Talent Development Centre

All posts by Eagle Talent

Podcasts That Will Help You Grow

A couple months ago, we shared 15 Podcasts to Help Independent Contractors Get Through Difficult Times. The post, not surprisingly, received positive feedback and a number of shares. Podcasts are a convenient way to keep up-to-date on nearly any topic. You can listen to industry-leading experts to help you with personal development, all while driving, exercising, working or any other task.

A reader recently referred us to this infographic from CarRentals.com suggesting Inspirational Podcasts for Professional Growth. They’re solid suggestions, and if you visit the page, there are additional infographics, including Educational Podcasts for Personal Growth and Wellbeing and Self-Help Podcasts. If you’re not sure what to listen to next, you’re guaranteed to find something here!

Podcasts That Will Help You Grow

Is Google an Unfair Monopoly?

Google is one of the world’s leading technology companies, viewed as an inspirational innovator to many but as an unethical threat to others. This past Summer, the European Union fined Google 4.3 billion euros for breaking antitrust laws, stating that it abused its Android market dominance. The situation continues to raise additional questions about whether or not Google is a Monopoly and if the government should do more, similar to the Microsoft situation at the end of the 20th century.

This video from CNBC International does a great job of summing up the situation, including whether or not Google is a monopoly and comparing their circumstances to similar ones in history. Do you think there should be more government intervention over Google?

New and Growing Job Opportunities for IT Contractors by 2022

According to a recent survey from Nintex, 71% of decision makers across multiple industries say automation will affect up to one out of five positions at their companies. In IT departments, this could include those in roles that include troubleshooting, password resets, and upgrading security patches.

Given the numerous studies being released on this topic every day, should IT contractors and technology professionals be concerned about their future? Only if they’re not willing to change and learn future skills says the Future of Jobs Report published by the World Economic Forum. In fact, there are a number of opportunities! Just have a look at this very brief summary of the report:

1. Automation, robotization and digitization look different across different industries

The many faces of the robot revolutionWhile it’s expected that companies world-wide will be developing robots and automation, different industries will have different needs. As such, WEF says we can expect to see fewer of the robots we’re used to seeing in sci-fi movies, and more stationary robots.

2. There is a net positive outlook for jobs – amid significant job disruption

The World Economic Forum predicts that by 2022, 75 million current job roles will be displaced due to machines and algorithms. That may sound devastating; however, they also expect 133 million new job roles will emerge. Moreover, occupations like Data Analysts, Software & Applications Developers, and E-Commerce & Social Media Specialists should see some significant growth.

3. The division of labour between humans, machines and algorithms is shifting fast

Of all of the industries covered in World Economic Forum’s Future of Jobs Report, there is currently a 71%/29% split in task hours performed by humans versus by robots. By 2022, this is expected to be 58%/42% and 48%/52% by 2025.  According to the report, “Even work tasks overwhelmingly performed by humans today — communicating, interacting, coordinating, managing and advising — will begin to be taken on by machines, although to a lesser degree.”

4. New tasks at work are driving demand for new skills

Skills such as precision, memory, reading/writing, even management are expected to be less and less significant on resumes. Instead, the experts at World Economic Forum predict that you’ll get ahead in the next few years if you start highlighting skills such as analytical thinking, active learning, technology design and emotional intelligence.

5. We will all need to become lifelong learners

As noted in the previous point, learning is more and more important. Both individual workers and senior leaders are seeing a growing skills gap that can obstruct an organization’s growth if not managed properly. This shows opportunities for independent contractors in IT who manage to keep up with the latest skills and trends. It’s expected that one-half to two-thirds of the world’s companies will be turning to them for help.

What are you doing to prepare for the future and the inevitable changes due to automation? Will you be a leader taking advantage of the new opportunities or will you fall behind due to fear and resistance?

Highlights from the 2018 State of the Octoverse

GitHub, one of the world’s largest development platforms and developer hangouts, publishes State of the Octoverse Report. It tracks user activity and compiles user stats to share how they interact with each other, what they’re working on, rising trends, and some random fun facts.

The report is packed with data and we find the Projects section to be the most interesting because it gives a good snapshot into the hottest projects, languages and topics. Here’s a summary of some of the most interesting findings:

Top Open Source Projects

While those at the top of the list are consistent, GitHub notes that the newer ones (Kubernetes, Azure Docs and DefinitelyTyped) are projects that manage containerized applications, share Azure documentation, and consolidate TypeScript type definitions.

  1. Microsoft/vscode
  2. facebook/react-native
  3. tensorflow/tensorflow
  4. angular/angular-cli
  5. MicrosoftDocs/azure-docs
  6. angular/angular
  7. ansible/ansible
  8. kubernetes/kubernetes 5K
  9. npm/npm
  10. DefinitelyTyped/DefinitelyTyped

Azure Docs is also noted as the fastest growing open source project, with pytorch, godot and nuxt.js (neither of which are in the top 10) rounding up the top three fastest growing projects. GitHub notes: “Overall, we’re seeing trends in growth of projects related to machine learning, gaming, 3D printing, home automation, scientific programming, data analysis, and full stack JavaScript development.”

It’s also interesting to see who is driving these open source projects. While there are millions of paid and volunteer developers involved, some particular organizations fund and encourage this more than others. Microsoft, Google and Red Hat top the list and each have between 3300 and 7700 employees contributing. Also on the list are people from universities like UC Berkely, University of Washington, and MIT.

Top and Fastest Growing Languages

Top and Fastest Growing LanguagesWhen it comes to skills development and understanding what kind of rates you can charge, knowing the world’s most popular and fastest growing programming languages is critical. As can be seen from GitHub’s chart, JavaScript and Java have consistently been numbers 1 and 2 on the list for the past 5 years, with Python and PHP being in 3rd or 4th. The top 6-10 languages, however, have been more volatile. It’s interesting to see how much less popular Ruby has become!

As far as the fastest growing languages, GitHub says it is seeing trends toward more statically typed languages focused on thread safety and interoperability:

  1. Kotlin
  2. HCL
  3. TypeScript
  4. PowerShell
  5. Rust
  6. CMake
  7. Go
  8. Python
  9. Groovy
  10. SQLPL

What About Emojis???

Finally, the most important question: which emojis are being used? Rest assured, GitHub is tracking that too! Fortunately, developers remain quite positive, with the thumbs up, party, heart and happy face being used the most. But it’s not all happy, the thumbs down and confused face finish up the list of most used emojis. Maybe not surprising, they’re both especially popular with C# contributors.

Most-Used Emojis

How to Stay Safe and Secure this Holiday Season

It’s December and the holiday season is underway! Hanukkah began yesterday, the Christmas rush is buzzing, parties are non-stop and vacation plans are being finalized. With all of the excitement, there is always the risk of some people’s holidays being derailed by thefts, injuries or other preventable tragedies.

Regardless of your plans over the next month, it’s a good idea to pay a little extra attention to safety and security. Have a quick scroll through this infographic from Iron Security and remember to share it with your family and friends. None of these tips require a whole lot of extra effort but can make a huge difference in how you enjoy the coming weeks.

How to Stay Safe and Secure this Holiday Season

7 Reasons Why Smart, Hardworking People Don’t Become Successful

The idea that smart people who grew up in a good environment would be successful is a common idea that may not actually be true. There are many other factors that lead to success beyond intelligence and work ethics. This video by the Art of Improvement highlights seven reasons why a “smart person” may end up being unsuccessful. Knowing these reasons can make you more aware of how you act in the workplace and outside of it and allow you to incorporate change to maximize your success.

The Hardest Person to Motivate is Yourself — Here’s What to Do About It

The Hardest Person to Motivate is Yourself -- Here's What to Do About ItIf you’ve ever led a team, then you’re all too familiar with the challenges in motivating others who just aren’t feeling it. If you’ve ever had to search for a job, then you’re all too familiar with the challenges in motivating yourself!

Self-motivation is no easy task. Some days you wake up and you can take on the world and be the most productive person ever. Other days, you’d prefer to watch Netflix or play video games rather than to continue with the job search, complete the grid or do your accounting. Lack of self-motivation isn’t just limited to tasks you dislike. You could be working on the most interesting project for your client and getting paid a fair rate, but some days, you’d still rather chat with your colleagues.

Motivating yourself extends beyond time management. Even the most organized and productive IT contractors fall into a slump. That’s because motivation is emotional. It ignores rational thinking and if you’re not in the proper headspace, it’s just not there. So how can you overcome your temporary lack of drive and push yourself to do what needs to be done? Here are a few hacks to get you started:

Get Yourself in a Positive Mindset

You’re more likely to procrastinate when you’re in a bad mood, so the logical first step is to make sure you’re in a good mood. There are various ways to do that, including:

  • Remaining optimistic by tracking your progress and celebrating success
  • Setting the right environment with a clean workspace and happy music
  • Getting plenty of sleep and exercise
  • Taking breaks as necessary

Set Meaningful Goals

Obviously you have goals: “Update my resume by the end of today”, “Complete the project on time and on budget”, “Do my taxes before the deadline”. Now you need to take those goals and make them more meaningful:

  • Make your goals mean something to you that’s deeper than “If I don’t succeed I’ll get fired.”
  • Keep reminding yourself of that goal AND its benefits and why you’re truly trying to achieve it
  • Don’t punish yourself for not achieving a goal, rather be constructive to understand what happened and move on.

Don’t Go It Alone

Even if you prefer to work alone, it still helps to have somebody on the sidelines who knows your goals. This will help to keep you motivated. When there are other people involved, you make yourself accountable and suddenly there’s extra pressure to get the work done.

  • Find others who are as motivated as you are (or more) and bring them into your circle
  • Expand your network with other IT contractors to share challenges and mentor each other
  • Don’t be afraid to get a little competitive to help drive your motivation
  • In times you really need motivation, try a commitment device. Give a friend (or even better, a foe) $100. If you don’t succeed, they keep the money. stickK will help you create a commitment contract, set stakes and manage the entire process online.

Get Moving

At some point you might have to fake it ’til you make them. If it takes a cold shower or jolt of coffee to wake you up so be it, but if you don’t start somewhere, you’ll never start at all.

  • Reduce all possible distractions so you have no choice but to work
  • Set routines that will let you know where to start — and change up those routines occasionally to keep it interesting.
  • Take baby steps with small simple tasks. Often just working 5 minutes will get you into the flow.

As mentioned at the beginning of this post, everybody falls into unmotivated slumps. The most successful people are those that know how to deal with it. How do you motivate yourself to get moving? Are there are any specific tasks you find are harder to get started than others?

How to Destroy an IT Job Interview in 6 Words or Less (and how you can fix it)

How to Destroy an IT Job Interview in 6 Words or Less (and how you can fix it)When a client requests an interview with you it’s a good sign that you impressed them with the skills and experience outlined in your resume. The hiring manager sees potential for you to be a good fit on their current technology project and wants to learn more about you. At this stage, it is appropriate for the skilled IT contractor to go into the interview with confidence, knowing that you’re interviewing the client just as much as they are interviewing you. With that in mind, however, the interview panel is still in the driver’s seat and regardless of your fantastic skills and rate competitiveness, it’s always possible to blow the interview by saying the wrong thing.

There are many incredibly stupid lines you can toss out in an interview that will immediately move you to the bottom of the list — blatant insults, offensive language, or getting caught in serious lies all make the cut. There are also some less obvious lines that Dice believes some IT professionals may not realize hurt their chances. They recently shared their top five favourite lines that they say can blow a tech interview:

  1. “Check my GitHub”
  2. “That’s a garbage language”
  3. “Sorry, I don’t do
  4. “I haven’t ever used your products.”
  5. “Nope, no questions from me.”

All of these sentences share a similar trait, aside from being six words or less. When you deflect to your online profile, insult their ways, or display a lack of interest in their organization, you give an impression to the client that the job opportunity is not a priority for you. To put it bluntly, you’re being arrogant and rude, and clients hate that.

Understandably, nerves get the best of everyone and sometimes in high-stress situations, words slip out of your mouth before you have a chance to filter them. You may not even realize you gave a terrible answer until you get home and reflect on what just happened.

How Can You Fix That Botched Job Interview?

As the same Dice article points out, “it’s really about what happens after tech interviews.” The context of that statement from Dice is referring to when the interviewer reflects on things afterwards; however, it’s also a positive statement because it means your opportunity is not over. An article from The Muse explains that not only are thank you notes important after every interview, they can also help you recover from a train-wreck.

The article provides templates for thank you letters you should send promptly after the interview for situations when you rambled too much, you showed up late, the interviewer was like a robot, or for when you screwed up the question. Essentially, while expressing your gratitude for their time, The Muse believes it is positive to admit you were further reflecting and want to clarify a response or revise what you told them. While a thank you note may not reverse the damage, it shows positive soft skills, including self-awareness, communication and confidence.

Have you successfully saved yourself after a disastrous tech interview? If so, we’d love to hear the story, please leave it in the comments below.

7 Things Everyone Should Know About Negotiating Anything

Negotiations can be difficult, especially if you aren’t a confrontational person. For IT contractors, negotiating is something that happens regularly and being good at it is what can help you go from getting a fair rate to an exceptional rate. Once you’re on a job, you continue negotiating in various circumstances, for example, when deciding on the plan you’ll use for a specific project.

If you’ve noticed you keep coming up on the short end of a negotiation and want to improve your skills, Close.io is here to help. They compiled seven fantastic tips to help you negotiate anything and summarized them all in this infographic.

7 Things Everyone Should Know About Negotiating Anything

What Generation are You?

The differences between generations — specifically Baby Boomers, Gen X, Y and Z — is a go-to, easy topic for nearly all HR and management blog authors. At staffing agencies, recruiters regularly notice the differences between generations on many fronts, including how they apply to jobs, what they want in an IT contract and how they typically act in an interview. It’s equally important for technology professionals to understand these generational differences. Working in teams presents a need to understand those around you and if you’re contributing to the user experience of a new program, you need to truly understand your target demographic.

Take a look at this video from Bright Side to find out some key generational differences and better understand them all, including your own.