Are there any roles in software engineering that are not vital?… or are there some ‘more vital’ (if we were to exaggerate the comparison) than others?…
Following our more than 20-year experience in IT recruiting we can certainly say that ALL roles are essential, yet some act such as ‘guardians’ or ‘organisers’, whereas others are ‘creators’, ‘builders’ or ‘integrators’.
A database expert is part of the first type of cohort that we have enumerated, as they work diligently behind the scenes to ensure the efficient storage, retrieval and management of data. This role plays a pivotal part in the success of businesses, organizations and governments.
Database experts are the architects of digital infrastructure. They design, implement and maintain the systems that store and manage vast amounts of information.
It is known that databases are the backbone of modern applications and websites and, hence, the role of a database expert is crucial for any technology-driven venture.
If we were to explain simply what this job is all about, imagine you are collecting a lot of Legos. A database expert helps you organize those Legos neatly in different boxes, making it easy to find the piece you need when you want to build something cool.
These boxes are like databases and the expert decides how to arrange them so that you can build faster and without losing any pieces.
One of the primary responsibilities of a database expert is to create and optimize database structures. This involves understanding the data requirements of an organization and designing a schema that efficiently stores and organizes this data. They choose the appropriate database management system (DBMS), considering factors like scalability, performance and security.
Once the database structure is defined, database experts set it up and ensure its ongoing maintenance. They handle tasks such as data migration, security configurations and performance tuning.
Their goal is to ensure that the database operates smoothly, minimizing downtime and preventing data loss.
… Data security.
Protecting sensitive information is paramount in the digital age. Database experts are responsible for implementing security measures to safeguard data from unauthorized access, data breaches and cyberattacks. They establish user access controls, encryption and auditing mechanisms to maintain the integrity and confidentiality of data.
If, however, data is lost, as it is generally vulnerable to various risks – including hardware failures, human errors or disasters – database experts design and implement robust backup and disaster recovery plans to ensure data can be (quickly) restored.
Last but not least,
A key role of a database expert is database integration.
Many organizations use multiple databases and data sources. Database experts are responsible for integrating data from different sources into a unified database system, ensuring consistency and accuracy of information.
Follow our LinkedIn page here: https://www.linkedin.com/company/126837/admin/feed/posts/
Or our job opening postings on our website, here: https://www.vonconsulting.ro/jobs/
…so that you stay updated with database exper position that we might have available.
… Of our multitude of articles explaining what each major job in IT does, this one resembles mostly with a sci-fi job in an enigmatic world.
You will see why as you read…
…because in a universe where the digital and physical realms seamlessly blend, there exists a group of wizards who wield their coding spells to give life and intelligence to our electronic devices. Or should we say ‘electronic companions’…?
These conjurers of the digital arts are known as firmware engineers, and their craft is the hidden heartbeat of our modern devices.
Let us explain in a simple manner.
At its essence, a firmware engineer is akin to a digital sorcerer. They are the architects who weave the spells of code that reside within the hardware of our gadgets. This code, known as firmware, is the force that controls a device’s actions and ensures its smooth operation.
The canvas of a firmware engineer is vast – as vast as the array of devices – from the humble-yet-absolutely-necessarycoffee-maker and thermostat to the mighty spacecraft, life-saving medical equipment and the intricate systems that power our automobiles. Their mission is to bestow these devices with wisdom and functionality.
Firmware engineers write the tales that devices follow. Each line of code they write shapes the device’s destiny, ensuring it operates safely and efficiently.
Beyond mere functionality, firmware engineers are virtuosos of efficiency and performance. They fine-tune their coding, optimize algorithms and orchestrate memory management to extract the utmost from the device’s hardware.
More than mere engineers, firmware specialists – the best ones, at least – are always updated with industry trends, so that their work remains cutting-edge.
Their job is not just about making things work; firmware engineers also make sure devices run as fast and as efficiently as possible. They fine-tune their codes, so that all gadgets one uses work smoothly and do not waste energy.
When something goes wrong with a device, firmware engineers become like detectives: they use their coding skills to solve the mysteries behind any problems and fix any glitches that pop up.
As you have noticed in many other IT jobs that we have presented, most of the times IT engineers work in teams. And so do firmware engineers: they do not work alone. They often team up with hardware experts and other software pros to make sure everything fits together perfectly. Teamwork is like the magic potion for creating reliable and efficient devices.
… and this applies for all industries, as a matter of fact.
Follow our LinkedIn page here: https://www.linkedin.com/company/126837/admin/feed/posts/
Or our job opening postings on our website, here: https://www.vonconsulting.ro/jobs/
…so that you stay updated with firmware engineer positions that we might have available.
If you have followed our series of articles describing key jobs in software engineering, you might ask yourself what on earth would these people write now about the layout engineer.
ALL IT jobs are of value in their respective dimensions.
For us, the non-software-engineer professionals, some seem – and sound – more difficult than the others.
Layout engineer does not.
One would think that a layout engineer creates a framework for some things to happen. That is, he/ she ‘draws’ them, explains them and passes them over to software development teams that program them to become reality.
… If one thought that, one would be partially right.
It is obvious that in the ever-evolving landscape of software engineering, the role of a layout engineer might not be the first to come to your mind.
This is mainly because a layout engineer is a hidden architect who plays a pivotal role in bridging the gap between digital design and real-world functionality. The story-telling keen people would say that a layout engineer is a behind-the-scenes wizard responsible for crafting the physical layouts of electronic systems, integrated circuits and more.
Let us unveil the role of a layout engineer in a slightly more elaborated detail.
As software and hardware become increasingly intertwined, having a layout engineer on board can facilitate seamless integration of these two areas: hardware-software.
Layout engineers possess the skills to optimize the physical layout of components, ensuring efficient communication between hardware and software.
As many software applications are now deeply embedded in hardware devices, a layout engineer’s expertise in designing the physical layout of electronic systems can enhance the reliability and performance of these embedded systems.
Moreover, certain software applications require custom hardware accelerators to achieve optimal performance. A layout engineer can design specialized hardware components that complement the software’s demands, leading to faster and more efficient execution.
Applications of our times rely on high-speed data transmission. A layout engineer’s expertise in optimizing signal integrity through precise component placement can contribute to software applications’ overall performance and reliability.
On top of this, in some cases, software bottlenecks can be alleviated through hardware optimization. Collaborating with layout engineers can lead to hardware solutions that address performance limitations and enhance the overall user experience.
So if one wants to enhance their software engineering team and/ or needs to bridge diverse skill sets together, then one should hire a layout engineer, with his/ her background in hardware design, as he/ she can contribute with fresh perspectives and ideas to software-focused projects.
With a layout engineer on board, a company can potentially offer full-stack solutions, encompassing both software and hardware aspects, which can be appealing to clients looking for comprehensive services.
At VON Consulting we sometimes do open positions for layout engineers, who enable our client-companies to deliver more holistic, efficient and innovative solutions to their own clients.
See our software engineering job openings at the link below.
Ever wondered how your gadgets and apps seamlessly do what they do?
…Well, there is a group of tech wizards working behind the scenes and their name is verification engineers.
In this episode of our IT jobs explanations in user-friendly manner let us dive into what verification engineers do and why they matter so much in today’s fast-paced tech world.
Meet the Verification Engineers
Verification engineers are like the quality control experts of tech realm: they are the ones responsible for making sure that all the cool stuff tech promises actually works as promised – from tiny chips to big software, they have got it all covered.
So What Exactly Do They Do?
If we were to classify their key tasks into some categories, six main pillars would emerge:
Testing game plan: think of them as the strategists of the tech world. They team up with designers to create plans on how to test every nook and cranny of a product.
(On a side note, we wish this type of plan was more and more implemented in business, as well: a plan of how to TEST THE BUSINESS’S FUNCTIONALITY potential even before launch or shortly after investing a reasonable amount of money…. before the full deployment of the investment.
There are signals that many business owners choose not to see – or do not see them at all, for that matter – that would tell them that the business is not/ will not function as planned… yet this is a chapter for another article.)
Continuing with what our tech’s wizards do behind the scenes – the verification engineers, we could say that they createtech playground – that is virtual playgrounds where they throw tech products in all sorts of scenarios to see how they react. It is just like making sure your car can handle any road before you hit the gas.
Bug hunters: like digital detectives, they track down glitches and issues and then work with designers to fix them. It sounds really cool, right? A bit like a virtual scavenger hunt. At this point you most probably started to fall in love with what these cool IT engineers do, right?
…If so, what comes is even cooler:
Performance party: verification engineers throw performance parties, but instead of dancing, they check how well a product performs under different situations. Ever attended such a party?
Fixer-uppers: when things go wonky, verification engineers are the ones who roll up their sleeves and work with the designers to fix the problems. Imagine a tech repair duo in a car service workshop.
Team players: you will never – or, for the sake of accuracy, let’s say ‘hardly ever’ – meet a verification engineer that is not an ultimate team player, working with everyone – from the designers to bosses – to make sure the entire team is on the same page. So far with the myth of non-social IT engineer performing this function .
We like to call them superheroes. Like we did call so other software engineers.
Apart from being the guardians of good tech by catching problems early, verification engineers are also time and money savers.
You might know the saying “a stitch in time saves nine”. Well, this is exactly the role of verification engineers: they are like the stitchers, preventing big problems down the line and saving time and money.
Not at last, verification engineers are innovation boosters. How so? Since they catch problems early, tech creators can take bigger risks and dream up cooler things, knowing the verification engineers have their back.
Who would NOT want that in everyday business?
… So next time your phone does not freeze, your app runs smoothly or your game does not crash, you know whom to thank – those friendly neighborhood verification engineers.
If you are interested in applying for such jobs, we might have them from time to time. Continue to follow us on LinkedIn or consult our frequently updated job-announcement website here: https://www.vonconsulting.ro/jobs/
When it comes to web apps and games, quality assurance (QA) is the secret ingredient that brings joy to users’ experiences. QA teams work passionately to uncover bugs, boost performance and optimize functionality.
Let’s take a closer look at some examples of how QA makes web apps and games shine.
Quality Assurance for Web Apps
There are mainly six key dimensions for web app testing: functionality, usability, compatibility, performance, web UI and security.
In terms of functionality testing, QA experts put each web app through its paces on different browsers and operating systems. They ensure that the app looks great and works seamlessly on Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Edge and across Windows, macOS and Linux. No matter where the users are, they will enjoy a smooth and consistent experience due to functionality testing.
The web app should be a breeze to use. For this purpose QA testers immerse themselves in the app, exploring it from a user’s perspective. They scrutinize navigation, responsiveness and overall experience, providing valuable insights to make any app intuitive and delightful to use.
We all know that waiting is no fun. Hence QA teams rigorously test the speed, scalability and stability of any web app under different loads and network conditions. They unearth any performance bottlenecks, ensuring that the app loads fast and performs like a superstar.
An important test that the QA engineers perform is the functional testing – that is make sure that all features of a web application work correctly and without any problems. Functional testing for a web application may involve checking that all links work, testing cookies, investigating forms on all web pages, assessing database security and verifying CSS or HTML. It is also important for developers and testers to make sure that test cases include important boundary conditions. In addition, there should be an error message for any invalid input.
There are several critical components to a web app, including the web server interface, database server interface and application server interface. Web UI testing is an important way to validate that all components of the web app are working well together. Testers should use this testing method to determine whether the interaction between the various servers is carried out effectively.
Last but not least, the absolutely necessary security testing: the users’ security is top priority for any QA engineer. For this, QA professionals conduct thorough security assessments to keep web apps safe. They validate data transmission, authenticate users securely and fortify apps against common threats like cross-site scripting and SQL injection.
Quality Assurance for Games
Similar with web apps, games have the four dimensions of testing, but top these there are four more: the game-balance testing, localization testing, load testing and the multiplayer testing.
The game balance testing gives the green light for the exclamation “Let the fun flow smoothly!” Precisely, QA testers carefully evaluate each game’s difficulty levels, progression and character abilities. Their valuable feedback ensures that the game is fair and engaging, providing enjoyment for players of all skill levels.
Games speak a universal language and thus QA professionals verify translations, check text formatting and ensure cultural sensitivity, so that the game will resonate with players worldwide – this is the localization testing.
The type of testing that prevents lags to spoil a game is the performance and load testing. At this stage QA teams push any game to its limits, checking frame rates, loading times and server stability. The objective is to guarantee a smooth and immersive gaming experience for players, where lag is nothing but a distant memory.
Last but not least, any game is tested for multiplayer features. During this ultimate test they evaluate network connectivity, synchronization, matchmaking and the overall multiplayer experience. Lag and unfair advantages are swiftly shown the door.
Our young candidates sometimes ask what is the difference between program manager and project manager. We liked the comparison that Coursera offers when saying “…think of a program manager as a movie director and of a project manager as a crew director, carrying out myriad of tasks”.
… And this is right.
In the world of software engineering, managing complex projects and programs requires specialized skills and expertise.
Two key roles that are often encountered in this field are Project Manager (PM) and Program Manager (PgM). While these roles may seem similar at first glance, they have distinct differences in their scope of work, responsibilities and focus.
Let’s take them systematically, as an engineer mind would like to see them .
From the scope of work perspective, a project manager is responsible for overseeing individual projects from initiation to completion.
Project managers are accountable for delivering specific outcomes within a defined timeframe and with allocated resources. Project Managers focus on the tactical aspects of project execution, such as creating project plans, defining tasks, assigning resources, monitoring progress and managing risks and issues.
On the other hand, a program manager has a broader scope of work.
Program managers oversee a portfolio of related projects, typically with strategic and organizational significance. Theyfocus on aligning projects with business goals, coordinating efforts among various project teams and ensuring that the program objectives are met.
Important to highlight is that program managers are responsible for strategic planning, defining program goals, establishing governance, managing interdependencies among projects and driving overall program success.
From the perspective of responsibilities that these two functions need to accomplish, while both project managers and program managers are responsible for managing projects, their specific responsibilities differ. A summary of these differences could look like:
Project Managers: they are responsible for defining project scope, objectives and deliverables, creating and maintaining project schedules, managing resources, monitoring and controlling project risks and ensuring that the project is completed within the defined time, budget and quality parameters.
Program Managers: they are responsible for defining program goals and objectives, developing program strategies, overseeing project selection and prioritization, establishing program governance, coordinating project teams, managing program risks and issues and providing program-level reporting and communication to stakeholders.
Last but not least, a PM’s focus perspective differs than a PgM’s focus as highlighted by these details:
Project Managers: they focus on the details of individual projects and are primarily concerned with achieving project-specific goals and deliverables.
They work closely with project teams to ensure that project tasks are completed on time, within budget, and to the required quality standards.
Program Managers: they have a more strategic focus and are concerned with aligning projects with broader business objectives.
They work closely with senior management and stakeholders to ensure that projects are contributing to the overall program goals and that they are delivering the desired business value.
Understanding these differences between PM and PgM is essential for organizations to effectively utilize these roles and ensure successful delivery of software engineering projects and programs.
The software engineering field is weird. Truly weird. One would certainly expect to hear that for hiring a nanny, a maid, a cook, a painter, a mechanical engineer, a graphic designer… or similar education is not key, while EXPERIENCE IS, but to hear this when one would like to get hired in the big data engineering field…. well, this is not-so-expected!
… Yet this is right.
Big data engineering is not a job one could do by learning in class or by buying subscriptions to some online classes. Say you do not expect to be a brilliant data engineer and are satisfied with being a lousy one – education alone would still not suffice.
To become a big data engineer one needs to be passionate about math, problem-solving, numbers, charts, graphs and – certainly – about IT. One becomes a real data engineer only after certain hands-on experience: this might be the most important difference between software engineers: while programming could be an incipient exercise, proper data engineering would not.
…Before we elaborate, let us clarify two related concepts: what is ‘big data’ and what is ‘data analyst’ (as this sounds pretty similar with data engineer).
Big data refers to extremely large data sets that are commonly – or purposely – collected by companies while conducting their business operations. When used correctly, big data can be highly beneficial for organizations in improving efficiency, profitability and scalability. However, companies’ big data is not helpful unless there is a big data engineer to build systems to collect, maintain and extract data. With these, a data analyst generates insights, using various predictive models(while a data analyst is recommended to have some coding experience, this is not a sine-qua-non condition).
Compared to a data analyst, a big data engineer is primarily responsible for building and maintaining the systems and processes that collect and extract data. So one is the miner, the other is the grinder. As simple as that. No wonder that data scientists, machine learning engineers and big data engineers rank in top emerging jobs in LinkedIn these days, despite AI proliferation and potential threats that some say AI – such as GPT4 of OpenAI or Ernie of Baidu – will bring tomorrow (almost literally, tomorrow).
Some typical job responsibilities of a big data engineer are creating systems for collecting data and for processing that respective data; creating data architectures that meet the requirements of the business; using Extract Transform Load operations (the so-called ‘ETL process’); creating structured data solutions using various programming languages and tools and mining data from multiple areas to construct efficient business models.
The collaborative approach of a big data engineer having to perform these responsibilities is self-implied, of which the most important one is with data scientists. The way these two key functions in companies dealing with big data work together and are aligned towards the same objective could be a ‘make it or break it’ for the company’s performance. As such, hiring a professional and well-experienced big data engineer is a very important task (please follow regularly our updated open positions for such functions here: https://www.vonconsulting.ro/jobs/).
It is not common for big data engineers to possess all of the following skills:
- Computer programming with languages like C++, Java, and Python
- Databases and SQL
- ETL and data warehousing
- Talend, IBM DataStage, Pentaho, and Informatica
- Operating system knowledge for Unix, Linux, Windows, and Solaris
- Apache Spark
- Data mining and modeling
- …and some more.
In our more than 20-year experience we could learn that it is of utmost importance for a data engineer to have a strong programming background, as well as a love of – or at least an interest in – data and/ or in finding patterns in data. Work could become boring if these two are missing, as big data projects are 10 times more complex on average than regular software projects of companies or small data projects.
And like most of the software engineering jobs, a data engineer needs to understand the company’s (field of) business well and to be updated with the strategy. ‘Where do we want to arrive, by when and with what resources?’ is not only a question for managers, but for most of the big data engineers, as well.
…So it is not easy.
But it is essential and sometimes beautiful.
And it can be summed up as follows: 1. ensure that the data pipeline (the acquisition and processing of data) works; 2. serve the needs of the data scientists and data analysts (the so-called ‘internal customers’); and 3. control the cost of moving and storing data.
…Needless to say that social and communications skills are also (ideally) required for a big data engineer, as are for any IT engineer. Slowly but surely the myth of not being so is destroyed.
… This article will explore briefly – but essentially – what a back-end developer is, what skills one would need to do this job properly and will also provide some advice for aspiring back-end developers. We shall definitely touch a little on the difference between this job’s and a front-end developer’s responsibilities, in case someone wonders…
… But before that, I need to answer my ever-lasting question: What Is the Workplace of a Back-End Developer Like?
… This is a question I have always asked myself. Always wondered how a workplace – or a working room at home – of a software engineer looks like. They should be either extremely neat or super-messy, right?… The life of a back-end developer typically involves working long hours; as such they can be found almost anywhere – at home, in their offices, in coffee stores, on a bench in the park… always with their laptops on their laps or on a table, right? … Right! Since they could be working as full-time permanent employees in both large corporations and in small or medium-sized companies.They can also work as freelancers or independent consultants, or as contractors for an employment agency.
…Did we just describe the dream-job of any young software engineer? Whereas being a front-end developer requires creating everything you see on a website – like buttons, links, animations and more -, thus being in charge of the look and feel of a website (most of the times respecting pre-set frameworks and designs of other people), a back-end developer builds and maintains the technology that powers those components which, together, enable the user-facing side of the website to even exist in the first place.
In case you are an aspiring back-end developer, you need to be aware that although back-end engineering has a reputation of being tough or complex, it definitely does not have to be this way. It is a job you can learn by doing: on your own time, on your own computer you can set up a simple website and use a back-end framework. It does not have to do anything too complicated — maybe just create some simple data and save it and look it up — but once you have your first webpage up and running, you are basically halfway there, to soon being able to become a back-end software engineer. That is, a function absolutely essential these days.
As of December 2022, the Internet contains more than 1.9 billion websites (not all are functional, though). And counting. Websites are now a critical component for any business to stay competitive. Web development tends to break down into three main concentrations: front-end developer, back-end developer and full-stack developer.
There. Your (future) job is a key job for companies to have or to outsource – and still in relatively high demand.
…getting more to the point,
What Does a Back-End Developer Do, Specifically?
A back-end developer writes code that forms the backbone of a website or of an app. Back-end developers are the experts who build and maintain the mechanisms that process data and perform actions on websites. Unlike front-end developers, who control everything you can see on a website, back-end developers are involved in data storage, security and other server-side functions that you cannot see.
Back-end developers ensure the website performs correctly, focusing on databases, back-end logic, application programming interface (APIs), architecture, and servers. They use code that helps browsers communicate with databases, store, understand, and delete data. On a team, back-end developers collaborate with front-end developers, product managers, principal architects and website testers to build the structure of a website or mobile app. Back-end developers must be familiar with many kinds of tools and frameworks, including languages such as Python, Java, and Ruby. They make sure the back-end performs quickly and responsively to front-end user requests.
Here is what many back-end developers do on a day-to-day basis (as per Columbia Engineering School – The Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Sciences):
Build and maintain websites by using various tools, frameworks and languages to determine how best to develop intuitive, user-friendly prototypes and turn them into websites. This requires an understanding of cross-platform functionality and compatibility.
Write high-quality code that is required for sustainable web applications.
Perform quality assurance (QA) testing: in other words, create and oversee testing schedules to optimize user interface and experience, ensuring optimal display on various browsers and devices.
Assess efficiency and speed, because once a website is up and running, and during updates and edits, developers need to assess its performance and scalability, adjusting code as necessary.
Troubleshoot and debug and then communicate the results to project managers, stakeholders and QA teams.
Train and support, as most of the times the client teams need ongoing support, along with leading training and mentorship for junior developers.
If I Were to Choose This Job, What Skills Would I Have to Have?
In order to make the server, application and database communicate with each other, back-end developers use server-side languages like PHP, Ruby, Python, Java and .Net to build an application. They also need to use tools like MySQL, Oracle and SQL Server to find, save, or change data and serve it back to the user in front-end code.
Job openings for back-end developers (see ours here, in complete updated spectrum: https://www.vonconsulting.ro/jobs/) often also call for experience with PHP frameworks like Zend, Symfony and CakePHP; experience with version control software like SVN, CVS, or Git; and experience with Linux as a development and deployment system.
Last but not least,
Is Back-End Developer a Good Job?
… well, our times became competitive for back-end web developers, but you can rest easy as long as your skills are up to date and you aim for a fair pay.
In case one would compare what is easier between front-end development and back-end, the answer is actually back-end. Moreover, back-end developers tend not to find their jobs stressful (as per our 20-year experience interacting with potential candidates for this job), which likely contributes positively to career satisfaction.
… well. For non-technical people, the easiest to understand job description – as in ‚imagine’ what that might be – is the front-end developer.
Apparently this is one of the most sought for job during the past couple of months, as per our CV applications.
Is it fancy?
Because when you visit a website, the design elements you see were created by a front-end developer.
How gifted must one be to be able to create amazing websites? (not including the templates in this ‘owe-rhetoric question, though).
What technical knowledge must one have to transform information into logical and well-designed and structured websites?
Everything you see on a website – like buttons, links, animations and more -, were created by a front end web developer. Front end developers are in charge of the look and feel of the website. It is the front end developer’s job to take the vision and design concept from the client and implement it through code.
Front-end web development is also known as client-side development.
The challenge associated with front end development is that the tools and techniques used to create the front end of a website change constantly and so the developer needs to constantly be aware of how the field is developing. This is further complicated by the fact that users now use a large variety of devices with varying screen sizes and resolutions, thus forcing the designer to take into consideration these aspects when designing the site. They need to ensure that their site comes up correctly in different browsers (cross-browser), different operating systems (cross-platform) and different devices (cross-device). All these require careful planning on the side of the developer.
What Skills Does One Need to Become a Front End Developer?
As one is developing the website or the application, there will be errors in the code that need fixing. Debugging is the act of identifying those errors (“bugs”) and fixing them. Normally, a frontend software developer is requested to have testing and debugging skills – or the willingness to develop them. Testing is a very important skill to learn, as writing tests for one’s code is a way to ensure that the code is doing what it is supposed to do.
Last but not least, one would need – preferably – problem solving skills, as it is important to learn/ know how to tackle a problem, break it down into smaller manageable pieces and troubleshoot the issue in the web applications.
Would You Like to Apply for a Front–End Developer Career?
Register here: https://www.vonconsulting.ro/jobs/
…and follow our LinkedIn page for updates on the newest job openings: https://www.linkedin.com/company/von-consulting/
Businesses nowadays are continually looking for ways to optimize their processes. Agile is around for more than two decades and helps teams deliver value to their customers fast and effectively.
Agile was founded based on values and principles.
Agile is neither a methodology nor a philosophy to get things done, but rather a collection of beliefs that teams use to make decisions. Or, said alternatively, agile is the umbrella term for many types of management methodologies. Scrum, Kanban, and Extreme Programming (XP) are each considered different agile methodologies.
Agile principles help guide teams on the right path, even when the next step is unsure or undefined.
How is this possible?
Here is a manifesto that we believe in (source: www.scrum.org)
Individuals and interactions over processes and tools
Working software over comprehensive documentation
Customer collaboration over contract negotiation
Responding to change over following a plan
…not saying that the items on the right have no value. Not at all.
The items on the left weight more in Agile work of software engineering teams.
Let us go more in-depth: How Does Agile Work and How Difficult Is It?
Instead of following a well-defined and strict plan, agile teams focus on continuous improvement and efficiency. They work under “sprints,” which consist of specific tasks or deliverables in a certain time frame. Each sprint typically lasts from two to four weeks – subject to the product in development.
However, sprints are not used in every single agile approach. This just proves what agile is – a set of principles and values. Before agile, software development lifecycles were used, such as Waterfall, focusing on delivering software through a linear and rigid process.
Agile eliminated the set of rules, procedures and hierarchies. It started with breaking the process into manageable actions that can be continually improved until the primary goal is reached. What mattered was to deliver the best result possible.
Since 2001, when is was first named/ founded by 17 engineers, agile has become a globally accepted mindset for managing software engineering projects – but not only.
If we were to demonstrate a high-level overview of how agile typically works, it would be like this:
Step 1: Define the project: Agile teams start by defining the overall goals and objectives of the project, as well as any constraints or assumptions.
Step 2: Break the project into smaller pieces: Next, the team breaks the project down into smaller pieces of work, called “user stories,” that can be completed in a single iteration.
Step 3: Prioritize the work: The team then prioritizes the user stories based on their importance and dependencies.
Step 4: Plan the iteration: During the planning phase, the team estimates the amount of work that can be completed in the upcoming iteration and selects the user stories that will be worked on.
Step 5: Work on the iteration: During the iteration, the team works on completing the selected user stories. They may also hold daily stand-up meetings to check in with each other and identify any obstacles that need to be addressed.
Step 6: Review and adjust: At the end of the iteration, the team reviews the work that was completed and adjusts their plans for the next iteration based on what they learned.
This entire process is repeated until the project is completed.
It is important to note that while agile has many benefits, it is not a one-size-fits-all solution. Organizations should carefully consider whether this is the right approach for their needs and for their existing teams and projects.
None expects a fabulous life and, equally, none knows how thrilling it is: the life of an IT recruiter @VonConsulting.
…but first, a note: of the ‘less spectacular’ career options that we see around us – lots and lots – many of them are chosen due to passion. A person will not be able to perform sustainably well on a certain position unless there is passion in what he/ she does.
If about artists, doctors or lawyers we could immediately infer a certain calling, For IT recruiters….. well… not really, right?
An IT recruiter at @VonConsulting chose this specific career because she wanted to work with people in technology. She is equally passionate about people and about technology and, as such, it came as a natural choice to take this step.
This is our 3-minute Q&A to her:
Q1: Why did you choose to work as an IT recruiter?
A1: I believe that the IT industry has a very big impact in our world. To this I added my ability to discover the skills that others have and to guide them to some extent towards the role that is most suitable for them.
Q2: How can you tell when an IT recruiter is successful?
A2: An essential thing to be successful as a recruiter in the IT industry is the passion for technology. If this exists, there will also be the curiosity to discover what a person needs to do and know in order to be employed and perform in a technical role. A successful IT recruiter combines two main categories of skills: soft skills and ‘hard’ technical skills.
Q3: What motivates you in your everyday work?
A3: My master’s degree in Psychology made me realize that I like to communicate and work with people, discover them and observe what motivates them. It is not an easy thing to do, but it is a challenge that is definitely worth all the effort. I chose the IT recruiter
career because I knew from the beginning that I have many things to learn via this role. I have learned a lot from the interaction with very good people from a technical point of view, always ready to find solutions for the problems they encounter. I had the opportunity to recruit people for very interesting and diverse projects, which, through technological innovation, improve our everyday life.
It happened to me to discover very young people, who had just finished their studies and were trying to find a place to work, but who did not have the necessary experience to stand out. Many times, such people motivate me in what I do, because they have so much energy
and a great desire to learn and develop.
Q4: Any challenges to mention?…
A4: …Working with people is always challenging. It is not always a smooth ride.
…Is it for the glory? 😊
About 20 years ago it must have been mainly for the brains. These days the pay weights significantly towards the choice of becoming a software developer. A software developer in his/ her 30s could earn annually as much as a mid-50s established CEO – or more.
However, even for that pay, we, the people ‘from the other side’ – e.g. business consultants, lawyers, entrepreneurs, financiers, auditors etc. – can sometimes hardly understand the choice. Why would someone sit for hours in front of the computer and… write some numbers and formulas?
… eventually, we got to get it: it is a means of creation. It IS creation.
TO CREATE SOMETHING.
When you create something with your hands using a palpable material – such as clay or the painting brush or the spray container that gets you the graffiti on the walls -, creation is visible by others as you mean it and others can see it grow step by step in an understandable way.
However, when you create something with the keyboard, it is not understandable by the general public until it works. The magic is seen at the end and generally in a given context.
So, there! This must be the attractiveness of becoming a software developer: the magic of creating something. Intrinsic to all humans is to create and the smartest brains of the planet create via writing code.
Software developers use programming and design knowledge to build software that helps people or institutions achieve certain objectives. They also test and deploy that software based on the specifications they have received.
Today, software developers are some of the most vital people in the many aspects of the economy. Software isn’t just codes, video games and apps, it’s the driving force of every computerized device on the planet.
Specifically, What Does a Software Developer Do?
Software developers design, program, build, test, debug, deploy and maintain software using many different skills and tools. They also help build software systems that power networks and devices and ensure that those systems remain functional.
Their job may also involve meeting with clients to determine the needs for a software solution, which will help them design the final product.
While software developers work in a wide variety of industries, these days many are freelancers. Depending on the setting, a software developer may work alone or on a team with other developers and programmers. In general, larger companies tend to have teams of developers due to the complexity of the software they are designing. Outsourcing teams of software developers is quite frequent these days, as well, as one can find multiple skills and availabilities when you outsource or lease software developers.