Posts in Recruiting

leadership

What Does it Mean to be a Leader in the Tech World?

May 2, 2019 Posted by Recruiting 0 thoughts on “What Does it Mean to be a Leader in the Tech World?”

No matter what industry you reside in, everyone is on the look out for natural leaders. The demand is so high that behavioral interview questions sometimes settle on any form of leadership trait, even in roles that don’t demand leadership. The qualities of leaders and followers are a fact of science; a Live Science article quoted Richard D. Arvey, head of the department of management and organization at the National University of Singapore, who said, “Think of [genes] as working through personality, intelligence, cognitive skills and also some physical characteristics. All of those are involved and correlated with who becomes a leader.”

Problems can ensue from overly relying on a limited set of characteristics to determine what a leader is, though. Often times, we associate leaders with outgoing, forceful personalities. When a person doesn’t exhibit this sort of personality, we can be quick to dismiss them as passive bystanders. Rather, we have to look more deeply into what exactly the makeup of a leader is. There are various types of leaders. These leaders can be great leaders in one context and bad leaders in another.

Take, for example, Steve Balmer. His gung-ho personality can do well to inspire those under him, but when an aging company continuously fails to address its dirth of innovation(ie Microsoft), that same personality can play falsely on the ears of subordinates; you can’t always put a smile on continuous failure when there’s a lot at stake.

On the other hand, you can argue that it’s that energy that allowed Balmer to display his leadership skills when Microsoft was conquering the software market decades ago. An energetic leader can have a lot of success in a startup environment, where setbacks and pitfalls constantly threaten moral.

However, when a company needs to be rescued, a pragmatic leader can open up new avenues for revenue. Take Satya Nadella, who replaced Balmer as Microsoft’s CEO. Since his arrival, he steered Microsoft towards the lucrative cloud service business that has surpassed Google and Amazon. Now, Microsoft is valued as the richest tech company. Yet, the news is greeted with surprise. How can someone who doesn’t have a dashing personality perform such a feat? A Bloomberg cover piece of Nadella, written by Austin Carr and Dina Bass, sums up the stigma some have towards mild-mannered leaders: “It’s telling that Microsoft continues to instill such feelings in competitors even with mild-mannered Nadella at the helm.”

The sentence presupposes that a company will most likely not dominate its competitors if the leader of said company doesn’t have stereotypical leadership traits. The author of the article goes on to say, “His self-effacing, if not bland, style is what Microsoft, a bureaucracy crippled by egos and infighting, needed.”

It’s this context that truly made Satya an excellent leader for Microsoft. From reading about the way Satya comports himself through the highs and lows, you notice the consistency that he displays, another important skill that can sometimes be mistaken for blandness. His “self-effacing” quality is  a crucial trait in the world of tech.

Unlike other industries, advancements in tech may mean adopting a completely new paradigm in two years just to keep up with competitors. At the same time, a tech leader has to have the self-discipline to be able to know which rabbit to chase. All of these qualities can be part of the makeup of a person who is reserved, one who doesn’t exude the obvious traits of leadership.

When we understand the context that certain leaders can thrive in, there doesn’t have to be an over-emphasis on results. Amazon’s leadership page mentioned being “right, a lot” as one of the signs of a leader.

Leaders are right a lot. They have strong judgment and good instincts. They seek diverse perspectives and work to disconfirm their beliefs.

Though the following copy clarifies what it means to be “right a lot”, the message can be misleading. Yes, being right a lot is great for meeting personal KPIs, but how does being right a lot effect the team? Meaning, does the leader bully others to conform to their perspective, or did being right come from promoting a proposal from a subordinate? Those with dominant personalities may be seen as bad leaders when commanding a room full of smart people. Whereas, leaders who leverage the talent around them at the expense of their own ego may be seen as good leaders.

The point is, leadership ability is difficult to pin down in a single behavioral interview. Anecdotes make for interesting conversation pieces, but until you see how the candidate interact with your specific culture, it will be hard to determine his/her leadership ability.

 

 

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diversity in tech

The Need for Diversity in Silicon Valley

May 2, 2019 Posted by Recruiting 0 thoughts on “The Need for Diversity in Silicon Valley”

A couple of years ago, I attended a coding bootcamp for nine months. It was a regimented program that involved getting up at 6 AM, commuting for two hours, and then arriving at 48 Wall Street so that I, and other wide-eyed students, could code from 9 a.m. till 8 p.m. The bootcamp, with it’s ergonomic chairs and standing desks, looked like the stereotypical startup. It even had wall art. Up till this point, I wasn’t really schooled in the diversity issues associated with tech startups, though I was faintly aware of the statistics. At the start, my cohort was diverse across ages, gender, and race. Gender-wise, the ratio of men to women was nearly 1:1.

As time went on, the number of women in my cohort dwindled. This was a result of the assessment tests that had to be taken every three months. There were two major tests before the final project. If you passed, you got to move on to the next leg of the journey. If you failed, you were left behind. Another failure resulted in extermination. By the time I entered the finals, there were six others with me.

We were all guys.

It didn’t take long for us to call ourselves the Seven Samurai after watching Kurosawa’s legendary film together over the period of several lunch breaks. Kevin, the artist of the group, eventually drew a mural of anthropomorphic otters wielding katanas on a whiteboard. Looking back on my time there, I never truly paused to consider how much of a statistic we were. The lack of females aside, I was the only African American in the group. There were three Asians and three whites. My cohort was a snapshot of Silicon Valley.

It’s important to understand how damaging the lack of diversity in the tech industry is seeing that our world revolves around startups from Venmo to Uber to Postmates. On its rules page Twitter claims, “We believe that everyone should have the power to create and share ideas and information instantly, without barriers.” What this mantra doesn’t anticipate is that some voices have a disproportionate advantage over others, and that “everyone” is viewed through the white heterosexual male lens.

Facebook, according to its latest diversity report, specifically has a workforce that is 5% Hispanic, 3% Black, and 1% Other. This lack of diversity in Facebook and other tech companies can result in implicit biases that rear their heads in policies. Take, for example, Facebook’s real name policy that didn’t take into account the problem of authenticating Native Americans. A more diverse workforce may have grounded the policy before it ever had a chance to take off. Or the new Apple floor that was made of glass, not taking into account that some women wear skirts.

Lack of diversity can be far more damaging than poorly thought out ideas. It can affect how the majority handle minority and womens’ right issues. A couple of past controversies involving Uber and Facebook spell out the problems of a monolithic company.

On February 2017, Susan Fowler detailed the sexual harassment and subsequent discrimination that an Uber manager put her through. According to Fowler, Uber’s response to her complaints, to paraphrase, was, “just deal with it.”

After Facebook realized in 2012 that 83 million users on the social media site were fake users, they instituted the real name policy, weeding out what they considered “fake names.” Unfortunately, the policy failed to consider authenticating Native Americans whose names weren’t considered to be real by Facebook’s real name algorithm. This caused several Native American Facebook users–as well as several other marginalized groups–to be suddenly locked out of their accounts, effectively shutting them out of their digital social circles.

All of the cases share a common thread: under-representation doesn’t allow for a proper safety net. Everyone makes mistakes, but, as problem solvers, our job is to fix those mistakes. The point of this article isn’t to lambaste tech companies, it’s to point out the obvious disparity and to offer a solution. 

My mentioning the weeding out process that occurred during my bootcamp experience can be a good way to question how companies assess candidates. Perhaps white-boarding may not be advantageous to someone who had to self learn how to code and didn’t have the money to sit through advanced algorithm courses in college. Other students may not have had the opportunity to earn a Computer Science degree from a prestigious university due to poor economic backgrounds, barring them from the top companies. Perhaps, filtering systems can be modified to weigh experience over a degree.

Additionally, many would point to the pipeline of education as the root of the problem. There are articles that address this, including an article written by Roli Varma in 2006 called Making Computer Science Minority Friendly. The article undermines the pipeline argument because, as Varma claims, the “focus tends to neglect the persistence of barriers to entry and retention of minorities into CS.”  Instead, she focuses on how the education system fosters intellectual growth through faculty, advisers, and peers.

The pipeline argument can sometimes look like a punt. Though the education in low income neighborhoods should be improved through increased funding, we have to consider what to do with the available pool.

I still clearly remember the moment we, the “Seven Samurai,” went in to visit our Engineering Empathy counselor for the first time. Among our more diverse groups, we’d been talking about implicit biases and the lack of diversity in tech.

“That’s it? It’s just you guys?”

“Yeah.”

She needed a few moments to collect herself.

“I can’t believe this,” she finally said. “Wow.”

 

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How to recruit the Right Coders?

April 22, 2019 Posted by Recruiting 0 thoughts on “How to recruit the Right Coders?”

Whenever you have a job opening in your business you can witness a huge rush of candidates. Thousands of applicants gather there to try their luck in the recruitment drive. Of course, more than of the candidates are there just to try and nothing else. Only a few candidates are worth having and considering. But do you think it is easy to find out who is good and who isn’t? Of course, it is really a tough task to filter the right candidates for your business.

Moreover, you know there are plenty of problems that come in any type of work in a business. In case you want that your tasks are performed in the finest possible way and there stay excellence in all the tasks then you have to choose a right productive employee. You cannot choose a random person based on his college degrees or overall qualification. In case you speak of the area of coding, you might come across plenty of people out there ready to take a role in the business for coding tasks. But do you think that those fellows would be able to tackle with the day-to-day coding challenges in working space? Come on; there is no chance that everybody has that capability and ability to deal with the complicated challenges of present-day coding problems.

As you are an HR person or team, you could escape the core areas of a language or concept. It gets significant that you think about the options that actually matter. You cannot pick a coding individual based on their paper qualification or just going through their file of experience. You have to ensure that they have that magic and affectivity in their fingers to deal with the complicated coding areas and so on. What you can do is you can have the right tools and tests in your recruitment program to ensure that only the competent coders get place in your business.

Use pre-employment tests

There are various types of pre-employment tests that might be valuable in this area. You can use the tests and they are going to make sure that the correct and effective candidates get recruited. You can choose the finest applicants in the presence of the tests. These tests are designed in such a way that nobody can escape their professionalism and competence. The applicants will certainly get measured under the realm of these tests.

Specially designed tests

These coding tests are really core and proper. Professional designers design these tests to ensure that only the right candidates get recruited. The people who have been in the field of coding help the developers in developing and designing the test. Once you use the coding test in your business recruitment program, you can be at ease that coding skills are getting assessed by the test you have used. The test will put questions, situations and problems in front of the candidates that they have to solve and the way they solve it would say a lot about the depth of their capabilities and skillsets. Since these tests are designed by professional coders, you would never have to be worried about anything. Being recruiter you just have to conduct it and supervise the candidates and that is all.

Should the recruiters be excellent at coding for coding tests?

There are many people who feel that the experts would be needed to execute the coding test. Well, the thing is entirely different. Any lay person can supervise the test of coding. The coding test is easy to use and employ. The test would be all inclusive and the role of the recruiter would be nothing in this test. There would not be any coding related expertise needed at the part of the recruiters. In simple words the recruiters can easily conduct these tests. Whoever performs well in the test gets passed or qualified for the next round of the test.

Test is details

A coding Test includes meaningful questions on different core areas such as Core Java, C, C++, R, Python concepts, OOPs, Basic coding questions and much more. You can conveniently examine the coding skills of applicants by using the Coding ability test for experienced candidates too. Once you have a proper coding test, it would give you the results and you can decide based on it. The test is going to give you an extensive idea about where an applicant stands and what you can expect from them. And don’t forget that the recruiters can even evaluate the candidate’s completed tasks too.

Of course, during the other degrees of working too apart from the recruitment, these tests can be employed. In this way, what the employees or staff members are doing and how they are doing it all; everything can get monitored. Sometimes at the time of promotion you have to choose between various options. In case all the candidates have the same skills and qualification, it can get challenging for you to make a proper choice. But once you have a coding test to assess the coding capabilities there and then; you would not have to panic. The test would get you the clarity. All the staff members eligible for the promotion can be measured in the test and whoever gets the all-out scores can apparently get the promotion. In this way, you would have logic and substance to back your decision regarding the promotion.

Certainly, if you think that there would be partiality then too you are mistaken. In the presence of pre-designed tests, there is no type of partiality at all. The candidates can get picked easily and without any cheating. Once the coding test measures the basic and standard knowledge of coders, nobody out of the recruitment team can have a say. If a person has scored really well in the segment of coding test, nobody can stop him from entering the next level of recruitment.

Thus, you can think have tests like coding tests to ensure you recruited the right and dynamic coders for your business.

 

 

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GitHub

Do You Have To Be Active on GitHub to Get a Software Developer Job?

April 18, 2019 Posted by Recruiting 0 thoughts on “Do You Have To Be Active on GitHub to Get a Software Developer Job?”

Most blogs that teach you how to get a software development job will stress having a few projects available on GitHub, but do you absolutely need a GitHub account? This question isn’t as clear cut as it seems because technical recruiters value different things in a candidate. Some recruiters who only hire senior talent would probably focus on work history and white boarding performance. Others who have openings for junior devs may need more measurements that can adequately gauge the “readiness” of a candidate. In that case, having multiple repositories ready for inspection can make a junior candidate stand out among the crowd. On the other hand, a PhD in Computer Science and relevant research papers may make a GitHub account unnecessary to other recruiters.

TL:DR: A GitHub account isn’t necessary, but it’s a conversation starter. The game of interviews is a sort of Game of Thrones. You’re battling it out with other candidates vying for a single position. Being able to show a recruiter that you can write clean code and work with others can only be a bonus. That’s assuming that your GitHub account features polished projects and worthwhile contributions.

I often find answers like the one above unsatisfactory because it distills a range of opinions into a boilerplate answer. Though the answer may be satisfactory, I also like hearing from actual people involved in the recruiting process to see what they actually think. Here’s a conversation from Dev.to that I’ve culled to provide you a range of opinions.

 

Evan Oman

If a candidate is active on Github I like to check their profile to get a sense of what they are interested in and what their code looks like.

If a candidate is not active I don’t hold it against them, I just ask different questions.

 

Aleksei Matiushkin

I believe nobody makes a decision on the candidate based on GH profile only. But if Jean has one and John has none, it tells me that probably Jean’s more engaged in development in general and in open source in particular.

I like to work with people who love what they are doing.

Also, GH profile completely covers the write-code/whiteboard part of the interview. If the candidate loves to do whiteboard—fine, let’s do whiteboard

 

Kris Siegel

I like doing this but not as a requirement. Basically, if you have a project on GitHub, I can bring it up at your interview and ask you things like:

  • Why did you go with this arcitecture? Did it end up being ideal and could you have done it another way?
  • This code looks really interesting, can you explain it to me?

Especially when I interview senior developers it’s helpful to know how well they can explain a concept to a stranger as that’s a big part of their job.

But a GitHub account is never a requirement. It simply helps steer the interview.

 

Jaime Rios

Here is my personal opinion about why I’d appreciate some GitHub account and why I value organizations that do.

  1. A public repo shows initiative. Either you took the initiative to learn something or you built something and have the courage to share it. In the end, you did more than what is expected of you.
  2. Open source enriches us all. Think of Linux and the millions of servers deployed thanks to it.
  3. It shows initiative. It is a special kind of action. Most people only react to change. But to initiate it, is quite different.

Any organization that cares enough to take a look at my profile instead of the average white board test is the kind of people I’d like to collaborate with.

 

Bryan Swagerty

Personally if I’m looking at a resume, I won’t discount people with non-super-active github profiles, but ones with it stand out.

 

Joseph Michael Casey

A well documented public portfolio is a much stronger representation of what a candidate can contribute than anything else because it is literally the closest thing you can get to the employee working for you. A public portfolio with contributions to OSS and personal projects shows so much more value than a 2 – 3 hour interview ever can.

The current interviewing process for software engineers heavily favors code golfers, and this attitude leads to an industry where startups, after the release of Pokemon Go, chase AR for investment dollars on unused product functionality. It results in tech giants that say things like ‘Move Fast and Break Things’. An employer who values a GitHub portfolio looks like an employer who wants engineers deeply involved in their community that can also provide real world value.

 

Carley Ho

I know we don’t really look at them that much unless the candidate specifically pointed to it for samples of their work. Sometimes I’ll check and see if they have any cool stuff up there if they link it on their resume or portfolio site, but it’s extremely non-required. (Esp since, if you work for a private company that uses source control, most of your interesting work is going to be in private repos anyway, haha.)

 

Alistair McDonald

GitHub can be really useful to get a sense of what someone is learning, what tech they have used, to see their code-style, etc. It can be a good talking point, E.g: What made you choose this framework? Why did you architect things this way?

Having a good GitHub profile is just one aspect of a candidate’s ability, but it can be an important one.

I am usually involved in front-end/cross-functional candidate interviews. It depends what role you’re hiring for, but as an example: if an engineer has been working in the front-end for 10+ years and can’t walk me through a single code example from their GitHub profile, then that same information has to be teased out in other ways.

If you are going to interview for a job as a software engineer, it’s reasonable for your prospective employer to want to see an example of your work. Candidates that can show lines of code they have written and demonstrate a good understanding of what they did, will obviously do better than candidates that show nothing.

 

Anthony Bouvier

I do check.

But I don’t rely on it.

It is just another conversation starter for me. It shows me what they might be tinkering with, where their non-work interests lie in the tech realm, what they might be studying.

I don’t code review them or pick a part their pull requests to things. I don’t use it to stalk them and see code quality.

Just one more thing to have in a conversational interview (so I can skip stupid things like whiteboard coding).

 

Jake Varness

I just like seeing everything that people are working on nowadays. I think it’s fun to see what people work on in their spare time!

I don’t use it to make hiring decisions though. I like hearing about side projects and how people have worked effectively with a team in the past.

 

Ben Sinclair

When I’ve interviewed candidates, it only comes up if they volunteer the information. I don’t go searching for their usernames on github based on what I find by stalking them elsewhere.

So it’s the candidate wanting to show their work. If they came to the interview and I had no idea what was on their github profile, they’d be justified in thinking we either weren’t interested or had taken on too many candidates to allocate time for.

Like others have said, though, unless they have a pinned project which is evidently awful, nothing I see there is going to put me off, even if they only have a bunch of empty hello-world projects.

 

David Young

For me it helps connect the part of their resume that lists “technologies I’ve worked with” or “languages I know” part a bit more practically. I still take it with a grain of salt, but it does help when your dealing with a large volume of resumes.

For example if they list react as one of their skills and I see any react project, and I mean you could make a few changes to a generic create-react-app, I sort of know that at least this candidate does indeed know something about it and it gives us something to talk about in the interview.

Again, massive grain of salt, and if they don’t have any projects it just alters the line of questioning a bit. Also larger projects they’ve worked on could very well be in private repos, but it doesn’t take long to skim through a github profile.

Disclaimer that I’m biased towards this type of checking, because I had a built up github profile before I started applying for jobs.

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Three Ways To Advance Your Career As An International Software Developer

April 17, 2019 Posted by Programming, Recruiting, Startups, Technology 0 thoughts on “Three Ways To Advance Your Career As An International Software Developer”

Here are the 3 best practices we teach to young developers in our network as they begin their journeys as international software engineers.

1. Think About Time

Do you work with a lot of 45-year-old software developers at your current company? According to a 2015 survey on Stack Overflow (via InfoWorld), the average software developer is 28.9 years old. (Data USA puts the average at 39.7.)

While there are many reasons for this, the bottom line for many developers is that the window to fully develop your professional network may be limited compared to other industries such as the legal profession, where the average age for U.S. judicial workers (including lawyers) is 46.3. 

Sure, it’s tempting to take your excellent pay to go on every available holiday and let your friends know you’re living the good life on Instagram, but it also pays to take some risks early in your career. So take risks.

Risk joining a startup, risk starting your own project or company, or risk asking someone you’d like to emulate to mentor you. As the old adage goes, “Fortune favors the brave.”

While press headlines may focus on the Zuckerbergs of the world, I know plenty of developers who were early employees at technology companies you’ve never heard of that were acquired, and who have leveraged such experiences to leapfrog their careers.

So surround yourself with people who embrace risk. You can easily spot these people and organizations because they’re the ones who are constantly investing in new experiments.

Believe me, not many developers want to join the ranks of those who thought joining my first startup was “too risky.” That company is now worth over $3 billion on the NASDAQ stock market.

I believe the greatest risk for young developers is not taking any.

2. Use IT Outsourcing As A Stepping Stone, Not A Career Destination

In emerging economies, working for an IT outsourcer can be a great place to learn basic skills and get exposure to live commercial projects, but you may not want to think of this as a long-term career prospect. That’s because IT outsourcer culture can be one of employment arbitrage and not innovation, and learning to think like an innovator can widen your career opportunities greatly.

A 2016 Deloitte survey (via The Wall Street Journal) indicated that only 21% of enterprise outsourcing contracts had any “proactive innovation” built into their service contracts, although Deloitte found that number had risen to 43% in 2018 (download required). 

Obviously many innovations come from startups, so working on a startup project could be great exposure to innovation culture and give you the opportunity to put your own unique ideas into production code.

As well, I’ve found that IT outsourcers (especially large ones) tend to work on legacy projects and in legacy languages like J2EE. This can severely limit the types of jobs you can get in the future and rob you of the experience to learn new technologies or frameworks.

A common mistake I see young developers make is thinking it’s OK to work in the “safety” of a large outsourcing company because they and a friend are working weekends on their brilliant app idea. It rarely works.

A 2012 study by Harvard Senior Lecturer Shikar Ghosh (via Silicon Valley Business Journal) found that 75% of venture-backed startups fail, although other estimates vary. Think about that for a second — if founders who are dedicating their lives to their projects with VC money fail three out of four times, what are the chances that your unfunded side project will be successful?

For those that aren’t born innovators, developers can nurture an innovation mentality by working for a company whose culture rewards “outside the box” ideas and fosters risk-taking. That can be a fast-moving corporation, a VC-funded startup, or a bootstrapped group of hungry founders.

3. Find A Great Mentor

If you don’t have a senior coder that can take you under their wing and mentor you, please go ahead and work for someone that can. This is by far the single biggest difference I see between developers who simply survive from paycheck to paycheck and those that continue to increase their opportunities until they decide to retire.

Another common mistake I see young developers make is that they think $500 per month more in the short term is more valuable than working for a good mentor in the long run. In my opinion, they are wrong — good mentors are as valuable as a top university education. 

Look for mentors who are living the life you want and who espouse the values you hold dear. Just because someone made millions and drives a Ferrari doesn’t mean they’re a good mentor for you. And a good mentor doesn’t have to be someone that makes you feel good about yourself.

Think about your best professor or teacher from your school years. Was the person you learned the most from the nicest teacher? Did they challenge you and at times make you feel uncomfortable, or did they sing your praises on a regular basis?

Mentors come in all shapes, sizes and temperaments. You want to choose those that can most accelerate your career and help you train for your “career black belt.”

As Marc Andreessen once said (paywall), “Software is eating the world.” Just make sure you get your slice of the pie while your career still has teeth. Source

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In 3 years these high-paying tech jobs pay six-figure salaries

April 11, 2019 Posted by News, Recruiting, Technology 0 thoughts on “In 3 years these high-paying tech jobs pay six-figure salaries”

Earning a six-figure salary might not be as far from reach as you may think.

Entry-level positions for data scientists, product managers, and developers could pay $100,000 or more, according to a new study from Comparably, a website that rates workplace culture and compensation based on self-reported data.

In its latest study, Comparably analyzed the salaries of employees in the technology industry with three years of experience or less, which it evaluated from more than 8,000 employee records. The highest salary on the list was for the position of data scientist, which Comparably’s report indicates has an average entry-level salary of $113,254.

Comparably’s results share some similarities with data published by job search platform Monster, which listed web and software developer positions in its list of the highest-paying entry-level tech jobs.

The findings also underscore the increased emphasis on technical skills over traditional experience in the technology sector. Apple CEO Tim Cook even recently said that about half of the company’s US employment last year was made up of people who did not have a four-year degree.

See below for the top 10 highest-paying entry-level jobs in tech, according to Comparably.

10. QA Analyst

Average Salary: $70,383

A QA analyst looks for issues in websites and software and is responsible for making sure those problems are corrected, according to Comparably’s description. Duties and responsibilities could include conducting software audits and making recommendations for repairing defects, as a sample listing from ZipRecruiter notes.

9. Marketing Manager

Average Salary: $70,392

A marketing manager typically serves as the median between the IT department and marketing division, says Comparably. As is the case with many of the positions on this list, the day-to-day duties and responsibilities will differ depending on the employer.

8. Sales Representative

Average Salary: $70, 622

At a technology company, a sales representative’s goal would be to cultivate sales with potential clients, Comparably says in its description. This could entail giving presentations about the company’s tech products and services.

7. UI/UX Designer

Average Salary: $84,841

Employees in this role are responsible for a website’s user experience, including making sure that it adheres to the company’s vision, as Comparably notes. Responsibilities for a position like this could include designing elements like menus and widgets and illustrating design ideas through storyboards, according to a sample job description from Workable.

6. DevOps Engineer

Average Salary: $89,300

A DevOps engineer typically manages software development and automates systems, says Comparably. Testing implemented designs, handling code deployments, and building and testing automation tools are all duties that could fall under a DevOps engineer’s responsibilities, according to ZipRecruiter.

5. Sales Engineer

Average Salary: $90,575

The role of the sales engineer is to sell tech services and products through sales and technology, according to Comparably. In this role, you may be expected to establish a rapport with customers and potential customers to identify service requirements and prepare cost estimates by working closely with engineers and other technical personnel, according to a sample job listing from Monster.

4. Mobile Developer

Average Salary: $98,317

A mobile developer, as the title implies, works on applications for mobile devices. In this role, you may be required to design interfaces, troubleshoot and debug the product, and support the entire app life cycle from concept through post-launch support, according to a sample job listing from Workable.

3. Developer

Average Salary: $100,610

A developer designs and tests software, as Comparably notes. Responsibilities will vary depending on the type of developer job and the company. But a sample description from Indeed indicates a software developer role would entail writing, editing, maintaining, and testing computer software.

2. Product Manager

Average Salary: $106,127

This type of role usually involves planning different stages of a product’s development and rollout and then maintaining that product post-launch, according to Comparably. This could involve conducting market research, determining specifications and production timelines, and developing marketing strategies, says Monster.

1. Data Scientist

Average Salary: $113,254

A data scientist gathers insights by using tools to mine through large amounts of data, according to Comparably’s description. Employees in this role typically use these insights to deliver data-driven solutions to business problems, according to a Glassdoor sample job listing.

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Should you outsource or in-house your digital marketing efforts?

February 26, 2019 Posted by News, Recruiting 0 thoughts on “Should you outsource or in-house your digital marketing efforts?”

Digital marketing should be an exciting field for any company— it’s become a rapidly advancing, technology-driven sector, with scores of programs and software now available that can help businesses achieve their objectives and stand out against competitors.

What does 2019 have in store for digital marketing?

A strong digital marketing team is an asset to any organization, and although several experts are advocating that companies develop talent in-house, there’s a strong voice in the marketplace that cautions against it.

The reality is, although in-house talent has a very special place in the marketing department, there are many things that an agency brings to the mix that really help companies maximize their budgets and shine brighter than their competitors in the crowded marketplace.

“Companies need to strike a balance between in-housing for efficiency and agency partner that can increase their effectiveness,” OgilvyConsulting Managing Parter Lucy McCabe told Tech Wire Asia.

The argument for in-housing is short…

Costs aside, the argument for in-housing is short and revolves around the fact that marketing functions, digital or otherwise, within the business understand the company better.

Hence, they’re in a better position to not only create campaigns that better geared to resonate with the audience but also target their marketing budget on the various platforms in a way that is optimal for the company.

Put succinctly, that’s the crux of the entire argument favoring the creating of an internal digital-marketing team and alienating marketing/creative agencies.

A recent study commissioned by advertising platform Bannerflow claimed that 91 percent of brands have moved at least part of their digital marketing operations in-house.

However, that is not an indication that the respondents or any category of businesses are planning on taking all their marketing efforts in-house.

We started off this section putting cost considerations aside, but the reality is, businesses think about costs (and resources) first — and hence, acquiring talent to support the company’s marketing spends is growing as a result of their need to maximize results.

It’s like McCabe explained initially, there are certain advantages to having an in-house team run, monitor, track, and report on your marketing programs and campaigns, but there’s still a major role that agencies can continue to play.

To be very honest, speaking to various SME leaders and enterprise managers about digital marketing, the sense is that an internal team can actually amplify what their agency does rather than help save on agency fees.

… and it’s all about optimizing resources

“Partners like Ogilvy provide expertise in fields like customer experience, behavioral science, technology and data transformation, and innovation, where it is rarely cost effective to build a full level of expertise in-house and bring the experience of working with many clients and industries to fertilize new thinking.”

The digital marketing landscape is constantly evolving and there is always scope to leverage new technologies and skills to help maximize reach, combining new fields of science and technology to get exactly what a company needs.

Agencies are specialist. It’s their job to stay on top of what’s going on in the market. It’s their job to bring their “A-game” to wow the client and their client’s intended audience.

That’s precisely why in-house digital marketing teams must collaborate with agencies in order to get the most out of their marketing strategies. They need to work together in order to take their campaigns to the next level.

So, in such an environment, what is it that in-house teams need to do?

McCabe says that creativity is still the key to accelerated effectiveness and it is very difficult to build a thriving culture and capability of marketing creative in an in-house environment when it is not that companies core business.

Some of the biggest digital advertisers in the world, such as Netflix and Kellogg brought marketing in-house because it gave them more control of data about their audience and customers.

At the time Kellogg’s Insights and Analytics Solutions Center Director Aaron Fetters (now ExecVP at comScore) told AdAge that the company started off with in-housing as an efficiency plan — however, they slowly realized the power that data brought to them, which is why they moved to bring more of their capabilites in-house.

However, most organizations don’t have the talent to run such functions within the digital marketing teams.

For them, the best thing to do is to use in-house talent to manage customer interactions on social media, work on re-marketing campaigns, use social listening to tease out new product development ideas.

Further, the in-house team can use insights from all this activity to collaborate with creative and digital marketing agencies engaged for campaigns and help them to maximize the returns on the ad spend.

 

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Hiring a Junior Developer Isn’t As Bad As You Think

February 6, 2019 Posted by Recruiting 0 thoughts on “Hiring a Junior Developer Isn’t As Bad As You Think”

Experience is one of the most valuable traits in the job market–and for good reasons. Someone with more seniority wouldn’t need supervising and training. Rookie mistakes are not expected from someone with years in a particular industry, especially an industry like software engineering. Often, developers are working on mission critical tasks that can affect the future of the company. With all that said, hiring a senior engineer over a junior engineer seems like a no-brainer.

The issue is that there is a shortage of senior engineers, which means a handful of the best companies are bidding for the best talent. Though the idea of the software developer shortage has been claimed to be a myth, what many would agree is that there is a shortage of 10x developers. There was a great article, written by Yevgeniy Brikman, that tackled the concept of these seemingly mythical developers that you can check out in order to gain a better understanding of what they are. These developers are every HR  Manager’s dream. Their output supposedly matches that of 10 of your worst developers. They’re the sort of developers that encourage job postings desiring 5 years of experience with a framework that is only 2 years old, just to be able to attract said unicorn.

With high demand and limited supply comes cost, if we’re to follow the basic principle of supply and demand. It goes without saying that staffing an entire team with senior developers is expensive. In many situations, the amalgamation of talent produces results that offsets salary overhead, but there is always the risk of turnover and a new hiring cycle.

The question then arises, how can one keep talent that will allow their company to produce at a consistent level if they’re not the Microsofts of the world or the hottest new startup on the scene? For smaller shops looking to maintain consistent production, the answer may be grooming Junior Developers. Robert C Miller, one of the authors of the Agile Manifesto, wrote a blog post 5 years ago highlighting the lopsided ration of programmers under 28 compared to those over 40.

What he concluded was that the few engineers with 10-15 years of experience could act as mentors to a young crop of engineers, saying,

As a leader, that programmer can teach the team about principles, patterns, practices, and ethics. That leader can temper and curb the youthful enthusiasm that leads to premature decisions about frameworks and architectures. That leader can help to instill the value of refactoring and clean code, as a counterweight to the youthful thrill of gettingittowork. That leader can encourage the team to work hard for eight hours, and then to leave work so that they are fresh the next day. This would prevent burnout, resentment, the false sense that hours equals work, and the insidious dependence upon, and value of, heroics.

Robert C. Miller

The key to instilling this team-first mentality within the development team is to change the common conceptions associated with hiring junior developers.

Experience

While experience is king, it is important to highlight problem solving experience as opposed to language experience. A language can be learned in a few months, but problem solving is a skill that takes years to hone. Weeding out applicants who may not have X amount of years spent with one language can be futile if that same person then has to learn a legacy language just to maintain code that may be poorly documented.

What you want is someone who can understand business logic and juggle multiple priorities. When looking at a potential candidate from this perspective, a company can instill a growth mindset within the team that fosters exploration.

Impact

How can a junior developer contribute to the team? What impact will they have besides draining precious time away from senior developers? These are questions that can be dispelled by the fact that work culture affects the well-being of workers. According to a study conducted by the American Psychological Association, about 60% to 80% of workplace accidents are attributed to stress. A Harvard Business Review article written in 2015 cited that, according to several studies, positive interactions  between coworkers produces positive health results.

When junior devs are placed among senior devs, they have the potential of bringing a love for coding that may have been lost by some of the senior devs. The mentor/mentee relationships can build strong bonds between team members as senior developers may feel that their value within their company increase as they mentor up and coming developers.

Cost

The lost opportunity cost of having a senior engineer take time out of their schedule to mentor a junior dev may seem like a reason to never hire a junior dev, but the long term benefits should not be ignored.  A junior dev who experiences mentorship from great developers may then become an evangelist for your company.

As their network grows, they may be able to refer talented engineers to your company. More importantly, you create a talent pipeline that allows you to promote within the company. Former junior devs that were mentored well will most likely return the favor and mentor new junior devs.

In The End

This is not to say that a company must hire a junior developer. There are some business models–like those of software development agencies–that cannot practically train junior developers.

Also, hiring a good junior dev isn’t much easier than hiring a good senior dev. There is always a list of pros and cons to weigh before making any decision. The point here is that, to those who may feel that junior devs are unhirable under any circumstance, there are legitimate reasons for focusing hiring efforts on junior devs.

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Best-paying programming languages In 2019

February 6, 2019 Posted by News, Recruiting 0 thoughts on “Best-paying programming languages In 2019”

Wages growth for tech jobs in the US was stagnant in 2018, rising just 0.6 percent from 2017 to an average of $93,244 for the year, accord to Dice’s 2019 tech salary report

Average tech wages haven’t increased since 2015, when the average was actually higher than today at $93,328, according to Dice’s data, and that’s despite historically low levels of unemployment in the sector. 

However, there are a few specialized skills and roles that have seen higher than average growth, which could motivate some into making a career pivot. 

Dice’s survey of 10,780 technology professionals finds that 68 percent would jump ship to get a higher wage, compared with 47 percent who would do it for better working conditions, like remote work and more flexible hours.

As expected, the top-paying tech jobs are held by C-level execs and directors, whose average annual salary grew 3.9 percent was actually year to $142,063. 


Image: Dice

Salaries for software engineers grew 5.1 percent to $110,898, while technology strategist and architect wages grew eight percent to $127,121. 

Database administrators on average received $103,473 per year but wages grew only 0.2 percent. Meanwhile, web developer and programmer salaries grew 11.6 percent to $82,765. Even technical-support wages saw decent growth of 6.8 percent to $60,600. 

Average wages for software engineers grew 5.1 percent to $111,000, while app-developer wages grew 7.6 percent to $105,200. Other roles that paid between $100,000 to $115,000 include DevOps engineer, hardware engineer, project manager, and security analyst.   

Looking at the most lucrative skills, Dice finds that programmers using Google-developed Go, or Golang, earned the highest on average at $132,827, while programmers using Apache Kafka earned an average of $127,554. 

Besides Go, the top-paying languages, according to a list compiled by ZDNet sister site TechRepublic, are Perl, Shell, Node.js JavaScript, Java/J2EE, TypeScript, Python, Ruby, Swift, and C#. All commanded average wages of between $110,000 and $101,000. 

Skillsets where average annual wages exceeded $120,000 include Amazon DynamoDB, Amazon Redshift, Apache Cassandra, Elasticsearch, RabbitMQ, MapReduce, and SAP HANA.    

Some skills saw significant declines in average wages. The average wage for those skilled in the iOS graph design app declined 12.1 percent to $107,061, while wages for those skilled in Rackspace technology slipped 7.1 percent to $104,782. 

Others broadly defined skills where average wages declined by more than five percent but still exceeded $100,000 include infrastructure as a service, Pure Storage, NetApp, Fortran, 3Par, software-defined networks, Informix, Siebel, unified communications, Compellent, Glassfish, Sun, Objective-C, and IBM’s Infosphere Data Stage.         

The top-paying location is Silicon Valley, where average wages for tech jobs rose 3.2 percent to $118,306. Other cities where average wages are between $105,000 and $100,000 include Seattle, San Diego, Minneapolis, Boston, Baltimore, Portland, and New York. 

However the best cities, adjusted for the local cost of living, are Minneapolis, Portland, Tampa, Charlotte, and Seattle. 

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Have an Idea for an App? 9 Steps to Bring Your Idea to Life

January 29, 2019 Posted by Apps, News, Recruiting 0 thoughts on “Have an Idea for an App? 9 Steps to Bring Your Idea to Life”

Whatever you want to do, chances are, there’s an app for it.

By 2022, there will be over 258 billion mobile app downloads worldwide. That’s over 34 app downloads for each human on earth in the year 2017.

Consumer demand has spurred app development at an astronomical scale. Anyone with a basic understanding of programming languages can come up with an idea for a simple app.

The hard part is building it, marketing it, and selling it.

Whether you already have an idea for an app or not, here’s how to bring an app to life in 9 steps:

1. Come Up with an Idea for an App

Most app developers come up with ideas organically. They recognize a problem, then dream up a solution to that problem. Game app developers often have a game idea stewing in their minds for months before they take the plunge.

For this reason, you shouldn’t spend a large chunk of your time learning how to build an app if you’re just doing it “to build an app.” Your app should relate to something you’re passionate about. After all, you’re going to be working on this product for a long time.

Start simple. Start with what you know.

For example, if you love cooking, your app could help people in the kitchen. Do you build motorcycles? How about an app that lets people custom-build their bikes on their smartphone?

The markets for the most obvious app categories (finances, time management, etc.) are overly saturated. You’ll need to find your own niche if you want to stand out.

2. Know Your Skills

Developing an app on your own is impossible if you don’t have some understanding of programming. That’s why so many web developers and coders venture into app development in their spare time. It’s fun and they already have the skills to do it.

If you want to build a complete web app, you’ll need to know one of the following programming languages:

  • C#
  • Go
  • Python
  • PHP
  • Ruby
  • Java

If you’re building both the front and backend of your app, you’ll need to know database query language (SQL), as well. Of course, if you’re building a simple game, you may just need Lua or C#.

If you’re developing a native app, familiarize yourself with Swift/Objective-C (iPhone apps) and Java (Android apps).

These languages are the building blocks of your app. If you aren’t a developer but you still want to make an app, you could also rely on an App Maker for help.

3. Analyze the App Market

You should also look at the marketplace. Has someone already come up with the same idea?

If so, it doesn’t mean you have to abandon your app. Look at what your competitors are doing and see if you can do it better.

Nonetheless, keep this in mind: The Google Play app store hosted over 2.1 million apps as of 3rd quarter 2018. By 2020, the iPhone app store will host 5 million apps.

If you’re thinking about building a smartphone app, you’re entering an already crowded marketplace. Do everything you can to stand out.

4. Define Your App’s Functionalities

At this point, you should have a clear understanding of what your app is going to do.

Create a long list of functionalities. Erase the ones that don’t add value to the app.

What does your app really need? Will your users need to log in and create a profile?

If this is your first app, keep your list of functionalities short. Don’t try to create an app that does everything. Instead, create an app that does one or two things well.

5. Map Out Your UI Flow

Your user interface (UI) flow is a diagram that shows how users will interact with your app. Most app developers start with rough sketches, then refine their UI over time.

Flowcharts are often the best way to create this type of diagram. By the end, you should have a good idea of how a user will use your app from beginning to end.

6. Design Your Database

Depending on the type of app your building, you may not need a database. But if you need to save any kind of user information, like log-in credentials, you’ll need to store it somewhere.

Draw a diagram to map the relationships between every data type. Be sure to include any future features in your database plan. It will be easier to roll them out if you’ve already made space for them.

Again, depending on your app, you may need a more advanced database diagram. For example, an app that interacts with an API and pulls data from somewhere else will be more complex than a simple platforming game.

7. Create User Experience Wireframes

Remember the sketches you made in #5? Now is the time to fully flesh them out.

Your user experience (UX) wireframes will serve as the scaffolding for the front end of your app. In other words, they are what your users will see and interact with.

When it comes time to code, you’ll watch as these wireframes become living components of your app.

If you’re a designer, you can also design your user interface. You’ll have to make choices about color, font, art, images, graphics, buttons, and more elements. If this isn’t your forte, you can always work with a professional designer.

Don’t stress too much about how your app looks. It’s your app’s functionality that will make or break it.

8. Build the App

Now comes the fun part. It’s time to build the thing!

Before you start, remember that you don’t have to do everything from scratch. There may be existing solutions you can use to save yourself time (and headaches).

Ultimately, it’ll be up to you to decide what you need to code yourself and what you can import from elsewhere.

You should also make use of any tools at your disposal. There are myriad programs and service providers that can help you jump-start your app.

9. Test and Debug

Have your app developer start building the app for you. They should be able to send you the app (in progress) every week and you should be able to test and give them feedback. It is very essential for you to QA the app as they develop it, as this helps you control the quality, cost and timeline, and learn whether the mobile app needs some tweaks. You can involve your friends in the testing as well. If you come up with new sets of features during the development, discuss those with your app developer and get the time and cost estimate. If it fits your budget, get it done right away. If not, wait for the next phase. ore launching your app, you’ll need to run some user tests to identify bugs. You’ll keep doing this after launch, as well.

This is often the most stressful point in app development. You’re about to find out whether your app’s functionalities work and whether people want to use them.

But don’t expect your app to be perfect from the start. Even the simplest, most mature apps still have bugs. Yours will too; it’s how you respond to them that counts.

Launch Your Next App Idea

You started with an idea for an app, and now you’re ready to launch. Whether you’re launching an app as a business venture or doing it just for fun, you’ll need people to download it.

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