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Archive: January - 2014 (5)

  • Hybrid or Native Mobile Applications: Weighing in on the Great Debate

    Article written by Charles Chae, Practice Manager in Workbridge Silicon Valley

    Charles Chae, Practice ManagerWhat you see is what you get, right? Not necessarily when it comes to Mobile Applications.

    There has been an ongoing, fierce debate caused by the disruptive mobile / wireless explosion within the technology sector. With legitimate pros and cons on both sides, passionate evangelists defending their stance, and a vast existing amount of both Native and Hybrid applications available to consumers on all open app markets, it is becoming more and more difficult to know which app is the best to download for your device.  

    If you think about when Facebook and many others first approached the consumer mobile market and released Hybrid HTML5, Phonegap, or Titanium mobile applications that looked great and fit the need and wants of the consumer, there were really no mandatory needs or glaring negative issues. They worked just fine. However, entire organizations and A LOT of the market decided to change things to Native and even re-architected, designed, and developed their already existing apps. Most were receiving ridiculous adoption rates on both iOS and Android platforms anyway, and it just made sense to make the switch. The downside, of course, being that designing Native apps costs money, resources, and most importantly, time.  

    Hybrid applications are 100% proven to be much easier and quicker to prototype and deploy, right? Yes, but at what cost? Consumers desire a quality experience, which in my mind can be broken down between the UI and Performance. That is where the Achilles Heel resides in Hybrid applications. Proven weakness on the specific interactive UI aspect is a huge downside both to developers and consumers. As an avid mobile applications consumer myself, I’d much rather wait an extra day or a week for a superior performing and looking application than accept a poor design with a few bugs.

    Lastly, Hybrid apps just weren't built for your device. You wouldn't buy an Apple device to plug it into an Android accessory, right? Then why download an application to your device that wasn’t designed or developed for your particular device? In short, Native apps provide the superior user experience. They may take resources to build and cost some time and money, but the end result is worth it.

  • Volunteering at the Winter Clothing Closet

    Right in the middle of the holiday season, five volunteers from Workbridge NY went to Rauschenbusch Metro Ministries on Tuesday, December 3rd to help give back to the local NYC community. Everyone had a great time helping out at the Winter Clothing Closet!

    Every Tuesday from November to March, the Rauschenbusch Center holds their Winter Clothing Closet where they provide men and women with free winter clothing, coats, sweaters, and more. On Tuesday mornings, people line up to make the list of around thirty people who get access to the clothing closet, and then return to shop later in the afternoon.

    When our recruiters arrived at the Rauschenbusch Center, they were given a tour of the Winter Clothing Closet setup and shown how the clothing closet works.

    Everyone got to work hanging up coats and other winter clothing and sorting the winter accessories before the men and women arrived.

    Once the shoppers arrived, each volunteer helped one person at a time find a coat, clothing, and winter accessories. In the end, everyone went home with a bag full of clothes to help them stay warm this winter season, and our recruiters were happy to be able to help and get to know more people in the community.

    Although we were only able to make a small impact in one afternoon, we hope to have helped make a big difference in the lives we did reach!

    If you're interested in learning more about Rauschenbusch Metro or helping their Clothing Closet, visit their website or email [email protected]

  • The Resurgence of Company Culture

    Article by Chris Walery, Recruiter in Workbridge Orange County

    Like in the rise of the dotcom tech bubble in 1997, recently, there has been exponential growth of one word: culture. Looking back into the 80s and 90s, culture took a back seat to profit and growth. This was also a time where there was no such thing as a small technology startup. The industry was commanded by behemoths like IBM, Intel, Xerox, and Atari.

    The big corporations were run and controlled exclusively by their stockholders and board members, and to them, culture wasn't as important as product timelines and high salaries. There really was no “fun culture” fueling profits and employees. That shifted once the dotcom boom began, as all of those highly intelligent engineers began taking their ideas and splintering off from their large corporations to create the small, dynamic, innovation-focused companies of that era. Think eBay, Google, PayPal, yahoo.

    The industry's shift into smaller, innovative, and FUN culture created the need for a new motto, and "Work Hard, Play Hard" thinking began. Fueled by startup companies competing for extremely high-demand engineers, these companies couldn’t compete with the high salaries of their behemoth rivals, so they sold people on whatever they could. 100% remote work, company equity, open working spaces, video games consoles in the office, and bring your kids to work days became popular perks.

    Now that the demand for engineers is picking up to dotcom era levels, the significance of culture is being highlighted again. Today, just as in 2000, companies need to devote significant thought, energy, and resources into keeping their employees happy and comfortable, as much as they do on developing new products and technology. In the highly competitive marketplace for talent, potential employees are factoring more than just salary into their decisions. The company perks, benefits, and culture take priority for most over pure salary increases.

    For most, this means being part of a company culture where happiness is paramount to money. Being treated as a member of a family (no matter how big the company) where bosses take critical feedback from employees and from it, build ideal work environments. Perks such as extra PTO, relaxed, casual environments, and videogame rooms have proven to have their benefits. Just ask Google, whose open, innovative, and casual environment has fostered ideas like Gmail, Google Maps, Google+, and so many more. Companies need to focus on creating a place where people will be comfortable, happy, and inspired so that time in the office feels less like work, and more like an exciting/innovative research project. The happier the employees, the less likely they are to shop themselves around.

  • How to Hire a DevOps Engineer

    Article by Tim Lockwood, Lead Recruiter in Workbridge New York

    The competition for engineering talent is at an all-time high, especially in tech hotbeds like New York. Here in NYC, the tech sector is thriving like never before, and companies large and small are setting up shop and building out teams of engineers. Many of these new teams, particularly those in startups and growth-stage companies, are open-source based, and working in lean, agile development environments. As these companies grow, they develop a need to scale their infrastructure to support an increase in customers or traffic. Enter, the traditional ‘DevOps engineer’. So hot right now. Everyone is looking to hire one, and most are spinning their wheels trying.

    Now, it’s important to note that ‘DevOps’ is not a discipline in itself, but a movement focused on increased collaboration between development and IT. Technically, a DevOps engineer can be someone with any number of backgrounds, but essentially they are someone who can work collaboratively with other engineers ranging across the tech ecosystem.

    By running a basic search in a job search engine, you’ll notice that most ‘DevOps’ titled roles are calling for the same thing: a senior engineer with a strong background in Linux systems, a knack for programming, using modern languages like Ruby and Python, and experience implementing tools like Puppet or Chef for Configuration Management. Great. As a recruiter, and a non-technical person, those skills are easy enough to identify, and tangible enough to evaluate within minutes of meeting a prospective candidate. Here’s the problem: there aren’t many of them out there.

    Because the core DevOps tools (Chef, Puppet, etc.) are relatively new, the pool of candidates who have had the opportunity to master them is small. Until recently, only the most forward-looking of engineering teams opted to implement these modern configuration management tools, and complimentary tools (Hudson/Jenkins, Foreman, mCollective, etc.). This has not only created a bottleneck in an already competitive candidate recruiting landscape, but a catch-22 for many prospective engineers who lack exposure to the technologies required by many of the companies they’d like to work for.

    The result of these conditions is 200+ open jobs- the majority of which have been open for more than two months (some as long as seven or eight months). With this comes significant salary inflation for those qualified to fill these positions. My team has seen several instances this past year where candidates in NYC who have been courting multiple suitors have generated offers of more than $40k above their current salaries.

    So, if your team is looking to onboard a DevOps engineer, and you can’t afford to compete with the top tech firms in your area or wait months on end, what can you do?

    At Workbridge Associates, my team and I have overseen many successful DevOps hires by clients who have decided to employ someone who is more junior than they had in mind, but with some training, can grow into the role. In these cases, our clients bring on someone who is eager and grateful for the opportunity to expand their technical depth. After all, the DevOps ethos is predicated on cultivating a collaborative technical team. In the past two years, we’ve noticed that junior hires in the DevOps market have resulted in candidates who stay longer. What better way to build a true DevOps team than to develop it in-house versus bringing in a hired gun?

    Of course, every team has different needs, but here are a few things to remember if your company is actively looking to bring on an elusive DevOps engineer:

    • Be realistic. Every CTO thinks that their product is great and should attract top talent. It will become apparent pretty quickly if this is the case or not, and it’s crucial to adjust accordingly.
    • Be creative. If you’re not having success bringing in the ‘finished product’ right away, it’s time to explore other options and weigh training costs.
    • Sell the candidate on what you can do for them. Beyond salary and benefits, the best candidates want to know how they can increase their technical capital. Make it clear from the first interview how your team can help the candidate grow their skills.
    • Talk about the long-term role that the candidate will be able to take on with your company. This is a concern I’m hearing more and more. Many senior DevOps engineers are hesitant about roles that require them to do a lot of upfront automation, because there are cases where once that initial work is done, they have essentially automated themselves out of a job and are relegated to ‘keeping the lights on’, so to speak. This is dissatisfactory. Give prospective candidates a long-term picture of how they will fit in.

    While these points may be common sense for some hiring managers, there are a surprising number of companies that are behind the curve. The tech hiring market has shifted in favor of the candidate, and it’s going to remain that way for the near future. Those who recognize that shift, and adjust, will continue to hold the edge in hiring.

     

  • Building Lasting Business Relationships

    Article by Matthew Lauster, Recruiter in Workbridge LA

    Having worked for Workbridge for almost a year, the importance of networking, and not just on a surface level, becomes more and more apparent to me every day. The first couple months of recruiting were definitely difficult, but recently I’ve been reaping the fruits of those seeds I began planting back when I first started and didn’t know the difference between a SQL DBA and LAMP Architect.

    Building, and more importantly maintaining, great relationships is the first step to growing your business and seeing success in this market. By checking in periodically, people begin to know and remember you, and I’m often surprised at how clients and job seekers recall small details about past conversations we’ve had. Not only does maintaining contact help build rapport, but it has shown me that these interactions really do matter, and make a lasting impact on people, regardless of whether or not we’re doing business together at the time.

    As a recruiter, it’s my job to make sure that the impact I make is positive, and that I’m able to make enough of an impression that a potential client will think of my name when they do have a need. Even if we’re not going to be working together immediately, building a rapport and maintaining consistent communication has helped me to better understand what my clients are looking for, and what will grab their attention the next time we speak.

    On the other side of things, when a great job seeker calls in asking for me and is ready to find a new opportunity, it’s rewarding to know that he or she had a good experience previously and came to me as soon as they put in their two weeks’ notice. By really listening to what the candidate has to say and understanding their needs, wants, and motivations, it’s allowed me to highlight aspects of opportunities that I know will get them interested or excited. When a candidate feels that you truly understand them and have their best interests at heart, it also helps build the trust necessary when contemplating such a monumental and potentially life changing matter such as changing jobs.

    After learning from others on my team and now seeing the results of building and maintaining great relationships, I’ve learned that networking is a marathon, not a sprint. Even if the client isn’t hiring right at the moment or the candidate isn’t on the job hunt just yet, a positive experience where I can provide market knowledge, career advice, or insight into the tech industry will not only score credibility points, but will show that I’m truly interested in helping and being a resource, even if we don’t end up working together for months or even years down the road. By building these relationships from day one, and giving everyone the respect and attention they deserve, you will set yourself up for success in the future, and it will all come back to you in the long run. 

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