July 2014

Monthly Archives

  • Microsoft’s Future…More about Mobile and Cloud

    Microsoft’s future will be less devoted to its Windows operating system as it continues to push into mobile and cloud services, CEO Satya Nadella said, using his keynote speech at the Worldwide Partner Conference to talk about where the company is headed. “We are the company and the ecosystem that will build productivity experiences and […]

  • Good News: Recruiters Want Tech Pros Across All Regions

    Pop quiz: Which U.S. region offers tech pros the best prospects for jobs over the next six months? The answer, according to Dice’s latest semi-annual hiring survey, is “all of them,” with a majority of hiring managers and recruiters nationwide saying they want to hire more technology professionals throughout the balance of 2014: The good news doesn’t end there: Whether reporting from the West, Midwest, South or Northeast/East, recruiters suggested that tech pros were feeling confident enough about the market to ask for more money from prospective employers: While the good news about hiring trends is pretty uniform across the survey’s four regions, some of the variations between those regions are striking. For example, of those recruiters who said it was taking longer than ever to fill open positions, some 54 percent of those in the West believed it was due to difficulties in finding qualified applicants, a regional increase of 9 points from November 2013; by contrast, some 48 percent of respondents in the Midwest complained of the same difficulty—a drop of 6 points from November 2013—while 46 percent of those in both the South and Northeast/East experienced issues with finding the best-qualified folks for the job. The thermonuclear-hot startup scene in Northern California might have much to do with Western recruiters’ difficulties on the hiring front. In a bid to draw talent, some young tech firms around San Francisco have expressed a willingness to shell out substantial sums as referral bonuses , among other incentives. Of those recruiters who reported that the time needed to fill open positions was actually shrinking, some 32 percent in the West said it was due to an ease in finding qualified candidates, ahead of the Midwest (22 percent), Northeast/East (8 percent) and South (4 percent). How can the West lead in both recruiters reporting difficulties in finding qualified recruits, and those saying that finding suitable hires is easy? A hot market attracts professionals, filling a talent pool from which companies can draw, provided the latter is willing to pay enough to bring in those top candidates. The West also leads in recruiters reporting “slightly increased hiring plans” (35 percent) and either at the top or near the top in companies willing to pay some degree of higher salary for new hires. (The West heads the list of regions in wanting candidates with six years of professional experience and up, which could partially explain that higher-salary trend.) It’s possible that Western companies with excellent reputations and compensation packages can pull in the best of the best from the local pool without needing to engage in extensive searches, even as other companies in the same region struggle to fulfill their own talent requirements. In a heartening sign, a full 79 percent of recruiters across all regions felt that layoffs weren’t likely within the next six months; roughly 72 percent also reported that the number of voluntary departures hadn’t increased since 2013, hinting at employee happiness. The majority of salaries for new hires will reportedly stay level or slightly increase in the near future, with recruiters in the Midwest leading (slightly) on the latter with 48 percent: In the years following the Great Recession , every quarter has seemingly offered its share of bad news: Unemployment is up, or not going down fast enough; economic growth is anemic, or predicted to fall; market segments struggle to recover, or disappear entirely. While the economic situation could always shift again—after all, the collapse that precipitated the Great Recession came as a surprise to many—this latest data suggests some cause for (dare we say it) optimism. More Articles June 2014: Dice Hiring Survey Tech Pros’ Salaries, Confidence Rise: Dice Report More Tech Pros Earning Six Figures Than Ever Image: Jirsak/Shutterstock.com The post Good News: Recruiters Want Tech Pros Across All Regions appeared first on Dice News .

  • Here’s the latest on OpenStack

    I think an update is in order to my original OpenStack blog post . Over the last six months, we’ve seen Icehouse, the software’s ninth release, come out of the gates, along with a very successful summit in Atlanta. So, let’s do a quick recap to see where it stands now. By the numbers There’s some really interesting information that has come out of surveys from the Atlanta summit . This is really interesting information on the size of installs, environments and what versions are currently in use. OpenStack components I mentioned in my previous post how OpenStack is written in Python (basically 2.x, but there’s some momentum to rewrite everything to 3.x within the next few major releases). One of the strengths and challenges of such a large and encompassing cloud management platform is that it does a lot of things.  All of these things are split out into modules: compute (“Nova”), object storage (“Swift”), block storage (“Cinder”), networking (“Neutron”), dashboard (“Horizon”), identity service (“Keystone”), image service (“Glance”), telemetry (“Ceilometer”), orchestration (“Heat”) and database (“Trove”).  You can easily search online for more information on each of these, so I won’t get into the details here. This modular architecture may allow the community to work in a more agile way, but also comes back to pose challenges, as everything basically still needs to communicate with each other to provide a unified, seamless platform. Platforms Another thing you might notice from the recently published numbers is that Linux rules as the underlying operating system of choice.  So, if you want to gain a certain level of respect, and be able to show or prove you know your stuff, you’ll also need to have some advanced skills in Linux. Along with Linux being the leading operating system, KVM is the leading choice for hypervisor, with VMware and Microsoft Hyper-V (on Microsoft Windows) quite far behind on use. Interfaces There are several basic ways you can interface with OpenStack that come packaged: dashboard (web browser interface), command-line, Python API and a REST API (for custom interface development). For the most part, I typically lean toward the command-line interface, but will fall back on the dashboard when I’m not sure what command to use. Deployment Setting up OpenStack, even in a controlled environment, can be quite a big task.  Fortunately, if you’re looking to get something up relatively quickly, maybe for a proof-of-concept, there are some great tools out there.  Tools like Red Hat’s packstack or devstack can get you up and running quickly with OpenStack. Personally, I’m a bit of a Red Hat fan, so I’m partial to following anything it does.  If you’re somewhat familiar with Linux, you may know about Fedora (this is free, and more of a Linux desktop version) and CentOS (a free Red Hat Enterprise Linux clone), which are both supported by Red Hat and work with packstack. These automated installers are very useful, but remember that to consider yourself at the master level, you’ll want to install from scratch.  I honestly haven’t tried this yet, but it’s just a matter of time before I do, in order to gain the whole experience. I find I learn the most when something doesn’t work as expected or I have to actually troubleshoot or read the documentation, or even install files before I can really grasp how it all works. Is OpenStack “better”? I’ve never been a big fan of trying to pick which technology is better.  A few years ago, it seemed to be a debate whether Linux or Microsoft Windows was “better.”  I was never interested in these opinion-based debates, rather, I like to use the best fit. In the private cloud space, VMware seems to have the bigger market share.  I saw a recent reference on Twitter that compared VMwar e and OpenStack like this: If you have money, use VMware; if you have time, use OpenStack. Now, nothing is that simple, because most organizations have a limited amount of money, and they also have to consider that OpenStack can have integration challenges since it’s not as polished.  It can be quite costly when something isn’t done right from the start, and considering that it might be beneficial to have a Python programmer help with any integrations, time isn’t the only factor you need to consider before implementing an OpenStack-based private cloud. It’s honestly hard to imagine OpenStack becoming a major player in the public cloud arena against the likes of Microsoft, Amazon or Google, for example. Industry convergence Just like Hadoop, quite a few companies were maybe too excited to launch their own distribution.  As reality set in, we saw one recent big partnership between Intel and Cloudera. There was also a relatively big acquisition by Red Hat (of eNovance), so there may be other shake-ups including an acquisition of RackSpace (one of the original project founders). Resources Make no mistake, if you think OpenStack is easy to grasp, you’re not wrong. But mastering it can be a challenge. After all that, if you’re still with me, Pluralsight is launching an introductory course to help you along with your learning experience.  There’s nothing like having an experienced professional lead you through your training, and using their own insight to help you succeed. A very interesting resource that was announced at the Atlanta summit is a new publication called Superuser .  It’s definitely worth checking out to supplement your learning experience. With the next release, Juno, planned for mid-October, OpenStack continues to move forward.  With most technologies, any hint of slowing down in updates can be a sign of weakness, but this doesn’t appear to be a problem with OpenStack. Only time will tell if it’s here to stay. To access Pluralsight’s latest OpenStack course, click here .

  • Larry Page Thinks You’ll Only Work Part-Time for Our Robot Overlords

    Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin rarely sit down together for a joint interview, but venture capitalist Vinod Khosla managed to get them both onstage for nearly an hour last week. It was not an occasion for small ideas, with the pair discussing everything from healthcare and search to machine learning and the need for companies to tackle massive problems. (A complete transcript is available, as is video .) In contrast with most other tech companies, which choose to focus on a few core products, Google remains unafraid to spend resources on multiple avenues of research, even if that opens the firm up to accusations that its operations are spread too thin. During the interview, Page suggested that Google knows its limits, and that many of its diverse products eventually end up integrated in some fashion. “I think it sounds stupid if you have this big company, and you can only do five things,” he said. “I think it’s also not very good for the employees.” Click here for Google-related jobs. Page believes that technology has the ability to radically change society’s current structure, as it’s reduced the work and resources necessary to provide housing, security, food and opportunity to vast swaths of the population: “The idea that everyone needs to work frantically to meet people’s needs is just not true. I do think there’s a problem that we don’t recognize that.” And even if resources were distributed in a way that met the population’s needs, he added, people would still want to work, if only to feel needed and productive. His solution—a bit muddled in the telling—involves somehow recalibrating resources to more evenly serve society, while reducing the number of hours that individual employees work so that everybody can get a job, even a part-time one: “Most people like working, but they’d also like to have more time with their family or to pursue their own interests. So that would be one way to deal with the problem, is if you had a coordinated way to just reduce the workweek. And then, if you add slightly less employment, you can adjust and people will still have jobs.” It’s questionable, of course, whether society would accept the idea of chopping up full-time jobs into itty-bitty ones, just so more people would have something to do, but Page isn’t one for accepting the current paradigm. After all, this is a man who not only helped build the world’s most successful online search engine (and the advertising platform that pays for it), but whose company is now exploring everything from drones and autonomous cars to smartphones that can understand commands spoken in natural language. Sergey Brin, who co-founded Google with Page, is likewise interested in “transformative” movements, whether the self-driving cars that he feels could radically alter how people move from Point A to B, or the high-altitude balloons that could serve the Internet to large segments of the developing world over the next few years. “We try to invest, at least, in the places where we see a good fit to our company,” he told the audience. “But that could be many, many bets, and only a few of them need to pay off.” Brin agrees with page that intelligent machines will gradually replace more and more roles traditionally assigned to humans, and sees that as a good thing. “We do have lots of proof points that one can create intelligent things in the world because—all of us around,” he said. “Therefore, you should presume that someday, we will be able to make machines that can reason, think and do things better than we can.” Some very smart people don’t agree with that rosy assessment of artificial intelligence. In a recent appearance on John Oliver’s HBO show , physicist Stephen Hawking suggested that a sufficiently intelligent robot could prove a “real danger in the not-too-distant future,” enacting plans beyond the will of its human creators. But at least our Robot Overlords might force us to work only 20 hours a week. Related Articles Google Exerting More Control Over Android Ecosystem Google I/O: Android ‘L’ Makes Its Debut Google Glass Tweaks Could Irritate Some Early Adopters Image: Khosla Ventures The post Larry Page Thinks You’ll Only Work Part-Time for Our Robot Overlords appeared first on Dice News .