Talent Development Centre

Tag Archives: tech skills

A Faster Way to Learn New Technologies

Technology is always changing with new advancements becoming more and more frequent. Sometimes it can be hard to keep up. This can especially be the case when working in a technology career. As an independent contractor searching for IT jobs, it’s important to keep yourself up to date on the new skills, such as new programming languages, needed for these positions.

Practical Psychology has published a video that suggests using the Feynman technique to help you learn faster, which is ideal when you think about all the new technology that is being created. Take a look at the technique’s four step process to make you a quick learner.

The Emerging War for Tech Talent

Alison Turnbull By Alison Turnbull,
Delivery Manager at Eagle

We weren’t surprised to see the recent unemployment numbers in tech coming out of the US, since it’s becoming increasingly apparent that Canada is experiencing the same war for talent.

At Eagle’s permanent placement division, we have had an increased number of requests for developers. While the usual niche skills are in very high demand (Data Science, Machine Learning, Security), clients seem to be struggling to secure solid tech talent in more common areas. There seem to be more opportunities out there, particularly for experienced Java Developers, than there is talent.

Many developers choose to work as independent contractors. The appeal is obvious with the flexibility of projects/work. High rates are also a primary factor for choosing to work on a contract basis rather than full-time. But with some clients wanting to build out high performing engineering teams and keep this talent in house, they are having to come up with new and interesting ways to attract them.

Clients are now having to offer very competitive and comprehensive compensation packages. This is not unlike the trend we have seen in the US with unlimited vacation days, flexible working hours, remote work, and much higher base salaries. What may surprise some is that one of the key factors to attracting great candidates is offering them the opportunity to work with leading edge technology. A recent Forbes article states that “40% of employees had already left a job because they didn’t have access to the latest digital tools.”

We have experienced some scenarios in the past few weeks where employers have lost candidates because they failed to move through the process quickly enough and gained additional clients because internal recruitment efforts just can’t keep up with the demand. Solid developers are highly sought after and if they are considering a career move, they will typically be considering multiple offers in a very short period of time. Clients who expect candidates to go through multiple interviews and hope they will still be available 2-3 weeks after being presented, inevitably results in staffing agencies being on the losing end of this war for talent.

Working with an agency is becoming more essential as the market heats up. At Eagle we work closely with clients to:

  • Ensure that they have a carefully (and accurately) crafted an Employee Value Proposition
  • Give them unparalleled access to the ‘passive job seeker’ market
  • Provide detailed market data so that they can stay ahead of market trends and ensure their compensation is competitive
  • Keep in close contact with candidates throughout the entire process so that everyone is aware of competing offers before the candidate is off the market

With this new war for talent, it’s time for hiring organizations to start asking themselves if they’re ready to compete and what they’re going to do to attract and keep the best talent. On the flip side of the coin, with so many options available, it’s a good time for IT professionals to evaluate their own careers, develop a plan and decide where they want to be!

Top Tech According to Stack Overflow

Once again, Stack Overflow has put together one of the most comprehensive surveys of developer trends in their annual Developer Survey. There are a plethora of results and insights in there, from demographics of developers around the world, information on how developers think and, of course, leading technologies being used today.

On top of general popularity of various languages and platforms, the Stack Overflow survey is unique in that it looks at the most loved (technologies being used where the developer expressed interest in continuing to do so), dreaded (technologies being used where the developer has no interest in continuing) and wanted (technologies developers aren’t using but expressed an interest in using it) technologies, as well as the top paying ones.

Top Programming, Scripting and Markup Languages

It’s no surprise that once again JavaScript is the most commonly used programming language, nor should anyone be shocked that Python continues to rise and this year became more popular than C#. Interestingly enough, those are also the top to languages developers most want to work with and also make the top 10 list of languages developers want to continue using.

Top Platforms

There also isn’t much surprise in the most popular platforms used among developers, with Linux and Windows Desktop or Server being the ones where most developers have done work in the past year. The difference is that more than three quarters of the people currently using Linux want to continue doing so, where as Windows didn’t even make the top 10 most loved platforms. It’s also worth noting that although WordPress makes the list as one of the most popular platforms, it’s also one of the most dreaded.

Best Paid Jobs

Perhaps you don’t care about what people use and enjoy using, you want to know what’s going to bring in the most cash. For starters, especially if you’re joining the workforce and planning your career path, here’s a look at the top paid developer types around the world and what they make in USD:

Top Paying Job Titles According to Stack Overflow

More specifically, these are the technologies making money…

Top Paying Skills According to Stack Overflow

More Highlights from the Dice 2018 Tech Salary Report

Yesterday we shared a snippet from Dice’s 2018 Tech Salary Report, which is the result of a survey of 10,705 employed technology professionals conducted in late 2017 by the US job board. We shared a graphic that clearly demonstrated how technologies like Big Data and Cloud are continuing to be in high-demand with PaaS and MapReduce taking the cake as the highest paying skills.  But that was just the tip of the iceberg from the Dice survey. Here are a few other interesting findings that are relevant to IT contractors in Canada, even if the data is from the United States:

After Management Positions, Systems Architects and Product Managers are Making the Most Money

While the figures are in USD and actual numbers vary by geography, the chart below still reflects the top job titles in the IT world. Naturally, those managing tech and at the top of the org chart are making the biggest bucks, but Systems Architects and Product Managers top the list, with QA and support-related roles making the least amount of money.

After Management Positions, Systems Architects and Product Managers are Making the Most Money

Average Tech Salaries are Flattening Out

As the next chart shows, average tech salaries across the US were flat in 2017 and even slightly lower than they were in 2015. According to Dice, this mirrors stagnant wages the country has seen lately, but employers are offering more motivators and benefits to remain competitive.

Average Tech Salaries are Flattening Out

IT Contractors are Still Faring a Little Better Than Their Employee Counterparts

While the slight rate decrease in 2016 was also reflected in average consultant rates, they did see above average growth in 2017. As per the previous graphic, average salaries only grew 0.7% in 2017 but the chart below shows consultant rates grew 4.7%. In addition, their annual salary continues to be higher than full-time workers, but this is natural and balances out after considering the extra expenses incurred as a contractor.

IT Contractors are Still Faring a Little Better Than Their Employee Counterparts

IT Contractors are Still Faring a Little Better Than Their Employee Counterparts

Top-Paying Skills by Tech Category (According to Dice)

With the continuous advance of technology, it makes sense that the skills needed in the tech industry advance too. This analysis by Dice has shown that salaries are at a flat rate, but employers are finding incentives, like benefits and extra vacation days, to continuously attract candidates.

And nowadays a lot of tech pros are looking for jobs with benefits that allow them to maintain a better work-life balance. Having some of these skills can give you more leverage when it comes to negotiating these benefits. Dice has taken many of these most-sought after skills and found the average salaries.

Top Paying Skills by Tech Category

Those Non-Technical People Who Work on a Tech Project

Those Non-Technical People Who Work on a Tech ProjectUnderstanding the basics of technology is a must for any employee or contractor who wants to be involved in an innovative organization. Regardless of a person’s role, if they want to be on board with the organization’s latest tools and use them efficiently, they must be somewhat savvy in the high-level technology skills.

According to Undercover Recruiter, the most basic tech skills every employee should have do not require intense code training or learning how to take apart a computer. In fact, they’re skills that most of us take for granted, including:

  1. Social media savviness
  2. Spreadsheeting
  3. Presentation skills
  4. Word processing
  5. Touch typing
  6. Keyboard shortcuts
  7. Emailing
  8. Staying with the times

Still, we often come across team members or even leaders who have not bothered to learn or update these skills in years. They end up misunderstanding situations or slowing down projects.

Dealing with a client’s employees who do not understand technology, or even technical contractors who don’t understand the subject at hand, can be a frustrating ordeal; however, it’s also a reality that we need to adapt to. While there is little we can do about teaching people proper typing skills or how to use LinkedIn appropriately, you can control how you explain details to them to ensure better comprehension. In a recent article, The Muse shared four ways to explain tech concepts to non-tech co-workers. Here’s a brief summary:

  • Bring Out Your Inner Shakespeare: Compare the concept to something where the person does have a thorough understanding.
  • Let Your Co-worker Take the Lead: Let them guide the discussion so they can ask questions at their level.
  • Opt for Curious, Not Condescending: Avoid tech jargon or explaining in too much depth to avoid making people feel inept.
  • Add a Dose of Empathy: Understand a person’s situation and pay attention to how they’re reacting, then form your explanation.

How do you deal with non-technical people when they’re an integral part of your IT project team? Share your tips for other contractors in the comments below.