For all the supposed logic required to program, choices of programming language are often fickle. Industry trends mean languages rise and fade in popularity. Even languages you may think are dead are not; COBOL still powers 70 to 80 percent of business transactions.
The language Ruby isn't nearly as old as COBOL and never reached its level of acceptance, but after a spurt of popularity in the first decade of the century, its usage dropped due mostly to performance concerns. Now, usage surveys show Ruby is rising again. Why?
Ruby on Rails supports web development.
Ruby underlies the Ruby on Rails web development framework. With many third-party libraries available, companies that use Ruby on Rails are able to develop websites quickly and easily, plus support them effectively. Since every business depends on its online presence, those characteristics make Ruby an appealing choice for development.
Ruby is interpreted.
In slower environments, the interpreted nature of Ruby could contribute to performance problems. On fast modern hardware, using an interpreted language eliminates the need for compiling code. That makes working with Ruby quicker and easier. Given the drive towards agile development, eliminating unnecessary steps that slow things down is very appealing.
Ruby has a strong community.
There's an established community that creates resources companies can leverage to make creating Ruby applications even easier. The many frameworks and libraries mean less need to write code from scratch and faster development. There's solid documentation, plus active forums where developers can get help resolving problems; Ruby has large StackOverflow and Meetup communities. All of that reassures businesses that they're not on their own if they choose Ruby.
Ruby is cross-platform.
Companies can use RubyMotion to write cross-platform applications that run on both iOS and Android mobile devices. This means developers don't need to learn special languages and tools to create mobile apps, letting companies use their developer resources more efficiently.
Ruby is easy to learn.
Because finding technically qualified employees is so difficult, companies need to invest in training their own staff. They want this investment to pay off quickly. Ruby is easy to learn, so companies that develop in Ruby can easily grow staff who can contribute to these projects. As an easy-to-learn language that makes it easy to prototype, Ruby offers companies a great way to make progress fast.
Looking for a Ruby job or Ruby developers? The Armada Group knows who has the skills and who needs them. Whether you're a Ruby developer or you want to hire one, contact us to talk to a recruiter who can connect you to Ruby careers and Ruby professionals.
Some interview questions are unique. "If you could have any superpower, what would it be?"
Some interview questions are routine. "Why did you leave your last job?"
Despite their being so different in form, both questions have a common purpose. They are meant to help the interviewer understand your motivations and desires and to help them judge whether you will fit in.
Questions like the first are hard to prepare for – they're so non-standard, they're unexpected, and it's hard to know how someone will react to anything you say – but there's no excuse for not being prepared for the second. Your answer has to be fact-based (because a potential employer can verify your answer), it needs to feel truthful to you (so you can state it with confidence), and it needs to reassure the interviewer that your rationale for leaving was appropriate.
No matter what your reason for leaving was, there are ways to shape your answer to this question that make it positive. Use the following examples as a guideline for answering this question:
• I was laid off. The company had layoffs, and unfortunately I was one of the people who were affected.
• I was bored. I went into the job hoping to accomplish A,B,C (or learn X,Y,Z), and I was able to do that. Now I'm looking for a role where I can achieve D,E,F (or work with technology Q,R,S).
• There was too much production support. The company had a lot of other issues that kept us from focusing on building the product.
• Politics got in the way. I'm really excited by the opportunity to develop and ship a product. Because of management changes at my former employer, we weren't able to focus on delivery.
• It was disappointing in every way imaginable and I escaped as fast as I could. I knew very quickly that the situation wasn't the right fit for me. I could have stayed but I wouldn't have been doing my best, which wasn't fair to either me or my employer. By moving on, I can find a position where I can contribute fully, and they can find an employee who will contribute what they need.
Volunteering is good for your community, and it's good for you. Volunteers often improve their physical and mental health. Volunteers get to meet new people and make new friends, an expanded network that can help in your job search. Volunteering can help you improve your social and relationship skills, which can be important in succeeding at interviews, and also once you're hired. If you work in technology, volunteering can also improve your technical skills, which helps you get hired.
Volunteer for Open Source Projects
You can find projects at Github or Apache. Choose a project in an area you're familiar with, or one where you want to develop new skills. If you don't want to write code after a day programming at the office, you can still contribute to the Wiki by writing other documentation, or running tests to make bugs reproducible.
Volunteer for Industry Organizations
Small technical groups and meetups are run completely by volunteers; even larger organizations with professional staff need volunteers to help run events. You can organize an event around a topic you're interested in and lead a small discussion session. Public-speaking ability is often necessary if you want to move up the management ladder, and tech society meetings are generally supportive environments for practicing these skills.
Volunteer for Your Kids' Schools
Schools often need help setting up and overseeing their technology, as well as helping teachers and kids use it. One great advantage of volunteering at the school your kids attend is that you get to know the teachers and administration better, and understand the challenges they face.
Volunteer for Projects You Care About
You can also bring your IT skills to nonindustry groups. Rather than contributing money to support a cause, contribute your IT skills. You can help a nonprofit upgrade its network, develop its website or write programs to analyze data it collected. Or spend time working with underprivileged youth, as a Big Brother or Big Sister. Let them see that technology is fun and open their eyes to the career opportunities. Using your IT ability to inspire someone else to dream of a brighter future may be the most meaningful contribution you can make on or off the job.
If your search for a permanent position isn't progressing as quickly as you'd like, you should consider taking a temporary position. Besides the immediate benefit of filling a hole in your wallet, a short-term job can also help you find a long-term role. Here are five ways a temp job works to your advantage during your job search.
1. Having a temporary job on your resume can be better than having a long gap that needs to be explained. The temporary role lets you demonstrate that you're serious about working. If you hold the temporary position for more than a few days, it also demonstrates professionalism and commitment.
2. If you aren't sure exactly what you want to do, taking a temp job lets you try out a position without either you or the employer expecting a commitment. If it turns out not to be the right job for you, you can move on and try another type of job. If the role is a good fit, you'll have directly relevant experience to list on your resume and emphasize in interviews for permanent jobs.
3. You may be able to turn the temp job into a permanent position. Sometimes companies hold out the possibility of a job becoming permanent, when it's listed as a temp-to-perm position. Even if the specific position you're working in can't become permanent, you'll have contacts within the company who can let you know when there are permanent positions available. If the manager who oversaw your temp work recommends you, you'll be in a stronger position than unknown external candidates.
4. The contacts you build can also serve as references when you apply for a job with another company. References who've seen you recently and can speak to your recent work help you make a positive impression anywhere you apply. They may also have contacts elsewhere in the industry and be able to recommend you for opportunities they become aware of.
5. Your temp job may let you develop new skills or become more adept at skills you already have. Being able to cite real-world usage of these skills during an interview is much more impressive than book-learned skills you've never put to work.