This week Workbridge Boston spent a couple of hours at the Cradles to Crayons Giving Factory. Cradles to Crayons provides children from birth through age 12, living in homeless or low-income situations, with the essential items they need to thrive at home, at school and at play. These items are supplied free of charge by engaging and connecting communities that have with communities that need. During our time at the Giving Factory, we sorted through winter coats ensuring that they were in good condition and that any kid would be happy to receive them.
In Massachusetts alone there are 305,000 children under age 12 that are living in poor or low-income households and more than 100,000 Massachusetts children will experience homelessness in any given year. Helping Cradles to Crayons provide for these children was an amazing experience. Our entire volunteer group was able to impact almost 400 children during the two hours we were there, providing them with winter coats, baby clothes, toys, and kid packs containing school supplies, outfits, books, and toys.
It felt great contributing to such a wonderful cause and we had a ton of fun in the process. If you want to help out and contribute to Cradles to Crayons' mission there are many different ways you can get involved. The organization is always welcoming new volunteers at the Giving Factory as well as any donations of children's items, monetary donations, or you could even host a collection drive of your own. Click here to learn more about how to get involved. Keep up with them on twitter and learn more about what they are doing by following @C2CBoston.
@HeadstandAbby and the rest of Workbridge Boston
By: Matt Rogers, Lead Recruiter at Workbridge Boston
The tech world is moving towards Open Source, it’s a fact of life. Many new and exciting companies and applications are appearing every single day because of this- just take a look at what Google is doing….it’s crazy! It is very clear as to what this means for programmers, CEOs, CTOs and VC firms, but what does it mean to the System Administrator? As a technical recruiter here at Workbridge Associates Boston, this is a topic that is brought to my attention pretty often so I thought I would share some of my opinions in a more public forum.
Remember when Linux systems were pretty much a joke? This was true especially here in Boston. No respectable company would set up such a thing. There was almost no documentation, security was a nightmare, and forget about setting up a large scale, high availability environment. It was Windows or bust! Then, the Open Source movement really took off and the top minds in software started working “together” in online forums to build not only really cool applications but developing some very powerful, object oriented languages. These languages continued to be improved upon and used to build ground breaking applications; not just the website of your friend’s band anymore. Fast forward a few years later and top companies such as Fidelity have a team that exclusively works with PHP while everyone and their brother is looking for that “Ruby on Rails Astronaut” or some such nonsense that pays them $130k salaries. Open Source is not only a legit player in the tech world but has now become the dominant force.
Currently, there are large and small tech companies as well as major corporations that are running mission critical applications on 3000 server environment that are all RedHat, Apache and MySQL. System Engineers that have this type of skill set are in high demand; the majority of the jobs that my team and I are recruiting for currently are Linux System Admin and Engineer positions. Too many folks have been pigeon-holed down the Windows path and did not hop on the bandwagon early enough. The good news for the savvy, interested System Engineers out there is that you do not need to be left at the station of this gravy train! Linux is Free as are most of the tools that are hot and high in demand right now, and Linux hiring managers LOVE tinkerers! I advise anyone who is interested in getting into this technology to download Ubuntu or CentOS to your home machine (these are GUI based Linux systems that are easier to cut your teeth on). Many other resources are at your fingertips as well and here are a few that I thought were worth mentioning:
Finally, set yourself up with a github account to document everything that you have worked on so far. You can collaborate with other people, review your work, and have something to point to for potential new employers to check out, since again, they love tinkerers.
Last week, Tech in Motion hosted their first Tech Mixer, an event that hopes to be repeated. Seeing how Boston's tech scene is absolutely thriving, Tech in Motion wanted to host an event that would bring the people of this community together for a night of great conversation and idea sharing. Boston techie's congregated at Lir on Boylston to enjoy an after work drink while chatting up some of Boston's finest technologists. Also at the event were three start-ups demoing their platforms and services; Fashion Project, Studifi, and ZeroTurnaround.
Fashion Project offers people the exclusive service to donate and shop designer labels with a portion of every sale going to charity. Attendees had the chance to talk with Principle Engineer, Chris Jackson, to learn how this philanthropic minded company has brought nonprofits, high tech and high fashion together.
Studifi, an LMS & Collaboration Platform in the cloud, allows students to team-up within their classes, schedule meetings, exchange files, chat and more. This ground-breaking user experience is designed to increase productivity for students, instructors and institutions. Thomas Lextrait, CEO and Founder, demoed the site and was a great addition to the evening.
"ZeroTurnaround is dedicated to changing the way the world develops, tests and runs Java applications. Powered by award-winning Hotpatching Technology, JRebel and LiveRebel are revolutionizing the way Development and Operations teams work with Java." Offering Java Productivity tools, a few folks from ZeroTurnaround had the chance to teach attendees about their product and how it could help them in deploying their work.
Overall it was an amazing night of networking and discussion and we want to thank everyone who came out to the event to put Tech in Motion.
Our next event is on Tuesday, April 30th where we will host a debate: Clash of the Clouds. Panelist made up of cloud-based developers that have used Azure and variety of open source cloud services will go head to head to discuss which is best.
Tech in Motion is co-hosted by Workbridge Associates Boston. If you are on the market for a new tech job, check out our open positions.
Join the conversation and follow us on twitter for the latest tech news, job postings, and #TechinMotion event info! @WorkbridgeMA
The lack of sleep due to Daylight Saving Time did not stop our recruiters from tackling this Monday with hard work and some research. Another Manic Monday means another Market Knowledge Monday where Workbridge Boston keeps on track with and up to date on everything going on in the Boston tech community and hiring scene. This week's winner was recruiter, Andy Kahan on the Network Infrastructure team who shared with the office a map of Boston start-ups that he found while reading the Boston Business Journal.
"Kinvey, a well-known startup based in Cambridge since graduating from TechStars Boston in 2011, this week moved its offices to Boston's Downtown Crossing neighborhood — and released a map highlighting the growing concentration of startups in Boston proper."
Not only does the map showcase the shift from startups typically being located in the Cambridge area to the expansion into Boston proper, it also highlights the fact that Boston is a hub for entrepreneurs who work hard to have their ideas come to life and their companies started. Full article here.
Other honorable mentions:
Mass Tech Leadership Council's Annual Meeting in Boston. Governor Deval Patrick will join the Boston tech leaders to discuss how to make the tech ecosystem in Boston even better than it is already.
The BBJ announces the 2013 Pacesetters. Last Tuesday Boston Business Journal announced a list of the region's fastest-growing private companies, 70% of which located in Massachusetts.
New Neighbors! An Israel-founded firm, Nipendo, whose cloud technology aims to improve B2B trade processes is making the move to Boston and opening up their Headquarters in Cambridge.
The $100M club: 5 Boston tech firms with $100M in VC. An article from the BBJ discussing the VC funding of a few Boston tech firms.
Looking for a new job opportunity? Check out our open positions!
Don't forget to follow us on Twitter: @WorkbridgeMA for the latest tech news, job openings, and Tech in Motion information.
Wednesday night at the Microsoft NERD Center, Tech in Motion:Boston hosted their monthly meet-up with a discussion on "The DevOps Movement." Thomas McGonagle, Senior Software Engineer at Red Hat and Rich Paret, Senior Engineering Manager at Twitter (previously Crashlytics) gave presentations on a few different aspects of DevOps followed by a Q&A session.
The night started off with Tom's presentation on the coding side of DevOps. Focusing on "agility, application and automation," he discussed how to implement DevOps by using measurement and incentives to change culture, unified processes, and unified tooling. His lecture also touched upon Cloud Infrastructure Automation and Configuration Management using the software tools Puppet and Chef. To view his presentation slides, click here.
Rich then dived into the logistics of building a successful DevOps team within a corporate setting. Stressing that actual tech skills can be learned and improved but someone's behavior seldom will change, we left with the feeling that behaviors, not skills, are critical. Rich pulled from his personal experience and offered great insight on how to build a strong and collaborative product team.
Overall it was a fantastic night and we want to thank everyone who came out to join us as well as Tom and Rich for their insightful presentations.
Want to hear more from Tom and Rich? Follow them on Twitter:
Tech in Motion Interview Series: We had the opportunity to ask Tom McGonagle a few questions about his engineering experience and any advice to give techies that are just starting out.
WB: Did you always want to be a Software Engineer?
TM: "No, I had a more operations/systems engineering path to becoming a software engineer. My first job was at the Volpe National Transportation Center where I worked as an operator on the FAA's Air Traffic Management Network. It was a very large distributed Linux network, and we used a proprietary (it didn't even use TCP/IP for networking) system for configuration management and command and control of the hundreds of servers. My employer paid for me to get a graduate degree in Information Technology, and it was in graduate school that I focused on mesh wireless networking. Eventually, I heard about the DevOps tool Puppet and it clicked with me, because of my distributed and mesh wireless networking experience. Puppet was basically an advanced version of the system I used at the FAA, and a tool I desperately needed for configuration management and command and control of large mesh wireless networks. This sent me down the path of specializing in Puppet for the last several years. Based on this experience I was hired to work at Red Hat as a Senior Software Engineer working on OpenShift. Red Hat's free auto-scaling Platform as a Service (PaaS) for applications. As an application platform in the cloud, OpenShift manages the stack so you can focus on your code."
WB: You have so much experience working with different platforms such as Linux, DevOps, Puppet, and OpenShift, what is your favorite to work with?
TM: "I experienced a "gestalt" the first time I heard about Linux, Puppet, and OpenShift. Each technology clicked with me, and I have recognized each to be the "the next big thing". If I were to choose a favorite, I would probably have to say Linux. I got into it when I was 19 and in college, and it has been the foundation that I have earned my living from ever since."
WB: What advice can you give people starting out as a Software Engineer?
TM: "It can be hard to do, but try to focus on an up and coming language or technology that you expect will become popular. Node.js is an example of one such language; it is being touted as the "next Ruby on Rails". Another would be R the analytics language or even Big Data (Hadoop, etc.) in general. It can be difficult to identify the up and comers, and it will be hard work developing the skills, but getting in early on a technology has its benefits. In order to figure out what the next big thing is, attend meetups, talk to lots of people, read blogs, and industry periodicals. Try to make an informed decision, try to get a sense for where things are going and then jump in with both feet. It will certainly be an adventurous and wild ride."
Tech in Motion:Boston is a monthly meetup group centered around anything and everything tech. We have a lot of exciting events in the works so stay tuned and be sure to check out our Tech Mixer on March 13th from 6:30-8:30pm at Lir on Boylston St. We hope to see you there.
In the market for a new tech job? Check our listings here.
Follow Workbridge Boston on Twitter: @WorkbridgeMA
By: Stephen Vaughan, Lead Recruiter of Workbridge Boston
This is the most difficult market to hire quality technical talent since the dot com boom. And unless you have been living underneath a rock in an obscurely deep, dark cave on the South Shore or are new to the hiring scene, you are probably already aware of this.
Highly talented technical engineers are so few and far between, that holding out for that perfect person to help grow your team with is akin to a Buffalo sports fan holding their breath in hopes for a championship.
To properly introduce myself, I specialize only in Java and open source languages (PHP, Python, Ruby) specifically within the 495 loop of Boston. The location and languages I recruit for are among the most difficult positions to fill nationwide across any industry – it certainly is no walk in the park. After about a year of feeling the pressures in the front line, the Boston Globe reported on the hardships of tech hiring (and again, here).
So what do you do when you are actually introduced to somebody who does have the skills or the potential to fit the role of that perfect person? (From here on out I will be referring to this perfect person as: the "Purple Unicorn.") The knee jerk reaction is to speak with that individual on the phone and to make sure that their personality/ cultural aspects are as great as their technical skills, right?
I can’t stress how many times I consult and then witness my new clients miss out on that “Purple Unicorn” by sticking to their "typical" hiring process. The hiring market is constantly moving no matter what the demand cycle is and unfortunately, the current market is moving at a pace at which many people may deem uncomfortable.
The number one thing to do, and what we do here at Workbridge Associates, is to set up a time to meet with that “Purple Unicorn” face to face. 70% of communication is non-verbal and by taking the exact same amount of time out of your day to meet with that candidate rather than putting a phone up to your ear allows you to cover 70% more. This puts your company well ahead of the other 500 opportunities he/she is checking out.
By meeting with candidates every single day and understanding their ongoing job search activity, we make such a stronger connection meeting face to face. The proof is in the pudding. Workbridge physically meets with and sits down with any and every candidate who might be qualified for our clients. By doing this we truly understand what these Purple Unicorns are looking for in their next adventure and where the companies they have been interviewing with are falling short.
Remember that information is power and the more knowledgeable you are about those Unicorns, the higher your chances are to land one. HAPPY HUNTING! Don’t hesitate to give me a call at my office if you have any questions. The advice is free.
Want to hear more from Stephen Vaughan?
Follow him on Twitter @SteVaughan15
Connect with him on LinkedIn
Shoot him an email or give him a call at (617) 622-2600
Here at Workbridge Boston we know the importance of staying up to date on industry news around Boston and the Massachusetts area. Each Monday we participate in "Market Knowledge Monday" where each recruiter presents an article about the latest technologies and job market in general. Our prestigious Market Knowledge Mayor, Lead Recruiter Matt Rogers, then picks a winner based on relevance and interest.
This Monday's Winner: Recruiter Andy Kahan who presented an article from the Boston Business Journal. Yet another reason to be proud to be located in such a thriving city, the article highlighted the fact that seven Boston area companies made this year's Forbes "Most Promising Companies" list of 100 companies, including four in the top 25.
Check out the full article here: Seven Mass. firms make Forbes 'Most Promising' list; NY gets 17 on list.
Other Monday picks:
Speed Dating and Interviewing: How to Find "The One" (Infographic) -The Recruiter Lounge
Lead Recruiter, Abby Rose, took some inspiration from the upcoming Valentine's Day and shared a great article and infographic comparing speed dating and interviewing.
A Few Quick Thoughts on Negotiating Your Offer- Venture Fizz, Jeff Moore- Head of Talent Acquisition at TripAdvisor.
Stephen Vaughan, another Lead Recruiter here at Workbridge Boston, shared a few of these tips with the team that included not to negotiate just to negotiate and that honesty wins 100% of the time.
For another local update, check out last week's winner:
Startups Account for Vast Majority of New Job Creation in Massachusetts - Bostinno.com
An infographic that shows how start-ups account for a vast majority of new job creation in Massachusetts. Boston is a hub for the start-up community and this infographic is further proof that they are here to stay. Kudos to Stephen Vaughan for finding this to share with the team last week.
Have a story to share? Thoughts on these articles? We would love to hear from you!
On the market for a new tech job? Check out our latest openings.
Join the conversation and follow us on Twitter: @WorkbridgeMA
Last night, Workbridge Boston had the pleasure of hosting another Tech in Motion meet-up at the Microsoft NERD Center in Cambridge.
Matt Williams presented on "How to Make Your Site Perform Better in 2013." He gave the audience some tips on how to optimize their site in regards to speed and efficiency.
Boston techies braved the frigid temperatures to come out and learn about the different techniques, including image compression and site testing and monitoring, to optimize a site's performance.
"Web Performance basically comes down to two things - monitor to see how fast things are, then optimize to make it faster. Then simply repeat those steps over and over again. In this session, we learned about some free tools you can use to test and monitor your website for performance and then covered some easy techniques you can use to optimize the site. Now its up to you to keep repeating those two steps, while learning about other optimization techniques as they come out. If you do, you will see your site get faster and faster, blowing away your competition." -Matt Williams
Everyone grabbing some food, provided by VIGA, before the presentation started.
If you were unable to make it last night, here is a link with the slides to the presentation so that you can check it out!: Tech in Motion "Make Your Site Perform Better in 2013"
If you would like to join us and get regular updates about our upcoming Tech in Motion events, click here for more details.
Be sure to follow us on Twitter for updates on our latest events, tech news, and our latest job openings! @WorkbridgeMA