Recruiters… Harness The Power Of The Pipe!

Recruiters… Harness The Power Of The Pipe!

Bernie Diaz, Senior Recruiter, CTI Consulting










We’ve all heard this before… “Work Smarter, Not Harder” and man, does that make sense!

If you’re a carpenter, you should have the right power tools to save you stress and strain.

If you’re a chef, a sharp knife, food processor and pressure cooker can save you hours.

And if you’re a recruiter, a strong candidate pipeline can dramatically cut your search time and help you shine with clients by delivering top talent faster than your competition.

Here’s another phrase we’ve heard before… “Low Hanging Fruit.” And that’s exactly what your candidate pipeline represents. Why start with the vast unknown of job boards and social media sites to find that perfect fit when, if you’ve been diligent and disciplined, you have built a warm list of talented individuals, at your fingertips?

Here are some suggestions on how to build that pipeline…

  • Every candidate who has impressed you during a sourcing conversation should be immediately added to your pipeline. While that person may not be interested in the particular position you’re working on, or may not be a perfect match, he or she could be future money in the bank.
  • Categorize your pipe into the specializations that apply to your industry for maximum efficiency. As an example I recruit in the IT sector, so my candidate categories would include… SoftwareEngineer, Java Developer, Business Intelligence, etc.
  • Stay in touch with your pipe. These are your go-to people. Check in with them, find out if there are any changes in their career. Pay attention to what they’re saying. I work with a good deal of contractors and if they tell me their current assignment ends on “X” date, I’ll make that notation and have that pop up as a reminder so I can get in touch with them then.
  • Familiarity builds loyalty. Related to the above bullet point, the more you connect with your pipe, the stronger your pipe becomes. They appreciate your attention and you will be rewarded! These are the candidates who will call you first when they’re looking for a position. And these are the candidates who will refer friends and colleagues that you can add to your toolbox of talent.

So, when your next search comes along, where are you going to go first? Your pipe, my friend, your pipe! Sure, that perfect pipeline candidate may not be available at that moment. But, you never know unless you ask and he or she may be the one that gives you that golden referral!

Microsoft Releases Visual Studio 2017 with Speedier Installs and a Leaner Footprint

Microsoft Releases Visual Studio 2017 with Speedier Installs and a Leaner Footprint


Microsoft released the newest version of its popular IDE, Visual Studio 2017 today for Windows alongside a preview of the still in development Mac software. The biggest improvement comes in its installation screen, which finally lets you pick and choose which components to install.

The big push with this update is speed. In this case, that includes a new live dependency validation feature for quicker bug hunting, improved collaboration features (including significantly enhanced GitHub integration), and a handful of new publishing features. That all comes alongside a completely new installer that allows you to pick your own workloads, components, and language packs.

This gives Visual Studio a lower memory footprint and faster startup time while also just making it far less cluttered to use. This should prove helpful when installing Visual Studio on a laptop that doesn’t have a ton of extra storage space.

As was the case with the last version of Visual Studio, a free version is available alongside the professional tools for students, open-source, and individual developers. The Mac Version also gets a new preview version with a slew of bug fixes and performance improvements as it inches toward a proper release.

Love it or hate it, Visual Studio is ubiquitous in the software industry, and this newest version makes it a bit more accessible. You can find a much more detailed breakdown of all the newest features over at Microsoft’s landing page.

Article courtesy of Thorin Klosowski.

5 industries ripe for machine learning

5 Industries ripe for Machine Learning



Education is one of the areas with the clearest opportunity for embracing human-machine learning. For example, adaptive learning draws on machine learning to help tailor and evolve educational experiences based on a student’s learning style. Companies from education stalwart Pearson to start-up DuoLingo are embracing it, and the software — at least in the case of DuoLingo — also refines its translations over time as it draws on human input. As online and blended learning continues to grow, organizations that can creatively embrace the reciprocal relationship between humans and machines could have a competitive edge. They could also help redefine what it means to learn — for humans and machines.


What could this look like?


The Magic School Bus: Students have personalized learning plans that adjust to their behaviors (like the Nest thermostat) and give recommendations for new content (like the Netflix dashboard). How frequently do you need to see that Flashcard? Are you a visual learner? Do you learn better in small groups? Adaptive learning platforms could create collaboration between students, educators, and technology.


Human capital

Human capital, from recruiting to management, offers an ideal context in which to embrace the reciprocal relationship between human and machine learning. A number of startups, including Belong and Prophecy Sciences, are exploring machine learning as a way to augment the hiring process. Google’s People Operations team, and others have pioneered the use of data-driven human capital. We could enhance professional development by using machine learning to identify and predict human capital trends and needs and then create a dialogue between employees and algorithms.


What could this look like?


Human-Machine Resources: Employees get assigned a human manager — and a machine learning coach — to help them develop throughout their career.

Venture capital

VC firms’ investments in artificial intelligence-related startups have been growing steadily over the past five years, but the opportunity to draw on machine learning to drive VC firm investments remains largely untapped. Venture capital, with its combination of interpersonal relationships, insider knowledge, and instinct balanced by quantitative trend identification and analysis, could be an ideal context for human and machine learning collaboration.


What could this look like?


AI Combinator: A startup incubator driven by VC expertise and machine learning, drawing from the latest angel investing and industry trends to identify new market opportunities. By interacting with machine learning, venture capitalists could develop new investment strategies or targets they may otherwise have missed.


Psychology and behavioral science

A new MIT study suggests that an algorithm can predict human behavior more quickly and more reliably than people can. As machine learning evolves, it has the potential to help us gain further insight into how we think and behave and can motivate us to change those behaviors when we want to. Whether through therapy, building daily fitness habits, or encouraging retirement investing, behavioral interventions across industries offer a wealth of opportunity for human-machine learning.


What could this look like?


HaBit: A Fitbit for habit building that helps people track their behaviors and provides personalized motivation and feedback to enable behavior change when they need it most.


The arts

Perhaps the least practical and most open-ended human-machine learning could change the way we approach the creative process. Machine learning is not just analytical, it’s also generative. It can identify existing patterns (e.g. a cat versus a blueberry muffin), but it can also generate new content, whether visual images or musical compositions. GoogleBrain, the team recently featured for overhauling Google’s approach to translation, and AI more broadly, has launched Magenta to determine whether we can “use machine learning to create compelling art and music.” The implicit follow-up question is: How might we collaborate with the creative output of machine learning? And, in the process, how can we learn from it and evolve our own creative process?


What could this look like?


Co-creation: Artworks are co-signed by an artist and an algorithm. Musicians, writers, and artists see machine learning as a collaborative partner and influence, and in turn actually create differently.


At this point, we know that machine learning will impact industries and the nature of work. But as it replaces parts of our daily lives, how might our collaboration with machines also influence us as humans — how we think, learn, and create? We are looking at a future in which humans and machine learning could be collaborative partners, whether that’s in a classroom, on a canvas, or in a boardroom.


Article courtesy of Joe Gaeta.

Introducing GitHub Marketplace and more tools to customize your workflow

Introducing GitHub Marketplace and more tools to customize your workflow

29689637083_a022ab8a17_kToday, we’re building on our launches at GitHub Universe 2016—making it easier than ever to evolve and customize your workflow. Find integrations and put them to work in minutes with GitHub Marketplace, pair developer tools and fine-grained repository permissions with GitHub Apps, or build the exact tool you need with a new, production-ready version of our GraphQL API. Together, these tools give you everything you need to set up a custom workflow that grows with your goals.

GitHub Marketplace is a new way to discover and purchase tools that extend your workflow. Find apps to use across your development process, from continuous integration to project management and code review. Then start using them without setting up multiple accounts or payment methods. More than a dozen integrators have apps in GitHub Marketplace today, including Travis CI, Appveyor, Waffle, ZenHub, Sentry, and Codacy—with more coming soon!

Browse Marketplace or share what you’ve built with the GitHub community.

GitHub Apps

GitHub Apps (formerly Integrations) is now out of pre-release, giving you more control over what you build. As first-class actors, GitHub Apps take actions themselves directly through the API—no user impersonation (or user seat) required—and they have granular permissions to access only the content they need. Install them on an organization or user account, then give them access to the repositories of your choice. Learn more.

GitHub GraphQL API

The GitHub GraphQL API is fresh out of its Early Access program. Create your own tools with greater access to data than ever before using the same API that we use to build GitHub. Ask for the exact data you need in a single request and get updates in real time—no more hitting multiple endpoints or waiting for new ones after a feature has been released.

Get started with the GitHub GraphQL API documentation.

Recent updates

In addition to these new releases, we have a few more platform updates to share:

A new Git and GitHub integration for Atom is ready for your desktops. The integration provides first-class Git functionality and access to GitHub workflows without leaving your favorite editor. Try it out

The new GitHub Desktop Beta is now available. It’s built on Electron and offers a unified experience across operating systems. Best of all, it’s open source. Developers and teams can now customize and contribute to the client by adding features and extending to other operating systems. Get the app for Mac or PC


Article credited to

VMware and Open Source: A Commitment To Innovation And Collaboration

VMware and Open Source: A Commitment To Innovation And Collaboration


Across all major industries, open source software is increasingly woven into the fabric of enterprise IT. It finds its way into infrastructure tools such as Docker, OpenStack, and Kubernetes. It’s also in workload delivery frameworks, management tools, and a host of open source technologies that are deeply embedded in critical functions up and down the value chain. When consumers book flights or post to Facebook, for example, they’re using open source tools whether they know it or not.


VMware and the Open Source Community

VMware has contributed to open source projects for years, including the Linux kernel, Cloud Foundry, and OpenStack. And the company remains active on the Open vSwitch project, a popular open source tool, currently under the stewardship of the Linux Foundation.

VMware-open-sourceOpen source has been part of VMware throughout its history, but recently the company has placed a renewed emphasis on its importance by hiring Dirk Hohndel, a well-known open source leader, to be the company’s chief open source officer. Additionally, VMware upgraded its status in the Linux Foundation to gold—a level which more accurately reflects the company’s activities, investment, and commitment to open source. Following that membership change, the Linux Foundation announced on April 18 that Dirk Hohndel is now an elected Board member.

“In the past, VMware has been active in open source software, but today we have much bigger goals and higher aspirations,” says Hohndel. “This is a long-term commitment, and it starts with becoming more active, remaining humble, and creating a positive impact on the community.”


Because It’s Free

As interest in open source software from enterprise CIOs continues to grow, Hohndel notes that addressing misconceptions is part of his role.

“I hear people say, ‘I’m doing open source software because it’s free,’ which isn’t true,” says Hohndel. “Yes, you can get free resources, but scaling to production is an expensive process requiring significant capital and expertise. With open source development, you’re often trading off capital expenditures against operational expenditures, but either way, there is a cost.”

“The way to be influential and relevant in the open source community is to make meaningful contributions that benefit everyone.” – Dirk Hohndel

As companies gain expertise in open source tools, they may grow more independent and confident in making technology decisions. Rushing into open source projects, however, can prove expensive.

“I caution CIOs to be careful about ‘hot’ technologies unless they have a comprehensive plan going in. Containers are fantastic if want you want to run 12 on a single machine, but if you’re running 10,000 of them, with redundancy, over a large geographical area, it is a different problem to solve,” explains Hohndel. In another example he mentions “a customer who adopted OpenStack as a solution, assuming it would be quick and easy. The project began with three people, but after five months it ballooned to 12 full-time staff—and they still weren’t close to an internal beta.”


Innovation and Collaboration

Open source projects are, by nature, both innovative and collaborative. It’s not uncommon for companies to use open source software as a foundation and build on top of it. Red Hat software, originally built on Linux, is perhaps the best known example.

“Innovation is part of VMware’s DNA, so it’s exciting for us to engage with the open source community, not only to learn but also to contribute our expertise and create value. The way to be influential and relevant in the open source community is to make meaningful contributions that benefit everyone.”

Today, open source software plays a significant role at VMware. Like many large enterprises, the company’s products are built on hundreds of open source components. Ensuring these technologies are used in compliance with their licenses, are up to date, and integrate seamlessly with other systems is critical. The company not only uses these components, but also contributes code, becoming part of the community of innovation that keeps open source projects healthy and thriving.

“As we use these components, we are also increasingly releasing our own open source projects that other companies rely on,” says Hohndel. “This enlarges our engagement with the technologies that are transforming the enterprise data center, giving us a seat at the table when people want to discuss the IT infrastructure of the future.”


Long-term Commitment

In order for VMware to remain a key software partner for its customers, the company is committed to open source projects. Hohndel notes that this commitment is backed by senior leadership and has been well-received across the company.

“We need to engage with a broad set of perspectives about VMware and open source software. That means connecting with people where they are, whether they’re skeptical and concerned or enthusiastic and supportive,” says Hohndel. “If we do that well, we’ll provide better value to our customers and to the open source community as a whole.”


Article courtesy of VMWareVoice at Forbes.

LimeBike Raises $12M From Andreessen To Solve The ‘Last Mile’ Problem

LimeBike Raises $12M From Andreessen To Solve The ‘Last Mile’ Problem

Lime Bike

When Andreessen-Horowitz partner Jeff Jordan goes from his Portola Valley home to San Francisco, he avoids driving as much as possible. Sometimes, he’ll drive close to the city and then take an Uber or Lyft to get around. Other times, he’ll drive the Daly City BART and then use public transit. But always there’s that lingering issue: traveling that last mile to his destination.

It’s this need for better forms of transit to travel that last mile that got Jordan interested in LimeBike, a San Mateo-based bike-sharing startup founded by venture capitalists Toby Sun and Brad Bao.

Photo credited to LimeBike on Forbes.

On Tuesday, LimeBike announced completing a $12-million Series a round led by Andreessen and including investments from IDG, DCM and Immersion Ventures. Sun and Bao will do a soft launch of LimeBike in the Bay Area in early April (the exact date is TBD).

Here’s how it works:

The key to what makes LimeBike different from other popular bike-share programs is that, in theory at least, it won’t rely on centralized hubs. Instead, there will be many parking spots scattered across the city, and using the LimeBike app you can locate where to pick up the bike and where you can leave it closest to your destination. The cost of a single ride will be $1. LimeBike claims that the low cost of individual rides could boostthe number of rides people take, and thereby ultimately increase revenue.



“If all of the sudden you take the friction out of the bike experience and make the bikes more convenient, better located and cheaper, I think it could really take off,” Jordan says. The global bike share industry could be worth upwards of $6 billion by 2020, according to a report by Roland Berger Consultancy. But right now, just 1% of trips taken in the U.S. are done by bike.

One of the biggest challenges for LimeBike going forward will likely be theft prevention, especially since they won’t be stored at secure docks. The only theft-prevention tools will be onboard GPS (for easy tracking if it gets stolen), parts that aren’t easily compatible with other bikes and a lock on the rear wheel. Jordan acknowledges that this is a risk with backing LimeBike.

“We’ve made some bets on human nature before.” he says. “With Airbnb we thought, will strangers’ staying in people’s homes really work? It’s a leap we’re taking.”

Article courtesy of Shelby Carpenter at Forbes.

14 In-demand Tech Jobs Employers Are Struggling To Fill

14 In-demand Tech Jobs Employers Are Struggling To Fill


Want to be practically guaranteed a job in today’s competitive market? Consider pursuing one of these careers where the demand for employees is outweighing the supply.

  1. IT Architect

Description: IT architects design full IT systems for corporations–they’re the brains behind information technology infrastructure. They’re more involved with design, analytics, and solution stages than the manual building.

Current open jobs on Glassdoor: 10,487

National Average Salary: $116,920


  1. Security Engineer

Description: Technology is uniquely vulnerable to breaches of information. Security engineers are on the front lines of protecting technical systems and keeping data safe.

Current open jobs on Glassdoor: 18,989

National Average Salary: $93,653


  1. Data Scientist

Description: I’ve written before about how big data is booming, and data scientists are in particularly good positions. They analyze vast quantities of data to mine the insights that companies need to grow and improve.

Current open jobs on Glassdoor: 20,498

National Average Salary: $113,436


  1. QA Engineer

Description: Buggy software won’t sell, so it’s important to have skilled QA engineers who can put programs through rigorous tests to locate weaknesses for the developers to address.

Current open jobs on Glassdoor: 23,543

National Average Salary: $80,000


  1. Front End Engineer

Description: The front end of a website is the part users see and interact with–and also the part front-end engineers are responsible for building.

Current open jobs on Glassdoor: 25,064

National Average Salary: $100,025


  1. Mobile Developer

Description: Websites are ubiquitous now–every business has one–and apps are following in their footsteps. Mobile developers are needed more than ever to build and improve apps for companies who need them.

Current open jobs on Glassdoor: 40,112

National Average Salary: $76,061


  1. Java Developer

Description: Usually, web developers will know more than one programming language, but it can be useful to focus on a specialty. Java developers mainly work, as the title implies, with Java.

Current open jobs on Glassdoor: 42,233

National Average Salary: $76,339


  1. Data Engineer

Description: Back to data again–data engineers build the infrastructure used in analyzing data, and sometimes create big data warehouses that data scientists can use.

Current open jobs on Glassdoor: 49,712

National Average Salary: $95,526


  1. Network Engineer

Description: Network engineers build and maintain the various networks companies use internally.

Current open jobs on Glassdoor: 57,008

National Average Salary: $73,165


      10. Software Engineer

Description: Software engineers are specialized programmers who focus on designing, developing, testing, and updating software.

Current open jobs on Glassdoor: 69,989

National Average Salary: $95,195


     11. Product Manager

Description: How to make a product shine (and ultimately sell) is the main concern of a product manager. They work across teams to drive product development and hone it to its best version.

Current open jobs on Glassdoor: 70,488

National Average Salary: $103,124


   12. DevOps Engineer

Description: A relatively new methodology, DevOps has become highly popular in the software world, and it’s still evolving. Engineers who know and embrace the principles of DevOps may find themselves in higher demand.

Current open jobs on Glassdoor: 155,476

National Average Salary: $100,000


 13. Solutions Architect

Description: Unlike a title like “mobile developer” which tells you exactly what they do, “solutions architect” is more vague. In a nutshell, though, they support the technical needs of a company and/or its customer base, serving as an expert who can work with the product team, clients, etc. to develop solutions to problems.

Current open jobs on Glassdoor: 176,372

National Average Salary: $118,593


   14. Systems Engineer

Description: Systems engineers design, build, and manage complex computer systems. They consider issues like reliability, efficiency, logistics, and more to ultimately create robust systems that do what they need to do.

Current open jobs on Glassdoor: 316,837

National Average Salary: $85,000


Contributor Laurence Bradford

The Good and The Bad of Xamarin Mobile Development

The Good and The Bad of Xamarin Mobile Development


 When considering iOS or Android app development, most of us think about Objective-C/Swift, and Java first of all. Being considered native tech stacks, they are naturally most often used mobile development tools when it comes to iOS and Android app development. However, there are more ways to build performant and user-friendly mobile apps. And Xamarin is one of them.

What Is Xamarin?

It’s impossible to ignore Xamarin when talking about the key approaches to mobile application development. Being a comparatively new tool, it is based on the Microsoft technology stack and already has a community of over 1.4 million developers.


The platform was built by the developers behind Mono, an open source development platform based on the .NET Framework, which was first introduced in 2001. However, unlike its predecessor, Xamarin was created as a commercial project until after the company was acquired by Microsoft.


Xamarin is a unique tool that uses a single language, C#, to create apps for all mobile platforms. Unlike interpreted solutions, such as Appcelerator Titanium, Xamarin is natively compiled, which makes it a go-to option for building high-performance apps with native look and feel.


Technically speaking, Xamarin uses C# and native libraries wrapped in the .Net layer for cross-platform app development. Such applications are often compared to native for both iOS and Android mobile development platforms in terms of performance and user experience.

While the code related to business logic, database access, and network communication can be shared across all platforms, Xamarin allows you to create platform-specific UI code layer. Thus, Xamarin cross-platform apps look 100% native on any device, providing better user experience, as compared to generic hybrid apps.


The platform has two major products: Xamarin.iOS and Xamarin.Android. In case of iOS, the source code is compiled directly into native ARM assembly code (Ahead-of-Time compilation), whereas Android Xamarin apps are first compiled down to Intermediate Language and then – into native assembly code at runtime (Just-in-Time compilation). However, in both cases the process is automated and tailored to handle such issues as memory allocation, garbage collection, and platform interoperability by default.


Being an efficient and simple approach, it is still no panacea. As any other technology, Xamarin has its own benefits and drawbacks, which have been a subject of a heated discussion recently. To make an informed decision about Xamarin vs native development, let’s weigh all the pros and cons of app development with Xamarin.


Pros of Using Xamarin for Development

There are good reasons why Xamarin is used by numerous companies, including Trello, Slack and GitHub.


One Technology Stack to Code for All Platforms

Xamarin uses C# complemented with .Net framework to create apps for any mobile platform. Thus, you can reuse up to 96 percent of the source code speeding up the engineering cycle. Xamarin also does not require switching between the developments environments as it works with both Xamarin IDE (for Mac) and Visual Studio (for Windows). Although many developers argued about the quality of support provided by both IDEs, Xamarin Visual Studio integration has been largely improved since the company’s acquisition by Microsoft. The cross-platform development tools are provided as a built-in part of the IDE at no additional cost.


Performance Close to Native

Unlike traditional hybrid solutions, based on the web technologies, a cross-platform app built with Xamarin, can still be classified as native. The performance metrics are comparable to those of Java for Android (as explained here) and Objective-C or Swift for native iOS app development. Moreover, the efficiency is constantly being improved to fully match the standards of native development. Xamarin platform offers a complete solution for testing and tracking the app’s performance. Its’ Xamarin Test Cloud paired with Xamarin Test Recorder tool allow you to run automated UI tests and identify performance issues before the release. However, this service is provided at an additional fee.


Native User Experiences

Xamarin allows you to create flawless experiences using platform-specific UI elements. Simple cross-platform apps for iOS, Android or Windows are built using Xamarin. Forms tool, which converts app UI components into the platform-specific interface elements at runtime. As the use of Xamarin. Forms significantly increases the speed of app development, it is a great option for business-oriented projects. Yet, there might be a slight decline in performance due to the extra abstraction layer. For custom app UI and higher performance you can still use Xamarin.iOS and Xamarin.Android separately to ensure excellent results.


Full Hardware Support

With Xamarin, your solution gets native-level app functionality. It eliminates all hardware compatibility issues, using plugins and specific APIs, to work with common devices functionality across the platforms. Along with the access to platform-specific APIs, Xamarin supports linking with native libraries. This allows for better customization and native-level functionality with little overhead.


Xamarin Cons to Consider

However, there are still some drawbacks that can cast a shadow upon Xamarin.


Θ Expensive Xamarin License

Business subscription comes at the annual fee of $999 per developer, per device platform, which might seem a little too high if you plan to create only one small app. For example, it will cost you almost $10,000 annually to run a team of five engineers, each building apps for iOS and Android.  However, if you are going to build other cross-platform mobile solutions in the future or provide Xamarin app development services, Xamarin license would be a good investment compared to the development cost of native apps.


UPDATE: Since its acquisition by Microsoft, Xamarin has significantly changed its pricing policy. It is currently being provided at no cost for all Visual Studio users and will soon be completely open-sourced. Thus, this disadvantage is no longer valid.


Θ Slightly Delayed Support for the Latest Platform Updates

This depends completely on the Xamarin developer team. It’s impossible for third-party tools to provide the immediate support for the latest iOS and Android releases: it takes some time to implement the changes and/or introduce new plugins, etc. Although Xamarin claims to provide same-day support, there still might be some delays.


Θ Limited Access to Open Source Libraries

Native development makes extensive use of open source technologies. With Xamarin, you have to use only the components provided by the platform and some .Net open source resources, facing both developers and consumers. While the choice is not quite as rich as it is for Android and iOS mobile app development, the Xamarin Components provide thousands of custom UI controls, various charts, graphs, themes, and other powerful features that can be added to an app in just a few clicks. This includes built-in payment processing (such as Stripe), Beacons and wearables integration, out of the box push notification services, cloud storage solutions, multimedia streaming capabilities and much more.


Θ Xamarin Ecosystem Problems

Obviously, Xamarin community is significantly smaller than those of iOS or Android. Thus, finding an experienced Xamarin developer could be a challenge. Although the platform is growing its following fueled by the support from Microsoft. Based on the info from different sources, Xamarin community makes 10 percent of the global mobile development society. Despite the fact that the number of Xamarin engineers does not compare to iOS or Android native communities, the platform provides extensive support to its developers. Namely, there is a dedicated educational platform, Xamarin University that provides resources and practical training for those who are new to this technology. Using this support, the learning curve for an experienced C#/.Net engineer is minimal.


Considering Other Options: Xamarin vs Native iOS/Android vs Hybrid Development

Recently, many developers tend to agree that Xamarin can be considered “native” development tool. Indeed, there is an opinion that “anything that can be done in an iOS application using Objective-C or Swift, and anything that can be done in an Android app using Java, can be done in C# using Xamarin.”


Yet, there are many pitfalls in native vs Xamarin debate. Let’s see how the Xamarin compares to the native development tools and hybrid development platforms (Ionic, PhoneGap/Cordova).


Xamarin vs native vs hybrid comparison


Although hybrid mobile development tools are evolving quickly, they still lack the performance and native capabilities that Xamarin offers at roughly the same cost. When considering the two approaches, the most popular dilemma is Xamarin vs Ionic or Xamarin vs React native. However, the latter tends to lose due to a number of restrictions in the underlying technologies (web stack).


Yet, there is a JavaScript-based mobile development tool that outperforms hybrid solutions, at least in terms of UI. It’s NativeScript. This cross-platform open source framework, backed by Telerik, allows you to implement native UI and connect to native APIs for better mobile experience while using a single code base. Its main difference is that it uses XML markup, which compiles into Android and iOS native equivalents, instead of HTML webview.


This approach fills the gap between native and hybrid development, similar to the way Xamarin does. The main difference between the two tools lies in the programming languages they use. So Xamarin vs NativeScript comparison should be a subject of a more detailed research.


At the same time, Xamarin vs native Android/iOS development debate seems to be even more complicated: Both options prove to deliver value in terms of product quality and performance, the choice typically depends on the type of application you want to build.


Piece of Advice

When comparing the pros and cons, the listed drawbacks are usually considered to be a collateral damage. Most business owners choose Xamarin mobile app development platform as it decreases the time to market and engineering cost, by sharing the code and using a single technology stack. Yet the purpose of the app and its target audience might be an even more important factor to consider.


Based on our team’s experience, the best use-case for Xamarin is enterprise mobile solutions. With standard UI which covers 90 percent of the projects, all the core product logic can be easily shared across the platforms. Hence, platform customization will only take 5-10 percent of the engineering effort.


In case of consumer-facing apps with heavy UI, the amount of shared code decreases drastically. Thus, Xamarin cross-platform development loses its major benefit and might equal in time and cost to native solutions.


However, if you are looking for a Xamarin alternative to build a cross-platform mobile app, you might be disappointed. While the most widely used cross-platform mobile development tools are PhoneGap/Apache Cordova, Ionic Framework, Appcelerator/Titanium, they rely primarily on web technologies, such as HTM5 or JavaScript. That is why none of these tools can have the same level of performance and native functionality that Xamarin offers.


Article courtesy of Altexsoft.

Now You Can Use Your Phone to Withdraw Cash at Wells Fargo ATMs

Now You Can Use Your Phone to Withdraw Cash at Wells Fargo ATMs

BY Reuters

atm-keypad-899924_960_720Starting on Monday, Wells Fargo customers can withdraw money using a smartphone at any branded ATM, the latest sign of U.S. lenders moving away from traditional brick-and-mortar banking.

Jonathan Velline, Wells Fargo’s head of ATM and branch banking, said that the San Francisco-based bank decided to apply the smartphone technology to all of its 13,000 cash machines after piloting the idea in select locations across the country.

Bank of America and JPMorgan Chase are among the big banks that have announced digital upgrades to their ATM infrastructure, but Wells Fargo is the first U.S. bank to roll out cardless machines across its entire network.

The 20 million customers on Wells Fargo’s mobile banking app will be able to request an eight-digit code to enter along with their personal identification code at an ATM to retrieve cash.

“The new feature allows customers to withdraw cash at any time, even when they don’t have their cards on them,” Velline said.

The new option will also improve protections against data theft, Velline said.

Starting on Monday, Wells Fargo customers can withdraw money using a smartphone at any branded ATM, the latest sign of U.S. lenders moving away from traditional brick-and-mortar banking.

Jonathan Velline, Wells Fargo’s head of ATM and branch banking, said that the San Francisco-based bank decided to apply the smartphone technology to all of its 13,000 cash machines after piloting the idea in select locations across the country.

Bank of America and JPMorgan Chase are among the big banks that have announced digital upgrades to their ATM infrastructure, but Wells Fargo is the first U.S. bank to roll out cardless machines across its entire network.

As have many other U.S. lenders over the last years, Wells Fargo has invested in the development of digital tools to attract customers and slash costs at its retail branches.

“Digitalizing services is unquestionably the way to the future and the arguments are very powerful, but U.S. banks are still far behind,” said Gerard du Toit, a partner at consulting firm Bain & Company.

Accessible, well-designed digital offers not only provide a massive cost advantage, but also significantly improve customer loyalty, du Toit said.

The 20 million customers on Wells Fargo’s mobile banking app will be able to request an eight-digit code to enter along with their personal identification code at an ATM to retrieve cash.

“The new feature allows customers to withdraw cash at any time, even when they don’t have their cards on them,” Velline said.

The new option will also improve protections against data theft, Velline said.

“Security certainly was a big aspect of the cardless feature and the two-step identification helps reduce the risk of fraud,” Velline said, adding that the elimination of cards prevented so-called skimming techniques that criminals employ to read and store data of cards inserted into ATMs.

Wells Fargo, the third-largest U.S. bank, was once the envy of Wall Street, able to seemingly sell its customers a range of different products and highly regarded for its stock price which had once made it the world’s most valuable bank.

But last year’s revelations over a sales scandal that involved the creation of as many as 2.1 million fraudulent accounts in customers’ names without their permission took a toll on the company.

The lender has since seen a sharp drop in the number of consumers opening checking and credit card accounts.

Recruiters and Candidates … A Partnership From Day One!

Recruiters and Candidates … A Partnership From Day One!

Bernie Diaz, Senior Recruiter, CTI CONSULTING, INC.


Recruiter, the moment you identify a candidate as a good match for a position you’re working on, is the moment you start forging a strong partnership. After all, you’re both pursuing the same goal: a successful placement. A Win for the candidate, a Win
for the hiring company and last but not least, a Win for you! In order for this partnership to work, you must both share the same
passion towards earning a job offer.


Here is what I demand of myself …

  • Listen. Find out what the candidate’s hot buttons are. What is he or she looking for in their next position? What is the ideal compensation and what compensation will be considered? Take notes and save them for later reference. Nothing earns a candidate’s respect and trust more than demonstrating that you’ve paid attention.


  • Set my candidate up for success every step of the way. I thoroughly prep my candidates before every telephone and onsite interview. My preference is to send a detailed prep e-mail with a number of interview tips. I will also share any insights regarding the company and the interviewer (s) that I may have.


  • Communicate. We’ve all been there. We contact someone, get that person all excited about a position, submit the resume and then the process comes to a screeching halt. If that happens, don’t leave your candidate in limbo. Check in with the client for a status update. If he or she was eliminated, find out why and share the reasons. It will make that individual a stronger interviewee for the next opportunity. If still in the mix, assure your candidate that you will continue to follow up vigorously on their behalf. He or she will not be forgotten.


  • Be a cheerleader. Be a cheerleader. Wish your candidate luck before every interview. Celebrate every small victory… earning a telephone interview based on a strong resume, being invited for a face-to- face, etc. Offer words of encouragement if the interview did not go well. Peel the onion and find out the areas where the candidate feels he or she could have done better. Treat this as a learning experience, not a defeat.


Here is what I ask of my candidates…

  • Be coachable.  Accept my interviewing advice and put it into practice. Do your homework on the company and the key players. Demonstrate enthusiasm and always ask for the next step. These are just some of the tips I share, to help my candidates stand out from the rest.


  • Be accessible. I won’t go dark on you, please don’t go dark on me. Return my phone calls, e-mails, etc. A constant dialogue between both of us is key, which brings us to my final point…


  • Communicate. Any changes on your end? Are there any offers on the table from the other companies you are interviewing with? How do those offers stack up against the opportunity we’re pursuing together? Have any of these companies given you a “must accept by” deadline? Knowledge is power. Share all pertinent details with me and I’ll do my best to negotiate the best possible offer for you.


As we all know, the job market is highly competitive, with an impressive array of talent competing for the same position. The job of a recruiter and candidate is to face all challenges and

walk away with an offer. When that happens, you will have accomplished it together… the true definition of a partnership!