December 18, 2023

Cracking the Career Code: Roles We Recruit And Tech Trends


Episode Highlights

Typical Tech Jobs with our Clients


Pick a Language or be a Polyglot?


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 In this episode of Cracking The Career Code, Matt and Kierra delve into current tech trends in the market and the diverse roles they’ve been tackling in the IT space. They aim to offer insights into these roles and share different backgrounds they have seen with individuals who have successfully entered this industry.

Episode Transcript

Welcome back everyone to Cracking the Career Code with Matt and Kierra, where we provide candidates the keys to success in their job search. And so we’ve got job search January coming up next month, so we figured this week we would talk a little bit about the roles that we recruit for most commonly, as well as some current trends within technology, and IT, and software engineering.

So, Kierra, why don’t you start us off with some roles that we recruit for typically in the software engineering realm? Yeah, so we recruit for a lot of different roles. A variety that includes .NET and C# roles, Javascript, Java, Python, Mobile. A lot of Mobile roles more recently. C++, Golang, Ruby, a lot of cloud roles.

So, we’ve seen a lot with AWS and Azure more recently. Cloud engineers and DevOps engineers, along with these people being in leadership roles, a lot of senior opportunities, and leadership opportunities have also been included in that. What are some of the other ones that we’ve also heard a lot of more recently, that are maybe not as common, but we still work on.

Yeah, sure. So, you know, sometimes there’s some like one off niche roles that require a specific language to be known. Or more commonly, like we’ll have roles that are open to polyglots where software engineers that might know a lot of different languages. Sometimes our clients, you don’t necessarily need to see candidates coming from a specific tech stack or language, but just that they’re solid overall software engineers and then they can pick up new languages.

So we see that a lot. But some of those like odd or maybe like older languages would be like PHP, Elixir, or Erlang. I think we’ve seen like a Groovy role recently. Mainframe or z/OS or z/OS, I’m not sure which one it is, roles. IBM mainframe’s a little bit dated. But, just to reiterate what Kierra said, like I’d say, you know, the most popular roles that we work on are definitely like that .NET, C#, Microsoft stack, JavaScript roles that are front end, usually with react. Sometimes we still see angular, back end, or full stack roles that also have like Node.js. And then, yeah, definitely some Java, usually with Spring or Spring Boots, and Python roles. But, yeah, kind of like across the board, all sorts of languages, all sorts of tech stacks that we see. Yeah, and some of the companies that we’ve worked with, that are looking for polyglots are giving you exposure to learn other languages, are companies that have multiple projects that they’re either working on or consulting companies.

We’ve seen that be a common trend amongst those. But another kind of big area that we’ve spent a lot of time on has been the data side of things. So data analysts, engineers and data scientists, I’ve seen a big need for that. The machine learning and AI space has also been growing. So that’s been a common trend that we’ve seen amongst people that are trying to get that experience or companies that are kind of going that direction or working on projects that are going that way as well.

And they look for data people, right? So, you know, your AI and machine learning engineers, like usually they have a data background, whether that’s in like big data, data science or data engineering, you know, it’s a kind of the career path that we see. It’s pretty unlikely that people just like drop out of nowhere into AI and ML roles. Yeah, exactly.

And then we also work on the, general IT support, and help desk roles, business analysts. I’ve seen a big influx of product and project managers this year. And those are roles that we’ve worked on quite a bit. But then do you want to kind of get into the leadership and like what you’ve seen on that side of things?

So I know we’ve gotten in more roles that require that. Yeah. Yeah. So, across technology, we’ve had a lot of manager level, director level, VP level, even C level hires recently. And so, those can kind of vary in their focus, right? They could be like, general I.T., it could be a software engineering. It could be Dev Ops.

It could be product management. It could be, both like technical leadership as well as people leadership. So, you know, sometimes we’ll see one that’s like more hands off leadership, more like, you know, technical and people management, like technical direction and people management. But then other times, and usually it’s like smaller companies. Maybe you’d have like a more hands on software engineering manager that’s, you know, that’s actually like living in the code, and still writing code, and making technical contributions, as well as like managing people. So, kind of depends, right? Company size is definitely a contributing factor on that distinction for those leadership level roles.

Yeah, and I would say it really varies on what people have been looking for. Some people really want to stay up to date on the technology, hands on, and some people are over coding and want more of a hands off leadership role where they can manage the people and the design and direction behind it. So it really just is facilitating your interests and where you want to go with your career. I don’t think there’s one that’s better than another.

I think it really just depends on what each individual is looking for. And then as far as computer science degrees versus boot camp degrees or certificates, can you kind of walk through what that looks like, and what we’ve seen in the market as far as what companies are looking for or individuals that we’ve placed with either?

Yeah, so before we get into that, like you mentioned, like, you know, kind of catering to people’s interests, like maybe think of our polyglot, clients that kind of hire whoever, doesn’t matter their tech stack. Like, you know, when you’re on the candidate side and we’re doing like the day to day recruiting, like some polyglot engineers love the opportunity to learn new languages. Right. Or like work in a different tech stack, but then you have, you know, other developers that like, they pick one and then they stick to it their entire career. And kind of like our diehard fans of whatever that language is, for whatever reason that is. And so, like, I definitely think that can be the case as well for, those leadership level roles where like, people become a people manager, and not like a technical manager anymore.

Or like maybe they are a technical manager, but from like the architecture and design and planning point of view, and not like the hands on point of view. Yeah. Yeah. Those are both good points. And I know companies, are all, they all vary whether they require a degree in computer science or some just look at experience.

I know we work with companies that hire from all different backgrounds, as long as you have the experience that they’re looking for. And then there’s other companies that it’s critical for them to have a computer science degree. So I think it really just depends. But what are your thoughts on the bootcamp side of things?

Have you worked with a lot of candidates with-

Yeah. So I would say like one, like years of experience is definitely going to speak the most right. And if you don’t have a computer science degree, or if you don’t have like any four year bachelor’s degree, like if you have those years of experience, like it’s going to speak louder than like, if you have to go back to school and get a degree.

Which a lot of people when they’re three, four, five years in their career, like they’re not going to bother doing that. I think when like you’re trying to pivot into a software engineering role or a technical role, you know, the people with computer science degrees and like traditional four year background, a lot of companies are going to look at that.

It’s like a more rigorous training and background and you have the computer science fundamentals and the mathematic background to like really excel in these roles. We do have clients and I know there’s lots of companies that still like have a hard requirement that like everyone at the company.

Especially in engineering needs to have a four year degree, but I think there’s a lot of good bootcamps out there. I think bootcamps can teach you a lot. I think like if you only have a bootcamp, you don’t have any software engineering experience. Like you might want to think about doing some side projects on your own, putting a portfolio together, like a website, make sure your GitHub kind of like shows that you’ve gone over and above what a bootcamp teaches you.

I know, like sometimes I’ve talked to people that come out of the same boot camp and they try to brand like their final capstone project is like something that they came up with on their own. When in reality, like everyone that goes to that same boot camp does that same project and talks about it in an interview with a recruiter, with a company and like companies catch on to that.

And they want to see you going above and beyond and like taking like some real passion project efforts outside of, you know, just your day to day at that bootcamp. Yeah. Yeah. And I’ve spoke to people who have been self taught and still been very successful in the field. It just depends on where you can gain that experience, that professional experience.

That’s really going to help leverage your career. I would say we are seeing a lot more hybrid roles more recently, or companies bringing people back into the office, whether they were one day, on site before, and now are requiring 3 days. I would say a lot of engineers that I’ve talked to more recently, or people that are just in the job market have been because of these requirements have since moved and it would require them to move back.

So I would say that it’s been a more common trend that I’ve seen over the past year of bringing people back in the office, especially with the Chicagoland area. We work with a lot of companies in Chicago, but in other places as well. Not to say that there aren’t still remote opportunities, I would say they’re just definitely way more competitive because the people that don’t want to go back in the office are going to really be targeting those remote opportunities.

Yeah. Yeah. And I would say like other big metropolitan areas, we see like more hybrid requirements. You know, Hirewell is Chicago based. So of course we have a lot of clients here in this area that are, you know, talking hybrid, or, you know, increasing the number of days required in the office. But like, you know, our New York based clients, our San Francisco Bay area based clients, our Atlanta based clients, like all of those are-

seem too be trending towards more days in the office. Of course, we do still have those 100% remote roles like you mentioned. But, then again, more competitive, more people going to be applying. And, you know, you might want to consider roles that have a commute that you can come in a few days to collaborate. Yeah, agreed. And I think if these places are paying for offices, they want them to be utilized.

Hopefully they’re utilizing it, well, right? You know, we get they’re paying for offices, but like, you know, if you’re coming into the office, like, use that for collaboration time. Don’t just make it like a butt in seat type of justification for your lease, or your mortgage payment on an office or whatever.

Don’t just add a ping pong table and think that’s going to make up for it. Ping pong tables and pizza parties aren’t company culture. Yeah. Yeah, no. And then referrals are another big topic that we have experienced with candidates. More recently I’ve reached out to people and they have said I might not be looking for this role, or I’ve currently found a new role, but here are some people that I worked with that are looking. And that’s helped other people out tremendously. But also, I’ve also seen people create rapport by just saying “Hey i’m not ready now, but let’s stay in touch and connect.” And we’ve stayed in touch that way.

So I think referrals and just even replying and getting in contact with a recruiter is great for your career progression. And if you are ever on the market in the future. Yeah. And I think that’s especially true this year with like lots of big tech layoffs, like someone may have gotten laid off or maybe they didn’t get laid off, but a bunch of coworkers did. If they got a message from one of us or another recruiter, they might be more inclined to help out somebody else in their network that they know is looking, I know I’ve gotten a few referrals, even this week. Especially when we’re going into 2024 and people are really thinking of making a change.

So, anything else that you want to add to this topic here? No, I don’t think so. I just think make sure that you’re keeping your friends, family, anyone else in mind, coworkers, if you know that someone’s been affected by layoffs and you can really help them out. But yeah, just stay positive during the holidays and you will find that fit or at least help someone that is looking, so. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Thank you so much for joining us today, on cracking the career code. Go check out for more content and follow us on LinkedIn, if you’re not already. Thank you.

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