By Thomas Parzych, Practice Manager at Jobspring Washington DC
Technology is an ever-evolving industry and such demands the people within the industry are just as progressive as the technologies that are being developed. There are so many different options when choosing an appropriate tech stack for a specific project; hundreds of languages, frameworks, databases, etc.
There's a lot of factors that should be considered when deciding what platform or technologies to use for a specific project. The main concern for most is the cost associated with licensing and/or using the technologies. Another concern is the end-user usability; is it a large application or a smaller-scaled application? Something else to consider is what is easiest for the developer themselves, what language do they feel they are an “expert” with, are they comfortable with others accessing their source code, or do they prefer to not let they’re works be accessible to the masses? As the case in any argument, there are pro’s and con’s to both sides.
Benefits of utilizing the Microsoft .NET platform
Most Microsoft developers enjoy the Microsoft tech stack due to the ease of use. The .NET tech stack is widely believed to be very easy to develop with, and utilizing these technologies seems to offer a range of benefits. The first and foremost is that a Windows server is much easier to configure versus a Linux server. Most people believe that configuring a Linux server (especially with no or minimal previous experience) has a much steeper learning curve and takes a more of an investment of time. Another benefit of utilizing Microsoft technologies is the flexibility to work with varying languages on a framework, whether it be object-oriented (C#, VB.NET, etc.) or more functional (F#), there is a choice between languages to produce the best possible end-product.
Many developers also find some advantages of the Microsoft tech stack to be the quickness of being able to produce the product since there is often less obscurity and complexity when it comes to the .NET code. There is also the ability to build both Windows and Web applications, which allow for the use of multiple opportunities for builds. In addition, there is belief that utilizing the .NET tech stack allows for applications that are highly data-oriented, or applications that support huge database functions.
Benefits of utilizing the Open-Source tech stack
Over the past decade or so, there has been a progressive shift towards more open-source based technologies, and there is certainly reasoning behind this shift. From conversations within the community, the main reason seems to be the flexibility of being able to combine multiple technologies to create a “tech stack”. The mission of choosing what technologies to combine and utilize can be an uphill battle in and of itself.
Open-Source technologies are seen as community based technologies, and quite often shareable. This allows for many other developers to learn and gain exposure and experience with another developer’s source code. The main benefit of the open-source tech stack (and this typically affects the companies utilizing the software’s versus the developer) is the cost efficiency of the technologies. Most companies are happy with both the quality and the return on investment of the technologies. Veracode, the leading provider of risk management software, recently states that open-source products can be more secure then there commercial competitors. Most of the time, open source developers are able to identify and characterize security risks and develop a patch to these risks a lot easier than using Microsoft technologies. All in all, most open-source technologies offer a cost-efficient, secure solution for development environments.
What “Tech Stack” is better to use?
There is no real answer to this all-encompassing question. There are, obviously, many factors to consider. Both open-source and commercial technologies offer benefits of use, and any company or developer will have to assess these factors when making a decision. The main focus should be on assessing what the goals of the application are, and doing the right research to understand what will be most effective.
To hear more from Tom, follow him on Twitter! @Tom_Parzych
(Sources: Veracode and CodeCall)
Article by Morgan Khodayari, Recruiter at Jobspring San Francisco
When starting your job search, it is important to be in tune with how you are represented online and how you are utilizing Social Media. In this day and age, websites like LinkedIn and Twitter are a direct reflection of yourself and when used correctly can add another dimension to your resume and improve your credibility. While the immediate value of a Twitter page or an updated LinkedIn profile may be hard to see, your job search is the most important time to hone your focus on your online social presence.
Keeping Your Information Up-to-Date
One of the first things many hiring managers or recruiters will do after you apply to a job is plug your name into Google or look for your LinkedIn profile. Resumes are a great tool that allows candidates to show case their skill sets but a hiring manager can get additional details by utilizing online resources. LinkedIn gives them a good idea of who you’ve worked with, who you might know in common, or what your additional skills are but if your LinkedIn profile doesn’t match what you’ve highlighted on your resume, or is not up-to-date, it may draw a red flag. It can indicate that you were not forth coming in your resume or it can show that you are not concerned with your online presence. It’s becoming common practice for managers to request LinkedIn pages as opposed to resumes – it organized in the same way and should be immediately accessible so be proactive and include a link to your profile on your resume.
It’s important that you check your various social media sites at least once a day. If you are receiving requests or messages, you should be able to respond within 24 hours as you would an email. If you have a Twitter it’s important to show that you are active and contributing. If you have a Twitter account and have not tweeted for months, it cannot be utilized as a tool for creating your social media brand. You should not feel compelled to tweet constantly through the day – once or twice a day suffices and shows you are reachable and engaging others in the social media community. Be aware of who is looking at your LinkedIn – they could be hiring mangers or recruiters interested in your skill set. Also pay attention to how much traction your page is getting, and work towards improving your presence.
Contribute to Your Industry’s Community
Make sure that you are engaging with your industry’s community in every way possible. Share articles you find interesting, join groups, and reply to comments and statuses of people you find interesting. Utilize hash tags to join conversations within your field, and post articles that you read or events that you attend. This will not only generate more traction to your page, but also prove your credibility. Hiring managers want to know that their employees are in tune with what is happening in the industry and that they are active contributors so ensure that your brand reflects your involvement in the community.
Social Media is an active part of our lives and will continue to become more important. Your online presence can give you a very simple way to differentiate yourself from other applicants and make you stand out through sharing original thoughts and ideas. Take small steps to stay active and informed on various social media sites every day and see the impact of your new and improved online brand!
Last night, Tech in Motion: OC hosted The Future of eCommerce at Amazon's Orange County R & D headquarters in Irvine, CA! The presentation was given by Tom Nora, CEO of neoRey as well as the Director of Startup Workshops. His presentation focused on the Next Generation of eCommerce Technologies and which companies are utilizing these technologies to the fullest.
The event started off with a lot of networking along with catering from Zpizza. We had over 160 technology enthusiasts and professionals in attendance.
Tom began his presentation by focusing on where the eCommerce technology trends will be heading in the future. In his opinion, the technology is going to move towards intuitive UX, big images, back end JS and drupal with no coding. His examples of great eCommerce sites who utilize all of these new technologies are Amazon, Gilt and Nasty Gal.
The presentation was quite the hit and everyone enjoyed themselves. We can't wait until our next Tech in Motion: OC event!
The all elusive cloud is quite the hot topic in today's tech world, with thousands of questions surrounding it. So for April's Tech in Motion event we decided to take a stab at answering some of those questions with a Clash of the Clouds debate!
We had four amazing cloud experts participate as our debaters:
- On the Open Source side we had Erik Sebesta, Chief Architect and Technology Officer of Cloud Technology Partners, and Ed Brennan, Senior Director of Cloud Computer, Development and Strategy of Stratus Technologies
- On the Azure side was Mark Eisenberg, Cloud visionary and former member of the Windows Azure sales team, and Bill Wilder, Founder of the Boston Azure User Group and author of Cloud Architect Patterns (O'Reilly Media 2012).
To say the debate got heated would be quite the understatement. There were valid arguments from both sides, however the only clear cut winners were the audience.
For more information about the event check out the live tweets by searching #TechinMotion or visit our meetup.com to see the comments! A special thanks to our debaters for their active participation in this event.
Have ideas for another debate? Comment below and let us know what you'd like to see discussed at Tech in Motion's next event!
Every Monday in our Jobspring offices around the country, the recruiters participate in “Market Knowledge” – a chance to share articles to inform the office about what is going on in the tech markets in our cities. Since we find this knowledge share so useful, we thought that we could start sharing some of these articles with our blog readers!
Here are the articles that our cities found the most useful and informative:
Germ-zapping ‘robots’: Hospitals combat superbugs (Arizona Daily Star)
Researchers have successfully built robots that can kill hospital superbugs—that were once thought indestructible—with technologies that wouldn’t be plausible for humans to use.
Submitted by: Chris Walek
Scientists build baseball-playing robot with 100,000-neuron fake brain (Wired.com)
Scientists are building a robot that can exactly mimic human actions, such as swinging a baseball bat, in hopes of constructing a robotic brain that mirrors the human brain.
Submitted by: Kieran Carr
Brad Keywell: Entrepreneurship at Universities — 311 Years Late (WSJ)
PayTango allows you to pay with your fingerprints, linking your biometric information to your credit cards so you don’t have to carry plastic ever again.
Submitted by: Tim Yandel
The Myth of America's Tech-Talent Shortage (The Atlantic)
And what it should mean for immigration reform.
Submitted by: Michael Creevan
Spotify May Need to Be More ‘Asian’ To Dominate Region(Tech Crunch)
As Spotify expands internationally, they are having to reevaluate their business model for Asia.
Submitted by: Graydon Klassen
Microsoft turns Forbes magazines into Wi-Fi hot spots (cnet)
There will be a Wi-Fi router inserted in select copies of Forbes magazines in order to promote the new Microsoft Office 365
Submitted by: Eric Tenenbaum
Is the PC dead? (CNN)
PC sales are down across the board by 14%. The PC is becoming obsolete due to the rising number of tablets and laptops.
Submitted by: Eric Tenenbaum
Don't see something on this list that you read about recently? Comment below and share market information that's a must know!
By Dana Henderson, Practice Manager of Jobspring Los Angeles
If you ask anyone in the tech industry, or even in the business world, which two markets are going to see the most growth over the next year, I bet that they would say social media or mobile development. From depositing checks, to shopping, booking flights or filing taxes, people are moving away from their personal computers and relying increasingly on their smartphones and tablets. If a company has any interest in beating their competition, it’s essential for them to have a mobile version of their product, and to have the most efficient, user friendly mobile application out there. With the smartphone market as immensely competitive as it is, companies need to be accessible to all users; meaning, they need to have both an iOS version and an Android option.
So, how do we effectively and efficiently produce these products? Do you hire a programmer that can work on both platforms, or do you have separate teams to build each one? As a recruiter who gathers requirements from hiring managers on a daily basis, a question we always ask is, “Does this mobile developer need experience with iOS or Android?” The initial and most common response is, “Well, if they have both that would be great!” Is this a reasonable job requirement, and should all iPhone developers start learning Android if they want to be hired? Or do these managers need to realize that it’s more effective to hire two specialized developers?
After speaking to a number of mobile developers, the general response is that it hiring specifics depend on the project and the goal of the company. Generally, if the business relies heavily on the mobile app, or if it’s an essential part of the marketing strategy, or involves complex features, the company should hire separate developers. To begin, iOS and Android are extremely different in regards to programming techniques. Not only is one written in Objective-C and the other in Java, but the Android platform is generally a bit more challenging, since there are multiple versions. One developer I consulted with said, “What makes it difficult for Android is not the programming (language) part of it, but issues such as fragmentation, API’s not being as swift and nice as with iOS, and the technology moving very quickly. Although all of these things are getting better with Android, it can become difficult for one person to keep on top of everything.” Many other engineers had a similar response, and indicated that since they are two completely different platforms, it is best to have two developers.
To add another level of difficulty to finding this “Purple Unicorn”, it is not only necessary to find engineers that are capable of developing on both platforms, but to find one that is interested in learning both. Just like consumers tend to stick to one brand or one smartphone, developers have preferences as well, and some of them are not interested in dedicating 50% of their time to the other device.
So why do companies still try to kill two birds with one stone by hiring only one developer? To save money, of course; which is why many managers think that a strong engineer should know how to program in multiple languages and learn how to build an app on various platforms. This can be true, and there are certainly developers who are very experienced and strong with both platforms. According to one engineer, “Both iOS and Android provide development frameworks that are largely compatible with each other, but neither Apple nor Google push these frameworks as the default environment. An experienced multi-platform developer can design the app so that the largest percentage of source code is compatible with both platforms, with little-or-no changes.” Essentially, this route would cost less in the long run, since it requires less human capital.
What is the solution? Do you spend a fortune on a mobile developer who’s a jack-of-all-trades, or hire experts in each department? Well, again, it depends on your goals. If you are looking to have flexible, easy-to-use products that attract a wide variety of users, then save money and hire one developer. If your goals include creating a complex application to target specific users with specific features, then it’s best to go with multiple developers who are strong in each area. The risk with hiring a “generalist” is that they can make small mistakes that require a lot of clean up on both code bases, which then takes more time and money. More importantly, business owners and hiring managers need to understand the market, and that native mobile developers are hard to find. Business owners and hiring managers must be willing to pay for good talent, and think carefully about time frame, budget, and the goal of the mobile application.
As for candidates, the more experience they have building apps from start to finish, the more attractive they will be as a candidate. Learning a new platform is always a good idea, as it will broaden the job seeker’s skill sets and make them more marketable. But be careful not to make the mistake of becoming the jack-of-all-trades and master-of-none.
What do you think? Share your thoughts in the comment section below!
Article by Jason Cooper, Practice Manager for Jobspring Silicon Valley
I moved to San Jose in January of 2012 having spent the previous year and a half working in our Orange County office. My task: open up a brand new recruiting practice specialized in placing mobile engineers. I was excited to jump head first into a new emerging market, and take on the challenge. Working in the heart of technology and in a time where everyone seemingly owns a smart phone, I didn’t think there would be much of a problem carving out a place in this new frontier. What follows is a series of common themes I’ve encountered in my time here:
The Senior Candidate?
One of the first things I noticed was that the majority of companies are looking for senior engineers with plenty of experience building mobile applications. Of course everyone would love to hire someone with a wealth of experience in the domain. That line of thought makes a bit more sense to me with well-established technologies like PHP, Java, or C#. However, I thought to myself, what constitutes a senior mobile engineer? How can you ask for senior candidates, when the technology itself is so new? Everyone wants people with 2+ years of experience, but there simply aren’t enough of those people to go around. What I encountered were plenty of engineers who fall into the category of what I like to call the “weekend hobbyist.” These people have day jobs in software development, but not working in mobile full-time. They write an app here and there on their own to experiment with the technology and gain experience in the field. Many of these people struggle to find mobile jobs because companies want someone who has been doing it with a team in a production environment. The companies that hold out for the perfect candidate often spend a long time looking. The companies that are most successful in filling their positions are the ones that are open to hiring candidates with good computer science fundamentals, the right attitude, some relevant experience, and a hunger to transition their career into a full-fledged mobile role.
Native vs. HTML5 vs. Hybrid
Do you actually have a business need?
As a recruiter, you always want to work with clients that express some level of urgency in filling their position. I am happy to spend the time finding and recruiting candidates, scheduling interviews, getting feedback, etc. if the client is serious about filling their position. However, there are many hiring managers that seem to be “window shopping” when it comes to hiring mobile engineers. Why does this does happen? I suspect one of the primary reasons is because some companies simply don’t have much of an actual business need to hire mobile software engineers. There just isn’t a huge return on investment for them. If the company’s core product is a mobile application then sure there is a legitimate reason for them to invest in the technology. They stand to make money and attract users from it. However, many companies don’t stand to make a profit from their mobile applications. They are looking to build applications merely to have a presence, keep up with their competitors, and retain non-paying users like in the case of banks or insurance companies. Mobile is such a new space that many companies just don’t yet have the pressing need to hire quickly. On the flip side, hiring Java, Python, or Ruby engineers to work on scaling and adding new functionality to an existing product that generates revenue for the company creates a higher level of urgency to hire.
Salaries and perks in a competitive marketplace
It’s simple economics; when demand outweighs supply, the price goes up. For iOS and Android engineers that are active in their job search, it is not uncommon for them to generate several offers. With so much competition for talent, the salaries for mobile software engineers have steadily increased in the last year and a half. For those that wish to hire engineers with top 50 CS degrees, the price can be quite high. I have seen recent Stanford and Berkeley grads with mostly academic experience get offers north of $110K. I have seen companies going above and beyond to hire the best senior mobile engineers on the market. They may offer the ability to work from home, extra vacation days, free health benefits, cell phone plans, and sign on bonuses. Silicon Valley already boasts the highest salaries in the country and I anticipate they will continue to increase, as growth in the technology sector shows no signs of slowing down. For iOS and Android engineers in Silicon Valley these are the salary ranges (will depend on experience, education, etc.) one can expect if they were to test the market:
- Entry-Junior Level: $80,000-$110,000
- Mid Level: $110,000-$125,000
- Senior Level: $125,000-$160,000
- Architect - Hands on Manager: $160,000-$180,000
What do you think? Share your insight below!
Every month or so Jobspring Boston has the pleasure of hosting the Boston Security Meet-Up. In support of the tech community our office funds the meet-up, providing free pizza, beer and a space for security enthusiasts to congregate. This past week Jobspring Boston had the chance to sponsor not one, but two events for the Boston Security Meet-Up.
The first event took place on Thursday and featured Joe Pranevich, discussing spam email, and Walt Williams, discussing the hacking risk analytics. The second was the first of its kind for the Security Meet-Up, it was an eight hour workshop on focused on Cyber Security 101.
On Thursday evening, Joe Pravenich kicked the night off with his presentation on understanding email spam. Most people probably don't know this, but spam is the single greatest challenge to email users and providers. For most 'spam' is simply an extra file in our gmail account drop down menus but Joe explained why appearances are deceiving. Joe rocked many a world last night by providing insight into the history of spam, statistics on botnets and spam, where it comes from and how much it costs, and a variety of anti-spam techniques. When Joe isn't enlightening the masses about spam email he is the Director of Global IT & Infrastructure at Lycos and their parent company Ybrant Digital and also teaches at the Harvard Extension School.
Walt followed up Joe's spam presentation with a discussion about hacking risk analytics. Walt touched on the exact definition of risk, how it's measured, the difference between probability and frequency, PERT distribution, and how hacking together 3 tools can allow you to perform intelligent analytics. Coming form a L0Pht background makes Walt an authority on the subject of hacking, it was truly a pleasure to host him our office.
Following Thursday's presentations was Saturday's Cyber Security 101 workshop, run by Enyel Perez. Unlike the other meet-ups hosted by Boston Security this one was held at the thoughtbot offices. As expected, registration filled quickly and the end result was an intimate group of security enthusiasts spending a Saturday afternoon learning all they could about the basics and more advanced concepts of cyber security. Here's a list of a just a few things this workshop covered:
- Exploitation with The Metasploit Framework
- Service-Side and Client-Side Exploitation Techniques
- Netcat for the Pentester
- Traffic redirection and Tunneling Techniques
- Network Scanning
- Windows Command line Kung-FU
- Obtaining and Passing Password Representations
If you missed these events and would like to get involved with future Boston Security Meet-Ups sign up here or follow them on Twitter @securitymeetup #bossec. A special thanks to Joe, Walt, Enyel for presenting and to all the #bossec enthusiasts who came out!