September 2014

Monthly Archives

  • Recruiter Tips for Making a Job Comeback

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    Anyone who’s been out of work for several months, or even a couple years, knows they run the risk of a prospective employer dismissing them as “long-term unemployed” and placing their resume at the bottom of the pile. Despite that challenge, it’s possible to beat the odds.

    Matt Brosseau of Chicago staffing firm Instant Technology has been able to help a few candidates who’ve been out of work for what, at least in tech time, is eons. “It can be hard,” he said in an interview, “and it depends on the technology that they’re working with. We’re in one of the rare industries where all of the standards and protocols can shift… even in a year or two.”

    Click here to find developer jobs.

    Since technologies evolve rapidly, Brosseau stressed that it’s critical for tech workers to maintain their skill set: Taking online courses, continuing to code, completing certifications, or engaging in outside projects should constitute a foundation for anyone’s “time off.” Working your old network, and seeking ways to add to it, is crucial; being open to lowering your employment sights a bit (however difficult that may be) could improve your prospects as well.

    Retrain and Network

    Some time ago, Brosseau worked with a front-end Web developer who had taken two years off when his child was born. It was obviously a worthy, albeit risky choice. The developer had not only moved out of the industry when several new technologies were becoming standard, he decided to return when the economy was still limping. He had no clue about Ruby, for example, although it had become a widely accepted language during his absence.

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    The developer quickly found out that, despite interviewing well and having an admirable resume, he wasn’t going anywhere career-wise. Brosseau convinced him to enroll in an entry-level Ruby class at Chicago’s Starter League, and also directed him toward available government financial assistance to help pay for the program.

    “It not only introduced him to the technology but to several key players in the area,” Brosseau recalled. “The Starter League has its own network of professionals. He was able to meet people and got a referral that ended up helping him get a job as a Web developer with Ruby.” While the position wasn’t at the high level he might have expected if he hadn’t chosen to stay at home with his baby, it was comparable to the job he had left two years before.

    Certify and Accept Short-Term Employment

    Another Brosseau client was a downsized network engineer who had been out of work for a little less than a year. Hardware and software doesn’t shift quite as fast in this area of the tech industry, so specializing was his key to finding employment. He obtained a Cisco security certification, which allowed the recruiter to place him in a 6-month contract opportunity. “He did a good job and was a benefit to their team,” Brosseau said, “and they hired him full-time as a network administrator and engineer.”

    Sneak In at Mid-Level

    If you’re overqualified and older, it can be very difficult to break back into full-time employment. Brosseau recommends going back for training, with an eye toward picking up a current or emerging secondary skill set. “It can allow a senior level candidate the ability to sneak back in at a mid-level range,” he said. “Even though you’d have the higher-level general skill set, specializing in something relatively new opens doors.”

    He also noted that it’s possible to attract hiring personnel in this scenario: If you want back in, and accept the fact you won’t assume your previous career level at the outset, emphasizing your desire to take your recently acquired skill into the workforce shows commitment and an ability to stay up-to-date. If you leverage any applicable earlier experience to match the position’s other requirements, you’ll make for an even closer fit.

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  • Is an Ethical Hacking Certification Worth Earning?

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    It seems like every other month that a major corporation suffers an epic hack, with millions of customers’ data stolen. In the aftermath of those attacks, many companies are turning to ethical or “white hat” hackers to test their defenses. But is ethical hacking an effective counter to unethical hacking, especially when those who practice the latter can do pretty much whatever they want with a wide variety of tools?

    Ethical hacking’s cause isn’t helped by the fact that the EC-Council, the Albuquerque, New Mexico-based organization that offers a certification in ethical hacking, was hacked in February. (It doesn’t get much more meta than that.) Michael Goldner, dean at EC-Council’s University, insisted in an interview that the breach occurred downstream: “Our website was secure, but the hosting company under contract had weaknesses in their systems.”

    Click here to find IT security-related jobs.

    Whatever the cause of the EC-Council breach, ethical hacking as a concept isn’t undermined—but it isn’t the sole solution to the Web’s chronic vulnerabilities. According to Jeff Williams, CTO at Contrast Security, a Mountain View, California-based interactive application security testing company, a realistic approach to defending an organization’s systems involves threat modeling, security architecture, building strong defenses, security testing, code analysis, and eventually some sort of ethical hacking to test potential vulnerabilities.

    Williams argues that unbreakable security is a myth: there will always be unethical hackers, and sometimes they will succeed in breaking into a system. “But if organizations monitor the attacks on their infrastructure and respond appropriately, they can learn and make themselves stronger,” he said.

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    So is there value in an ethical hacker certification? The hack at the EC-Council isn’t exactly a vote of confidence. But the EC-Council’s ethical-hacking certification isn’t the only one that falls under the umbrella of DoD 8750, the Department of Defense directive that established baseline certification guidance for Information Assurance (IA) positions; other, related certifications include the CISSP, OSCP, and Security+ CE. “Typically, these certifications are offered after a class,” Williams said, while cautioning: “None of the skills that hacking requires is easily measurable in a class and exam format.”

    Marc Maiffret, CTO of BeyondTrust, a Phoenix-based privileged account management and vulnerability management software-solutions company, admits that while certifications are a start, an ethical hacker needs real world experience and on-the-job training. Like Williams, he’s also a realist: “There is no match for someone with unlimited time and resources… If someone wants to get into your organization, they will.” To minimize the impact of an attack, he added, organizations have to adopt an approach that focuses on monitoring and regulating user privileges once a breach occurs.

    “Certifications are a calling card to say you’re committed to the industry, the profession, and lifelong learning,” said Philip Casesa, director of service operations at (ISC)2, a Clearwater, Florida-based nonprofit organization that specializes in information security education and certification. “To maintain certification with us, you have to do education credits. You have to keep learning new technology, skills, threats and protections.” An organization’s commitment to security, he added, ultimately matters far more than any one certification.

    Hiring managers are still on the lookout for certifications, and that’s what ultimately matters with regard to getting a job. Cameron Camp, a malware researcher in the San Diego offices of ESET, an IT security company, believes that certifications continue to offer substantial value and a bit more. “They provide a base level of knowledge, and that’s important,” he said. The onus is on the professional to put in the time on the job. “Core development work isn’t always pretty, but you need to apply your skills in the real world.”

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  • Smaller Tech Firms Paying More for Top Talent

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    How much is a good software engineer worth?

    If you’re Weeby.co, here’s the answer: $250,000 a year plus equity. As company CEO and co-founder Michael Carter framed it to CNET in an interview, the competition for the best talent is so fierce, smaller tech companies have little option but to pay top dollar, especially in areas such as Silicon Valley where the cost of living is so high.

    Click here to find software engineering jobs.

    Whereas talented engineers at a tech giant are just one of hundreds contributing to a massive, often pre-existing product, Carter added in his CNET interview, “that same engineer at a small company could be the difference between failure and a billion dollars.”

    At Weeby, engineers aren’t handed that $250,000 all at once; from a starting salary of at least $100,000, their paycheck increases by $10,000 per month until they hit that magical quarter-million figure. Over four years, an engineer could potentially make a cool million—and that’s before you factor in equity. But all that lucre isn’t simply handed out; engineers face monthly performance reviews and the constant pressure to perform above and beyond.

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    For those who aren’t walking into a company with a much-publicized starting salary, a couple simple tips can help secure the paycheck you deserve. After an offer’s made, take the time to review the salary, equity offer, agreements, and any other materials offered by the potential employer. Ask yourself how the deal compares to others you’ve received in the past, or the average salary for people with your years of experience. If the offer isn’t quite to your liking, but you think you’d enjoy the job, prepare to negotiate for more money.

    The average tech salary hit $87,811 in 2013, up a bit from $85,619 the year before, according to Dice’s annual Salary Survey. Developers skilled in R, NoSQL, MapReduce, Hadoop, and other popular languages, frameworks, databases and skills can earn a comfortable six figures. With that in mind, Weeby.co’s offer isn’t that much of an outlier, even if it does underline how competitive things have become.

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  • Want ‘significant’ business improvements? Cloud computing may be the answer

    Cloud computing is a phrase that has taken on great meaning in recent years. Today, organizations of various sizes and industries have already adopted the technology or are planning on doing so in the near future. Firms that truly want to reshape business operations may not have a more cost-effective and flexible way of doing so than implementing a cloud service.

    The August edition of Harvard Business Review detailed findings of a Verizon-commissioned survey of nearly 700 corporate and technology decision-makers and discovered 57 percent view IT investments as drivers of company growth and innovation, Enterprise Tech reported. The 54 percent of early cloud adopters indicated they have witnessed "significant change to their business models."

    Some businesses taking wait-and-see approach
    Although firms have a chance to replace antiquated equipment in favor of cloud environments, some organizations have yet to make this transition. The study found 34 percent of participants find themselves in this situation, most likely due to the idea that "change can be disruptive – and hard." Harvard Business Review explained engineering, marketing, operations and IT departments must all collaborate to achieve a successful deployment.

    "The main reason given for not adopting new technologies was cultural resistance to change within the respondent's organization. While legacy technology is an inhibitor for many established companies, entrenched ideas about how the organization works – legacy culture – can be just as limiting," the Harvard Business Review study said, as quoted by Enterprise Tech.

    Rather than taking the opportunity to embrace new technologies, 35 percent of participants classify themselves as "followers" that only make a move on a solution once benefits are clearly identified. Another 31 percent consider themselves "cautious" and wait until tools reach full maturity.

    Make the cloud transition with confidence
    Companies that wait too long to adopt the cloud may be the last ones to leverage the technology and all of its flexible functionality. Businesses in this position will likely find themselves lagging behind the competition for the foreseeable future unless they take action soon. Firms worried about the implementation process should seek assistance from migration tools that minimize complications and boost efficiency.

    RISC Networks CloudScape system enables businesses to determine how their applications, servers and workloads function in a cloud environment before launch. Adopters can view whether they will experience any performance issues ahead of time to make any necessary adjustments to avoid complications before the service ever goes live.

    The post Want ‘significant’ business improvements? Cloud computing may be the answer appeared first on RISC Networks.

  • The Key Skills Needed by Cloud Engineers

    Cloud Skills

    To outsiders, cloud computing sounds like something lightweight, fluffy and full of rainbows. But cloud computing is actually very deep and technical, and requires engineers to be versed in the cutting edge of technology.

    If you’re an expert engineer in another discipline, you may already have many of the skills you need to succeed in the cloud. And since the cloud is still fairly new, you can set yourself apart by being able to apply what you know to learn fast on the job.

    Click here to find cloud engineer jobs.

    A Mix of Operations, Software and Architecture

    As a cloud engineer, you need to understand the ins and outs of building and running software in the cloud. Although this role typically requires programming and scripting experience, the specific language requirements tend to be a bit more relaxed than in traditional engineering jobs.

    What you need:

    • AWS, Azure, OpenStack. You should be familiar with at least one of these. If you are well-versed in one stack, that knowledge will translate fairly easily to designing software for the others. Of course, that will involve a bit of learning on the job to do it well.
    • Web Services, API, REST, RPC. The underlying foundation of cloud architecture is based on APIs and Web Services. You probably already have experience with these types of service patterns and protocols from working on websites, and that knowledge will give you a head start on mastering cloud fundamentals.
    • Virtualization, Storage, Networking. In the world of cloud computing, these skills can be very useful for designing and operating applications. If you’ve got these skills, that’s a very good thing! At the very least, you should have a strong general programming background, because without it the learning curve may be a bit too steep.
    • Disaster Recovery, High Availability, Fail Over and Redundancy. These are methodologies that are central to operating software in the cloud, and are skills you typically get in an operations role. What if you haven’t done operations before? As long as you’re familiar with these concepts, the pieces related to cloud architecture can be learned with a little bit of experience and training on the job.

    The best candidates for a cloud engineer’s role will possess strong technical skills, the ability to think through business use cases (does this system need to scale to accommodate increased traffic?) and an intellectual curiosity to learn new tools and technology.

    Is that you? Then you may be ready to reach for the sky and start engineering the cloud.

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  • Private cloud computing services poised for lift-off

    The cloud computing industry is dominated by different services including public, private and hybrid models. Although all three are enjoying increasing success and adoption rates, private solutions in particular appear to be striking a chord with businesses worldwide, as the demand for these suites is expected to increase at a consistent rate in the coming years.

    A recent TechNavio report projected the global private cloud industry to expand at a compound annual growth rate of 22 percent between 2013 and 2018. The research firm explained private tools are "secure and distinct," delivering powerful "-as-a-Service" functionality through a virtual environment with the support of physical equipment. Private services also include data, hardware, storage and applications.

    Public clouds differ from private counterparts because of accessibility. The former model involves cloud systems shared by multiple tenants. Private platforms are only used by a single business. This is important to many organizations, especially those concerned over keeping unauthorized parties from viewing sensitive data and other resources.

    Private cloud users outsourcing maintenance
    Companies no longer have to manage every facet of their IT departments if they adopt cloud computing. This is because vendors handle these tasks, enabling customers to refocus on internal corporate goals, building their brand up in the process.

    A Technology Business Research report found the cloud market will be worth $41 billion in 2014. Through 2018, the industry will experience compound annual growth rate of 14 percent to $69 billion.

    Of the organizations polled, 70 percent rely on third-party service providers to manage their private clouds, while 30 percent perform these tasks on their own. In the next two years, TBR expects more companies to partner with vendors due to security and complexity challenges with their cloud environments.

    Overall, 59 percent of companies cited security as their No. 1 concern or pain point regarding using cloud solutions. Nearly 20 percent expect to hire third-party vendors to address these challenges, TBR found.

    "As private cloud matures, growth is entering a different phase that is driven more by the flexibility and ease of management than by just security or cost savings. The skills gap in implementing, migrating and managing private cloud is driving customers to seek vendors that deliver clear and end-to-end migration road maps," said TBR Cloud Practice Manager and Principal Analyst Allan Krans.

    Clients want personalized service
    Customers interested in adopting cloud computing do not want any type of model – they desire environments suited to their specific operational needs. Cloud vendors that try to offer all types of services may struggle to attract new clients and keep them on board for a long time. This is especially important given that cloud solutions are available through subscription-based pricing models. If a client is not satisfied with the results, it can simply take its business elsewhere.

    Cassandra Mooshian, a cloud analyst at TBR, said some of the world's largest cloud vendors have some of the lower customer satisfaction scores compared to other service providers that offer "more focused portfolios.

    "Trying to be all things to all people deters customers that want those tailored and specialized solutions; think of Walmart versus a grocery store," Mooshian added.

    Organizations that want a secure and functional cloud model should feel right at home with a private deployment. First-time adopters should make sure they conduct some extensive research before selecting a vendor to avoid partnering with a service provider that only offers broad suites. Otherwise, businesses will have to put in more work to find a company that can, rather than experiencing the advantages of the technology itself.

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  • Best Practices for Selling B2B Tech Solutions

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    By John White

    Throughout my career, I’ve sold Big Data, software, hardware, GPS, cloud services, mobile applications, and a host of other types of productivity-enhancing technology solutions into SMB, mid-market, and enterprise. Along the way, I’ve developed some best practices that have enabled me to be more effective in my approach. Here are four techniques I’ve used that will help you sell technology and close more deals:

    Utilize Social Media First

    Long before meetings occur with C-level decision makers, you must find a way to get your foot in the door. You may have heard that cold calling is dead. It is true: Nobody likes to receive a 100 percent cold call. Gatekeepers have been highly trained to recognize a cold call, and to never put a cold-calling salesperson through to a live body. So, how do you avoid making cold calls, and circumvent the receptionist? Forward-thinking sales professionals and organizations have figured out more strategic prospecting methods. If you haven’t already, consider leveraging social media to tap into large professional networks to find key decision makers and make warm calls.

    Click here to find B2B sales positions.

    The conversation to selling technology typically starts with IT. Find your target company’s IT staff members on Twitter or other social networks. Engage them by interacting on their posts, sending them value-based information not just of your products, but other industry news that they may find valuable. Once you have established a relationship with their IT staff via social media and demonstrated your expertise, ask for a meeting.

    Be a Trusted Consultant

    A consultative approach is the only way to sell technology. Dumping a blanket solution on your client is a great way to not get a second meeting. Prior to the first meeting, spend time researching the company you are meeting with. During the initial meeting, use open-ended questions to learn about their business. Before selling a client on an ROI model for your product or service, you must become an expert in their business so that you fully understand their pain points and the areas they would like to make improvements in. Only then you can make value-based recommendations that will provide specific benefits to each client’s unique business needs.

    Strategically Sell the CFO

    If you make it past the first meeting, it is likely that the CFO will be included in subsequent discussions and will be a key player in the decision process. Gaining CFO support can be the most challenging portion of the sales cycle. After all, CFO’s are paid to uncover risk and potential challenges that will prevent an ROI from ever being realized. Creating business-impacting value propositions that are cost-effective will improve your success with this critical decision maker. In order to do so, your presentation must be backed by detailed financial data with quantifiable benefits that include a well-supported analysis. It also helps to include a case study or two of how your product or service has benefited a similar company.

    Ease Their Mind Regarding the Transition

    Every company has made bad decisions regarding technology where either it did not work the way it was intended to, the implementation went horribly wrong, or it ended up costing more money than initial projections, causing the ROI model to turn upside down.

    Fear regarding the transition period is one of the biggest objections you will get when selling technology solutions. Find out what their fears are and what has gone wrong in the past, early on in the sales cycle. Then, it is your job to ease their mind regarding the transition to your product or service. You must convince them that your solution will be implemented in the smoothest and fastest possible manor, causing minimal disruption.

    In order to effectively demonstrate this, you must present your change-management strategy in a compelling way. Provide specific details on how the transition will go, and make sure the expectations are clear. If possible, get letters of recommendations from past clients that will speak highly of the smooth transition you provided for their company. You can tell them how great your implementation process is until you are blue in the face. However, third-party data regarding this experience is far more impactful.

    Selling technology in B2B is not an easy endeavor. There are competing companies, technologies, sales professionals, market changes, and many other barriers you will face. Coming up with a strategic approach will make life much easier.

    Are there any techniques or tips for selling technology that you have used to increase your success rate? I’d love to hear from you. Please comment below.

    John White is a dad, MBA candidate, sales and marketing expert, B2B technology and communications consultant, and blogger.

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  • 3 Interview Questions for Scrum Masters

    The Scrum master’s job is to put a framework on the software development process. If you’re implementing Scrum, you’ll need organizational and management skills, since you’ll work with the product owner on the product’s requirements and development. You’ll also work with the development team to make sure it’s adhering to Scrum practices.

    Interview QsBeing a Scrum master takes serious people skills, says Jonathan Silva, customer success manager at Axosoft, a Scottsdale, Ariz., software company. “The entire time, you have to foster seamless communication between the product owner, team members and stakeholders, and it takes people skills to foster that relationship.”

    Click here to find Scrum master jobs.

    During interviews, be prepared to be tested on your soft and technical skills, says Steve Porter, community and member services director for Scrum.org, a training and accreditation organization. However, the bulk of the interview questions will likely involve resolving interpersonal problems and a candidate’s negotiating style, he adds.

    Here are some questions you can expect to hear.

    Describe a specific interpersonal conflict that you’ve handled and resolved as a Scrum master?

    • What Most People Say: “Once I stopped two developers from fighting. I sat them down and listened to each one’s side. Then I had them agree that getting no work done was unacceptable. They agreed, and I got them to resolve their issues.”
    • What You Should Say: “Two of the developers on my team were having serious design disagreements about the new WordPress plugin we were developing. Their progress was at a standstill, and our deadline was fast approaching. I pulled the two developers aside and listened to the problem as presented by each. One had major concerns about the direction originally set during sprint planning, while the other was defending the decision originally reached in the planning session. We were able to determine that the former developer felt his design input was not being taken seriously. He agreed to set aside his design alternatives and go with what was decided by the team. He has since begun preparing more rigorously for planning sessions to ensure his ideas are taken into consideration.”
    • Why You Should Say It: The response needs to be revealing, so it shouldn’t be just a series of events. Set up the situation, describe the problem, and detail the action you took. Explain what you learned in the process. Get specific about your approach to conflict resolution and your negotiating style. A good Scrum master has to be both a mediator and referee.

    You’re a Scrum master, and your development team is constantly getting interrupted by the head of sales, what do you do?

    • What Most People Say: “I would go and talk to the head of sales and explain that they need to talk to the product owner instead of bothering the team. It’s important that the team stay focused on their current work, and it’s the product owner who is responsible for what the team is working on.”
    • What You Should Say: “I would educate the team members on how to effectively deal with these interruptions.”
    • Why You Should Say It: The Scrum master’s primary role is to teach, educate and coach. If you’re solving the team’s problems, then they don’t learn how to solve the problems themselves. The people who are closest to the challenges need to be the people coming up with solutions.

    We’re looking to improve our team’s velocity by 10 percent this quarter. How would you achieve that?

    • What Most People Say: “I think I can help you reach your goals by ensuring that the teams are able to focus on the work inside the sprint and not get distracted by non-critical items.”
    • What You Should Say: “You say you want to increase velocity by 10 percent, but what are you really looking to improve? How are you measuring the value of what your teams deliver? Is your customer satisfaction low, and you want to improve it? Is your time to market bad? If so, have you analyzed why? Do you feel your team is not working hard enough? Velocity isn’t a value metric and shouldn’t be used as a yardstick to measure teams. There really shouldn’t be a suggestion on how to raise velocity.”
    • Why You Should Say It: If you ask a team to increase that number by 10 percent, they can often achieve it without returning any increase in value back to the organization. It’s your job to educate the organization on the Scrum framework. An excellent Scrum master should teach a product owner that he or she is responsible for maximizing value, not velocity or even productivity. Often a large amount of value can be returned, even when your velocity is low.

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  • Even small, local shops are embracing the cloud

    The fact that small businesses and startups can use cloud computing is a reason behind the technology's overall success. Local stores without robust IT departments can still take advantage of similar functionality found within large enterprises without wasting resources on on-site equipment that may never be used to full capacity.

    A new brand that can enter a market fast is essential for establishing a presence right out of the gate. Since management tasks are outsourced to the cloud vendor, customers can go about their business and focus on the finer details of hopefully generating short- and long-term success. Should a company need additional resources, the service provider can add such functionality quickly and easily without disruption.

    CNBC recently highlighted how some small businesses have benefited from cloud-based environments. Corning, New York-based Tough Pups – a pet daycare and training facility, relies on the technology for all types of purposes, including bookkeeping. Leo Sanders, founder of the company, receives payroll alerts directly to his phone.

    "I don't have a lot of time to sit down and dedicate specific blocks of time to do certain tasks – it can be very disruptive to my day," Sanders told the news provider. "When it comes to companies that almost automate tasks like this, it levels the playing field."

    If more small companies like Tough Pups embrace the cloud, the global industry may reach even greater heights than current projections, which are still impressive in of themselves. Gartner believes 33 percent of organizations relying on office solutions will implement the cloud in some capacity by 2017, up from only 8 percent in 2013. By 2022, this percentage could achieve 60 percent penetration, totaling nearly 700 million end-users and annual investments exceeding $400 billion, CNBC reported.

    Startups can hit the ground running
    Entrepreneurs looking for ways to quickly get their shops up and going may not have a better solution than cloud computing. The technology's affordability, flexibility and accessibility make the service ideal for any type of business. A joint survey of 1,300 U.S. and U.K, organizations conducted by Rackspace, Manchester Business School and Vanson Bourne discovered nearly 90 percent of adopters experienced the cloud's cost advantages. Another 56 percent generated revenue and 49 percent increased operations.

    Brian Nicholson of the Manchester Business School noted how valuable the cloud is, especially among startups.

    "Cloud computing is heralding a boon for startups at a time when they are most needed. By making high-end computing resources available on flexible payment terms at the push of a button we are significantly reducing the level of investment required to set up shop," Nicholson said.

    First-time adopters can't rush or wait too long
    Companies that have not integrated cloud services into their operations should not rush to do so. Businesses that do not do their due diligence when comparing the available cloud solutions on the market and the vendors offering these services will not make the most informed decision pertaining to their unique needs.

    However, while firms cannot rush the implementation process, they should not wait too long to get onboard the cloud bandwagon. As each year passes, more organizations launch cloud environments. In a few years, those not relying on the technology may be in the vast minority, struggling to keep pace in their respective markets.

    Few technologies are available to the masses. Cloud computing fits this bill. First-time adopters that want to get their implementation right the first time can use migration solutions and conduct thorough testing to determine the best fit for their companies.

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  • Python Snakes Up List of Fastest-Growing Skills

    Python Screenshot

    The most recent Dice Report offered a list of the fastest-growing tech skills, including cybersecurity, Puppet (an open-source IT automation tool), Hadoop, and Big Data.

    One programming language appeared on that list: Python, which enjoyed 21 percent growth year-over-year (as of Sept. 2), based on mentions in Dice job postings. (Skill requests had to appear in at least 1,000 job postings on a given day to qualify for the analysis.)

    Click here to find Python jobs.

    That growth is no surprise. Python, currently in version 3.4.1 (released in May 2014), remains a popular element in college-level introductory courses, according to data released this summer by the Association for Computing Machinery (AMC). It’s also topped the rankings of popular programming languages produced by analyst firm RedMonkTIOBE Software, and other entities.

    What underlies Python’s popularity? For starters, it’s a mature and well-established language that can trace its roots back nearly 25 years. Major firms such as Google have embraced it as a key tool for building Web properties. Developers and programmers of all skill levels enjoy its combination of simplicity and power.

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    “Python’s syntax is beautiful; the language is concise; and it’s modern,” developer (and editor) Jeff Cogswell wrote for Dice News in August. “I consider it one of the best languages I’ve ever used, and I feel that one of the biggest mistakes made in the world of computer software was when the browsers added JavaScript as their client-side language.” Better client-side software might exist, he added, if Python had become the language of choice instead of JavaScript.

    Those interested in building out their programming skills would do well to look at Python, but other languages are also worth examining, including JavaScript, C#, PHP, and Swift.

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