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The 10 Tech Books Bill Gates Says You Should be Reading

 

Bill Gates is a big fan of reading, often tearing through several dozen books each and every year. Recently, he has been especially focused on books about technology. Here is a look at the ten tech books Bill Gates thinks everyone should read in 2019.

High Paying IT Skills

 

When you want to make the most of your IT career, it isn’t uncommon to jump online and learn about high-paying opportunities in the field. However, this usually results in article after article discussing the highest-paying jobs in IT, and this isn’t always helpful to tech professionals who aren’t interested in switching specialties.

 

After all, it can take a significant amount of time and training to go from a focus on networking to concentrating on cybersecurity. Additionally, you may have to take a few steps down on the career ladder to make a transition like that viable, and that isn’t always a lucrative approach.

 

However, you can still enhance your earning potential without having to fully reshape your IT career. By acquiring specific high-paying skills, you can make yourself a more valuable employee, even within your current niche.

 

If you are wondering which skills are potentially worth pursuing, here are some of the highest-paying tech skills of today.

 

Data Architecture

As companies continue to become more data-driven, having skilled professionals who can understand and enhance the complex relationships between systems, applications, and databases is a must. Additionally, they also need IT pros who can design and implement new storage and management systems, ensuring they have the ideal solution for their needs.

 

While data architecture may be managed by someone specifically in a data architect role, these duties may also be assigned to other professionals. For example, database administrators, application developers, project managers, and business analysts may benefit from this skill set, allowing them to earn more while remaining in their specialty.

 

Complex Event Processing (CEP)

While CEP has been around since the 1990s, it is particularly relevant in today’s business world. Big data, cybersecurity, and IoT have increased demand for this form of data processing, allowing data correlations based on information stored in multiple systems to be more easily identified.

 

CEP may be helpful for cybersecurity, IoT, data analytics, and a range of other IT professionals, making it a valuable skill to add to your repertoire.

 

Machine Learning

A subset of artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning skills are increasingly valuable as more companies look to create systems that can improve how automated tasks are performed without the need to explicitly program them at each juncture. Additionally, machine learning is relevant to a range of IT specialties, including cybersecurity, data analytics, IoT, e-commerce, and more.

 

Since the technology has so many potential applications and is still relevantly new in the business world, adding machine learning skills to your arsenal can be particularly lucrative.

 

Prescriptive Analytics

Another subset in the AI space with significance in multiple IT specialties, prescriptive analytics involves processing historical data, identifying trends, and locating patterns as a means of creating meaningful predictions about future events that are accompanied by actionable recommendations. The suggestions provided take this technology beyond predictive analytics, and it is likely to become more prevalent as companies learn to harness its power.

 

Since prescriptive analytics can be relevant in a number of specialties, including cybersecurity, data management, IT operations, and application development, it’s a skill that can provide value to a variety of IT professionals.

 

Ultimately, all of the skills above are some of the highest-paying ones in the IT world today. By adding them to your repertoire, you are empowering yourself to have a more lucrative career, even without having to change IT specialties.

 

If you are interested in learning more or are searching for new tech job opportunities, the professionals at The Armada Group can help you explore your options. Contact us to speak with one of our experienced recruiters and see how our expertise can benefit your career today.

 

 

 Sports Technology

 

Technology dedicated specifically to sports and athletics, both at the professional and amateur levels, is becoming more prevalent, leaving many wondering if it will morph into a field of its own. The systems are designed to do more than just monitor performance, supporting other objectives like health tracking and providing access to visual tools that can help them improve.

 

New products are being introduced on a regular basis, but that only scratches the surface of what the field may have to offer. If you’re wondering what’s next for sports technology, here’s what you need to know.

 

New Devices and Wearables

Since fitness trackers like the Fitbit became all the rage some years ago, there have been significant advances in the available devices and wearables that are designed to help athletes improve. Activity-specific devices are becoming more prevalent in the market while the capabilities of general devices are increasingly robust.

 

The field is poised for additional growth, particularly as interest in sport-specific technologies grows, and there is certain room in the marketplace for more sophisticated advancements.

 

 

A Connection with Big Data

While most sports technology devices are capable of collecting data about the individual using the tool, big data is also making an appearance in the field. Supporting applications are able to use information about other users to provide additional information and recommendations to users, giving them the opportunity to improve their performance or simply see how they measure up to others.

 

Analytics are also often integrated into these applications, some of which have predictive capabilities that allow a user to anticipate their results if they choose a specific course of action.

 

Improved Metrics

One of the tricks associated with this rapidly advancing field is that, though a number of performance metrics are being included, tech professionals weren’t always knowledgeable about which metrics are actually valuable to users. As the sports technology field grows, however, the professionals behind the devices and applications are learning more about the sports, allowing them to select better information.

 

This means that tech professionals who have a solid understanding of athletics are highly sought after in the industry, allowing them to be well-positioned when it comes to securing a top-notch position. And, if a software engineer or data scientist has explicit knowledge about the specific sport being targeted in the device and supporting app, all the better.

 

Whether sports technology will become a full-blown field of its own, in an official sense, is yet to be seen. But, the potential is undoubtedly there, giving sports-minded tech professionals the option of specializing in an area that may combine two of their passions.

 

If you are interested in learning more about the burgeoning sports technology specialty or are looking for a new tech position, the team at The Armada Group can help. Contact us to speak with one of our knowledgeable staff members today and see how our services can benefit you and your career.

 

 

Project Management

 

IT projects are often complex, requiring a significant amount of time to complete and a diverse set of employees to ensure all needed skill sets are present. To coordinate the associated activities, having a robust project management strategy is a necessity.

 

Like any other area, there are a number of trends that are poised to change the face of project management in 2018. With that in mind, here are a few that you are likely to notice as the year goes forward.

 

The EPMO Model

Organizations have begun to favor the Enterprise Project Management Office (EPMO) methodology over the traditional project managing office (PMO) model. EPMOs typically reflect a more strategic approach, aligning the project, portfolio, and program activities to larger company goals. This allows companies to reach a higher level of success, particularly when it comes to creating end results that meet the original objectives. Plus, fewer projects fail using the associated methodologies, which is a benefit that can’t be ignored.

 

Increased Use of Software and Tools

Web-based project management software and tools have become more affordable over recent years, allowing more companies to access them. This provides smaller organizations with the technology they need to better manage their projects, including by reducing waste, efficiently allocating resources, and keeping them aligned with their goals.

 

 

Analytics Play a Bigger Role

Business analytics continues to become more accessible as well, allowing companies to leverage the power of their data in more meaningful ways. Teams can identify trends in advance, spot potential risks earlier in the process, and even examine complex approaches with greater ease, giving them valuable information that can increase the chances that the project will be successful.

 

This also helps in the development of future projects as lessons learned today can be captured with greater ease, allowing the associated information to guide decisions during the next project.

 

More Remote Workers

Technology has also made remote work and telecommuting options easier to manage, allowing your full-time staff to experience greater flexibility or you to access top talent in areas outside of your immediate vicinity.

 

Since work-life balance has become a priority for many professionals, particularly Millennials and the incoming Generation Z, this can be an attractive offering that gives you an advantage over competitors who choose to forgo the option, increasing the odds that you will be viewed as an employer of choice.

 

Hiring for Emotional Intelligence

Companies and employees are placing a higher value on emotional intelligence in the workplace, and this will likely affect hiring decisions today and into the future, particularly with project managers. The nature of the work requires coordinating with a wide range of professionals, all with different priorities and personalities. Emotional intelligence makes the task easier, making it a valuable skill for anyone leading a diverse group of workers.

 

If you are looking to hire a project manager or would like to learn more about current trends, the professionals at The Armada Group can help. Contact us today to speak with one of our skilled team members and see how our expertise can work for you.

 

 

Published in IT Infrastructure

2 Job Interview

 

Having the right credentials on your resume is only part of what you need to advance your career; you also need to make a great impression during the interview. Being able to demonstrate why you are the best candidate is the key to ultimate success, so proper interview preparation is critical. So, what do you need to do to nail your next IT job interview? Here are some steps to get you on the right track.

Find Examples of Real Interview Questions

Everyone’s heard that practice makes perfect, but figuring out which responses you need to hammer out isn’t always easy. Luckily, there are resources available online that can give you example questions to work on based on topics covered in real interviews. Glassdoor, the popular job site, gives users the chance to post information about their interview experiences, including the exact questions they were asked by hiring managers. These tidbits of information are a gold mine for preparation material, so taking the time to research what may be asked can help you get great answers together in advance.

 

See if any questions have been posted by people who have interviewed with your target company for similar positions first. If you find the information lacking, then check into what competitor businesses have asked candidates for similar positions. Then, consider your responses and practice them before you meet with the hiring manager. This gives you a chance to have a strong plan in place, making it less likely you’ll be caught off guard when you’re sitting in the hot seat.

Get Your Questions in Order

Towards the end of your interview, you’ll likely be given a chance to ask some questions of your own. Neglecting this part of the discussion isn’t wise, as failing to ask great questions can have the hiring manager doubting your interest in the position.

 

Begin by researching the company and the role for which you are interviewing. If you can’t find information about certain details, then form a question to get the feedback you need. Make sure you don’t ask questions that can easily be answered with some simple web searches, as this suggests you didn’t take the initiative to do basic research, and stay away from topics like compensation, as it is likely too early in the process. However, questions about how the position may change over the next few years or what the company’s culture is like are often fair game and show you have a long-term vision regarding the role.

Keep Expectations in Check

Even with a strong resume and well-managed interview, there is still a chance you won’t be selected for the job or that you might not even want it when all is said and done. In that regard, it is wise to keep in mind that an offer may not come, but remember that every interview experience is valuable as it lets you practice your interviewing skills. Always make sure to give it your all, and you may find that even if this job doesn’t pan out, it could help your performance at your next interview.

 

If you are interested in finding a new job, the team at The Armada Group can connect you with great employers in the area. Contact us to see what is available today.

 

Published in Staffing News

AI

 

Whenever a technology begins to get a foothold in an industry, fears generally arise regarding how the innovations will affect the availability of employment. But even if it does impact those working in specific positions, that doesn’t mean the number of jobs available actually decreases. Often, it just indicates a shift within the job market, and can even lead to more work being available than before.

 

AI has the potential to make workers more efficient, eliminating tedious and repetitive tasks and allowing professionals to focus on duties that require human input. So, instead of eliminating positions in IT, it is more likely to change the nature of those working in the field.

 

Here is an overview of AI in the workplace, and how it could create more jobs, not less.

AI Requires Support

While AI may take certain duties out of the hands of workers, the systems that use the technology will continue to need support. AI systems require human input to determine how the solution needs to react to certain variables. Additionally, issues can present within any system, making the need for troubleshooters a critical part of any AI implementation.

 

AI systems are not self-sustaining. Instead, they represent a part of overall IT strategy, and workers are needed to make any associated goals a reality. Skilled tech professionals are responsible for the creation and implementation of AI-oriented solutions, effectively creating new IT positions specifically designed to support these innovations.

AI Doesn’t Stand Alone

An AI system is only as powerful as the data with which it works, and that means people are still highly relevant to its operation. Additionally, employees are needed to oversee outputs and finalize conclusions or courses of action. Further, workers are responsible for taking outputs and turning them into meaningful information that can be used throughout an organization, a task that AI simply isn’t prepared to manage at this time. Experts in data analytics and engineering are needed to manage duties that require additional intelligence beyond what the system can provide.

 

Without the involvement of data professionals, the AI can’t perform its duties any better than a person who doesn’t have sufficient information to draw accurate conclusions or identify relevant patterns.

Pursuit of More Complex Objectives

Since a primary benefit of AI is the ability to remove repetitive administrative tasks from the hands of skilled professionals, companies have the capacity to refocus their goals in pursuit of higher level development objectives. Businesses will have the opportunity to invest more in the hiring of individuals with critical tech skills like coding.

 

While certain entry-level positions may become less available, more advanced positions might be created. This is essentially beneficial to IT workers who traditional pursue higher education to gain entry into the field, as companies can focus on hiring these individuals over those previously required for less technical tasks that support IT objectives.

 

Ultimately, AI isn’t going to eliminate workers across the board. Instead, it will change what kind of tech professionals are needed and how their daily tasks are managed. If you are interested in pursuing a new IT position related to AI or any other specialty, The Armada Group can help you explore your options based on today’s job market. Contact us to discuss your ideal job and experience how our services can benefit you.

 

Published in Staffing News

ruby comeback

For all the supposed logic required to program, choices of programming language are often fickle. Industry trends mean languages rise and fade in popularity. Even languages you may think are dead are not; COBOL still powers 70 to 80 percent of business transactions.

The language Ruby isn't nearly as old as COBOL and never reached its level of acceptance, but after a spurt of popularity in the first decade of the century, its usage dropped due mostly to performance concerns. Now, usage surveys show Ruby is rising again. Why?

Ruby on Rails supports web development.

Ruby underlies the Ruby on Rails web development framework. With many third-party libraries available, companies that use Ruby on Rails are able to develop websites quickly and easily, plus support them effectively. Since every business depends on its online presence, those characteristics make Ruby an appealing choice for development.

Ruby is interpreted.

In slower environments, the interpreted nature of Ruby could contribute to performance problems. On fast modern hardware, using an interpreted language eliminates the need for compiling code. That makes working with Ruby quicker and easier. Given the drive towards agile development, eliminating unnecessary steps that slow things down is very appealing.

Ruby has a strong community.

There's an established community that creates resources companies can leverage to make creating Ruby applications even easier. The many frameworks and libraries mean less need to write code from scratch and faster development. There's solid documentation, plus active forums where developers can get help resolving problems; Ruby has large StackOverflow and Meetup communities. All of that reassures businesses that they're not on their own if they choose Ruby.

Ruby is cross-platform.

Companies can use RubyMotion to write cross-platform applications that run on both iOS and Android mobile devices. This means developers don't need to learn special languages and tools to create mobile apps, letting companies use their developer resources more efficiently.

Ruby is easy to learn.

Because finding technically qualified employees is so difficult, companies need to invest in training their own staff. They want this investment to pay off quickly. Ruby is easy to learn, so companies that develop in Ruby can easily grow staff who can contribute to these projects. As an easy-to-learn language that makes it easy to prototype, Ruby offers companies a great way to make progress fast.

Looking for a Ruby job or Ruby developers? The Armada Group knows who has the skills and who needs them. Whether you're a Ruby developer or you want to hire one, contact us to talk to a recruiter who can connect you to Ruby careers and Ruby professionals.

WorldClassJobOpportunties

How a Temporary Position Could Boost Your Resume

If your search for a permanent position isn't progressing as quickly as you'd like, you should consider taking a temporary position. Besides the immediate benefit of filling a hole in your wallet, a short-term job can also help you find a long-term role. Here are five ways a temp job works to your advantage during your job search.

1. Having a temporary job on your resume can be better than having a long gap that needs to be explained. The temporary role lets you demonstrate that you're serious about working. If you hold the temporary position for more than a few days, it also demonstrates professionalism and commitment.

2. If you aren't sure exactly what you want to do, taking a temp job lets you try out a position without either you or the employer expecting a commitment. If it turns out not to be the right job for you, you can move on and try another type of job. If the role is a good fit, you'll have directly relevant experience to list on your resume and emphasize in interviews for permanent jobs.

3. You may be able to turn the temp job into a permanent position. Sometimes companies hold out the possibility of a job becoming permanent, when it's listed as a temp-to-perm position. Even if the specific position you're working in can't become permanent, you'll have contacts within the company who can let you know when there are permanent positions available. If the manager who oversaw your temp work recommends you, you'll be in a stronger position than unknown external candidates.

4. The contacts you build can also serve as references when you apply for a job with another company. References who've seen you recently and can speak to your recent work help you make a positive impression anywhere you apply. They may also have contacts elsewhere in the industry and be able to recommend you for opportunities they become aware of.

5. Your temp job may let you develop new skills or become more adept at skills you already have. Being able to cite real-world usage of these skills during an interview is much more impressive than book-learned skills you've never put to work.

Published in Staffing News

Stay on Top of These 10 Influential IT Recruiting Trends

1. Job seekers have the power. When the economy was tighter, recruiting was more straightforward. There were more job seekers, and they had fewer jobs to choose from. With the economy much improved, companies need to work harder to attract candidates and speed up the process to avoid losing a great candidate.

2. Personalize the recruiting process. You'll need to woo each candidate as an individual. Even for non-executive roles, searching for top candidates becomes more like executive search.

3. Money talks. Along with getting to making an offer more quickly, companies need to make more compelling offers to win over candidates. Sign-on bonuses and paid relocation are no longer a thing of the past. Expect to have to outbid simultaneous offers or counteroffers from the candidate's current employer.

4. Phones are the dominant technology. The recruiting action all happens on mobile phones, now. Candidates expect not only to have interviews over the phone, but also to access the company's careers information on their phone. If your site isn't mobile-friendly, the candidates may not be friendly, either.

5. There's more opportunity for recruiters, too. Companies won't only be competing for IT staff, they'll be competing for the recruiters who find the IT staff. Companies may have to make competitive offers to hang onto their recruitment specialists. Even companies that previously used internal recruiters may need to turn to agencies for assistance due to being shorthanded.

6. Candidates love video. Static text isn't good enough anymore. Businesses need to integrate video into the recruiting process, with videos about the job opportunities and life at the company. Video interviewing can be a convenient way to interview candidates without having to bring them to the company site.

7. Resumes are passé. Candidates don't want to upload a resume to each potential employer, and they hate having to correct parsing errors after it's loaded into your system. Streamline the process by working with their online profile at sites like LinkedIn. And because resumes can hide a candidate's strengths, also review a portfolio of their work. Seeing what they've actually done will give you a much better perspective of what they're capable of.

8. Just-in-time hiring isn't fast enough. If you only look at resumes when a position is available, you'll miss out on great candidates. In today's job market, top-quality engineers are in and out of the market fast. When an impressive resume crosses your desk, consider making an offer even if you don't have an open position. You're better off already having top talent on staff when a role opens up, compared to searching for weeks while being shortstaffed.

9. Hire people you already know. The best person to work for you may be someone who worked for you previously. Unless someone was terminated for cause, bringing back someone who already knows how your business operates gives you a "new" hire who can settle in and start producing quickly, rather than needing to get familiar with how to get things done.

10. Emphasize workforce planning. Increased turnover and a competitive hiring market means you need a better plan for keeping your employees working for you and developing their talents. Improved use of data will help companies develop effective policies, as predictive metrics become further developed.

Published in Staffing News

High Tech Invention

In comic strips and action movies, robot exoskeletons give inventors superpowers. In factories and other work environments, robot exoskeletons support workers, to improve occupational safety.

The need for improved occupational safety is large. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported more than 3 million nonfatal injuries and illnesses in private industry during 2013. The impact on productivity is large, with a median eight days off from work due to injury or illness. The number of fatal work injuries was much smaller, at about 4,500, but the personal impact is, of course, immense.

Sit Down On the Job

For assembly line and other industrial workers, repetitive stress is a common medical issue. The Chairless Chair supports workers in a half-sitting position, customized to their specific body shape. Wearers don't have to drag a chair with them as they move about; the Chairless Chair moves with them.

Lend A Hand

The Ekso Works, like the Chairless Chair, transfers the user's weight to the ground. It goes a step further in having a sprung arm that can handle a heavy tool, making it practically weightless to the person wearing the exoskeleton. Another exoskeleton, the Fortis, lets wearers lift heavy objects effortlessly in a standing or kneeling position. Wearers will be able to work more easily in areas where bench-mounted tools can't be used.

Put a Spring in Your Step

A device that fits around the wearer's calf, the Walking Assist Clutch, literally puts a spring in the wearer's step. The device is triggered at a specific moment during a stride and increases the efficiency of walking by seven percent. This would benefit workers who are on their feet all day long, like nurses or a police officer walking a beat.

Benefits Beyond the Workplace

Businesses are looking at these devices to provide more ergonomic work environments, and increase employee productivity as well as minimizing health expenses due to employee injuries. For employees, benefits include the reduced risk of injury, and no lost wages from unpaid time off. Outside the workplace, exoskeletons will enable paralyzed individuals and frail elderly to maintain independence. In those cases, the exoskeleton is indeed delivering a superpower.

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