Smoothstack Reviews

Smoothstack Reviews Your Career in Cybersecurity

There has been an iceberg-level shift in the focus of the cybersecurity industry.  Cyber hygiene via annual training is no longer dominating the attention of cyber leaders. Technology and techniques have become weaponized to extort large amounts of money from individuals and companies alike. According to the New England Institute of Technology, it is estimated that cybercrime will cost companies over $6 trillion just in 2021. This has opened an emerging technology career path that isn’t going away. As one of the leading IT apprenticeship programs in the United States, Smoothstack possesses an in-depth understanding of both IT hiring practices and the trajectory of the IT and cybersecurity field. Within the past few years, a growing number of businesses have been forced to rely on cybersecurity analysts and experts thanks to the global movement towards remote work and digital transactions. In preparation for the large number of cybersecurity positions that will be available in the upcoming years, Smoothstack will review careers in cybersecurity in hopes of inspiring young professionals to join this dynamic and in-demand field.

Cyber Attacks

An increase in cyber attacks has had a ripple effect throughout the industry.  More specialized cyber roles are needed to prevent, respond, and deloy offensive tactics to protect the United States’  infrastructure and commerce.  

Within weeks, major cyber attacks on both the Colonial Pipeline and one of the largest meatpacking plants in the country.  Attacks like these cost companies millions to regain control of their data and systems. Companies are taking proactive measures by hiring cyber specialists. This has created a competitive market and increased wages for talent, driving the average salary over $90,000. 

Even before the term cyber attack became a household term, industry experts recognized a significant gap in trained cybersecurity personnel. In 2018, the unfilled need in the United States alone was almost half a million workers.  Over half of all companies surveyed identified this recruiting gap as putting their company at risk, according to (ISC)².  According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, cybersecurity jobs will grow by over 30% by the end of the decade.  

Cybersecurity Brings Diversity

Cybersecurity continues to grow as the profession of choice among women.  According to  The Synack; Diversity and Inclusion Report, women in cyber roles increased from 11% to 25%. The need is still there for equal representation.  74% of K-12 girls expressed an interest in a STEM career.  This gives the industry hope that the answer to the workforce shortage is to harness young talent, particularly females. 

With over 3.5 million cybersecurity jobs to fill in 2021, a diverse workforce is a must.  Diversity in cybersecurity helps better anticipate threats against underrepresented communities. It also brings together different backgrounds and experiences that may help prevent new types of cyberattacks. In upcoming blogs, Smoothstack will review diversity within the Cybersecurity field and the importance of women in cyber roles. 

Where Do I Sign Up?

Cybersecurity is a whole industry. There are dozens of specializations within the field. You might find your calling as a network engineer, penetration tester, SOC analyst, incident responder, cybersecurity auditor, or even cyber workforce planner. People that don’t view themselves as technical can still find success in cyber roles.  Smoothstack stresses that the industry needs critical thinkers who are perceptive and analytical to fill the growing number of cybersecurity positions.

There are many onramps to a career in cybersecurity beyond the traditional 4-year degree pathway. Executive Order 13932 supports competency-based hiring for federal jobs, including cyber roles.  Breaking into the industry can start with self-taught skills, cybersecurity certifications, hands-on experience, or transferable skills.  Smoothstack supports those wanting to begin a career in cybersecurity through non-traditional pathways by using competency-based hiring practices.

If you would like to know more about a career in cybersecurity, Smoothstack is ready to help you start your journey. 

Our Top 5 Emerging Technologies

The landscape of technology careers continues to evolve. It’s no longer a matter of choosing between programming languages such as JavaScript, Java, and .Net.  Whole new technology careers are opening.  Here, Smoothstack reviews our top five emerging technologies that are likely to be dominating careers in the years ahead.


Cybersecurity events are no longer viewed simply as data breaches.  They have escalated to attacks.  Stealing data and credit card numbers have escalated to taking over systems and holding organizations and their data hostage in exchange for large sums of money.  It is estimated that cybercrime will cost companies over $6 trillion just in 2021.  Targets have changed from banks and large retailers to key infrastructure providers such as pipelines, utilities, and food processing facilities.  Anyone can become a target.  How much would it be worth to you to have all your family photos returned to you after being encrypted by a hacker?  Or worse, regaining control of medical devices for someone on life support. These are just some of the cyber scenarios that are plaguing our world today.  With over 3.5 million cybersecurity jobs to fill in 2021, there are lots of opportunities.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML)

Not too long ago, Dick Tracy was the only person talking to his watch.  Today not only can you speak to your watch, but you can also talk with your watch, thanks to artificial intelligence.  Autocorrect when you are texting or suggestions when you are typing in most mail, and word processing systems are all common uses of artificial intelligence.   Most of us have benefited from emerging technologies and machine learning with Waze or Google maps when it tells us how long it will take us to get somewhere.  Machine learning is also responsible for your phone knowing what to do when you take a picture of a check to deposit.  The two concepts work hand in hand to make computers more human-like and human-friendly.  Artificial intelligence and machine learning will continue to become more common as they automate tasks in transcription, translation, accounting, medicine, customer service, and many more areas.

Data Science and Analytics

If you love combing through mountains of data, a career in Data Science and Analytics may be for you.  It was not too long ago that the computing power to analyze a lot of the data was only available to certain government agencies.  The same technologies that have allowed the human genome to be sequenced also enable online retailers to anticipate products you might like.  Data scientists organize data so that it can be used effectively by organizations.  They are usually the first to identify trends that others can leverage.  Data analysts are more like historians, pulling lessons from the data.  This helps a company be more efficient and profitable.  Data is increasingly important in medicine, climate studies, consumer products, and more.  It’s a great time to jump into Data Science and Analytics.

Robotic Process Automation (RPA)

Robotic Process Automation brings a lot of technologies together all at once.  Sometimes it is simply referred to as software robots.  It may be cloud-based and leverage both Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning to automate processes.  There are lots of benefits of RPA.  Robotic processes increase productivity, reliability, consistency, and accuracy.  It also improves compliance with regulatory requirements.  Popular uses of RPA include customer service, accounting, financial services, healthcare, human resources, and supply chain management.  Careers in RPA can involve business process analysis, RPA engine development, and RPA configuration. 


Almost all our applications are starting to move to the cloud.  Google, Microsoft, and Amazon are just some of the cloud providers who have taken advantage of emerging technologies.  Companies are also setting up their own private cloud infrastructures.  Developing and maintaining cloud applications requires a diverse team of specialists.

Cloud architects build the cloud infrastructure and make sure that it can integrate with various functions. Cloud administrators develop, enforce and update access policies.  They also establish security protocols and procedures, monitor and ensure uptime, and assess the need for technology updates.  Cloud security analysts make sure the company or user is safe from cyberattacks.   

Software engineers continue to develop new software that functions entirely in the cloud instead of on your computer. Adobe and Google offer an impressive suite of apps that can operate in the cloud. Spotify gives you access to all the music in the world and runs in Google’s cloud.  The goal is to be able to operate anything from anywhere, and the cloud offers that.

If you would like to learn more about a career in any of the emerging technology areas, reach out to Smoothstack for more information.

Smoothstack Reviews Soft Skills That Can Help an IT Professional

A smoothstack coder reviews his work

When we think of IT, we immediately think of the technical skills that you need to be successful such as: coding, computing, debugging, design, and a host of others. Smoothstack reviews its training process for new IT professionals, and the company realizes that there are also many soft skills that help someone new to the career develop into a seasoned professional. Here, Smoothstack looks at some of these soft skills and how they factor into the day-to-day work that an IT professional performs.


Communication is extremely important in the IT field for many reasons. For example, an IT professional will need to actively listen to others to help develop a proper solution for their problem. They will also need to convey details of a problem to both non-technical and technical audiences. Many IT professionals are great at communicating with people of similar minds, but have trouble bringing their lingo to a level that can be understood by those outside of the space. A benefit of learning how to communicate with individuals from outside of IT is that it can help reinforce principles that can improve your work. When Smoothstack reviews the importance of communication, the company realizes that it is crucial to have strong written communication skills as well. This is because documentation, emails, and ticketing systems are all much simpler when an IT professional knows how to write effectively.


One of the beauties of IT is that professionals are always looking towards the future to anticipate and develop solutions for the tech needs of others. This requires the ability to problem solve creatively while using your imagination to evaluate potential solutions. While there will be individuals in any career that simply go by the numbers, the best IT professionals are able to think of unique and helpful solutions to the problems that they encounter on the job. By harnessing strategy, forward thinking, analytical skills, and open-mindedness, new IT professionals are setting themselves up for success in their craft. Smoothstack realizes that a commitment to creative thinking keeps workers flexible and empowers them to keep up with advancements in tech and the problems that users encounter daily.

Planning and Organizational Skills

IT is project-focused, which means that professionals will need planning and organizational skills to be fully successful in the space. Managing deadlines, completing tasks, and working on competing priorities simultaneously necessitates an organized mind and a commitment to helpful processes. Proper planning also empowers IT professionals to anticipate problems and work towards converting them into opportunities. Smoothstack reviews planning and organization skills and their relevance to IT and acknowledges that there are several different ways to improve your ability to keep tasks in order. You will want to ensure that you can add structure to a project, isolate smaller tasks within larger ones, and have contingency plans for if problems persist after your first attempt.


Smoothstack maintains that IT is a fast-paced industry. To this point, IT professionals need to stay up to date on training and best practices to ensure that they keep up with advancements in technology. The professionals that do best in IT have a sense of drive and motivation that makes them want to stay on pace. In fact, many recruiters seek out enthusiastic applicants because they tend to be the ones that perform the best work day-to-day. Luckily, there are several ways to keep motivated to benefit your career in IT. For example, you can demonstrate enthusiasm and drive by remaining optimistic in the face of obstacles, bouncing back from setbacks, and by keeping a goal in mind that you can work towards. With a commitment to determination, new IT professionals can develop as they prove themselves to their employers.

Smoothstack Reviews Why the Job Market for IT Professionals is Growing

The US It job market remains steady during its post-COVID recovery, as salaries start to increase while organizations struggle to fill certain IT positions necessary for doing business. Smoothstack reviews the IT space frequently and acknowledges that there are many reasons why the industry is continuing to grow while we return to normalcy. Here, Smoothstack evaluates a few of the reasons that the job market for IT professionals is growing as well as what this means for individuals planning a career in the field.

The Growing Influence of Technology Across Sectors

During the height of the pandemic in the US, companies that were best able to pivot in the face of new obstacles were those that had a firm handling on their technological and digital resources. When Smoothstack reviews reasons for the boom in demand for IT professionals, the company finds that businesses across sectors were already shifting to more digital solutions as technology advances. Many are surprised to learn that less than half of IT jobs are employed by the tech industry. Instead, many IT professionals are preparing for employment in other spaces. For example, hospitals, manufacturing plants, schools, and a host of other entities have needs for IT workers- and the list is only growing. The diverse ways that technology can be used in different spaces only continues to grow as the influence of technology does. Simply put, IT careers are in demand because so many different businesses require the assistance.

IT is a Constantly Evolving, Yet Stable Field

Partially linked to the variety of career opportunities that exist in the IT field, one reason for growth in the space is because of its stability. Technology is constantly improving and becoming more optimized for users, which means that IT professionals must evolve alongside it to continue to perform their essential duties. The pursuit of knowledge as a function of their job duties means that IT professionals are often able to grow their careers faster and easier than individuals in other industries. The learning process ensures that IT professionals are not likely to be left in the dust as technology and its usage expands. Another aspect of the IT field that contributes to its stability is that careers often pay well and provide a worker with the skills and training necessary for growing their career. Smoothstack reviews how its training process stacks up to other industries and finds that the unique learning experience that IT provides prepares people for several different types of employment.

IT Careers Can Be Easier to Break into Than You Would Think

Smoothstack frequently evaluates its new hire training process and finds that people with baseline IT skills can develop into highly effective IT professionals relatively quickly as long as they have aptitude, a desire to learn, and a passion for IT. Experts realize that switching to a career in IT is well within reach for professionals even though it may seem daunting at first. Because IT has expanded so much within the past few years, individuals that wish to find a job an IT can often secure one that fits their unique set of interests and skills. Some find that the soft skills that they have developed in other phases of their careers already set a strong foundation for work in IT. Despite IT not being as difficult a space to break into as people may think initially, those planning for a career in IT will still want to think about what they want out of their future field. Helping people, having the ability to solve problems, and being empowered to show off your creative side are common reasons for branching off into IT. Smoothstack notes that prospective IT professionals will also want to ensure that the path to their career includes all necessary training, certifications, and the ability to work with established IT leaders. 

The Low Code Challenge

To code or not to code – that is the question.  Smoothstack reviews show that Low Code solutions have been around for more than a decade as Rapid Application Development (RAD) tools, but now we are in a new era.  There are many Low Code options to choose from; Appian, Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics, ServiceNow, Boomi, Caspio, Outsystems, Quickbase, and VisionX are just a few of the Low Code options.

No Code is the direction that many applications are going.  Microsoft Dynamics is a popular Low Code tool that is moving towards No Code.  The difference being Low Code still often requires custom plugins, scripting, or JavaScript, whereas No Code is configuration only.  It is a tall order to fulfill when you think about the logic that goes into some programs.  Most vendors will tell you that the trick is not trying to get these new tools to do what traditional programming does but figuring out how functions can be done within the new programming framework. 

Slow Adoption

Not everyone is embracing Low Code solutions.  A recent digital government survey found that only 21% of government execs are currently using Low Code development.  Everyone likes what they are familiar with.  That is why you still have ASP and Access applications throughout many government agencies, years after they should have been replaced.   Many organizations still have one guy who does Cobol CICS.  Low Code platforms aren’t the answer to every problem, but they can significantly reduce the cost of development and maintenance of many business applications. This can reduce the need for both in-house expertise and the labor to develop new applications.  State and local governments could move much faster and potentially reduce costs by moving to Low Code applications.  Think about that the next time you are handed a paper form at a government office.

Now Is the Time

One of the unexpected impacts of Covid19 was the significant reduction of paper forms.  Many government agencies have made the jump to Low Code just to continue to service their clients.  Some applications have been rolled out in months rather than years.  One Federal Agency rolled out the Low Code Interagency Resource Ordering Capability (IROC) to manage wildfire response resources in real-time.  Previously, it required manually entering data into 26 different systems. 

Smoothstack Reviews show Low Code can be a cost-effective alternative to custom development for a lot of applications.  Most organizations can’t transition all their applications to Low Code, and it’s probably not a viable strategy anyway.  Low Code can help you make the most of your existing data and infrastructure, but it’s perhaps not a replacement.    Think of it as a new tool for your toolbox. 

Taking the Plunge

According to the Economic Times, over 500 million applications will be developed in the next five years.  This is more than all the applications developed in the last several decades.  For programmers that think Low Code is going to eliminate their jobs, the opposite is probably true.  Programmers are going to focus more on APIs and integration with legacy applications.  Low Code development is likely to be split between traditional programmers and business staff in the future.  There is still a fair amount of programming knowledge needed for many applications, but the trend is towards configuration only.

For organizations looking to take the Low Code plunge, bringing in a Low Code development team can be an alternative to retraining everyone.  This helps create the logical structure for the IT organization of the future.  Low Code becomes the access layer to all the legacy applications that an organization already has.  This preserves the IT investment that companies have already made, and it extends access to customers and staff that did not exist before.  Traditional programmers work with Low Code developers to create optimum solutions. Smoothstack would love to build your Low Code talent team for you.  From start to finish, we will create an entire team to meet your Low Code needs.  They can be remote or on-premises, depending on your needs.  Reach out to find out more. #buildyourownworkforce #codeforexcellence

Smoothstack IT Apprenticeship

We live in a time when too many people interested in technology are being turned away because they don’t have the requisite experience. This doesn’t even include the two-thirds of all women who don’t even consider tech because they believe, or have been told, that the barrier to entry is too high. Smoothstack is working to change that. Smoothstack reviews their modern-day apprenticeship model, optimizing it for the twenty-first century. Smoothstack’s apprenticeship consists of 6 phases: Application Process, Engagement Period, Training, Marketing, Deployment, and Mentorship…and it all starts with you!

Application Process

First, you apply for a role that suits you best at  This action will kicks off the application process, which consists of several steps:  

1) Depending on the role, you will take a coding challenge or applicable assessment. 

2) If you pass, you will be invited to an initial pre-screen call where our recruiters will learn about your background and determine whether you would be a good fit for Smoothstack.

3) Assuming the role would be a good fit for you, you will be invited to a video screening with a member of Smoothstack’s technical team. There you will be asked technical questions to ensure you have the baseline technology requirements in order to be successful as a Smoothstackemployee. 

4) Those who excel, will receive a letter about the acceptance to the engagement portion of the apprenticeship.

Engagement Period 

Well, at this point you’ve already passed a technical screening, and we already believe that you’re a good technical fit. We still want to make sure that you also have other necessary qualities to be a SmoothstackApprentice. For example, how quickly you grasp new technical concepts, how you collaborate or communicate with your teammates, and how well you deliver requirements and meet deadlines. Those who excel in these areas will receive an offer letter from Smoothstack. Once you accept it, you’re a full-time Smoothstack employee which means the official training starts and you’re getting paid for being trained.

Employee Training 

Employee training usually takes around 12-14 weeks and is mainly project-based. As you attend daily classes with Smoothstack trainers and learn new skills, you apply them to capstone project(s) and build on top of it until your training is finished. You will work in a simulated work environment that follows Agile methodologies and will receive requirements from your product owner and Scrum master. This will prepare you to hit the ground running when you start working on Smoothstack client project(s). 


By the end of the training, you will have completed your first project. You will meet with one or more of our employer partners and present the work you’ve done during training. A client that finds you and your skills a good fit for their team will request you for their project(s). 


The 1st thing that happens is a salary adjustment. Your salary goes up from a training rate to a deployment rate. You meet your new teammates and start working on projects. Since you’re still a Smoothstack employee, we want to make sure that you are successful while working with our clients, and we are here to support you. 


Smoothstack staff will be communicating with you regularly. We want to get your feedback on your role and provide support or additional training if you need it. We will also be reaching out to your supervisors and getting feedback on your performance, and letting you know where you stand. This continues throughout the whole Apprenticeship which lasts about two (2)  years. Smoothstack believes that there are so many talented people out there that deserve to be in the Tech Industry, and we make sure those individuals claim their spot. 

Learn more about Smoothstack’s open roles by visiting:

Smoothstack Reviews Biggest IT Trends of 2021

The information technology (IT) industry is a $5B industry that plays a critical role in almost all sectors, including healthcare, manufacturing, transportation, education, and energy. As the US continues to lead in technology innovation, information technology is quickly becoming the backbone of both national security and economic growth.

Smoothstack has successfully kickstarted hundreds of IT careers for individuals across the US through their modern-day IT apprenticeship program. Their success is attributable in large part to Smoothstack’s high-quality employee training, rigorous hiring process, and adaptability to ever-changing industry needs. The IT landscape changes quickly, and paramount to providing quality upskilling is not only the ability to adapt quickly, but to also identify areas in which upcoming trends will shape IT. Here, Smoothstack reviews the latest IT trends of 2021 and how they will impact the technology industry.

Focus on Privacy 

Over the past two years, the IT sector has experienced a never-seen-before emphasis on global data protection. In 2020, the number of remote workers tripled due to COVID-19 and the need to connect the workforce within a virtual environment. As a result, companies are seeking better solutions to ensure company data remains secure within this new framework. The IT community has responded with both novel privacy-enhancing computation and cybersecurity mesh. Privacy-enhancing computation helps secure sensitive data, protecting it during processing. Essentially, this allows for collaboration without the sharing of sensitive data. Cybersecurity mesh allows business to decouple policy decision-making from policy enforcement and effectively establishes security perimeters around individual parameters rather than securing the organization as a whole. This creates a modular security architecture that is more manageable and more responsive to outside threats.

Intelligent Composable Business

One of the most talked-about trends of 2021 is intelligent composable business. This new concept leverages business capabilities and applications into interchangeable building blocks. Composable business is based on four main principles: speed through discovery, agility through modularity, leadership through orchestration, and resilience through autonomy. Intelligent composable business will not only accelerate digital business progress but will help businesses adapt to economic changes more quickly.


Although MLOps or “Machine Learning Operations” is not a recent technological innovation, COVID-19 has put a new focus on MLOps and their application. No one can deny the massive impact COVID-19 has had on the global workforce; with new changes to operational workflow, traffic patterns, and inventory management, many AI operations began to react unexpectedly and Drift. Drifting takes place when AI receives data that it was not taught to react to. One of the main functions of MLOps is to detect anomalies in ML model development and alert IT teams so they may fix the issue and make improvements.