Posts Tagged tech

Tech Workers: Well Paid And…Underwhelmed?

A new survey by app maker TINYpulse suggests many tech workers aren’t happy with their jobs – despite being well-compensated monetarily.

According to a poll of 5,000 developers, IT specialists, engineers and others, technical workers are less happy than other types of workers in each category. For example, only 36% of tech workers say they see opportunity for professional growth, compared to 50% of other workers, such as plumbers, teachers and architects.

Tech workers gave a similar response for questions regarding their relationships with co-workers, feeling recognized for their contributions, and being happy in general at work. For each question, they reported their overall satisfaction as lower than that of other types of workers.

This survey comes on the heels of The New York Times report of a dismal workplace environment at Amazon.

But this shouldn’t be the case. Technical skills are some of the most highly sought after today, and technical workers are paid six figure salaries because of it. Perhaps the findings point to a disconnect between these workers, and the companies that employee them.  If the findings are true, companies must evaluate the situation and figuring out how to best improve it through constant back-and-forth communication with their employees. These workers are helping to create the future, and it’s in everyone’s interests that their voices be heard about how to make their work environments happy, healthy, and conducive to their best performance.

As for tech workers finding happiness on the job – it’s important to find the right company culture fit, when searching for a new technical job opportunity, whether it’s a permanent or project-based tech job. Do your research and take your time getting to know the company, before accepting an offer. Take advantage of technical recruiting firms like TRC Professional Solutions who can do much of your legwork for you. Your skill set is crucial to the workforce today, and you deserve to be happy at work.


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Preparing for Notoriously Tricky Tech Interview Questions


We recently discussed questions STEM professionals should ask during their interviews to ensure they’re making a fully informed decision when accepting a job offer, and increase the odds they’re going to be happy with that company.

Now, let’s talk about the questions a hiring manager could ask you – if you’re a technical professional. Tech company interviews are notoriously difficult, so being prepared for both common and trickier questions is essential. Luckily, it’s easy to find sample questions on the web to help you prepare. Or at least give you an idea of the nature of questions. As you’ll see, some questions are just impossible to predict. So prepare for the unexpected!

The following questions are a sampling gathered from Glassdoor, Mashable, and Business Insider.

Basic Questions:

  • What are your strengths and weaknesses?
  • What are your technical certifications and how do you maintain them?
  • How did your education and past experience help prepare you for this job?
  • Give an example of how you applied your technical knowledge in a practical way.
  • Tell me about a recent project you worked on and your responsibilities.
  • How do you ensure consistency across unit, quality, and production environments?
  • Describe a time you were able to improve upon an originally suggested design.
  • What makes a successful team and why?

Unique Questions:

  • If you were a Microsoft Office program, which would you be? (Consolidated Electrical Ecommerce Position Interview)
  • You’re in a row-boat, which is in a large tank filled with water. You have an anchor on board, which you throw overboard (the chain is long enough so the anchor rests completely on the bottom of the tank). Does the water level in the tank rise or fall? (Tesla Motors Mechanical Engineer Position Interview)
  • If Germans were the tallest people in the world, how would you prove it? (Hewlett-Packard Product Marketing Manager Position Interview)
  • How would you design a recommendation system? (Adobe Data Mining Engineer Position Interview)
  • How would you cure world hunger? ( Software Developer Position Interview)
  • Write a Fibonacci series. (Apple Software Engineer Interview)
  • A website with two app servers and one database server is slow. Explain how you would investigate it and solve the performance problem. ( Software Engineer Interview)
  • What are the seven layers of the OSI model? (Cisco Systems Associate Systems Engineer Interview)
  • You have five bottles with pills. One bottle has 9 gram pills; the others have 10 gram pills. You have a scale that can only be used once. How can you find out which bottle contains the 9 gram pills? (eBay QA Software Engineer Interview)
  • Explain quantum electrodynamics in two minutes. (Intel Senior Process Engineer Interview)
  • Would you rather have strictly defined tasks or a more open space to define your work? (Yahoo Software Engineer Interview)
  • Please spell “diverticulitis.” (EMSI Engineering)

Obviously these questions are examples. You will probably hear some of the basic questions, but you may never hear these specific unique ones. However, you can be sure that you will hear other unique questions. The point is to take each question in stride, take the interviewer through your thought process out loud, and ensure your answers demonstrate why the company should hire you.

Seem a little intimidating? Don’t let it be. Be open and honest with your answers and have fun. Showing your true self makes you more likeable, which is another great reason to hire you.


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Rent’s Rising in Tech Cities. The Reason…You?

RentSome of the major tech cities – among them Seattle and Austin, where TRC Professional Solutions has offices – are seeing drastically rising rental prices due to increasing competition for housing from people who can afford to pay more.  Those people? Tech workers.

 Rent always goes up, but tech cities are seeing an 5.7% average increase versus the 3% national average, according to this CNN Money article. Many of the cities’ inhabitants aren’t happy. In San Francisco, where multifamily rental housing is being converted into high-priced condos, some locals are staging protests including blocking the shuttle buses that carry Google and other Silicon Valley tech company employees to their jobs.

 Rent prices in these tech cities have reached 82% above the national average.  The rising prices are pushing taxi drivers, teachers, restaurant workers, and other low to middle-income workers to the suburbs or other cities. Even some tech workers are getting displaced.  The concern of many, besides eviction and displacement, is that cities whose charm comes from their diverse inhabitants will become homogenized seas of, as the NY Times puts it, code jockeys with their heads buried in their laptops and sleek black Uber cars whisking hipsters from bar to bar.

 The catch is, tech companies and workers are an enormous reason for the thriving economies these cities are currently experiencing.

 What do you think? Should governments step in with regulations, tech companies take steps to preserve their cities’ diversity, landlords only take a “fair” price even though tech workers are offering more than the asking price – or is all fair in a capitalist society? 



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