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Ronald McDonald House

Last night we had the pleasure of preparing dinner for residents at the Ronald McDonald house. Not only was it our honor to serve them, but it was our privilege to talk with them and listen to their stories of love, hope and courage.

What the ‘Versatilist’ Trend Means for IT Staffing

By , InfoWorld| Feb 20, 2018

Gartner predicts that IT staff will have fewer technical roles available to them as the cloud gains traction. That’s just not true.

Furthermore, by 2019, IT technical specialist hires will fall by more than 5 percent. Gartner predicts that 50 percent of enterprises will formalize IT versatilist profiles and job descriptions, and that 20 percent of IT organizations will hire versatilists to scale their digital business. As a result, IT technical specialist employees will fall to 75 percent of 2017 levels, it predicts.

I agree with Gartner that this versatilist shift is real. Cloud computing is a big reason why. The force of cloud computing is indeed changing how you staff IT; indeed, I’m seeing more people in cloud-enabled IT organizations who have more than one job.

However, if you think this mean that things will become less technical, you’re in for a bit of a surprise by 2021. In fact, they will be much more technical.

There are a two major trends that I’m seeing in enterprises adopting the cloud for a significant portion of their infrastructure:

The shift to the cloud is causing a duality of skills

IT staff who once only focused on systems in the datacenter now focus on systems in the public cloud as well. This means that while they understand how to operate the LAMP stacks in their enterprise datacenters, as well as virtualization, they also understand how to do the same things in a pubic cloud.

As a result, they have moved from one role to two roles, or even more roles. However, the intention is that eventually that the traditional systems will go away completely, and they will just be focused on the cloud-based systems. I agree with Gartner on that, too.

The cloud shift is putting more focus on technology, not less

While I understand where Gartner is coming from, the more automation that sits between us and the latest technology means we need more technology specialists, not less. So, I’m not convinced that IT versatilists will gain new business roles to replace the loss of of the traditional datacenter roles, as Gartner suggests will happen.

I’ve never seen a machine learning system that designs and builds its own learning model, an IoT system that sets up data integration on its own, nor a cloud monitor and manage itself.   Thus, highly skilled and technical people will still run the show.

There’s nothing wrong with IT specialists taking on business roles—in fact, that’s often a good thing. I just don’t believe that IT pros will need to do so because the need for technology skills will be reduced. There’ll actually be more demand for technology skills, just not the same ones we have today.

 

Over 39,000 Developers Reveal What They Look For In A Job

HR Technologist, February 21, 2018

Abhijit Tamhane HackerRank, Vice President of Product Management  

 Abhijit Tamhane is the vice president of product management and technology leader at HackerRank, where he’s on a mission to build amazing products that match every developer to the right job. Prior to that, he built and launched the first version of Tringo (Android), an international calling app. He’s also built and grown technology teams at Target and Salesforce.

Software development has changed drastically in the past decade. Today the world around us has evolved to include more software contact per person, per day than at any time in our history. Abhijit Tamhane, VP of Product Management at HackerRank, shares what tech professionals look for in a job today

As the demand for software engineers has spiked, there’s been a shift in power between the recruiter and candidate relationship. Given the growing competition for top talent, skilled developers today can be selective of the jobs they choose.

This means hiring managers and recruiters need to have a deeper understanding of what developers are interested in, how they learn, what motivates them and what they look for in a job so that they can attract technical talent. To surface, analyze and share information on the changing landscape of software development, we just launched our first ever survey of more than 3.2 million developers that are part of the HackerRank community to hone their skills. You can read the full report here. Over 39,000 developers responded, and their intimations show just how big of a gap there is today between what developers want and what hiring managers tout on their careers pages and job descriptions. The best hiring managers and recruiters today will refocus their strategy to truly understand the developer community.
Work-Life Balance & Learning Beats Perks

 

If you want to win developer talent today, the best hiring managers will communicate two things: Flexible work schedules and ability to grow and learn . Developers value these more than perks, stock options, and company’s mission statements, which, these days, are expected as part of any technology job. If you really want to stand out, focusing on the flexibility of your startup would help you win tech talent.

Of course, work-life balance can mean different things to different people. So, we dug deeper and followed up with developers on what this really means. It turns out, developers crave a flexible work schedule, ability to work remotely, and love employers who value output as opposed to the number of hours worked.

 

Developers deprioritized help with daily errands (like onsite laundry) and health initiatives for flexible work hours. Ultimately, developers want to work at a place where they can learn new skills, take on new challenges, and solve new problems. So, be sure to give them those opportunities if you want to not only attract them but also keep them on board.

Developers are Not Their Resumes

One of the most important business lessons to grasp about our survey is that developers are not their resumes. Traditionally, hiring and HR work has been about keywords. Our survey reveals that hiring managers, more often than not, care about experience and accomplishments as opposed to education, training certificates, and skill endorsements.

Hiring managers or recruiters take thousands of resumes and remove all of those that do not include the desired keywords. It’s the only way today to parse through high volumes of resumes. They then go about the difficult task of assessing the skills of those remaining developers, something that is almost impossible to do reliably at scale without outside help. When asked what the biggest hiring challenge is, the same hiring managers said assessing skill is their number one problem — as opposed to lack of talent. Meanwhile, only 55% of developers said resumes were a good reflection of their abilities.

In the end, all of this work is largely ignored by the top level executives in the hiring process, anyway. It turns out that the sharpest C-levels, founders, and VPs in the industry are not hiring through resumes, they’re hiring through GitHub . As a storage of real-world projects, GitHub means more to these executives than a resume or even experience. Now, this could very easily be because C-levels and their ilk typically receive a pre-screened set of resumes, but even if this is the case, this means proven skill and contributions are more meaningful than perfecting the resume.

To Sum it All Up

As the competition for technical talent grows in an increasingly software-centric world, it’s going to be more important than ever for recruiters to rethink the traditional attraction and retention strategy. The more companies build a talent brand that’s specific to developers, the more they’ll be able to differentiate themselves.

The Top 10 Tech Skills Employers Are Hiring For

As more companies outside of Silicon Valley hire software engineers and data scientists, the tech landscape is fragmenting. Yet there remains a set of versatile programming skills that are widely sought out by employers, and for current and aspiring technologists, knowing what those are can help you advance in your career.

Job search engine Indeed compiled a list of the top tech skills employers are hiring for. It analyzed hundreds of thousands of job postings published over the past several months and ranked them by how often they showed up in job descriptions for tech roles.

Programming language Java ranks first, appearing in 30% of tech job descriptions. Silicon Valley company Sun Microsystems first released Java in 1995. Four years prior, a group of engineers started building Java as a tool for the cable TV industry, but it turned out to be much better suited for the Internet. Today’s engineers have used Java to build everything from Gmail to Hadoop, a program for analyzing vast quantities of data. Java can also be used to build mobile apps, business operations systems and scientific tools.

Agile, a conceptual approach to software development, ranks second among the most in-demand tech skills. It shows up in 27% of tech role descriptions. Agile entails breaking down a software development project into pieces and addressing each one in short programming cycles, such as one or two weeks. It guides engineers to build new product features one at a time and release them, instead of taking the time to build a more complex product and waiting months to launch. With agile, teams can observe how users react and gain valuable insights more quickly, allowing them to be more flexible to end users’ wants and needs. Agile has strong ties to the Lean Startup approach championed by Eric Ries.

 Python takes fifth place on Indeed’s list. Like Java, it’s a general-purpose programming language. Dutch programmer Guido van Rossum started building the language in 1989. According to python.org, “He needed a name that was short, unique, and slightly mysterious.” He had been watching the BBC comedy series “Monty Python’s Flying Circus” at the time, so he called the language Python. These days, it has a wide range of applications, “from testing microchips at Intel, to powering Instagram, to building video games,” according to online learning platform Treehouse. Python is an especially popular tool among data scientists.

In a separate analysis, Indeed economist Daniel Culbertson also looked at the tech skills seeing the most growth in demand. He compared Indeed search data from 2017 with 2016 and found that React saw a 229% jump in employer interest (measured by the words employers searched in Indeed’s resume database). React is a programming library based on JavaScript. It’s used to build user interfaces, and Facebook helps maintain it, according to Culbertson’s blog post. Indeed also found a surge in employer interest in cloud computing platforms, specifically Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure.

Percentages represent the number of times that each tech skill appears in job descriptions for tech positions.

1. Java (30%)

2. Agile (27%)

3. JavaScript (26%)

4. .NET (19%)

5. Python (15%)

6. Microsoft SQL Server (12%)

7. Oracle (12%)

8. C or C++ (12%)

9. Git (11%)

10. AWS (11%)

Follow me on Twitter @JeffKauflin or email me at jkauflin@forbes.com.

 

Go Twins!

We enjoyed a fun-filled afternoon watching the Twins beat the Orioles, 5-3!

 

Executive Search Firm Announcement

We’re excited to announce our inclusion in the Minneapolis / St. Paul Business Journal’s Top Executive Search Firm List!  Our determination to assist our clients in hiring the best IT candidates has enabled True Source to earn its position in this list.  We value our client relationships and look forward to partnering with them for many years to come.

Clean Up Day at DAP (Domestic Abuse Project)

If you have not had the pleasure yet of meeting True Source IT employees, there may be a gap in your life that needs to be filled.  These people are amazing!  As a team of caring community members, True Source employees have recently taken care of spring cleaning the DAP grounds.  Not just picking up trash mind you – but fixing cement stairs, gardening, lawn work and more.

This is in addition to work they have done for DAP in the past, such as removing carpet, spring cleaning and attending DAP’s annual fall luncheon.

Led by President Brad Arthur, this team exemplifies the value of community and inspires us all.  THANK YOU TRUE SOURCE!!

Feed My Starving Children

Last night we had the pleasure of volunteering at Feed My Starving Children! We love supporting this charitable organization that strives to change the world, one child at a time. The Manna Packs that we prepared will feed 55 children for a whole year! That’s a lot of meals – 19,872 to be exact!

 

It’s Been a Great Year!

IT’S BEEN A BUSY YEAR FOR US AT TRUE SOURCE! Here are just some of the highlights:

2013 and 2014 – Inc. 5000 Fastest Growing Companies Awards

May 2014 – Annual DAP (Domestic Abuse Program) Staff Volunteer Clean-Up Day

July 2014 – Annual Company Family Picnic (Minnehaha Falls) – including all office staff, consultants and families

Summer 2014 – Annual Softball League (Minneapolis Parks and Recreation) – GO TEAM CRUSH!! We’re warming up our arms for another fun season.

October 2014 – Annual DAP Luncheon (Fundraising Event)

October 2014 – ProKART Indoor Racing – Office Staff outing

December 2014 – WE MOVED! After 7 years in our old digs at the Calhoun Executive Building, we decided to purchase our own building and move our corporate office into the amazing new space.

February 2015 – OPEN HOUSE! Staff, consultants, clients, families, friends and neighbors turned out for our open house in February. It was a fun evening with great people and delicious food and drinks.

You, Online: It Matters

The words ‘Social Media’ can stir up all sorts of thoughts. For some, it’s that Facebook picture they shouldn’t have posted; for others, it’s that tweet they wish they could take back. For many professionals, though, Social Media or Social Networking is a must have/must do item. And they maintain these types of sites very consciously.

Because there’s a continuing shift in how employers find employees, having a solid and active online presence is essential. Skills and experience are always necessary, but that’s pretty much all an employer sees on a cover letter and resume. For most employers, this just doesn’t cut it anymore.

So employers are turning to Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn to get a more comprehensive view of who you are—what you value, who you know, whether you stay current in your industry, and what you contribute in way of discussions and posts, for example.

And more and more, employers are using the web to find employees they think will fit with their company instead of relying on the traditional application process. Job boards are becoming a thing of the past, and many employers are posting ads directly on sites like Twitter, Facebook, Craigslist, Google AdWords and blogs

What to do-

If a simple Google search of your name turns up stuff that you don’t like, or if you’ve created a LinkedIn account, but haven’t maintained it, it’s time to take action. Because even worse than no online presence, is an online presence that is inaccurate, dubious, or outdated.

Let’s face it: staying on top of your online reputation may be the thing that gets you your next job, even if you’re not looking. Let’s say an employer finds you on LinkedIn, sees that you post interesting comments from time to time and put out a fairly popular blog. On top of that, your Facebook and Twitter pages don’t jeopardize you. This is all good.

In fact, one of the nice things about having an online presence it involves stuff most of us are doing anyway. And, even if you like your job at the moment, there may come a time when you’re laid off or find that you’re ready to move on. If you keep everything current and stay involved in your industry, the next job is going to be a heck of a lot easier to get.

If you wait to make connections until you’re looking for work, it’s just a bad way of going about things. You will definitely look desperate (and you kind of will be), as opposed to putting the time into building connections beforehand.

So start connecting now, get involved, and build your presence thoughtfully. Your work will definitely pay off.