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Canterbury Tech Summit 2018

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Wow what another amazing tech summit, the 16th so far and I think my 8th after coming home from working in the UK.

Canterbury has NZ’s second largest tech sector. It employs 15000 people & contributes $2.4B to New Zealand’s economy so it’s a great thing to celebrate with this epic annual event which has become an annual highlight of the Christchurch tech community.

New faces & old friends, colleagues, old work mates and industry contacts from all around NZ come together to get inspired, learn, network, share ideas and do business.

Do you have Imposter Syndrome as a Leader?

Do you have Imposter Syndrome as a Leader?

The key note speaker Harold Hillman told an extremely brave & heartfelt story about being yourself, about not being afraid to be who you are which caught the attention of everyone in that room, what a way to start! 

Some key leadership messages to take away from there were:

  • Learning the importance of bringing your voice & standing out otherwise your conscience will wake you up (literally at night)

  • Change happens every 18 months or so for a company, with associated uncertainty. 

  • EQ is important - inspire and invigorate your team to be themselves.

Another highlight was hearing about a real AI product from Victor Yuen (Product Manager & UC Alumni) from Faceme who are creating digital humans to enable better customer service.

Digital Humans are in beta for the market!

Digital Humans are in beta for the market!

Faceme have helped UBS in Switzerland to replicate their Chief Investment Officer who can be present in a meeting with an investment advisor & the customer. The advisor can ask the digital human complex investment questions on the fly & can cut down on heavy processes by instantly ordering & processing a new credit card for example which saves the advisor from doing tedious paperwork.

Please check out a video on AI company Faceme here:

‘The future of digital humans will work alongside humans’ 

I did have to think though until the human doesn’t turn up for work because they’re sick right…what happens then!?!?


Thanks to the Canterbury Tech Summit committee, all the fantastic speakers & awesome people for giving their time to be involved in what's become an epic annual event for the Christchurch tech sector!

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I'm Paul, Founder & Principal Consultant of Sunstone, an IT Recruitment & HR company specialising in recruiting IT roles within software, web, mobile, blockchain, big data, infrastructure, security & networks in Christchurch & South Island of New Zealand.

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Mystical Coding Unicorn? How has the C#.Net / Angular / TypeScript Developer Evolved?

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It started with the move to the full stack developer with JavaScript’s huge growth in the market (Groan) and now with JavaScript frameworks like React (Facebook), Vue .js and Angular (Google) and many many more shiny new frameworks coming out every day, it’s become pretty standard.

 

Angular1 came a long and everybody was excited, developers built their apps on here and then when Angular2 was released it was completely different and arguably should not have been called Angular2 at all. It was a re-write and a completely new framework but most agree for the better being a cleaner, easier framework to work with and with the addition of the game changing TypeScript was re-branded simply Angular, now we are at version 6.

 

So why TypeScript?

 

JavaScript (Groan) you say it’s hard to work with, no strong typing, no class structures. 

 

Enter TypeScript.

 

TypeScript being a powerful, typed superset  which is complied down to JavaScript code and has the classical type of syntax that C#.Net devs are used to, so happy days.

 

Some key moments:

 

***Angular2 is released in Sept 2016 with TypeScript making it easier for C#.Net developers to code with 

***Typescript 0.9 released in 2013 and is designed by Lead C# Architect Anders Hejlsberg at Microsoft (who also created C#.Net)

***.Net Core is released in June 2016 is used to create server applications that run on Windows, Linux and Mac

***C#.Net goes OpenSource in November 2014

 

 

Anyway, there’s my market view from an IT Recruiter who talks to devs every day in our little paradise of Christchurch, NZ.

 

We currently have a bunch of C#.Net / Angular roles in Christchurch, NZ so please check out:

 

CONTRACT C#.Net Full Stack Web Developers (Angular/TypeScript), IT Jobs Christchurch NZ

Intermediate Full Stack C#.Net Software Developer (Angular), IT Jobs Christchurch NZ

Front-end Angular Dev?

CONTRACT Senior Angular Front-End Web Developer, IT Jobs Christchurch NZ

CONTRACT Angular Front-End Web Developer, IT Jobs Christchurch NZ

 

Not a coding Unicorn? But a C#.Net Developer check out these roles:

 

Senior C#.Net/SQL Software Developer, IT Jobs Christchurch NZ

C#.Net/SQL Lead Developer, IT Jobs Christchurch NZ

Senior C#.Net/SQL Integration Software Developer, IT Jobs Christchurch NZ

C#.Net/SQL Lead Developer, (.Net CORE 2.0/Asynchronous Messaging), IT Jobs Christchurch NZ

Senior C#.Net / SQL Developer (.Net CORE / Microservices), IT Jobs Christchurch NZ

CONTRACT Senior C#.Net/SQL Integration Software Developer, IT Jobs Christchurch NZ

 

I'm Paul, Founder & Principal Consultant of Sunstone, an IT Recruitment & HR company specialising in recruiting IT roles within software, web, mobile, blockchain, big data, infrastructure, security & networks in Christchurch & South Island of New Zealand.

I love coffee so you can catch up with me for one here: paul@sunstonetalent.com

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How does the IT Recruitment process work?

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You might be a Computer Science graduate or have just never used an IT recruitment agency before as a candidate so how does it all work? You might be a company looking for IT staff & have exhausted your networks & need to reach out to an agency to find specialist IT skills. 

 

How does it work?

 

IT Recruitment Process

Once you decide to look for a new role, either as a permanent staff member or as a contractor, it's time to start the hunt!  We advertise all our roles on our website, and most of them are also on either Trade Me or Seek.  

Once you apply to an advert or direct to the IT recruitment agency you are interviewed by an IT recruiter so they can get to know you.

The IT Recruiter gives you advice which might be about your CV, what the IT job market is looking for at the moment and information about any roles that might be a good match for you and they'll let you know about salary expectations.  They'll also find out information about your technical skills and qualifications, what your notice period is and any requirements you have about your location.

If you're suitable for an IT role you are submitted to the Client by the IT recruiter sending your CV.  

If the Client would like to see you, the IT Recruiter arranges an interview time and date, and sends you through a detailed interview confirmation confirming who you're meeting with, when and where, and some background on the roles, projects & company.  If there are subsequent interviews, they liaise between you and the company.  Some companies interview 2 or 3 times before appointing the right person for a permanent role, normally just 1 interview for contract.

After your interview, the IT Recruiter talks both with the Client and you and provides feedback.  If the Client would like to offer you a role we'll help you through the offer process and organise your references and any other requirements the client might have.

We'll then help to arrange a start date, ensure your contract has been sent through by the Client and help to explain anything you're unsure of in the paperwork.  Then it's up to you to hand in your notice.  Your IT recruiter can also advise on any questions you have before you start your new role and in your first few weeks.

 

Advantages of using an IT recruiter from the candidate side:

***Meeting an IT recruiter is an excellent way to understand your local IT job market & make sure you are doing the right things to enhance your career & understand the next realistic steps to achieve your career goals.

***You'll receive Insight into what the client is looking for

***Get Interview tips & coaching 

***Sound career advice 

***Gain market knowledge of other clients that are looking for your skill set 

***IT Recruiters can proactively & speculatively put your details to clients who look for your skill set to open doors for you

***They can refer you to other connected people 

***Give advice on networking / user groups within your industry domain 

 

Advantages of using an IT recruiter from the client side:

***Meeting an IT recruiter is an excellent way to understand your local IT job market, ensure you're paying market rates & staying up-to-date with market trends & job hunters' expectations

***IT recruiters can handle applications & manage the hiring process professionally for you

***Can manage technical testing or run psychometric testing process for you 

***Give professional feedback to candidates - good & bad 

***Provide interim / IT contract solutions if the permanent specialist / IT hire could take a long time

***Give advice to organisational structure / team / approach / scarcity of skills & level of experience etc 

***You will only pay a fee when you get an outcome / result

 

I hope this is a good snapshot & insight into how it all works.....

 

I'm Paul, Founder & Principal Consultant of Sunstone, an IT Recruitment & HR company specialising in recruiting IT roles within software, web, mobile, blockchain, big data, infrastructure, security & networks in Christchurch & South Island of New Zealand.

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What are the good things & bad things about IT CONTRACTING?

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A natural step for many experienced or qualified IT professionals is to take the next step into the contracting world….

But what are the pluses & minuses of becoming an IT Contractor?

What about Tax? When will I get paid? How do I manage financially between contracts?

 

Some of the key questions to ask yourself first are:

  1. Do I have the people contacts?
  2. Are there some of my ex-employers I could ring up now and know they’d potentially have me back on contract?
  3. Can I financially go between a contract for 2-3 months?
  4. Would my partner want me hanging around home in the downtime?
  5. Do I have software or personal projects I can work on when I'm 'out of contract'?
  6. Am I prepared to get out & network / partner with agencies to secure my next contract?
  7. Am I prepared to be flexible to work on-site & from home or both?
  8. Am I quick to learn a new environment - both technical & company?

 

So what are the Pros?

***Variety of projects

***Neutral point of view / detached from the in-house politics

***Hourly or daily pay rate

***Become a Specialist

***Become a Generalist

***Gain a lot of different domain experience in a short time

***Work on cutting edge projects that demand specialist technical skills

***Claim back work / travel / tools / entertainment / expenses

 

What are the Cons?

***Having to stay current with latest technologies (Not really a negative for techies ;-)

***Have to learn a new environment very quickly

***Paying your own tax / engaging an accountant

***Setting up as Sole Trader or Limited Company = Only about $160NZD

***Gaps between contracts…

***Delay in payment from time of invoice

***Having to do the jobs that others don’t want to do!

***Time pressure to deliver projects can mean some demanding hours if needed

***Flexible to travel to client sites 

 

It’s not for everyone……But the rewards are great!

 

If you'd like to learn more about the IT Contract recruitment market in Christchurch & types of assignments on offer, hourly rates etc having been a contractor myself for a number of years & owner of Sunstone Group Limited I'm happy to help.

 

Are you a Full Stack C#.Net Developer?

We're currently looking for a number of C#.Net Contract Developers for a web project in Christchurch

Please click here for more details :-)

 

Feel free to get in touch for a chat or a coffee now: paul@sunstonetalent.com

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Football related to On-boarding & IT Recruitment

Pele of Brasil arguably the greatest footballer of all time

Pele of Brasil arguably the greatest footballer of all time

With the World Cup in Russia and myself re-reading the awesome book 'Soccernomics' based on the legendary 'Freakonomics' - there strikes (see what I did there) some fundamentals of dos & don'ts of hiring......

ONBOARDING: Many football clubs are quite happy to spend $27 million dollars on a player and have him move countries, uproot their families, change languages & cultures and expect them to just turn up and start scoring goals living out of a hotel room. What won't they spend money on? A relocation consultant or employing an in-house player liaison to settle the player in. Of course now the savvy clubs do - arranging houses, interacting with the partners, sorting out schools for their kids and so forth, and you can see the difference on the field and off with longer tenure for the player settling in. The same is relevant for your new software developer coming from overseas - do you provide legal help for immigration? Accomodation for when they first arrive? Is someone overseeing / managing the process?

 

UNDERSTAND THE INDIVIDUAL.

One very astute insight that Clough & Taylor (Nottingham Forest) and Arsene Wenger (Arsenal) used back in the 80's was working out what the player's vice was. 'Let's hear your vice before you sign is it women, booze, drugs or gambling?' They would often buy these talented players at a discount then help them out using professional counsellors, often gaining an even larger amount of commitment and loyalty from the individual...quite an extreme example but interesting all the same.

So how is this related to IT recruiting? Know your individual players (not just your rock stars) and what actually motivates them - is it money for the mortgage? Or some flexibility to pick up their kids? Time off to travel? Juicy projects that the passionate dev & can delve very deeply into? The latest tech seminar or particular annual IT conference? A social team who love a team lunch or shouted the first couple round at Friday drinks!? Or organising fun team events like ten pin bowling, paint balling, a quiz night or mountain biking, or quieter catch ups.

UNDERSTAND THE CULTURE. 

There used to be very few Brasilians playing in the English premiership!? Apparently that's because they tended to hate the cold, speak a different language (Portuguese) and didn't fit the English drinking culture. That's why English teams recruited Scandinavians who tended not to be the big names, but were accustomed to cold weather and happy to drink pints down the pub.....interesting!?!? 

So what's your team / company culture? How do you define it and who's really going to fit in? What is the 'Culture Add'? Can they bring some diverse thinking? Some new ideas to your team?

 

GROUP DECISION MAKING WHEN HIRING

When hiring, Olympique Lyon in France have a group of interested stakeholders who make the decision to recruit, rather than the classic English football manager who, in the words of the authors, tend to be short term dictators who will come in and spend millions until they're sacked. What OL did was place the decision-making with the director of football who had an ongoing role despite the coming and goings of short-term managers who were focused on short-term results. They took it even further using a group of key stakeholders, obtaining the opinion of many and taking the average of this rather than just one person hiring.  This approach can help to raise red flags if needed.

 

'Players lose you games, not tactics. There's so much crap talked about tactics by people who barely know how to win at dominoes.' - Brian Clough. 

 

So for any organisation whether it's a football team or a software house think about the people you're hiring and well, treat them like people! A little goes a long way..... 

 

If you're looking for a great gift check out the books 'Soccernomics' by Kuper & Szymanski or the classic 'Freakonomics' by Dubner & Levitt.

 

I'm Paul, Founder & Principal Consultant of Sunstone, an IT Recruitment & HR company specialising in recruiting IT roles within software, web, mobile, development & networks in Christchurch & South Island of New Zealand.

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