Dallas IT Staffing & Career Blog

Blog for the Dallas IT and technical job markets. News, advice and tips for job searching, resume writing, interviewing and IT career growth in 2016.

Are you the "IT-girl" or "IT-boy"?

Typical salaries in the IT-related professions range from $24,000 per year to $160,000 per year, as long as we stay out of the C-suite. Of course there is no practical upper limit, since that is entirely dependent on skill, insight, leadership qualities, and personal brilliance.

Whereas someone is likely to ask you "What interests you about this position?" and the answer may be highly technical, I think we can safely disregard that because that question is asked in virtually every interview, irrespective of occupation.

More importantly, I can't give you the answers to most of the questions. The answers are going to be highly dependent on the situation and different for every single person. Some will be highly relevant and others, not so much. There are some guidelines however…

You're preparing for a performance review. Step one is...

Don't Panic!

Trust me—they are not as bad as you have built them up to be in your head. It's not about your manager trying to figure out some way to not give you more money, or approve some additional outside training, or allowing you to telecommute.

In truth, it's all about discovering how you have progressed. If it is your very first review there should be no big surprises. After all, in any intelligent, well-managed company the review process begins the day you were hired.

It is quite likely that you interact with your reviewer on a daily basis. Every time you speak with him he is giving you feedback, suggesting tactics or methodologies to improve your results. He has even probably told you about areas where you have exceeded his expectations.

Don't give an IT?

Your IT department is probably a very diverse team, with a broad array of skills. You may have rack-guys (or gals), and within that group probably some sub-genres that specialize in application servers, fax & print servers, file servers, game servers, mail servers, web servers, or even proxy servers.

Your team will certainly have some people that are focused exclusively on security. And, of course, you probably have a team running your help desk, whether for internal or external.

Depending on your business model, you may even have IT sales people. They might even be further divided into software and hardware.

How are you supposed to bring such a heterogeneous and motley crew together and inspire them to work as an effective unit?

Don't you find it amazing that we spend so much time and effort and money to locate great individuals for our teams, and then somehow, over half of us manage to not have a Retention Policy in place? Are we crazy?

Even those that believe that they do have a retention policy in place often confuse it with monetary rewards, incentives, or a golden ball-and-chain. The latter usually consists of stock issuance, or options that are only valid if they stay with the company for "X" number of years. Sometimes they are tied up in a huge potential tax burden that would become payable if they had to cash-out when changing jobs.

That's not retention; that's imprisoning; and it breeds contempt and resentment.

If you needed a reminder to go and clean up your social accounts then this is it. We recently had a potential employee for a client lined up. Everything looked good with his profile and he seemed like a good match. That was, until we checked his Facebook. This guy was going to get an offer from our client, but not now. A recent Facebook post of his provided some illuminating insight into his character. Not only was the post incredibly belligerent but also used foul language and a threat of vandalism towards another individual. This is not the kind of person that our client wants on their team. Keep in mind that social accounts are public information. If you want to work with a reputable company then you need to ensure that your public persona is also respectable.

Those of you entering the IT workforce this year are probably (and justifiably) optimistic. With only a few minor pullbacks, we've been growing steadily since early in 2011. Many of you may not have started your careers by 2008 when a very large number of IT professionals suddenly found themselves without a job. It took until mid-2012 before IT employment figures recovered to the point we had reached in 2008.

Technical jobs in Dallas (or more specifically, IT jobs in Dallas) are going unfulfilled, but it is hardly a local phenomenon. Nationwide we're looking at an unemployment rate of just 1% in this profession. Of tech leaders surveyed, 81% are having difficulty filling positions according to a recent survey.

Our lives have become more and more technically oriented, and industry response has been to hire more people to deal with the increasing demand. This is a great time to be in IT because demand is only going to continue to grow.
Below you'll find a list of skills that are most sought after right now.

The history of Dallas technical and IT staffing is long and storied. I've learned a lot over the years and the temptation is to write a long list called "The Top 50 Ways to Become a Better IT Recruiter" or "15 Mistakes that Every IT-Applicant Makes,” but that would just be self-indulgent and egotistical.

Let's see if I can give you some useful advice to help you make better decisions as either a technical recruiter or an applicant.

Walter Bright is the creator and first implementer of the D programming language and has implemented compilers for several other languages. He's an expert in all areas of compiler technology, including front ends, optimizers, code generation, interpreter engines and runtime libraries. Walter regularly writes articles about compilers and programming, is known for engaging and informative presentations, and provides training in compiler development techniques. Many are surprised to discover that Walter is also the creator of the wargame Empire, which is still popular today over 30 years after its debut.  

In this video series Walter speaks to a college audience about what it takes to be a professional programmer.