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Many professionals worry that certain technologies will make their skills obsolete. News about advancements involving artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, and automation often suggests that workers in certain jobs are at risk of being replaced by technology, leaving many nervous about the future of their career.
While these technologies are indeed becoming more robust, robots aren’t coming for most jobs any time soon. If you are wondering if your job is at risk, here’s why you should breathe easy in 2019.
Automation Isn’t Always a Job Eliminator
The amount of automation present in the business world is undoubtedly increasing. However, that doesn’t mean the technology is costing people their jobs, at least not yet.
Today, not every task an employee handles can be easily automated based on the current state of the technology. When automation does change how a job is performed, it is typically used to handle highly repetitive and tedious tasks. Duties that require problem-solving, creativity, or personal judgment just can’t be handled by machines at this point in time.
In reality, jobs are rarely completely eliminated from the economy. For example, 250 jobs were included on a list from the U.S. Census Bureau in 1950. Of those 250, only one is entirely gone: elevator operator. The likely reason it disappeared is because one of the core functions – getting people to differently floors – can be handled with technology. Plus, the side duties – greeting visitors and telling people how to get to their destination – could be delegated to other employees, like receptionists.
Technology’s Impact Isn’t Always Fast
While technology itself can change quite rapidly, its impact on the job market isn’t always a quick. When a new process, solution, or machine is created, it isn’t adopted universally on day one. Instead, some companies may be early adopters. Others wait to see what happens for those businesses before considering the change. Finally, a portion resists the change entirely.
It is common to assume that workplaces evolve at a rapid pace, but that doesn’t reflect reality. Organizations don’t embrace every emerging technology, and some are incredibly slow about exploring new options. It is more likely that some early adopters will introduce a technology slowly, allowing it to play a role in a small segment of the company as a test, as well. Rarely will they go all in right from the beginning.
The fact that technology changes how work is done can’t be disputed. However, the pace is much slower than many realize. While certain jobs could be at risk of disappearing thanks to technologies like AI and automation, it will probably take longer than the news stories would have you believe.
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The cannabis industry has grown substantially over recent decades. An increasing number of states have legalized medicinal marijuana, 10 states already allow recreational marijuana, and many other states have legislation in the works that may result in recreational or medicinal cannabis legalization.
While the cannabis industry is continuing to grow, it also faces unique challenges. Cannabis-related products are still illegal on a federal level, and the financial portions of cannabis-oriented operations can be hard to manage. Additionally, as demand increases, supply issues can occur.
Further, since the cannabis industry is still highly controversial, many IT solutions providers have avoided getting involved with businesses in this arena. Similarly, tech creators aren’t focusing on the industry, limiting the development of new products that could help this sector.
As a result, there is a substantial opportunity for tech innovation in the cannabis industry. If you are wondering how new technology could help this fledgling sector, here’s what you need to know.
Businesses in Need of Solutions
The cannabis industry is highly complex. Tracking the various components – including production, shipping, distribution, retail space, customer sales, employee payroll, and more – isn’t easy. This is especially true since many existing tech solution providers avoid the cannabis sector do the legal and financial challenges that come with it. Those that are open to assisting cannabis businesses can often charge a premium for their services.
Overall, there is a shortage of viable IT solutions in the cannabis industry, both when it comes to providers and when you consider the products themselves. Most cannabis businesses don’t have the technology they need to track production, product in transit, or inventory. Retail locations often struggle to anticipate what they need for future orders, and production facilities may have issues estimating demand and adjusting their outputs.
Plus, many of the solutions that do exist aren’t robust or all-encompassing. As a result, there is a significant opportunity for tech innovation, as a major hardware or software product designed for this industry would likely be considered a gamechanger.
Where the Tech Jobs Are
Companies that are working to innovate for the cannabis industry have found homes in cities within states that are largely cannabis-friendly. Seattle has become a hub for cannabis-related IT solutions development, as well as Denver and Boulder, Colorado. California, a state that has been at the forefront of the cannabis industries initial traction and expansion, is also brimming with tech job opportunities related to the sector.
While there is still some risk for tech pros who work for cannabis-oriented tech companies, mainly because the industry is still controversial, accepting a position with a tech business that creates solutions or provides services to cannabis businesses isn’t as potentially damaging to one’s career as it had been in the past. The idea that cannabis products have value medically or should be seen like alcohol on the recreational side is spreading, so the culture in the US is shifting to view the sector more favorably.
Ultimately, the cannabis industry is growing quickly, and it's not likely to go away, leaving plenty of room for tech innovation for the companies and professionals who want to be at the forefront of development in this arena.
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If you’d like to find out more, the staff at The Armada Group can help. Contact us to speak with one of our highly skilled team members today and see how our tech industry expertise can benefit you.
Even if you are highly skilled and have a substantial amount of experience, a job search can be challenging. If you have your eyes on an incredibly coveted role, you may face additional competition. As a result, even small missteps can have serious consequences, causing you to miss out on your dream job.
When you are facing this much pressure, you may be more likely to make a mistake. It is hard to think through stress, so you may commit a faux pas based on a simple oversight or speaking before you had a chance to consider the potential consequences. In most cases, a small misstep isn’t going to significantly hurt your odds of being selected.
However, there are some job search behaviors that can destroy your chances quickly. Here is a look at some major job search mistakes that could cost you and how to avoid them.
Neglecting Your Cover Letter or Resume
Not taking the time to target your resume to the position is always a bad move. Often, applications are initially screened by an applicant tracking system (ATS), so failing to integrate the proper keywords means you could be screened out before the hiring manager even sees your resume.
Similarly, if your resume is viewed by the hiring manager, they typically only spend a few seconds deciding if you should remain in contention. If the content doesn’t speak directly to the requirements outlined in the vacancy announcement, your application may be discarded.
Failing to supply a cover letter if there is a spot to upload it is also a mistake. Not only does this give you additional space to showcase why you are an ideal candidate, but it lets you provide context that may not fit in your resume. Even if a cover letter is listed as “optional,” you should view it as a necessity, and customize the content to be relevant to that specific position.
Being Too Creative on a Non-Creative Position Resume
Using a unique resume format, graphics, or other non-standard resume elements may seem like a great way to stand out. However, many ATS systems have issues assessing resumes with non-standard content and formats, so you might be screened out simply because the ATS can’t understand what you’ve provided.
Similarly, an overly creative resume may make you seem weird or unprofessional, depending on the hiring manager’s perspective. Unless the job itself is highly creative in nature, submitting a quirky resume is usually a big risk that may not result in a reward.
Your Follow-Up is Too Aggressive
Not hearing back after you submit a resume can be disappointing. In some cases, you may assume that moving on is the best move. In others, you may decide to make a single follow-up phone call or send one email to see if you can get an update. All of these responses are reasonable, and wouldn’t hurt your chances of being selected.
However, if you big making a series of follow-up calls, send multiple emails even though you haven’t gotten a response to the previous ones, or others keep aggressively trying to get an answer, your chances of being selected diminish greatly.
Hiring managers don’t want to go forward with candidates who seem overly aggressive or pushy. Even if you could be a great fit, you’ve made yourself bothersome, high maintenance, or worse in the hiring manager’s eyes. As a result, they probably won’t answer back and will almost certainly go with someone else.
Ready For a New Job? Contact the Experts at The Armada Group!
Ultimately, all of the points above could be major mistakes, so you need to avoid them at all costs. If you would like to know more, the team at The Armada Group can help. Contact us to speak with one of our experienced recruiters today and see how our job search expertise can benefit you.
Whether you are currently working as a QA automation engineer or want to begin your career in the field, landing a new contract can be a great way to keep your professional like on track. However, securing a new position doesn’t happen on its own. Instead, you need to make sure that you have everything the prospective employer is looking for and that you can connect with companies that are hiring.
If you want to get a new QA automation engineer contract, here’s what you need to do.
Bring the Right Skills to the Table
First and foremost, you need to make sure you have the right skills for the QA automation engineer role. While the exact requirements may vary slightly from one employer to the next, certain must-haves are practically universal.
QA automation engineers typically have at least a bachelor’s degree in an allied field, like IT, computer science, or software engineering. This ensures that they have a strong foundation.
For positions that aren’t entry-level, experience with test automation may be a necessity. Similarly, the ability to write test plans, design various scenarios, and implement new REST APIs are usually considered requirements. The ability to investigate automation regression and failures will also help you land an opportunity in the QA automation engineering field.
Experience with coding languages is typically a requirement as well. Many companies seek out candidates with Python experience, though other languages may be necessary too. Additionally, being able to find and report on any bugs is vital, as ensuring the quality of the application is at the core of what a QA automation engineer does on a daily basis.
On the soft skills side, communication skills are a must. Most QA automation engineers work with others on a regular basis, so having experience collaborating is essential if you want to secure a new contract. Additionally, problem-solving, teamwork, organizational, and time management skills are similarly crucial to landing (and being successful in) the position. Being a detail-oriented individual can also help you stand out from other job seekers.
Work with a Leading Recruitment Agency
Many companies work with recruitment agencies to fill their open positions. If you want to find out about exciting opportunities that aren’t publicly advertised, connecting with a recruiter can be an excellent way to find a new QA automation engineer contract.
Additionally, a recruitment agency can help you prepare and manage your job search. Along with strong connections in the community, the recruiters can offer you assistance with perfecting your resume and help you hone your interviewing skills, increasing the odds that you will land a coveted role.
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If you are interested in a new QA automation engineer contract, the skilled team at The Armada Group can help you find your ideal opportunity. Contact us to speak with one of our knowledgeable and experienced recruiters today and see how our services can make securing your next contract easier than ever before.
In April, the European Union (EU) released a set of ethical guidelines regarding the use of artificial intelligence (AI) by government agencies and businesses. The focus is on achieving trustworthy AI – technologies that act in a lawful, ethical, and socially acceptable manner while also being technologically robust.
Specific requirements were outlined by the EU, touching on core issues and concerns, such as oversight, safety, privacy, transparency, non-discrimination, accountability, and more. While the guidelines are not considered law, they do represent a framework for organizations who wish to create a trustworthy AI.
Additionally, the guidelines aren’t technically aimed at other nations, barring companies that may do business on an international level or organizations that interact with EU citizens. However, businesses across the world – including the United States – should take notice of this effort, as they represent a unique opportunity for global business.
The AI Umbrella
The AI umbrella actually includes a wide range of technologies. Natural language processing, facial and object recognition, deep learning, and much more all fall into the category.
While these technologies do certainly provide value – both from a corporate and consumer perspective – not all of the existing or theoretical solutions are without controversy. Issues surrounding surveillance and monitoring are often cited as concerns, as well as bias within AI systems.
The EU AI standards aim to provide companies and government agencies with guidance to help avoid certain issues with creating a new solution. Ultimately, the goal is to help organizations craft AI systems that provide a benefit while reducing the likelihood of harm – intended or unintentional.
How US Businesses Will Be Affected by the EU AI Guidelines
As mentioned above, the guidelines are not law. However, that does not mean that US-based companies shouldn’t review each point.
Several major companies have made headlines for autonomous systems or AI-based algorithms that would not meet the EU’s definition of trustworthy. Issues of safety, fairness, and accuracy have all been cited in various incidents, making many of the EU’s AI guidelines particularly relevant at this juncture.
Additionally, AI has a substantial amount of potential in a wide range of industries. As a result, more companies are exploring the capabilities of AI-based systems and solutions. Wider use could lead to numerous benefits, but only if the AI is ethical.
While most governments have yet to release laws dictating the use of AI or requirements for the creation of AI-based systems, it’s important to understand that they could be forthcoming. The EU guidelines may not be law, but they do serve as a solid starting point for initiating discussions on the matter and may become a framework for future regulations.
The EU intends to pilot the guidelines with a variety of organizations. By early 2020, they hope to gather feedback from companies and agencies to determine next steps.
Ultimately, the full potential of AI is still not known, and figuring out how to properly construct and control these potentially controversial technologies is challenging. However, the EU is taking active steps to steer organizations in the right direction and, if the pilot yields positive results, may even take more formal steps in the future.
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Companies are fiercely competing for top talent, including highly skilled foreign workers. Much to the chagrin of American IT pros, some businesses have begun offering green cards to foreign professionals who are willing to come to the US through the H-1B visa program.
Some of these companies are simply offering green cards to foreign workers. Others are going a step further, beginning the process on behalf of H-1B visa holders during the first year of employment with the organization.
If you are wondering why businesses are taking this step, here’s what you need to know.
It’s All About Recruitment and Retention
Getting access to a green card can be a boon for a foreign worker. It essentially gives them the ability to stay in the United States permanently. As a result, if the foreign professional dreams of spending the rest of their life in America, it is a very attractive part of an employment offer.
However, assisting with green cards does more than just help with recruitment; it can also bolster retention. While the most obvious benefit is that the foreign worker can remain in the country longer, making it easier for them to stay an employee, it can also create an increased sense of loyalty to the organization. Since the company assisted them with achieving permanent status in the United States, that positive association may make them less likely to seek out opportunities with competitors even when they are free to do so.
Offering paths to a green card also decrease anxiety for foreign workers. The H-1B visa program has faced increased scrutiny over recent years, and some skilled professionals may be worried about participating as a result. When the ability to get a green card is part of the deal, it provides additional peace of mind, making that company a more attractive option.
They Are Willing (and Able) to Invest to Access Skilled Foreign Workers
In many cases, companies that offer green card options to foreign professionals aren’t just opening up a pathway for staying in the United States permanently; they are also opening their wallets. More often than not, the organization who sponsors the foreign employee pays for all of the fees associated with getting a green card, at least up front.
It isn’t uncommon for companies to use payback agreements as a means of lowering financial risk. With these arrangements, should a foreign worker whose fees were paid by the business quit before a specific date, they would be responsible for reimbursing the company. However, if the employee finishes the contract, they are able to leave at their discretion.
Ultimately, companies are using green cards as an incentive when they want to secure foreign employees. It is costly, but some organizations are willing to shoulder the financial burden as the war for top talent rages on.
Reach Out to the Recruiting Experts at The Armada Group!
If you would like to know more, the team at The Armada Group wants to hear from you. Contact us to speak with a member of our knowledgeable staff today and see how our H-1B visa expertise can benefit you.
The world is becoming increasingly mobile. Nearly every professional has a smartphone with them practically 24/7, and many prefer their handheld devices to desktops and laptops. As a result, opportunities to advance your Android engineer career are more plentiful, including the chance to become a lead.
However, to land a job as a lead Android engineer, you do need to bring the right skills to the table. If you are ready to take the leap, here are the skills you need to add to your resume.
Programming Languages, Frameworks, and APIs
Creating mobile applications in a lead role makes strong development skills a must. In most cases, you will need to be fluent in specific languages, frameworks, and APIs, particularly Java, JNI, and RESTful. Otherwise, you may struggle to keep up with projects that end up in your hands.
Ability to Navigate Resource Constraints
While smartphones and tablets are becoming increasingly powerful and robust, they still have limitations. Battery life is a common issue that needs to be considered as an application that draws too much power is burdensome to the end user. Similarly, network availability can be problematic if subpar coverage hinders the user’s ability to use an app.
Memory management is also a critical part of the development process. Smartphones, depending on the model, can have somewhat limited capacities. As a result, being able to create applications that can function on every device present in your workplace can be challenging, so you need to have the right level of experience to ensure the success of a project.
Understanding typical resource constraints and knowing how to navigate them are critical skills if you want to become a lead Android engineer. That way, you can create applications that do not tax the device unnecessarily, and that can function properly at all times.
Every lead Android engineer needs exceptional problem-solving skills. Not only do you need the ability to troubleshoot issues with existing applications, but you also need the ability to debug new code, including apps created by members of your team.
Knowledge of Google’s Android User Interface Guidelines
The ability to create a user interface (UI) that is both functional and intuitive is a major part of a lead Android engineer’s role. Knowing how to use icons, menus, tabs, lists, and status bars correctly serves as a foundation. This means you need a solid understanding of Google’s Android User Interface Guidelines, ensuring you can keep them in mind during the application’s development.
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Ultimately, if you possess all of the knowledge, experience, and skills listed above, you could land a role as a lead Android engineer. If you are interested in becoming a lead Android engineer, the staff at The Armada Group can help you explore your options. Contact us to speak with a member of our knowledgeable recruitment team today and see how our career development expertise can benefit you.
While coding is a significant part of the software development process, what is created is not what users see. Instead, they rely on the user interface (UI), the buttons, links, and menus that help them navigate the system as well as the information being presented.
UI architects are the minds behind the user-oriented portions of the design, and their role is critical to the success of any application. While the exact requirements of a UI architect’s role may vary from one company to the next, having certain capabilities is universally critical. If you are wondering if you have what it takes to excel as a UI architect, here are the core competencies you need to bring to the table.
Understanding of the User’s Perspective
A successful UI architect does not just know how to create applications; they also have the ability to put themselves in a user’s shoes. In order to perform well in these positions, knowing what people expect from an application and their preferences regarding interfaces is essential. Otherwise, creating a solution that feels natural and intuitive to the user is a serious challenge and you may not be able to produce the ideal result.
Familiarity with the Right Technology
UI architects are in a unique role. They have to be able to take a UI design and add the required functionality, ensuring the application is useful and attractive. Not only do you need to understand the nuances of the visual aspects of the interface, but also the nuts and bolts of how it works, ensuring proper implementation.
Additionally, knowing how an interface will look or function in different environments is also critical. Today, users do not just access applications from the desktops. Instead, they use a range of form factors, including computers, smartphones, and tablets. Ensuring a design works across all needed platforms is a core part of a UI architects’ roles, so being familiar with numerous operating systems and devices is a must.
The Ability to Think Creatively
As a UI architect, your role is part technical and part artistic. You need to be able to visualize how a design will look and function, and that requires the ability to think creatively.
Plus, you will likely encounter unexpected issues along the way and have to adjust your approach based on user feedback. Often, creative problem-solving is essential for these tasks, ensuring you can correct problems and enhance an interface based on how the initial version is received.
Being a Team Player
UI architects rarely work alone. Instead, they are a part of a team. As a result, having the ability to work with various IT professionals and end users, including ones that may not be very tech-savvy, is a key part of the job.
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Ultimately, if you bring everything listed above to the table, you could excel as a UI architect. If you would like to know more, the professionals at The Armada Group can help. Contact us to speak with one of our knowledgeable staff members today and see how our career planning expertise can benefit you.
Scala is objectively harder than some other programming languages. As a result, companies look closely at candidates before making a hiring decision, trying to ensure that the job seeker genuinely has the required skills, experiences, and capabilities.
Showcasing your talent is essential if you want to land a new Scala engineer role. However, you also need to make sure that you are shining a spotlight on the right areas if you truly want to stand out from the competition. If you're going to be the Scala engineer that everyone wants to hire, here’s what you need to bring to the table.
Object-Oriented Programming Skills
First and foremost, on the technical side, you need to have exceptional object-oriented programming skills. While it is no surprise that experience with Scala is a priority when companies hire Scala engineers, you should also have other languages in your repertoire, such as Python or even Java.
Tools and Libraries
While having experience working with large data sets and pipelines is another obvious must, the tools and libraries with which you are familiar also play a role in hiring decisions. In order to secure a Scala Engineer position, the Hadoop ecosystem is a common priority, including options like HDFS, Hive, Spark, and YARN.
Similarly, experience with Cassandra, Solr/Lucene, and related technologies is often beneficial in the roles, even if they aren’t outright requirements. If you have knowledge of those solutions, make sure the hiring manager is aware.
Drive and Passion
Since technology is ever-changing and filled with challenges, having both drive and a passion for software development is essential. This increases the odds that you will maintain the right attitude even during difficult times, which is something that hiring managers value.
Similarly, drive and passion are hallmarks for lifelong learners who are willing to adapt as required. The world of technology can be fluid, so being considered an open-minded individual who is ready to strike out into unfamiliar waters can make you stand out from a sea of applicants.
When you work as a Scala Engineer, you are rarely a team of one. Instead, you are typically part of a larger team and have to work with various stakeholders along the way, including individuals without the same amount of technical expertise.
Having strong written and verbal communication skills make teamwork easier. Plus, it guarantees that you can share information with greater ease, including breaking down complex concepts and using language that is widely understood, including by those who are not tech-savvy.
Education and Experience
By and large, to work as a Scala Engineer, you need at least a Bachelor’s degree, usually in Computer Science or an allied field. Similarly, four to six years of experience can make you a stronger candidate, as well as experience with geospatial tools like QGIS and Arc.
Find a New Job With the Help of The Armada Group!
Ultimately, if you possess the skills and experience listed above, you increase your odds of getting hired as a Scala Engineer. If you would like to know more or are seeking a position in the field, the team at The Armada Group can help. Contact us to learn more about our existing openings and see how our technology industry expertise can make it easier than ever to take the next step in your tech career today.
If you prefer having a broad scope when it comes to your work responsibilities and the ability to touch a variety of technologies and systems, a career as a systems integration engineer may be ideal. Professionals in this field focus on how the entire system works together, not just a single piece, making the tasks highly varied.
Succeeding as a systems integration engineer means you need to be technically well-rounded and have strong soft skills. If you want to excel in these roles, here are four essential skills you need to bring to the table.
Knowledge of Computer Hardware, Software, and Networking
As a foundation, most systems integration engineers have at least a Bachelor’s degree in computer science, computer engineering, or a strongly allied field. This ensures they have sound knowledge of various computer components, software functionality, and how larger systems work together.
Plus, systems integration engineers are commonly asked to couple legacy solutions with newer technology, so having a fundamental understanding of how these items can impact networks and influence one another is critical.
An Analytical Mindset and Willingness to be Hands-On
Interoperability issues are common problems systems integration engineers encounter, particularly since solutions and systems developed at different times were not always originally designed to play nice with other technologies and may have been created by separate teams that did not have integration in mind during development. Often, systems integration engineers need to be able to analyze the situation, review application and network logs, and create effective middleware code to connect everything seamlessly. As a result, they are often highly involved in testing phases and have to be open to taking a hands-on approach to find solutions.
Strong Written and Verbal Communication Skills
Since systems integration engineers are tasked with solving middleware issues, they typically have to take part in a variety of discussions involving both the technical aspects of the project and what the customer expects at the end. Not only do these professionals need the ability to communicate with other IT professionals effectively, but they also need to be able to speak with stakeholders who may not be tech-savvy.
Additionally, technical document creation is often a duty for systems integration engineers. Being able to convey critical points thoroughly yet concisely in writing is, therefore, vital to their success.
Focus and Attention to Detail
In order to thrive as a systems integration engineer, the ability to understand the nuances of an application or other technology is critical. They need to be able to work through problems methodically, identifying several solutions that could bring about the desired result.
Additionally, they need to ensure that they don’t overlook details that could cause conflicts, both today and down the road. It involves a balance of immediate and long-term thinking, making sure that the solution of today does not create unnecessary challenges tomorrow.
Need Help Moving Your Tech Career Forward? Contact The Armada Group!
If you have the skills above, you have the potential to excel as a systems integration engineer. If you are interested in taking your career forward in this field, the team at The Armada Group can help. Contact us to find out more about our current vacancies and see how our technical expertise can make it easier than ever to land your ideal role.