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  • 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. 

  • How to Build the Perfect Engineering Resume

    Article by Morgan Khodayari, Practice Manager in Workbridge San Francisco

    It’s no secret that in our current market (particularly in the Bay Area) Engineers and IT professionals are in extremely high demand.  With the national unemployment rate on a downward trend, companies are prepared to do whatever it takes to make the best hires.  But even in a great market all job searches start with one key tool: a resume.

    So how do you get your resume noticed?  There are three simple things you need to keep in mind when crafting an engineering resume.

    1.  Keep what is most impressive at the top. Do you have a degree from a top-ranked school or program?  Do you have any particular certifications?  Have you recently written an application with the newest Javascript framework?  Make sure that’s the first thing a potential employer sees.  When evaluating a resume it’s expected that the most important information is right under your name, and you want something there that will immediately convince the reader that you deserve an interview. 

    2.  Don’t list technologies or applications that you haven’t worked with recently. I get it; there are many tools/technologies you’ve “touched” that you could easily ramp up with when taking a new job. However, if there is a coding language, tool, application, or other technology that isn’t in your core competencies— do not list it on your resume.  Mention those technologies in the past positions you’ve worked, but don’t make them the forefront of your resume if you’re not ready to talk about it in depth.  When potential employers receive your resume they expect you to be able to discuss everything listed in detail, and when you’re not able to do that it gives the impression that you embellished or lied about what your capabilities.

    3.  Keep it concise. Your resume is not an opportunity to dictate your life story.  Rather, it should be a summary or appendix of your professional experiences.  Utilize bullet points to not only improve readability and keep the reader interested, but also to highlight your main accomplishments. Think of every point as an invitation for the interviewer to know more. 

    Most resumes are accepted or rejected in the first 30 seconds, and your objective in resume writing is to make sure you secure an interview. A great engineering resume perfectly reflects what you’ve done in the past, what you’re currently working on, and what you want to do moving forward. 

  • The Growing Demand for Data Scientists

    Article by Scott Brosnan, Practice Manager in Workbridge San Francisco 

    Companies are using data to better understand consumers and the immense amount of new data pouring into their system. They know that this just might be the most important driver of business for success in today’s world. Whether it is a small startup or a multi-billion company like Netflix or Facebook, data is at the core in making better business decisions. Companies now save every detail about every click of the mouse. Online companies are able to track the browsing patterns and habits of their users. This allows them to use that data to attract new users with similar profiles and characteristics of existing users. 

    There is a growing demand for individuals who can analyze this data and derive insights from it. This trend will continue to grow as more companies are trying to find ways to capitalize on this information. Companies are willing to (or having to) pay top dollar for individuals that possess these abilities.

    A recent McKinsey report revealed some staggering statistics in the data science field.  There are roughly 140,000 people that are working as data scientists right now, and by the year 2018 there will be a shortage of 150,000 to 190,000 people with data science abilities. The field is just so new that it is a simple supply and demand issue. Every company is trying to make more sense of their data and find ways to most effectively use it. There are just not enough people with the skill set to keep up with the demand. 

    Most data scientists right now have studied mathematics, statistics or computer sciences.  Unbelievably, up until 2 years ago there was no data science or data analytics programs or major option in any university or school. One of the best indicators for the increasing need for data scientist, are the number of programs that are popping up around the country. We have seen programs begin at University of California, Berkeley, University of San Francisco and Indiana University.


    As more and more companies look to take advantage of their data, the demand for data scientists will continue to grow.

  • San Francisco’s Latest Tech Problem: Everyone Has a Job

    Article by Lauren Winklepleck, Lead Recruiter in Workbridge San Francisco   

    It seems like almost every technology-based startup in the San Francisco area is hiring for someone that is technical. Whether that be for a DevOps Engineer, Big Data/Hadoop Developer, Ruby on Rails Engineer, or a UI/UX Designer— the SF tech market is booming dramatically and now more than ever…even more than in the dotcom boom of the early 2000’s!

    Back in the first quarter of 2001 there were roughly 32,521  high tech jobs open in San Francisco whereas in Q4 of 2013 there were approximately 53, 319 open tech jobs (source: CBRE research analysis of CA employment development data). That’s a 63.9% increase in 12 years!

    So with over 50,000 open tech jobs in San Francisco, how are these startups filling their roles and capturing great talent?

    There are a several ways these startups are filling their roles— the most effective way, I’ve observed, is keeping in touch with personal networks as well as expanding them.

    Successful hiring managers are reaching out to past colleagues, buddies from college, and even developers they overhear doing a technical phone interview on the MUNI train! 

    In San Francisco, specifically, software engineers have a 2% unemployment rate compared to 4.4% unemployment nationwide. The job market for engineers is hotter than ever, meaning companies will do whatever it takes to make their next great hire.

    As startups continue to receive more funding, more tech jobs will open, which will continue to make the competition for candidates harder than ever—this trend shows no sign of slowing. It’s exciting to see where the San Francisco tech market will be a year from now!

  • SF Brings Cheer to the Ronald McDonald House

    Recently, our Workbridge San Francisco office went out to the Ronald McDonald House to bring as much St. Patrick Day cheer as they could. The team was definitely looking the part as a cheerful crew, as they were dressed in character, wearing green and lots of it! They arrived ready to roll-up their sleeves and get to work! Kendal, the supervisor at the Ronal McDonald House, divided the jobs into three areas: crafts, baking, and cleaning. Although, by the end of the day, everyone was pitching in to help in all areas. 

    There was a sweet aroma of baking cupcakes and cookies filling the air. The green icing, green M&M’s, and of course green sprinkles were all key pieces in bringing out some Irish cheer. The Workbridge team worked hard, carefully decorating each cupcake and cookie with a unique St. Paddy's Day touch. The finished product resulted in a delicious reward. The families were in for quite the surprise when they arrived home.

    Two brothers, Ryland and Trent, who decided to hang out with the Workbridge crew, illustrated such a strong resilient sense of hope. Trent, 8 years old, was staying at the house with his family, and he proudly showed off his fresh scars from a recent surgery. His smile was so strong and hopeful. After hearing their story, a few members of the crew took them outside to play.

    The Ronald McDonald House works to keep families rested, healthy, strong and by pulling together during their time of need. The House offers a home-like environment where family members find comfort through supportive staff, volunteers, and other families in similar situations. When families stay close to their hospitalized child, the child heals quicker and the family copes better. Giving the families a distraction from a long day of supporting their loved ones, they were greeted with hot cookies, tasty cupcakes, and festive decorations.

  • Drones: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

    Article by Workbridge San Fransisco

    Not long ago, drones were only thought of as tools of war; unmanned aircrafts that could easily seek and destroy predetermined targets without risking the life of a pilot. Drones have now become a major topic in today’s tech community, from startups to fortune 500 companies. This has helped place the intriguing machines under a less negative light. The Editor-in-Chief of Wired, Chris Anderson, recently stepped down from position to spend more time leading 3D Robotics, a company he co-founded in 2009 which designs and manufactures various types of drones, and is the main supplier of drone technology for the DIY drone community.

    So where is the industry going? Many companies are attempting to capitalize on this technology, with some very creative and interesting ideas.

    Matternet is a start-up based out of Palo Alto that is developing something that could be a game changer, an automated drone delivery network that operates autonomously and is coordinated with a proprietary software platform. In laymen’s terms, this would be a drone superhighway, a global grid system. Their initial vertical is the billion dollar pharmaceutical industry, which could be very profitable for the company, and whose delivery system is in need of updating. Many areas in 3rd world countries, places that are most in need of such medicines, are difficult, if not impossible to reach by traditional infrastructure. A drone program would be the perfect solution.

    Skycatch is a start-up based out of San Francisco that builds fully autonomous data retrieval drones for enterprise use in construction, energy, mining, and other complex industrial terrains. The drones are built with a wide range of components and sensors depending on client needs, can cover large geographic areas, and capture data at scale. The drones can be easily controlled using custom apps build with the Skycatch API, or with the Skycatch website and application.

    Rolls-Royce Holdings plc (not to be confused with Rolls-Royce Motors) wants to challenge the $375 billion dollar freight industry with “drone” ships, crewless cargo ships that transport imports and exports around the world from country to country. The company says that this will safer, cheaper, and less polluting than the current ships which carry an astounding 90% of world trade.

    As most have heard, Amazon has big plans for using drones as a primary method of delivery for their empire of e-commerce retail around the world.

    These are just a few of the applications that drones could be used for in the future. More and more ideas are being thought up, and more and more rounds of funding are flowing to companies with promising ideas surrounding drone hardware, drone software, drone networks, and the like. While there are still negative implications with the mass use of drones in our global economy and society as a whole, there are obviously good things to be said about the future of these unmanned vehicles and how they can positively impact the world.

  • What's Your Preference, Java or Ruby?

    Article by Cory Guilory, Technical Recruiter at Workbridge San Francisco.

    With technology changing every day and the competition to create the most innovative and influential products rising by the millisecond, deciding on what technologies you are using to build these products is becoming even more crucial for success. With that being said, I want to examine two of the most used technology stacks in Silicon Valley and try to answer the question: Java or Ruby?

    Ruby on Rails is one of the hottest terms in technology and there are endless reasons why. Being that Ruby on Rails is an open-source web application, its popularity among developers has increased dramatically over the last 6 years. Its success is driven in part by thriving companies who benefit from the speed and agility of Rails, which boosts productivity and revenue.  

    Many of the companies that you know and love use Ruby in some capacity - Amazon, NASA, Groupon, and Yahoo, just to name a few. The fact that Ruby on Rails is providing an open-source programming framework that includes reusable and easily configurable components makes working with this language appealing to programmers. 

    With start-ups increasingly focused on information delivery rather than physical product delivery, many choose Rails to build apps quickly, at low cost and, therefore, low risk. As businesses explore how they can use Ruby on Rails to build their next generation of products and services for consumers and employees, they’ll discover the significant development time-saving Ruby on Rails offers. Coupling this with low up-front investment and overall cost savings, it makes perfect sense that we’ll continue to see more companies choosing Ruby on Rails in the future.

    Now that we've gotten everyone excited, I want to shed some light on one of the most used technologies in the world and how Java has significant advantages over other languages and environments. Unlike Ruby on Rails, Java has been in use for more than 20 years. Java was originally designed for interactive television, however, it was too far ahead of its time. Java is an object-orientated programming language designed to have as few implementation dependencies as possible. It is intended to let application developers "write once, run anywhere", meaning that code that runs on one platform does not need to be recompiled to run on another. 

    Another key benefit of using Java is its security features. The Java platform allows users to download untrusted code over a network and run it in a secure environment in which it cannot do any harm. It cannot infect the host system with a virus, cannot read or write files from the hard drive, and so forth. Java uses 16-bit Unicode characters, rather than the more traditional 8-bit characters, that represent only the alphabets of English languages which allows for increased usability worldwide.

    The final, and perhaps most important reason to use Java, is that programmers like it. Java is a simple and elegant language with a well-designed, intuitive set of APIs, allowing programmers write better code with fewer bugs, again reducing development time.  

    Choosing between these two technologies for your web programming can be difficult, but the expectation of your end-user, quality, and timeliness of executing your deliverable will guide your choice. Do you opt for one of the world’s most well-trusted, well-designed, and secure technologies in use with Java, or are you intrigued by the "new kid on the block" who can offer low cost, low complexity web applications that can get your product up and running in no time with Ruby? 

  • UI & UX: The Difference in Terms of Design

    Article by Haithem Ibrahim, Recruiter in Workbridge San Francisco

    UI and UX, two terms that I’m sure just about everyone in the tech community has recently heard used fairly loosely. It seems that every company small and large is looking for a UI/UX designer to join their teams. Clearly these two acronyms have become the tech industry's latest buzzwords. But what do they actually mean? To start off, let’s define the two. First we have UI which refers to “User Interface” and second we have UX which refers to “User Experience”. It terms of design, UI and UX cannot be used irreplaceably. 

    User Interface (UI) Design generally refers to the user facing side of any type of physical interface, whether that is your latest smartphone, a desktop computer, or the navigation system in your new car. A UI designer is responsible for everything that a user will see on the interface. This includes everything from (but not limited to) input controls such as buttons, navigational components such as sliders, and informational components such as message boxes. Furthermore, it is the UI designer's responsibility to understand what the users’ needs are. They must be able to arrange the interface in a simple way that allows for the best user experience. Now that we have established that the UI designer is responsible for everything that the user can see and use, what does the UX designer do? 

    The UX designer is responsible for the emotion of the user. They are responsible for how they feel when interacting with the interface or product. UX is a much broader term that encompasses the entire process from concept to completion. UX designers generally start by conducting user research and interviews. The goal with this is to understand exactly what the users’ needs are. In most cases, the next step is to create a set of personas of each possible user and their needs. Once these first two steps have been completed, the UX designer will have the information needed to create the backbone of the product or “wireframes”. The wireframes are essentially the blueprints of what the UI designer will use to create the interface that the user interacts with. 

    Clearly UI and UX design are interrelated and you need both to create simple user centered products. At the same time, one should understand the differences between them. As stated, UI design focuses on what the user can see and touch and UX design focuses on how the user feels when they interact with the product. Hopefully my brief description about the differences in UI and UX design has given you a better understanding of two!  

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