Workbridge Associates: Where People Meet Performance

Working with Workbridge

RSS
  • Volunteering at the West End House

    On a rainy day in Boston, our Workbridge Boston office traveled to Allston, MA to bring some sunshine to the kids at the West End House Boys and Girls Club. Founded in 1906 to aid immigrant and urban youth, the West End House provides leadership and life skills, academic support, college preparation, sports, fitness, nutrition, and visual and performing arts programs for just $15 a year. Today, the club has over 1,500 members, many of which are decedents of the original members who came to our country from the Dominican Republic, China, Vietnam, Haiti, and Cape Verde.

    When the crew first arrived, they met with Aviva Berezin, the club's Community Engagement Coordinator, and a curious young girl named Ava. Ava is the self-appointed volunteer greeter at the Boys and Girls Club. She always introduces herself and loves to be with the groups. After learning some history about the club, Aviva went over the Activity Bored with the recruiters.

    For the first hour of each afterschool day, everyone must be in their designated homework “Power Hour”. The WEH takes education seriously, in order to be a member you must be attending school. Workbridge was told that some of the classmates even tattle on each other if a day of school is missed. After homework, the kids can choose from a variety of activities: gym, art, swimming, or music.

    The building is equipped with a huge swimming pool, a music room filled with equipment, an art studio complete with a black light room, a fitness center, full size gymnasium, and a dance room. The team was mildly jealous of the facility. After meeting with some of the teachers, two of whom they discovered are original members of the club, the recruiters split up into smaller volunteer groups. They helped during gym time, with homework for grades 1-3 and grades 4-5, art, and food prep.

    Our recruiters were a little nervous about homework help. After all, none of them had done long division in a very long time. Nonetheless, they braved the challenge and helped the kids as best they could.

    Believe it or not, the West End House serves over 1,200 meals a week to their members and they do it all with only ONE chef, Lisa Smith. It's safe to say she needed some help. Recruiters Liam Pushee and Julia Croyle, along with Marketing Specialist Liz Polom helped prep roasted garlic and applesauce that would accompany the pork chops being served the following day.

    During gym time, the recruiters got a bit of a workout themselves. After playing basketball, they participated in sprints and wall-sits. 

    Usually, when school programs are cut, art is the first to go. This is a shame because the art room was full of creative minds. These kids were full of talent. Occasionally, the art will go on display and even sometimes sold. One girl was working on a landscape piece that was going to be auctioned off.

    Needless to say, the team at Workbridge Boston had amazing time volunteering at the West End House. To find out ways to get involved, visit their website at www.westendhouse.org.

     

  • Workbridge Los Angeles Bakes Cupcakes for Ronald McDonald House

    Recently, Workbridge LA volunteered at Los Angeles Ronald McDonald House. The team arrived with grocery bags full of cupcake ingredients including frosting, festive sprinkles, marshmallows, and spring-themed candies for decorating. They had the entire four-stove kitchen available exclusively for their afternoon of baking. Once the office washed their hands, they dove right into cracking eggs, mixing, and pouring the batter into the cupcake tins. The smell from the freshly-baked chocolate, strawberry and Funfetti-flavored cupcakes was intoxicating.

    Throughout the afternoon, families and children popped in to investigate the delicious smell. While they baked, the team got to know some of the residents. Arseli, a 12 year old girl from Guam, was so appreciative of the care and hospitality that she and her family had received at the Ronald McDonald House.

    Once the cupcakes were cool enough to frost and decorate, the recruiters of Workbridge LA got in touch with their inner pastry chef. The variety of cake flavors, frostings, and decorations meant that there was a cupcake for every child to enjoy. At 5pm, the residents started trickling down to the kitchen. They chose their favorite flavored treat and visited with the recruiters as they ate.

    The Ronald McDonald House serves as an amazing national charitable organization for families and children in need. They provide housing facilities while loved ones are undergoing care. The purpose is to make the families and patients as comfortable as possible during a devastating and stressful time in their lives. A big thank you to the Los Angeles Ronald McDonald House for giving Workbidge LA the opportunity to volunteer!

  • Represent Yourself in Print

    Article by Micah Roth, Recruiter in Workbridge Los Angeles.

    As a recruiter for Workbridge Associates, I spend a good portion of my days looking at resumes. I know what works and what doesn't. You could be the greatest developer in the world, but if you can't write a decent resume, no one will be able to tell. Of course, it's not the end-all when it comes to finding a new job, but a well-written resume will absolutely catch the attention of a hiring manager over a disorganized resume for a job seeker with the same skillset. Below, I've compiled a list of tips that will help increase your chances of attracting the attention of hiring managers.

    Suggestion #1: Keep it short and simple.

    Almost no resume should be longer than 2 pages. Don’t forget that this is a specialized document intended to demonstrate quickly and efficiently that you’ve got the required skills and experience to do the job you’re applying for.

    There are a large number of tweaks you can make, including using invisible tables, tab-stops, and columnar sections (if composing on a word processor) to use more of the available space. Mostly, however, it involves cutting out unnecessary content like objective statements, company/project descriptions, and anything that doesn’t directly apply to what you personally did or your specific skills.

    Make each entry on your work history about you, not about the job/company/feature/school. You don’t need to describe what the project was ultimately aiming for or the demographic it targeted.

    Suggestion #2: Be a job seeker of action.

    The resume is a static document, but you are a constantly-evolving entity, always growing and changing, right? Right. So don’t make your resume sound like you were just tagging along for the ride. Every single bullet on your resume must start with an active verb that invokes the concept of you as the prime mover against a feature or an accomplishment.

    Before

    After

    MongoDB brought 150% improvement in efficiency

    Migrated database to MongoDB to improve efficiency by 150%

    Image manipulation

    Created new image manipulation feature featuring ImageAPI

    In-app billing with managed and unmanaged items

    Developed in-app billing functions including managed and unmanaged items

    Suggestion #4: Clean it up.

    Typos, misspellings, and major grammatical errors are unacceptable. Whether you’re a native English speaker or it’s your fourth language, you need to make sure your resume is clean and polished.

    I guarantee there are at least a half a dozen people in your life who would be happy to read over your resume and point out simple errors/flaws. Your nephew in community college, your cousin who happens to be a novelist, your mom who was an English teacher for 30 years - get at least a couple people to read it over before you submit it anywhere. Barring that, spend the $20 a professional resume writer will charge for a once-over. Of course, as recruiters, we can make recommendations if there are serious, distracting flaws, but let us know if you need us to proof read it. Typos, spelling errors, and grammatical errors can create the absolute wrong impression!

    Suggestion #5: The point is that there are multiple parts.

    You are a highly skilled engineer with exposure to a lot of different technology stacks, libraries, APIs, programming languages, development environments, operating systems, platforms, services...the list goes on and on. Unfortunately, a long list of all the skills you’ve acquired and honed is overwhelming, confusing, and sometimes detrimental.

    If you have strong skills in both Java and PHP or programming and management, you may want to consider creating two submission resumes - one that focuses heavily on one, a second for the other. This will cut out inapplicable skills that could get you screened out of a well-fitting job. Again, your recruiter knows which resume is a fit for which job, so you’re adding a lot of value to your own search by creating distinct resumes for each skill stack.

    Suggestion #6: Advanced - Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

    I have seen time and time again that the design of a resume can make or break the interest of certain hiring managers. There are a handful of incredibly simple things you should do to make an otherwise adequate resume instead look attractive and impressive.

    • Use two to three professional-looking font faces. Ensure to alternate serif and sans fonts: Serif fonts are good for larger blocks of text, Sans fonts are good for headings and standalone numbers. If you go with a monospace font, all your fonts should be monospace.
    • White space is your friend! Use spacing to visually break up information: Invisible (borderless) tables, fixed tab stops, expanding tables to left-align some information and right-align other information on the same line.
    • Use simple horizontal rules or single-sided text borders.
    • Make sure your fonts (faces, sizes, alignment) are consistent.

    Images can be very powerful in a resume, but they can also backfire, so use them sparingly and carefully. You don’t want to create the impression with your resume that you’re more of a designer than an engineer. At the same time, having an eye for design can be very helpful in many industries, so an image-augmented resume can help you stand out from the crowd. Just make sure that any images you include are there because they communicate something more effectively than the plain text would.

  • Telecommute vs Office Commute - Weigh In!

    Article by King Bea, Sourcing Specialist at Workbridge Associates Orange County.

    My 20lb dumbbells sit in the corner of my room, gathering dust and indenting the carpet underneath. The fitness application on my iPhone would be my best point of reference as to the last date of their usage. In fact, I don’t believe I’ve ever used my dumbbells as more than just a daily reminder to exercise. They're more of a symbol of an idea. Originally, I purchased the pair because I thought owning them would make exercising more convenient and that I could be more productive with my day. Oddly enough, I’ve found that I prefer to boost my heart rate away from home, away from my room, and apart from these cursed dumbbells. (Yes, I’m actually going to bridge the gap between dumbbells and telecommuting, but remember, this is a blog post. An anecdotal one for that matter.)

    Telecommuting can be defined as simply working from home or a remote location, separated from a centralized office space. With numerous studies on work-life balance, environmental benefits, psychological factors, differences of occupation, etc. on the table, the final verdict on remote work is still up in the air. Just like any idea or opinion on best practices and how work should be accomplished, there are those throwing rocks at each other on either side of the fence. What we do know is that roughly 20% of the global workforce telecommutes with India leading the charge. In the US, telework accounts for about 16% of the total workforce; California has both the largest percentage of teleworkers in a Metropolitan area (San Diego) and the fastest growing area for telework (Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario). Not surprisingly, Silicon Valley’s percentage is on the upswing. Across the board, telecommuting has sharply increased throughout the United States. From a personal perspective in the IT industry, my candidates are more incentivized to consider a new role if the opportunity offers some form of telecommute throughout the week. Moreover, there is a general consensus that software engineering is an occupation that can be based, in part, away from the office.

    Marissa Mayer, CEO of Yahoo!, had such disdain for the concept that she eliminated the company policy altogether after being appointed. HP CEO Meg Whitman followed suit thereafter. Both women were proponents of a collaborative and ultimately innovative workspace that could only be realized by being in close physical proximity to your colleagues. On the other hand, Richard Branson, entrepreneur extraordinaire, condemned the Yahoo! move as a "backwards step in an age when remote working is easier and more effective than ever." Both a Stanford and Beijing University study reported an increase in productivity and efficiency in a randomly assigned control group. The New York Times published an article by Jennifer Glass that defends telework in an article entitled, “It’s About the Work, Not the Office.” The rise and popularity of collaboration software such as GoToMeeting and Cisco’s WebX should not be ignored either.

    I am not a true telecommuter since I drive to our Orange County office daily. However, 100% of my work is done for our San Francisco and Silicon Valley offices. In essence, I am using the “work dumbbells” that sit in my room and so far, I have been relatively effective in my role. However, I believe that the quality of my work is partially dependent on those physically around me. I hold myself accountable to their presence. My work ethic is strengthened by an office space and the individuals with which it is filled. What motivates you to pick up the dumbbells? Are you camp telecommute or team office?

  • Game Time Strategy: A Super Bowl Approach to Your Job Search

    Article by Samantha Epstein, Practice Manager in Workbridge New York

    I’ve been in the business of helping folks get jobs for nearly six years now, and I currently run our Microsoft recruiting team here at Workbridge Associates New York. Throughout my time in the recruiting industry, one of the things that has become most evident to me is that no matter how you swing it, a lot of people don’t know how to look for a job. Now, that is fairly bold statement. Of course people know how to look for jobs, it’s just that they aren’t doing it the most effective or efficient way possible.

    As we moved on from Super Bowl XLVIII and I was listening to all the talk about offensive and defensive strategy, I started to think about the various ways people search for a job and which ways are the most effective. What I came up with was four types of job searchers: The Spammer, The Bystander, The Sniper and The Renaissance Man.

    The Spammer

    “The Spammer” is someone that you have to give credit to because of the shear amount of time they spend submitting resumes to job advertisements. The Spammer’s approaches their job search by systematically applying for every position they can find, on every online job board they are aware of. Typically, this process occurs once a day and can last a few minutes to a few hours. The Spammer typically has a pre-written cover letter and resume in an email that they forward, edit, and send. When asked, The Spammer is typically unable to remember all of the places they have applied and has a vague recollection of the actual interviews that they have been on.

    The Bystander

    “The Bystander” is just as the name implies- a spectator. The Bystander is someone who has a very wide and impressive network of connections in their given field. Typically, The Bystander has bought a ticket to the game, but is more interested and/or capable of watching, rather than playing. They approach their job search by creating the most widely applicable and impressive resume they can for their given field, and they then send it to everyone they know with an accompanying request for assistance in finding them a new opportunity. At this point, The Bystander sits back in their lazy-boy, flipping through the channels and checking on the score occasionally.

    The Sniper

    The Sniper is a very specific and well-trained job seeker. The Sniper knows exactly what their target is, how to find it, track it, and how to angle themselves for the kill shot. This type of job seeker knows exactly what they are looking for- typically based on previous job searches and places of employment. They also clearly understand what they don’t want, based on said experiences. The Sniper’s approach to their job search is to look for very specific companies or types of companies, research everything about them, their employees and their open positions, and then attack. They execute this process over and over again until they find something that meets their requirements and expectations.  

    The Renaissance Man

    Just like their namesake, this is an enlightened job seeker who utilizes a variety of approaches. This person often has a systematic approach to things, often seeming somewhat compulsive in structure, organization, and repetition. The Renaissance man maximizes efficiency by including all of the approaches in a very well-targeted manner. He will typically dissect job boards by using specific searches to identify only the most appropriate jobs, quickly applying every morning or frequently throughout the day in order to be a first responder. He will keep in contact with his closest circle, regardless of his current employment situation, constantly networking and updating his network of interesting projects, personal endeavors, etc. His network will also constantly be updating him. This enables his network to constantly be working for him in a mutually beneficial relationship.

    Which Job Seeker are you?

    Ask yourself honestly, “which am I”? There is no wrong answer, and everyone usually falls into different categories depending on their seniority, urgency, and priorities.

    However, just like the big game, a strategy is necessary for success. Typically the best strategies include multiple different approaches to maximize efficiency. In my experience, the best example of this tends to be “The Renaissance Man” approach. Let’s just say it can be enlightening, to say the least.

    Now give it a try, and let us know what works for you!

     

  • Three Letters to Get Your Resume on Top of the Slushpile: C-M-S

    Article by Felipe Estrela, Practice Manager in Workbridge Boston.

    Felipe Estrela, Practice Manager at Workbridge Boston

    CMS, Content Management Systems, is defined by techterms.com as “a software tool that allows you to create, edit, and publish content” but to experts, it’s more than just a product.

    “Painful upgrades are just one example of how selecting a Web CMS is more than just buying an off-the-shelf product.  When you commit to a content management system, you’re investing in the system’s leadership, vision, and reliability.  It’s not just about how the system looks now – it’s whether you can trust it to perform year after year, and upgrade after upgrade.” – Marianne Kay, Research Analyst, What a Failed Umbraco Release Can Teach Us About Upgrades.

    Business owners are using CMSs more and more because not only do they make websites look better, they are cost-effective and as we all know, everyone is in the business of making money. Some of the most popular CMSs being used today are WordPress, Drupal, Joomla, and Blogger. 

    Top CMS Softwares

    Scott Brinker, Co-Founder and CTO of ion interactive created a Marketing Technology Landscape for 2014, and as one can see below, it is very extensive. With this ever expanding marketing landscape, company owners need to adapt and have the technology in place to deal with it. Now, we’re not talking about mom and pop shops who need some help, we’re talking huge companies with a lot of data, and a lot of content that is constantly being shifted around.

    Marketing Technology Landscape

    These companies are adapting in two ways: investing in a great CMS, or hiring ad agencies to customize an enterprise level CMS such as Sitecore, Ektron, Drupal, or Umbraco. No matter the way, the bottom line is always the more time saved, the bigger ROI. 

    So what does all of this mean for the CMS job market today? With the current technical market, companies are slowly realizing they need to be accessible through the media we use the most, the internet. They need a website with a great CMS to help manage it. There’s only one problem…

    Techies who can manipulate the code inside these CMSs are in high demand. That combined with the fact that we’re dealing with a niche technology, they are few and far between. While any .NET or opensourse developer can learn CMS, knowing its ins and outs makes for a much more marketable and desirable candidate. The less time a company has to spend teaching you a skill, the better off you are, because at the end of the day, companies are looking for candidates who know how to manipulate the CMS to make a website as efficient as possible.

    As the Practice Manager of my own .NET recruiting team, I see candidates all too often with less experience, but strong CMS skills get hired over those who are experienced but lacking in CMS.

    If you are interested in learning new technologies or want to add a new skill to your resume, I beseech you to follow through and learn. Send your resume to the top of the pile and learn a CMS in your technical language (opensource, .NET, drupal, sitecore) where you can even achieve an MVP level within the CMS space. 

    Go out, learn, and set yourself apart from the rest with CMS. 

  • Benefits of Training Up Your Junior-Mid Level Developers

    Article by Peter Withers, Lead Recruiter in Workbridge Orange County

    Cliché phrases like “black-belt in JavaScript” and “Rockstar Developer Wanted!” are all too common these days on job boards written by software companies looking for their ideal software engineer. Many tech companies in this day and age, from the two-man start-up to the Fortune 500 giants, seek that perfect software engineer that will sweep them off their feet and meet their wish-list of qualifications. But in many instances, companies can avoid the long, drawn out search for that needle in a hay stack developer by hiring a more junior candidate and training and molding them into their ideal developer. Avid Flombaum, former co-founder and CTO of Designer Pages, states “The bottom line is that for most products, seeking out “rockstar” senior engineers is like hiring Picasso to paint your apartment.” There will always be unique instances where a software company really does need a highly skilled software architect or unique senior software engineer that a company cannot fill from its own internal workforce. But there are also many cases where junior to mid-level candidates are overlooked by employers simply because they lack something as minor as experience with a unique or specific framework and/or database. However, these junior job-seekers often make up for this ten-fold with their drive to succeed and motivation to build upon their skillset. Companies can avoid spinning their wheels and prevent the risk of hiring a senior engineer who might not live up to high expectations. Instead, hire the up-and-coming, more affordable, “green” engineer and mold these engineers into the ideal developer.

    Handfuls of interviews with senior software developers that don’t live up to a manager's high expectations can waste substantial amounts of time and energy and can be avoided by hiring a trainable junior developer. Additionally, these junior to mid-level developers are often less money-motivated and are frequently more interested in the opportunity itself. There are many cases in which a junior developer will be more than willing and excited to make a lateral move in order to expand their skillset just so they can get their hands dirty with a new tech stack. Junior developers will also strive to push themselves on a day-to-day basis to grow into the role they were brought on to do, and will work to prove themselves if a company takes a risk and invests in them by providing mentorship via their current senior developers.

    Implementing a mentor/mentee program for new junior developers can be an attractive selling point to potential developers, and can also help retain existing senior engineers by giving them that added responsibility and a feeling of importance. Additionally, this gives the mentor a sense of pride and ownership by developing the skill set of a more junior programmer and may incentivize a senior programmer to stay at a company with a mentorship program if he feels like he has more responsibility and a direct impact on the company’s success. Lastly, a mentorship program undeniably makes a junior developer want to stick around at a company if they are always developing their skillset. It makes the junior developer feel indebted to the company/mentor that has invested in and fostered their skillset, and in general, it strengthens employee relationships within a company.  

    At the end of the day, it’s more rewarding for a manager to have assembled his or her own successful software team from the ground up, as opposed to having temporary contractors come and go. Training/mentoring your developers and building solid relationships with them can create a strong sense of loyalty for the mentor/mentee as well as create a work environment that feels like home to everyone. Also, promoting junior developers within a company and having them climb the ranks into the lead, managerial, or even a C-level role is a great success story that can breed additional success and create a winning culture that spreads to other employees within the company.

  • Hottest UX Design Trends

    Article by Eitan Sheer, Lead Recruiter in Workbridge Silicon Valley

    Eitan Sheer, Lead RecruiterIt is no secret that User Experience and the emphasis on interface have become one of the more vital aspects to the product development process. While UX existed in the past, it was never as abundant as it is nowadays when most industries are moving away from the idea that everyone can do UX and into an era of UX as a specialized field. As such, more companies are realizing that UX is directly correlated to an increased user base as well as profitability. This increase in the popularity of UX has led to an industry wide pursuit of user centric design and an idealization of a simplified product. And while we’ve seen and heard of many possible answers to the question of the hottest and most prominent recent design trends, I would say that the answer can be boiled down to the following four trends: iOS7, responsive design, data visualization, and dashboards.

    We’ve heard of many opinions and mixed reviews about iOS7, but no one can disagree that the overall experience had a major impact on current design. While Windows 8 came out with the flat style prior to iOS7, it is no secret that iOS7 has been the raved about ecosystem for coming out with a very flat design and color scheme that a lot of people are looking to match. As such, iOS7 is pioneering a new shift to cleaner, lighter, thinner & flatter design, and it feels like everyone is jumping in line to fit in. However, we’ve also heard of flaws in the new iOS7 experience. For example, one could always create folders, but now the user is given the option to create folders within folders. This feature is great for organizations that need to consolidate and combine large amounts of relatable items, but it also offers a challenge. On the old iPad, the user could place 20 items in every folder. With the new design, users can only place 9 items in every folder. This has turned the new feature into more of a constrictive necessity than ability, as people are forced to create folders within folders in an attempt to abide by the 9-apps-per-folder design.

    Another major trend is responsive design. In the past, we didn’t really have tablets and so many different types of smart phones with varying screen sizes and interactive experience. This variation coupled by the fact that people are now accessing information while on the go more than they ever have before, has made responsive design the most relevant trend. Traditionally, if you are looking to build and design on multiple platforms you also need to write code that fits those different platforms. Responsive design allows development team to use the same code base across multiple platforms, and simply shift the look and feel to best fit the intended interface (be it web, mobile, tablet, or any other device). This has led to a code base that is easier and much more scalable; and in turn, a lot more efficient with lower development costs.

    I’d also like to touch on data visualization. While data visualization has already been established, we are definitely seeing a major emphasis on certain aspects of it. Infographics may be trending, but not necessarily new. That said, what has been identified as important and trending is data visualization for the financial sector and the data mining industry subsector. And if you are able to innovate in the data mining space the result is absolutely something that trends.

    Lastly, we’ve also seen a recent rally around dashboards. By common definition, dashboards are a matter of displaying large amounts of information quickly and with efficiency. This functionality offers awareness and quick action to those in leadership positions or, for that matter, to any person who needs to be able to make some sort of educated fact-based decision, and make it quickly.

Showing 8 of 354 posts

Send to a Friend

If you know someone who'd be interested in this post, send them a link so they can check it out.

Thank You!

Your note on blog page: has been sent to your friend