Sunday, January 30, 2022

How to find a new job in IT nowadays

As one of the many IT professionals, do you feel that you are not that aware of your value in the market and do not know how to sell yourself? Are you just don't like doing sales?

It is especially difficult for those who were last interviewed quite a long time ago. Since then, the rules of the game in the job market have changed significantly.

The IT job market, in general, is somewhat different from other markets:

  • A very large online presence of job seekers and companies.
  • Very fast distribution of information about negative and positive developments.
  • In many specialties, demand exceeds supply, based on which companies are adjusting HR policies and ways to attract/motivate employees.
  • The too-rapid growth of salaries, if compared with other spheres.

At the start, it's important to let everyone know about you.

Only 20-30% of jobs are posted on job search sites.

These days, candidates respond to ads rather infrequently. Published jobs are only a small part of the job market.

The bulk of the work is with passive candidates. Hiring managers and recruiters scout the internet daily for the right people. To help them find you, fill out social profiles and clearly state what you're looking for.

LinkedIn - The primary job and professional search platform these days.

  • Specify the technology stack you've used to work with. To screen out the unwanted jobs, you need to clearly state your job title in the Title, mention your stack or programming language. For example: Frontend React Developer, Fullstack.Net Programmer, Senior Java Engineer, Java Team Lead. Then you will have fewer unnecessary offers from recruiters.
  • Be sure to write technical skills right in the About field. This will help you get a clear idea of your skills. Do not write long sentences. Give the reader a clear text structure about your skills. For example: programming languages, frameworks, databases.
  • Describe in detail your work experience. Under each job, clarify the essence of the project/product, your role in the project and tasks, technology stack. A common mistake candidates make is to limit their experience description to the job title, time on the job, and company name. All the information a recruiter needs is omitted.
  • Certificates by profession, courses are taken, recommendations from colleagues and clients - the more of these in your profile, the higher the level of trust for you. Certificates must be relevant and up-to-date. Things change rapidly in IT: it makes sense to expose information within 5, at most, up to 10 years. Certificates and course completion certificates are often not a requirement in the hiring process. However, constantly improving one's skills and qualifications, bringing programs and courses to completion, and being result-oriented will set a candidate apart from the crowd.
  • Don't forget to ask for a line or two of recommendations from colleagues and supervisors.
  • LinkedIn has special setting called #OpenToWork you need to turn on so recruiters can find you. 

Job Search Sites and Online Resumes

It's a good idea to upload your resume to popular job search sites, such as Jooble which has job coverage in over 70 countries around the world.

But keep in mind that not all firms have access to a resume database of different sites. By creating a resume on each of them, you broaden your search/resume for employers. The principle of describing technical skills and experience is similar. Put technical skills summary at the beginning, in the most prominent place. Describe your work experience in detail.

Try to avoid writing a monolithic text and using too long sentences. No one will read it. Make the description of your experience user-friendly, clearly structured, and understandable.

Add a link to your portfolio

If you're a developer or automation QA, upload samples of your decent code to Github and put a link to it along with your contact info on your CV and LinkedIn profile - this will help in the evaluation process of your technical skills since most employers are looking at what you really can do. Code samples say a lot more about you than thousands of words on a resume. Especially in the case of juniors. A designer or web developer without a portfolio looks really weird. 

If you don't have any projects to show, or have something very old that doesn't reflect your current level, it's better to put them away and not show them to anyone.

Google yourself for a job.

You already know that only 20-30% of market jobs are posted on job search sites. So be proactive in your job search - search LinkedIn for job offers, recruiters, and managers using keywords like: We are hiring, Looking for Java, C# developers.

Send out applications and resumes, and write to them directly, all the while showing your interest. Write about why you are a good candidate and what makes you different. Stay tuned for news about startups that are invested in, or companies that report good business results and expansion plans.

Visit IT companies, subscribe to their social media accounts and newsletters and stay up-to-date on their news.

Widen your search

Write to your former colleagues or ask your acquaintances. Personal networking is still one of the most effective job searches today.

Subscribe to Telegram channels and Facebook groups where job ads are posted. You can also make use of Jooble to have a centralized access to job opportunities posted in LinkedIn, CareerBuilder, Craiglist, Glassdoor, Indeed, Jobrapido, Jora, Facebook, YouTube, etc.

Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Understanding headphones vs headset vs earbuds, on-ear vs over-ear vs in-ear, wired vs wireless vs true wireless, closed-back vs open-back

It seems that there are quite a lot of earphones related terms nowadays.

It is imperative for you to understand what the terms meant, so that, from their product description, you can understand the nature of the earphones you are aiming for. This will help you ensure that you won't buy the wrong type of earphones that is different from your real preference.

Headphones vs headset vs earbuds

  • Headphones - the sound device with 2 drivers, connected by a headband, to be worn over your head and covering your ears with its ear cups.
In terms of audio playback channel, they can be of:
    • Mono - single-channel audio. Both left and right drivers playing the same audio.
    • Stereo - dual-channel audio. The sound is divided into left channel and right channel. This enables the headphones to produce wider sound width, and the ability to create sound directionality, perspective, as well as simulation of real space.
The ear cups can be of type:

    • Foldable - more easier to carry in flatter pouch.
    • Non-foldable - more suitable to be used at fixed location.
The headphones can be of type:
    • Without noise-canceling treatment - you can still hear the external noise, mixing together with the voice coming from the headphones itself.
    • Passive noise-canceling - able to isolate external noise with the headphones structure and material used. This can minimize the disturbance and annoyance of ambient noise when you are listening through your headphones.
    • Active noise-canceling (ANC) - able to eliminate external ambient noise by producing sound waves with frequency that cancel out the ambient noise frequency. This can create a quiet listening environment for you to focus on the sound coming from your headphones only.
The headphones can be of type:
    • On-ear - the ear cups are put right on your ears. This type of headphones usually has smaller ear cups. Some of the disadvantages of on-ear headphones including:
      • Poorer ambient noise isolation.
      • More tendency of voice leakage - people near you can hear what you are listening to.
      • Need to clamp tightly onto your ears, will cause ears pain when use for long time.
    • Over-ear - the ear cups are larger and sit on your outer ears. This type of headphones are usually more comfortable to wear, has better ambient noise isolation, can prevent voice leakage. They usually have a more expansive sound stage. Depends on the material used, when use for long time, you might feel heat building up at your ears due to poor air ventilation.
The headphones can be of type:
    • Closed-back - the ear cups are fully covering your ears.
    • Open-back - there is a gap at the back of the headphones, so that you are still able to listen to your own voice more clearly when you speak. It also provides better ventilation to have less heat building up after long use.

  • Headset - is a kind of headphones with built-in microphone to capture voice input. This ability enables the headset to provide functions such as making/answering phone calls, voice recording/streaming, using voice commands to "talk" with A.I. virtual assistants such as Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa (a.k.a. Echo), Apple Siri, Alibaba Genie, Xiaomi Xiao Ai, Huawei Celia, Tencent Xiaowei, Samsung Bixby, Microsoft Cortana, etc.
The microphone can be:
    • Internal - inside the ear cups. Less external parts. Voice quality might not be as good as the one with external microphone, because the mic(s) are located further away from the mouth.
    • External - normally in a form of boom mic which can be positioned right in front of your mouth. The external microphone can be of type detachable or non-detachable from the headset.
Better type of microphone has echo-canceling feature to prevent echoing the sound coming from the sound output device.

Better type of microphone also has noise-canceling feature to filter out ambient noise such as the noise from wind, motor, fan, air-cond, moving vehicle, TV, etc.

  • Earbuds - are without headbands, small in size, fits directly into your ears. They are very portable, but usually have shorter battery life, and could drop off from your ear when you jump or move vigorously. They are also more intrusive in nature, and some people find uncomfortable wearing them.
The earbuds can be of type:
    • On-ear - less intrusive in nature.
    • In-ear - to be put into your ear canal. This can provide better passive noise cancellation.

Wired vs wireless vs true wireless

  • Wired earphones, regardless they are headphones, headset or earbuds, has audio wire connecting them to the sound-producing device, which can be a handphone, computer, MP3, musical instrument, etc.
The wire can be of one-way type, sending sound signal from the source device to the earphones. On the other hand, two-ways wire can also send sound signal from microphone of headset to the connected device.

Signal sending in the wire can be of analog type or digital type.

For digital type of audio, the coding format can be of:
    • aptX (Qualcomm)
    • LDAC (Sony)
    • AAC
    • SBC
    • FLAC
    • ...
but more importantly for the quality of audio is its bitrate in kilobits per second (kbps). The higher the better.

  • Wireless earphones communicate with the attached device using wireless communication, which can be of proprietary protocol, Bluetooth, or even WiFi. 
Bluetooth is commonly used, because it is easier to do pairing, consumes less electric power, but it is also limited by relatively short reaching distance.

Certain wired earphones can work without any battery, powered by the electric current in their own wire. But all wireless earphones need to have their own power supply, usually in the form of built-in rechargeable battery.

  • True wireless earbuds refer to earbuds without any wire. This is to distinguish from certain wireless earbuds that are still connecting the right earbud and left earbud to each other with a wire or a band.
Certain true wireless earbuds have internal microphone too, mainly for handling phone calls.

Certain wired earbuds consist of additional components such as:
    • Microphone that attached to the wire.
    • Control dial to control the sound volume easily.

Tuesday, January 11, 2022

My Nippon II NP2-348T mechanical 24-hour segmented timer electric power switch

If you want a certain electrical appliance to be switched on during certain time period(s) of the day, and be switched off otherwise, this Nippon II NP2-348T mechanical 24-hour segmented timer electric power switch can be very handy to you. It cost only less than RM20.

Some examples of usage including:

  • Switching on your TV and set-top-box during day time, and switch them off at midnight.
  • Switching on a light during night time, and switch it off during day time.
  • Switching on a Wifi AP during day time, and switch it off at midnight.
  • Switching on a power charger for 3 hours, then switch it off.
This mechanical segmented timer switches is designed to work in a "set it and forget it" manner. You just need to set it correctly for one time, and it will continuously switch on/off the electricity supply of its socket according to your setting, on daily basis.

Programming this mechanical timer switch is pretty easy.

Each tappet on its dial represents a 15 minutes time interval. If it is pushed in, there will be electricity supply to its socket during that 15 minutes time interval; otherwise, if it is pulled out, there will be no electricity supply to its socket during that 15 minutes time interval.

There are 96 tappets on the dial. You program the timer switch by pushing in and pulling out the tappets accordingly.

When plugged into the wall socket with power switched on, the dial will rotate like a clock, and the electricity supply to its socket will be turned on/off according to your setting.

To make it works at the right timing, just locate an arrow at its top right corner, then dial its ring so that the arrow is pointing to the current time.

There is a bypass switch at its right hand side. If you switch it to "On", the timer will continuously supply electricity to its power socket, and ignore all the settings programmed with its tappets. This is handy when you want to turn on your electric appliance during the time period which it is programmed to be off.

If you switch the bypass switch to "Timer", then it will work according to your programmed time schedule.

If you want to switch off the electricity supply to your appliance during the time period which it is supposed to be on, you can just turn off the wall socket power supply.

However, turning off the wall socket power supply will also stop the dial from rotating. You will need to adjust the dial position to current time after you turned on the wall socket power supply again.

Hint: Click on the "Older Posts" link to continue reading, or click here for a listing of all my past 3 months articles.