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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.

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

Why So Many Developers Hate Open Source

 

Open source may seem like the greatest thing since sliced bread to some developers, leading to the growth of a healthy and expanding community of highly involved professionals. However, some developers appear to actively avoid open source, shying away from the larger communities and avoiding projects that embrace open source code.

 

While it may seem odd that a highly skilled developer would give open source the cold shoulder, there are numerous reasons why this happens. If you are wondering why so many developers avoid open source, here’s what you need to know.

 

They Are Intimidated

Surprisingly, many developers are actually intimidated by open source. While starting anything new can be scary, many worry that they don’t have the right skills to contribute effectively.

 

This sense of doubt around their abilities leaves them fearful. Often, the idea of being criticized by their peers, especially those with significant experience in open source, makes joining these communities particularly daunting, and many opt to stay away entirely.

 

However, many of the communities are actually incredibly open. People willingly share their advice and are often more than happy to help. Typically, there’s a feeling of everyone facing a challenge together, but developers only discover this after they make the leap.

 

They Don’t Know Where to Begin

Another common issue surrounding open source is a lack of clear pathways on how to get started. Finding a point of entry isn’t always easy, especially because the communities are vast and many of the discussions are long-standing, filled with notes and contributions.

 

Figuring out where to start contributing isn’t intuitive. However, in many cases, the best approach is just to jump in and put yourself out there. Every contribution can provide someone with value, so there really isn’t a reason to wait for a “perfect moment” that probably will never arrive.

 

They Need More Support

While companies are asking developers to do more with open source, not all of them are providing their staff with the support they need. It takes time and resources to make the most of open source, so ensuring that workers have what they require is essential to success.

 

Similarly, many businesses shy away from open source until it is extremely well-vetted. This means, even if an employee finds an amazing solution, management isn’t open to discussing it unless it is already widely adopted. The lack of interest ends up discouraging some developers from diving deeper into the world of open source, creating a scenario where missed opportunities are almost guaranteed to occur.

 

Ultimately, open source options are nearly always worth exploring. However, developers need to learn to set their fears aside and simply jump into the conversations while companies need to focus on being open-minded about what these solutions could potentially offer. Then, and only then, will more professionals and organizations be able to realize the potential of open source.

 

If you are interested in learning more, the team at The Armada Group would be happy to answer your questions. Contact us today to speak with one of our skilled staff members and see how our expertise can benefit you.

 

 

Lying on Your Resume

 

When you are hoping to land a new job, you may be tempted to exaggerate about your capabilities, particularly if a role is just barely beyond your skill or experience level. But, if you lie on your resume, the chances of getting caught are especially high. Skilled hiring managers and recruiters know how to spot everything from small fibs to blatant misrepresentations of your abilities. And, once your falsehood is discovered, you’re usually eliminated from contention.

 

If you are wondering how someone you’ve never met can figure out that you are lying on your resume, here are a few ways that hiring managers and recruiters come to that conclusion.

 

Title and Duty Misalignments

Job titles often give an indication of the level of the position, allowing hiring managers and recruiters to predict what sort of duties likely came with the role. When the title and responsibilities don’t align, it’s typically considered a red flag, suggesting that you may have inflated the job title to appear more experienced or valuable.

 

Date Discrepancies

When a candidate wants to appear more experienced, they may adjust the dates on their resume to meet the position’s requirements. However, hiring managers often have access to resources that allow them to crosscheck this information, even without contacting your employment references.

 

For example, older copies of your resume may be stored in the company’s system if you’ve applied for a job there before. Similarly, your social media profiles may have different dates, indicating that at least one of these sources is inaccurate.

 

 

Education Issues

Many candidates assume that prospective employers aren’t verifying their education. However, many companies do, and finding out whether you earned a degree from a specific school is relatively easy.

 

A simple phone call to the college or university generally reveals if you hold a particular degree. Similarly, there are education verification services that provide access to the information.

 

That means, claiming a degree you didn’t earn will usually come back to bite you. Similarly, trying to misrepresent yourself as a person with a degree by showing you attended college for the required number of years, even if you don’t claim to have a degree, typically won’t work if having a degree is a requirement for the position.

 

Contradictions and Inconsistencies

Skilled interviewers understand how to put candidates on the spot, allowing them to assess the accuracy of a job seeker’s claims. In most cases, people who lie on their resumes will struggle to provide certain details or will accidentally contradict themselves, largely because they are making up the story as they go.

 

It is the hiring manager’s job to find the ideal person for the position, so it’s best to assume that they will try and trip you up to make sure you can actually handle the job. Usually, fibbers don’t fare well in these situations, as keeping track of a string of lies, no matter how small, is beyond the capacity of most.

 

Ultimately, lying on your resume is never worth the risk, especially because getting caught comes with serious consequences. Not only will you not get the job, but you harm your reputation, and word may get around about your choice to lie.

 

If you are interested in finding out more, the professionals at The Armada Group can help. Contact us to speak with a member of our knowledgeable team today and see how our hiring expertise can benefit you.

 

 

Published in Recruiting

Python Skills

 

When it comes to in-demand IT skills, Python is currently on a high. The programming language plays a substantial role in data science and data analytics as well as back-end web application development.

 

Based on the number of positions that require Python, and that demand is expected to rise, learning this language can help tech professionals secure more lucrative opportunities.

 

Some job seekers may be surprised at how many kinds of list Python as a requirement or preferred skill. If you are wondering whether learning Python can boost your chances of finding a great job, here’s what you need to know.

 

10 Jobs Python Skills Can Help You Land

While the top 10 jobs that favor candidates with Python skills are largely in the IT realm, there is a reasonable amount of diversity when it comes to potential opportunities. Here are 10 jobs where Python might be featured in the vacancy announcement:

 

  1. Software Developer
  2. Software Engineer
  3. Research Assistant
  4. Senior Software Engineer
  5. Software Engineering Internship
  6. Web Developer
  7. Graduate Research Assistant
  8. Quality Assurance Engineer
  9. Researcher
  10. Developer

 

Positions in the software development or engineering arenas aren’t necessarily a surprise, but some job seekers may be startled when they see that even internships may require Python.

 

Additionally, certain research-oriented jobs benefit from Python skills as well, particularly when custom software is needed to handle the associated projects.

 

 

How to Learn Python

If you decide that you want to add Python as a skill, you do have options for learning this programming language. First and foremost, traditional education is always an option. In some cases, Python will be featured as part of a larger degree plan, either as a requirement or optional course. However, you don’t necessarily have to be pursuing a degree to take a single class focused solely on Python, particularly if you are open to online learning.

 

You may be able to find a boot camp that either concentrates on Python or features it along with a variety of other languages. If you choose to go the boot camp route, make sure the company offering the boot camp is reputable and that you have the time necessary to complete the entire course.

 

For those who are already comfortable with programming languages in general, teaching yourself Python is also an option. There is a variety of resources, both online and off, and communities that can help you learn the language and improve your skills.

 

Ultimately, adding Python to your repertoire can be a smart move, particularly if you want to land one of the 10 jobs listed above. It can take a little time to learn, but is well worth the effort if you wish to pursue a career in any of the tech-oriented areas contained in the list.

 

If you are interested in learning more or are seeking new opportunities, the professionals at The Armada Group can help. Contact us to speak with one of our knowledgeable team members today and see how our experience can benefit you.

 

 

Published in Staffing News

Full Stack Developer

 

More and more companies are looking for full stack developers. These jacks of all trades have detailed knowledge of every software development layer, understand front- and back-end technologies, and can create fully functional products from prototypes.

 

Since it requires a substantial amount of knowledge to become a full stack developer, not everyone chooses to pursue the profession. That means those that do are in high demand, often commanding large salaries based on their robust skill set.

 

If you’re ready to increase your level of competency so you can become a full stack developer, and possibly land a six-figure salary, here are some e-books worth reading.

 

HTML5 & CSS3 for the Real World

If your looking to gain a strong foundation in web development technologies, this easy-to-follow guide is ideal for the task, providing you with the fundamental skills in two of the most commonly used tools in the world of web development. There’s hands-on instruction, ensuring you have a chance to get the skills down, and information about building exceptional websites as efficiently as possible.

 

Jump Start Responsive Web Design

Now that a smartphone is in nearly everyone’s pocket, websites need to display properly on more than just computer screens. This e-book provides guidance on using HTML and CSS to create responsive designs that will appear correctly on any screen, making it a valuable text for any would-be full stack developer.

 

Researching UX: User Research

Ultimately, a project is only successful if it appeals to your audience. This e-book teaches you about user research, including a number of techniques for collecting data, and how the information can help you create designs that are most likely to resonate with your visitors.

 

 

JavaScript: Novice to Ninja

JavaScript is a leading programming language, so every full stack developer should know how to use it well. If you aren’t already familiar with JavaScript, this e-book will get you up to speed, giving you the ability to add new functionalities to apps and create code that is easy to maintain.

 

Jumpstart Git

Essentially, Git is a version control system that allows collaborating developers to track cumulative changes that are made to a project, ensuring everything is centralized and accessible. This e-book explains the value of Git, as well as methods for maintaining control of both your assets and your code.

 

By reading the e-books listed above, you can improve your skillset and pave the way to a strong career as a full stack developer, increasing your odds of landing a six-figure salary as you progress in your profession.

 

If you are seeking out full stack developer opportunities or would like to learn more about the skills required to be successful in these roles, the professionals at The Armada Group can help you explore your options. Contact us to speak with one of our knowledgeable staff members today and see how our services can help you launch or progress in your full stack developer career.

 

 

Future of IT

 

Technology is a larger part of more businesses today than ever before. Emerging solutions and emerging trends have the potential to reshape workplaces across the country, freeing workers from tedium and allowing them to focus on activities that truly require their attention. To show everything the future of IT has to offer in regards to increased efficiency, here are some developments that are changing processes today that will continue to do so for years to come.

Automation

A technology that is quickly finding its home in the mainstream, automation gives us an indication of the future of IT and the working world. Repetitive tasks are slowly being taken over by automated processes, allowing employees to escape the monotony and concentrate on assignments that require their attention.

 

Automation also has the ability to perform certain functions faster, allowing for deep analysis of data in less time. They can also be more accurate than their human counterparts, allowing for more reliable results. That means workers can say goodbye to the mundane and businesses still get high-quality results. And that leaves everyone happy.

Collaboration

As IT becomes a larger part of many organizations, it isn’t surprising that there are becoming more connected to other departments in the companies. While tech professionals are often sectioned off into their own teams, increasing dependence on technology could mean IT workers will be integrated into the groups they support. Instead of a single IT department supporting an entire business, the finance section may have their own team of tech workers focused on their systems.

 

While a shift that large has yet to enter the mainstream, current activities forecast that it’s coming. Other departments are more involved in IT decisions that affect their work now than ever before, and this connection allows user requirements to be gathered with greater ease and suitable solutions to be identified more easily based on the cumulative needs of the entire organization.

Ubiquity

As automation increases the speed of locating and processing information and professional learn to work symbiotically with these new solutions, information will become more accessible than ever before. IT professionals will have the ability to view data outputs in real-time, ensuring everyone has the proper details, based on the most updated data, just as they are required.

 

This paves the way for the quick delivery of targeted technical solutions across the business space. Additionally, workers will have more time to innovate, allowing the strategic value of their actions to increase.

 

While this does require leadership to be comfortable with machines making certain decisions and handling a range of activities on their own, the potential to improve efficiency throughout the organization is certainly enticing. It will take time for some automated offerings to develop far enough to provide significant advantages, but we are well on our way to reaching that destination.

 

If you are interested in learning more, finding a new IT position, or needing a tech pro for a vacant position, The Armada Group can help. Contact us today to discover more about what we have to offer.

 

 

Published in Hiring Managers

Choose

 

As an IT professional, you may have tried to weigh the benefits between holding a full-time job or working on short-term contracts. While each can be viable options for your career, which is right for you ultimately depends on where your priorities lie. To help you sort through your options, here are some key points to consider about these employment opportunities.

Job Duties

Even if a full-time and contract position function with the same job title, the actual duties that will be assigned can be somewhat difference. Often, contract employees are given the chance to focus on their core skill set, since the positions are typically associated with a particular project or goal. This means you’ll spend less time on tasks outside of those core competencies, making it ideal for those who want to work in specialized positions without any excess.

 

Full-time positions often have duties outside of the core set. For example, software developers may be responsible for projects as well as providing a level of support to end-users and performing certain maintenance activities. This can provide a more well-rounded experience and may appeal to those who like diversity in their daily tasks.

Benefits

Most full-time positions come with a range of standard benefits, including health insurance, paid time off and retirement options. This allows you to coordinate multiple needs through your employer, and can provide a level of security to those who don’t want to manage these requirements on their own.

 

In contrast, many contract positions provided limited, if any, benefits beyond a paycheck. Depending on the length of the contract, you may have some opportunities for paid time off, but companies aren’t required to provide these benefits. Additionally, you’ll likely be responsible for managing your own retirement, healthcare, and even tax withholdings as a contract employee. You may have a chance to explore less expensive options for insurance or have more control over your retirement, but it will require you to be more hands-on than full-time employees generally have to be.

Workplace

Sometimes you don’t know whether a workplace is right for you until you are seated at a desk trying to get your work done. While full-time employees have limited options for leaving, often feeling they have to tolerate less than ideal circumstances for at least a year or so before jumping ship, contractors have a defined end date from the beginning. This means if the environment isn’t a great fit, you already know when you can head out the door.

 

However, if the company offers a great place to work, contractors might not have the option to stay regardless of how well they perform in the position. In some cases, you might be given the chance to sign on full-time, but that isn’t guaranteed. Full-time employees are generally hired with long-term potential in mind, meaning they can enjoy the workplace for as long as they choose.

 

Whether you should choose full-time or contract opportunities depends on what you value. Both approaches to your career have merit, so there is no inherently right or wrong answer. Instead, consider which advantages appeal to you most and whether the drawbacks are tolerable. Then, shape your career in that image. In the end, if your original choice isn’t the right one, you can always choose to change directions.

 

If you are looking for either a contract or full-time opportunity, The Armada Group can help you explore your options. Contact us today and see what is available in your area.

 

Published in Staffing News

Resume

 

It wasn’t that long ago that the recommendation to use bullet points on your resume became commonplace. The approach was considered a strong alternative to giant blocks of text, a method that was often more difficult to read and generally unappealing. However, the use of bullet points shifted from helping provide a level of clarity in key sections to the go-to style for almost every portion of the resume.

 

The higher amount of use isn’t a fatal flaw in itself. However, the way bullet points are used can cause problems. To help you understand why you should bypass the bullet point approach in some cases, here is an overview of the trouble they can cause and how to produce a better resume.

Unintelligible Data Dumps

Bullet points began as an exercise in brevity, helping professionals keep things simple and clear. Over time, many began using them for every aspect of their resume. This leads to a series of factoids being listed about your experience without any depth.

 

Often, there is little if any context for these short statements and explanations are essentially nonexistent. Instead, candidates assume hiring managers will fill in the blanks themselves, even though that typically isn’t the case. These resumes don’t produce a clear picture as to why you are an ideal fit for the position and can lead to being passed over instead.

Creating Context

To make bullet points work for you, they need to be combined with greater context. First, make sure to include a summary section near the top of your resume. This highlights key points of interested customized to the position to which you are applying and serves as an introduction. Then, make sure to include explanations on a regular basis. This can include quick overviews of each position before adding bullet points as support or highlight key skill areas and how specific experiences support your knowledge.

 

The idea is to use a combination approach of short paragraphs supported by additional points. This ensures you create a whole picture of how your career unfolded and why the hiring manager should be interested in the bullet points that follow. It also makes your resume more interesting visually as it provides some variation in the structure. When used properly, you can even design the document to drawn the eye from one section to the next, leading them along through the story of your professional life.

Making Adjustments

A resume is a living document; it is always in a growth period and will almost never be completely perfect. As you apply to jobs and schedule interviews, use any feedback that is provided to create a stronger document. Ultimately, a resume is a first impression. You should take every opportunity to ensure it is the best one you can possibly make.

 

If you are interested in a new position in your field, The Armada Group can help you find new options in your area. Contact us to begin exploring the opportunities available today.

 

Published in Staffing News
Friday, Jan 06 2017

How IT Will Change in 2017

Armada IT Changes

 

Employees with IT skills are still in high demand as unemployment among tech professionals remains low. Companies are raising their IT budgets and salaries are rising. On the surface, everything looks positive for those working in the field of IT. But there’s more to the 2017 picture than what you see at a glance, and IT professionals need to brace themselves for the change that is coming.

Shifting Priorities

Organizations are moving away from many of the traditional IT paradigms. Rising budgets are being directed towards cloud services and software development projects, and away from the usual maintenance associated with managing a large internal infrastructure. Even ERP is falling out of favor when it comes to making investments in a business’s technical needs.

 

Professionals who traditionally found themselves working in the areas of server maintenance and ERP projects may find it more difficult to obtain new positions. The landscape is changing, and these are the jobs that will likely feel the pain first.

Big Data Analytics

Companies still value their data. Being able to bring meaning to the wealth of data businesses collect is a highly desirable skill, and will remain so into 2017. Skilled professionals working in this field need to be able to do more than organize the wealth of data an organization may collect; they need to help others understand the information so that decisions can be made.

Software Development

As businesses begin to move away from traditional maintenance expenses, they are able to direct more attention to software development. Professionals with programming skills and experience will continue to be in high demand throughout 2017. And those whose skills can be used to promote the need for increasing mobility will likely find themselves fairly secure in their employment options.

Cloud Services

The use of cloud services is growing across almost every major industry. For many organizations, it is not only the cost-effective choice, but the convenient one as well. This means companies are looking for different IT professionals than previously. Having a thorough understanding of cloud operations and SaaS can help employees keep pace with the changes that are occurring. Additionally, cloud service providers may find the need for more workers as the demand for services increases across the country.

Security

Data breaches are still regularly making headlines, so it’s no wonder that companies are investing in IT security products and professionals. With demand high, and unemployment low, security-oriented tech experts see salary increases as businesses compete to secure the best talent available.

Mobile Device Management

The workforce continues to become more mobile as smartphone and tablet technology brings more computing power into the palm of your hand. With that comes a need for professionals with the knowledge and ability to manage this increasingly diverse IT landscape and help mitigate the risks associated with handheld devices holding significant business resources.

Be Prepared to Learn

IT professionals need to remain adaptable as the landscape continues to change. Those who are willing to learn new skills and adapt their current ones will likely find continued success as companies work to fill vacancies. Go ahead and roll with the changes; a new level of career success might be just ahead.

 

If you are interested in finding a new position or career direction, the Armada Group can provide the assistance you need. Contact us to speak with one of our professional recruiters about what positions may be available in your field today.

Published in IT Infrastructure
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