Centurion Spotlight: Sida Ju

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This week’s Centurion Spotlight features Senior DevOps Engineer, Sida Ju. We had the fantastic opportunity to sit down with Sida and discuss his interests in his DevOps Engineering career, technology, his favorite projects, and why he chooses to work with Centurion Consulting Group.

devops engineering career

What got you into technology?
My interests in technology began in my childhood. I remember getting our first PC and immediately being interested in computers. As a child, I was always playing around with the computer. It started out as just playing video games like every child my age, but that eventually led to digging deeper into the system and thinking to myself, “What else can I do with this?” This was the start of my interest in technology, and that interest continued to grow into my technology career. I went on to study computer engineering in college. Once I graduated, I had to consider the fact that computer engineering goes two ways: hardware and software. I gravitated toward the software side of computer engineering, and that is the field I got my first technology job in.

I currently have a DevOps Engineering career and am a member of the infrastructure team on a federal project. I am responsible for building out all systems in AWS with a heavy emphasis on scalability.

What was your favorite project you have worked on?
My favorite project was at a startup healthcare company. This particular company provided hospitals with programs for patients to watch and become more knowledgeable about the conditions they have. The code they already had written for the program was about ten years old and was very difficult to maintain. One of the things the company wanted to do was to refactor it and deploy it as microservices, but they didn’t have the capabilities or the knowledge to complete this task. When introduced to the project, I was tasked with creating the infrastructure to support the microservice architecture and build it out. This project was very enjoyable because, at the time, I wasn’t very knowledgeable about the subject; therefore, this task required a lot of research and testing. In the end, we were able to accomplish the task successfully and roll out the new services with new technologies. Overall, this project was very exciting because it was something new that I had not experienced. It was a learning process that was delivered on time and successfully. To my current knowledge, the company is still running the program I worked on, which is also very exciting.

Another favorite project of mine is my current project. Prior to this current federal project, my career as a DevOps Engineer had not exposed me to the cloud. One of the biggest reasons for joining this project was because I wanted to learn more about the cloud and gain more experience with the technology. The learning experience is what I enjoy the most in any project. This project involved a public online form. The data goes directly into one of our subsystems that I worked on and deploys the server that runs the code allowing you to see the website you are on. I worked on and managed a great deal of the back-end features in this project. We had to make the process as efficient and automated as possible. The overall outcome of this project was successful, and I am very excited for it.
devops engineering career

Why do you choose to work with Centurion?
One of the biggest reasons I choose to work with Centurion Consulting Group is because of the current project I am working on. I had interviewed with other places for contracting positions, and I found that these companies couldn’t tell me anything about the first project I would be working on, whereas, in this position, I was informed of exactly what the project was and my contribution to it. I appreciate the knowledge that Centurion brings to its consultants. Centurion really helped me in that respect.

About Centurion Consulting Group
Centurion Consulting Group, LLC, a Woman-Owned Small Business headquartered in Herndon, VA conveniently located near Washington D.C., is a national IT Services consulting firm servicing the public and private sector by delivering relevant solutions for our client’s complex business and technology challenges. Our leadership team has over 40 years of combined experience, to include almost 10 years of direct business partnership, to the IT staffing, federal contracting, and professional services industries. Centurion’s leaders have the demonstrated experience over the past three decades in partnering with over 10,000 consultants and hundreds of clients –from Fortune 100 to Inc. 5000 firms –in multiple industries to include banking, education, federal, financial, healthcare, hospitality, insurance, non-profit, state and local, technology, and telecommunications. www.centurioncg.com

Centurion Spotlight: Burak Tasel

Posted on Posted in Technology

Meet our next Centurion Spotlight featuring our consultant, Burak Tasel! We had the great opportunity to sit down with Burak and discuss how he started working in technology, his favorite projects, and why he chooses to work with Centurion.

What got you into technology?
During my undergraduate study, I interned for a public accounting firm. At the time, this firm was going through a major accounting system upgrade. As part of my internship, I had the opportunity to assist them with their system and infrastructure setup as well as helping them migrate their data from the old system to the new system. This experience drew me deeper into technology. I really wanted to learn more about system design and programming languages, and that interest lead me to enroll in a Computer Science graduate program. About three (3) semesters into the program, I was offered a full-time software engineering position by one of the companies I had interned with. This was where my technology journey kicked off.

In my current role as an IT Consultant, I help our client succeed in implementing DevSecOps and modern software development practices. I work with many projects that involve automation, API development, and system integration. I have a particular interest in cloud computing, with a primary focus on Amazon Web Services (AWS) and other distributed open source technologies. These are the main technologies I work with and I would consider them my greatest strengths.

What was your favorite project you have worked on?
In my favorite project, I held the role of the solution architect in support of the Marketplace System Integrator (MSI) contract for the Affordable Care Act. My team and I were responsible for providing architectural oversight and ensuring that development of the systems adhered to the Government-approved standards and technical reference architecture. This was a dynamic project involving many contracting teams that worked on different parts of this system. The biggest effort evolved around migrating major Marketplace components to the cloud in order to enhance the scalability, functionality, and durability of the system. As a result of this project, I gained a great amount of exposure to different technologies and got the opportunity to work closely with engineers from well-established companies.

Currently, I am working on a project involving modern software development and support. My team and I have the responsibility of spearheading the adoption of new technologies. In this process, we are helping other teams migrate into new technologies using modern development platforms and tools. These tools include a highly customized continuous integration and continuous deployment (CI/CD) pipeline. We also support various products throughout this project including tools to improve code quality and security posture of applications. All of these efforts are done with the hope that we can catch issues before the application is deployed to production. Overall, we help teams streamline their development process to produce high quality, secure, and maintainable software.

When the teams migrate their applications to the Modern Development Environment (MDE), they benefit from these best practices and tools. This all reflects on the metrics that we collect and share with the teams. For example, we can see the technical depth related to an application whether it is an increase or decrease over time. Seeing the teams utilize the metrics we collect is the most rewarding part of this project.
IT technology
Why do you choose to work with Centurion Consulting Group?
I became aware of Centurion’s role in the Agency’s ongoing effort to modernize their enterprise systems and move their critical applications to the cloud. I knew that I wanted to be a part of this effort and bring in some of my expertise and experience on the subject. I had also learned about Centurion and their mission, leadership, and successful engagement with various federal agencies. From there, I knew that I wanted to be part of the Centurion team.

About Centurion Consulting Group
Centurion Consulting Group, LLC, a Woman-Owned Small Business headquartered in Herndon, VA conveniently located near Washington D.C., is a national IT Services consulting firm servicing the public and private sector by delivering relevant solutions for our client’s complex business and technology challenges. Our leadership team has over 40 years of combined experience, to include almost 10 years of direct business partnership, to the IT staffing, federal contracting, and professional services industries. Centurion’s leaders have the demonstrated experience over the past three decades in partnering with over 10,000 consultants and hundreds of clients –from Fortune 100 to Inc. 5000 firms –in multiple industries to include banking, education, federal, financial, healthcare, hospitality, insurance, non-profit, state and local, technology, and telecommunications. www.centurioncg.com

Defining Jr, Mid, and Sr Level in Your Java Developer Career

Posted on Posted in Technology

By Theresa Zandi

Defining Jr, Mid, and Sr level in your Java Development career is based on a number of things. The truth is, it’s not based on just years of experience. When it comes to technology, and more specifically Java Development, the level you reach in your career is acquired through a culmination of experience, degrees, years working, titles, and more. What is the true level of your ability? In this article, you will discover how your Java Developer career level is defined and how to continue climbing to the top.

Defining each level
From a technology standpoint, defining your career level is much more than how many years you have worked. You have to consider the level of complexity when it comes to technologies and projects, how many additional or peripheral technologies the candidate is using, and how they are using Java in particular. Do they have front-end or back-end experience or are they full stack? Are they integrating with other technologies? It’s also important to consider that some people pick up skills faster than others.

If the complexity of the technology is not considered and the level is strictly defined by years of experience, then typically Jr level is 0-2 years, Mid-level is 3-6 years, and Sr level is 7+ years. But, as I previously mentioned, the level of your career is defined by much more than years of experience. If it’s based off of your skillset, Jr level candidates have basic and limited knowledge, Mid-level candidates have intermediate knowledge, and Sr level candidates have expert knowledge. As you gain more technology skills, the world is your oyster.

In the commercial world, the level of your career is heavily related to your experience. When considering what level you are, the order of importance goes as followed: experience, where you have worked, what technologies you have used, your degree, and title. In the government world, degree is very important when determining what level you are because you are placed in a labor category. In this sector, the order of importance when defining the level in your career are as followed: degree, years of experience, actual experience, and other technologies you’ve been exposed to. In each sector, there are different priorities when determining your career level. Government does not have the flexibility to move around different titles or levels, whereas it’s easier to do so in commercial work.

For example, we had a consultant that was very strong in Java, Spring, Boot, and Angular, but didn’t meet the requirement for years of experience. Because these particular skills are harder to find, an exception was made. The point is, that even though the consultant had a bachelor’s degree and six years of experience and the labor category was having a bachelor’s degree and seven years of experience, we were able to place him at a higher rating because of their highly qualified technology skills. This goes to show that the level in your career is not always defined by the amount of years you have worked but by the technology skills you possess.

Moving to the next level
A lot of this is determined by you. You have the ability to take the initiative and learn more technologies on your own. For example, you can take the time to learn an open source tool that goes along with Java and bring that to your manager’s attention, pointing out that you can use it to improve the project. This is something that earns you additional kudos and the opportunity to quickly move up a level. Using your knowledge, initiative, and continuous learning to develop your own skillsets is important in both the commercial and government sectors. No matter what, to move up in your career, your skills need to be at a certain level.
tech services
What you gain from each level
Ultimately, you receive similar gains from each level in your career. As you are moving up the ladder, you gain exposure to new technologies, higher compensation, and level of respect. You also become more recognized within your team, company, and even the outside community. You gain that recognition and ultimately validation.

With the experience and expertise you gain throughout your career, you should be putting yourself out there more. Whether you gain more knowledge on your own, present yourself as an expert on online platforms, or mentor others, you are doing more for your career. Overall, defining the level of your Java Developer career is based on many things, and there is always room for improving your skillsets and gaining more knowledge in technology.

About Centurion Consulting Group
Centurion Consulting Group, LLC, a Woman-Owned Small Business headquartered in Herndon, VA conveniently located near Washington D.C., is a national IT Services consulting firm servicing the public and private sector by delivering relevant solutions for our client’s complex business and technology challenges. Our leadership team has over 40 years of combined experience, to include almost 10 years of direct business partnership, to the IT staffing, federal contracting, and professional services industries. Centurion’s leaders have the demonstrated experience over the past three decades in partnering with over 10,000 consultants and hundreds of clients –from Fortune 100 to Inc. 5000 firms –in multiple industries to include banking, education, federal, financial, healthcare, hospitality, insurance, non-profit, state and local, technology, and telecommunications. www.centurioncg.com

Finding Your Jerry Maguire

Posted on Posted in Technology

By Theresa Zandi

Have you seen the movie Jerry Maguire? If not, here’s a quick overview: Tom Cruise plays a sports agent that works with some of largest names in sports for a company that handles all of the major athletes; however, he is dissatisfied with the lack of personal attention and service they provide to the careers and lives of the people they represent. Personally, this is one of my favorite movies and it happens to be very relevant to staffing. Jerry Maguire is a big-time sports agent and athletes need to heavily evaluate what is being offered to them before they sign on. In relation to technology staffing, candidates need to evaluate staffing firms before they decide to work with them. But, what higher level of service should you expect from the company? What should you expect from your Jerry? As a technology candidate, you should be picky when it comes to the consulting firm you choose to work with. Here are some things to look for in an IT professional services firm:

Caring
First, you should look for a staffing firm that has a reputation for caring about their employees. The staffing firm should not hold values that are strictly commoditized. Some people are all about the dollar, but most people are interested in having someone learn about them and making sure they are following their career path. A good technology consulting firm should provide you with someone who actually listens to you as a candidate, not one that just hears what they want to hear and slams you into a position because it’s good for them. The conversation should start something like, “Tell me about you. Where have you been? What do you want to do? How can I help you get there?” Investing time to review a profile and resume, learning about the candidate and their interests, and finding them the perfect match is how the process should go.

Some technology staffing firms are very numbers-driven, so they don’t have any interest in learning about the candidate and directing them in the right direction for their career. Their process is, “Do you fit my need? If not, I’m moving on to the next person.” When looking for the right firm, make sure they have a reputation for genuinely caring for their employees.

Benefits
When looking at a technology consulting firm, always consider if they have a comprehensive benefits package. It’s important to know how much the firm is willing to invest in you. Benefits include insurances, PTO/holidays/sick leave, company-paid options, 401(k), tuition reimbursement, etc. This is very important in a career, and it should be considered when finding your Jerry Maguire.

Career Path Guidance
How is the technology services firm going to help you expand your skills? You want someone who helps you set your career path and steer you in the right direction when getting you an interview. As mentioned earlier, some staffing firms are numbers-driven and don’t consider the career path of candidates. As a technology candidate, it’s important to go into a job knowing that it will help you in your career by expanding your skillset. A good technology consulting firm listens to your interests and guides you down your desired career path.

Community involvement
Another thing I think is very important, and is something that Centurion values, is community involvement as a company. What do people do to give back? Consulting firms that participate in community functions or charities are promoting a family-like atmosphere. Some people want to belong to a cause and be part of something, and some firms provide that.

Reputation
A famous line in Jerry Maguire is “help me help you.” The firm that you work for needs to have a great reputation and be built on integrity. This all starts with the leadership team and employees and how they conduct their business. If you are looking for your Jerry Maguire, super-agent, they need to be able to help you.

Jerry McGuire is Centurion. Like the movie, our internal leaders and “agents” used to work for very big firms in our industry, and now we have branched out on our own. The character of Jerry Maguire was on the same path of going from a large firm to being on his own, taking only one client with him. Similarly, Centurion started with just a handful of clients. Since Jerry Maguire had only one client, that client was his entire life and he did everything he could to get him the best results. This is what your technology consulting firm should be doing for you. They should take individual notes of you, your accomplishments, where you want to go, and what you want to make. They should gather all of the information that is important to you as a technology candidate, and work to get it all for you.
tech services
Working with people at a leadership or company level that are very well connected will benefit you. They offer you more opportunities. This doesn’t necessarily mean they have to be a big firm, but they need to be someone who listens to your needs and wants. It needs to be an individualized approach and using all the resources at your disposal.

When finding your technology consulting firm, consider the values of Jerry Maguire. In order for you to expand your career, you need a firm that works with you to help you accomplish your goals. If you want to find your Jerry, give us a call. Remember, “You had me at hello.” We are happy to help you in your career and look forward to working with you.

About Centurion Consulting Group
Centurion Consulting Group, LLC, a Woman-Owned Small Business headquartered in Herndon, VA conveniently located near Washington D.C., is a national IT Services consulting firm servicing the public and private sector by delivering relevant solutions for our client’s complex business and technology challenges. Our leadership team has over 40 years of combined experience, to include almost 10 years of direct business partnership, to the IT staffing, federal contracting, and professional services industries. Centurion’s leaders have the demonstrated experience over the past three decades in partnering with over 10,000 consultants and hundreds of clients –from Fortune 100 to Inc. 5000 firms –in multiple industries to include banking, education, federal, financial, healthcare, hospitality, insurance, non-profit, state and local, technology, and telecommunications. www.centurioncg.com

Best Tips for Your Senior Level Resume

Posted on Posted in Technology

By Theresa Zandi

As a technology consulting firm, we understand what we need to look for in a resume and most clients do as well. When reviewing a candidate resume, we look at it for about 30 seconds before moving on to the next. With that in mind, is your resume saying everything you’re trying to convey about your experience? Is it getting through to your audience well? Within that initial 30-second scan, we are looking for things that really stand out. In this article, you will discover what elements make a resume “pop,” so as a senior-level applicant, you land that perfect job for you.

The essential elements
The main job of your resume is to sell yourself on paper. I have long said that the resume is your opportunity to “talk” to a potential employer before you are asked for an interview and get the opportunity to physically speak for yourself. Let’s discuss the elements of a winning resume to get you that interview.

First, and most obvious, your resume should start with your name, phone number, and email address. Those are the three required elements. Following this section should be your summary. This summary should be a four to five bullet overview of your qualifications. Think of this section as the only part that is being read in the initial review process. In this case, you really want it to sell yourself to potential employers. If you are in IT, it should list your technical skills. This shouldn’t be a list of everything under the sun, instead only the things you want to be considered for in your career. The summary of your resume should also be tailored to the position that you are applying for with the company.

As a senior applicant, you have the opportunity to list a major achievements category. If this isn’t an option, your notable accomplishments can also be placed within your qualification summary. After this is all said and done, you should dive right into your work experience. Your technology experience should be listed in reverse chronological order. The details of each job description should be focused toward the position you are going after. If you are a senior person and you were involved in several different projects in your career, it is important to cut some of that fat out when listing your experience. Your resume should only be two to four pages in length, so only describe what is relevant to the desired position you applied for. As a technology consulting firm that is constantly reviewing IT resumes, we don’t mind seeing resumes that are five pages long, however, that should be the limit when it comes to length.

Following your work experience should be your education. As a senior-level technology candidate, you should be highlighting about 15 years of experience, and no more than 20 years. Anything older than that should be removed from your resume. This also applies to your education section. If you have a degree that is more than 20 years old, you should leave off the date in which you received it. Whether you have a Master’s or Bachelor’s degree, you should list where it is from and what the degree is, but leave out your GPA and the year you graduated.

Along with these sections, your senior-level resume should list any technical certifications you have. Make sure they are also relevant to the position you applied for. For instance, if you are applying for a Project Management position and you are a PMP or Agile Scrum Master, you should list it in your resume. In fact, certifications like this should be placed under your name or as a bullet in your initial qualification summary. Using this example, it should look something like this:

“PMP-certified Project Manager and Agile Scrum Master with over 15 years’ experience in IT specializing in…”

Make your resume stand out
To make your resume stand out, it should, as mentioned earlier, be tweaked to the position you are applying for. If it’s focused on a particular skill or set of skills, make sure you have several bullets about them throughout your resume and not just in your summary. These skills should be backed up by what is in the job description body of the work experience. Remember, if the person reading your resume only read your qualification summary, they should know whether they want to interview you for the job or not.

When writing your resume, be concise and choose your words well. Use action-oriented words and avoid using pronouns such as I, he/she/we, Mr./Mrs., etc. You should start off your summary with an action word and end with a period. Grammar and punctuation are very important when writing your resume and should remain consistent throughout.

A recruiter in a technology consulting firm is looking for a well-written resume that answers their questions before they ask them. Your summary should say exactly what you do in as few words as possible. They are also looking for your skills in the body of the resume. You should not be listing what your team did or what you were involved in, but what you did specifically. If the skills the recruiter is looking for pops out to them immediately in the body of the resume, it will spark their interest. To catch someone’s eye right away, have a short, sweet, and concise summary that draws them in to look further.

What NOT to do
Read over your resume carefully and make sure everything is perfect. You do NOT want your resume to check of any of these bullets:

  • Terrible grammar and punctuation
  • Over five pages
  • Highlighting all of your technical skills and not the ones relevant to the job description
  • Incomplete thoughts
  • Over bolding skills

IT talent acquisition
It’s always a good idea to have someone read over your resume before you submit it. Make sure this person has great written and verbal communication skills, so you know all grammar errors and long-winded sections are caught and revised properly. Overall, you want someone to double-check that you are conveying exactly what is needed.

Your senior-level technology resume should contain these essential elements for it to stand out from all of the other applicants. Your resume is your first selling point, so make sure it’s clean and to the point. If you have any questions on resume building, feel free to reach out. Good luck marketing yourself!

About Centurion Consulting Group
Centurion Consulting Group, LLC, a Woman-Owned Small Business headquartered in Herndon, VA conveniently located near Washington D.C., is a national IT Services consulting firm servicing the public and private sector by delivering relevant solutions for our client’s complex business and technology challenges. Our leadership team has over 40 years of combined experience, to include almost 10 years of direct business partnership, to the IT staffing, federal contracting, and professional services industries. Centurion’s leaders have the demonstrated experience over the past three decades in partnering with over 10,000 consultants and hundreds of clients –from Fortune 100 to Inc. 5000 firms –in multiple industries to include banking, education, federal, financial, healthcare, hospitality, insurance, non-profit, state and local, technology, and telecommunications. www.centurioncg.com

What is this blog and what does Centurion Consulting Group stand for?

Posted on Posted in Technology

By Blaine W. Smith

We wanted to take a moment to open the doors and introduce all of you to the mindset behind Centurion Consulting Group. Our firm is all about developing careers and relationships with people. True business partnerships begin simply with a handshake. Over time and through a commitment to do the right thing, (even when it’s the hard thing) we have gratefully built a loyal and expansive referral and consultant network, known as Centurions. With our ever-growing Centurion family, we endeavor to serve and effectively engage with our clients.

With the Centurion blog, we hope you receive thought provoking, insightful information relevant to your career and professional development. Additionally, we want this to be a place that provides enhancement to your business acumen.

Theresa and I started the firm with the belief that service, true genuine service, is not an outdated concept and that you can build an IT Services firm on the premise, “To take care of the people, who take care of you.” The Golden Rule should come to mind…

What does that mean?

It means that we start by offering our employees:

  • Challenging careers with significance
  • Competitive salaries
  • Excellent benefits
  • Attractive perks and ancillary benefits
  • Matching 401(k)

 

Next, we walk the walk by demonstrating a philanthropic mantra, committed to giving back to our community, and serving our fellow Centurions. This is accomplished through organizational fellowship and events to foster and encourage a purpose centered firm, led by individual technology and business leaders – made stronger by their collective and collaborative spirit. We genuinely believe that true business relationships can incorporate #kindnessmatters. While being professionally motivated and driven, we can still strive for personal connection and care for your fellow coworkers. We strive for authenticity in all of our relationships in building careers and a life of significance.

Even as a small IT Consulting business, we are committed to providing our consultants and staff an environment for them to thrive. What makes us relatively unique in our industry, is that these are the areas that have been removed or forgotten over the last 20 years. Collectively, people first are our greatest asset.

We sincerely hope that our blog is a source that you come to rely on and value.

About Centurion Consulting Group
Centurion Consulting Group, LLC, a Woman-Owned Small Business headquartered in Herndon, VA conveniently located near Washington D.C., is a national IT Services consulting firm servicing the public and private sector by delivering relevant solutions for our client’s complex business and technology challenges. Our leadership team has over 40 years of combined experience, to include almost 10 years of direct business partnership, to the IT staffing, federal contracting, and professional services industries. Centurion’s leaders have the demonstrated experience over the past three decades in partnering with over 10,000 consultants and hundreds of clients – from Fortune 100 to Inc. 5000 firms – in multiple industries to include banking, education, federal, financial, healthcare, hospitality, insurance, non-profit, state and local, technology, and telecommunications. www.centurioncg.com