September 2015

Monthly Archives

  • Best Hospital IT Departments 2015 finalists revealed

    The countdown begins now: Healthcare IT News just reached a critical juncture in its Best Hospital IT Departments Awards.

    We've locked the doors. The employee survey is officially closed and that means 65 IT shops – out of the nearly 200 initially nominated – have qualified and are in contention to be among our winners.


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  • 18 health technologies poised for big growth

    By now, everyone's got an EMR. And most providers are also making use of ancillary technologies to help harness patient data toward more efficient care and better outcomes. But many species of health IT are still surprisingly underused in the U.S. hospital market.

    Population Health

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  • Drones Offer Opportunity for Software Pros


    Thanks to astonishingly rapid growth in the unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV, a.k.a., “drone”) industry, there are now tremendous opportunities for software engineers with hardware sensibilities and a toolbox full of compatible hard- and soft-skills.

    The Boom and Beyond

    A few years ago, the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International predicted that the drone industry would create 100,000 jobs by 2025, accompanied by an economic impact of $82 billion. More than 20 industries—representing some diverse business models—have already received exemptions from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to operate drones commercially in the National Airspace System. As the commercial applications of drones expand, the number of companies operating them will, as well.

    It will take a lot of collective effort to produce enough technologists to fill all those positions that will open up over the next several years. Colleges and universities across the country are already trying to take up that slack by developing comprehensive drone studies programs.

    Crossover Skill Sets

    Even if you don’t want to go back to school or haven’t worked with drones professionally, there’s good news: A lot of existing software skills will transfer to drone work.

    “What we are really looking in this drone space isn’t reinventing the wheel,” said Andrew Slater, vice president of software at PrecisionHawk, the Raleigh, N.C.-based, end-to-end maker of drones for remote sensing. “Ninety-nine percent of what we do is problem solving. Beyond the ability to write good code, the candidates we look at have great problem-solving skills.”

    Unlike many other UAV companies, PrecisionHawk focuses on the end-to-end system, from collection to analysis. Accordingly, the company’s need for candidates with a wide range of skills gives some insight into the required and recommended skill sets for the drone industry as a whole.

    “We deal with a lot of remote sensing data,” Slater said. “We operate with a data-first mentality; however, because we have this complete system… Our hardware and software teams have to be able to work cohesively, establish scalable specifications and define software/hardware interfaces.”

    The Gritty Details

    PrecisionHawk uses proprietary software, but its tech-hiring managers look for candidates who possess advanced knowledge and experience in the following areas:

    “Preferred skills” include:

    • Knowledge of complete end-to-end flight systems, including: ground system, hardware, software, ground support equipment and simulators
    • Experience with MATLAB/Simulink coders
    • Ability to comprehend circuit design data and documentation
    • Experience in robotics and/or embedded programming for unmanned vehicles

    Familiarity with the following will make you stand out:

    Languages and Soft Skills

    In general, drone companies require experience with at least one scripting language: Python, Ruby, Bash, JavaScript, Java, and C/C++/C# top that list.

    Depending on specific requirements, companies may also ask for knowledge of the following:

    • Node.js
    • GCE or other IaaS providers
    • Cybersecurity
    • Troubleshooting, debugging and documenting

    Critical soft skills include:

    • Self-motivation
    • Above-average written and verbal skills
    • Ability to work comfortably in a collaborative environment
    • Interacting professionally with customers, management and other developers
    • Ability to attain a secure clearance

    Must Love Drones

    Like any industry, coming in with knowledge of the latest developments—and an affinity for the underlying technology—is a plus. “Many of our best programmers and developers have their own drones,” Slater said. “They appreciate the industry and understand the general language and jargon. That genuine interest allows them to really buy into the project they’re working on.”

    The post Drones Offer Opportunity for Software Pros appeared first on Dice Insights.

  • Healthcare headlines: August 24

    Healthcare IT News' focus is on technology, of course, but there's so much else happening now across the broader realm of healthcare. We're keeping track of all the top studies, articles and other big happenings in the industry and compiling them on this healthcare watch list. It's updated daily, so check back in with us for regular updates.


  • Asheville Ranks Among Top 10 for U.S. Small City Growth

    Some cities have the best of everything: the jobs, the schools, the museums, the nightlife, you name it. They know the recipe for attractiveness. But other cities like Detroit are still mired in recession. Chances of their economies turning upward are slim. And their most productive citizens — an economy’s best chance of recovery — […]

  • 5 Big Interview Mistakes to Avoid

    In an ideal job interview, a candidate’s technical skills and experience shine through; but making an interview faux pas can quickly overshadow any positive moments.

    Tiro Security CEO and co-founder Kris Rides, who’s been in the tech-recruitment industry for over 15 years, recently shared some pointers about things that will absolutely wreck your job interview every time. Here are the highlights:

    Being Rude to the Front Desk

    It’s not entirely uncommon for job candidates to put their best foot forward during an interview—only to show their true colors when interacting with everybody else. Rides makes a point of checking with the front desk staff to gauge their impressions of a candidate. “A lot of people think there’s just one decision maker in the interview process, but that’s rarely the case anymore,” he pointed out. In other words, treat everyone you interact with both in person (and on the phone) with courtesy.

    Any Questions?

    Asking questions solely about vacation time and PTO probably won’t give a potential new boss the impression that you’re excited about the job. Even if you’re dying to know how many sick days and holidays you get, it’s usually best to refrain. Instead, ask questions about the company—but not the basic ones anyone can get by looking at the website. “It’s always best to Google the company before you meet them, instead of asking questions you should know the answer to before you show up for the interview,” Rides added.

    Answering Questions When You Don’t Know the Answers

    If your interviewer asks a challenging question, you have a few options—and guessing the answers isn’t best. “You almost always get called out because there are usually follow-up questions, and it becomes very obvious and really awkward,” Rides explained.

    Instead, he recommends being honest about not knowing the answer, while explaining how you’d find it: “You can even double-check the answer with the interviewer and then start a discussion that might enable you to explain some of the other skills and experiences you’ve got.”

    An interviewer may ask if you’ve used a tool that you’re wholly unfamiliar with. Instead of simply stating you haven’t used it, you can always explain similar tools you’ve used and how long it took you to pick them up.

    Money Talk

    Pretending your salary is much higher than it actually is may help you with negotiation—but if you’re asked for a W-2 and last month’s pay slip, lying in your interview could cost you the job. Best to be honest about your pay and pay expectations, rather than being deceptive.

    The Awkward Hug

    Weak handshakes (or overtly aggressive ones) don’t usually give off the best first impression, but recruiter horror stories kick it up a notch. “I’ve had interviewees who felt that they really gelled with their interviewer go in for a hug after the interview. Probably one of my favorites was an interviewer who put his hand up when he said hello, and the interviewee thought he was high fiving and gave him a high five,” Rides recalled. No matter how much rapport you think you’ve built, avoid anything other than a firm (but not crushing) handshake.

    The post 5 Big Interview Mistakes to Avoid appeared first on Dice Insights.

  • Sysadmins, Check Out Google’s Data Center Papers

    Screen Shot 2015-08-19 at 10.02.15 AM

    If you’re an enterprise architect or systems administrator, you know how a data center works—and if your career spans several years, chances are good that you’ve dealt with some pretty massive systems. But it’s hard to think of infrastructure more massive than what Google just revealed.

    “From relatively humble beginnings, and after a misstep or two, we’ve built and deployed five generations of datacenter network infrastructure,” Amin Vahdat, a Google Fellow, wrote in an Aug. 18 posting on the Google Research Blog. “Our latest-generation Jupiter network has improved capacity by more than 100x relative to our first generation network, delivering more than 1 petabit/sec of total bisection bandwidth.” That means 100,000 servers communicating “with one another in an arbitrary pattern at 10Gb/s.”

    Google built the system out of necessity; traditional networking hardware simply couldn’t scale to meet its enormous needs. The company has released four papers on how it managed to customize bandwidth to serve thousands of applications, design data center network topologies, deal with epic congestion and latency, and build a muscular cluster manager. For any tech pro interested in data centers, they’re well worth reading for an idea of how far networking and server technology has progressed—even if you have no intention of working with a system as large as Google’s.

    The post Sysadmins, Check Out Google’s Data Center Papers appeared first on Dice Insights.

  • Microsoft posts Windows 10 for medical devices

    When Microsoft made Windows 10 widely available at July's end, the company foretold subsequent versions for both mobile and Internet of Things, or IoT, devices.

    Two weeks later, amid a smattering of post-release concerns about the operating systems' privacy, security and stability, Microsoft posted Windows 10 IoT Core with less fanfare than the broader OS.


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