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Key Skills to Succeed as a Technical Support Engineer

Technology has made its way into nearly every workplace. While tech is often used as a means to boost productivity, streamline operations, or support a capability that wouldn’t otherwise be available, it can also come with its fair share of issues.

Technical problems can wreak havoc on an employee’s ability to perform critical tasks or an organization’s ability to meet its goals. As a result, many companies hire technical support engineers who can come to the rescue when tech solutions go awry.

Since technical support engineers may be tasked with troubleshooting software and hardware, they need robust skillsets that tap on both areas. If you are wondering what skills are essential if you want to succeed in one of these roles, here’s a look at the critical ones.

The Differences Between a Chatbot vs Virtual Agent

When people discuss conversational technology, it isn’t uncommon for them to use terms like chatbot and virtual agent interchangeably. Even though they all let the user gather information or request specific actions using a natural discussion approach, those terms actually describe different kinds of tech.

By understanding the differences between the technologies, you can discuss them with more accuracy. With that in mind, here’s a look at what chatbots and virtual agents are and how they differ from one another.

10 Tips to Improve Your Technical Writing

Whether your official job title is “technical writer” or you need to handle some technical writing as part of your duties, improving your skills is a smart move. By enhancing your capabilities, you can become a more valuable employee, stand out from the crowd, and more easily advance your career. If you want to know how you can improve your technical writing, here are ten tips that can help you achieve that goal.

Ways You Can Stay on Top of Emerging Technology Trends

Most IT professionals would benefit from staying on top of emerging technology trends. By doing so, you are ensuring your field- and industry-related knowledge remains current. Trend-awareness allows you to take certain actions that benefit your career. For example, you can identify potential disruptors and acquire skills that relate to those emerging technologies, enhancing the value of your skillset. Alternatively, you can alert your employer to new tech that may benefit the organization, allowing them to remain ahead of the competition.

 

Staying on top of emerging technology trends doesn’t have to be challenging. Here are a few ways that you can get going right away.

Women in the Tech World The Advice They are Sharing

The tech world may still be male-dominated, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of women who want to pursue careers in the industry. Plus, women can be incredibly successful after launching a career in tech, especially if they use the right approach. 

If you are a woman who wants to work in the tech industry, here are some tips that can help you kickstart your career and keep it moving forward.  

Emerging Tech Will Lead to More Jobs In the Next Few Years

Advances in the world of technology often leave many people fearful. They may assume that emerging tech – like advanced robotics and artificial intelligence (AI) – will take over their jobs, leaving them with nowhere to go. 

While technology will make certain positions obsolete over the coming years, the news isn’t all negative. According to a report, 75 million jobs may disappear by 2022. However, 133 new jobs will emerge during that same timeframe, creating a net gain of 58 million positions. 

As IT Picks Up Pace What Are Ways Your Tech Workers Can Keep Up

To say that technology changes rapidly is likely a massive understatement. Often, new innovations and approaches emerge with such frequency that keeping pace seems practically impossible. However, falling behind can be detrimental to companies, so they need to find options that can help their tech workers keep up. 

Luckily, there are a variety of resources that can make tracking trends and staying relevant as easy as possible. If you want to make sure your tech team can keep up even as IT picks up the pace, here are a few ways to get started. 

Published in IT Infrastructure

Top Qualities to Look for in a Tech Mentee

Many tech pros credit their success to having an outstanding mentor. As a result, many seasoned professionals who were assisted by a mentor themselves often explore giving back, prompting them to take on a mentee.

Published in Hiring Managers

Site Reliable Engineering

When software moves from test to production release, making sure it runs properly is the job of the site reliability engineering team. Sometimes the production environment is different from the development and test environment, so the application doesn't have the same performance it had during test. Sometimes there are more users than anticipated, and the application doesn't scale up. Sometimes real-world data causes problems that test data didn't uncover. Whatever the issue in production, site reliability engineers need to figure out the cause of the problem and put the necessary changes into place to make the application successful.

At some companies, the SRE function is called DevOps, because it's all about moving applications out of development and keeping them operational.

Monitoring and Planning Ahead

 A lot of the site reliability engineer's role is about keeping an eye on the system and planning for issues. For an SRE, the "system" means the entire system, including the application, third-party software, the hardware, and the network. The SRE team monitors the system to make sure it meets availability and responsiveness requirements.

The team also looks to the future of the system. They make sure any planned changes, to any component, minimize impact to users.  They review capacity and come up with plans for expansion. They also have the responsibility for dealing with unplanned downtime and planning for disaster recovery.

Site Reliability Engineer Skills

 Technical skills

Site reliability engineers need solid software engineering skills. They need to understand how software works and how different software products interoperate. SREs often write complex scripts to automate operational tasks. But they also need to bring a broader perspective than just application software development, and understand networks and system administration.

Non-technical skills

Site reliability engineers need to be creative thinkers and problem solvers, who can work under pressure to figure out a system problem and create a solid solution for bringing things back under control quickly. They need to be analytical, to review data about system usage and system problems, in order to develop plans for the future of the application.

Communication skills are important; SREs need to be able to ask questions of other technical teams to figure out the problem and also to explain to management both the problem and the solution. SREs are part of a team and need to be able to work with a variety of colleagues.

Site Reliability Engineer Career Path

 In some cases, SREs choose to strengthen their software engineering skills and move to the software engineering team to create the future of the application. Other SREs choose to develop their system engineering skills and continue to work within site reliability engineering. For those who are interested in management, success as an SRE can lead to firm-wide responsibility for managing infrastructure and shaping the future of the enterprise.

Published in Staffing News

best practices external recruiters

The competition for top talent is on the rise, and IT managers are looking for the most effective ways to find and hire top candidates. One of the best strategies for bringing in IT talent is to work with a third-party recruiter that specializes in the tech industry.

External recruiters can help you relieve the burden of talent management by sourcing highly qualified candidates for your open positions, quickly and cost effectively. But like all business solutions, there are things you can do to leverage your relationship with an external recruiter and ensure a smoother process with improved results.

Here are some of the best practices for working with third-party recruiters, temporary and staffing agencies to bring top IT talent into your organization.

Make talent acquisition a priority

When you’re looking to fill an open position, finding the right candidate quickly is a top priority. Professional external recruiters will understand this, and do everything possible to ensure that the recruiting process takes the least possible time.

However, it’s essential to keep in mind that finding high-quality candidates is a time- and labor-intensive process. You should expect a high-priority candidate search to take around six weeks — and during that time, be prepared to prioritize dedicated time and resources to the process on a daily basis.

Keep communication lines open

Staying in touch regularly with your external recruiter is crucial for the success of your talent search. In order to maintain strong communication and cooperation, the following best practices are recommended:

  • Maintain a direct working relationship between the third-party recruiting team and the decision makers in your company, without relying on “gatekeepers” to relay communications.
  • Be responsive, returning important calls and emails within one business day of receipt — particularly when a decision is required.
  • Deliver timely, detailed feedback on interviews and candidates submissions, also within one business day.

Maintaining a high sense of urgency and responsiveness throughout the recruiting process will enable an external recruiter to deliver the timely results you want.

Have realistic candidate expectations

Every IT manager wants to hire the “perfect” candidate — but keeping your expectations reasonable and realistic is essential for success. In order to ensure that your positions are marketable, and you receive an adequately sized candidate pool to choose from, work with your external recruiter to develop:

  • Quality job opportunities that will interest top candidates
  • Well-written, streamlined job descriptions with the best chance of being read
  • A strong employer brand that attracts the right candidates with good cultural fits
  • Realistic sets of desired skills and competencies (no “purple squirrels”)

The Armada Group is committed to the success of your organization. With our top-priority requisitions, you’ll receive at least one qualified candidate for your review within 48 hours of initiating the talent search process, or a progress report detailing key findings for further discussions. Contact us to learn more about our IT talent recruitment solutions.

Published in Recruiting
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