Jobspring Partners: Talent in Action

The Jobspring Experience


Archive: November - 2013 (4)

  • Jobspring Gives Back with Families Forward

    This past week, Jobspring Orange County got the opportunity to work with the Families Forward food bank to get their Thanksgiving Food Bags ready to be distributed. They sorted produce items that were then put into over 750 Thanksgiving Food Bags to be passed out to families in financial crisis.  

    Families Forward is a non-profit that offers a comprehensive array of support services to at-risk families in Orange County. They range from the simplest form of help, putting food on the dinner table with groceries from the food pantry, to weekly career coaching sessions for parents needing guidance towards a higher income and better future. Their mission is to help families in need achieve and maintain self-sufficiency through housing, counseling, education and other support services. 

    Around Thanksgiving, their food bank is full to the brim with donated items to create a delicious holiday meal. There is a great interest in participating in this program, so Families Forward employs a lottery to choose the families which will receive the Thanksgiving bags.   

    Over the 2 weeks before Thanksgiving, they depend solely on volunteers to sort the influx of donations and to assemble the Thanksgiving food bags for families in need. 

    Jobspring was tasked with sorting various produce items and put them into the bags to be distributed. With 11 volunteers and great spirits, the volunteers quickly sorted through a large number of donations, they moved tables, and filled boxes. 

    They were grateful to be given the opportunity to participate in this wonderful program! 

    Families Forward is always accepting donations of food and time, so get involved! 

  • Jobspring Volunteers with Cradles to Crayons

    Jobspring Boston recently visited Cradles to Crayons, an organization helping provide low-income children from birth to age 12 with essential items they need at home and at school. Cradles to Crayons has helped provide packages of clothes, shoes, books, toys, baby safety equipment, and school supplies to 87,000 children in the Massachusetts and Philadelphia area.

    While at the Cradles to Crayons warehouse, our group assigned the task of sorting clothing. We had the important undertaking of making sure all the clothing going to families was in the best condition, and in the right sizes. With our watchful eyes, the clothing we sorted was then taken to the next station where other volunteers put together a week’s worth of clothing for children in need.

    By the end of our shift, we were able to help create 75 individual care packages. All of Jobspring's participants were delighted to take some time out of their Tuesday evening in order to help an organization that helps better the Boston community. 

    Thanks for letting us help out, Cradles to Crayons! We'll be back soon!

  • How GitHub is Changing the Way We Hire

    Article by Alex Clark, Lead Recruiter in Jobspring DC.

    Just a month after its status page confirmed that a major DDoS attack crippled the site for three hours, it may seem like poor timing to write a piece about the importance of GitHub. But if you ask me, they are in good company. Google, Microsoft, Facebook, and Apple all reported attacks in 2013 alone. And no one would question the importance of those companies.

    For now, let’s focus on why GitHub is one of the most important tools available to programmers, managers, and other professionals in the tech space. GH is, literally, the largest host of source-code in the world with over four million users currently contributing to its more than six million repositories (1). The question is, what are you waiting for?

    Prospective developers, proven ninjas, and wizards, if you’re contending for a new position without a GitHub account, you’re already one step behind. Interacting with hundreds of tech professionals in the D.C. Metro area, I’m often asked “What can I do to improve my chances of landing a dream job?” My answer is always the same. “Go home and create an account, start a repository and display your code tonight.”

    As Q1 draws closer and a flood of candidates hit the market, you should be looking for anything to set yourself apart from the pack. What better way to do that than by displaying your work publicly for all to see? Take a few days to polish your account and put up code. Network, connect, comment on, discuss, share your work and build upon others’. Collaborate on a project and challenge yourself for all to see. In a word, use GitHub to “engage”. Whether you view it as a social network, a warehouse or a host, use GitHub to its full potential.

    The site is quickly becoming its own virtual community and a productive one at that. GH isn’t a forum to post last night’s party photos; it’s a business avenue waiting to be taken. With around 3,000 live accounts, D.C. is ranked among the top ten cities in the work in terms of GitHub users (2 & 3). Whether you are searching for that next gig or just trying to stay relevant with one of the hundreds of JavaScript frameworks, GitHub is an imperative launching pad for your career.

    When career hunting, it’s important to know who will be looking you up on GH and that person is likely to be a hiring manager. If there is one major hiring trend to point to this past year, it’s that employers want to see your GitHub account. With much more frequency, companies are asking for candidates to submit their account information along with their resumes.

    Perhaps the biggest illustration of GitHub’s importance is how companies choose to leverage it. Hiring managers are creating tech tests and small projects for candidates to solve as a way to vet talent. In the workplace, teams of programmers are able to store their work and access any changes that other team members make in real-time.

    GitHub will continue to facilitate the advancement of software development around the Globe. As the tech industry continues to exponentially change the face of everyday life, it is up to you as a professional in this space to be conscious of trends in order to stay competitive.

  • Side Projects Can Help You in Your Job Search

    Article by Sam Shaw, Recruiter in Jobspring Los Angeles

    What do you enjoy? It’s a simple question that one would expect to have a simple answer but, in practice, it seems to stump many people. When talking to a job-seeker, this is always a question I try to dive in to and it always starts with the same confused response, “You mean like outside of work?”

    Now we have something to talk about. Not just what they accomplish at their day job, but what they do to relax, to find fulfillment, and to enjoy. For a lot of people the answer is still relevant: development. Developing in one’s spare time is akin to playing with LEGOs. This is the chance to play with new technologies, explore what they are capable of, and how changes can be implemented to solve new problems. I’ve seen this come from people developing Space Invaders with Node.JS, Snake in core JavaScript, or an imaging system for a NERF gun hooked up to an Arduino.

    It’s these side projects that give the job-seeker a lot to talk about, and passionately. Having a deeper conversation that isn’t limited to how the work experience you have is relative to the job becomes a powerful tool. When the conversation becomes about the passion that a job-seeker exhibits in their own time, the job itself is second to how those passions line up with the team. The mentality I love to rely on is “if this is what you do for free, imagine what you could do with a full time budget.”

    I am convinced that specific technologies, academic achievements, or relative job experience can be discussed in a matter of minutes. The real meat and potatoes of an interview come from how the interviewee’s foresight and passion aligns with that of the company. What better way to talk about it than describing the hobbies you have and how you learn from them? I’ve personally learned more from getting my hands dirty trying to solve a problem on my own time than I did in any academic environment. The experiences I’ve had pursing these hobbies, while studying math and physics at Ohio State, have included failing, doing research, and coming back stronger. Learning to approach new algorithms in new ways, late night conversations with roommates brainstorming ideas, and figuring out how to Google effectively became a normal and tangible skill set that can be applicable in any work environment.

    So the next time someone is asking you about what you do, don’t limit yourself to how you earn your paycheck. Talk about the Arduino robot you built, the Raspberry Pi media center, the game you made out of a new technology, and talk about the passion that comes with it. Once I put that passion project on my resume, the conversations about school and past work paled in comparison to what they were really interested in: “What do you enjoy?”

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