4 Obstacles Women - And Young Professionals - In Tech Face & How To Overcome Them

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With under 17% of technical positions in the US filled by women, its easy for the female technologist to feel as if they're at a disadvantage.  While it is obvious that many women are making great strides and contributing to the technical world, there are many obstacles that women in tech, and simularily young professionals - face and need help overcoming. Here's a few key roadblocks that could keep you from being successful, and how to get around them:

1. Not being taken seriously – Many women feel like they aren’t given the same respect as their male counterparts in the workplace.  Whether in a meeting or interview, sometimes its easy to not believe that the young woman in a designer dress and neatly plated hair is capable of coding an algorithm designed to compute the trajectory route of the east coast's next hurricane or create the next social media fad.

How to overcome: Let your resume and experience speak for yourself.  While the world may never stop judging a book by its cover or a woman by their stature, no one can argue with experience and accomplishments.  Take yourself seriously, and don't let prejudiced opinions control your confidence

2. Male-Dominated Management: It’s easy to feel intimidated or underrepresented when the majority of the managers you come across are of the opposite gender.  With only 23%  of technical positions managed by females, the numbers speak for themselves.

How to overcome: Strive to break this statistic; instead of feeling defeated by it, become determined to rise to your full potential.  Study characteristics of good leaders: honesty, listening skills, empathy – and exhibit them.  In most cases, managers aren't promoted based off of their gender, but the leadership qualities one possesses.  Show your managers your worth by putting in the hours, sharing your ideas, and showing your determination for your team to succeed.

3. Technical Knowledge:  The number of females with technical degrees is decreasing. Many female technologists find that they never dreamt of a career in tech, yet found themselves pursuing a tech career.  With so few women obtaining technical degrees, how can the amount of women in tech increase?

How to Overcome: More so than other fields of study, technology is always changing.  Self taught coders saturate the market and their knowledge is just as extensive as those who graduated 10 years ago with technical degrees.

Lucinda Duncalfe, CEO of Monetate, looks back on her entrance into the tech world, saying, “I started in tech accidentally. After graduating I took a job as a secretary for a VP of Sales for a company that turned out to be a Silicon Valley startup, though in the mid-80s none of us knew what those were. I was soon doing a bit of everything, including some programming in their proprietary scripting language, though we didn’t call it that then.  I loved the company, but still wasn’t sure I wanted to be in business, much less in tech. Nonetheless, here I am 30 years later, in my fifth tech startup.”  Without formal technical schooling, Lucinda has accomplished more than many IT graduates can say and has even been awarded Eastern Technology Council’s Enterprise Award for CEO of the Year, all with a Psychology degree.

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Make it a point to constantly learn, ask questions, and inquire.   As more and more technologists rely on their hands on knowledge, degrees in the technical world will become more and more obsolete and your path into a tech career can be as unique as you are.  

4. Always feeling the need to talk about being a woman in tech – Women in technology need to stick together, right?  Why do women in tech always need to talk about the fact that they are women in tech?  Why do we need more female technologists?

How to Overcome: Many women feel the need to defend their roles and career successes and praise others', specifically because of their gender – but know you don’t need to.  Instead of focusing on increasing the number of women in tech, focus on diversification as a whole. 

On increasing the number of women in tech, Cassy Rowe, head of UX/Design at Scoop takes a less voiced stance. “To be candid, I don't necessarily try/target/push for more of any particular gender/race/etc purely because of their gender/race/etc. I frame the conversation differently. I don't see that we need more women in tech purely because we need more women, but I do see that we have a lack of women.”  Instead of pointing out our differences, focus on what makes us all the same: a passion for technology.

No matter how many more young (female) technologists strive to be the next award winning CTO or UX/UI designer it is still going to be awhile until the statistics fall in their favor.  Until then, continue to make strides, innovate & be more than just a woman in tech.

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5 Ways You Know You Found the Right Job

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How do you know when you’ve found “The One” in your career? When you’re looking for “the one” you have a checklist of things you want in a significant other. There are certain things you can compromise on, and those you need fulfilled to be happy. Like finding that perfect person, finding the right job has its own checklist as well. Have no fear, we’ve got 5 top areas that most tech professionals can match their desires up with in order know it’s the right offer and the right company:

1. Personal Goals

Even before you start your job search, sit down to think about your personal goals, values and what makes you happy. Once you access that, start looking for jobs and going on interviews, stop and ask yourself, “Does this company align with my values and goals?” It’s easy to get caught up in the red carpet treatment. When companies want to woo you, they’ll offer you all the good things: free lunches, dinners, drinks, etc. The celebrity treatment will eventually fade away, so don’t get caught up in all the flashy things. The right job will be lined up with your values and goals, which will make you happier in the long-run.

Don’t get stuck in a job you don’t love. Contact us here to find one you do.

2. Innovation

Innovative companies will have new ideas they want to implement, or aggressive updates on current product offerings for continuous improvement.  You should feel excited about the project you’re going to be on, the new technologies you’ll be working with, and all the things you’re going to learn.  You probably don’t want to be a part of a stagnant company with an existing product that they do nothing but maintain; these aren’t going to be the type of companies that can adapt to a constantly changing environment.

3. Mission and Outlook

When you find the perfect person you often envision your life with them five or maybe ten years down the road. It’s the same with a job. You have to envision what the next few years will look like with this company. How are their stocks looking? (Or maybe they’re a startup and not publicly traded.) How much funding do they receive? All these questions can help you anticipate how the company will look in five or ten years. You want to make sure the company you’re working for is in a market where they can expand their product and grow. The right job will have a good outlook for you in the next few years, without worrying about the company heading in a different, more volatile direction. 

4. Company Culture

Seeing how your significant other interacts with family and friends can provide a window into whether it will be a lasting relationship. Similarly, knowing how a company treats their employees will give insight into what your office life will be like on a day-today basis. Furthermore, how people communicate and work together is crucial, since that’s the atmosphere you’ll ultimately need to communicate in and work with. Take a look at the environment and how the office is laid out; it can be a big factor in finding a place that not only fits your personality but your needs and desires as well. Do you need a collaborative, open workspace or a quiet, secluded area to concentrate? Another aspect to look for? Humility: a company with little ego is less likely to put their egos before the employees. The right job will allow you to voice your own opinions when needed.

Want a company that treasures work life balance? Check out these job listings.

5. Work-Life Balance

Balance is everything in life. There’s work life and then there is life outside of work. The right company will give you the best of both worlds: the ability to live the life you want and be able to do the work you love. Sometimes those two can be one and the same. Many companies, especially tech companies or startups, require a lot of around the clock work, and that might be your cup of tea. Either way, the right job will align with how you want to live your life.

Bonus key area, if you still don't know if it's the one? Growth.

Finding the one – the job or love of your life – can have the same goal at the end of the day: both make you want to be a better person. The right job will enable you to grow professionally and personally.  You should be able to climb the corporate ladder, and not feel stuck in a bad relationship with your company. Growing and learning is important, so you should be able to find ways throughout your job experience to continuously evolve.

Ready to start job searching? Here are some resources to help guide you to a job you’ll love:

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6 Technical Interview Tests To Be Ready For

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All but the final hurdle between a software engineer and an offer, the technical interview is important to ace for everyone from first-time job seekers all the way to lead developers that can code in their sleep. Practice (and preparation) makes perfect, though, so here are 6 tips to how to get past the technical interview to negotiating the offer you deserve:

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1. Be Ready to Whiteboard: This is generally a go-to interview tactic for tech companies to evaluate engineers during the interview process. It’s always smart to practice solving technical questions on a white board to see how your brain operates/critically thinks when not in front of the computer.

2. Be Ready for Core Principles and Basics: Always make sure to brush up on any programming languages that may be rusty. Expect to be asked questions ranging from the fundamentals of certain languages to some higher-level concepts. For example, if you are interviewing for a PHP job, it is helpful to brush up on the fundamentals of the LAMP Stack and the MySQL Database.

3. Be Ready With Code Samples: It’s always a good idea to bring code samples and github profiles with you to the interview. Companies are looking for writing ability and the ability to communicate technical thoughts through code documentation.  

4. Be Ready With Questions: An important part of the process is to ask questions about the role to show that you are interested and engaged. Make sure to prepare 2-3 questions to ask at the end of the interview that show genuine interest and thought.

Does the interview rarely go well for you? Contact us to get tips and work with a recruiter who can help you avoid common pitfalls.

5. Be Prepared to Close Strongly: Once the testing is over, that doesn't mean the interview is. Maintain a professional image and don't let the end of the interview fall flat like a bad ending to a great movie. Be enthusiastic and summarize why you're the best for the role.

6. Be Ready for Follow-Up: Sending a thank you note is always a good thing to do when you finish any interview process with a company, but it's easy to forget while focusing on the tech. You want the company and the people you met with to remember you for the right reasons. Always address why you would be a good fit for the role and bring it back to the job description and what was covered in the interview.

If you do all of these things, the odds of you getting a final-round interview, or better yet a job offer, will increase significantly. So always remember, preparation is the key to success in landing your dream job. 

Related career advice you may be interested in:

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Workbridge Associates Opens Up Technical Recruiting Operations in Dallas-Fort Worth

Thriving Texas tech industry and considerable local talent creates unique need for a recruitment agency in Dallas specializing in hard-to-fill IT positions

DALLAS (November 11, 2015) – Workbridge Associates, a leading IT recruitment agency specializing in hard-to-fill technology positions, today announced the opening of its new office in downtown Dallas. The Dallas-Fort Worth metro area has experienced major growth and gained national attention as a booming technology hub, becoming a dynamic location for the agency to provide local clients with highly-qualified candidates for a range of tech positions.

"With the opening of this office, we’re expanding into the heart of a thriving IT community with huge growth potential,” said Matt Milano, President of Workbridge Associates. “We are perfectly positioned to work with top talent who can drive our local clients’ development in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.”

Looking for a job or have an open role to fill? Contact the Dallas team here.

In addition to helping local technology candidates streamline their job search, Workbridge Associates specializes in finding the best talent for hard-to-fill contract and full-time positions, including RUBY, PHP, PYTHON, UI/UXJavaScriptMobile, Java and .NET/Microsoft developers.

This new Dallas office will be led by Division Manager Tom Parzych, and will hold up to 30 people, including recruiters, sourcers and marketing & events specialists. Workbridge Associates plans to start hiring immediately for all roles when the office opens on November 11th. Candidates can apply online at www.workbridgeassociates.com/work-for-us.

Workbridge’s recruitment teams pride themselves on staying fully up-to-date and conversant in the latest IT trends and developments. With extensive access to local hiring managers and technical talent, Workbridge takes a relationship-first approach that emphasizes personal engagement and added search value as much as the nuts-and-bolts objective of filling or landing a job.

For a sneak peek at the Dallas office, see below:

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Meet the leadership team and apply to jobs in the Dallas office here.

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6 Reasons Using GitHub Will Make You A More Desirable Candidate

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GitHub is one of the most important tools available to programmers, managers, and other professionals in the tech space. According to GitHub’s website, there are 11.6M people collaborating right now across 29.1M repositories on GitHub. The question is, how can you use this in your job search?

Start your job search by applying to one of Workbridge's open roles on the job board.

Prospective developers, proven ninjas, and coding wizards, if you’re contending for a new position without a GitHub account, you’re actually already one step behind. Here are 6 reasons you absolutely need to be using GitHub to make yourself a more desirable candidate:

  1. Having side projects will help you with your job search. Not only will it give you something deeper to talk about in conjuction with your current role, but also gives you the chance to develop a passion and show off your entrepreneurial side. There a number of reasons a side project could put you a notch above another candidate in a close race.
  2. It’s becoming expected. The hiring manager will be researching your GitHub account, and may even request your information alongside a resume. Take a few days to polish your account and add some non-proprietary examples of code that you have worked on. These days, companies might be a little worried if you don’t have a GitHub account.
  3. Some companies leverage GitHub in their own processes. Hiring managers are creating tech tests and small projects for candidates to complete as a way to vet talent. In the workplace, teams of programmers are able to store their work and access any changes that other team members make in real-time. Being well-versed in the system is a skill in and of itself.
  4. GitHub is a community where you can meet other developers. You can network, connect, comment on, discuss, share your work, collaborate on projects or build upon others’ efforts. In a word, use GitHub to “engage.” You never know, that partner on a project could be your next employer.
  5. It can demonstrate your skills. Many companies won't interview someone without code samples, and often job seekers cannot share their code because it's proprietary. With GitHub you can post projects outside of work. With that said, don't be afraid to post unfinished projects! Many times, technologists are hesitant to do this, but it can actually reveal a lot about who you are as a developer and show your thought process.   
  6. You’re expanding upon your tech knowledge. Learning new languages that you’re not currently using at work, or honing skills that you'd like to keep growing, is important - especially if you’re working for a company with an old code base or spending most of your time doing maintenance instead of new coding. Managers love to see people who are passionate about technology and spend time outside of work researching the newest frameworks and languages.

Submit your resume and a Workbridge associate will contact you about your job search.

Whether you view it as a social network, a warehouse or a host, use GitHub to its full potential. Perhaps you are searching for that next gig or just trying to stay relevant with one of the hundreds of JavaScript frameworks, but either way, GitHub will continue to facilitate the advancement of software development around the Globe. As the tech industry continues to exponentially change the face of everyday life, it is up to you as a professional in this space to be conscious of trends in order to stay competitive – when you’re on the job hunt, you’ll thank yourself.

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The 5-minute Guide to Nailing The Interview

Beginning a job search and interviewing for a new position can be an intimidating task. Which items should I put on or leave off my resume? Which topics should I prepare for?  How do I deal with questions that I don’t have answers to? With a few pointers, you can get organized and put yourself in the best possible position for your interview. Here's a quick guide on how to nail an interview. 

Don't have an interview set up yet? Get the job search process started with these openings.

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Pre-Interview Preparation

1. Let’s start with the very first thing: your resume.  This is the first impression that you make on your next potential employer; it needs to be a good one! There are a lot of misconceptions about what to list, and what not to list on your resume. Take a long hard look at what you're including and how you're including it. Here are some "dos and don'ts":

  • Do make sure that you are concise and to the point with everything you include.  
  • Don’t make the mistake of making things sound a lot more complicated than they were.  
  • Do start with a simple and clear objective.  The objective should (obviously) line-up with the position that you are applying to.  
  • Do make sure your resume reflects the role that you are applying for. For instance, if you are applying to an individual contributor opening, it doesn’t make sense to list that you are seeking a managerial position.
  • Don’t go overboard and list every technology and skill known to man in an effort to attract interest.  If a technology or skill is listed on your resume, it's fair game to be asked about in the interview. Stick to what you are comfortable and confident using. 
  • Do include skill level. If you have basic experience in some technologies and skills, indicate that.
  • Do focus on your experience. One of the biggest pet peeves for hiring managers is when they ask about a skill, and the candidate’s response being somewhat along the lines of, “I haven’t done much work with that.” Hiring managers are more interested in the work that you’ve done than seeing a long list of skills.  Spend most of your time showing employers how you’ve used your skills rather than listing technologies or skill sets.  
  • Don't write an encyclopedia, last but not least.  Try and keep your resume to 2 pages max.
 
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2. Have an up-to-date LinkedIn profile, and research your interviewer. This is basic, and most people have done this already, but it's important to have an updated profile as LinkedIn is probably the most used tool by both employers and job-seekers. You'll open yourself up to a number of different opportunities, and give employers the chance to come and find you. This is also a great way to learn about people you will be meeting with in upcoming interviews.  Take the time to research the people that you’ll be meeting to see if you share any common connections, and to learn more about their background.  These will all be great topics of discussion when it’s your turn to talk and ask questions during the interview.  Interviewers will be happy to see that you’ve taken the time to do research on them, an indicator to them that you’re taking the interview seriously.

3. Do your homework on the company that you are meeting with.  Make sure you have as good of an understanding as possible of what the company does, and what some of their products are.  When it’s your turn to ask questions in the interview, don’t be the person that asks, “So, what exactly does your company do?”  As obvious as this sounds you’ll be surprised at how often people make this mistake.  This is one of the biggest turn offs to potential employers, and gives the impression that you don’t have any real interest in the position.

4. Have examples ready to go. Make sure you have at least 1 or 2 projects that you’ve worked on recently that you’re most proud of and ready to talk about.  Every interview has a portion where candidates are expected to discuss and explain in details the projects that they’ve worked on in the past. Employers are often going to be interested in the most recent projects that you’ve worked on, so make sure you can explain those fully. On top of that, if there are projects that you’ve worked on in the past that are directly related to the role then make sure to bring these up. Don’t gloss over the projects either - go into specific details.  Employers are interested in hearing why you chose to design and develop things in a certain manner.

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During the Interview

Ok, now you’ve made it to the interview. How do you conduct yourself? What should you always remember?

1. Answer questions directly.  Be sure to pay attention to the question that is being asked, and focus on answering that question alone.  Do not go off onto a different subject, and start talking about a completely different topic.  There will be opportunities for you later in the interview to bring up topics that you’d like to discuss.

2. Be honest about your skill set. Similar to listing skills on your resume, if you’re asked a question that you don’t know the answer to, don’t pretend to know the answer!  Chances are the person asking you the question knows the right answer, so pretending to know the answer and giving a wrong answer will be a detriment to your candidacy.  Let the interviewer know that you don’t know the answer to that question….but don’t stop there!  Try and come up with a solution to the problem based on what you know about the topic.  Employers are often very interested in seeing what type of problem solving skills potential employees have, and to see their thought process. 

3. Remember, it’s okay not to know everything. On that note, it’s not okay to have no initiative to take on new challenges.  Rarely are employers going to find a candidate that has 100% of the skills that they’re looking for. Part of the reason you’re probably looking for a new job is to learn new skills, and most employers know this. Show them that you’re able to pick up new skills quickly by proposing a solution to the problem, even if you don't have those hard skills yet.

4. Don’t let a rude interviewer rattle you. There will be times when you run into interviewers who come off as impolite. There could be a couple of reasons for this, or maybe the person genuinely is a rude person. Don’t let that put you off for the rest of the interview. After meeting with him/her, you may decide that this company is not the right place for you, and that’s okay. Just keep calm through the interview and make a positive impression. You never know when you might cross paths with them again. Another reason the person might have this demeanor is because they’re using an interview tactic; working in engineering and IT is known to have situations that end up being high pressure and stressful.  Some employers want to see how certain people will react when they’re put in uncomfortable and high-stress situations.  Continue to do what you’ve been doing in the interview, and don’t let this bother you.

5. Engage your interviewers….at the appropriate times. Always remember that the interview is a platform for the employer to assess your skills, and see if you are a fit for their company.  Yes, it is also a time for you to figure out whether or not the company is a fit for you, but there will be an opportunity for you to do that. When you are given the opportunity make sure that you have questions prepared, and topics to discuss with them.  You need to show the employer that you are genuinely interested in the position. Start with questions specifically about the company, and the job itself. Leave compensation/benefits questions for later. You don’t want to give off an impression that those things are the only important topics for you.  Employers are going to want to hire people who are interested in the company because of the project and how you will be contributing.

Get more tips on how to interview from a Workbridge office near you.

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Post Interview

Always remember to follow-up with a thank you note after your interview.  This may seem like a trivial gesture, but it could be the differentiator between you and other candidates.  There are many times where an employer is struggling to decide between 2-3 candidates, and end up hiring the candidate that wrote the thank-you note because it was that one extra something. This will show your appreciation for being considered for the position, and gives you another opportunity to show your interest in the job.

  • The letter doesn’t need to be too long, but also shouldn’t be a generic short letter. You want to show that you actually put some time and thought into writing the letter. 
  • That means it should not look like you googled an outline and filled in blanks.
  • In the letter, thank the manager for setting up the interview and having his team set aside time to meet with you.  
  • Bring up specific parts of the interview that you enjoyed, and specific reasons as to why you’re interested in the job.  
  • Close the letter out with something along the lines of you look forward to hearing from them regarding their decision, and if there are any questions they have they should contact you.

Aadil

 

That’s a quick guide to interviewing. Good luck job-seekers! 

Written by: Aadil Alavi, Lead Recruiter of Workbridge Silicon Valley 

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Looking to Advance Your Career? Tips for Recent Computer Science and Dev Bootcamp Grads

Article written by Jaime Vizzuett, Practice Manager at Workbridge Orange County

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So you did it, you’ve completed your college degree or spent a tireless amount of weeks learning to code in a hardcore bootcamp – congratulations! But now what? While everyone’s career path will be unique and there’s no step-by-step guide to getting you to a C-Level position within x-amount of years, there are definitely career moves you can make to set yourself up for the success you’re looking for.

As a Practice Manager at a highly-recommended tech recruiting agency in Orange County, CA, I’ve come across plenty of Junior-level engineers seeking to get into a Mid-level role to advance their career. For those not qualified for the position, my dedicated team and I were able to give those candidates feedback on how they can better brand themselves, and what skill set was needed to turn them into a highly sought after candidate. We focus on the Orange County and San Diego tech markets and have close relationships with hiring managers at companies as small as startups all the way up to Fortune 500’s. Because of this, we know what hiring managers are looking for in Junior to Mid-level engineers. Below are the five smartest moves to make after graduating from a dev bootcamp or college with your C.S. degree:

Build Your Brand

Update your Linkedin profile to include a personal summary, a work or project summary and include your skills in the appropriate sections. Nowadays this is one of the major ways recruiters from companies and agencies get connected with you about a job you may be the right fit for.

Get on Github. For many hiring managers this is a 'nice-to-have' but for junior engineers this is especially crucial as it may be the only thing a manager has to look at. 

Connect with a Dedicated Recruiter

Find a dedicated technical recruiter who specializes in positions where you’re looking to work or understands your skill set. Even if they can’t offer you a position right off the bat, inquire about interview advice, resume tips or keep in touch with them for later on in your career.

Network and Get Noticed

If you haven’t yet tried out the networking aspect of looking for a job, step out of your comfort zone and add it to your to-do list. Meetups and networking events such as the one that my company organizes for tech professionals, Tech in Motion, are a great way to get your name out in front of an influential group of people.

When you are vocal about your employment status, you might find your next mentor or even your next job at an event or job fair, so make sure to put your best foot forward.

Stay Current

You will hear it over and over again, but keeping up with the newest technology is crucial in any market. Every company wants someone who has experience with the trendy new technology that very few other engineers have, so being ahead of the curve will set you apart.

Keep Motivated

Just because you have been on the market for a few weeks, doesn’t mean you should lose motivation. Great things take time! Every company has different needs. You just need to find one that fits your criteria and vice versa, and sometimes that takes time.

Bottom line is that building your reputation in a way that advances your career will take time. Following these steps will point you in the right direction and hopefully help you find a job that you truly will be passionate about. By staying up-to-date with technology, networking and building your own brand, you will find the search more successful.

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Choosing a Technology Stack for Startups

Work BridgeArticle by Miles Thomas, Practice Manager in Workbridge Philadelphia 

Tech startups from all over the country come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and types. From established entrepreneurs who have already sold multiple companies to college seniors working out of a basement, software engineers and businessmen alike have dreams of solving the ailments of the world, one solution at a time. To start an LLC isn’t all that difficult these days either; all you need is an idea, a working space, a computer, and (for some) a bottomless pot of coffee. Sounds easy, right?

Well, as integral as elbow grease and caffeine are for any start-up, a direction may be the most important thing for any would-be entrepreneurs out there. One direction that is integral to technology companies is the different layers of technologies used to accomplish whatever problem they are trying to solve; this is known as the technology stack. There are many different kinds of technology out there, but most companies land either between one comprised of open source technologies (also called Open Stack) or a proprietary technology owned by another company (.NET owned by Microsoft, or Java owned by Oracle). So, what is the best choice for all you startups out there? Read on…

An illustration of some of the different layers of a technology stack, and the options that an entrepreneur would have for each.

Above, is an illustration of some of the different layers of a technology stack, and the options that an entrepreneur would have for each.

It's well known amongst most tech savvy individuals that open source tech stacks seem to be all the rage amongst startups. After all, not only are open source technologies free to use for you bootstrappers out there, but there are a variety of different programming languages to use depending on what you’re trying to do. Need to use a functional programming language for reactive application design? Use Python or Scala. Need to do simple website development for clients big and small? Use PHP or Ruby on Rails. With so many tools at your disposal, the possibilities truly are endless.

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Java and .NET may not be as flashy or wide-ranging, but they do offer an array of different tools. With different frameworks and API’s designated to each company’s respective programming languages, Microsoft and Oracle do not leave their users without ammunition. Furthermore, there are defined boundaries for what tool to use and when- this can be extremely valuable for someone who doesn’t necessarily know their way around the latest and greatest.

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The lack of boundaries is the biggest hurdle for people looking to implement an open stack. For example, if a company decides to use Python as their language of choice, what frameworks should they use? Django? Flask? Tornado? CherryPy? What about JavaScript libraries and frameworks? Angular? Backbone? Ember? There are so many possibilities with no guidelines for first timers that it is easy to get caught up in all of the different technologies. Another easy pitfall is ambition to use technologies that are not necessary- I can recall a small web design shop that was trying to implement Amazon WebServices as an example (they are no longer around).

The boundaries presented by a Java/.NET stack come at a cost, quite literally. The obvious downside of proprietary programming languages is that they can be quite costly; this can be a huge deal-breaker for a small startup with little to no funding. For a smaller company looking to stay afloat, spending what little money they have on-hand for something they can get for free seems foolish (on paper, at least).

At the end of the day, picking programming languages is all about circumstance. If a company has the money to spend, Java/.NET may be the way to go. If a company is strapped for cash, or if one of their founders has a background in some kind of open source language/framework, then open source may be the way to go. Given the convergence of the current technology landscape, however, it may not be long before it won’t really matter!

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