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Location: Silicon Valley (3)

  • 2015 UI/UX Design Trends

    Running a sales and recruiting team comes with many challenges; keeping up on technology trends typically falls on the back burner for most. However, those who keep up with the ‘latest and greatest’ trends have the upper hand in educating those you are assisting with their search. The UI/UX design world is no exception, with 88% of young adults being connected to a smartphone it has become imperative to deliver the best user experience to compete. (Creativeblog)

    2014 brought us design trends like: The hamburger menu, pushing the limited when it comes to resolution, and the expansion of in-house design teams. With the end of the first quarter on the horizon, I thought it would be a great time to discuss a few of the design trends we will be seeing in 2015.

    Ready to hire for your next tech positions? 

    Skeuomorphic

    Lean design has been leading the way in recent design trends. This will continue, but as companies and designers continue to hone lean design and how it lends itself to mobile applications, they also need to set themselves apart. In 2015, we will see (and we have already started to) skeuomorphic cues in lean design. Keep an eye out for additional physical presences; transparency and layers will become more common, apps will continue to look flat and conform to strict grids. The focus of design will revolve around movable objects within the screen. In the summer of 2014, Google transposed this design trend on Material Design.

    Slippy UX

    I am definitely guilty of (over) using the term sticky or stickiness when talking about design. I like the idea of creating applications that not only engage a user on their first use, but also ones that keeps the user interested over extended periods of times or uses. The more our devices become connected to our everyday lives, i.e. thermostats, home security, or digital experience with our cars, the greater the need is for efficient and effective delivery of information. Slippy UX is giving the user an application designed for “glance-ability”. Coined by Jake Zukowski, Assistant Creative Director at Frog Design, "slippy UX is intended to be invisible-enough and non-distracting enough for the user while still delivering and absorbing information".

    Connectivity

    There are two emerging trends in connectivity, the first being something more apparent every day, even if we are not aware of it. The ability to send information to many devices, syncing with the cloud, and allowing users to maneuver their information has already started to be a driving force in design. Forrester Research found that 90% of users who own multiple devices start a task on one device and finish it on another. In 2015, we will see user experience that functions across all platforms seamlessly, regardless of device or screen size. The second connectivity trend will be an extension of what some of our mobile apps already do: accessing GPS and Bluetooth to respond better to user needs. The combination of these integrations, wearable technology, and the Internet of Things will result in apps that collect data on the user to deliver advice and infer when the device should be delivered.  The term to look for here is Ambient Intelligence.

    2015

    With worldwide IT on track to spend a total of 3.8 trillion in 2015, we will see the above trends and many more, become apparent in our every day lives.(Gartner.com) What trends are you excited about in UI/UX Design for 2015? 

  • Where to Live in Silicon Valley’s Booming Tech Market

    Article by Jason Cooper, Division Manager in Jobspring Silicon Valley

    If you were to ask the average American what they picture when they hear Silicon Valley, they’d probably say the big names like Google in Mountain View, Apple in Cupertino, and the Stanford/Palo Alto lifestyle they saw in The Social Network.  While these may be the landmarks people outside of California have come to know as the epicenter of technology, Silicon Valley has become a sprawling and growing landscape represented across the bay area. With Google and Apple buying up office space left and right in their respective cities, and companies like Palantir seemingly doing the same in Palo Alto, tech startups are often forced to find other cities to call home. 

    But let’s say you want to move to the Silicon Valley; where do you start? Which areas were popular in the past and where is it hot spot now? Where will you be most profitable? Where are the startups and the big name companies located? Being in the tech recruiting space, we have all had ample experience in this market. Hopefully, with our knowledge, you’ll be able to find your perfect location to get the most out of Silicon Valley.

    Many people consider the Silicon Valley to be the technologically-savvy region ranging from San Mateo, California to San Jose. As Scott stated in a previous post, the area is booming and salaries are higher than ever. However, there is a serious concern throughout the Valley-- where do people live? How does anyone outside of the top dog execs or the plain lucky afford to live a comfortable life when an average one bedroom apartment goes for $2,100 a month?  Where do the folks working the lower-salary tech jobs go?

    Since the recession in 2010 things have slowly begun to change. A blazing hot startup and IPO market pushed salaries to record level highs, and with that market, housing prices have also risen. It has become incredibly difficult to purchase a home in the region. The local real estate market is selling faster than ever, thus driving rental prices higher and making it difficult for those not making the top bucks to live comfortably within their means.

    Surprisingly, Downtown San Jose housing seems to be plateauing at a reasonable price through this real estate resurgence. There are multiple new apartments, offices, and entertainment spaces being built in the area, and there seems to be a lot of room to expand; which begs the question, how will all of this growth affect the cost of living and the economy of the region as a whole?

    The Palo Alto area has had the largest growth in the Bay Area between the Summer of 2012 to Summer of 2013; while over the last three years, Santa Clara County has become the second fastest-growing county in California. One of the major reasons for the rapid population growth is the above average regional job growth.

    Let’s look at some of the local players within 5 miles of Palo Alto:

    1. Apple, located in Cupertino: whose stock over the last three years has grown from $422/share to $580/share, while hitting a high of +$700/share during that time period
    2. Google, Mountain View: 2010 – $610/share, 2013 - $1105/share (high-water mark)
    3. Tesla, Palo Alto: 2010 - $22/share, 2013 -$150/share, with a high +/- $200/share  
    4. HortonWorks, Palo Alto: Founded in 2011 and still pre-IPO has received almost $100 million in funding.

    So why are those numbers so important? They are directly correlated with opportunity. The common dominator for the candidates that we speak to everyday are: stability, cutting-edge technology, and an opportunity for growth. Silicon Valley is the 21st century’s American Dream- the combination of professional growth, premier technology companies, mild winters and gorgeous summers makes the region, and specifically Palo Alto, an ideal place to begin or jump start your career. Not to mention salaries that are reminiscent of the “.Com Era”.

    However, this rapid expansion has created a predictable but not-so-easy to solve problem: where can we put everyone? Forget about office space or commercial real estate issues for a minute and let’s just look at living situations. On November 5th, the voters of Palo Alto overturned a council approval for the development of 60 apartments and 12 single-family homes. The approved plan allowed housing developers to exceed zoning regulations for public benefit. The constituents of Palo Alto don’t see it this way. They think the area is overpopulated, extremely dense, and parking is a nightmare. Check out this quote from a commenter on a recent article about Measure D, the aforementioned Palo Alto proposal-

    “The damage is done and maneuvering downtown with wall-to-wall people and cars is disgusting. I’m so disappointed in this city and walk around frustrated every day I walk out my front door. I can’t drive down my street to get to my house between 3pm – 6pm, we can’t park in front of our house because all of the downtown employees, I sit in bumper-to-bumper traffic, and riding our bikes through all of this traffic is getting more dangerous…

    -Downtown Palo Alto Resident - Link

    The Peninsula has become an attractive place to set up shop. Available homes and office spaces in areas like Redwood City, San Mateo, Belmont, and San Bruno are popular choices. The rent in this region of the Bay Area is comparable and cheaper than many of the other surrounding areas. It’s no secret that there is a shortage of qualified engineering talent out there. By living in the Peninsula, more transportation options, including public, becomes a possibility. The location is fairly central to people commuting from all directions.  For example, the growing populace of tech work in Redwood City and San Francisco is just a short Cal-Train ride away. Want to go south? Taking the 280 to San Mateo or San Jose is a much more attractive option to avoid the bumper-to-bumper traffic found on one the most highly congested freeways in America.

    For many of the same reasons, in addition to the number of bridges, certain cities in the east bay, like Fremont, are also becoming more popular. Granted, Palo Alto does have a certain associated appeal, but there are many so many advantages to moving 7-10 miles up the Peninsula that they just cannot be ignored.

     

    Which Bay Area location sparked your interest? Did you find any insight to the area where you already live? Leave your comments and questions below!

  • The War for Software Talent in Silicon Valley Drives Salaries to Record Highs!

    By: Scott Purcell, Division Manager of Jobspring Silicon Valley

    Anyone who has lived in Silicon Valley for a while and works in the high tech world, particularly in software, can attest to a market where the competition for solid talent has continued to grow more competitive by the year.  As a high tech recruiter managing an office focused on placing software engineers I have seen both the competition for talent grow as well as that very same competition drive salaries into a realm that we have never seen before.

    To be fair, salaries for software engineers in Silicon Valley have always been, on average, probably the highest in the United States. I personally came up from LA in March of 2007 and noticed right away the differences in salary ranges in Silicon Valley. For example, very top tier software engineers or architects in Los Angeles would on average be making somewhere in the 110k-125k range give or take. Entry-level grads with a BS in CS from top Universities like UCLA would start out making 50k-70k. These numbers all sounded pretty reasonable to me when you take into account averages for other professions and cost of living. Coming to Silicon Valley definitely was eye opening. Recent grads were getting 70k-80k. Senior Engineers were on average getting anywhere from 120k-140k. These average numbers really blew me away.

    Fast forward to 2010. We’ve just come out of a pretty nasty recession and the rest of the country is still hurting economically. Silicon Valley however is on the rebound. After a few years of radio silence in the venture capital world the money is flowing again. Software engineers that have put in a solid 3-5 years with their current companies and have waited out the recession are beginning to sense that there’s a new boom on the rise. Companies begin to use those funds to hire top talent. At first, salaries seem to stay the same on average. But as 2011 begins trends start to emerge. Facebook and Google begin competing fiercely for the very best young software talent and willing to pay 100k+ for entry-level software engineers. Other companies like Yahoo follow suite forcing venture-funded start-ups to also raise their salaries. Those engineers that had been making 125k-140k are looking for new jobs and, with the demand for their skills, are not willing to consider lateral moves. This drives the salaries up and now 150k base salaries for Senior Software Engineers has become the average. New trends in the market like Big Data and HTML5 drive the salaries up even more.

    For the first time since I’ve been recruiting I’m placing Senior Engineers at base salaries of 165k. You would think that these would be big, profitable companies, but the companies paying those salaries range from Series A funded startups to 300 person profitable startups. Gone are the days of paying someone a lower salary with the promise of equity unless that equity is something extremely unique; as in 1% of the company and you can still expect a relatively competitive base salary.

    Today, in 2013, the salaries in Silicon Valley are drastically different then even six years ago when I moved to Silicon Valley. This year alone I’ve placed entry-level grads starting at 80k and generated an offer for a Java Hadoop candidate with only three years of experience at 175k. Salaries for Senior Java Engineers that my team is placing range from 140k on the very low end to 165k. Candidates with 3-5 years of experience are easily being offered 110k-130k base salaries with significant equity and / or bonuses. This presents challenges to many companies from both a budgeting and internal equity standpoint but that’s Silicon Valley!

    So what will future salaries look like in 2013?

    This is an intriguing question. We’ve come to a really interesting place regarding compensation in Silicon Valley. Right now top engineering talent is getting 165k and above. With some C-Level executives and lower-management in the same range it can make things challenging from an internal-equity standpoint. Do companies stick to their guns and lose out on candidates or do they look to adjust their entire structure?

    Predictions:

    My personal opinion is that there are going to be some serious growing pains in 2013 and it will take until Q3 or Q4 until some companies begin to catch up to the market. Many companies will think that salaries are inflated and not want to pay the top salaries when those candidates may not be as skilled as the engineers already at the company. They also won’t want to up the salaries of the current employees. However, as word gets about what the market is paying and there are more companies paying those salary ranges we will start see more candidates making moves based partly on salary. Some companies will successfully counteroffer those candidates and others may lose talent.

    By the end of the year most companies will be paying that market rate for top talent and will have to adjust their internal salary structure. This all hinges on the continued economic growth that we have seen the past couple years. Fingers crossed!

    If my predictions are right, the good news is there will be some exciting growth in the tech world and more than enough money to go around for both talent and budding companies to continue the explosive innovation that makes Silicon Valley the high tech mecca of the world! As the war for talent continues I’m excited and interested to see how this will continue to evolve the high tech market in Silicon Valley and the impact it has on other tech meccas across the nation.

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