Workbridge Associates: Where People Meet Performance

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Category: Tech in Motion (57)

  • Tech Salary Report: Where You Need to Live to Earn $200K+

    Over the past 27 years, Workbridge Associates has worked with hundreds of thousands of engineers across North America to help find these tech professionals their dream jobs. While the vast majority end up in positions that pay between $50,000 and $140,000, we have also placed many engineers at the $200K-$300K+ range. Based on placements done over the last three years, Workbridge pulled together a guide to tell you what you need to do to get there, with data about the highest paid salaries by location, experience, skill set, and more.

    Based on experience, Workbridge has found that you can be the greatest developer with a Ph.D. in Engineering, but a $200K position may not exist in the geographic region you live in. As the report signifies, most of the job openings in the $200K range are located in San Francisco, San Jose, New York, Washington DC, Chicago, and Los Angeles.

    Apply to a job in one of our cities and get one step closer to the salary you're looking for.

    While it's still possible to reach the $200K level elsewhere, if you’re not open to relocating to a place where the pay is higher, you may be limiting yourself. For the full report and more details on how you can earn the highest salary, such as skills and experience level, read the full article by clicking below. 

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  • The Growing Relationship Between Tech and Education

    Article by Christine Arnold, Lead Marketing Specialist in Workbridge Chicago.

    It’s crazy how much back-to-school checklists have changed since I was in school. I remember how excited I used to get to pick out a new matching set of folders, a pack of fancy roller-ball pens, a trapper-keeper I could decorate with white-out doodles. Fine, maybe I was an office-supply nerd. But those lists these days read a little differently. My sister is going into her freshman year of High School this year, and I was shocked when she told me that her school required the use of tablets in place of text books. Computers? In the classroom? I wasn’t even allowed to remove my Walkman from my backpack while I was on premises!

    She has the option of bringing her own tablet, or of renting one from the school. I assume there’s some sort of financial aid system in place to provide them to students who can’t afford the rental fees. Then, a week before school starts, the students are invited to a mandatory orientation where instructors walk them through which apps to download, and how to navigate them once they do. You’re probably wondering what’s stopping these kids from playing Angry Birds all class. The apps lock down the device so that they can’t access other applications.

    All of this got me thinking about the growing relationship between technology and education. What else is out there that wasn’t around while I was in school? Well, it as it turns out, there’s a lot. In Chicago alone, we’ve got an array of companies doing some really amazing things in the education space. Packback Books, a company that was recently featured on SharkTank, is making huge waves in the textbook industry. They offer affordable short-term rentals of many college textbooks, and their inventory is only continuing to grow. How amazing would that option have been when you were in school? I know I spent upwards of $1000 each semester on my textbooks alone. It would’ve been nice to put some of that money toward tuition instead.

    Another really cool company is Overgrad. They’re a student tracking system that helps create awareness about colleges starting day-1 of your freshman year of high school. They use student data to project which colleges the student will be a good fit for. I’m pretty sure I didn’t even start thinking about college until after I took the ACT my junior year. Not that I regret my decisions, but I imagine that whole process would have been much less overwhelming if the onslaught of information had been gradual. And think about kids in lower income or rural areas, where going to college isn’t necessarily a given. Starting students off prepared and with realistic goals and expectations, and the chance to alter their performance based on those goals, will set them up for a life of success. It gives them more control over their own future.

    If you’re interested in learning about more Chicago companies revolutionizing education, check out this event we’re sponsoring on August 20th: Back to School Ed Tech Demos & Drinks.

  • Not Just a MeetUp

    Article by Liz Polom, Marketing Specialist for Workbridge Boston

    If you haven’t heard of MeetUp.com yet, well, say hello to your new networking accelerator. MeetUp serves to “revitalize local community and help people around the world self-organize.” With over 15 million members spanning over 140,000 groups, there is nearly a group for any person with any interest. If you love the outdoors, are looking to meet new people, or are a huge Star Wars fan, chances are, there’s a meetup for you. If there isn’t an existing group that’s perfectly tuned to your passions, no need to fear, the site allows you to create your own!

    It isn’t just about hobbies and lifestyles though, MeetUp is becoming the place to be for working professionals, job seekers, and industry leaders. If you attend a meetup today (and you should), you’re walking into a multi-faceted event. Meetups are now about recruiting opportunities, advertising, brand outreach, learning, and most importantly, networking.

    Here in Boston, meetups focusing on technology make up some of the largest groups: Boston New Technology, Boston PHP, and my personal favorite Tech in Motion! I’m a little biased because I’m a co-organizer of Tech in Motion: Boston, but love that all of these Meetups are bringing the tech community together through networking, a key tool for starting a job search or when looking to hire someone new.

    I asked one of the Lead Recruiters in the Workbridge Boston office, Matt Rogers, about the relevance of networking, and he gave me this spot-on advice - “Networking is so important because a resume will only take you so far, people aren’t hiring a piece of paper, they’re hiring for your personality; and it’s a great way for candidates to meet a hiring manager before submitting their resume.”

    Groups are utilizing the MeetUp format as a learning tool. Tech in Motion’s events are always focused on a specific tech topic. Whether we’re hosting a panel, speaker series, or a simple Demos and Drinks event, our attendees are always learning. Workbridge Recruiter Anneika Kerr says she loves “being able to meet new people in the tech community,” and really enjoys “learning more about the technologies, such as Xamarin and Azure, that our developers are using on a daily basis.”

    As the Marketing Specialist for Workbridge, I love that we host Tech in Motion: Boston. What originally started as an event series to give back to the local tech community became a wonderful melting-pot for networking and tech talks.  They are a great way for our recruiters to learn more about what’s going on in the tech world, and get out there to network with potential job seekers. We plan events that we would want to attend, that have a lot going on, and we always have recruiters on site to give career and resume advice. Attendees have the opportunity to meet with one another, check out various products up close, and of course, listen to industry pros give their insight on the latest tech trends.  

    Lou Adler, author of The Essential Guide for Hiring & Getting Hired suggests that “recruiters should employ a 20/20/60 recruiting strategy. The idea is to only spend 20% of their time posting jobs, 20% looking for resumes and 60% networking. This allows companies to find the best people available, not just the best people who are applying to their job postings.”

    No matter your interest, meetups are great excuse to get out and start networking. LinkedIn is great, but meeting face-to-face is even better. What are you waiting for? Start RSVPing today!

  • Ember.js and Rails Spotlighted at Tech in Motion Los Angeles

    Steve Klabnik, an open-source and ruby on rails enthusiast spoke for Tech in Motion: Los Angeles recently and discussed building API-first applications using Ember and Rails. He showed us practical applications of using these technologies, by coding and building an application that a restaurant would use.  Everyone really enjoyed picking his brain before and after the talk as well as networking with their peers.

    After the event I was able to speak with Steve and gain more insight about his tech roots.  Here is what he had to say.

    WB: When did you first discover your love of technology?

    SK: I started programming when I was 7. One of my uncles brought a computer home to my grandmother's house. I was hooked.

    WB: What is your favorite thing about coding?

    SK: I like that I can have an impact on people's lives in a positive manner.

    WB: What sparked your love of Ruby/open source technology?

    SK: Ruby just makes me really happy. It’s fun to program in, the people who program in it are great, and it just fits my brain really well. I love Open Source because we're collectively building a commons.

    WB: What in your opinion is the next big thing in technology?

    SK: "Tech" in general is so broad, I'm going to go with the Tesla Model S. It's still a luxury car (I won't ever own one,) but the next Tesla model will be affordable for all.

    WB: What excites/interests you most about the technology field?

    SK: The same as coding: I can impact others positively.

    WB: Thanks so much Steve! We hope to have you back soon!

    If you are interested in attending or speaking at a Tech in Motion: Los Angeles event please contact: Jennifer DesRosiers at 310-445-3300

  • Tech in Motion Recap: Starting a Startup

    Last week, Workbridge Orange County hosted Tech in Motion: OC's event Starting a Startup: Everything you need to know from K5 Launch. K5 Launch is a startup incubator here in Orange County that focuses on helping new startups find the footing that they need. Ray Chan spoke about what they look for, how the help, and how others can get involved in the burgeoning startup community in Orange County. Afterwards, we had 3 startups "pitch" their ideas to K5 Launch and the audience, getting real time feedback for their ideas. Here are some questions we got to ask Ray Chan and the startup presenters after the event. 

     

    Interview with Ray Chan: 

    WB: What is the importance of startup incubators in Orange County?

    RC: First of all let me distinguish an incubator from an accelerator. An incubator is more a real estate play, they rent offices and attract tenants by hosting entrepreneurial networking and educational events in the office. While an accelerator actively involves in the startups as well as providing seed funding and strategic connections to accelerate startups to become angel or VC invest-able in 3 to 4 months. K5 is an early stage venture investment firm where we provide funding to early stage startup as well as operating an accelerator. The importance of startup accelerator is because OC business culture is very transactional and not too entrepreneurial and risk taking. Although there are a plenty of talents, wealth, successful businesses, entrepreneurs in OC, they are very scattered and loosely connected. It would typically takes first time entrepreneur many months just to connect all the dots and find out all the resources they need, or their other option is to move to the Bay Area. K5 basically accelerates startups by providing a clear road map and needed connections and launch them with solid foundation in 3 to 4 months.

    WB: How did you form K5 Launch?

    RC: My partner Amir and I have been investing for many years, mostly in the Bay Area. But then we ask ourselves, why we put money in the Bay Area? The more we invest in the Bay Area, the more OC talents will be lost to the Bay Area. As described above, we have so many talents here, so much wealth, so many high tech companies, we just have a very weak entrepreneurial eco system here.  So we build K5 Venture to fill the void.

    WB: What has been your biggest, successful moment working with K5 Launch?

    RC: Watching startups succeed

    WB: 1 piece of advice for future startups?

    RC: Don’t start unless you LOVE and HUNGRY for your vision.


    Interview with Steve Gladstone:

    WB: How would you describe your startup?

    SG: CultureWidget is centered around the fact that a cultural fit is the prime determinant in long term hiring success. As it costs a company between 150-250% of employee salary in costs to replace, and our goal is to enable companies to hire more successfully, and eliminate this cost.

    WB: What is your motivation for starting your startup?

    SG: I want to help candidates and companies find better cultural fit for the long term success of both. We are very passionate about measuring, analyzing, and providing tools to help identify and address cultural gaps and issues that infiltrate the hiring process.

    WB: What did you take away from participating in Tech in Motion:OC?

    SG: It was a great opportunity to present our idea, seek feedback and validation, and connect with people we can work with, including K5 Launch.


    Interview with Srikanth Deshpande:

    WB: Talk about your startup

    SD: Pick2Pay, a mobile/web app that helps you maximize your credit card rewards. Pick2Pay is an app that helps you answer the simple question- Which card in my wallet should I use for every purchase I make in-store or online?  We are available on the iOS store and on the web at Pick2pay.com/app.

    WB: What is your motivation for starting your startup? 

    SD: I have had the problem of deciding between my cards every time I made a purchase. I used sticky notes at times to remind me which card to use while shopping to maximize my rewards. This became a much bigger problem while shopping online where there are credit card portals which have different rewards for each store. So we decided to work on this problem during a startup weekend at Cornell in Ithaca, NY and ended up winning the competition.

    WB: What did you take away from participating in Tech in Motion:OC ?  

    SD: We got some great feedback from the mentors to learn from the mistakes of our competition and some engaging questions from the audience about our user base and loved the interest from the audience who approached us with further questions and suggestions at the end of the pitch. 


    Interview with Christos Vrahnos:

    WB: Please describe your startup.

    CV: A revolutionary new method for eliminating use/handling of loose change/coins during small cash transactions & putting them to good use.

    WB: What is your motivation for starting your startup?
    CV: It was an "a ha!" moment & started doing research, realizing the potential. Always felt I had "entrepreneurial blood" in me. If I can't figure out everything myself, I'll surround myself w/people that can help.

    WB: What did you take away from participating in Tech in Motion:OC ?
    CV: Great to bounce one's ideas of of many intelligent minds at such an early stage & help better form one's concept w/helpful input. Great gathering of intelligent minds. Great opportunity!

    It was one of the best events yet for Tech in Motion:OC with over 140 RSVP's!

    If you haven't checked it out yourself, make sure you do at www.meetup.com/techinmotionOC. Our next event is set for May 1st at Amazon featuring Tom Nora talking about the future of E-Commerce! 

  • Tech in Motion Los Angeles - The Next Generation of E-Commerce Technologies

    On Wednesday, March 27th, Workbridge Associates had the pleasure of hosting yet another exciting Tech in Motion Los Angeles meet-up at BlankSpaces.  The guest speaker was Tom Nora, CEO and Founder of the start-up neoRay and Executive Director of Startup Workshops

    Tom spoke to us on the boom in Silicon Beach and Los Angeles of E-Commerce companies and the technologies that make them successful, in his talk "The Next Generation of E-Commerce Technologies."  We had a great group of people in our audience and everyone left with some new ideas and more confidence to continue in their startup endeavors. 

    We were able to ask Tom a few questions after the event and here is what he had to say.

    WB: When did you first discover your love of technology?

    TN: When I was a 11 my brother built a homemade crystal radio. It was fascinating to see him assemble these inert parts and then hear sound come out. From then on I was hooked on technology and electronics.

    WB: What is your favorite part of your job?

    TN: The unknown factor, the challenge to create the future and make something grow from nothing.

    WB: What sparked the idea for NeoRay?

    TN: The original idea for me came from seeing people use their cellphones to buy from vending machines in Japan. Simultaneously Alessio watched his father create a PayPal competitor and he wanted to make something more futuristic for mobile payments; he then saw a WIRED article "Kill The Password!". We compared notes and decided the timing was right for mobile payments without passwords leveraging advances in biometrics..

    WB: What in your opinion is the next big thing in technology?

    TN: The 15 Minute Website and Personal Website "Portfolios" - soon anyone will be able to build multiple personal sites with full e-commerce, payment systems, community, social networking, SEO, and big data analytics with no coding and very easy manipulation. Currently there is a barrier to this - you must know some coding to optimize this and it's difficult to manage multiple sites. People and companies will have a portfolio of websites and not even think about it.. Most of the tools already exist but need a lot of refinement; it will take another 2-5 years.

    WB: What excites/interests you most about tech startups and what makes them successful?

    TN: The Scalability challenge. Much of my career has been dedicated to trying to create the alchemy of continuously growing a company. The progress of E-Commerce, HTML5, CSS3, PHP and Javascript have made it so any startup idea, tech or non-tech, can become reality with very little money or work. The difficult step has shifted from launch to revenues, scalability, growth. This is exciting because it allows so many people to give it a try which equals more great ideas coming to light, but still requires a great idea and great execution to have larger success and growth. Pretty soon the most important people at startups will shift back from developers to those that can create and sustain growth.

    Thanks to Tom Nora and BlankSpaces for a successful and fun event!

    If you are interested in networking with like-minded tech enthusiasts join our meetup at Tech in Motion:Los Angeles!

  • Tech in Motion Presents "Women in Tech" Panel Discussion

    This past week, Workbridge Associates' NYC office partnered with Tech in Motion to host an awesome event at Alley NYC in celebration of Women's History Month. Together they were able to gather an incredible group of influential women working in the tech community to speak on a panel regarding issues such as education, hurdles faced in and out of the work place, market news and much more. 

    We would like to thank our wonderful panelists:

    We would also like to give a special thanks to Rachel Sklar, Co-founder of TheLi.st and of Change The Ratio as well as member of the Lean In launch committee and board member of the non-profit She's The First for taking a moment to speak to our audience about the Lean In movement.

    Tech in Motion NYC members networking before the panel begins.

    Tech in Motion members networking and enjoying pizza and beer before the panel begins.

    It's a full house for Women in Tech at AlleyNYC!

    Beth Gilfeather introducing herself to the audience of Tech in Motion members.

    If you missed this event, check out our recap video of Women in Tech presented by Tech in Motion NYC.

  • Tech In Motion Silicon Valley: UX Meetup

    On Thursday, March 14th, Workbridge Silicon Valley hosted a Tech In Motion:SV UX Meetup event. It was an outstanding night that brought information about User Experience (UX) to the Silicon Valley Tech community.

    UX Meetup

    UX Meetup

    Tech In Motion:SV had the pleasure of having Wendy Johansson speak at our event. Wendy is the Senior Director of User Experience and UX generalist at Tout, a video social networking startup in the Bay Area. Before joining Tout, Wendy was the User Experience Manager at Oolaya where she not only developed the UX team, but also created a user-centered design strategy for the company.

    Wendy spoke about "Making UX Matter to Your Company" and shared her thoughts on making UX a strategy within a company and not just a deliverable. The energy in the room was ecstatic! UX professionals and techies came together and everyone seemed to agree that user experience should matter to every company. The crowd was so engaged and beguiled that the presentation became more of a discussion between Wendy and the audience.

    UX Meetup

    We were able to ask Wendy a few questions about User Experience after the event. Check out what she had to say!

    WB: A lot of Silicon Valley companies are building in house design teams from scratch. I know that you were the first designer at Ooyala and helped build that team. What is some advice you can give companies when building a team from the ground up?

    Wendy Johansson

    WJ: Don't just hire a bunch of UX folks and expect great UX to be the result! You need to  have every team in the company understand what value UX will bring to the success of your product and be inviting and inquisitive in integrating UX into the company. Without everyone on board, you'll have a frustrated UX team that focuses more energy on fighting for their voice to be heard, instead of fighting for the user's voice to be heard. Second key is to stop seeking a unicorn - you want a UX designer that also front end codes? That's like asking your hairdresser to also design your wardrobe because they both concern outward appearance. It's not the same thing!

    WB: When and how should companies incorporate UX researchers into their team?

    WJ: At Ooyala, we didn't have a dedicated UX research team until we were ready to start building brand new products based on discovery and exploration of the industry. So we hired a really smart UX researcher to join the team and she started working directly with the Account Management team to set up a Customer Database to define what customers we talk to and when. This really helped us as a Product team to build trust with customers by not overloading them with research requests, and by ensuring we work with the same customers through the lifecycle of a product (from exploration to beta to release).

     

    WB: How can companies do a better job to bridge the gap between engineering and design?

    WJ: Create opportunities for engineers and designers to socialize, debate, and talk outside of a project! During a project, tensions may be running high, so bridging the gap isn't the goal everyone has in mind. Setting up an opportunity like a brown bag lunch or happy hour where the two teams can make mini-presentations about their process, how they make engineering/design decisions, etc. would be a great start. Then I think a lot of the work sits in design's court - designers need to educate the engineers about the user they're designing a product for. Help engineers understand why feature x and y are must-haves for a product launch, help them empathize with the user/persona and want to build something for that user!

    WB: What do you do to motivate your team and foster creativity?

    WJ: I think of my team as people, not as designers. People need to be challenged, need to have room to breathe and do what they're passionate about, and need to have work/life balance. So I'm incredibly concerned about how my team members are feeling as people and like to have very open communication with them about what's exciting or demotivating them. I also want each team member to feel accountable and proud of the quality of the user experience they're creating, so I enjoy "show and tell" of work to other designers (or the entire company!). This gets feedback from your peers and colleagues that you respect and pushes you to always do your best.

    WB: What products inspire you or do you feel have great design that values user experience on a high level?

    WJ: I'm in love with Airbnb! Not only does it give me the opportunity to live as a local during vacations, but their design is elegant, intuitive and friendly - the same vibe I feel from the Airbnb hosts I meet. I think their ability to project their brand values into the user experience on the website/app and in person is amazing.

    Workbridge would like to thank Wendy for accepting our invite to be our guest speaker and for helping us host a successful event! Everyone had a great time and we hope to see more of Wendy in the near future; possibly a UX conference?

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