April 2014

Monthly Archives

  • Greetings from AWSome Day by Amazon Web Services

    Just finished watching a day long series of presentations at the Grand Hyatt Atlanta Buckhead put forth by Amazon Web Services.  WOW!  Tale about a dizzying array of new product announcements…..too long to list here, but suffice it to say – it sure looks to me like Amazon AWS is and will be the 800 […]

  • This Is the Secret to Landing a Job at athenahealth

    Health IT vendor athenahealth made news earlier this year when it selected Austin, Texas, as the site of its new R&D hub . The company said it would create 600 jobs there over the next 10 years. However, that’s just one of the locations where athenahealth is hiring in IT. The company will add about 200 tech positions overall this year, according to Technical Recruiting Manager Amber Jackson. She estimates it will bring on more than 100 people in software engineering , 40 to 50 in product innovation and about 20 in user experience . Its hardware group is growing, as well. Overall, the company has about 3,000 employees. Click here to find more software engineering jobs. At its headquarters in Watertown, Mass., athenahealth has a large group in software development , product management and user experience, as well as folks working on hardware and the back end . Its San Mateo, Calif., operation — which will be moving to San Francisco later this year — is focused on software development, particularly for mobile applications. The Austin R&D operation is also about software development, product management and user experience, both design and testing . The company’s cloud platform, athenaNet, supports doctor’s offices and medical groups with billing, clinical records and patient communication tools. Its mobile offerings include Bugs & Drugs, a reference application that allows physicians to look up disease and prescription information. Though traditionally athenahealth has focused on practices, not hospitals, that’s changing with its latest offering, a care-coordination technology called athenaCoordinator Enterprise. Its Approach athenahealth’s user experience group includes both designers and testers. In product innovation, it’s looking for people with a background in software who have an innovative, problem-solving mindset, Jackson says. They might come from different backgrounds, such as computer science , project management or business analysis . In software development, the company likes people who are smart, motivated and passionate about making a difference to an organization. “We are not a company that will check off a laundry list: OK, you have one year in this scripting language or you have X amount of experience with a Linux system. That is not how we assess whether someone is either a technical or cultural fit,” Jackson tells Dice. “We really are looking for that problem-solving, creative thinking mentality with core skills and experience in software development and computer science as a whole rather than specific languages or systems.” How to Read a Job Posting The company’s technology job postings tend to be general. “You’re not going to find a posting that says, ‘this position will work on this product and this is the goal of this team. This is what you’ll do on day one,’” Jackson explains. “We intentionally write our job listings to be fairly high level – to describe the organization, to describe what it means to be a software developer, a product innovator … because athena is the type of company that is constantly changing and doing different things, constantly innovating.” Indeed, flexibility is key. “We are looking for people who, in addition to having core skills, want to come into an organization that is constantly changing and they may be tapped on the shoulder and told, ‘Hey, we’ve got this new project and you and your team members will be moved onto this project.’ We need people to be flexible and OK with that.” See more Landing@ stories here. Advice for Experienced Professionals athena is looking for candidates who have demonstrated the ability to take on more complex projects throughout their career. If you’ve been asked to take the lead on new efforts or have been promoted regularly, you may be the kind of person it’s looking for. “In some companies, promotion is not really available,” Jackson observes. “In that case, demonstrate that, even if you were staying in the same job, you were taking on more complex projects, you were doing more interesting things that you sought out .” Also, be clear about why the position at athena is the logical next step for you. “If you’re employed and you’re looking to leave your current role, you should have a compelling reason why,” she says. Related Stories athenahealth to Add 600 Jobs in Austin Fastest Growing Tech Firms Focus on Enterprise Tech Jobs: athenahealth, GoDaddy, Tripobox The post This Is the Secret to Landing a Job at athenahealth appeared first on Dice News .

  • Do You Need an Oracle Database Specialization?

    Companies need solid teams if they’re going to build environments to take advantage of Big Data , and what a given company looks for in candidates depends on its specific data needs. If you’re looking to jump in or upgrade, the possibilities for the next 12-18 months may seem limitless. “First and foremost, any skill in the database arena is really, really strong right now and demand for professionals in this space is very high,” says John Reed, senior executive director of Robert Half Technology . The reason: Between business intelligence , Big Data and rapidly expanding data sets, as well as the need to use that data to create better business decisions and dashboards, companies are scrambling to hire experienced technologists. Click here for Oracle DBA jobs. And because demand is go great, employers aren’t focusing on many specific skills when it comes to staffing up for their platform. For example, Reed says, requests for Oracle RAC knowledge are no greater than for any other in the data arena. “It’s all riding the wave right now,” he explains. “Everybody is investing in trying to maximize what they’re doing with data and virtualization and cloud computing . If you’re conversant with Oracle RAC, you’re going to ride that wave, too. Demand doesn’t outpace the other skills sets because they’re equally strong.” That being said, Reed’s noticed a more common need for Oracle solutions in certain high transaction verticals such as financial institutions and healthcare organizations. Overall, the requests for specialized skills sets that stand out for Reed are in virtualization software like VMware . “Having aptitude in those technologies can make the job search of an Oracle DBA a lot easier,” he says. Related Stories Increasing Demand for Oracle DBAs Sample Resume: Database Administrator EMC’s Joe Tucci Forecasts Future for DBAs Image: Oleksiy Mark/Shutterstock.com The post Do You Need an Oracle Database Specialization? appeared first on Dice News .

  • A Tech Career May Not Require a Four-Year Degree

    Do you need a bachelor’s degree to have a successful career in IT? Not necessarily. In some occupations, professionals with less-costly two-year degrees may actually out-earn people with more education, according to research from Georgetown University . In fact, Georgetown says that 28 percent of people with an associate’s degree make more than the median of workers with a bachelor’s degree. For instance, you can make a nice living as a Web developer , application developer , computer programmer , computer support specialist , game designer , systems analyst or network administrator if you have an associate’s degree or relevant college coursework and certifications. The Brookings Institution says half of all STEM jobs are available to workers without a four-year degree. That doesn’t mean you should ignore what a bachelor’s degree can bring you. By 2018, 65 percent of all job openings will require workers to have at least some college experience. Plus, like it or not, some employers won’t even consider candidates who don’t have a four-year degree. What should you do? It’s not a simple decision. You have to consider the cost, quality, and shelf life and relevance of the curriculum, plus your near-term career goals, marketability and potential earnings. Your Path and Earnings Potential While it may be difficult to predict what you’d like to be doing in five years, you need to at least know where you’re headed to determine what kind of higher education you should pursue. Do you want to work for a prestigious company or government agency? Do you want to move into software engineering or IT management or make more than $125,000 per year? If so, odds are you’ll need a bachelor’s degree. Although the starting salaries for professionals with two-year degrees are often higher than those of recent four-year graduates, the bachelor’s degree almost always results in higher earnings over a lifetime, Georgetown says. In fact, computer and engineering managers and software engineers are among the top five earning occupations for those with a bachelor’s degree. Also, consider your marketability. Brookings says employers in certain metro areas tend to require a bachelor’s degree. And when tech hits a down cycle, employers can hold out for candidates with more education. On the other hand, if you’re unsure about your future plans, a community college might be the way to go. If you take the right core classes, you can always complete your bachelor’s degree later on. Calculate the ROI Money is also a factor to consider. Obviously, a scholarship could make your decisions easy, but if you have to pay your own way, calculate the return on your investment by comparing the cost, quality and shelf life of the curriculum to the earnings of recent graduates. For example, it may be difficult to cover the $200,000 a private four-year education could cost you, but relatively easy to pay $64,000 for a similar degree at a state school. When it comes to community colleges, tuition runs an average of $3,200 a year, according to the College Board . If you need room and board, add another $7,500. That would bring the total cost to about $10,700 per year, or $21,400 for your associate’s degree. Once you’ve calculated your costs, think about the amortization. How long will the skills you learn last you? For instance, math proficiency will stay with you forever, but expertise in a specific technology will last only as long as that technology remains in vogue. Most schools will furnish you with the data you need to calculate these things, or you can check the outcomes from different schools at CollegeMeasures.org or Collegerealitycheck.com. The Bottom Line Some employers may be willing to substitute experience for a higher degree, but it’s hard to get your foot in the door with a high school diploma alone. And with the emergence of hybrid jobs and the growing need for communication and other soft skills , a degree is sure to shift the odds in your favor. Bottom line: Some kind of college education is sure to pay off. What you have to decide is which kind of education will get you where you want to go.  Related Stories Can Hacker Schools Provide the Training You Need? Coding Challenges Can Get You a Job Four Strategies for Overcoming Degree Requirements Image: Tungsten/Wikimedia Commons The post A Tech Career May Not Require a Four-Year Degree appeared first on Dice News .

  • The Most Popular Tech Pros

    With an unemployment rate of less than three percent , just about everyone in technology today is popular with hiring managers and recruiters. That said, professionals in Big Data , mobile , cloud computing and security take being favored to entirely new levels – Will and Kate levels. Click here for more developer jobs. We know because hiring managers are requesting these skilled professionals at record levels as measured by job postings on Dice. Let’s break down the all-time highs: An increasing number of companies across all industries are intent on crunching numbers to analyze customer and consumer behavior. That equates to soaring demand and salaries for tech pros with Big Data experience. Leading the way in terms of an all-time high: Job postings for NoSQL experts (up 54 percent year/year); postings for Big Data talent (up 46 percent); Hadoop (up 43 percent); and Python professionals (up 16 percent). With more information stored in more places, the need for IT security has never been more palpable. Atop the list of big gainers on hiring managers’ wish lists: Cybersecurity professionals (up 162 percent year/year), “information security” specialists (up 19 percent year/year) and job postings for firewall pros , including engineers and admins (up 7 percent). Software as a Service (SaaS) makes the most use of cloud computing infrastructure today. A good reason why hiring managers are looking for more and more SaaS developers and project managers (up 20 percent year/year), as well as tech professionals versed in working in the cloud (up 27 percent). Mobile devices, apps and content continue to proliferate – as do job postings for user interface and user experience experts (up 18 percent year/year). Companies are intent on finding ways to not only reach their customers, but create a fresh, aesthetically-pleasing user experience regardless of device. Related Stories Software Developers Feel Growing Power More Tech Pros Earning Six Figures Than Ever Business Unit Coders Are No Threat to IT Image: Dice The post The Most Popular Tech Pros appeared first on Dice News .

  • 2 Little-Known Certifications That Could Get You Promoted

    When it comes to earning certifications, tech professionals always worry about whether it’s worth their time and money. For enterprise architects and IT specialists , there’s some good news: Two credentials earned through the Open Group — including its Open Certified Architect and Open Certified IT Specialist — pay off, though not as you might think. Their value seems to be higher when it comes to moving up within your existing employer, as opposed to getting the attention of new hiring managers. One reason might be mindshare: There are a lot of certifications in the market and it takes time for a smaller vendor-independent consortium like San Francisco-based Open Group to build awareness among recruiters. James de Raeve, the organization’s vice president of certification, told Dice that the credentials are certainly “more popular with people who need to show clients their level of skill and experience.” Also, more companies are using the certifications internally to identify their best talent. Click here to find enterprise architect jobs. Basically, Open Group has a framework for identifying industry standards, emerging requirements and best practices for architects and other IT professionals. Its Open Certified Architect designation is a credentialing tool focused on verifying experience with IT architecture. The Open Certified IT Specialist is designed to confirm expertise in the development, implementation and operation of IT solutions. The process for both credentials requires candidates to prove years of experience and client/technical focus by way of a written application process and peer interviews. There are no training courses or written exams. A Small Network Currently, the Open Certified Architect is held by just 3,925 people at 160 organizations. The Open Certified IT Specialist has 3,028 holders spread across 72 organizations. Both the Open CA and Open CITS programs have three levels. They include Certified, Master and Distinguished, each based on years of experience. The most popular is the Level 2 Master Certified designation. In both programs, that requires three years of lead experience. Given those numbers, the ROI may come as something of a surprise. According to the IT Skills and Certifications Pay Index of Foote Partners, a Vero Beach, Fla., firm that tracks certifications, those with the Open Group Certified Architect credential experienced a 16.7 percent pay gain in 2013, while those with the Open Group Master Architect certification saw a 14.3 percent increase. “We developed these programs because our members asked us to help them identify their senior professional architects and IT specialists,” says de Raeve. “We did this by providing clear skill and experience requirements that such professionals must meet, a process for evaluating candidates through peer review, and a certificate and logo for the successful candidates.” Corporate Participation The Open Group also has an accreditation mechanism through which companies can operate the programs internally. “Some organizations tie certification to promotion,” notes de Raeve. IBM , HP and CA Technologies are accredited for the Open CA program. IBM is also accredited for Open CITS. Despite the company adoption, de Raeve admits the certifications haven’t gained nearly as much traction as his organization would like. Because they’re not exam-based, he says, “recruiters seem to have difficulty fitting them into their mold. Communicating the value widely is a major challenge for a small organization like the Open Group.” Matt Brosseau, director of technology for Chicago IT talent management and consulting firm Instant Technology , observes that hiring managers without a deep understanding of the related skills might not recognize the significance of, or even know about, the Open Group credentials. But having relevant industry certifications on your resume can never hurt, especially if you’re looking to move up. At the moment, he says, the credentials take you “from being knee deep in coding to an artisan of the craft.” Related Stories What’s Better: Online IT Certifications or Advanced Degrees? A Hung Jury on Certifications New Certification: HP Focuses On Embedded IT The post 2 Little-Known Certifications That Could Get You Promoted appeared first on Dice News .

  • More Tech Pros Earning Six Figures Than Ever

    The number of technology professionals earning six-figure salaries has increased for the sixth year in a row, according to new data from Dice . Some 32 percent of full-time tech pros took home more than $100,000 in 2013, according to the findings, up from 30 percent in 2012 and 26 percent in 2011. For contractors , the data is even better: In 2013, a staggering 54 percent of them earned more than $100,000 a year, up from 51 percent the previous year and 50 percent in 2011. Here’s the full breakdown: Full Time, Percent Earning $100k or More: 2010: 23% 2011: 26% 2012: 30% 2013: 32% Contractors, Percent Earning $100k or More: 2010: 45% 2011: 50% 2012: 51% 2013: 54% The graph at the top of this page combines the results from full-time employees and contractors—in other words, all the tech professionals out there. “Technology is now driving the customer experience for companies,” said Shravan Goli, president of Dice. “The more technology professionals can impact the financial performance of a company, the more they deserve to be paid.” Six-figure salaries are “table stakes,” he added, for any firm that wants to attract the right software engineers , designers , and data professionals : “We see it every day on Dice—companies from every industry are pulling out all the stops to recruit talent that enables them to become truly tech-powered companies.” According to Fortune , more companies have turned to tech contractors over the past few years, expanding the opportunities for that segment—provided the contractors themselves have the right skillsets. Dice’s previous analysis of data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics found that the average hourly salary for tech consultants hit $42.17 in February, the latest all-time high for a job segment that’s enjoyed steady gains in monetary rewards over the past several years. (In 2006, the average tech consultant earned $36-$37 per hour, a number that rose in fits and starts to $40 before gusting up to $42.) Tech consultants are working an average of 38.8 hours per week, also a high. Related Stories Tech Pros’ Salaries, Confidence Rise: Dice Report Tech Consultants: Prepare to Get Paid (and Work Harder Than Ever) Consultants: Pay Attention to These 3 Sectors The post More Tech Pros Earning Six Figures Than Ever appeared first on Dice News .

  • Raleigh Employers Look for Software Developers

    What’s New This Quarter It’s been a tumultuous time for Research Triangle-based employees of both Lenovo and IBM as the two companies work to forge a future that will be profitable for both. After a seventh straight quarterly sales decline, IBM expected to post about $1 billion in “workforce-rebalancing” costs during the first quarter. ( A similar plan in 2013 led to some 3,300 layoffs in North America, including hundreds in North Carolina.) Lee Conrad, national coordinator for the employee organization Alliance@IBM, said the company’s Triangle workforce has dwindled from 11,000 in 2006 to between 7,200 and 7,600 today, not counting contractors or foreign workers on short-term projects. At the same time, PC maker Lenovo will nearly double its presence in North Carolina after agreeing to pay Big Blue $2.3 billion for a line of servers . It’s the second major deal between the two companies. In 2005, Lenovo entered the U.S. market and became a major local employer when it acquired IBM’s PC business and the ThinkPad brand. The new deal will boost Lenovo’s server business exponentially to more than $5 billion in annual sales, and calls for Lenovo to keep about 7,500 IBM employees in 60 countries worldwide — including many in the Raleigh area. Lenovo, which has about 2,500 employees in North Carolina, will nearly double its presence in the state after taking on the IBM workers. Going forward, IBM will focus on its profitable software and services and try to shed more of its lower-profit hardware businesses. Click here to find a tech job in Raleigh. In better hiring news, a $100 million investment at Dude Solutions in Cary will triple the software firm’s 220-employee headcount over five years. The company, which provides cloud-based software that helps schools and other entities manage their IT and energy consumption, is the parent company of both SchoolDude and FacilityDude. TiVo plans to grow in the area as well, announcing that it has acquired Durham-based Digitalsmiths for $135 million. Skills in Demand According to February numbers from the North Carolina Technology Association, the state’s IT job pool is shrinking, down 7 percent in January compared to a nationwide 3.8 percent decline. Nevertheless, the NCTA says there is still a need for skilled employees with expertise in Java , SQL , Oracle DBMS , Windows OS and business analysis . “ Software development continues to be the hottest skill set, specifically .NET , UI and UX along with HTML5 ,” says Chris McCrea, senior regional vice president of recruiting firm Robert Half Technology . “The demand for these skills continues to increase as companies focus on the user experience. We’re also seeing an increase in the need for network and systems administrators with an emphasis on security , help desk / desktop support talent with experience migrating systems to Windows 7 and above, and MongoDB .” Sixty seven percent of the Raleigh technology executives surveyed by Robert Half Technology said that network administration is among the skill sets in greatest demand within their IT departments. Desktop support and Windows administration followed. Local recruiters say demand is strongest for database managers , desktop support staff, Web developers specializing in Java and .NET, business intelligence experts and data warehousing experts. Salary Trends According to the 2014-2013 Dice Salary Survey , the average salary for a Raleigh-based IT professional is $85,559, up 2.3 percent from the previous year but 2.6 percent below the national average tech salary of $87,811. Meanwhile, a survey by RHT reports that 15 percent of Raleigh-area CIOs plan to expand their teams during the first half of 2014. Another 65 percent plan to hire only for open IT roles. Eighty four percent were optimistic about their companies’ prospects for growth in the first half of 2014, and 70 percent felt confident in their firms’ plans to invest in IT projects. Leading Industries Biotech/Science Pharmaceuticals Financial Services Information Technology Healthcare Local Employment and Research Resources NCTechNews News & Observer/Technology North Carolina Technology Association TechJournal Triangle Business Journal WRAL TechWire Related Stories With More IBM Layoffs Due, Vermont Seeks Better Notice IBM ‘Workforce Rebalancing’ Includes Plenty of Hiring Lenovo Acquires IBM Server Business Image: spirit of america/Shutterstock.com The post Raleigh Employers Look for Software Developers appeared first on Dice News .

  • HP Ships CloudSystem 8

    Hewlett-Packard has made generally available CloudSystem 8, which combines all the necessary infrastructure technology for building private and hybrid clouds. HP released its so-called “converged system” for cloud deployments April 4, roughly four months after introducing CloudSystem 8 at the HP Discover conference. The “next-generation” system is designed to provide greater control over hybrid environments through new […]

  • SAP Business Suite Moves To The Cloud

    SAP has introduced a cloud version of its flagship Business Suite. New Business Suite customers or current ones now have a choice between buying an on-premise license or paying for all or part of the suite through subscription pricing. Customers choosing the cloud will access the suite through the SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud service, where the applications […]