December 2013

Monthly Archives

  • Hybrid Cloud Management: Taking Storage Management to the Next Level

    In my last post I wrote about the need for a next generation virtual resource management and capacity planning tool to manage a hybrid cloud. In order to effectively optimize your infrastructure, you need a deeper level of insight than traditional management tools can provide. I thought it might be helpful to give an example of this type of information and what you can do with it. Let’s look at storage management. read more

  • Cloud Administrators and Architects Among Top 5 Tech Jobs in 2013

    As 2013 comes to a close, IT professionals in software development, cloud, mobile, Internet of Things and Big Data not only found their occupations in high demand but also face projections of continued interest from hiring managers and recruiters going in to the new year and all the way to 2018, say industry recruiters and analysts. Software developers, which includes such roles as Web developers, software quality assurance engineers, and computer systems analysts, took the No. 1 spot on a Wanted Analytics survey for the top tech job this year, as well as Forbes’ Top 10 Jobs for 2013 . Driving software developers to the top spot was the frequency of job postings for this position, according to both reports. Forbes, which included software apps developers and system software developers, cited a 7 percent growth in job postings to 70,872 this year from 2010 levels. Cloud administrators also ranked among the top tech jobs in 2013, as demand for managing public, private and hybrid clouds heated up. Cloud services for all three flavors of the cloud are expected to grow to $242 billion in 2020 from $40.7 billion in 2011, according to Forrester. This position was not only a top job in 2013, but it’s expected to stay on the upward trajectory through 2018 and beyond. Cloud enterprise architect is another 2013 tech job that is expected to remain in demand in the new year and through the decade. The popularity of this job is fueled by employers seeking to build their own private clouds and companies looking to offer cloud services to outside customers. Database developers and administrators also ranked on the top 5 list, David Foote, CEO of Foote Partners, told Dice News. He cited the 3.5 percent rise of this position over the past year in his IT Skills and Certifications Pay Index. Database administrators were also among the Top 5 positions last year in a CNN Money survey , which projected a 30.6 percent growth over the next 10 years due to the explosion in data that companies have to consume. Mobile app developers, while technically part of the broader software developer category, have such a high demand among employers that they are worthy of breaking out as a separate occupation. They were a highly sought group in 2013 and will remain one next year and beyond, say executive recruiters. With companies eager to provide a mobile version of their offerings in either an iOS or Android version – or more likely both – it’s understandable why mobile developers were among the top 5 tech jobs in 2013. The post The Top 5 Tech Jobs in 2013 appeared first on Dice News .

  • Why More IT Pros Say ‘No Thanks’ to Becoming CIO

    Want to be a CIO? You’re in the minority. Long hours, lack of prestige and company politics have more IT pros saying they don’t aspire to become CIO , according to a Computerworld survey. Only 32 percent of the 489 IT professionals polled say they are still gunning for the CIO title, while 55 percent say “no thanks.” “Being a CIO doesn’t offer the opportunity to do the cool stuff that IT people like so much to do. It’s about meetings and budgets and politics,” says Stephanie Jurenka, an IT manager at Westway Group, a bulk liquid storage company in New Orleans. Respondents cited a number of reasons their aspirations lie elsewhere: Preference for more of a hands-on role. Title carries a lot of responsibility, but little power or authority. Hours required preclude work/life balance. Relatively low pay. In healthcare, in particular, CIOs face unforgiving deadlines to meet federal mandates, though compensation has not grown in accordance to the workload , according to a survey from St. Petersburg, Fla.-based healthcare recruiting firm SSi-Search. In its poll of 178 healthcare CIOs, 44 percent of respondents say that their duties increased between 25 to 50 percent over the past four years, while 23 percent say their workload jumped 50 to 75 percent. At the same time, nearly 40 percent say their compensation has risen by 10 percent or less during the same time period. Although tech pros prefer hands-on roles, those jobs increasingly are being farmed out to third-party service providers, the Computerworld story notes. At the same time, however, IT pros are finding themselves working in marketing, logistics and other functions outside of IT as technology becomes more deeply embedded in every aspect of the business. “Information and technology are lifeblood for companies: No single department owns them,” says Diane Morello, an analyst at Gartner . These hybrid roles call for a mix of IT and business acumen and by some accounts are growing more rapidly than pure tech roles. The post Why More IT Pros Say ‘No Thanks’ to Becoming CIO appeared first on Dice News .

  • Which Tech Jobs Will Win, Which Will Lose in 2014

    If your job prospects improved in 2013, then you’ll probably like 2014. But there’s a caveat: You’ll continue to lose ground if you’re in a non-strategic IT role, according to David Foote, CEO of research firm Foote Partners LLC. “Overall demand will be about the same in 2014,” Foote says. “But sporadic skill shortages and an onslaught of new certifications will buoy the prospects and pay of professionals in key strategic roles. Professionals in operational roles are on the wrong side of IT and will continue to lose value.” Since 2014 is shaping up to be a mirror image of 2013 from the job market’s perspective, we asked Foote to revisit his projections for 2013 and to explain why cloud, Big Data and mobile development professionals are poised for another great year. Cloud Professionals For 2013, “we forecasted that companies would hire enterprise architects, cloud administrators and resource planners and as a group cloud skills and certifications gained 1.5 percent in market value for the six months ending Oct. 1 and 4.2 percent over nine months,” says Foote. “They outperformed all 348 IT skills and also outperformed the 293 IT certifications in our survey, so we got that one right.” Today, as companies move from planning to implementation, they’re defining the roles to be played by cloud professionals, he explains. Based on Foote’s survey, and what he’s hearing from employers, “we expect the demand for cloud architects , solution architects, administrators and integrators to continue to rise,” Foote says. “It’s not new news but it bears repeating since professionals can still catch the wave.” Big Data Expertise “Last year we predicted good things for database developers and admins and that happened too,” observes Foote. The database skills group in his IT Skills and Certifications Pay Index grew 5.7 percent in market value over the last six months, 4.6 percent in the last nine months and 3.5 percent in market value over the past 12 months. “We expect 2014 to be a good year for DBAs and data managers with one small caveat,” he says. For the most part, large companies have already assembled their Big Data teams. Small and mid-size firms are behind the curve so they’ll be doing most of the hiring.” “The winners will be database developers, architects, analysts and technical specialists, especially if they know Apache HBase, NoSQL or prescriptive tools and analytics,” says Foote. Mobile App Developers and Device Managers Last year, Foote predicted that mobile app developers , wireless engineers and wireless security professionals would be in demand. His prediction turned out to be accurate. As a group, certified and non-certified wireless skills gained 6 percent in market value over the past three months and 17.7 percent in value in the past 9 nine, according to the firm’s survey. Foote doesn’t foresee a drop in demand from the emergence of hybrid phones and mini tablets. “Demand for mobile developers would have ebbed in 2014 if not for these new devices,” he says. One emerging role in the mobility space next year will be device manager. Device managers may work in-house or for third-party firms that oversee employee-owned devices and security for companies and government agencies. Losing Ground For 2013, Foote predicted that security specialists would have a banner year. But while security certifications increased in value by nearly 2 percent over the last nine months, the demand for professionals has ebbed and flowed. “Security is an area where there’s a lot of smoke but not enough heat,” Foote believes. “Everyone wants to talk about the need for security but when it’s time to budget, companies can’t justify spending for protection instead of growth.” The post Which Tech Jobs Will Win, Which Will Lose in 2014 appeared first on Dice News .

  • Governments Worry Over Lack of IT Talent

    Federal and state government agencies facing an IT talent shortage are struggling to deal with an IT talent pipeline that is rapidly drying out, according to a report by Washington-based Freedman Consulting. “Technology talent is a key need in government and civil society, but the current state of the pipeline is inadequate to meet that need,” the report says. “The bad news is that existing institutions and approaches are insufficient to build and sustain this pipeline, particularly in the face of sharp for-profit competition.” That competition comes from Silicon Valley, with its bevy of perks from free food to on-site car care to cool work environments, not mention heftier paychecks. But Politico also points to an inherent difference in attitude among IT workers in the Valley verses those in D.C. Namely, the willingness in California to “run with ideas and ‘break things’” compared to D.C.’s more cautious approach of following protocols and getting chain-of-command signoffs. The challenges in attracting talent to the public sector will likely become greater as baby boomers prepare to retire. Partly because of that, the D.C. area is considered to have strong growth potential for IT jobs . From the employer’s point of view, things aren’t all bleak, the Freedman report notes. It suggests that the need for tech talent can be addressed through a multifaceted approach that pays attention to training and retention as well as recruiting.  But that does seem a tall order given the difficultly in altering the human mindset, especially when you’re dealing with cultures as distinct as Washington and Silicon Valley. The post Governments Worry Over Lack of IT Talent appeared first on Dice News .

  • Hottest Job in the Market: Software Developer

    Software development is the most in-demand skill for technology jobs in the U.S., according to a study by Wanted Analytics. More than 232,000 jobs for software developers have been advertised online in the past 90 days, an increase of 3 percent over the same period in 2012, and more than 120 percent from four years ago. The business intelligence firm considers positions including Web developer, computer systems analyst, IT project manager and software quality assurance engineer as involving development skills, in addition to those concerned strictly with creating software. Seattle saw the highest demand, as well as the largest year-over-year growth – 15 percent. More than 21,000 jobs for software developers were posted there. Rounding out the top five markets were Washington, D.C., New York, San Francisco and San Jose. Wanted Analytics’ Hiring Scale , which scores jobs from 1 to 99 based on their projected difficulty to recruit, ranked software developers a 76 across the nation, indicating they’re tough to find. Cities where the difficulty is greater than the national average include Saginaw, Mich., San Francisco and Baltimore. Employers will find less competition in Santa Rosa-Petaluma, Calif., Columbus, Ga., and College Station, Texas. Interestingly enough, outsourcing company Cognizant Technology Solutions has just announced it’s setting up its U.S. headquarters in College Station – home to Texas A&M – and will hire 10,000 tech workers in the U.S. over the next three years. Software developer also ranked first on Forbes’ Top 10 jobs of 2013 , a list of occupations requiring at least a bachelor’s degree. Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics used in a ranking from CareerCast showed software developers as having the third best job in the country, behind actuaries and biomedical engineers. Those rankings were based on criteria including work environment, job stress, hiring outlook and average salary. Health IT vendors especially have been courting software developers. Orion Health announced plans to add 300 and eClinicalWorks is in the market for 100 . The post Hottest Job in the Market: Software Developer appeared first on Dice News .

  • Budgets, Salaries, Training Point to Strong IT Job Market

    With IT budgets up, salaries increasing and more companies investing in training, it’s a great time to be in the IT job market , says Leon Kappelman, a professor at the College of Business at the University of North Texas. Kappelman, who focuses on IT management issues, was part of the team that compiled the 34th annual  Society for Information Management IT Trends Study for 2013 . “It’s a good time to be a geek: Salaries are increasing, money going to training is increasing — which is typically a sign of employers trying to keep their IT people — and we see turnover increasing, which is typically a sign of a healthy IT job market,” Kappelman told InformationWeek. Indeed, 62 percent of the CIOs recently surveyed by staffing firm TEKsystems said they expect their IT budgets to grow in 2014. That’s up from last year, when just half said their budgets would grow. The higher budgets translate to raises for IT staff, TEKsystems found. Some 47 percent of respondents said they planned to increase their full-time IT employee headcount, while 46 percent expected to hire more temporary IT workers. Meanwhile, a survey by Accenture noted the trend toward increased training . The 400 executives at large U.S. companies in that study said IT skills were their biggest need. It also found that 52 percent of workers are receiving formal training through their companies. Kappelman said several data points in the SIMS study indicate that IT departments are becoming more business focused, an idea that companies have been stressing for years. However, the metrics companies use to evaluate IT projects continued to focus on schedule, budget and customer satisfaction. Ranking much lower were increasing the number of products and services, creating innovative ideas and contributing to revenue growth. “The message to senior management is quit bitching about IT not being strategic, and change their incentives,” said Kappelman. “If you want them to be more strategic, pay them to be more strategic.” The post Budgets, Salaries, Training Point to Strong IT Job Market appeared first on Dice News .

  • How to Get Low-Cost – or No-Cost – Training

    A programmer’s skills need constant updating. You know the story: Technology that was hot two years is old hat as far as employers are concerned – which means they want something different today. And while it used to be companies would spring for the cost of training, that’s become increasingly rare. So, how do you get the training you need? That’s what we explore in this week’s hangout. Our panel — Software Engineering Talent Guide Catherine Powell, C++/C# and Java Talent Guide David Bolton, and NOVA Job Center Career Coach Sharadon Smith — looks into free and low cost options, as well as ways to prove your expertise in skills you’ve already learned. Resources Staying Up to Date   Course Aggregation lists  (aggregator of learning options) Training Opportunities Free MIT’s free online self-guided courses Stanford’s self-guided courses Consulting companies and vendors often offer free training. Paid  (offers many levels of technical training for a subscription price. I recommend the $37.50/month model because it comes with exercise files) thoughtbot (A Boston Ruby on Rails consultancy. This one costs $99 per month without mentoring and $249 with) Design Contest Sites (great ways to get coding experience and network): (Contests in our C++ and Java Talent Communities)  (Data visualization) Companies such as Google and Intel sometimes sponsor competition (look on their websites) Code review sites (opportunity to practice coding and get feedback):   The post How to Get Low-Cost – or No-Cost – Training appeared first on Dice News .

  • Running Systems in Parallel Negates the Value of a Hybrid Cloud

    A hybrid cloud offers the benefit of multiple computing environments that meet different security requirements. Sensitive customer data may be kept in-house, while non-sensitive data is stored and run in a public cloud, for example. But as organizations transition to a hybrid cloud model, the temptation is to run duplicate instances of apps in both the public and private cloud when the goal is to run it all in one location. read more