Tech Contractor

 

Technology has changed the workplace in notable ways, particularly when it comes to working remotely. This allows companies to explore opportunities to outsource certain tasks that don’t require a physical presence in the office, and this has given rise to contract work, especially in the tech space.

 

A significant amount of potential exists in this arena, including the ability to piece out larger projects and secure top talent in specific niches, something that would have been incredibly difficult to accomplish only a few years ago. Additionally, the approach allows professionals to focus on particular areas of interest, giving them more control over their careers and the tasks they choose to take on.

 

If you haven’t delved into these arrangements, here’s what you need to know.

 

Not Traditional Outsourcing

Many businesses and professionals maintain an antiquated view on outsourcing, assuming that entire projects or functions need to be offloaded for the arrangement to be effective.

 

However, opportunities exist that allow companies to break larger projects into smaller components, giving them a chance to secure highly specialized skills for a short period. It also allows multiple pieces to be in progress simultaneously as long as each part isn’t reliant on another. This can shorten development times significantly, letting projects reach completion faster than ever before.

 

Further, workers can concentrate on specific skill areas, performing tasks that only relate to their preferred field. For professionals who have a passion for a particular niche, this can be an invigorating way to structure their career, allowing them to get more value from their work.

 

 

Increased Access

When it comes to highly specialized skills, companies may struggle to find suitable workers depending on the availability of talent in their area. Similarly, a professional with a particular focus may not always locate positions in their immediate vicinity.

 

Contract arrangements, supported by remote work technologies, allow businesses and workers to connect even if they aren’t in the same city or even state. This gives both sides more access to what they are looking for, giving companies a method for overcoming skill gaps and professionals a chance to find the kind of work they want to do.

 

Classifying Tasks

In general, most work can be divided into two categories: core and non-core. While core tasks are usually assigned to full-time employees, non-core activities may be ideal for contractors, especially if the arrangement isn’t necessarily going to be long-term. This allows for more effective workflow designs and increased overall efficiency, especially when it comes to completing projects that require a highly defined skill set.

 

Ultimately, the benefits of contractor roles in IT means that they are likely to remain a viable option for companies and professionals for the long-term, particularly as the technologies that support these opportunities only continue to improve.

 

If you are interested in learning more, the team at The Armada Group can help. Contact us today to see how our expertise can help you navigate the world of contract work with greater ease and confidence.

 

 

Published in Staffing News

Full Stack

 

Becoming a full stack developer is no small feat. It involves learning a wide variety of skills and taking the time to master them. While many professionals think pursuing traditional methods for skill development is ideal, you can actually make a surprising amount of headway if you put down the reading material and learn by doing instead.

 

Why is the “learn by doing” approach ideal for many tech pros? Here are just a few reasons.

Beyond Information

When you choose to explore new skills through mechanisms like books, blogs, and classroom-style learning, you have the chance to gain a lot of new information. While what you learn can be valuable, it isn’t necessarily a practical understanding of the skill.

 

Working as a developer means you spend the majority of your time creating and not reciting facts. If you want to go beyond just knowing the information, you need to put it to use in a real way. Spending some time to sit down and actually use your developing skills allows you to explore them in real-world scenarios. You can see the results of your work and have the chance to learn from your mistakes.

 

Yes, the process can be difficult and frustrating, but the lessons you learn during hands-on experimentation often lead to bigger leaps forward than simply reading about them in a book.

Show What You Can Do

If your ultimate goal is to achieve employment as a full stack developer, employers need to know what you can actually do, not just what you seem to know. Companies need to see that you can take their problems and craft strong solutions, which is something book-based learning can’t demonstrate.

 

By taking a “learn by doing” approach, you can create a list of projects that actually show hiring managers your capabilities. And when it comes to choosing a candidate for a position, this will always yield better results. Even the simplest use of these skills means more to an organization than explaining how you have educated yourself through reading.

Support Future Learning

Learning by doing helps develop skills that make learning the next skill easier. If you teach yourself a programming language, the next one is often easier to acquire. Not only does a hands-on approach help you develop a system for pursuing new knowledge, but it shows you can manage the trials and tribulations that come with exploring new skills.

 

You also have the option of building upon your existing foundation by using skills with which you are comfortable to explore those that are less familiar. This allows you to focus on new subjects as a method for augmenting your current abilities instead of starting from scratch.

 

If you are interested in finding a new position as a full stack developer or want to find a job that gives you a chance to learn new skills on-the-job, The Armada Group can help you explore your options. Contact us and see what opportunities may be available in your area.

 

Published in Recruiting

9 Empathy

 

When you're searching for a new employee, you probably spend a great deal of time thinking about the skills the new employee should possess. Have you ever spent time thinking about the most important skill your recruiter should possess? Maybe you think it's a deep network of connections, or great salesmanship that turns your humdrum job description into the most appealing job in the world.

 

If that's what you think, you're wrong. The most important skill any recruiter has isn't the ability to create a deep network of connections; it's the ability to connect deeply with their network. Any recruiter can match the buzzwords and acronyms on a candidate's resume to the buzzwords and acronyms in your job description. (These days, it's most likely that recruiting software takes care of that task).

 

The hard part isn't matching skills; it's matching expectations, which are often subtly expressed or entirely unstated. But it's matching those expectations that leads to a match that not only looks good on paper but also feels good for both the employee and the employer. When it's only the technical criteria that are matched, there's often dissatisfaction on both sides of the employee-employer relationship, and the employee is likely to move on, unhappily disrupting their life and the employer's project.

 

Achieving the level of understanding that helps the recruiter match expectations as well as technical skills is driven by empathy. With that quality, recruiters are able to gain an understanding of the employer's work culture. They're able to take the employer's perspective and understand what's required to succeed in the workplace. This is more than how the company expresses its values in its mission statement; it's how the company expresses its values through its actions and how it treats its employees and its customers. An empathetic recruiter is also able to take the converse position and understand the employee's perspective and values. They're able to draw out the candidate to understand what motivates them besides an interest in technology and in earning a paycheck.

 

The recruiters at The Armada Group have been making empathic connections with employers and job seekers for more than 20 years. Contact us to learn how our empathetic insights lead to the ideal match of candidate and position.

Published in Recruiting

tech jobs hit highest

Today's world runs on technology, and right now is a great time to be a tech professional. Tech accounts for more than 10 percent of private sector employment, with close to seven million workers in the industry; there are another million self-employed tech workers. CompTIA, an industry association, recently produced a report that present encouraging news for those pursuing tech careers. Overall technology employment in 2015 grew three percent from the previous year.

Manufacturing Comeback

Even tech manufacturing, which had a decreasing trend over the past decade, experienced a gain in 2015. The largest gain was in computer and peripheral manufacturing, though control, semiconductors, and component manufacturers also increased their employment.

Core IT Services Dominate

But while manufacturing is showing slight signs of a turnaround, core IT employment continues to boom. The past five years have added close to half a million jobs to the economy. Much growth is driven by the rise in cloud computing, with the software-as-a-service sector adding more than 5,000 jobs in 2015, an increase of nearly two percent.

As the internet continues to be central to modern life, the internet is driving growth for IT workers in the telecom/internet services sector, with a growth rate of close to three percent.

Other industry trends influencing employment are the Internet of Things, mobile computing, and big data. Cybersecurity is also an area of high demand, given the constant rise of new forms of malware. Because of the challenges of keeping up with technical change, many companies turn to IT services for support, and as a result IT services experienced the largest increase in employment of any tech sector.

Wages Reflect Demand

Salaries for tech workers are growing along with the demand. Overall average technical salaries were $105,400 per year, an increase of more than a percent from the previous year. The average salary is twice the non-technical average salary. Within the tech industry, software's average salary was $142,500, followed by manufacturing at $108,100.

Take Advantage of the Trends

With the continued growth in technology employment, jobs are out there for tech workers with the skills and motivation to seek advancement. Explore The Armada Group's jobs list to see the opportunities that are out there, or contact us to discuss your background and interests. We'll work to match you to a position that gives you the chance to use your talents to their fullest.

will free online courses

Keeping current with technology is critically important if you plan to have your career last your lifetime. While some companies offer training in new skills, they may limit you to taking courses in the technologies they expect to use in new projects. If you want to pursue other interests, you need to develop your own course of study. Fortunately, thanks to the internet, there are many online training resources you can use to boost your knowledge.

Product tutorials.

Almost every software product, whether open source or vendor-supported, offers a free download version. Some may have limited functionality and some may expire after 30 days or so, but in either case, you can get your hands on the product and start exploring. In most cases, a search will find multiple tutorials to help walk you through building an introductory product, plus community forums where you can turn to get your questions solved.

Online courses.

You can find many online courses, some free and some at cost, at sites like Coursera.com, EdX.com, and Udemy.com. Online courses vary in their detail, complexity, and how much support you can expect from the instructor, so read class descriptions closely. In some cases, a series of online courses can lead to a certificate attesting to your knowledge.

Online degree programs.

More comprehensive than individual courses, online degree programs offer the equivalent of university study and lead to a degree granted by the institution. Earning a degree through online study requires a commitment to completing multiple courses over several years. Depending on the school, this can also require a significant financial investment.

Before pursuing any online study, think about what you hope to achieve so you can identify the best approach take. You may simply want to pursue a personal interest, or you may want to enhance your skills to qualify for new responsibilities at work. You may want to learn an entirely new technology to pursue opportunities in new, hot fields like big data and the internet of things.

When you've achieved a solid understanding of the technology and are ready to apply it at work, be sure to add it to your resume. Then bring your resume to The Armada Group. Our recruiters are skilled at matching job seekers to opportunities that will make use of all their technical abilities. Contact us to start putting your technical education to work.