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Meet Our Leaders: Doug Ford, Microsoft/Mobile/QA Practice Director

May 2018

We caught up with Doug Ford, leader of talent acquisition strategies for Apex’s Microsoft, Mobile and QA Practices. As a Practice Director, Doug oversees national Microsoft, Mobile and QA recruiting efforts, provides training and sourcing strategies, and works directly with clients to create elite candidate profiles. Read more about Doug and what’s trending in our Microsoft, Mobile and QA Practices below.

Doug Ford

Tell us about your role at Apex.
I am tasked with running client qualification meetings to dig into what technologies are absolutely needed and separating them out from the nice to have technologies. I put together customized vetting processes to have our senior engineers test out candidates according to the specific need of a client/manager. I work closely with internal staff to ensure we are finding the best possible candidates through resume reviews and helping ensure everyone has everything they need to be successful on various technical roles. I run strategy meetings with our staff and our clients’ (Directors, VPs, and CEOs) to help solve problems in staffing. I travel to different branches to train internal staff on how all aspects of software development/QA fit together so they can be better equipped to work development/QA business. I dig deeper on managed service engagements to ensure we have a full understanding of what a client is hoping to accomplish and keep everything within budget. I travel to the occasional development conferences, so I can discover how existing and future technologies are being used in the ever changing technological landscape. I do development for internal projects and solving problems I see with my day to day job, whenever the need arises.

What are the latest trends in your skill specialty, and how is Apex responding to them?
There has been an increased client need of Angular Developers who know version 2/4/5. But the lack of knowledgeable Developers with skills beyond version 1.6 are leaving most clients stuck settling for Angular Developers who know version 1.6 and are willing to adapt to the new version on the job or having us help train up the candidate some on the version the client is on prior to starting.

Web Development roles have continued to get more complex. Web Developers need to know more complex JavaScript libraries or full frameworks, more complex OO concepts, deeper knowledge in separation of concerns, leveraging unit testing or end to end testing frameworks for testing their client side code, etc.

The QA landscape has become more complex with roles like Mobile Testers for Android, iOS, and/or mobile web applications, IoT Testers, Penetration Testers, API Testers, Test Automation Engineers, SDETS (who are often true developers with more of a QA mindset), etc.

Apex offers Skillsoft, Pluralsight, and other training options for getting Developers/QA Engineers up to speed on specific technologies.

If applicable, what certifications do you see in demand in your Skill Practice Group?
There has been a sharp decline in Software Certifications in the Application Development world. Microsoft, Oracle, and others still offer certifications for developers, but most employers would rather see experience working with the product.

What do you think sets Apex apart?
We have a knowledgeable practice team of hand-picked experts in each field. Each practice Director has an extensive professional work background in their field and is on top of the technical curve with regards to what’s trending and what other companies are doing to overcome challenges in every market across the US. Practice Directors are equipped to validate must have key skills needed and build out appropriate technical screenings that help ensure we are only sending the best possible candidates who match what the client is looking for.

Fun Facts:

  • I have a large board/card game collection filled with every game from Machi Koro to Tiny Epic Kingdoms.
  • I am a huge craft beer enthusiast. I know many brewers and brewery owners. I go to all of the major craft beer festivals in my local market. And I am always shooting to try new beers of every style whenever the opportunity presents itself.
  • I am very passionate about software development. From learning new programming languages, libraries, and frameworks to stay fresh on my skills, to going to developer conferences and learning new things coming out in the market.

Looking to add top Application and Development talent to your team? Connect with an Apex Systems Account Manager in your area to get started.

Are you in the job market? Apex Systems has over 2,000 job opportunities in locations nationwide. Click here to view them and submit your resume today.