Remote workers rely on connected technologies to complete their tasks. Laptops, tablets, and smartphones are critical tools for those who don’t work in the office, allowing them to use the internet to access resources, submit assignments, and otherwise remain in contact.
All connected technologies can come with their fair share of vulnerabilities. Cybercriminals can exploit certain weaknesses, allowing them to access data or various business systems for a variety of malicious purposes.
Luckily, there are things you can do to help safeguard your remote workers and protect critical devices and systems from cyber risks. If you have remote employees, here are three things you can do to increase security.
When you leave for a new job, you are usually working on the assumption that your new role will be either a better fit or that it can help you advance your career. While this may be the case in many situations, sometimes you only realize that the position isn’t what it seemed to be after you start in it. If that happens, you might find yourself wishing that you hadn’t left your old job and wondering if you can go back.
While getting your old job back isn’t necessarily impossible, there are some challenges you may face. However, you may also come with some benefits that your previous employer will appreciate, which may make it easier to convince them to give you another chance. If you want to get your old job back, here’s what you need to do.
With the IT labor market getting increasingly tight, companies are having to compete even harder for top talent. Learning how to higher for these in-demand roles is essential. Otherwise, staying ahead of the competition will be practically impossible.
Here are 10 of the hottest tech jobs today with tips to help you higher the most talented professionals around.
Business Intelligence Analyst
When you review BI analyst candidates, look for individuals with experience in analytics, database technology, and reporting tools. Additionally, communication skills are a must, allowing them to share information with others, including less tech-savvy stakeholders, with greater ease.
Cloud Systems Engineer
With a cloud systems engineering position, look for job seekers with experience with popular cloud services, like Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, or OpenStack. A strong understanding of programming languages, cloud databases, automation, APIs, and DevOps should also be considered a must.
Skilled data scientists can help gather, process, and analyze data. Strong analytic and mathematical skills are usually a must, as well as experience with programming languages like Java and Python. Communication skills are also essential, ensuring they can collaborate effectively while in the role.
DevOps allows the development process to be accelerated. Skilled DevOps engineers have extensive experience with the methodology, as well as technical expertise in areas that align with their specific role.
Full-stack developers aren’t necessarily experts in every software development stage. Instead, they have a reasonable amount of knowledge in every key area, allowing them to perform reasonably across the board. Strong programming skills and knowledge of multiple languages is a must, as well as prior experience in all phases of development.
Help Desk Specialist
Help desk specialists need the right combination of technical and soft skills, ensuring that they understand the technology and can communicate with a wide variety of callers, including those without any technical know-how. The exact requirements will vary depending on your business, but make sure that soft skills are considered just as critical as technical prowess.
The right IoT specialist for your company will depend on your exact needs. There are multiple IoT disciplines, including connectivity, devices, analytics, platforms, development, and more. Focus on the one or two you will rely on heavily if you want to find someone who can help your company thrive.
Security professionals ensure your systems are protected from threats and remain compliant based on current regulations. Experience with security solutions, documenting failures and issues, compliance laws, and threat management are all essential.
From a technical standpoint, finding a systems administrator that is familiar with your hardware and software is often a wise move. Additionally, troubleshooting, recovery, patching, and upgrading expertise should also be on your list.
How to Hire for In-Demand Jobs
First and foremost, offering a strong salary and benefits package is a must. If your offer is not in-line with the competition, you will not be able to secure top talent.
However, you should not rely on compensation alone. Providing an environment where innovation is encouraged, professionals are given a level of autonomy, and opportunities to learn and grow are plentiful are also helpful. Making sure your culture is welcoming, and your workforce is diverse, can also make recruitment and retention goals easier to hit.
Find Your Superstar Candidates with The Armada Group!
If you are looking for high-quality professionals to fill your open jobs, the team at The Armada Group can help. Contact us to speak with one of our recruitment specialists today and see how our tech hiring expertise can benefit you.
When people think of blockchain, cryptocurrency also typically comes to mind. Mainly, this is because of blockchains association with Bitcoin, the cryptocurrency that soared to astounding heights as 2017 drew to a close and 2018 began. While there are hundreds of altcoins out there, Bitcoin is the one that was securing the most headlines.
However, after cryptocurrency mania peaked in January 2018, the market has mostly trended downward. One estimate suggests that $700 billion in market value was lost between then and now, showcasing just how far digital assets have fallen. While some of the losses are related to the high level of fraud in the cryptocurrency market, changes in investor sentiment and futures trading also played a role.
But blockchain isn’t losing any ground even as cryptocurrencies struggle. Predominately, this is because blockchain has uses outside the cryptocurrency landscaping, giving it stability.
Blockchain Isn’t Bitcoin
While blockchain allows cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin to function, it isn’t inherently connected to cryptocurrency. Instead, it is a logging mechanism, and it can be completely separated from the cryptocurrency world.
Even as cryptocurrencies falter, blockchain maintains value as a standalone technology. Bitcoin and all of the altcoins could disappear tomorrow, and blockchain could remain standing on its own merit.
Blockchain is a mechanism for logging transactions. It serves as a distributed digital ledger and can’t be altered after a transaction takes place. This makes blockchain incredibly secure and reliable when multiple parties are involved, leading to a significant increase in interest in the technology.
While blockchain has obvious connections to the financial world - being a mechanism that supports real-time transactions, even across borders - it also has potential in other areas. Developers could use it to create solutions for monitoring supply chains, logging real estate title transfers, tracking medical information, issuing digital IDs, protecting copyrights, and much more.
This means that blockchain has a significant amount of potential, allowing interest in the technology to remain steady even as cryptocurrencies lose their luster.
A Fledgling Technology
While blockchain could be a gamechanger in numerous industries, it is still a fledgling technology. Big name companies are just beginning to scratch the surface of blockchains potential, and new developments are almost always on the horizon.
However, the speed at which blockchain-oriented solutions may become available may be negatively affected by the lack of tech specialists who can work with blockchain. Since it is relatively new to the larger business landscape and there aren’t many formal educational options focused on blockchain, finding suitable professionals to develop new solutions is challenging. This is especially true when today’s tight labor market (especially the low IT unemployment rate) are factored into the equation.
Ultimately, blockchain will likely maintain its appeal for the long-term, even if cryptocurrencies become largely a thing of the past. Since blockchain has potential in some many industries, it may succeed all on its own.
Ready to Find Your Next Gig? Start with The Armada Group!
If you’d like to know more, the professionals at The Armada Group can help. Contact us with your questions today and see how our blockchain expertise can benefit you.
Ultimately, when it comes to staying power, not every programming language is equal. Some truly stand the test of time, remaining relevant for decades, while others enter the tech world only to disappear, hardly leaving a mark.
When you’re trying to determine which programming languages are worth the time and energy required to learn, selecting the right options can impact your career in significant ways. By making smart choices, you can get more mileage out of your knowledge while ensuring that your skill set remains in-demand.
No programming language is guaranteed to stay relevant forever, but certain options have more potential when it comes to longevity. If you aren’t sure which ones will benefit you the most, here is what you need to know.
Proven Programming Languages
Some programming languages have remained predominately stable when it comes to use and demand, even as new ones emerged.
Some of the other languages that have similar levels of stability include C#, Java, PHP, and Python. All of those languages are widely used, exist on legacy systems that have remained part of the business world over the long-term, and are even favored by some developers.
C, C++, CSS, and Ruby have also stood the test of time, and aren’t likely to disappear any time soon.
Programming Languages with Potential
In some cases, a programming language has the potential to make a significant mark on the tech landscape, but its staying power isn’t fully realized. On prime example is Swift.
Swift has become popular thanks to its association with iOS. As time moves on, it may even replace Objective-C.
Languages with Uncertain Futures
While some languages could prove useful in the world of development, not all of them have gained traction in the business world. In some cases, programmers really enjoy these languages but, without widespread adoption, they may fizzle out.
In some cases, a lack of flexibility hinders a languages capacity for growth. Others aren’t as user-friendly or simply haven’t been able to overtake alternatives.
One could argue that Go, Haskell, Perl, and R all fall in this category. While the languages aren’t inherently doomed, their future is mostly unclear. New developments could help them gain additional traction, but may also render them obsolete.
Otherwise, make sure to monitor industry trends to see if any new developments may benefit or hinder other languages and make your selections accordingly.
If you are interested in learning more or are looking for a new position, the professionals at The Armada Group can help. Contact us today to see how our services can benefit your career.
The unemployment rate among tech professionals has been falling for years and currently rests at 2.8 percent based on third quarter data from, 2016. This continues the trend of lower unemployment rates among those working in the IT field when compared to the current average rate of 4.9 percent. That makes the job market particularly favorable to those who possess certain IT-related skills.
Couple the current market conditions with feelings of being underappreciated, underpaid or operating in underfunded departments, and you may find your top-performing tech professionals heading towards the door in 2017.
The remarkably low unemployment rate in IT job classifications suggests strength in the industry. As more companies look to add IT professionals to their staff, partially due to the increased use of big data analytics, mobile technology, and cloud-based solutions, competition for the most talented workers in the field is fierce.
Professionals feel confident in their ability to find other opportunities, a distinct contrast to the job climate during the recession, and makes them more inclined to explore their options. As other employers raise salaries and benefits to help attract new talent, the job market becomes even more attractive.
Rise of the Gig Economy
Voluntary quits during the past year have also remained high. While some of this is attributed to better opportunities becoming available in the sector, the rise of freelancing opportunities and the gig economy leads some to turn away from traditional employment for more flexible options.
Technical skills relate well to the idea of working remotely, as many tasks can be completed without direct face-to-face interaction with one’s supervisor or co-workers. In some cases, projects can be handled independently, eliminating the need for the support of a larger team. For employees looking to have more control over their career and personal life, these options are highly attractive.
As the landscape changes, it is critical for business’ to reconsider their current offerings and hiring practices. Not only do salary offerings need to be competitive in your area and the position being filled, you also need to explore benefits options that are attractive to today’s IT professionals.
While basics like medical insurance and retirement are expected in most cases, other offerings also attract attention. Flexible scheduling will interest those looking achieve a better work-life balance. The option to work remotely not only appeals to those with a demanding home life, it also allows you to recruit outside of your local area.
Opportunities for education and advancement are also relevant to professionals who are looking to grow within the field. By providing a structure that allows them to reach their career goals, you can see improvements in recruitment and employee retention over the long term. Add a mentorship program for employees to help them gain experience on the job, and you have a winning combination.
The Armada Group can help you locate top talent and develop strategies to retain your current tech professionals. Reach out to us today to speak with one of our professional recruiters about your current hiring needs.
Future-proofing your career – making it last a lifetime – requires keeping an eye on technology trends. Develop skills in an emerging technology area and you'll have the satisfaction of working with innovative technology and inventing new products, as well as being in high demand and receiving high levels of compensation. These are the tech areas that are just starting to take off now.
Internet of Things
Internet of Things (IoT) devices—small, sensor-based devices that transmit data and receive instructions over the internet—are everywhere. Whether in homes with smart alarm systems, smart thermostats and smart light bulbs, manufacturing plants where connected devices control industrial process, or hospitals where smart pumps deliver medicine, they offer convenience and control critical services.
Wearables, which include smart watches, fitness trackers and Google glasses, combine aspects of mobile technology and IoT applications. Companies are starting to incorporate these devices into their business processes, especially in locations where hands-free access is important.
Autonomous cars rely on the Internet of Things as well as artificial intelligence methods to drive safely on streets and highways. Although they're not yet ready for consumer use, there's widespread commitment to developing them; Google's efforts get much media attention, many startups as well as the established automobile manufacturers are working on the problems.
Big Data and Analytics
All of these new devices, plus all of the new online interactions people have on social media and websites, are deluging companies with massive amounts of data. There's a big push to move beyond collecting and storing information to making it useful through sophisticated analytics processes. Companies hope to find insights in the data that give them a competitive advantage, so the engineering, programming, and analytical skills that can uncover that value are in top demand.
Plan your career with the long term in mind. The opportunities in these areas offer technology workers in all roles – developer, designer, engineer, tester, support – the opportunity to work on projects that will shape the future. Check out the opportunities in The Armada Group’s jobs database and contact us to connect with a recruiter who can help set you on your lifetime career path.
Everybody has a smartphone in their pocket. Wearable devices like the Apple Watch and FitBit sell millions of units every quarter. Even without counting all the tablets and computer-tablet hybrids, it's obvious mobile computing is a hot market.
Because it's hot, it's a great area to focus your career. But it's also a very dynamic area, with lots of ongoing transformation. Keep the following impacts in mind as you prepare for your next mobile computing career move.
Java is still the best language to know.
Knowing a general purpose computing language is still the best development language. While knowing Objective-C or Swift are helpful for iOS development, in reality, most developers use cross-platform tools rather than platform-specific languages.
Android or iOS?
Neither one truly dominates, though the Windows mobile environment trails far behind. Their reality is that most apps will be written to run on both platforms. It's more important to understand how to design an app that works well on both the desktop and mobile platforms than focusing on a specific mobile platform.
Enterprise applications explode.
Mobile computing isn't just about games and texting. Tablet applications give field personnel access to all the corporate data, simplifying how workers conduct business while out of the office. Apps that meet corporate compliance standards will be big. So will apps that track what workers do while they're out of the office.
Non-human users dominate.
Think the age of machines is already here? It's just getting started as the Internet of Things comes online. Smarthomes with smart thermostats, smart plant-watering systems, and smart lightbulbs are just part of it. The bigger part of the IoT will be the industrial Internet of Things, where devices in factories, offices, and fields communicate and coordinate commercial operations.
Mobile payments will change commerce.
Apple Pay was just the first of several mobile payment technologies to roll out. Security issues still remain, but the growth of near field communication technology makes it a given that e-Pay will continue to grow.
Larger phones mean apps can do more.
The trend to bigger screen sizes means that apps aren't as limited by screen real estate. Mobile apps will be expected to behave more like desktops. New screens with sensors that react to how hard users touch, rather than just whether they touched, will create new ways of interacting with apps.
In Silicon Valley, the IT job market is hypercompetitive. Startups hoping to be the next Google, Facebook, or Snapchat use a wide range of tactics designed to give them a shot at snagging top engineering talent — the skills that can make or break a technical company, and mean the difference between billions and bust.
But the latest play in the engineering talent wars, being launched by startup Weeby.com, embraces a radically different philosophy from typical Valley tech startups. Instead of luring in talent with the promise of world-changing tech and substantial equity that will theoretically make them millionaires if their hard work pays off, Weeby.com is offering to make engineers millionaires from the start — by paying them a million dollars for their first four years of work.
The strategy: A transparent and “backwards” pay structure
Weeby’s salary structure represents a near-complete reversal of traditional Silicon Valley startups. While other companies establish ultra-low startup salaries and rely on finding passionate engineers who believe in the founder’s vision, Weeby.com intends to pay their talent like they’re already superstars, right from the gate.
The company’s founder, Michael Carter, believes that even the average market range salary of $111,000 for engineers in Silicon Valley isn’t enough. The Valley is one of the most expensive real estate markets in the world, and employees at a very low six-figure income still worry about making mortgage payments and raising families. At usual startup salaries, which can run $50,000 to $75,000 plus equity, those worries become serious concerns — and drive top talent straight to higher-paying doors like Facebook and Google.
The restructured compensation at Weeby begins with a base salary that’s at least $100,000 and commensurate with experience — always more than what engineers were previously paid. Engineers are then given performance-based monthly bumps of $10,000 until they reach $250,000. At that point, the monthly raises continue on a smaller scale, but ultimately the salary amounts to $1 million in four years.
In addition, Weeby is offering up to four times more equity than Silicon Valley startups of similar size, in a structure that will have employees collectively owning more of the company than its biggest investor.
The opposition: Higher salaries will attract mercenaries
Not everyone in Silicon Valley agrees that paying engineers higher-than-market rates is a smart idea, especially for startups. In an interview with CNet, Y Combinator president Sam Altman called the strategy “a horrific idea,” saying that if a company is known for paying huge cash salaries, they’ll end up attracting terrible cultural fits. Altman adheres to a more traditional view, stating that startups should recruit an initial batch of core employees who are “maniacally dedicated” to the company’s vision and products, and believe they’re working for a purpose that is bigger than themselves.
Three-time Silicon Valley founder Steve Newcomb, in the same interview, asserted that paying exorbitant salaries can harm a startup company’s reputation before they get off the ground. “If you have to pay people more money than market to come work for your company, then that’s a statement of the value of your product and the value of your company,” Newcomb said — also mentioning that above-market salary investments could upset investors.
However, Weeby’s investors are on board with the strategy, including Karl Jacob, who served as an advisor to Mark Zuckerberg’s six-man board during Facebook’s early days. Carter hopes that the idea of paying top engineers what they’re truly worth will spread, and more Valley startups will be able to build superstar teams that can change the world — and still get paid.
“Silicon Valley’s about getting a great team together and trying new things,” Carter said. “When you do something for the first time, it allows you to approach something with a fresh eye, [and] sometimes, you get a result like Google, Facebook, or Snapchat.”
Hiring managers must work within their budgets to hire the staff their companies need in order to remain productive and competitive. Once you’ve determined a need for acquiring talent, the next important question is often whether you should hire a permanent employee, or a contractor.
Each choice comes with advantages and disadvantages. When making this decision, it’s important to understand the needs and core requirements of the position you’re hiring for, and know which type of employment arrangement will be a better fit for both your organization, and the candidate.
What full-time employees can offer
Depending on the type and responsibilities of the position you’re filling, hiring a new permanent employee can allow you to strengthen your organization and improve overall productivity and performance. Some of the advantages of full-time employees include:
- Collaboration: Employees typically work from a central location, enabling your company to foster collaboration and connectivity among staff
- Communication: Most full-time employees share similar work hours, which improves organizational communication
- Long-term productivity: With a full-time employee, the company receives continuous output by dictating all or most of the employee’s assignments and work projects
When should you consider a contractor?
Independent contractors can benefit your organization in a variety of situations. Hiring a contractor is typically a better choice when:
- You’re hiring for a project with a set start and end date
- Your company’s current employees can’t handle the entire project workload
- The current project has tight deadlines for deliverables
- You need temporary, specialized skills or expertise on a project basis, but not for day-to-day company operation
Hiring considerations for independent contractors
Before you begin searching for a contractor, confirm that you have the proper approval for hiring more staff. With project work that requires a contractor, determine your budget ahead of time, and include the target bill rate for the contractor in your calculations. Depending on the type of contractor you need, you may have to adjust your budget and the expectations of management prior to looking for talent.
Armada provides real-time, accurate snapshots of your local market conditions that will help you gauge supply and demand for specific IT employees, both permanent and contract. Accurate data on direct hire salaries and hourly rates can help you create an effective budget for your staffing needs. Contact us today to learn more.