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.
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.
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?
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!
On Thursday, August 29th, 2013 Workbridge San Francisco volunteered at the San Francisco Food Bank.
Workbridge employees and a few other volunteers worked on boxing 12,000 pounds of pears for families in the Bay Area. Teams of four formed at each barrel for a friendly competition to see who could box their crate up the fastest.
Though the real win was all the people their efforts would help, Workbridge managed to package 12,000 pounds of pears in one hour. But there was still a lot of work to be done. Next, they bagged hundreds of bags of rice that would also be distributed to the Bay Area.
Volunteering can be a lot of fun, but more importantly, it's a great way to help out your community. Workbridge San Fransisco worked hard and can't wait to get back and do it again! If you're interested in helping out the SF Food Bank and your local community, please visit San Fransisco Food Bank for more details.
Article by Kate Lasater, recruiter in Workbridge San Francisco
Hiring engineers in today’s market can be an arduous process. Qualified candidates are highly sought after and competition is tough.Counter-offers are a reality, and culture-fit is everything. I’ve helped clients of all shapes and sizes hire very specialized, highly sought after employees in a very tight market. Whether you’re a hiring manager in a Fortune 500 company or a start-up founder looking to hire a rock-star hacker, keep these 4 tips in mind when filling your engineer positions.
1. Don’t make a decision based off a resume: I think we can all agree that engineers are very intelligent and possess a unique skill-set. However, not every engineer is a professional resume writer. Just because someone can write beautiful lines of code doesn’t mean they can write a great resume. There’s plenty of conflicting information out there when it comes to writing resumes, which leaves many engineers conflicted about what to put on their resume, and how to convey themselves.
2. Fit to the person, not the position: This means keeping an open mind and looking at all the skills and qualities a candidate brings to the table, and how he/she could benefit your company. Of course it is important that candidates meet some, if not most, of the requirements listed in your job description. However, it’s very rare to find a candidate who meets all of them. It’s important to be flexible and compromise in such a tight market. You can’t fit a square peg into a round hole.
3. Respect the candidate: the logic behind this statement is simple, but far too often I see hiring managers doing just the opposite. Follow up with candidates when you say you will, and keep them in the loop when it comes to your interview process. It’s imperative that you respect a candidate, and especially their time, when it comes to on-site interviews where a candidate will meet with multiple team members. This requires effective organizational and planning skills. Leaving a candidate alone in a conference room for 15 minutes can almost guarantee a negative impression of you or your company.
4. Move Fast: Your hiring process needs to be streamlined in such a way that you can move fast and make a hire in less than a week, from first contact to making an offer. Your interview process is a direct reflection of your company and tells candidates how organized your company is and what it would be like to work there. No one wants to work for a slow-moving company that takes weeks to make a decision. Moving fast will also reduce the risk of losing a great candidate to your competition. Great engineers are just as hard to find as a rent-controlled apartment in New York City or even San Francisco these days. When you see the one you like, you take it!
The Workbridge San Francisco office volunteered at Project Open Hand mid-August of 2013. “Project Open Hand is a nonprofit organization that provides meals with love to seniors and the critically ill.” Every day, Project Open Hand organizes 2,500 healthy meals and provides 400 bags of groceries to clients that suffer from serious illnesses and health challenges. Workbridge San Francisco was able to be a part of 125 daily volunteers that show up at the doors of Project Open Hand to help give back to a community that is looking for a helping-hand.
It all started with the team heading across the beautiful city of San Francisco on the 38 bus. As everyone started to get excited, they arrived at the doors of Project Open Hand.
Once the team was settled in and ready to start, they were taken on an orientation tour of Project Open Hand and were provided with a delicious dinner. After the tour, the group was then able to begin their job as prep cooks and kitchen helpers. Seven team members came together with volunteers from all sorts of different backgrounds to help create meals that would be distributed throughout the Bay Area the next day.
Overall, their experience with Project Open Hand was exciting, eye opening, and educational. The team walked away with new culinary skills and the ability to say that they were able to help someone else!
Giving back to your community can be rewarding but best of all, it’s needed! If you’re interested in volunteering or have questions about Project Open Hand Please call (415) 447-2300.
Article written by Kyle Sluzar, Practice Manager of Workbridge Associates San Francisco
If you have been involved in technical hiring recently, you’ve probably noticed how hard and competitive it is to find the right candidate. You spend endless hours gathering and screening resumes, reaching out to people, scheduling interviews, conducting interviews, and trying to close candidates. Sometimes you think you’ve found the right candidate and then suddenly that person gets another offer, or gets a counter-offer, and it’s back to the drawing boards. This is rather time consuming as well as very frustrating. So, how does one avoid this? The answer is simple: Hire a contractor.
There used to be a fear that if you hire a contractor, he or she will be susceptible to leaving for a better opportunity, which in turn, won’t help build your desired workplace culture. This is false. Most of today’s companies are hiring contractors as a tool to build their business as well as their team. One might ask, “How do they do this?”
Well let’s start with the interview process. In the current market, when a company finds a candidate that interests them, they must show urgency to hire. Sometimes this causes less time spent between the candidate and the team. Thus, the candidate ends up not being a positive culture fit. If this ever becomes the case, the candidate should be hired as a contractor in order to see how well he or she works with the team. This makes it a low risk but high reward situation. I’ve worked with many managers who question doing this because they don’t want to close the requisite and lose out on the “perfect” candidate. Just because the contractor was hired, it doesn’t mean that one has to stop collecting resumes.
Now let’s discuss technical skill set. If a candidate falls short technically, they shouldn’t be completely ruled out! A lot of managers have recently become more open to hiring the candidate on as a contractor and putting them on a 2-week project. This is done so the manager can see what creative ideas the candidate can come up with. If the candidate ends up picking up the technology quickly, this should be a sign to bring them on full-time. I recently suggested this to a client that was questioning a candidate on their design style. Instead of ruling that person out completely, the client had them work with the team for a week. You can guess what happened next. It ended up being a perfect fit!
Hire junior! If you are ever questioning a candidate because they are too junior, but have the bandwidth to have someone mentor and train them, hire them as a contractor. The candidate will be extra motivated to work hard and learn the product and technology. Once that candidate gets up to speed, they should be hired full-time so they can naturally become committed to the mission.