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  • Looking to Advance Your Career? Tips for Recent Computer Science and Dev Bootcamp Grads

    Article written by Jaime Vizzuett, Practice Manager at Workbridge Orange County

    So you did it, you’ve completed your college degree or spent a tireless amount of weeks learning to code in a hardcore bootcamp – congratulations! But now what? While everyone’s career path will be unique and there’s no step-by-step guide to getting you to a C-Level position within x-amount of years, there are definitely career moves you can make to set yourself up for the success you’re looking for.

    As a Practice Manager at a highly-recommended tech recruiting agency in Orange County, CA, I’ve come across plenty of Junior-level engineers seeking to get into a Mid-level role to advance their career. For those not qualified for the position, my dedicated team and I were able to give those candidates feedback on how they can better brand themselves, and what skill set was needed to turn them into a highly sought after candidate. We focus on the Orange County and San Diego tech markets and have close relationships with hiring managers at companies as small as startups all the way up to Fortune 500’s. Because of this, we know what hiring managers are looking for in Junior to Mid-level engineers. Below are the five smartest moves to make after graduating from a dev bootcamp or college with your C.S. degree:

    Build Your Brand

    Update your Linkedin profile to include a personal summary, a work or project summary and include your skills in the appropriate sections. Nowadays this is one of the major ways recruiters from companies and agencies get connected with you about a job you may be the right fit for.

    Get on Github. For many hiring managers this is a 'nice-to-have' but for junior engineers this is especially crucial as it may be the only thing a manager has to look at. 

    Connect with a Dedicated Recruiter

    Find a dedicated technical recruiter who specializes in positions where you’re looking to work or understands your skill set. Even if they can’t offer you a position right off the bat, inquire about interview advice, resume tips or keep in touch with them for later on in your career.

    Network and Get Noticed

    If you haven’t yet tried out the networking aspect of looking for a job, step out of your comfort zone and add it to your to-do list. Meetups and networking events such as the one that my company organizes for tech professionals, Tech in Motion, are a great way to get your name out in front of an influential group of people.

    When you are vocal about your employment status, you might find your next mentor or even your next job at an event or job fair, so make sure to put your best foot forward.

    Stay Current

    You will hear it over and over again, but keeping up with the newest technology is crucial in any market. Every company wants someone who has experience with the trendy new technology that very few other engineers have, so being ahead of the curve will set you apart.

    Keep Motivated

    Just because you have been on the market for a few weeks, doesn’t mean you should lose motivation. Great things take time! Every company has different needs. You just need to find one that fits your criteria and vice versa, and sometimes that takes time.

    Bottom line is that building your reputation in a way that advances your career will take time. Following these steps will point you in the right direction and hopefully help you find a job that you truly will be passionate about. By staying up-to-date with technology, networking and building your own brand, you will find the search more successful.

  • Workbridge Associates Expands IT Recruiting Operations in Canada

    Largest concentration of tech talent in Canada makes it the ideal location for recruitment agency specializing in hard-to-fill IT positions

    Boston, August 10, 2015 -- Workbridge Associates, a leading IT recruitment agency specializing in hard-to-fill technology positions, has announced the opening of their new office located in the heart of downtown Toronto. The city's emergence as the largest and most dynamic hub of technology talent in Canada makes it the perfect location, and allows the agency to provide Toronto area clients with highly qualified candidates for a wide range of IT positions.

    "We're excited to expand our footprint further by opening this office in the center of Canada's largest city," said Matt Milano, President of Workbridge Associates. "This new office in Toronto puts us in a better position to help our clients find that perm and contract IT talent they need to build their businesses."

    Workbridge Associates specializes in staffing hard to fill IT positions including RUBYPHPPYTHONUI/UXJavaScriptMobile, and .NET/Microsoft developers. This new Toronto office will be managed and led by Matt McKinney, Division Manager. The new office will hold up to 30 people, including Recruiters, Sourcers, and Marketing & Events Specialists.

    See the official Press Release distributed by CNW.

  • Current Trends in Programming Languages

    Article by Miles Thomas, Practice Manager in Workbridge Philly

    Now more than ever, programmers are moving away from being specialized in one language or role and moving towards being “jack of all trades” developers. The term “Polyglot” gets thrown around a lot, but Python shops are hiring C# programmers, Scala shops are hiring Java developers, and PHP shops are hiring full-stack JavaScript engineers. Being proficient in multiple languages at different layers of the stack is now becoming the norm. As such, different languages are more popular amongst software developers than others.

    For clarification, this article is not about “the best programming language”, but simply trends online and what we can conclude from looking at them. Using data from the end of 2014 to the beginning of 2015, GitHut analyzes the statistics of over 2.2 million GitHub repositories, RedMonk analyzes the popularity of a programming language by the number of active projects on GitHub and the number of tags on StackOverflow, and PYPL measures how many tutorials for different programming languages are searched for using Google. After looking at all three of these sources, several patterns become clear:

    1.)    Little has changed at the top of the chart over the last year. That is to say, JavaScript and Java remain the most popular programming languages according to these three sources. There has been some movement after these two, but it is clear that both languages remain incredibly relevant.

    2.)    For native mobile developers, Swift is climbing while Objective C is falling. It will be interesting to watch how long it takes Swift to completely overtake Objective C as the most popular native mobile development language. Ever since Apple’s announcement last summer at WWDC 2014, Swift has been trending up while longtime iOS SDK cornerstone Objective C has been trending down.

    3.)    There are a bevy of functional programming languages on the cusp of mainstream relevance. Though Python has long been used by programmers near and far, lesser used languages such as Scala and Clojure are now creeping up the charts. A recent focus on concepts of “scalability” are likely the reasoning behind companies moving toward a more functional approach.

    4.)    DevOps & Data Science tools remain on the periphery. R, Matlab, Chef, and Puppet are some examples of tools & languages that haven’t gotten a foothold as mainstays just yet. DevOps & Data Science roles are just now becoming mainstream positions with small-to-mid-size technology companies, so the trends will likely be changing more over the coming years.

    5.)    Some languages are dying slow deaths atop the charts. Languages such a VB, Ruby, and Perl are slowly creeping down the charts. Perhaps this is a result of newer programming languages supplanting them as better fits within development environments, but only time will tell.

    Though several more observations could certainly be made, these appear to be the most relevant with the most far reaching repercussions. The conclusions to be drawn from these trends:

    1.)    Some technologies will be flashes in the pan, while others will be mainstays for years to come, regardless of flaws.

    2.)    The “Open Stack” movement is having a clear effect on the market trends of popular programming languages. Microsoft’s recent announcement that the next version of Visual Studio will be open source compatible is evidence of that.

    3.)    “Malleability” of programming languages seemingly dictates their popularity. JavaScript seems to have new libraries and frameworks every day, each with its own specific task/purpose. Java also has numerous frameworks & tools that keep it relevant. Even PHP, which catches major flack online from hardcore computer scientists and product developers, remains at the top for a reason.

    4.)    Functional Programming languages aren’t at the top (yet). Languages used to develop highly scalable applications have their place, but will likely take some time to supplant more commonplace languages atop the most popular and used programming languages.

     

  • Diversity in Tech: Not all Doom and Gloom

    Article by Workbridge Silicon Valley

    Diversity in tech is a topic that has become increasingly prevalent in the media. Many prominent figures in the industry are participating in open conversations on the once unspoken fact that the industry is saturated with white males while other demographics are underrepresented.

    A variety of different factors can be credited with bringing the diversity issue in tech into the limelight. One such factor was the #Gamergate controversy that occurred toward the end of last year. This controversy began when Indie game developer Zoe Quinn received explicit phone calls along with threatening messages via social media.  The threats were the result of a blog post from an ex-boyfriend alleging that she was romantically involved with a journalist from the gaming site Kotaku and received favorable reviews for her game as a direct result of this relationship. 

    The allegations were found to be false, the reporter never critiqued her game, yet that didn’t stop the reaction by what later became known as the Gamergate movement.  Proponents of the movement claim they are only interested in discussing the ethics of media and reporting in relation to how games are reviewed.  However, the argument that the movement solely cared about journalism ethics in game reviews is not an easy sell as multiple women in the gaming industry fled their homes after their addresses and personal information was published by those claiming to be associated with #GamerGate.

    It’s difficult to piece together what this movement really was, who supported it and what it stood for as most action surrounding Gamergate was shrouded in anonymity via 4chan, Reddit, and Twitter[1]. It’s no secret that there are glaring diversity issues in the world of technology and Gamergate serves as a small illustration of the challenges facing an industry dominated by the white male demographic. 

    According to the Department of Labor in 2013 only 20% of software developers were women.  Not only that but women who have computer or mathematical occupations earn $214 dollars per week less than men, that’s roughly $11,000 less annually[2].  Today women are earning the majority of all bachelor’s degrees (57%) and yet only make up about 12% of those earning computer science degrees.  It hasn’t always been this way, in 1984 more women graduated with computer science degrees than women that will graduate with the same degree in 2014[3]. I think this downward trend really leads back to culture and early education opportunities.      

    While the gender gap in tech is wide, it’s certainly not the only diversity issue facing the industry.  Google released employment statistics this past May, giving the public an inside glimpse at some of the broader diversity challenges facing one of the world’s most well-known tech companies.  For instance, of the 46,000 employees only 2% are African American and 3% are Hispanic. With 72% of all leadership roles within the company are currently held by Caucasians (79% male)[4].

    It’s not all doom and gloom for the tech world though, Google and other giants seem to be taking steps to improve the diversity problem. The fact that Google made its internal numbers public illustrates a fundamental shift in perspective.  It also pledged a $50 million dollar investment in STEM education to help progress the early education of students in science and engineering.  On a similar note Code.org teamed up with the White House to promote its new computer literacy campaign called “Hour of Code.” Over 33,000 schools in 166 countries participated and devoted an hour of time towards teaching students to code![5] The White House also announced plans to have over 50 school districts including the 7 largest districts in the country offer introductory Computer Science courses.  These courses are specifically aimed at introducing girls and minorities to the industry at an early age.[6]

    Furthermore, there were some historic industry headlines at the end of the year that indicates an industry shift towards becoming more inclusive. Tim Cook became the first openly gay CEO of a fortune 500 company.  In September, Obama announced that Megan Smith would be succeeding Todd Park as the U.S. CTO, the first woman in that position. Smith is also openly gay. 

    While the industry continues to evolve and make positive changes, there is still a lot of work to be doneGamergate alone serves as an illustration of the massive hurdles that still stand in the way of diversity in the tech world.


    [1] If you’re interested in reading up on thebackstory of the controversy, the Washington Post has an easily digestible guide to the movement.

    [2]The State of Women in Technology: 15 Data points you should know” by Lyndsey Gilpin, TechRepublic

    [3]When Women Stopped Coding”  by Steve Henn, NPR

    [4]Google Statistics Show Silicon Valley has a Diversity Problem” by Gail Sullivan, Washington Post

  • Best Time To Look For A New Job? When You Don't Need To!

    Article by Max Schnepper, Practice Manager at Workbridge Orange County

    When you’re in IT, it’s all about approaching systems proactively versus reactively. So why not approach your career the same way? As a Practice Manager in Workbridge Orange County, too many times have I sat down with extremely competent candidates who were unexpectedly laid off due to no fault of their own. These unemployed jobseekers are often desperate to find an adequate role, let alone one that further develops their skills. If you end up in this type of situation, you're playing from behind –be proactive and put the power back in your hands!

    Below are a few of the reasons why you should look for a new role when you’re still at your current employer.

    Time Is On Your Side

    How long could you support yourself and your dependents without a steady paycheck? That time frame is the maximum amount of time you have to find an adequate position once you’ve left your current position. If you start looking proactively while you’re still at your current employer, your time frame for taking a new role is exponentially expanded. This way, you can focus on finding a position that you’re excited about and one that will fast-track your career, as opposed to one that will simply pay the bills.

    No pressure, you’re already viewed as an asset!

    Many hiring managers have told me that the best candidates are the ones who are actively working. Employed candidates are viewed as being proven assets. Where does this mindset come from? Well… have you ever wanted or needed something so badly that when under pressure, you’ve completely botched your attempt to get it? Unfortunately, this happens all the time during interviews when you’re facing unemployment. On the other hand, if you begin your search while you have a comfortable employment situation, you’re taking a significant amount of pressure off of yourself and lessen the likelihood of self-sabotage when interviewing for a new role.

    Be Proactive- Start Your Job Search Today!

    Get What You Really Want

    As a passive candidate, you’re interviewing the company as much as they’re interviewing you! The ball is in your court, and potential employers will be more willing to roll out the red carpet for you. Hopefully your skillset will land you a role that will move you in the direction you’ve always wanted to go.  Maybe there is a specific JavaScript library you’ve always wanted to work on or you’ve dreamed of working in a cutting-edge field; this is your chance! As a passively looking job seeker, you can be more selective with the companies and roles you’d like to interview for. You have more control of your commute range, the tool sets you want to work with and any other employment factors that are important to you.

    Room to Negotiate

    Lastly, you’ll have more control of dictating what your final offer will be. Simply, what will it take for you to leave your comfortable role to start at a new and exciting company? Everything in terms of compensation should line up— don’t forget that salary isn’t everything, instead focus on the total package the company offers. Not only will you have the upper-hand on getting a higher hitting salary range, you’ll also have leverage to get additional vacation time, flexible hours, stock options and a myriad of other perks that are possible in an offer.

    So if you’re not in an absolute ideal position, make sure you’re keeping your eyes and ears open to new and exciting opportunities. Better yet, call your localized and specialized recruiter and tell them exactly what your current situation is and where you’d like to be!

  • The Information Security Market is in High Demand

    Article by Evan Gordon, Regional Director at Workbridge Associates

    It is an understatement to say the information security market is on fire and as anyone in the talent management space would tell you, it is likely the fastest growing area in information technology. However, it would be wrong to assume there is an abundance of talent. “Cybersecurity job postings grew 74% from 2007 to 2013, which is more than twice the growth rate of all IT jobs. The labor pool has yet to catch up.” (NetworkWorld) This statistic doesn’t even factor into consideration all of the newly created positions opening. As you can imagine, this makes it increasingly difficult for companies to fill their current open requisitions. Here are a few, of the many, reasons for this phenomenon.

        1.     There have been a number of major security breaches in the last few years that have brought an increased awareness to information security and the need for companies to protect their information and that of their customers. These can be both costly and embarrassing which companies such as Sony, Target and Home Depot learned the hard way. These events are causing companies to be more proactive with the way they view information security which is manifested in the implementation of new security solutions and revamping architecture to be more secure. This results in the need to hire more security professionals. Security used to be looked at as reactive and there to catch the bad guys, now companies are doing more to ensure their information isn’t compromised from the start.

    Looking to start your job search? Let us help! 

         2.     Unfortunately, there are not many colleges that offer information security degrees which causes supply and demand issues. Students graduating college with CS degrees are typically studying either software development or systems and networking. Clearly there is a correlation between these subjects and security but most graduates are accepting lower level, support roles. These recent grads can and will often times eventually find their way to the information security field but that’s a good 3-5 years out and won’t solve this issue now.

         3.     Technological advancements drive the need for information security professionals. Take credit cards for example. Ecommerce barely existed a decade or so ago and now we have “Cyber Monday” which rivals Black Friday as the busiest shopping day of the year. The fact that so many companies accept credit cards as payment online led to the development of various security standards such as PCI. There are also other such standards in healthcare such as HIPAA which creates additional security needs and positions.

    All in all, the technology field as a whole is booming and the market literally can’t keep up with the demand for IT professionals right now. With that being said, we are getting more requests for information security professionals than I have ever seen in my 13 years in the industry and I don’t see this trend changing any time soon. As long as there are hackers out there trying to break into companies and steal information, there will always be a need for technologists to be one step ahead and ready to protect company and customer data going forward.

  • How to Make Your Interview Process A Competitive Advantage

    Article by Bradley Spencer, Practice Manager in Workbridge San Francisco 

    In a market that’s fiercely competitive for top tech talent, it can be incredibly difficult to hire. San Francisco is at the epicenter of the tech market and although there is an abundance of talented engineers, it’s not an easy road to bring on your top choice. As competitive as it is, a smooth interview process can be the difference between bringing on your front-runner or losing them to the competition. Here are some tips to make sure that you’re in front at the finish line.

    Be Realistic

    Be realistic about where you’re at as a company. There are a ton of great ideas out there, and you need to be prepared to sell candidates on what makes your product/company stand out. Selling on passion and innovation is important, but if you don’t have a strong plan and roadmap that you’re willing to lay out, it likely won’t be enough to secure high caliber candidates.

    Keep the Interview Process Short and Sweet

    The sweet-spot for hiring is two or three interview rounds, however extending beyond this diminishes chances of hiring your top choice because a top candidate will have a list of other interested suitors as well. Additionally, candidates who are actively interviewing with multiple companies will have a limited availability to interview. This is especially true with passive candidates who are currently employed, and are trying to find time to interview while working full time. They may like the opportunity and be interested in the role, but typically have multiple opportunities at the top of their list. The longer you wait to pull the trigger, the higher the likelihood of missing out.

    Don't Miss Out on Top Tier Talent!

    Speak First

    Code screens before speaking with a candidate are a big turn off. In a highly saturated environment where top-tier developers are choosing from multiple options, an extensive code test early on will knock you down the list. This is especially true with candidates who have a lot of interview activity. When a candidate is heavily interviewing, a code test is daunting, and if it comes too early on in the process it can be a big turnoff out of the gates. Tests serve a purpose, but they should be administered towards the end of a hiring process when a candidate has bought into the product and company.

    Don’t Be Afraid to Invest

    Don’t fixate on candidates coming out of the Googles or Facebooks of the world. If you’re looking for a ‘Rockstar’ or ‘Purple Unicorn’ you’ll be looking for a long time. What you should be looking for are candidates that will be able to add long term value and grow into those highly desired engineers. Being a good scout of talent and having the ability to develop engineers is more important down the line if you have the structure in place to do so.

    The Early Bird Gets The Worm

    Be ready to move on your top choice quickly after the final round. Once you moved past the final round and determine that you want to extend an offer to a candidate, it’s important to be quick. If candidates are interviewing for multiple roles, they are likely to have multiple offers, and in most cases the ‘early bird gets the worm.’ Make sure that you’re making the right choice, but waiting too long to extend an offer and lock down your candidate can introduce unnecessary competition, so make sure you have all of your ducks in a row when you get to this point. Being quick to get an offer letter out after the final round can ensure that you’re not getting into a bidding war with the competition.

    Although there isn’t a perfect process to guarantee you’ll get exactly what you want, taking steps to move quickly in an efficient manner will help you build out a strong and capable team at a good market value. Looking for perfection and being stubborn can be the difference in building out a strong and capable team for your business and stalling out your ability to hire. 

  • Region Spotlight: Tech Opportunities in Orange County and San Diego Aplenty

    Article by Cory Eustice, Division Manager of Workbridge Orange County

    As the world becomes more accessible through technology, it allows more people to communicate with one another, have access to resources they may not have had before, and ultimately allow for greater opportunities. In addition, through technology the location of where you need to be in order to succeed in the tech industry has exceeded borders. No longer do you need to be located in Silicon Valley to start the company of your dreams or pursue your dream of working in the tech industry. You could pick any location to start your company, and while some may give you more access than others, this blog specifically spotlights both Orange County and San Diego.

    I have been a technology recruiter in Los Angeles, Orange County, and San Diego for more than six years and the landscape has changed dramatically in that time. When I began in 2009, Orange County had been decimated by the financial crisis, San Diego was dominated by a few Goliaths (Carefusion, Qualcomm, Sony) and Los Angeles was at the beginning of becoming what is now referenced as “Silicon Beach” – though it really has nothing to do with silicon at all but rather web apps, mobile apps, and software applications. Since then, the LA tech community has bled down to Orange County in the form of Oculus, Kareo, and SendGrid to name a few. You can make the argument that these three companies are just as successful or more successful as those in LA and San Francisco, showing success can now be accomplished anywhere. In the same time, the San Diego tech community has exploded into a landscape of more goliaths like Intuit, Tereadata, and Illumina while also being driven by highly funded start-ups that are changing things like payment processing and human life sciences.

    Considering a move to OC or San Diego and on the market? We can help!

    The volume of companies may still exist in areas like the Bay and LA, but with rising home costs and overall cost of living, why spend your money there when you can spend your money on other things, or save it? Technology has made being successful accessible to anyone in any place. When you are looking for your dream job, or where to raise your family, you can choose a metropolitan area or you can choose to live in an expansive location like what’s offered in Orange County and San Diego for the same price if not cheaper.

    Technology has given us the ability to ‘set-up shop’ wherever we’d like and in Orange County and San Diego there are plenty of co-working spaces, tech-hubs, incubators and accelerators popping up to make this possibility a reality. Whether you are looking to get into the tech industry as a startup founder or to join an established company, I can guarantee that your options are endless in this region of Southern California. Contrary to what everyone, ‘in the know’, says, you can live somewhere in California that is not the bay area, and still get everything you want out of your life in tech!

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