems.

 

The sheer amount of code written in C helps it remain relevant. Replacing these systems with alternatives focused on other languages would be costly, making it an unattractive approach for even forward-thinking organizations. And, if the current option is still meeting a company’s needs, the incentive to change is even more minimal.

 

C Is Popular

Whether developers enjoy, or are at least willing to tolerate, a particular language also plays a big role in longevity. When given a choice, programmers typically default to options with which they are comfortable.

 

The fairly wide use of the C programming language means many professionals operating in the development and coding arenas know how to use C. The increased level of familiarity helps keep it alive and increases the odds that newer systems will feature at least some C-based code.

 

Additionally, developers aren’t keen on switching to another language unless it offers an obvious benefit. While C++, Go, and Rust could potentially replace C, they don’t typically provide enough to make switching necessary.

 

Ultimately, C does the job, so moving away from something that works doesn’t make a lot of sense in the eyes of development professionals.

 

Will C remain a popular language for years to come? It’s hard to say. However, its widespread use, and general popularity help keep it relevant in 2018, making it a skill worth acquiring and maintaining for many programming professionals.

 

If you are currently looking for new developer job opportunities, including those featuring C as a requirement, the professionals at The Armada Group can connect you with some of the leading employers in the area. Contact us to learn more about our available positions and see how our services can help you take the next step in your programmer career today.

 

 

Company Details

 

Coming prepared for a job interview is a must. But, even knowing that, many job seekers stop short when it comes to getting ready, focusing largely on practicing routine interview questions and digging up information about salaries.

 

If you want to make the best impression on the hiring manager, then you need to take it a step further by researching details about the company itself, as well as their products or service offerings. If you aren’t sure how this extra effort can help you land the tech job you want, here’s what you need to know.

 

It Shows You’re Informed

During an interview, the hiring manager wants to do more than just assess your background; they want to determine if your skills and experiences translate into value for their organization. While rehashing your accomplishments is helpful, it doesn’t always provide the interviewer with the context they need to feel confident in your capabilities.

 

By learning about the company, as well as their products or services, you can showcase your skills in a meaningful way based on their anticipated needs. You can craft your responses to be particularly relevant to their industry or offerings, showing you took the time to become informed about the business and how it operates.

 

Luckily, gathering this kind of information isn’t as difficult as it once was, thanks to the plethora of online resources. Refer to the company’s website to get a solid overview, dig into their social media accounts to discover recent news and developments, and check out employee review sites to get some background information that may not be available elsewhere. Anything you can find out about what they do and why they do it can give you an advantage during the interview, so don’t skimp on the research if you really want the job.

 

 

It Demonstrates Interest

Hiring managers generally favor candidates who seem genuinely interested in not just the role, but the company and its products or services, as well. When you dig into the details and use that information to color your responses, it’s easier to assert your interest in the position.

 

When a candidate doesn’t perform this level of research, the hiring manager may question whether they are truly passionate about the opportunity. This is especially true if they ask questions that pertain to their particular industry or offerings, and an interviewee can’t adjust their response to answer fully.

 

By knowing the details, you can stand out from other candidates who didn’t go the extra mile. This can help you make an especially positive impression on the hiring manager, and may make it easier to land the job.

 

If you are currently seeking a new position, the skilled professionals at The Armada Group can connect you to exciting opportunities throughout the area. Contact us to speak with one of our experienced recruiters today and see how our services can help you find your ideal job.

 

 

Published in Recruiting
Thursday, May 31 2018

The Baby Tech Market is Booming

Baby Tech

 

Generation Y, or the Millennials, are primarily considered to be the first generation to grow up with tech. Now, as even the youngest members gain traction as adults, their preference for technology is reshaping another industry: the baby market.

 

Tech-savvy Millennials are looking for innovative baby products and, if they don’t find what they are looking for, some are deciding to create offerings and enter the marketplace. Startups are supporting the tech baby boom, and it isn’t likely to slow down any time soon.

 

If you aren’t familiar with the burgeoning tech baby market, here’s what’s on the horizon.

 

Better Monitoring or Tracking

In comparison to many other forms of tech, baby monitors were largely lacking. While video-enabled devices entered the marketplace some time ago, new advances are adding AI-supported features.

 

For example, Cocoon Cam is creating a product that will monitor an infant's vitals, letting parents examine the information or potentially receive alerts if an issue is detected.

 

Knowledge-oriented services, like Tinyhood, look to provide parents with valuable information and expert device on-demand, helping them with everything from sleep schedules to breastfeeding challenges.

 

Tech-Supported Planning

Most Millennial parents would likely describe themselves as busy and frequently on-the-go. This has created a need for services designed to help make planning easier to manage.

 

For example, Galore is an app-based program that helps parents plan activities and book classes. Fabric allows parents to create a digital will that can be accessed through the parents’ smartphones and adjust their life insurance plans whenever the need arises.

 

Most of these services focus on being user-friendly and highly accessible, ensuring that busy parents have access to the right tools to handle their obligations quickly and efficiently.

 

 

More Than Fashion

Young children often outgrow clothes much faster than they can wear them out, and services like Kidizen is looking to fill a void in the resale arena. The platform would help parents find second-hand items for their children or sell their children’s clothing or shoes when they outgrow them.

 

Since most Millennials are familiar with the resale concept thanks to services like Etsy and Airbnb, it is a void that seems only natural to fill.

 

The Baby Tech Trend

The baby tech trend likely began as many Millennial tech entrepreneurs started having children of their own, making the need for new products and services more apparent to their creators.

 

However, this isn’t a trend that is likely to end any time soon, especially since the next generation, Gen Z, has a similar affinity for technology and the oldest members of that generation are already adults. Additionally, IoT and smart devices are becoming more prevalent in general, showing that there is certainly an opportunity for similar offerings that focus on the needs and desires of parents.

 

If you would like to know more about the baby tech book, the professionals at The Armada Group can help. Contact us to speak with one of our knowledgeable staff members today and see how our expertise can benefit you.

 

 

Noise

 

When you’re getting ready to drift off to sleep, a single noisy distraction can leave you jolted awake, struggling to reclaim the sense of ease you need to get some quality shuteye. Whether it’s your neighbor’s dog barking in the yard, a car alarm that is set off by the slightest breeze, or the sound of your refrigerator kicking on, reducing the amount of noise you are exposed to should be an essential part of your nighttime routine.

 

If you struggle to get the rest you need, here are some options for eliminating noisy distractions so you can get some sleep.

 

Industrial-Strength Earplugs

Sometimes, the easiest way to deal with noises is earplugs. If you purchase high-quality industrial-strength versions, they can both be comfortable and effective.

 

You’ll need to find a brand that offers the proper size for your ears. Otherwise, they may become dislodged in the middle of the night. Once you do, consider purchasing them in bulk, so you can replace worn out or missing earplugs as needed.

 

Additionally, make sure you can hear your alarm through the earplugs, so you don’t sleep longer than intended.

 

Hang Heavy Curtains

Thick, sound-absorbing curtains can make a world of difference when you need to keep noises from entering your bedroom. Select options that will fully cover any windows, buying different curtain rods if necessary to ensure the fabric provides sufficient coverage, and hang a set over your doors as well. This helps give you protection from sounds that may slip through any cracks, making your room significantly quieter.

 

Casper sleepuniv noise v012x

 

Buy Carpet

If your floors are wood, tile, laminate, or similar material, then invest in some carpeting to help dampen the noise. You can either install wall-to-wall carpet or purchase area rugs, as both can help. For additional noise reduction, consider adding a sound-absorbing pad, giving you an extra buffer. You can also layer area rugs over each other or place them on top of carpeting to reduce noise even further.

 

Try a White Noise Machine

White noise helps by overpowering ambient sounds, ensuring that any extraneous sounds don’t affect your sleep. You can purchase a white noise machine (including versions with built-in alarm clocks) or find a suitable app for your smartphone or tablet.

 

Alternatively, you can use a fan to accomplish a similar goal. So, if you already have a decent fan, consider turning it one every night instead of investing in a white noise machine.

 

If white noise doesn’t do the job, you can also try a sound machine that includes natural-sounding audio that you find soothing. You can also find nature sound tracks in a variety of apps or as downloads from a range of music stores.

 

By following the tips above, you can eliminate noisy distractions, helping you get a better night’s sleep each and every day. If you would like to learn more or are seeking out new opportunities, the professionals at The Armada Group can help. Contact us to speak with a member of our knowledgeable team today and see how our expertise can benefit you.

 

 

 Mentor

 

A lot of professionals have heard that having a mentor can potentially benefit their career. But, since these arrangements aren’t necessarily common or publicly announced, exactly how it can help you get ahead can seem like a bit of a mystery.

 

Ultimately, having a mentor can be incredibly beneficial, as long as the relationship is constructed in the proper way. If you are wondering how a mentor can help your career, here’s what you need to know about the role.

 

A Long-Term Relationship

One of the biggest differences between a mentor and a coach is the duration of the relationship. While coaches often make short-term arrangements, a mentor is usually in it for the long haul. The idea is to serve as a guide, supporting your growth and professional development, and acting as a source of insight as you move forward down your career path.

 

The nature of a relationship with a mentor is usually not finite, allowing them to function as a critical connection for months or even years.

 

 

A Source of Encouragement

Often, a person who serves as a mentor is a professional in a position that you would one day like to have. This means that they have usually been in your shoes at some point in their career, so they are capable of both empathizing with the challenges you encounter while also being capable of offering encouragement. After all, they have likely had to tackle the same issues as they were rising through the ranks, and they made it, so they know it is possible to overcome obstacles and reach success.

 

At times, simply having a cheerleader can do wonders for your career. Understanding that someone else has made it through these challenges and is rallying behind you can be both stress-relieving and empowering, allowing you to accomplish more than you previously thought possible.

 

A Sounding Board

While it isn’t a mentor’s responsibility to tell you exactly what to do to reach your goal or give you answers when you encounter difficult questions, they can often serve as a sounding board when you are faced with tough decisions. Again, they have a deeper understanding of the field, so their wisdom can help you work through complicated problems, giving you a chance to make the decision while ensuring you considered all of the key points along the way.

 

In the end, a mentor wants to see you succeed, so they are going to offer their insights and encouragement as a means of supporting you during your journey. If you are interested in learning more about how a mentor can benefit you and your career or are seeking out new opportunities in your field, the professionals at The Armada Group can help. Contact us to learn more about what we have to offer and to see how our services can benefit you as you work towards your larger career goals.

 

 

Published in Staffing News
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