Women comprise the minority of technology professionals – does that make them feel isolated? Not as much as some might think, according to several female developers that we talked to. Gender, they say, can be contributing factor to a sense of loneliness that is simply part of the job. At the same time, being one of a handful of women – if not the only one – in a technical organization can make some feel apart. Click here to find software development jobs. Industry Dynamics It’s the hectic and ever-changing nature of the work itself that contributes to the sense of isolation some women coders feel, says Susan Buck, co-founder of the online community the Women’s Coding Collective . “Keeping up is a challenge, and you compound that with being one of the few women, and it can be difficult,” she observes. In addition, notes another woman, a former Web developer at Yahoo who now works at a large healthcare IT company, developers often move from team to team, which can lead to a sense of isolation as they settle in. Indeed, this developer, who asked not to be named, saw age as a factor when it came to setting her apart. As her team members at Yahoo got younger, her sense of isolation grew. “Most of the younger guys were relatively inexperienced, not long out of college, and perhaps not used to knowing any women coders,” she says. Still, she observes that with relatively few women working in tech, the subtle prejudice against women is a factor to confront. And it can certainly influence how women perceive their job. Attitude Counts Given the solitary and ever-changing nature of the work, it takes a certain kind of attitude to pursue a programmer’s or developer’s career. But women face additional pressures to forge ahead and establish themselves as strong team members. “I’ve always been a woman who has been successful in what are typically considered male roles,” says the former Yahoo developer. “And I’d like to send girls the message that it doesn’t matter if you’re the only woman working with 100 men. Learn to get along with your coworkers, and they’ll likely be more motivated to get in touch with you.” If you are feeling isolated as a woman in tech, addressing that may take reaching outside of your company to establish a network of supportive peers, says Buck. Just because other women aren’t on your team doesn’t mean other women tech professionals aren’t nearby. “Locally, I’d start by looking on Meetup.com and seeing if there are any women-in-tech focused groups in your area,” she suggests. Eventbrite is another good place to look. If you happen to be in an area that doesn’t have an active group of women developers, reach out through online communities and social networks. For example, the Women’s Coding Collective has a general forum where you can virtually meet other women in tech. Buck also recommends checking out the Anita Borg Institute on social media . However you do it, “It’s important to seek out communities of women coders and developers who can serve as inspiration and a sounding board,” Buck says. Related Stories What Makes – or Breaks – Tech’s Top Women 5 Tips for Women to Get Ahead in Tech Women in IT Face Down Stereotypes and Bias Top 10 Tips for Retaining Women in Technology Image: Martin Novak/Shutterstock.com The post Do Women Feel Isolated in Tech? appeared first on Dice News .
Dice President Shravan Goli’s new column in Baseline magazine calls out the need for technology professionals to align career goals with their company’s product road map: “For tech professionals who are eager to advance up the company food chain, the depth and breadth of what’s in store for their employer’s key products can dictate what’s next in terms of career advancement potential.” If a company offers a narrow road map, it could be a warning that future opportunities with the firm will be limited; a dynamic road map, on the other hand, often offers a treasure trove of experience. “A product road map that’s goal-oriented, nimble and innovative indicates a culture that puts a premium on balancing creativity and strategy,” Goli wrote. “One that reads like a treatise—all tactics and vanilla thinking—points to a corporate culture that could be stifling.” You can read all his insights over at Baseline. Related Articles More Tech Pros Earning Six Figures Than Ever Demand for Linux Expertise Drives Hiring Priorities The Most Popular Tech Pros The post How a Product Road Map Can Guide Your Career appeared first on Dice News .
So you’ve decided a career in IT is just the ticket for you. You love technology and hope to one day run an IT staff and save a company millions of dollars with your network, security, and software prowess. And your university has taught you well, the ways of the IT Jedi. What it may not have enlightened you about was how challenging this career would be on your sanity. Anyone who has been in IT long enough will tell you that the field eventually takes its toll on your mental well-being. But, never fear, as there are ways to keep that sanity intact. In fact, I have 10 routes to mental and emotional nirvana that can help you remain on your chosen path for the long haul. 1. Learn to say no. It takes time to come to grips with this one. When you first start out, you will understandably say yes to nearly everything. Why wouldn’t you? Last hired, first fired…right? Because of that, it’s in your best interest to make sure everyone knows you’ll do anything to please. Eventually that attitude will wear you down and you’ll find that saying yes too much will exhaust you and fill you with a sense of bitterness and anxiety. Learn early on to say no. This doesn’t mean you refuse everything. Instead, pick your battles and agree to those things that can actually benefit you without wearing you down. 2. Take breaks. It’s very easy to take your lunch at your desk or while you’re driving to the next appointment. Don’t even be tempted to start down that dark path. It is crucial that you step away from the grind for a period during each day — just to reset your mental meter. Lunch is the perfect time for that. Leave the office and do not return until your break is over. It might be a hard routine to start, but eventually, that break might be the thing that gets you through the day. Beyond your midday break, make sure to give yourself small moments throughout the day to recharge your batteries. 3. Leave work at work. I used to have a ritual that saved me from imploding on a number of occasions. I always wore a watch. When I had the watch on, it was work time; when the watch was off, I was off the clock. Each day when I left the office to go home, I would take the watch off, symbolizing the breaking of the tie between me and work. That silly gesture was actually quite effective at helping me to not bring my work, and its associated stress and tension, home. 4. Get a massage. If you know anyone who regularly visits a massage therapist, there’s a reason why they do it. Not only is it amazing therapy for your muscles, it’s an effective means of ridding your body of tension. Find an outstanding massage therapist and employ their services regularly. If you have the time, make sure to get that massage before you go home. You’ll arrive at the house completely relaxed and free of the tension brought about by a nerve-wracking day. 5. Listen to music. If at all possible, play music throughout the day. I’ve managed to be very fortunate in that I was always able to play music while working. Had it not been for my ability to have music surrounding me, there would have been days you’d find my mental capacity utterly shattered. Just make sure to be mindful of those around you. If you must, use headphones. What you will find is that music will always put you in a good place — even when you’re working in a not-so-good place. 6. Sleep. Sometimes it’s tempting to avoid getting the right amount of sleep. The truth is, no matter how epic your all-nighters may be, they will take their toll on your mental and emotional health. This is especially true if you’re working under very stressful conditions. If that is case, it is crucial that you’re getting seven to eight hours of rest per night. As tempting as that all night LAN party may be, do yourself a favor and turn in. 7. Laugh . It may be cliché, but laughter really is the best medicine. There will be situations that are completely maddening. The only way to get through them is to laugh them off. Sure, it may seem like the absolute wrong reaction to such a situation, but sometimes the only way to face a stressful time is to laugh. 8. Don’t fight fire with fire. If someone comes to you with accusations or demands, don’t turn it around on them or toss a bucket of gasoline on the flames. When a situation like this presents itself, take it all in and think before you react. If knees jerk too much, everyone in the department will be yelling at one another, and rising blood pressure levels will eventually lead to a trip to the ER. 9. Breathe. Every so often you just need to stop and breathe. Oh sure, we all breathe without conscious thought, but sometimes we need to take it to the next level to rid our bodies of stress and tension. So the next time you feel the heat rising, take a moment and inhale a deep, long breath and slowly release it. As you release that breath, imagine all of your tension escaping until you’ve blown it all away. It sounds hypnotherapy-cheesy, but you’ll be shocked at how much good it actually does. 10. Walk away. Sometimes you simply cannot win. When that happens, it’s best you just walk away from the issue. Does that mean you’re running from the problem? No. This simply means you step away so you can come back with a clean perspective and a fresh mindset. That alone will help you avoid a landslide of stress. There’s no reason for you to allow your chosen career to crush your soul and spirit. Before that happens, give one or more of these techniques a try and see if they don’t help you get through the day without pulling out your hair. Do you have a go-to stress relief technique? Or do you just hold everything in and wait until you’re alone in the desert to explode? Which is the most effective method for you and why?
Microsoft has really upped its game over the last four years. The turning point, at least for me, was in 2010 during the Windows Phone announcement in Barcelona. This completely revolutionary platform inspired me, and continues to do so today. Because of this, and so many other recent changes, it’s worth talking about where Microsoft is headed. What will it look like in the future? How does it stack against its competitors right now? Let’s take a look – but first, a little history. Power, products and PowerPoint When Microsoft rose to dominance in the 80s and 90s, it was due to its products, as well as a very cunning business strategy. There was Windows 95, which was a huge commercial success and put Windows-powered PCs on everyone’s mind. The company’s deal to put Windows on IBM personal computers eventually saw Microsoft Windows running on more than 90 percent of the world’s computers. In 1990, Microsoft introduced Office which, at the time, included Word, Excel and PowerPoint. These products would help make the Washington-based company an absolute giant in the software industry. Past Microsoft Office logos From the immense successes of Office and Windows rose a large number of products, some more obscure than others. Do you remember the Microsoft Liquid Motion , a Java animations tool? Or how about Microsoft Comic Chat ? Talking to people who worked at the Microsoft Orbital Head Quarters in the 90s, it’s clear that Microsoft was essentially made up of hundreds, if not thousands, of smaller companies. There was little communication between all of these entities, and though numerous products were released, any actual consistency or sense of unison was hard to find. Unlike Apple, Microsoft was a bit of a Frankenstein creation; where the left arm was from Microsoft Office and the right arm couldn’t even type. This continued right up until the early 2000s. As mentioned, the turning point for me was the announcement of Windows Phone 7. But that wasn’t the only thing that sparked a new era for Microsoft. The introduction of Office 2007 with its ribbon-style controls was a huge change for one of Microsoft’s most profitable product suites. What is now known as OneDrive first appeared in 2007, and Windows Azure (now Microsoft Azure) changed the space of cloud computing in early 2010. What Microsoft was doing was placing all of the pieces in an elaborate chess move. The new Microsoft All of the pieces in this intricate game are only now starting to become the winning formula. You may have noticed that more products being rebranded or named “One.” This alignment aims at a single experience within the product suite from Microsoft: One experience, one company, one user. This bold and highly ambitious plan makes so much sense. As users are becoming increasingly mobile, more connected and more involved, they want a single experience no matter where they are. This is the new Microsoft. In 2012 Microsoft took the final step away from the era of desktops, software on physical mediums and a fragmented product suite. But not in the way you might think. No, the company merely changed its logo. The old existing logo was retired and the current refreshed face of Microsoft was put in its place. The old logo symbolized 25 years of doing a lot of same thing over and over again. Microsoft logo 1987 to 2012 Microsoft logo 2012 While it may seem small, it’s actually quite significant and symbolic; changing the entire company image meant leaving a big legacy behind. Microsoft is now on a path to reinventing itself around a proven existing product suite. One of the keys to this is, without a doubt, OneDrive. This is the backbone of each single user’s personal data, and it provides integration with all platforms. Your Windows Phone will automatically save images to OneDrive, all of the Office products will keep track of last opened docs across devices using OneDrive, and even your Windows user settings will be the same across devices. The new Microsoft is about one experience. And I know you are thinking, “but that is exactly what Google and Apple are doing.” Well, yes – and no. These companies do have an online cloud solution for creating a single user profile and backing up content. Each also has its own smartphones, browsers and computers. But no other company has the complete experience that is Windows Phone, Windows, Xbox and OneDrive, which gives users a unified experience from their pocket to the living room. The new Microsoft may be slightly late to the game, but it holds all of the right pieces, and has the persistency to create something unique. Microsoft and innovation The future is looking bright for Microsoft. Things are only becoming more streamlined, and there are so many new initiatives to bring all of the products even closer together, at least for consumers. Windows is now at version 8.1, and it’s constantly being improved. Finding the balance between tablet and desktop on devices ranging in resolution, using a combination of touch and mouse, and having different relational formats is no easy feat. Windows is not perfect, but it is a lot closer than any of its competitors to bridging the gap between tablet and desktop. And at least it isn’t just doing the same thing over and over again anymore (I’m looking at you, Apple). I truly believe that Windows has the most innovative smartphone platform when it comes to design, unique features, development environment, camera functionality and much more. But as much as I am a WinPhan, I genuinely believe it’s a cornerstone of the Microsoft One strategy. And with the update to version 8.1, a large number of the features users wanted now exist. On top of that, developers are now able to create apps that work across Windows and Windows Phone. Build one app, sell it on both Windows Phone and Windows, and probably Xbox soon enough. Each app can even automatically carry settings across devices, and users only pay once. The One experience is not the only pioneering piece of infrastructure to come out of Redmond. My bet is that you’ve already heard of Microsoft Azure . This cloud solution is capable of a lot more than you might think. Want to host an Oracle database? No problem. Want to create your WordPress site? Done. Want to perform load testing on your cloud solution? Use the Loader IO add-on from SendGrid built right into Azure. And the team behind Azure is adding new features all the time. In fact it is evolving so fast , that by the time books are written and published, they are outdated. The Azure platform is the backbone of Microsoft services, and if you are a developer on the Microsoft stack, chances are you will use it soon. Oh, and did I mention it’s cheap? Very cheap . In fact, you can host websites for free, set up virtual machines at a very low cost. It makes more sense than building your own infrastructure. My prediction is that Azure will become an offering for the entire catalogue of Microsoft services. And despite all the jokes that come to mind, if you mention Microsoft and the auto industry, there are already prototypes of a version of Windows Phone being built for cars . It certainly isn’t finished, and by no means is it pretty, but cars will become part of the “One” vision in the future. Bottom line: Don’t discount Microsoft just yet. Yes, Apple might be selling truckloads of iPhones and iPads, and Google is dominating the smartphone landscape with a list of Android devices. But the old Redmond monolith is breaking up with the past and is the most focused it has been in years.
IT executives continue to express confidence in their company’s business prospects, but worry about the difficulties they face in hiring the technology workers they need, according to the latest CompTIA IT Industry Business Confidence Index. Based on an online survey of 305 IT companies, the index stands at 61.3 on a 100-point scale, edging up from 60.2 in the first quarter. Disruptive technologies and business models were among the issues causing the most concern among IT leaders. “Two areas – cloud computing and mobility – are key factors,” said Tim Herbert, CompTIA’s vice president of research. “With such far-reaching impacts of these technologies, firms across the IT channel are still working through how to best meet the needs of their customers and their business.” Meanwhile, one-third of the surveyed companies said they’re understaffed. Forty two percent are fully staffed but want to hire for expansion. Half the companies have job openings, including 76 percent of large firms, 75 percent of medium companies, 47 percent of small businesses and 18 percent of what CompTIA calls “micro firms.” The majority of open positions include technicians and IT support personnel , application developers , cloud experts , network engineers and security experts . The surveyed companies also said it’s more difficult to find technical workers with the right skills and expertise (57 percent) than it is to find non-technical workers (26 percent). Related Stories Tech Pros’ Salaries, Confidence Rise: Dice Report Silicon Valley Sees Skills Shortages in Java, .NET, PHP Raleigh Employers Look for Software Developers Image: rnl/Shutterstock.com The post IT Execs Are Confident, But Still Face Hiring Difficulties appeared first on Dice News .
Engineering skills are always in demand, raising the pressure on companies that want to recruit and retain the best possible engineers. For recruiters, bosses, and HR staff, what’s the best way to find and hire the right candidates? Over at Entrepreneur.com , Glassdoor executive Allyson Willoughby offers four tips for attracting quality engineers. At the top of the list: Investing the time and effort necessary to find and hire the correct people for a particular job, rather than rush the process. “Quickly hiring candidates who aren’t a good match for the positions or the firm costs time and money,” she wrote. “According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average cost of a bad hire is 30 percent of the person’s salary.” Click here to find an engineering job. Another tip: Hire recruiters to work on-staff, particularly if they already have an extensive network of engineers and other employees who could become future hires. Developing a referral network is also key: “Encourage the company’s IT staff, engineers and other tech minds to help with networking efforts by offering financial incentives for recommending someone who accepts an offer from the firm.” Fourth, it’s important to understand why prospective employees are turning down the chance to work for your company. “Consider conducting post-process interviews with all candidates, including both those who accepted offers and those who didn’t,” Willoughby concluded. “Approach the candidates in a genuine fashion, simply seeking information.” A recent survey conducted by Experis , a unit of ManpowerGroup, found that 40 percent of engineers are looking for a new job in 2014. “At the same time, 95 percent of hiring managers of engineers report difficulty filling open engineering positions,” the company reported. “Eighty-eight percent of these plan to hire engineers this year, while 29 percent do not believe they will be able to find the engineering talent they need for their businesses.” Electrical/electronics, mechanical / manufacturing , and chemical and computer engineers topped the survey’s list of most-desired hires. Related Articles A Hilarious Video of a Business Meeting’s Lone Engineer Majority of Engineers May Job Hop in 2014 Skills You Need to Be a Digital Media Engineer—Now Image: Maksym Dykha/Shutterstock.com The post Tips for Hiring the Right Engineers appeared first on Dice News .
One of the largest contract research organizations in the world, Parexel provides drug development services during all phases of the process, including strategy, clinical trial management, data management, biostatistical analysis, regulatory affairs, medical marketing, training, publishing and advanced e-clinical technology solutions. Based in Waltham Mass., the company operates 76 locations in 50 countries and has 15,000 employees. Parexel has IT opportunities in its corporate IT department as well as its technology subsidiary, Parexel Informatics. The corporate team currently numbers about 1,000 people worldwide, while the informatics unit’s team has grown to approximately 3,000. Click here to find a tech position in the pharmaceuticals industry. Tom McGoldrick, vice president of talent acquisition, says the company is currently looking for Java developers , pre-sales solution architects , IT project managers , senior contact center engineers, senior business analysts , systems engineers and software quality assurance engineers in offices across the U.S. The common skill sets the company needs include Java , Oracle , clinical systems (IMPACT, EDC , CTMS ), Informatica , data warehousing , Agile and Windows . Navigating Job Postings “We have general job descriptions for all positions,” says McGoldrick, “but they are also tailored to specific skill sets. In particular, candidates should pay close attention to the skills and minimum experience listed on the job posting.” The Interview Process For qualified candidates, the process is straightforward. Parexel typically starts with a 30-minute general phone screen with the hiring manager, or a technical phone screen with a team lead. If the call goes well, the next step is an in-person interview with the hiring manager and team members. What Makes a Good Fit? Because its industry is fast-paced, Parexel values candidates who can adapt quickly. “A good ‘cultural’ fit would be someone who has the ability to change pace quickly and can work in a matrix environment,” says McGoldrick. He also stresses that Parexel has made strides recently to foster a “High Performance Culture” with the goal of making its mission all about the “customer journey.” For those unfamiliar with the term, High Performance Culture refers to the values and management practices that are required for continued success. The right candidates will be able to embrace the company and team mission while taking its principles to heart and acting on them in a substantive way. See more Landing@ stories here. Advice for Seasoned Professionals Depending on the position you’re applying for, send references or examples of your work with your application. Advice for New Graduates The best way for recent college graduates to get McGoldrick’s attention is reach out directly. “Showing that sort of initiative right out of college is a great sign to Parexel that the candidate is motivated and ready to attack his or her goals,” he says. Related Stories How to Break Into Statistical Programming in Pharma This Is the Secret to Landing a Job at athenahealth Health Clinic Chain Brings Tech Center to New Orleans Image: Des Blenkinsopp The post CRO Parexel Looks for These Traits When Hiring appeared first on Dice News .
The National Security Agency (NSA) has been taking the heat for several months now, no doubt. And there has been plenty of commentary on the intelligence agency already. Although this blog entry is going to delve into the NSA, I’m not going to share my thoughts on the fundamental controversy of whether the NSA has overstepped its bounds. Instead, I am going to share some interesting details, on what the NSA has been doing with OpenStack. Frankly, it’s pretty neat stuff. Image Upload Teaser Image: read more