Employment in the tech industry is growing by leaps and bounds. According to Cyberstates™, there were 194,000 new tech roles added in the past year and software and web developers are in high-demand – currently at over 1.4 million in the U.S.
So where do you source the amount of developers to help corporations and government agencies turn boldly into the future? We connected with the enthusiastic and open-minded team at NexGen Technologies Inc. to help us learn more about industry trends: Sr. Java Developer Steve Trumbull, Technical Recruiter, Beth Crowley, Technical Recruiter Dana Estlund, Technical Manager, Steve Lute and Operations Manager, Sandy Hoelsken.
SwitchUp: A lot of our readers wonder if it is worth it for them to pursue a career switch. Do you see the need for developers growing in the future? Where do you see the industry heading in the next few years?
Steve Trumbull: Yes, the software industry will continue to grow. It has become a huge part of our everyday lives and continues to change the way we do things. I see the market continuing to head towards mobile applications and responsive web applications.
SU: Fielding talent can be difficult. What does your company look for in potential employees?
Steve Lute: We love employees who are enthusiastic about helping our customers solve problems. We look for people who can quickly engage in fast paced, potentially client facing, roles as most of our positions end up working at our client’s site. They should have a history of embracing change and meeting new challenges head on. Then we look to make sure they have the right technical experience (coding languages, software usage) that the position will primarily use so we know they can feel effective early on with NexGen.
SU: What three characteristics signal to you a person may be a great programmer and fit well with the existing team?
SL: 1) They need to love learning and exhibit the ability to accomplish that learning, 2) Be enthusiastic about finding new ways to solve problems, and 3) Think like a programmer by having the ability to logically approach a problem and not get flustered when things don’t go perfectly.
SU: So it sounds like having a passion for solving problems is key. How can students best prepare themselves for the interview process or would you prefer we didn’t prepare them? Why?
SL: Do their best to relax. I know that is often difficult if not impossible because of what is on the line (new employment). But, nervous candidates tend to react poorly if something “goes wrong” during the interview. I try to inject humor when conducting the interview to put the candidates at ease. I prefer it to be more of a discussion if I can foster that type of conversation. I don’t expect the candidate to know my perfect desired answer to all of my questions. I just want to gauge the chance of success for integrating this person into the team so they can provide the desired work product with quality. The higher I think that is, the better the candidate did. Ultimately it boils down to can they do the job I need with the team’s support. They shouldn’t try to “read up” on all of the technology listed in the position description. Be confident in their knowledge and experience and do not be afraid to say “I don’t have that experience.
SwitchUp: Beth, how has recruiting been for you for the past year with all of the changes in the industry. What are some of your sources?
Beth Crowley: Some of the sources I use when finding talent are the: Internet, LinkedIn, Job Boards (Monster, Dice, Careerbuilder and Indeed) as well as networking with Meetup Groups and at Career Fairs. Skill Distillery students have been great to work with. Our recruiters and hiring team are impressed with their interpersonal skills and the core java technologies that they are taught at the boot camp. Skill Distillery’s boot camp core Java skills are a match for NexGen’s web development projects.
SU: If someone has any trepidation about jumping into the field, what are some other key things they should know about looking for a job or prepping their resume?
SL: Since most of our java coding positions end up being full stack development I tend to look for 1) experience in core Java, 2) experience in a compatible UI technology, 3) once again the ability to approach problems logically. In other words, I want to know how they think.
ST: Technical skills are obviously most important, but I like to see a good personality because sometimes we have a large team and they will need to be able to collaborate with others. Also, since our Java developers are full stack developers, UI design can be a great addition to your resume.
BC: Our recruiting team at NexGen looks for good communication skills, professionalism, energy and drive that your excited about the job opportunity. We like to hear about your accomplishments and achievements and areas of expertise as they relate to the job.
Thank you so much for sharing great tips about how to be brave and look for companies that are open to embracing tech talent. If you would like to learn more about NexGen Technologies Inc. you may visit their website at: www.nexgeninc.com.
 Cyberstates™ is the definitive guide to national, state, and metropolitan area tech sector and tech workforce analytics.
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