Workbridge Associates: Where People Meet Performance

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Archive: October - 2013 (4)

  • Volunteering with WHW and Project Interview

    Recently, Workbridge Orange County took some time out of their busy schedule to partner with WHW to host Project Interview at their office. WHW is a local non-profit agency with a mission to provide comprehensive employment support services to empower disadvantaged men, women, and teens to achieve economic self sufficiency through employment success. Project Interview is a corporate volunteer opportunity run by WHW to help their job seekers practice their interiviewing skills. By setting up rounds of the full interview process, from resume submittal, phone interviews, to in-person interviews, job-seekers were able to practice these important skills.

    After all three phases were completed, Workbridge gave thorough feedback to all the potential employees and there was a "winner" chosen! The idea behind this program is to take WHW job search and workshop training programs into a real world setting, allowing WHW clients to experience an actual interview process from start to finish with a real employer but a fictitious job opening. 

    Workbridge Associates takes a hands-on approach to recruiting, interviewing all of their own job-seekers, so it was a natural alliance to use their interviewing skills to help others improve.

    It was a great afternoon for Workbridge, helping out their local community and being able to use their skills for good. The partnership between Workbridge Orange County and WHW has been ongoing since April 2012. If you'd like more information about getting involved with Project Interview click here.

  • 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!  

  • Volunteering at Street Tree Care Day

    On Tuesday, September 24th, the Workbridge NY office had a great time volunteering with the Lower East Side Ecology Center. The Lower East Side Ecology Center is a non-profit organization that works towards a more sustainable NYC. They provide community-based recycling and composting programs, develop local stewardship of green space, and aim to increase community awareness, involvement and youth development through environmental education.

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    The Lower East Side Ecology center was founded in 1987 as one of the first organizations to offer community-based recycling and composting programs in New York City. They started their programs by providing innovative recycling drop-off centers. Today, they offer free public compost collection and education, electronic waste recycling, stewardship of public open space and environmental education.

    Workbridge NY employees helped clean up some of the Lower East Side’s tree beds by planting Liriope plants for Street Tree Care Day on Avenue C. Everyone split up into teams along the street, and like many activities that Workbridge NY employees participate in, planting turned into a competition between teams to see who could plant the most. The purpose of adding these plants around the tree beds is to decrease the amount of people littering around the tree beds and aid in the survival of the trees.

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    The team at Workbridge NY loves giving back to the New York City communities that they live and work in, and really enjoyed spending the evening with the Lower East Side Ecology Center volunteers!

  • How to Distinguish Yourself in Today's Job Market

    Article by Charles Chae, Practice Manager in Workbridge Silicon Valley

    Charles Chae

    In today’s market where jobs are plentiful but call backs and interviews are not, it is paramount that you focus on the first and initial impact and impression that you will make upon a prospective employer. In my experience, I have found that people gravitate towards those who go ABOVE & BEYOND in differentiating themself vs. the rest of the competition.

    To set the context, let’s assume that you ARE interested in the company since you are taking the time to interview with them. We can also assume that the prospective employer is interested in your background since they are taking the time to speak with you as well. If there is not much interest in the opportunity, it might make more sense to pass on the interview and save the time of both parties involved.

    I will walk those of you who are actively seeking a new opportunity, specifically within the CS or Software/Technical realm, through a few steps that I feel will be helpful in obtaining the position that is the most attractive to you in your career at this point.

    1. RESEARCH, RESEARCH, RESEARCH: Products, Management Profiles, Company Profiles, About Us, Press Releases, VC’s, Partners, etc. This is one of the most basic steps of preparation that I feel most candidates do not take enough time to do. Also, remember that we are all people from a different cloth and background, but do not make the mistake of just researching the basics of educational pedigree or technical career paths. Focus on the non-technical things as well. Who knows, there may be a side passion that you share with the person that you are about to meet or speak with. It should make a very strong and positive impression as it will be evident that you have done your homework. (ie. Sports, Alma Mater, Music, Lifestyle, Exercise, etc.)
    2. REFRESH YOUR MEMORY ON YOUR OWN RESUME: Most prospective employers will look at a candidate’s resume and will most likely ask about the projects and career path that is written by YOU! If there are technologies that you ARE NOT strong with, DO NOT put them on your resume. The majority of the clients that I work with admit that they would rather interview a candidate with a resume with a few “buzzwords” who knows them very well vs. all of the “buzzwords” listed without being able to articulate a lot about the topics. It’s also important to emphasize the details about why things were developed the way they were in the past, not just what was developed.
    3. ARTICULATE AND SELL: When you speak about your past projects and experiences, try to do your best at being VERY DETAIL ORIENTED. If you are asked to explain any past experience, you as the technical candidate should be able to explain OS, languages used, tools used, frameworks involved, databases utilized, etc. Speak about specific device models (iOS; 4, 4S, 5, 5C, 5S, etc.) and (Android; Gingerbread 2.3.5 OS on Samsung-S3 model, 1280x720 pixels). This will only increase your chances of making a great impression to prove that you know your stuff.  
    4. WRITE A THANK YOU LETTER: I truly believe that people do not say “thank you” enough nowadays. More and more people are very busy and sometimes a little too caught up in their own stuff. As technology evolves, social media is becoming the predominant and status quo interface with individuals and the rest of civilization. It makes it so easy to go through everyday life without physical human interaction. I feel that this is one area of the job search and candidate search that BOTH parties do not spend enough time and effort on.

    In short, know your background, do your homework and most importantly, BE YOURSELF! These are the keys to success and I hope that these tips will help you find that awesome role that you are currently seeking!

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