This month on TechdeckTalks we are talking to Roman Tyden, a Ukrainian IT professional living and working in the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv.

Roman has been working in the IT industry for nearly 20 years. He began his career as a Systems Administrator after studying at KROK University and IT Step Academy in Kyiv. Since then, he has gone on to work as a remote support engineer; Virtulisation engineer, Freelance Field Support Engineer and more recently, as a Site Infrastructure Manager.

Read more below and find out Roman’s first-hand experiences of working in IT during the ongoing war and how the invasion is impacting the industry as a whole

Many IT Professionals are now defending the Country

The Ukraine has always had a reputation for being a prominent force in the IT industry, we have a lot of talent here, with our major tech hubs being in Kyiv, Lviv, Dnipro and Odesa. The country’s strong tech background is recognised around the world. Recently, whilst volunteering in Bucha and Gostomel, two small towns near Kyiv totally destroyed by the Russian offensive, an Australian IT colleague commented, “…eight of ten Ukrainians must be from an IT background.”

At the end of 2021, a survey revealed that around 285,000 people worked in IT and by June 2022, this had dropped by 60,000. The war restricts all men aged 18-60 from leaving the country. Many IT professionals have now been enlisted to the territorial defence and the armed forces or they have relocated abroad.

Companies are relocating their IT workforce to other countries

For tech companies, people are their greatest asset, so it is no wonder that they are encouraging workers to relocate abroad. Around 50,000 – 57,000 IT professionals are known to have moved to work abroad since February 2022. However, a vast majority of people, like myself want to stay here in the Ukraine, no matter what.

The war has bought uncertainty around housing and jobs, so understandably many younger families are looking to relocate abroad for more stability but ultimately, we want to remain in our own country.

Ukrainian refugees, including those with a wealth of IT experience are actively seeking employment, even if it is temporary, and not just waiting for help from the authorities in the host countries where they have been granted refuge.

Business activities are almost fully resumed

It isn’t all negative though, according to the recent IT Research Resilience survey, 85% of companies have reported that, as of May 2022 they have managed to resume their business activities fully or almost completely. 63% noted a positive financial result, with 13% stating an increase in income by 25-50%.

There is no doubt that when Ukraine wins, and in the years to follow, the country will be very attractive to entrepreneurs and investors, especially with our wealth of IT experience and strengths in the industry.

From a Personal Perspective

The conflict continues to have a huge impact on my career and personal life. My family are currently living in Poland, and I’ve remained here in the Ukraine to work and support them the best I can. The company I work for have relocated many of the workforce but only the women, so most of the local offices here are all empty.

The separation from my family is by far the hardest thing to deal with – I haven’t seen my one-year-old daughter for 6 months.

For further information on the impact of the war on the IT industry in Ukraine, please visit: https://itcluster.lviv.ua/projects/it-research/

If you would like to get in touch with Roman, please get in contact at info@techdeck.io.

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This month on TechdeckTalks, we hear from Ezequias Serra about his experience of working as an IT freelancer across Europe.

Ezequias has been working as a freelancer, specifically in IT field infrastructure for over 8 years. During that time, he has undertaken tasks all over Europe including, work at the European Parliament, Microsoft and Warner Bros, to name a few.

Read more about his first-hand experiences and his thoughts around the benefits of being an IT freelancer.

The Benefits of Being an IT Freelancer

I became an IT freelancer in 2014 and haven’t looked back since then. For me, being employed was becoming boring and quite static. I found that I was working on very similar tasks without much satisfaction, reward, or professional development. Freelancing opened up so many more possibilities for me. If you are thinking of making the switch to freelancing, here’s why I think you won’t regret it!

Variety

 In IT freelancing, variety really is the spice of life! One day, I can be working in a datacentre for a major bank, onsite in a retail store, or performing installations in a government building.

The best thing about the vast variety of jobs in freelancing is the valuable hands-on experience I am gaining every day. My resume is constantly being added to and I thrive on the different challenges of every task.

In addition to this, I am constantly meeting new people, networking, and building up my professional contacts.

Flexibility

 Being your own boss is such a plus point of freelancing. You make your own schedule. If you would like an afternoon to visit family – you can do it. If you want to go to the gym in the daytime, it’s your choice! You take on the tasks when and where you want to.

No more applying for holiday or explaining to a supervisor why you want the time off. Of course, if you don’t work, you don’t get paid but ultimately it is up to you.

Professional Development

 IT freelancing is a superb way of progressing professionally in your specialist field. For those who are just starting out, it gives the opportunity to build your resume quickly into a full-blown portfolio.

You are gaining the best possible hands-on experience by taking on a variety of tasks in different working environments. This proves you are adaptable and can learn fast under pressure.

The diversity of the challenges will allow you to accumulate a lot of experience in a short period of time.

An Example

 Recently, I worked onsite for a major betting site building a network from scratch. There were multiple devices to be set up in 5 48RU racks and puffs. It took eight long days until I could see everything come to life and work properly. The satisfaction when everything came together filled me with a great feeling of accomplishment and more than that, the customer was delighted with the outcome.

In Summary

 As an IT freelancer you will:

IT freelancing is definitely for the individual that loves to try something new every day and who is open to new challenges at any moment.

If you are thinking about switching your career to being a freelancer and have any questions for Ezequias, please get in contact at info@techdeck.io.

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Technology start-up, Techdeck.io has been successful in securing consultancy funding towards start-up development costs.

Techdeck is an online platform that will connect IT professionals with businesses that need their skills around the world. Businesses will have access to a global talent pool of qualified and trusted IT professionals on every continent, including specialists in: hardware; networking; maintenance; software development; cabling; audio visual equipment; wireless; IT security; telecommunications and more. The platform will make it quick and easy for businesses to source, hire and manage the skilled professionals they need for ad hoc work, projects, and longer-term contracts.

Charlotte Rose, Co-founder of Techdeck was introduced to BIC Staffordshire and the work they do with local businesses by Jonathan Percival, Economic Development Officer at Lichfield District Council. The Staffordshire Business Innovation Centre (Staffs BIC) encourages and promotes innovation within Staffordshire by helping individuals and companies with their start-up ventures and innovations. They offer: one-to-one practical advice; grant funding; workshops; webinars and networking events.

Charlotte commented: “After being introduced to BIC and the services they offer, I met Sandra Butterworth, Director of Innovation, who explained about the start-up grant which covers 37% of Consultancy Fees. Building an online platform such as Techdeck requires hours of software development and extensive specialist advice, so I decided to put in an application. Sandra was extremely helpful and assisted me with the application and provided advice towards my business plan. I was absolutely delighted to find out my application had been successful.”

   

The funding will be vital towards the development of the Techdeck platform, it will enable completion of the platform in a quicker timeframe and allow other areas of the business, such as sales and marketing to benefit from a boost in budget allocation. This type of support in the start-up phase of any business is critical and Techdeck will continue to work with Staffs BIC and their knowledgeable team to learn and grow the business by attending their informative webinars, networking events and one-to-one business advice sessions.

For further information about BIC Staffordshire visit: www.thebic.co.uk/about-us

To read more about the Techdeck platform visit: www.techdeck.io

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Ever thought about building your own computer?

In the last few decades, the daily use of computers has become almost ubiquitous among the population for both work and commercial purposes. While desktops are amazing pieces of technology; compact, versatile, and capable of enriching our lives in many ways, they can be quite expensive. The optimal PCs, such as those designated for gaming and those that have the most efficient components cost around £2.5K. General purpose desktops range from £850 to £1550. Even the most basic, barebones PC can cost around £350, and this isn’t even taking into account peripheral devices such as mice and monitors.

Needless to say, you might want to look for a less expensive alternative. By assembling a computer yourself, you can save about a third of the money you would have spent on going to the usual retailers. For high end PCs, the amount of money you save could therefore be nearly £1K.

Whether you want to save money, upgrade some components or just want to prove that you’re tech-savvy, this guide will teach you how to build your own fully functional PC. You can then budget your own components and build the desktop to your liking.

Getting Set Up

First, let’s list all the parts of a computer and why you’ll need them, as well as the tools you’ll need to fit them with. Be careful when buying parts, make sure that they are functional and compatible with each other. If finding compatible parts is difficult, or you don’t have the time to shop for each individual part, you can purchase a barebones kit. These kits contain the fundamental parts of the computer, and ones which are compatible with each other.

All the Components You Need

All the Tools You Need

Constructing the Computer

By now you will have every component and tool you’ll need to hand, and you can start assembling the computer. Here’s a diagram of what most PC interiors look like, so you know where to put everything.

https://hawkpointtechnologies.com/computer-components/

  1. Remove the side panels of the computer case.
  1. Remove the drive bay cover so as to be able to install the hard and optical drives.
  1. Attach the grounding strap to your wrist and plug into the computer case to prevent static from damaging the computer components.
  1. Fit and screw the motherboard into the computer case.
  1. Fit and screw the hard drive into a drive bay with the corresponding size.
  1. Fit and screw the optical drive into a drive bay with the corresponding size.
  1. Install the CPU into the large, square shaped socket on the motherboard.
  1. Install the RAM into the two long sockets in the motherboard.
  1. Apply some heat sink glue to the CPU and attach the cooling fan.
  1. Plug the cooling fan’s power cable into the motherboard.
  1. Fit and screw the case fan on the square panel at the back of the computer case.
  1. Fit and screw in the PSU in the large space left in the case.
  1. Connect the cables so that all components are connected to the PSU.
  1. Reconstruct the case.
  1. Plug any peripherals (like mice and monitors) into the PC and power it on.
Conclusion

So hopefully you’ve built the computer and it’s fully functional; fantastic! It’s not as hard as it looks, right? You can now feel satisfied that you’re a true techie and saved yourself some money in the process – great stuff!

Sources:

  1. Cost of a Desktop Computer – Electronics Prices and Recommendations – CostHelper
  2. How Much Does It Cost To Build A Gaming PC In 2021? (costaide.com)
  3. https://hawkpointtechnologies.com/computer-components/ 
  4. How to Assemble a Basic Desktop PC : 15 Steps – Instructables

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Getting certified in the IT industry will no doubt add credibility to your resume. At all levels, but especially entry level, gaining the relevant certifications is a great way to stand out and potentially earn more money.

A survey by the Dice + Linux Foundation states that 80% of IT professionals feel networking certifications are helpful. With a huge 47% of HR Managers more likely to hire someone who is network certified – it makes sense to invest the time and money into gaining the right qualifications.

With so many different networking accreditations available, it can be a challenge to know where to start. With that in mind, we have compiled seven of the most popular certifications in the field and what you can expect from each one.

1. CCNA (Cisco Certified Network Associate)

This is an entry level certification, ideal for people looking to get into networking roles. There are no formal prerequisites, however, Cisco suggests candidates have the following experience before taking the exam:

These are the areas you can expect to cover in the exam:

The CCNA certification is valid for three years.

You can read more about CCNA here.

2. CCNP (Cisco Certified Network Professional)

The CCNP is a more advanced qualification than the CCNA and requires a more in depth understanding of WANs and LANs. The course covers many different areas, including:

There is a core exam,` and one major concentration exam from one of the following subjects:

Cisco suggests that you have already gained the CCNA certification before embarking on the CCNP but it isn’t a mandatory prerequisite.

The CCNP certification will suit IT professionals that want to further their career and pursue the following roles:

CCNP is also valid for three years.

You can read more about CCNP here.

3. CCIE (Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert)

CCIE is a series of technical certifications for senior networking professionals who design, build, implement, maintain, and troubleshoot complex enterprise networking infrastructures.

CCIE has 6 tracks that you can choose to study:

This certification is the highest level that CISCO provides and is considered to be one of the most prestigious in the networking field. Here are some job roles you may decide to pursue once you have completed the CCIE:

The CCIE certification is valid for two years.

You can read more about CCIE here.

4. CompTIA A+

The Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA) is a vendor-neutral, independent source of information on cybersecurity, education, training, and certification of the global tech workforce.

The CompTIA A+ certification is ideal for people looking to get into entry level networking. It is aimed at professionals who have 9 to 12 months of hands-on experience in the lab or field and looking to get into the following roles:

It consists of two main exams covering these topics:

  1. Networking technology, mobile devices, virtulisation, cloud computing, hardware, and network troubleshooting.
  2. Operating system installations and configuration, improving security and troubleshooting software.

The CompTIA A+ is valid for three years.

Learn more about CompTIA A+ here.

5. CompTIA Network +

This certification validates the knowledge and skills needed to troubleshoot, configure, and manage wired and wireless networks. It also certifies a level of understanding around emerging technologies, including cloud and virtualisation.

CompTIA Network+ prepares candidates for the following job roles:

The CompTIA Network + is valid for three years.

Learn more about CompTIA Network+ here.

 6. AWS Certified Solutions Architect

The AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate examination is intended for individuals who perform a solutions architect role and have one or more years of hands-on experience designing available, cost-efficient, fault-tolerant, and scalable distributed systems on AWS.

You will learn:

AWS recommend you have at least 12 months experience in designing systems on AWS before sitting the exam. The certification is valid for three years.

Get more information on AWS Certified Solutions Architect here.

7. AWS Certified Advanced Networking – Speciality

The AWS Advanced Networking certification is designed for professionals who already perform complex networking tasks with AWS and is not an entry level qualification. It is designed to validate a candidate’s skills and experience in connection with performing complex networking tasks on AWS and hybrid IT networking architecture at scale, including the below:

AWS recommends that candidates for this particular certification already hold an Associate level one, for example, AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate. Also, these skills are advantageous:

Again, this certification is valid for three years.

Get more information about AWS Certified Advanced Networking – Speciality here.

There are many more certifications out there. The ones we have outlined above give an overview of what some of the most popular networking certifications entail and what you can expect from each one. Which certification you choose to pursue will, of course, be based on your end goal and where you are currently at in your IT career.

Sources:

https://www.comptia.org/certifications/a

https://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/training-events/training-certifications/certifications/expert.html

https://www.newhorizons.com/article/how-to-become-a-network-engineer

https://www.worldwidelearn.com/guide-to/technology/computer-networking-major/

https://www.quickstart.com/blog/what-is-ccna-and-ccnp-in-networking/

https://www.simplilearn.com/cisco-certifications-ccna-vs-ccnp-rar408-article

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Source, Hire And Manage With Ease

There is no doubt that technological advancement has opened up the world of freelancing in recent years. Communication tools and methods mean we are more connected than ever. This ability to communicate with anyone, at anytime, anywhere around the world means it is much easier to manage a distributed workforce, contractors and remote freelancers.

The 2020 Intuit Report highlights that, ‘The trend of hiring contingent workers will continue to accelerate, with more than 80% of large corporations planning to sustainably increase their use of a flexible workforce.’

Information Technology Outsourcing (ITO) is nothing new, according to a recent publication by Statista, the global market size of IT outsourced services is 92.5bn USD and ITO contract value worldwide is 66.5bn USD. For many large corporations, it is far more logical to outsource the whole of their IT business function to a service provider.

But with the rise of IT freelancing, it is now possible for companies of any size to source, hire, manage and coordinate individual freelancers or teams – here are 5 reasons why hiring an IT freelancer could be right for your business.

1. Direct access to a wide talent pool

When hiring for a full-time position, companies are limited to finding the exact skill set in their local area. By hiring a freelancer, they can cast the net wider – even globally depending on the nature of the work. Access to a platform such as techdeck.io that is purely dedicated to the IT industry, allows companies to connect with trusted talent around the world.

2. Flexible, quick and simple

 If a company is looking to fill a temporary skills gap for a project, going the freelance route is quick and easy. A flexible workforce that can be hired 24/7 means companies can remain agile.

3. High quality work with defined deliverables

 It is in a freelancer’s best interest to do an exceptional job. Hiring a freelancer often means you get an experienced professional that can give a project their full attention. By having a dedicated resource, you can get the work done efficiently, to a high standard, in a time frame that suits your company.

4. Affordable costs

 As opposed to hiring a full-time resource, engaging with a freelancer means you don’t need to think about overheads, such as a workspace, benefits or any equipment. You can manage budgets more effectively by paying a fixed rate cost for the work or agreeing an hourly rate with an agreed Scope of Works.

5. Risk Reduction

Hiring a freelancer for a project or ad hoc job means you can scope out a contract with key deliverables before any payment is made. You don’t have to think about training an employee, investing time and money in the process only to potentially lose on that investment if they decide to leave.

IT professionalsTechdeck can assist in finding you regular, on-demand project work or a permanent position. Sign up today!

Businesses – Tap into our trusted IT network to source, hire and coordinate your global IT resource. Register your interest today!