Talent Development Centre

Tag Archives: skills

All Talent Development Centre posts for Canadian technology contractors relating to IT and business skills.

Nothing Happens if Nobody Buys Anything

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

Nothing Happens if Nobody Buys Anything In the late 90’s and through the Tech Boom of the early 2000’s, Ottawa was a hot bed of technology and technology startups. Burgeoning companies like Cognos, JDS Uniphase, Corel,  and NewBridge Networks were full of world class engineering and R&D talent, many of whom came from Nortel. And still, other small companies sprung up around them, led by some of the brilliant engineers from those early breeding grounds of Nortel. All of these organizations were very much technology driven; similarly, all were severely challenged in bringing their “game changing” technology to market, in short, selling. Companies would evangelize to investors their incredible technology but the vision required to market it and the talent to sell it was as rare as Haleys Comet. That skill was and is a continued obstacle for IT companies both big and small.

Flash forward 15 plus years and global technology heavyweight based out of Ottawa, Shopify, have voiced their concern about hiring new recruits or graduates in Sales to support their coming growth plans. The Conference Board of Canada notes Sales has one of the top 5 specializations in highest demand, consistently in the last decade. Companies like Dell Canada, IBM, and Google Canada all are participating in a Canada-wide program to promote Sales to students as a viable and rewarding career choice. For most companies, sales are the proverbial “front-end of the ship” yet we continue to see people who backed in to Sales because they were a big personality, or were a really “likeable” individual. Sales is a far more sophisticated and evolved profession that is no longer 3 parts personality one part product knowledge. With newly empowered buyers (see: the Internet!), successful sales people now require an ability to consume data and analytics, be critical thinkers and problem solvers, forecast correctly and more than ever have advanced business and interpersonal communication skills both verbal and written.

So the question begs: Why, in an era of literally hundreds of college and university programs and in a struggling economy that tells us how critical developing tech companies need sales people, are we slow to getting on board in terms of educating and developing sales as a skill? Most of the top universities and even most MBA programs offer few sales- related courses. Additionally demographics tell us the same story we have heard across many functions in the business world — 40% or more of senior IT sales talent is set to leave the workforce, putting significant strain on companies to recruit a declining supply of sales talent. The academic world is now waking up to this realization and has begun to instill in their Business programs at the undergraduate level and beyond sales courses befitting the requirements of a modern sales professional. The days of glad handing your way to a successful sales career are in the past as we realize how critical revenue generation is for companies. After all… “nothing happens if nobody buys anything .”

The Most Loved, Dreaded and Wanted Tech

We referenced the 2016 Stack Overflow Developer Survey a couple times this month, using its findings to back-up some claims. The survey is filled with knowledge and trends about top technologies and pay rates, and some fun stats like preferences over Star Wars and Star Trek.

One set of charts we found particularly interesting is about the most loved, dreaded and wanted pieces of technology. It seems the most loved are Rust, Swift and F#, while developers on Stack Overflow dread Visual Basic and WordPress the most. More importantly for an IT contractor looking to keep skills up-to-date is the most wanted technologies, where Android, Node.js and AngularJS top the list. Have a look at the charts below and feel free to leave us any comments.

Most Wanted Tech

Most Dreaded Tech

Most Loved Tech

Growing Tech Skills and Programming Languages

According to Dice, These are the Fastest Growing Tech Skills and Programming Languages of 2016

Last week, we shared an infographic about Hadoop and provided some references showing the rising popularity of the technology, and Big Data in general. Obviously, this isn’t the only realm of technology that’s growing and it’s important for any independent contractor to be up-to-date on the current trends. Here’s a summary of a couple helpful articles we found by Dice.

Fastest Growing Tech Skills

Chart: Salaries of Fastest Growing Tech Skills (by Dice)This article summarizes the salaries of the fastest-growing tech skills. The image to the right gives a visual of those particular skills and shows the percentage of their year-over-year growth in job postings.

As for the salaries, they’re relative to the US economy, but the list below orders them from the highest to lowest. If you’d like more details, the original article contains specific numbers and a background of each.

  1. Cassandra
  2. Hive
  3. Big Data
  4. Spark
  5. Cloud
  6. JIRA
  7. Azure
  8. Electrical Engineer
  9. Salesforce
  10. Juniper

Programming Languages

If we want to look at programming languages, this Dice article uses the TIOBE index to identify those rising in popularity the most. These include:

  • Ruby
  • Swift
  • Assembly Language
  • R
  • Groovy

Again, to get more details about each language and how much they rose in the rankings, have a look at the original 5 Rising Programming Languages.

Improve Your Job Search Chances as a Developer

Here Are the 5 Key Skills Hiring Managers Look for in a Developer

Smiling software developerIf you’re a contractor in development, you already know that competition is high in your profession.  In fact, “Software Developer” is the second most clicked IT job title on Indeed. What’s the best way to get ahead of your competition?  Know exactly what your client wants, and show them that you are better at it.

In a recent article from Inc., John Rampton explained to hiring managers what skills they need to look for in order to find the best developers.  By understanding these top five priorities, you can better frame your resume, cover letter, and interview responses and position yourself above the other applicants.

Language-Specific Skills

Obviously, a specific project requires specific coding skills, and clients will be seeking to make sure you have the necessary knowledge and experience in that language. Rampton also points out, though, that languages can be learned and encourages hiring managers to investigate professionals who have the ability to expand their skills quickly and easily. You should only apply to jobs where you are fluent in the primary code being used, but if you’re currently enhancing a language or are willing to commit more time to perfecting one that would contribute to the project, be sure to let the client know.

Passion for Coding

Some of the best programmers live and breathe IT.  Clients like to know that their contractor isn’t just doing their job, but are living their passion.  Point out any apps or websites you’ve built in your free time, memberships you have to industry associations, or even some of your passions that relate to the client’s industry.

Problem-Solving Ability

Rampton highlights problem-solving as an important skillset, but also admits that it’s difficult to determine during an interview process.  Consider this an opportunity in your resume to give great examples of problems you have solved in the past.  Remember to explain your process and the outcome.  With any luck, this may help you avoid awkward problem-solving trivia questions during an interview because the client will already have checked Problem-Solving Ability off their list.

Communication

As the article says: “Developers can spend a great deal of time seated in front of a computer, analyzing and creating code. However, the ability to interact with team members and communicate with supervisors is essential to ensuring your projects progress smoothly.” From the second you submit your resume to the end of the interview process, you’re proving that you have these abilities.

Dependability

The best way a hiring manager will judge your dependability is to look at the past and call references. Since you can’t change your past, it’s crucial that you always think of the future while working in the present.  Create great references by always being dependable and this skill will be a no-brainer for future hiring managers.

You may notice that most of these skills, especially the final two, can relate to practically any job and there’s a high probability that hiring managers are looking for these in all contractors.  Regardless of your specialty, take a look at the above points.  Is there anywhere you can improve?

Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery

Gilbert Boileau By Gilbert Boileau,
Vice-Président, Québec at Eagle

What’s on the horizon for Technology Professionals??

If you’re considering upgrading or refreshing some skills that will be in demand in the next two years, look for Business Continuity (BC) and Disaster Recovery (DR) as opportunities currently in the making. Projects are starting, or will start soon, that require specialists with BC and DR knowledge and experience. Why?  Because as most companies are looking at introducing cloud into their environment to add flexibility, contain cost or convert Capital Expenses (CAPEX) to Operational Expenses (OPEX), cloud for disaster recovery is becoming a viable option for a lot of clients.

For small and medium-sized business, the cloud gives the same capabilities that larger companies have had for years. Many big companies have secondary data centers they can use for data back-up and recovery, whereas smaller companies don’t.  The cloud, however, gives those small and medium-sized businesses more possibilities with its ability to back up data or replicate servers to a remote site, and then failover the servers and network to the remote site in the event of a disaster.

For larger companies with elaborate disaster recovery environments and strategies,Cloud Technologies introducing the cloud can be beneficial from a financial and control perspective.  These organizations need to create an integrated strategy of processes, architecture, and the reporting necessary for audit and governance purposes. The flexibility to test more frequently and the ability to scale up or to scale down if needed are examples of reasons they are trying to introduce cloud into their environment.

What does this mean in terms of market skills needed?  Well, reviewing DR and BC strategies, from small to large size companies, means the start of a new cycle of projects where DR and BC skills will be in demand.  2015 should see an increase in demand for DR specialists, starting with project managers with extensive knowledge in that field.

Are you up-to-date on your business continuity and disaster recovery skills?  Would you like more information about these potential opportunities?  Let us know, we’d love to help you prepare!

Canada’s 25 Hottest Skills of 2014

As one of the world’s most popular job searching and recruiting sites, LinkedIn has an exceptional ability to identify and report on trends about these topics, as well as the hottest skills.  At the end of 2014, they did just that.  They analyzed the skills and LinkedInexperience in over 330 million member profiles to identify which ones were most likely to land a new job or, at the very least, gain the interest of recruiters.

The study revealed the 25 hottest skills in 10 different countries and tech skills ruled the charts globally, consistent with the infographic we posted yesterday.  Below are the top skills in Canada last year:

  1. Statistical Analysis and Data Mining
  2. Storage Systems and Management
  3. Middleware and Integration Software
  4. Network and Information Security
  5. C/C++
  6. Mac, Linux and Unix Systems
  7. Computer Graphics and Animation
  8. Business Intelligence
  9. SAP ERP Systems
  10. Perl/Python/Ruby
  11. Digital and Online Marketing
  12. Java Development
  13. Mobile Development
  14. Data Presentation
  15. Web Architecture and Development Framework
  16. Economics
  17. Data Engineering and Data Warehousing
  18. Algorithm Design
  19. Integrated Circuit (IC) Design
  20. User Interface Design
  21. Recruiting
  22. Foreign Language Translation
  23. Electronic and Electrical Engineering
  24. Materials Engineering
  25. Social Media Marketing

The Highest Paying Jobs for Contractors

If you’re considering upgrading your skills, or learning a new one altogether, you may be in the process of doing some research into which ones will have the highest return on investment.  Check out the infographic below from Business Insider. Using data collected from Elance.com and oDesk.com, they compiled the top 20 highest paying freelance skills by the hour.  While the rates may not be completely accurate as they are in US dollars and are now 8 months old, you can be sure the ranking of skills is still a good indicator of what the market looks like in Canada today. 

Infographic: 20 Highest-Paying Freelance Skills by the Hour from Business Insider