Talent Development Centre

Category Archives: Trends

All Talent Development Centre posts for Canadian technology contractors relating to trends.

Regional Job Market Update for Ottawa, Ontario

David O'Brien By David O’Brien,
Vice President, East Region & Government Services at Eagle

As 2018 came to a close, the Ottawa Job Market in December saw the unemployment rate tick up to 4.9% after a fairly robust job gains in October and November. Technology did continue to be a bright spot, with more job gains in December, however, not enough to offset losses in other areas of our local economy.

Shopify LogoHarley Finkelstein, Co-Founder of the near $16B (with a B!) Ottawa-based Shopify, recently tweeted (@harleyf) about the outlook for Ottawa. The advent of new LRT, a booming startup ecosystem with lots of new angel investors, and the nearby natural beauty Ottawans have easy access to all seemingly underscore the steady but sure sense that the Ottawa Technology economy, while not the boom of the early 2000’s, has reason to be very excited about where things are going. We’re seeing a number of newly funded and burgeoning startups traverse across technologies, including AI, Blockchain, IoT, autonomous vehicles plus traditional software-based companies. While not the halcyon days of the Nortels/Corels of the very early 2000’s, there is certainly plenty for Ottawans to be optimistic about.

Ottawa Job MarketThe other big player in the local market is of course the Federal Government who have been on a steady hiring pace for quite a while. Large players like Shared Services Canada are hiring many IT contractors on a permanent basis to help them deliver technology services across Federal Government Departments. The past Quarter, and in fact year, has been a very busy one for IT Staffing agencies providing the government with the critical IT resources the Feds need to reach their Digital Government goals. The Federal Government is focused on moving more and more to cloud-based services and will need a lot of help from private sector to do so from Data Architects through Data Residency and Security. With the burgeoning Start-Up scene growing together with the many more mature technology sectors I have referenced, it is hoped the Feds will look to review and revise their contingent hiring practices to be quicker, cleaner and more efficient to continue to compete in the months and years ahead in Ottawa.

As the calendar turns over to 2019 and we look ahead, history will tell us that Election years tend to somewhat freeze hiring as ruling governments look to hold steady any technology project announcements. Visions of Phoenix Pay stories and in the headlines keep politicians up at night with fear, we will see if that is the case in the coming months.

Roles in demand in Ottawa currently include Front End Developers, PMs (including a need for Agile PMs for the Federal Government), Data Architects, Cyber Security, and Testers.

Contractor Quick Poll: How Smooth is the IT Contractor Onboarding Experience?

There are great clients and awful ones, organized staffing agencies and scattered ones. On a contract, your experience with both is created from the first communication right up until the last payment for your work arrives. There are several elements that form an IT contractor’s experience, such as the people you work with, how easily you get paid, the type of work you do and the initial onboarding process.

While 99% of your contract experience may be amazing, we occasionally hear from independent contractors that their first few days on a tech gig were rough. Receiving documentation, clearances, equipment and desk space are all tasks that need to happen quickly so you can hit the ground running and get started on your project.

In this month’s contractor quick poll, we’re curious to know how often your onboarding experiences go smoothly for you. Could our staffing agencies and/or clients do a better job at improving it? We’d love to hear your thoughts!

The Difference Between Millennials and Gen Z (and how to work with both of them)

For the past decade, Millennials have been a hot topic and commonly discussed in nearly every type of post you read on the Internet: “Managing Millennials”, “Working with Millennials”, “Finding a Job as a Millennial”, “How to Properly Begrudge a Millennial”, etc. The fact is that millennials are now well into the workforce and there’s a whole other generation on its way that we need to understand — Generation Z.

Generation Z is the cohort born after 1997 or around that time frame, depending what you read. They are finishing up their post-secondary education now so will be a large part of the workforce shortly.  In the media and many publications, Gen Z are often confused for Millennials, because that term has been coined to describe any young person doing weird or annoying things (Remember the Tide Pod Challenge? That was Gen Z, but Millennials got blamed).

Regardless of what we label them, it’s necessary to understand all generations and their differences in case you are suddenly managing a new grad or working with one on your team. This infographic from Manila Recruitment will get you started.

Millennials vs Generation Z-How Do They Achieve Success in the Workplace

Women in Tech: We’re Still Not Where We Need to Be, But There is Some Inspiring Progress!

Women in Tech: We're Still Not Where We Need to Be, But There is Some Inspiring Progress!Workplace diversity in the technology industry continues to be a hot and critical topic, and reasonably so. Studies have proven time and again that a diverse team can out-perform less diverse groups, with their varied experiences and different ways of thinking which just scratch the surface of reasons.

Still, we continue to see research and articles about all industries failing in minimizing the gap for women. In fact, according to the 2018 Women in the Workplace report recently released by McKinsey & Company and LeanIn.Org, not a whole lot of progress has been made in recent years. The Muse summarized these seven facts directly from that report:

  1. Men Hold 62% of Manager Positions to Women’s 38% (and it Gets Worse Higher Up)
  2. Women Are Less Likely to Have Access to Senior Leaders
  3. Women Are Twice as Likely to Be Mistaken for Much More Junior Employees and More Likely to Deal with Discrimination
  4. Women Are Far More Likely to Be “Onlys” and Suffer More for it When They Are
  5. 35% of Women in Full-Time Corporate Sector Jobs Have Experienced Sexual Harassment
  6. Women Negotiate for Raises and Promotions as Often as Men Do
  7. Women Are More Likely to See Gender as an Obstacle to Advancement

We encourage you to read the complete report for more details, but these simple one-liners make it clear — there is still more work to do.

One person putting in significant work to dismantle barriers to equality is Melinda Gates. She wrote an inspiring article for Fast Company about Pivotal Ventures, an organization she started that studies gender gaps in industries and looks for ways to invest for catalytic impact.

As Gates points out, venture capitalists have significant pull in who will be the tech leaders of tomorrow. Shockingly, she learned that they have a rather narrow idea of who those innovators should be, with women founders receiving only 2% of VC dollars! Her solution: have more women doing the funding.

Pivotal Ventures is not meant to be philanthropical and instead, Gates says she is putting her money where her mouth is and invests in funds led by women and people of colour. Rather than a grant or hand-out, she is confident in their potential and expects strong returns.

Overcoming the Barriers on an Individual Level

As great as it is to see somebody like Melinda Gates investing in a few women entrepreneurs, it’s not helpful if you’re battling in technology and/or leadership positions today. For some inspiration, have a look at this other article from Fast Company. It highlights different stories of now successful female executives who overcame various forms of discrimination. Every time they were underestimated, they became more motivated. For example:

  • Lana Crystal and Lindsey Andrews were referred to as “Silly little girls” when they cofounded Minibar Delivery. It has since raised $6.8 million and expanded into 37 markets.
  • Becky Clements was shut out of meetings with talent at a production company after doing all the leg work to make them happen. Today, she is president of Tomorrow Studios and produces shows for TNT and Netflix.

It might be obvious that the sources referenced in this post are US-based, but it’s not to say these issues are not relevant in Canada, albeit some organizations and regions may be better than others. Do you feel your current environment has a positive grip on diversity?

What to Expect in Mobile App Development This Year

Hey mobile developers! Are you confident that you’re up-to-date on the latest trends to remain competitive in the job market and to lead clients in the right direction? There is no one-size-fits-all solution for any client and various trends are relevant to different needs, but there are some areas that are applicable to anyone.

Take a look at this infographic Robust Tech House published in the latter part of last year. It contains an interesting outlook on the near future of mobile apps, including some great statistics. Arming yourself with this knowledge will not only help you improve your own skills, it gives you informed speaking points in job interviews and when selling your ideas to clients.

Mobile App Development Trends 2019 – An infographic by the team at Mobile App Development by RobustTechHouse

Gartner’s Top 10 Strategic Technology Trends for 2019

Gartner recently released their Top 10 Strategic Technology Trends for 2019, which they say is all about building the digital mesh. The publication is packed with valuable information for any technology professional looking to understand where the industry is going, invest in the right areas, or improve their skillset. It’s also quite long and more reading than you may want to do during the holidays.

Fortunately, Gartner also released a video summarizing the information! So make a coffee, sit back, relax, and listen to David Cearly, Distinguished VP, Analyst at Gartner, explain it all for you.

Exciting Technology Trends to Watch for in 2019

Merry Christmas! As millions of Canadians celebrate this morning, there are no doubt a bunch of new gadgets and confusing technologies being explored, with new owners trying to figure out how to use them. If you’re impressed (or worried) with the technology innovations you’ve seen this holiday season, it may only be the beginning. Just check out this graphic below.

Hiddenwires teamed up with Trendforce to create the visual of Top 10 Technology Trends we can expect in 2019. From 5g to increased voice interaction and, of course, expanded IoT, the new year is shaping up to be exciting. Did any of these new technologies arrive in your house this holiday season?

 

Exciting Technology Trends to Watch for in 2019

Contractor Quick Poll Results: What is a reasonable commute time?

Unless you’re able to make the most of it, getting yourself to and from your place of work can be a massive waste of time. Not only do you have to pay for gas and parking or transit fees, but you lose precious time that IT contractors can rarely bill back to their client.

Through multiple conversations recruiters have with technology consultants, we’ve come to learn that there are varying opinions on a reasonable commute time. To learn more about that range of acceptability, we put out the question to our readers in last month’s Contractor Quick Poll. The results are in and it’s clear, most people max out their idea of a reasonable commute time at 30-60 minutes.

What do you consider to be a maximum reasonable commute time (one-way)?

What do you consider to be a maximum reasonable commute time (one-way)?

Regional Job Market Update for Edmonton

Cameron McCallum By Cameron McCallum,
Regional Vice President at Eagle

City of EdmontonIn 2017, Alberta led the country in growth and I think we were all celebrating the end of a recession that decimated the oil patch and put the brakes on Alberta’s economy. While the news in 2018 was ok (growth in the 2.5% range), domestic and international forces conspired against the province and continued to stifle confidence.

For 2019, with Alberta still unable to get its oil to current and potential new markets, growth is expected in the 2% range which is disappointing when you consider that we have in abundance, what the entire world craves, energy!

So what about Edmonton? The city and region saw a challenging year but the good news is that growth is expected to come in at around 2.6% with a similar 2.7% target in 2019. The mix of public and private sector along with a more diversified economy seems to provide the city and region with a bit of insulation from the vagaries of international policy and political upheaval.

If you are an Information Technology professional, you probably found 2018 to be a decent year for finding contracts or permanent hire roles. Our clients were busy this year and we saw a number of large-scale projects initiated or moved into implementation. While the contracting market remained robust, the biggest change was in the “permanent hire” category with many of Eagle’s clients hiring for key positions after years of holding back during the recession or to address an identified shortage caused by the adoption of new business and technology initiatives.

Much of this was driven by the following:

  • Move from on premise to Cloud, and integration of cloud with on premise applications and systems.
  • Continued need to manage and manipulate data in the private and public sectors as they strive to improve service delivery to their partners, clients or constituents.
  • Pressure on organizations to upgrade their business systems (and therefore their core IS) as vendors retire support for older versions and;
  • The continued advent of new products which made it easier to deploy to mobile and web platforms.

So what is hot in the market. We saw the following “Hot Skills” in 2018 and all indications are that the following will be in demand in 2019.

  • Microsoft Stack Expertise (C#, HTML, CSS etc.)
  • Infrastructure Specialists
  • Network Analysts (for cloud preparation)
  • Agile Project Managers
  • Business Analysts

Contractor Quick Poll: What’s Your Favourite Winter Sport

The holidays are approaching and we’re preparing for another Canadian Winter complete with cold, snow, and whatever else is thrown at us. Many of us will take advantage of the season to get together with friends and family and participate in some traditional sports.

Since everyone’s busy with the upcoming holidays, we’re keeping this month’s contractor quick poll light and simple. We want to know your favourite pastime to get through Canadian Winters!