Post 10 

 

Today, it’s a job seeker’s market. As a result, tech professionals may be more inclined to seek out new opportunities elsewhere.

It isn’t always easy to decide whether now is the right time to take a leap and find a new position. At times, the situation is a bit ambiguous, making a clear reason challenging to put a finger on. However, there are other circumstances that could indicate that quitting your tech job is a good idea, especially if certain existing problems are essentially unresolvable.

If you are wondering whether now is the right time to quit your tech job, here are some situations where the answer is likely “yes.”

Published in Recruiting

Front End Development

 

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

Technically, React is a JavaScript library, not a framework. This means it does not apply certain constraints on front-end developers and will not make automatic assumptions about other portions of the full solution. It concentrates on a specific area, allowing it to be well-managed without the same level of entanglements.

 

Virtual Browsers

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.

 

Declarative Approach

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.

 

 

“Reactive” Nature

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.

 

 

Published in IT Infrastructure

Machine Learning Developer

 

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.

 

 

Published in Hiring Managers

Tech Salaries

 

While low unemployment had previously spurred significant growth in regards to tech salaries, 2017 somewhat bucked the trend, at least when it comes to the average pay over all specialties. However, certain skill sets are highly valued, allowing salaries in those areas to soar. Additionally, whether you work as a full-time employee or a contractor also plays a role regarding the level of compensation you can likely obtain today.

 

National Averages

Across all specialties, the average salary tech pros received was $92,712 in 2017. This reflected only slight growth (a 0.7 percent increase) when compared to 2016.

 

However, IT contractors saw a 5 percent increase year over year, with the average hourly rate being $72.32.

 

Additionally, specific skill sets achieved above-average growth when it came to pay. For example, PAAS professionals had compensation rates around $127,702 in 2017, a marked increase from 2016 levels where the average was $120,403.

 

Some other skills that outpaced the slow growth trend were MapReduce, Elasticsearch, Redshift, and Cloudera.

 

 

Tech Salaries in Silicon Valley

The average tech salary in the Silicon Valley region was notably higher than the national average, reaching $114,654. Along with a high demand for skilled IT workers in the area, the difference can likely be partially attributed to the increased cost of living in California. But, that doesn’t mean that Silicon Valley salaries don’t outpace other regions with high costs of living.

 

For example, New York is considered a more expensive state, but the average pay rate there came in at only $103,941. Similarly, Washington DC had salaries below the six-figure mark, at $99,937, even though the cost of living is generally seen as higher.

 

Additionally, tech salaries have experienced some significant increases over the past few years. Between 2013 and 2017, the change was measured as an 8.4 percent increase, which is certainly notable.

 

However, in 2017, the region did experience a slowdown, with growth only coming in at 0.4 percent.

 

What These Trends Mean

At times, there can be a significant disconnect between what tech professionals believe their skills are worth and what the market data suggests is reasonable. This can make filling vacant positions difficult for companies as a skilled candidate may have a stated salary expectation that isn’t within their budget, or workers can assume that they are underpaid, leading to frustration, when they are actually well within the standard.

 

Ultimately, both sides would be well-served by researching the going rates for particular skill sets and using that information to set their expectations. This can ensure that businesses are offering a suitable salary for the skills and experience they hope to find and that candidates aren’t over or undervaluing their capabilities when seeking a new job.

 

If you are interested in learning more, are seeking a new position, or are looking to hire additional team members, the professionals at The Armada Group can help. Contact us today to see how our services can benefit you.

 

 

Career in Data Analytics

 

As more companies look to leverage their data, a career in data analytics becomes more enticing. Data allows businesses to make smarter decisions, making it particularly powerful in today’s marketplace. But there’s more to data analytics than meets the eye, and professionals must have a strong skill set to be successful in the field. If you are considering a career in data analytics, here’s what you need to know.

 

A Forward-Thinking Perspective

Before, analyzing data was something companies did to take a look back, giving them an avenue for examining past decisions. Now, data analytics is generally viewed as a forward-thinking pursuit, allowing businesses to make smarter decisions today in hopes of securing a better tomorrow.

 

While this doesn’t necessarily innately affect how the work is done, it does demonstrate the kind of perspective successful professionals in the field must maintain. This means that assisting with future growth and profitability is a large driver for many people working in these positions, reflecting the mission of many of these roles.

 

It’s More Than Just Numbers on Screens

While the work is predominately computer-based, that doesn’t mean it is relegated to working with existing software. A lot of creation can occur in a data analytics role, including possibly working on devices designed to help capture valuable data.

 

For many people, this means that a career in data analytics can involve exciting tasks beyond reviewing information for insights, as improvements in how data is collected can be incredibly valuable to companies and rewarding to those who work on the projects.

 

 

People Matter

Many people assume that data analytics derives its value from software outputs, with the human element being secondary. However, professionals in the field generally discover that their skills and input play a substantial role in the success of data-oriented projects and goals.

 

While a system may provide outputs, data analysts are often responsible for giving the data meaning and assisting with the decision-making process, and that is a role that should never be downplayed. Even if you aren’t in a position to make large-scale decisions personally, your work guides those who are making those calls, allowing you to be a big part of instituting change within the organization and beyond.

 

Beyond Technical Skills

Having the technical know-how to perform in a data analytics position is obviously essential, but other skills are just as vital. Having a strong understanding of business terms, particularly those related to your company’s industry, is also incredibly valuable, as well as the nuances of how the business operates.

 

Communication skills are also highly coveted, as you’ll often need to relay complex information to stakeholders who aren’t as well-versed in the technical side of things. Additionally, teamwork skills are crucial, as most people in the data analytics field work closely with others.

 

If you are interested in pursuing or furthering a career in data analytics in 2018, the professionals at The Armada Group can connect you with some of the area’s most in-demand employers. Contact us today to see how our services can help you take the next step.

 

 

Stress

 

In some cases, your manager isn’t the source of inspiration you would aspire to find. Instead, interactions with your boss can actually increase your stress levels, making it harder to get through your day. Whether it’s a callous temperament, a rigid workplace structure, or a perceived level of incompetence, there is often little you can do to change your manager. However, there are methods for coping with the situation, making it easier to get through your tasks. Here are five techniques you can try today.

 

  1. Learn Their Patterns

Often, even the most insufferable boss adheres to behavioral patterns. They typically have particular triggers that result in the less-than-desirable interactions, and learning these can be incredibly beneficial.

 

By understanding what causes your manager to act a certain way, you can work to avoid these scenarios. And, if they can’t be avoided, you’ll at least understand the catalysts behind the activity, which can be a relief if you know for certain you specifically aren’t responsible.

 

  1. Be at Your Best

One method for decreasing the stress your boss adds to your day is to avoid being a source of stress in their day. By handling your tasks professionally and efficiently, you aren’t increasing the number of factors that may elicit a poor response from your manager, helping to keep the peace.

 

  1. Make Your Boss Look Good

Some managers move forward in their careers, not because of their capacity to lead, but because they have the ability to share (or take) credit for the work of others. While having your work claimed by someone else can be disheartening, allowing it to happen on occasion can make you appear like a highly valuable asset. And, once your manager realizes they don’t want to lose you, they may adjust their approach with you.

 

  1. Don’t Take It Personally

Often, a boss who is adding stress to your day isn’t targeting you alone. It generally has little, if anything, to do with you personally, and is more of an expression of either their stress or foibles. Learning to separate their actions from yours can provide relief, especially if you tend to internalize unwarranted criticism or unnecessary pressure. So, keep perspective when dealing with a difficult boss, and you should experience a decrease in your negative feelings.

 

  1. Don’t Be Afraid to Move On

At times, there is little you can do to improve your situation at work. When it becomes clear that things won’t change and the additional stress is harmful to you, then it could be time to find a new position. While it can take some effort to secure a new job, even getting the process started can provide relief. Then, once you have a definitive offer, you can move on to greener pastures.

 

If you’re interested in finding a new position, the recruitment specialists at The Armada Group can connect you with leading employers in the area. Contact us to see how our services make it easy to find a job, even when you’re still employed.

 

 

Published in Recruiting
Friday, Aug 25 2017

Coming Soon: VR Ads

VR Ads

 

The world is full of advertisements. Whether it’s the commercials you view on television, billboards you pass during your commute, or banner ads you see on your favorite websites, advertising is everywhere. Now, ads are coming to VR, and they are likely to change your experience significantly.

 

Advr, a project by Google, is designing mechanisms for advertisers to reach you when you’re in an immersive virtual environment, though using an approach similar to the in-app popups most users just assume avoid. Here’s what you need to know about this emerging technology before it hits a screen near you.

Avoiding a Disruptive Experience

Part of what attracts people to a VR experience is the level of immersion. Most users are looking to escape a bit of their day-to-day, and VR entertainment certainly has the ability to transport the viewer. However, ads interrupting the experience is a counterintuitive approach, more likely to annoy the user than convince them to try a product or service.

 

With that in mind, Google is working to create alternatives to the traditional popups. For example, the Advr project team is working on a cube scenario where users have the option to engage with the object to view a video ad. By interacting with the cube, a video would open to show content. Then, a quick close is all that’s needed to return to the VR experience.

 

The approach is friendly for developers, provides a high level of customization, and is non-intrusive to the viewer. However, it’s not clear whether the ads would be fully avoidable. Google makes a significant amount of revenue from ad delivery, so having an option where users can avoid every ad, every time might not appeal to advertisers looking to hook customers.

Freemium Apps

Some speculate that VR apps may give users the option to avoid apps using the popular freemium model. This approach allows any person to enjoy the app free of charge, but often with limited functionality and/or the requirement to view ads. Freemium apps already exist in the VR space, often putting certain functions or additional content behind a paywall. Extending the practice to ads would seem natural, especially since it is already widely used in the traditional smartphone app space.

 

Since VR ad technology is still in development, it’s challenging to say exactly where it will go. However, with the proliferation of ads throughout the rest of most entertainment-oriented experiences, it won’t be surprising to see these ads become more commonplace once technology giants like Google figure out how to integrate them successfully.

 

If you’re interested in learning more about new developments in the technology space, are looking to hire an IT professional, or are seeking new job opportunities in your tech field, the team at The Armada Group has the industry expertise you need to succeed. Contact us to discuss your needs today.

 

 

Boot Camps

 

IT professionals are often faced with a choice when it comes to skills development and training, and they come in the forms of boot camps and certifications. Both options can provide benefits when it comes to advancing your career, but each will do so in different ways. And, since both paths require significant investments, you want to make sure you choose the best course of action for your career.

 

To help you weigh which choice is best, here is what you need to know about how boot camps and certifications fit into your career goals.

New Career or Career Development

One of the biggest determining factors is whether you are looking to start a new career or develop your current one. Often, boot camps are ideal for those looking to change their field or IT specialty, as they provide a strong foundation and key job skills in a relatively short amount of time. Additionally, they offer significant hands-on experience that lets you put your new knowledge into action quickly.

 

Certifications often support a field in which you are already working. It confirms you possess a specific skill set instead of focusing on the development of new ones. While a person can learn a new skill to achieve a certification, most certifications are focused on testing what you know and not necessarily teaching you something new. You can take courses designed to end in a certification, but a class is not necessarily a prerequisite for becoming certified.

Creation or Support

Many boot camps focus on the skills needed to create something new. They provide information regarding the use of relevant tools and how they are used to build and develop solutions within the target system. Additionally, the skills are often transferable into a variety of environments, making them highly transferable between related specialties. In many cases, boot camps are available for skills like software development and programming, where the creation of something new is part of the core duties associated with working in those positions.

 

In comparison, certifications are often related to specific computing environments. Further, they are often more concerned with supporting what is already in place instead of developing new solutions. These apply most to systems like networking, security, and cloud support. The focus is often on preexisting infrastructure and systems, with emphasis on keeping these operational with skills like troubleshooting, maintenance, and prevention.

Commitment

Typically, a boot camp is a significant commitment that requires your full attention for weeks. Many people would find it challenging, if not impossible, to attend a reputable boot camp while maintaining a full-time position. In contrast, certifications can be obtained while also maintaining traditional employment. While studying is recommended, and classes may be offered, you may be able to complete the work on your own time.

 

Ultimately, choosing which option is right for you is highly dependent on your personal career goals. Continuing education often plays a significant role in any technology field as new developments reach the mainstream on a regular basis. So, even if you choose one of the training opportunities today, it doesn’t mean the other won’t be right for you tomorrow.

 

If you are interested in exploring new positions to help you progress along your career path, The Armada Group has the industry expertise needed to help you explore your options. Contact us to see what new opportunities are available in your target field, and what it takes to land the job today.

 

social media

Recruiting skilled talent is rarely easy, and it can be especially challenging when searching for tech professionals. Aside from the demands that innately come with the job, IT recruiters must stay apprised of technology changes, hardware development, in-demand programming languages, and much more. Additionally, low unemployment levels among IT workers often necessitates finding candidates who aren’t actively on the market, many of whom aren’t concerned about being found.

 

Now, you also have to add social media recruiting to the mix. And that can feel like quite a task for those recruiters who have yet to use these resources for the purpose of recruiting.

 

However, adding social recruiting to your regular repertoire doesn’t have to be complicated. In fact, taking your first steps into the arena can be fairly intuitive, as long as you have the drive to get it done based on the potential it holds.

Tech Pros Embrace Social Media

The primary reason IT recruiters need to embrace social media is the fact that the target market already has. Tech professionals are often active on some form of social media. In some cases, large-scale sources like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn can provide access to a wide range of subject matter experts working in technology fields, and most people are at least somewhat familiar with how to engage others on these platforms.

 

Additionally, there are a variety of resources like GitHub and Stack Overflow, that tend to cater to those interested in tech. These can provide access to dedicated professionals who may shun traditional social media in favor of industry-specific interactions.

Becoming a Resource

The ultimate purpose of exploring social media as a recruiter is the potential to be seen as a resource. By participating regularly and in a meaningful way, they can position themselves as a resource in the community, and not just a person looking to make a placement. For recruiters who specialize in IT, building a strong reputation in the community can provide a natural point in which to engage with professionals working in the industry.

 

And once you are seen as a resource, you are more likely to be exposed to new resources. For example, many social media participants openly share information with others with whom they have built a relationship. This can give you new sources of cutting-edge developments and industry information. You may find yourself better prepared to anticipate the needs of client companies as upcoming trends may enter your radar more quickly.

Professional Connections

In some cases, recruiters may even find an opportunity to locate a candidate for placement directly from these sources, but it is also possible to locate available professionals through association. If your need for a specific tech specialist is known, you may find those with whom you have connected to be a valuable source of referrals.

 

Maintaining more connections gives you access to more potential candidates by extension, and sometimes casting a wide net is the ideal solution when searching for a difficult-to-locate skill set.

 

That is the same principle that can make working with professional staffing firms like The Armada Group so effective. Contact The Armada Group today and let our recruitment network work for you.

 

Published in Recruiting

5 technical resume

When it comes to intimidation during the interview process, the technical interview takes the cake. No matter your level of experience or education, you never know if you are fully prepared for what you will be asked to do. And being faced with an empty whiteboard and a panel of interviewers can make even the strongest candidates stumble.

 

But even if you feel confident about your actions, how do you know that you were actually successful? While the answer isn’t as black and white as your technical interview responses, there are a few signs that suggest a positive outcome.

The “Right” Answer

As with any test, getting the answer right is the key to success. However, technical interviews don’t always involve a single right answer. Some scenarios can be managed through a variety of approaches, so whether your method was sound matters more than the precise direction used. As long as your method can produce consistent results should the variables change, you should consider that a success.

 

However, it is helpful to brush up your skills based on information in the job posting. For example, if a particular programming language is explicitly listed on the announcement, then make sure you are comfortable with it before heading into the technical interview. Whether that means breaking out textbooks from your college days, taking an online refresher course, or simply practicing at home, give yourself an opportunity to get those concepts back in mind before facing unexpected questions during the interview.

Clear Communication

While writing the answer on the board is an important part of the process, so is clearly communicating your methods and reasoning. Technical interviews give interviewers and hiring managers indications regarding how you think when faced with a problem. And their assessment is based on how you manage these scenarios in real-time. Strong candidates are able to keep their composure and articulate their reasoning as they proceed through the task.

 

This doesn’t mean that you need to speak to your approach with the ease of a well-prepared speech, but you do need to be able to manage it like a comfortable conversation. If you keep everyone engaged and maintain a professional tone during your interview, a few stutters and missteps won’t be your undoing.

 

Most people don’t spend significant portions of their day writing on whiteboards for other’s benefit. And writing on a vertical surface isn’t generally as comfortable as something placed on a table. However, if you begin your technical interview and your handwriting is illegible, then you may run into trouble.

 

Now, no one is expecting elegant script during these exercises, so don’t stress about the attractiveness of your handwriting. If it can be easily read by everyone in the room, you should be fine. Often, simply slowing down your writing can keep everything in the realm of reasonable, so just try not to rush.

 

If your technical interview met the criteria above, then it is possible to consider it a success regardless of whether you are selected. As with any interview, every time you repeat the process, you will be more prepared for the next one. If you are looking for more tips on technical interviews or are interested in new job opportunities, The Armada Group is here to help. Contact us and see what positions are available in your area.

Published in Staffing News
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