On Tuesday, September 24th, the Workbridge NY office had a great time volunteering with the Lower East Side Ecology Center. The Lower East Side Ecology Center is a non-profit organization that works towards a more sustainable NYC. They provide community-based recycling and composting programs, develop local stewardship of green space, and aim to increase community awareness, involvement and youth development through environmental education.
The Lower East Side Ecology center was founded in 1987 as one of the first organizations to offer community-based recycling and composting programs in New York City. They started their programs by providing innovative recycling drop-off centers. Today, they offer free public compost collection and education, electronic waste recycling, stewardship of public open space and environmental education.
Workbridge NY employees helped clean up some of the Lower East Side’s tree beds by planting Liriope plants for Street Tree Care Day on Avenue C. Everyone split up into teams along the street, and like many activities that Workbridge NY employees participate in, planting turned into a competition between teams to see who could plant the most. The purpose of adding these plants around the tree beds is to decrease the amount of people littering around the tree beds and aid in the survival of the trees.
The team at Workbridge NY loves giving back to the New York City communities that they live and work in, and really enjoyed spending the evening with the Lower East Side Ecology Center volunteers!
Article by Joseph Walsh, Lead Recruiter in Workbridge Associates New York
After reading a bunch of articles from credible sources online, searching for data to show what percentage of startups actually succeed and become profitable, I couldn’t find any hard numbers. Yet, the consensus seems to be that around 90% of startups don’t last longer than five years. Leaving your stable position to go work for the unknown startup might sound risky, but there are a number of factors to consider, especially for developers.
Every week I meet with anywhere from 10-20 developers that are looking for a new opportunity. The reasons for starting their job hunt always varies, but one thing I hear more often than not is that there is nothing new to be done where they currently are. The time at their job where new skills were being learned and new ideas were being implemented has passed. The company is stable and the paycheck keeps coming so some people might look at this as a good thing. Going to work and knowing that there is nothing to worry about for the foreseeable future may seem great. However, this type of role can be even riskier than that never-heard-of-before ten person startup.
With the ever changing technology industry, it’s easy to lose track of the "eight ball" quickly if you don't keep up with what's going on out there. In a role where you are assigned to one specific task, day-in and day-out, there is not as much opportunity to play around with new technology, and often you are not thinking about it either. You know what you're supposed to accomplish every day and there would be no benefit in asking the boss to implement this hot new technology that has come out. If the company has been around for a long time and technology is not the main focus, they might tend toward stubborn when it comes to bringing in something new. Cost doesn't help either, especially if the benefits are hard to see immediately.
A lot of my candidates are in this situation when they come in looking for something new. They feel the company they are in is stable but there is not much room for progress. Not in terms of salary, but rather in skill set. They know that if something does happen, they will be in trouble when it comes to looking for a new job. However, people are hesitant to move into an unproven startup while they are still making a paycheck. It can be a scary thing, but there are more benefits to working in a startup than just craft beer and a casual dress code. They are on the CUTTING EGDE of technology.
Startups don't have a preexisting system in place. Everything is built from scratch and the best way to build is to use the most up-to-date and fastest software out there. Not only will you be challenged to learn something new and take on a risk, you will also be exponentially improving your skill set. Since the companies are small, new hires will usually be asked to take on a variety of roles. This gives you a chance to really see what you are made of. No more going into work and staring at the same tasks every day.
You could argue that a particular startup will only last a year or so before failing and yes, it is possible. However, if this does happen to you, your resume will show the companies you apply to all the different software you have worked with and projects you have been a part of thanks to that startup. You are no longer the candidate that would need to learn the new technology; you are the person that could teach it to the staff. You have become a valuable asset with the experience and knowledge that companies need inorder to improve their systems. Your record shows that you are an entrepreneur who is not only willing to take a chance but that you also have the ability to learn new things quickly. This makes you a more certain choice than the person who has been at the same stable company for 10 years not progressing their skills. Startups give you a chance to grow as an individual much more rapidly than you would be able to elsewhere. And hey, you may even get lucky and join one of the 10% that doesn't fail.
Article by Joseph Schurig, Practice Manager in Workbridge New York
The tech market is doing well. There was a time not too long ago when California was the only state with exceptional career growth in the tech sector. These days, growth from every corner of the country is not only common, it’s expected. Considering the amount of open positions in IT and the growth of venture capital funding for startups, it should come as no surprise that the average tech salary has increased consistently over the past few years, and drastically. With all that money out there within the consulting and full-time tech market just waiting to be snatched up, we sometimes forget to consider of another important piece of the job hunt: the five year career plan.
The industry average for a software engineer staying at a single position is less than two years. Clearly, career growth is not as much in the forefront of job seekers' minds as it should be. And i get it, for someone looking for a job, it can seem simple to just choose the opportunity with the highest salary. The money is out there, so why shouldn't you take as much of it as you can get? Despite the lure of the comfortable raise in salary, job seekers should also consider the long term career growth in their next job.
While numerous cities across the country have experienced exceptional growth, Silicon Valley and New York are experiencing some of the most drastic results. Look at the numbers: the New York sector received a 2.5% bump in employment in June, compared to 1.30% percent in CA, nationally 1.00%. That same trend has continued since March, when New York /CA/National averages opened at 2.4%/.3%/.7%. While the average salary in the NY sector is $94,000 compared to $143,000 in CA and $120,000 nationally, there are opportunities at all ranges, above and below the averages, many with huge growth opportunities. The money is not going to vanish over the next decade. Job seekers should find their passion and work where they enjoy what they're doing.
While the East Coast tech market has experienced recent growth (lower salary average in NY reasoned for more jobs for younger talent), strong trends have been consistent over the past few years. This begs me to reiterate: candidates should be looking for five year growth, not just the starting salary. The recent past and forecasted future of salary growth in the tech sector reasons that a five year plan is more beneficial to careers.
The salary figures are there. The trend of market growth isn’t going to disappear soon, and there is going to be money plus potential equity/options out there for anyone seeking it. Great opportunities do exist. These days, it's just a matter of matching your monetary goals for the next five years (combined) and your passion. This isn't exclusive to the startup market. Companies that are decades old are experiencing similar growth, while startups are receiving record highs of funding from VC’s. The passion and the numbers are out there, we just need to take advantage of it as a community.
Article by Samantha Epstein, Practice Manager for Workbridge New York
Anyone who has been at the fore-front of the tech industry over the last 3-5 years has seen what’s been coming. It started out in Silicon Valley many years ago and has been trending east ever since. As the public markets started to tank in 2008, putting a damper on the finance industry in New York’s boroughs, Silicon Alley really started to take on a new shape as public investment capital was funneled into private VC investments in tech companies. What we’ve been experiencing since is nothing short of an all-out land grab that continues to push the limits of financing, real-estate, and manpower in our already over-extended city.
Money is not new to NYC, and neither is venture capital. But between 2007 and 2011, the New York region experienced a 32% growth in VC deals. Not only does that figure speak for itself, but when you look at that same number nationally, it’s quite simply insane:
That’s on top of the hundreds of already funded start-ups in NYC, the existing enterprise companies that are investing their own capital back into technology, and the thousands that are making the rounds to VCs pitching their idea every single day. So what does that mean? That means money. Lots of it. Money to hire developers; money to buy licenses; and money to buy hardware, software, and office space (not to mention the beer and pizza).
So what is going on with all this money? Well, most of it is going into tech. So much so that there is an entire industry dedicated to getting these new tech companies off the ground faster; meet the “accelerator.” The number of start-up accelerators in NYC went from 0 in 2008, to 12 in 2012*. Essentially a start-up boot camp, these organizations help start-ups grow rapidly by providing resources things like: business plans, organizational development, and product development, and they do it fast.
So now we have hundreds of funded start-ups who not only have cash but teams of advisors working to get these companies up and running. However, part of building out a company is being able to get everyone together in the same room to share ideas and do the legwork. And for tech companies the space must typically include at least minimal technology infrastructure.
NYC has always been a real-estate bubble. It’s no shock that rent is more expensive here. It is, after all, an island. In previous years, that was a determining factor in a company’s interest and willingness to move their operations to the Big Apple. However, the recent influx of financing coupled with good old fashioned collective bargaining power has begun to change this. In 2010, the media/information and computer/tech industries footprint in NYC real estate grew from 3.8M SQ FT to 6M SQ Ft:
Those same VCs and Accelerators that I mentioned previously played a big part in this. All these start-ups need places to work; places with desks, computers, coffee, and other techies to share ideas (and costs) with. Though the Bloomberg administration has made their life easier with tax-breaks and other incentives, when you’re working with a very small budget and already taking a huge risk at a startup, you need something a tad bit more temporary than the $1.8B office Google purchased in 2010*. Enter: the co-working space.
A co-working space is a shared working space that allows start-ups to share resources and collaborate with one another. Alongside the recent development of accelerators, these co-working spaces play a critical role in the real-estate side of things. Possibly the most well-known co-working spaces in NYC, General Assembly (which is also well known for its educational programs) grew to 350 members and upwards of 100 start-ups after about a year*. And they’re not alone in their quest. Aside from their cheap rent and great extras, these spaces have enabled their start-up hatchlings to grow their business before stepping out to make it on their own.
One other solution being currently explored by many start-ups in NYC is moving outside of Manhattan. You can see tech communities popping up in parts of Brooklyn and Long Island City; places that you previously may not have expected. But the bang for your buck in these areas is enticing a lot of these companies to set up shop just a short subway ride from the city’s center, and it’s paying off in cheaper rent and larger spaces.
Now, we may have money and real-estate, but you can’t build a tech company without manpower. All of these ideas can’t take shape without the people who can mold them into products. In the tech world, that primarily takes developers. Working with their product and marketing teams, these guys lay the bricks to the next big thing, and without them these tech start-ups would never get past the idea stage.
When compared to the private sector, IT job growth in NYC in recent years is astounding:
Based on the upward trend in the markets that 2013 has brought us, we can only assume this number will continue to rise. But this growth has not been matched with the number of available, qualified, tech job seekers in the city; A problem that could become the bottleneck of the whole industry here if it isn’t addressed. Luckily, we are seeing several Bloomberg initiatives aimed at targeting this bottleneck, from the Cornell Campus on Roosevelt Island to the High School engineering programs the administration has launched locally. But it’s going to take more than just a college campus and a few dozen high schools participating to fix this completely.
As the manager of a recruiting team here in midtown NYC, I can attest to the rise in business over the last several years (in fact, here at Motion, we are seeing historical production highs on an almost monthly basis). Companies are definitely leveraging the recruiting industry’s ability to help identify and deliver existing talent. However, using recruiting/staffing agencies like ours may help, but it’s a well-known fact amongst recruiters that we simply need more candidates ourselves.
So what are we to do? We’ve got more money being funneled into tech here in the city than the budgets of many small countries. We’ve solved the real-estate problem by sharing space or thinking outside the box. For all intents and purposes, we are in the middle of The Great NYC Land Grab as it relates to technology. But we don’t have enough settlers heading east to New York City.
From where I sit, the answer is simple. We need to talk about it more. We need to tweet it, email it, text it, post it, like it and all out yell it from the rooftops. We need to engage the already active technology community with those interested in becoming a part of the industry through meetups like TechInMotion. We need to start with children using technology in education, and support organizations that teach this like the Bronx based CampInteractive , which fosters the idea as they turn into young adults and gets kids excited about technology and entrepreneurship. We need to take high schoolers and college kids and talk to them about the demand and the rewards. And we need to do it now.
It’s going to take all of us, from VC’s to techies to recruiters. And it’s not going to be easy; we will have to change the way many people think about traditional career paths and how they look at technology as a part of everyday life, not to mention the way we educate our youth. But if we don’t do this, all of us are out of luck. After all, technology has become the universal language, and we’re all in this together.
*All data and/or statistics used in this post have been pulled from the Center for an Urban Future’s article entitled New Tech City published in May, 2012.
This past week, Workbridge Associates' NYC office partnered with Tech in Motion to host an awesome event at Alley NYC in celebration of Women's History Month. Together they were able to gather an incredible group of influential women working in the tech community to speak on a panel regarding issues such as education, hurdles faced in and out of the work place, market news and much more.
We would like to thank our wonderful panelists:
We would also like to give a special thanks to Rachel Sklar, Co-founder of TheLi.st and of Change The Ratio as well as member of the Lean In launch committee and board member of the non-profit She's The First for taking a moment to speak to our audience about the Lean In movement.
Tech in Motion NYC members networking before the panel begins.
Tech in Motion members networking and enjoying pizza and beer before the panel begins.
It's a full house for Women in Tech at AlleyNYC!
Beth Gilfeather introducing herself to the audience of Tech in Motion members.
If you missed this event, check out our recap video of Women in Tech presented by Tech in Motion NYC.
Recently, Workbridge New York's open-source development team took a trip to Manhattan Collge to speak with a few members of their business college, honors society as well as a few computer science majors. It was a lot of fun getting a chance to speak with the students about Workbridge Associates and the technology market in New York, and we hope the students were able to take something away from it.
Our Vice President of Sales and Recruiting, Drew Sussberg, along with lead recruiter, Gary Goldstein and recruiters, Michael Yurcisin (Manhattan College Alum), Melissa Gallagher, Andrew Kolkhorst and Thomas McCormick had a great time interacting with the students and helping to give a vivid picture of what our company is like and our purpose in the NYC tech community.
We would like to thank Manhattan College and everyone that attended the event for having us and being so hospitable. We look forward to visiting again in the near future!
Our Vice President of Sales and Recruiting & a few of our Workbridge NY recruiters.
By Joe Schurig, Practice Manager at Workbridge New York
After hearing countless amounts of interview feedback from our clients and job seekers, I feel like we have almost heard it all. Considering the strength of the technology market, we might be experiencing the most competitive candidate market...ever.
The U.S job market as a nation is struggling, in tech however, there are more open positions than qualified candidates with new companies and positions popping up daily. For obvious reasons, there has been a growth towards the expectations and talent of any potential employee when hiring. To put it simply, it is becoming much harder to get through an interview successfully. Furthermore, job descriptions are outlandish; they often appear to be a wish list of the best candidate ever -someone that may not exist. These expectations combined with the strength of the market are leading to almost impossible first interviews.
The initial interview to begin the process is where first impressions are made. Whether it is of you specifically, or your impression of the organization, it’s something that will last in one's mind forever. The amount of candidates on the market who are reachable is going to favor the organization: they can be picky. Regardless, it is imperative to have a strategy!
1) Do your homework. Make sure you are aware of what technologies the company you are interviewing with is using, it's important to study up.
2) Describe your background and prepare to explain how it is relevant with their company. Your resume usually doesn’t tell the entire story.
3) Questions gauge their interest. People love to speak about themselves, or their company. Ask questions about both
- What type of a team they work on?
- Overall employees, tech stack, seniority of company.
4) State your true thoughts and feelings! Most tech-focused first round interviews last less than an hour. If you are interested, best time to state your feelings is NOW.
5) Your enthusiasm, not your resume, will get you the job. Feel the need to go above and beyond: People hire People.
With all of these things listed above, the philosophy is that the interview will hopefully flow to a natural dialog. The general rule of thumb is that you, the candidate, should do about 65% of the talking. If you can represent yourself in the most honest way possible while following these general rules and suggestions, you will do just fine. Good luck!
Want to speak with Joe regarding the New York job market? Reach out!
Call: (212) 271-5100
One year ago Workbridge Associates NYC and their sister company decided to give back to the New York City tech community by creating and hosting FREE networking and educational events for our job-seekers, clients and tech lovers alike.
Over the past year we have grown to well over 1,000 members and have hosted an array of successful events thanks to all of our members, co-organizers and staff. With that being said, we thank you for your attendance at our events, suggestions and spreading the word about this group to your friends, co-workers and family! This is something to be acknowledged and most importantly, something to celebrate!
To kick off 2013 and to celebrate our achievements, it is our pleasure to announce Tech in Motion NYC's Demos and Drinks event for January 31, 2013 at Gallery Bar!
Join 100+ NYC tech professionals and enthusiasts for a night of networking, drinks and of course...tech demos! Seat Geek, Pluto Mobile and more will be presenting their company and apps for all to enjoy!
Not a member YET? Click here to join and RSVP for this event and more! Tech in Motion NYC