A Triple Crown Consultant Shares Insights on the Current Tech Market.
We recently had the opportunity to speak with one of our seasoned contractors, Dennis, who has been in the tech industry for over 20 years. Dennis is a Software Engineer who specializes in robotics and has been working with Triple Crown for the past five years. While he has held several full-time positions, Dennis has spent most of his professional career in contract roles, which he really enjoys because it allows him flexibility and the opportunity to work on many projects.
How’s the Job Market Right Now?
It was great speaking with Dennis about his personal employment perspective during these challenging times. It turns out that he has not seen a large shift in layoffs or a drop in opportunities coming his way. “Tech skills are still in high demand,” said Dennis. When it comes to job opportunities, Dennis is still getting approached for tech opportunities from all industries nationwide. But companies are not extending offers at the rapid pace he had been used to prior to the COVID-19 outbreak and lockdown.
One area where Dennis is seeing lots of change as a contractor is in the interview process. “Interviews are going so much faster now since everything is done virtually, and we are not flying to clients and conducting onsite interviews,” he explained.
Embracing Assignment Gaps
Does being part of a large group of unemployed Americans have him concerned? Not at all. As a seasoned contractor, he is used to going anywhere from 3-9 months without working. “That’s the name of the game,” he said.
Accustomed to the Gig Economy ebb and flow of work, he is confident that his next opportunity will arrive shortly. Knowing that the pandemic will continue to create high demand for hardware and software engineers who can build tools to support remote work and changing workplaces. Dennis also is enjoying the bonus family time he gets to squeeze in between assignments.
Hone Your Skills (But Don’t Get Distracted by Shiny Tech Trends)
Like most tech professionals, Dennis loves to sharpen and expand his skills. In between assignments, he refines and expands his software development skills, zeroing in on areas he is passionate about like biotech, robotics, and medical devices. He recommends anyone new to contracting to take advantage of online courses, webinars and other forums that technologists can use to further develop technical skills. Another blog that I wrote that’s worth checking out, is how consulting engineers can stay marketable,
An additional piece of advice from Dennis to fellow contractors is to embrace the fundamentals. Too often he sees other engineers focus on learning every new language or tool that gains traction and they end up with lots of surface knowledge but nothing with depth. “The main languages that have been constantly useful in my career are those I continue to focus on most. Languages and tools can change at the drop of a hat, but true development skills are transferable,” said Dennis. His advice is to never put all your eggs in one basket, keep your experience diverse and find a good balance.
And He’s Back on Assignment…
So remember when we said Dennis was in between assignments? That status changed before we could finish this blog. That’s how fast it all can change in tech contracting, even in a pandemic. As Dennis said, the demand for tech skills continues to be strong. He has officially accepted an offer from a top Triple Crown client.
If you, like Dennis, are seeking a senior-level software or hardware position, please send your resume to Jobs@tripleco.com or submit your resume here. The Triple Crown team is here to support the tech talent community nationwide with job opportunities and solutions.