Skills Developers Should Invest In

Sandra Olivier - Friday, August 26, 2016

enterEvery day is an opportunity for developers to update and develop their skills. During this time, you can make a decision to grow in your craft or choose to lag behind. Rather than getting comfortable with the set of skills you have, ever thought of pushing a bit forward? The IT industry is constantly changing because of advances in technology, keeping your skills sharp and up to date will ensure you work on bigger and more challenging projects and ultimately advance your career.

Below is a list of key skills you as a developer should invest in:

1. Application Development
This is one of the top skills that are in demand. Organizations are more regularly refining their digital customer experience, making user interface and experience design crucial skills in the coming year. From internal systems to front-end apps, software will be everywhere to improve business processes. This year, we started witnessing a huge demand for programmers to upgrade existing computer systems, or for the design and development of new applications. So, if you have strong skills in Java, hardware controllers, web and mobile applications, this is the year for you. Talent with preferred coding skills such as Java, Java EE, JavaFX, .NET, C, Objective-C and UI/UX Design can make the best of the demand.

2. Mobile platforms
2014 was the year when the demand for smartphones and tablets reached record highs. Businesses across the world are adopting mobile application development strategies to meet their business objectives.
There are however different approaches to mobile development. Mostly there are three important focus areas; IOS, Andriod and Windows Phones. If you focus on native app development pick one platform (android or IOS) and learn the API’s for that system. When you have come to be efficient using one platform, it is possible to broaden your knowledge into other platform.

3. Cybersecurity skills
Intel Security says a massive 82 percent of IT professionals that it surveyed are battling a shortage in workers specializing in cybersecurity. Increasing concerns and business risks associated with insecure software have brought increased attention to the need to integrate security into the development process. Some of the leading experts are of the opinion that to ensure software security, developers need to build security in from the code up. Security is becoming more and more important, developing skills in this area will surely benefit you in your future career.

 4. Full project life cycle experience 
Bird’s eye view of a project? Yes, clients want developers who see a project from an architectural point of view. Understanding how a project fits together and links into the business is a key skill set and that demand will continue. This is also true for project management. Not every developer should be a project manager, however you need to understand the process. You need to understand how to track progress on tasks and how to work with other developers to get things done.

4. Know a server language
The reality is if JavaScript is now the preferred front-end language worldwide. If you haven't learned it yet, you should learn it now. There is no denying that since its inception in the mid 90's, JavaScript has become one of the most popular Web development languages. Although initially developed as a browser-agnostic scripting language, in recent years, we’ve seen its continued evolution beyond the desktop to areas such as mobility and server-side web applications.

One of the big shifts that has been slowly happening is the ability to use JavaScript as a shared logic layer between native experiences. Almost every computing platform has a browser. So JavaScript programs run virtually everywhere. JavaScript’s ability to meet the demands of rapid development, while at the same time maximizing the user experience, makes it a natural fit for mobile development platforms and crucial skill for any developer.

6. Data visualization
Data keeps multiplying, which means whatever message you hope to communicate online must find increasingly creative ways to break through the noise. That's where data visualization comes in, which involves using a visual representation of the data to discover new information and breakthroughs.

Data visualization is perhaps the most promising of formats with the rise of Big Data.  Stimulating multiple areas of the brain, visual feedback is one of the best ways to understanding something.

Learn to use these tools in a way that benefits you and updates your workflow. Use them on your side-projects, and use them even when you think it might be overload. Learn how to do things which save you time like linking and closing issues with your commit messages. In short, if you are going to use it you need to be good at it.

If you are ready for a new challenge in your career, let us help you find a new IT job!

Communicate Personnel is a specialist IT recruitment company that can help you find your next job opportunity. We have a variety of IT vacancies ranging from Business Analysis, Software Development, IT Management, Software Engineering, Project Management, Business Intelligence and more.

Visit our website and apply today!

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Accountants: Do you have the right skills for the future?

Sandra Olivier - Friday, August 19, 2016

team finance people Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan recently said that the role of accountants has become more important to general society in the current economic times. Finance is evolving from a focus on the transactional and cost efficiency areas to strategy where finance now makes a massive impact on business. If you’re looking to progress your careers in an ever-evolving industry, experts warn the focus needs to be more on a broader range of skills like emotional intelligence, technical skills and interpersonal skills, if you are serious about your future finance career.

Growing numbers of finance professionals spend the bulk of their time as internal consultants or business analysts within their companies. Management roles for accountants increasingly involves a wider and deeper knowledge of financial strategy, business partnering and having to deal with internal and external stakeholders.

Technological advances have liberated finance professionals from the mechanical aspects of business. They spend less time preparing standardised reports and more time analysing and interpreting information. Many have moved from the isolation of accounting departments to be physically positioned in the operating departments with which they work.

The changes in the business environment and practices along with the impact of technology have resulted in a trend where finance professionals are emerging into important role players in the strategic management of businesses throughout South Africa. Working in a changing economic environment with changing legislation, while considering the client’s needs, is a constant challenge and also requires a different set of skills than 30 years ago.

Companies are in need of finance and accounting professionals that are able to look at the numbers and ask ‘why’ as opposed to simply calculating results and putting them on spreadsheets or PowerPoint presentations. The base accounting and finance technical skills are a given these days and something that hiring managers really want to ensure people have as they come into the fold. But it's people that can “step back and understand the big picture” that are important and companies are hiring them.

Some of the skills hiring manager are focusing on besides the competency areas are:

IT /System knowledge skills
Never before has it been more crucial than today, that information needs to be real time, accurate and precise. This need for real time access drives the demand for finance professionals that understands how to make use of technology effectively in order to successfully communicate complex issues that will assist management in decision-making. Technology and accounting software is important in driving the evolution of the role of accountants, who now spends far less time updating ledgers and doing manual calculations and more time identifying financial risks, optimising tax payments and finding ways to improve profitability.

Interpersonal skills
The demands on finance professionals are different today, as they are tasked with working with a variety of managers, suppliers and clients. While technical skills are essential, it is well- developed interpersonal skills that will enhance relationships with clients and staff. The ability to work together with different role-players is key to success.

Analytical/Interpretive skills
In the fast-paced business world, finance professionals have become information providers. It’s no longer just about being a wizard at spread sheets and data manipulation but you need to be able to figure out whether the data is reasonable and realistic. You’re not predicting profit, but rather presenting information to be able to make assessments about the future.

In conclusion the latest Talent Shortage Survey for South Africa shows that accounting and finance staff are among the top 10 positions that employers in South Africa are having difficulty filling.

In light of this, it is no great surprise that as the industry changes, the way in which companies identify talent and recruit the best people, changes. To find the best talent organisations need specialised recruitment agencies that know the market, understand the skill requirements, are able to interpret the market conditions, and can identify the best possible candidates from the limited talent pool. Communicate Personnel is a specialist Finance recruitment company and can assist with the sourcing, assessing, screening, and matching of candidate to ensure you find the right fit for your company the first time.

Need help and advice on how to take the next step in your career? Our consultants are experts in the Finance industry and will help you achieve your career goals and manage the entire recruitment process, from interview to offer stage. Connect with us today for top talent and great careers.
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Managing Your Talent In The Workplace

Sandra Olivier - Friday, August 12, 2016

organisation structureBusinesses know that they must have the best talent in order to succeed in this competitive and increasingly complex global economy. Along with the understanding of the need to hire, develop, and retain talented people, organizations are aware that they must manage talent as a critical resource to achieve the best possible results. Recruiting and keeping the right employees, matters.

Hiring the best talent
Talent is an increasingly scarce resource, so it must be managed effectively. To avoid losing your top talent, you must know what you’re looking for.
Here are a few guidelines:

Competent and Capable: This is still the first two factors to consider. Does the potential employee have the necessary skills, experiences and education to successfully complete the tasks you need performed? Will this person complete not only the easy tasks but will he or she also find ways to deliver on the functions that require more effort and creativity? Being capable means the employee has potential for growth and the ability and willingness to take on more job responsibility.

Skills and Ambitious: Skills is not the only thing, but it’s a strong foundation for success.  While there are many variables you can be flexible on when hiring, the right skills is a must or you’re going to be spending an abundance of time proofing work, micromanaging and dealing with heightened stress levels. Employees can only help your company if they want to help themselves have a better career.  Ambition is what makes a company innovative, it’s what brings out creative ideas and what generates openness amongst employees.

Developing your employees
Training, mentoring and coaching are things every employee values within their company. Developing your staff is a good long-term investment for your company and for them personally. Taking an honest interest in someone builds loyalty.  Loyal employees are more engaged. Engaged employees are more productive.

Development doesn’t have to involve money. It’s mostly a matter of good managers taking the time to sit down face to face with their employees and finding ways to understand them. You just need to know their skills, talent, experience and tap into it.

Retaining your talent
For businesses to thrive in today’s economy, finding and retaining the best employees is important. It isn’t the technology or the product that makes a company great, it’s the people.

Hiring the right people in your company is by itself challenging, but the process doesn’t end once you’ve appointed someone. It is extremely critical to train and engage these employees so that you can help them attain peak performance.

Apart from this, you also need to have a strategy in place to retain your talent.

Having a good compensation and benefits package is vital. The compensation need not be just along monetary terms. You can explore to customize the package based on the needs of the individual as well.

Two ways leaders ensure that they retain their best talent:
Train your managers: It is a well-known fact that people often leave their managers and not necessarily their organizations. Add to it, your managers define and maintain the culture of your organization and so it makes a lot of sense to train your managers well.

Give employees opportunities: Your best employees are those individuals you want to retain, seek frequent ways to learn and grow in their careers, knowledge and skills.

Without the opportunity to get involved in more projects and participate in team work, employees feel they will stagnate. A career-oriented valued employee must experience growth opportunities within your organization.

Take a look at your business. Are you doing your best to retain your top talent?

We understand that attracting talented people, engaging them and retaining them can be challenging.

Communicate Personnel is a specialist recruitment agency, with the very best recruiters and we want to help you. We specialise in the sourcing of top candidates in the Finance, IT, Engineering and Supply Chain/Freight industries, both for permanent and contracting placements throughout South Africa, and the African continent. Contact us today!

Or if you happen to be in the market for new  Finance, IT, Engineering, Supply Chain or Freight jobs, visit our vacancy pages and apply now.

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Women to Women

Sandra Olivier - Tuesday, August 02, 2016

fashion women In the spirit of Women’s Day this month I wanted to look specifically at some tips for women in the workplace. In many, if not most, sectors of the workforce we have accomplished women that can boast successful careers. One of the most important things I’ve learned is that the advice of others who has gone before you is priceless. Therefore I am a firm believer in putting together your own personal board of advisers that can guide you, and help you keep direction when you face tough choices in your career.

I have to confess this is not my own brilliant idea. I first heard of this when I read Caroline Dowd-Higgins book This is Not the Career I Ordered.  But she’s a smart woman who knows what she is talking about, so allow me to share some of my thoughts on this with you:

Making the cut
The first and most important question is: how do you select the right people to be on your board? Start with people in your work circle that you admire and who will be able to provide you with valuable insight in your career and choices. It must be people that will be honest with you, and help you to think differently about situations; after all you want to get a different perspective.
The other factor to keep in mind is that it’s important to select people that know you well, that you have easy access to, and will be willing to help and listen when the time comes. There is no use in wanting to add Richard Branson to your list as you have never even met the guy.
So what of type of people do you need to include in your mix to make sure this works for you? I give you my top 3 suggestions:

First off you need somebody who can be your conscience when your own one has gotten too bogged down with everyday stuff. It’s important to have somebody that can keep you accountable and help you to push forward to accomplish your goals. This needs to be a person that can be honest with you at all times and practice some tuff love when needed to make sure you persevere.

Having a Networker on your Boards is critically important as this individual will be somebody that knows people. So if you need a connection, want to talk to a specialist or tap into some specific market intelligence, this individual would be able to help you connect with the right people.

This individual can assist you with the bigger picture, help you dream a little and assist you with identifying goals that will help you reach that next step in your career. This person will need to be objective and practical but can also be a motivator when required.

 So in this month of celebrating women, start to gather your board of advisors and give your career a boost.

For more on this topic visit Caroline Dowd-Higgins blog.

Communicate Personnel is a specialist recruitment agency, with the very best recruiters. We have placed thousands of top candidates over the last five years at some of the most sought after employers in the country. If you are looking for a new career opportunity we have a variety of Finance jobs, IT jobs, Engineering jobs, Supply Chain jobs and Freight jobs. View our vacancies and apply today.

Soft Skills: The Key to Landing your next job

Sandra Olivier - Friday, July 29, 2016

facesUntil very recently technical ability and experience were the only things that companies looked for when hiring new people. However, research has shown the importance of soft skills on job performance and more importantly the bottom line. Contrary to popular belief, being an expert in your field does not guarantee you regular employment. Companies are now demanding more than just job expertise, which means you must also fine-tune your soft skills.

Why are soft skills important?
In any company, big or small success depends largely on the ability of staff to collaborate on projects in order to achieve the necessary milestone for reaching objectives. The reality is that as soon as people have to work together there is sure to be a difference of opinion or some form of conflict. This is not necessarily a bad thing as different ideas could help to create better solutions, if these individuals have the necessary soft skills to manage this. If not, it will only result in wasted time, strained work relationships, and ultimately failure of the project.  

Important soft skills to develop:
The focus has shifted for hiring managers to look for more than just competency areas as they’ve realised that culture fit are just as important as the expertise required to succeed at a job. Developing your soft skills could be the key to landing your next job opportunity.

1. Communication skills:
A topic that has been discussed many time and although this seems obvious, the ability to communicate clearly both in written and verbal form is vital for any job. You need to be able to get your message across to a variety of people and to ensure there is a clear understanding of what you require from the other person.

2. Growth mind-set
In order to excel in any career this is an important skill to develop. It will allow you to face difficult situations and challenges as learning opportunities. It is important to continue to grow your experience and people skills as you move upwards in your career.

3. Perceptiveness:
The ability to understand the unspoken cues and underlying nuances of other people’s communication and action is a valuable skill to develop. We often focus so much on our own messages and what we want to communicate to others that we don’t watch and try and understand where other individuals are coming from. If you misinterpret other’s intention, you can easily encounter difficulties dealing with people and not even know why.

4. Cool headedness:
Staying calm in challenging situations especially when it comes to conflict will serve you well in your career. It’s important to keep your emotions in check in any situation and to approach problems with an open mind.

5. Pro-active problem solving:
Any work situation requires a certain amount of problem solving. Being pro-active and offering solutions will win you favour not only with your boss but also with your colleagues.

6. Negotiation skills:
The key to good negotiations is to create a 'win-win' outcome where both sides feel they have gained something positive through the process and both sides feel their point of view has been considered. Negotiation is essential in your career but also in your daily lives.

Looking for success in your career? We can help you untangle the steps to your next job opportunity. Communicate Personnel have placed thousands of top candidates over the last three decades at some of the most sought after employers in the country. If you are looking for a new career opportunity we have a variety of Finance jobs, IT jobsEngineering jobsSupply Chain jobs and Freight jobs. Browse our vacancies and apply today. 


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Previous posts

  1. Skills Developers Should Invest In Sandra Olivier 26-Aug-2016
  2. Accountants: Do you have the right skills for the future? Sandra Olivier 19-Aug-2016
  3. Managing Your Talent In The Workplace Sandra Olivier 12-Aug-2016
  4. Women to Women Sandra Olivier 02-Aug-2016
  5. Soft Skills: The Key to Landing your next job Sandra Olivier 29-Jul-2016
  6. Hiring mistakes can be costly Sandra Olivier 22-Jul-2016
  7. Career Cycle: Starting A New Job Sandra Olivier 15-Jul-2016
  8. 5 Leadership Skills to Help Advance Your Career Sandra Olivier 08-Jul-2016
  9. Finding the Needle in the Haystack: Your Search for Developer Skills Sandra Olivier 05-Jul-2016
  10. Career cycles, where do you find yourself? Sandra Olivier 01-Jul-2016
  11. Generations and the pay gap in the workplace Sandra Olivier 24-Jun-2016
  12. Benefits of Using A Freight Forwarder Sandra Olivier 21-Jun-2016
  13. Managing Different Generations in the Workplace Sandra Olivier 15-Jun-2016
  14. Challenges Different Generations of Job Seekers Face Sandra Olivier 10-Jun-2016
  15. Water-shedding: Is it draught or lack of water management? Mallisa Watson 07-Jun-2016
  16. Different Generations working Together Sandra Olivier 03-Jun-2016
  17. How Business Analysts Benefits Your Software Implementation Projects Mallisa Watson 31-May-2016
  18. Superpower skills every employee needs to succeed Sandra Olivier 27-May-2016
  19. International Cooperation on Taxpayer’s Affairs Sandra Olivier 24-May-2016
  20. Building Your Team: Fantastic Four Mallisa Watson 20-May-2016
  21. Improving Your Supply Chain Efficiency Mallisa Watson 17-May-2016
  22. Influence and Lead Like a Superhero in your Career Sandra Olivier 13-May-2016
  23. Future of Engineering in South Africa: Sustainability Mallisa Watson 10-May-2016
  24. The Mission: Unleash Your Career Superpowers Mallisa Watson 06-May-2016
  25. Building a BI Strategy Mallisa Watson 03-May-2016
  26. Team Motivation: How to energize your team Sandra Olivier 26-Apr-2016
  27. Salary Talk During the Job Interview Mallisa Watson 22-Apr-2016
  28. Accountants and Ethics in the Workplace Mallisa Watson 19-Apr-2016
  29. Difficult interview questions: Where do you see yourself in five years? Sandra Olivier 15-Apr-2016
  30. The Future of Warehousing in South Africa Sandra Olivier 12-Apr-2016