Tag Archives: it-management

  • Prepping for a Do-or-Die Job Interview

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    Job interviews are nerve-racking experiences, even for seasoned professionals. As with so many things in life, however, even a little bit of prep work can make a huge difference, both for your nerves and your chances of success.

    When it comes to technology jobs, preparation is especially important, as you may find yourself answering mathematical riddles or dealing with complex white-board questions in addition to the “standard” interview queries.

    With all that in mind, here are some key tips for prepping for your next big job interview:

    Research the Company’s Interview Setup

    Every organization conducts its job interviews differently. Some take a more traditional approach, focusing on hiring-manager interviews supplemented (perhaps) by a white-boarding session or two. Others attempt to gauge candidates’ skills and experience by subjecting them to batteries of weird interview questions, impromptu programming sessions, or other unusual tests.

    Fifteen or twenty years ago, you wouldn’t have known what to expect when you walked into a prospective employer’s office. But thanks to the Internet (as well as any colleagues or acquaintances who have interviewed with that company before), you can often find out what’s waiting for you, days or weeks before you settle into the interviewee chair. Do that research into the company’s interviewing style, and prepare accordingly.

    Next: Figure Out Everything the Company Does (click here or below)

    The post Prepping for a Do-or-Die Job Interview appeared first on Dice Insights.

  • Key Challenges of Working Remotely

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    For those tech pros open to conducting their company’s business from home (or a coffee shop), remote work offers many benefits, including a more flexible schedule. But working beyond the walls of a brick-and-mortar office is not without its challenges.

    Take the example of Carlos Moreno, a front-end web developer for Oracle Commerce who started out in Oracle’s Cambridge, Massachusetts office before deciding to return to his hometown of Seattle. The company valued his contributions and wanted to keep him.

    After the move, Moreno commuted nearly an hour into Oracle’s Bellevue office. Because he worked with East Coast colleagues, he often had early-morning meetings, and it was easier to take those calls from home. Eventually, his schedule led to working remotely full-time.

    “My commute is 12 feet to my desk,” Moreno laughed, “and I’m not distracted by people walking by. I don’t have to deal with the noise and other conversations in the office and I can keep my environment quiet.”

    Moreno’s biggest challenge is what he refers to as “the cost of a stamp.” Although he takes pride in his communications skills, and works on a highly interactive team, he needs to take a lot of steps in order to establish face-to-face interactions.

    “I have to go through this process of [figuring out] what is the fastest or most appropriate avenue to communicate,” he said. While he finds Instant Messenger the most effective way to reach out, and can remotely access his team’s Thunderbird calendar, he must still consider the nature of each communication. Would an email be too formal at the moment? Should he call and, if so, should he use the cell or office number? Does he just need to talk, or should he show a colleague something on his screen, too?

    “We have the tools,” Moreno continued, “but it’s always sort of an obstacle to get it to happen. That’s always the most important ‘con’ in terms of collaborating. The thing I’m trying to simulate the most often is, ‘Hey, come over here and look at my screen.’”

    Remote workers who interact across an enterprise may encounter similar hurdles when communicating.

    Renee Stetson, a data analyst for the Nashville-based Change Healthcare, has a home office in New Jersey. She started working remotely on a part-time basis for health reasons. Although that was supposed to be temporary, she ended up a full-time telecommuter when the company closed its local office.

    She’s found working from home to be very beneficial for everyone involved. “They get 150 percent more out of me than they would if I were in the office,” she said. “I have complete focus here.”

    Stetson has to gather information over long distances from several different departments throughout the organization. While her home group in sales is responsive, she’s found it tricky to get other colleagues, who may not know who she is, to answer phone calls and messages. She has to be persistent to get the information she needs. “It’s about the button you put in the subject line or first few lines of the email to get their attention,” she advised. “The goal is to not have them filter me out.”

    Infrastructure can become another woe of remote employees. For example, as companies gain new subsidiaries, it takes time for legacy software and datasets to integrate into the overall stack. That creates issues for remote workers who need to access that software and data from many miles away. “A lot of the details that I need are dropped on the floor when they upload their data,” she said. “It makes it very difficult for me. I always have to go back to the people who handle those legacy systems and coordinate retrieval of the information.”

    Not everyone is cut out for remote work. Both Stetson and Moreno see themselves as effective communicators who are also highly motivated and have a strong work ethic. They don’t allow themselves to get distracted; their constant engagement, despite not being physically present, gives them a stake in the workflow of their respective offices.

    “My house is an amazing place,” said Moreno, “and there are all kinds of fun and exciting projects just sitting there waiting for me. If I get up to get coffee, I can see four things that could use attention. I have to have discipline to say, ‘No, I’m at work.’ So I get my coffee and return to my desk and don’t play my guitar.”

    The post Key Challenges of Working Remotely appeared first on Dice Insights.

  • Landing a Successful Tech-Firm Internship

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    When it comes to filling tech internships, companies typically seek college juniors and seniors majoring in computer science or a related field. Although colleges and universities actively work to place high-performing students in internships, a lot of potential interns have little idea of how to lock down such a position for themselves, especially if they’re not in college or have a less-than-stellar GPA.

    If you’re a self-taught programmer without a degree, securing a career-building internship can likewise prove elusive.

    Whatever the challenges, though, snagging an internship isn’t impossible.

    Do Your Homework

    Tech companies (as well as companies in other industries) often recruit on campus; if you’re enrolled at a school, swing by your next career fair to see who’s offering internships. You’ll have the opportunity to meet company representatives face-to-face, and potentially submit an application.

    Many companies also advertise internships online, often beside their full-time job postings; if you want to work for a particular firm, make sure to check out their Hiring or Jobs Webpage.

    Career Websites such as Dice are also a good place to find internships; be aware, though, that many of the openings on these sites are targeted toward undergraduate and graduate students majoring in CS or a similar topic.

    Benn Konsynski, professor of information systems & operations management at Goizueta Business School at Emory University, admits that internships are usually first made available to colleges and universities for their students and alumni. “It’s a rather fragmented and ephemeral market for internships,” he said. “Windows open and close quickly.”

    However, he added, an earnest pitch can still persuade a company to take a chance on you, even if you’re not enrolled at a particular institution.

    Where (and How) to Look

    If you’re competing for an internship against stronger students, or approaching a company on your own, you can often stand out with a little entrepreneurial verve. If you’ve built your own app, game, or program, make sure to highlight that fact in your initial pitch; it will show you have the drive to succeed.

    Rather than aim for the likes of Google and Facebook—where tens of thousands of students fight every year for just a few slots—make a point of targeting smaller companies that aren’t necessarily household names, but which will nonetheless offer a chance at valuable experience.

    State, regional, or city economic development offices will sometimes list internships, as will tech-trade groups. Many of those programs (but not all) give priority to veterans, women, minorities, or displaced, unemployed and underemployed people looking to jump into the tech world for the first time.

    The Washington Technology Industry Association (WTIA), for example, is sponsoring a new paid apprenticeship and training program that will place about 600 people in tech roles across the state during the next five years. Those roles include, but aren’t limited to, database administrator, project manager, data analyst, fraud analyst, and software application developer.

    According to Jennifer Carlson, executive director of the WTIA, the trade group has 150 committed seats at companies such as Microsoft and its International Association of Microsoft Certified Partners, Accenture, Internet Identity, Impinj, F5, and Silicon Mechanics.

    As Carlson noted: “Once the testing portal is online, sometime in mid-Q2 ‘16, it will be open on a rolling basis and we’ll publish the positions we’re seeking to fill along with timeframes. We expect the first cohort to be identified in Q3 and placed in Q4 of this year, and we will ramp up from there.” Applicants go through a screening process and take a placement test that measures logic, math and critical thinking skills.

    Look Before You Leap

    Konsynski suggests that you spend as much time interviewing companies as they spend interviewing you. When applying for an internship, ask: Will you get paid or not? Get the specifics on the type of training and who will be mentoring you.

    “Internships are good, but they have to be focused on achievement, not just administrative support,” he said. “There’s no intrinsic value in an internship.” It’s all about what you did in the role to make the effort a success.

    Find out if the internship is focused on “knowledge of a domain, market or process of interest” before you waste your time applying, Konsynski added. In other words, don’t settle for just anything to get experience on your resume.

    If you’re looking at a state- or trade-group sponsored program, check out the track record of the organization or the program, and find out how long it took for the previous interns to land a full-time tech position, if you can. And, don’t assume that if you’ve completed an internship with a company that they’ll automatically hire you after it’s over.

    The post Landing a Successful Tech-Firm Internship appeared first on Dice Insights.

  • Tech Unemployment Stays Low

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    According to new data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), tech-industry unemployment hovered at 2.6 percent in December 2015. That’s a notable decrease from November, when the BLS plugged the rate at 3.4 percent.

    Unemployment within the tech industry fluctuates throughout the year in response to external forces, including seasonal workers. Throughout 2015, the rate of voluntary quits also remained high, as many tech pros left their jobs to pursue new opportunities.

    That being said, not all tech-industry categories are created equal. In any given quarter, the unemployment rate for programmers or computer systems analysts might rise, for example, while falling for software developers and information systems managers. Manufacturing has remained a relative bleak spot in the tech industry’s employment ledger for quite some time, as the combined forces of offshoring and automation force reductions in U.S. headcount—if not factory closings.

    The latest annual salary survey by Dice also suggests that tech professionals are enjoying a sizable increase in pay, with average salaries rising 7.7 percent last year. But again, not every pro saw the same increase; those specializing in skills related to Big Data or the cloud, most notably Cassandra, Cloudera, OpenStack, and CloudStack, saw double-digit percentage increases in their salaries, year-over-year.

    Average salaries also varied on a state-by-state basis, hitting the six-figure mark in seven markets for the first time in Dice’s annual study. We’ve built an interactive map that shows you were salaries have grown the fastest.

    The post Tech Unemployment Stays Low appeared first on Dice Insights.

  • Fastest-Growing Metro Areas for Tech Pros

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    Many U.S. cities hope to become technology hubs, and with good reason: A dynamic mix of startups and mature tech companies not only brings a massive influx of tax dollars, but also hordes of well-educated, highly skilled tech professionals.

    But which cities are succeeding at building up demand for tech pros? A new analysis by Dice reveals that, over the past year, Salt Lake City has seen an 85 percent increase in the number of postings for tech jobs in the area. Far behind at second was Cincinnati, with a 44 percent increase year-over-year, followed by Miami (41 percent), Milwaukee (24 percent), Kansas City (18 percent), and Raleigh (17 percent).

    Other cities in the top ten included Detroit (16 percent), Hartford (13 percent), Seattle (12 percent), and Nashville (11 percent).

    E-commerce retailers, video-game developers, and some large software-makers all boast a strong presence in the area around Salt Lake City, drawn by a combination of low taxes, local schools producing skilled workers, and infrastructure to support businesses and lifestyles. Other cities on the list, such as Raleigh and Kansas City, have similarly grown tech hubs thanks to a combination of nearby universities, advantageous tax rates, affordable housing, and communities that make people want to stay.

    Many of the cities on this list also have the advantage of being relatively new in their attempts to foster tech communities; once they become mature markets, along the lines of Silicon Valley, the high-percentage growth tends to level off.

    Nationwide, the economy for tech pros remains strong. In August, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, roughly 507,000 people in Professional and Business Services (which includes tech and STEM positions) quit their jobs, up from 493,000 in July. (It’s also a notable increase over August 2014, when 456,000 professionals voluntarily quit.) A rise in voluntary quits suggests that tech pros feel good enough about the economy to either jump to a new position or try their hand at freelancing.

    For tech pros, the numbers add up to an optimistic message heading into 2016. With more tech hubs emerging across the United States, there’s an ever-higher chance that their ideal job waits only a short distance away.

    The post Fastest-Growing Metro Areas for Tech Pros appeared first on Dice Insights.

  • Starting Out In IT Contracting

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    While some tech pros like the prospect of full-time employment (and the benefits that come with it), others appreciate the flexibility that comes with freelancing. The latter can even prove more lucrative than working for an employer, at least according to a recent survey by Upwork and the Freelancers Union.

    If you’re thinking of heading out as an independent contractor, however, there are some key things to consider. First and foremost is your skills base: No matter how good the economy at a particular moment, potential clients only want to pay for people who can actually do the work. (This is in contrast to full-time employment, where a company will sometimes give an employee the time and resources necessary to pick up a new skill.)

    Even with sufficient skills, it can prove difficult to build a strong client list, especially in competitive areas such as security, programming, and analytics. Here’s how to stand out in contracting:

    Build the Brand First

    Building a brand is an important—and often overlooked—step toward building up a contractor business. Blogging, participating in online forums and Webinars, and even creating instructional videos on YouTube are all solid methods of building a reputation. If there’s a downside, it’s that few of these activities pay substantial amounts of money; but it’s a bullet you might have to bite in order to get your contracting name out there.

    Build Out Your Network

    Former co-workers and employers are an immediate and obvious choice for network connections (and possible future clients), so start there. If you haven’t done so from the outset, create a Website with a “Contact Us” form, and a regular newsletter—not only will those help you build your brand (see above), they’ll give new clients an easy way to reach out to you.

    Be Patient (and Collaborate)

    Rome wasn’t built in a day, as they say; creating an awesome client list sometimes requires years. It also takes time to build a great relationship with new clients, especially if they’re unclear about their own project requirements; you may need to spend a lot of time helping them solidify their workflow and desired outcomes. With every new client, you have an opportunity to provide customized service that will ensure they stay with you for years.

    Keep Improving Your Skills

    It’s easy to neglect learning new skillsets. When you’re contracting, though, falling behind on your industry knowledge can quickly translate into lost opportunities. Carve some time out of your monthly schedule for professional development.

    The post Starting Out In IT Contracting appeared first on Dice Insights.

  • Why In-House Tech Pros Are Still Necessary

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    Remember Nick Burns, the Computer Guy on SNL? He was the computer geek who knew a lot about PCs, and embarrassed computer users on a regular basis; he made people feel bad because they didn’t understand why something didn’t print, or why their PC froze.

    Proclivity for embarrassing people aside, could a guy like Nick get a job today at a small business, or are sysadmins and their ilk in danger of losing out even more to automated systems and the cloud? When I got my start, the real-life version of the Computer Guy was essential if you wanted to add a user to the network, or even fix a paper jam. (Eventually I ended up building PCs, adding document management, and so on; after I got a handful of certifications, I left for a team at a larger firm.) To set up a new printer fifteen years ago, you needed to create a print queue, a print server, and a printer in Netware; today, it’s plug and play—and even the most technologically inept can always consult Google and YouTube for advice when things go wrong.

    In other words, the dedicated sysadmin is potentially out of a job if a business owner uses a consultant to build the network and check in for occasional maintenance. Ever since the gig economy came to the tech industry, an office can turn to Geek Squad or Geekatoo to connect a printer or install a workstation.

    Despite that flexibility, however, networks are more vulnerable than ever. And therein lies a significant challenge for those businesses that think they can manage without a tech pro (or a team of them) in-house.

    New Challenges and New Opportunities

    The needs of the network are far different than fifteen years ago, simpler in some ways but far more complicated in others. Now there are threats such as zero-day exploits, malware, and ransomware. The effort of keeping a network running today is just as much about making sure it isn’t compromised, and developing a contingency plan for if the worst happens.

    Security represents a collection of services that the gig economy has a hard time providing. An in-house person can:

    • Develop a Plan: What will your business do if the network is attacked with a DDoS, or if a user clicks on a malware link? The plan should define the roles of each stakeholder in responding to the attack.
    • Educate Users: Users represent the network’s greatest vulnerability. Users need tech pros to help them change their mindset about emails, and become more questioning about suspicious messages.
    • Create and Maintain Backups: A network is important, but the data is priceless. A dedicated sysadmin or other tech pro can make sure that data is backed up.

    Today’s network failures often come from external attacks that are posing an existential threat to the business. According to Symantec’s recent Internet Security Threat Report, 45 percent of small business found themselves spear-phished in 2014—up from only 19 percent in 2013. (Spear-phishing is especially pernicious because the hacker has taken the time out to learn something about the people working in the company, making malicious links very tempting to click.)

    For many tech workers, becoming the in-house sysadmin is a particularly promising career route, as a lack of a higher education isn’t necessarily an impediment for obtaining a position; last year, The New York Times reported that half the IT workers in New York do not have a college degree. Citi, according to the article, has “a huge team,” many of whom weren’t formally trained as computer scientists or engineers. Hackers willing to put on a white hat can also find a job waiting for them at a firm, even if they have no previous corporate experience.

    In other words, the in-house computer person is very much needed today—just more in a security role.

    The post Why In-House Tech Pros Are Still Necessary appeared first on Dice Insights.

  • Tech Management Without the Hammer

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    When it comes to managing, subtlety can prove just as effective as more heavy-handed techniques, especially when dealing with team members who have strong opinions. You want employees who will willingly go along with the strategy, rather than act as blockers. (Or as Dwight D. Eisenhower once reportedly put it: “Leadership is the art of getting someone else to do something you want done because he wants to do it.”)

    What are some good techniques for managing and influencing without bringing the proverbial hammer down? Take a look:

    Understand Any Resistance to Change

    Do your reports not seem all that excited about a new initiative? Is there grumbling in the ranks about the company’s strategy? Before you confront the issue, make sure you understand the reasons behind their skepticism. When talking to your team members, keep the following questions in mind:

    • Does the team member understand all aspects of the strategy?
    • Does the team member understand the problems or issues that the strategy will solve?
    • Does the team member understand what will happen if the strategy isn’t implemented?

    Once you’ve voiced the benefits of the strategy, the resisting team member may have questions—or even an alternate strategy. Listen to them, and be prepared to (politely) address those concerns.

    Check out the latest manager jobs.

    Adapt to Social Styles

    Everyone has a different “social style,” or way of approaching life. In broadest strokes, there are four primary social styles:

    Driver: Direct, results-orientated
    Expressive: Outgoing, creative, social
    Amiable: Dependable, easygoing, sensitive
    Analytical: Systematic, accurate, structured, logical

    Once you understand your report’s “style,” you can more effectively respond to their concerns or resistance:

    • Drivers are best influenced through direct but brief, results-orientated discussions.
    • Expressives want social contact; including them in any decision-making is the best way to sway them.
    • Amiables place a high regard on harmony and like to avoid personal risk. In order to best influence an Amiable, show patience and query about their feelings.
    • Analyticals are focused on ideas, so it’s best to provide them with hard evidence and invite their critiques.

    Make Your Points… And Stress the Positives

    When pitching ideas to others, it is important to create a good order and flow of points to set the scene for maximum receptivity. Start with something that catches their attention (short, personal stories are always good); from there, move on to explaining the problem.

    Only after explaining the problem, tell them what you are suggesting, as well as the benefits if the problem is solved. Be explicit, and don’t assume that people will magically know what you expect of them. Clearly show how your idea will create more value than the cost.

    If your idea links to a key organizational strategy, then make the link explicit—never assume that others will do that. With a detailed enough explanation, you can greatly increase the odds of your good ideas being taken to heart.

    The post Tech Management Without the Hammer appeared first on Dice Insights.

  • The Two Faces of Modern IT Environments

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    As IT has evolved in recent years, two distinct types of application environments have emerged that require different mindsets to manage.

    The first class of applications, known as systems of record, consists mainly of traditional IT deployments involving, for example, finance and ERP applications that have, up unto now, traditionally run on-premise. The second class of those applications, known as systems of engagement, are generally among the first applications an organization deploys in the cloud.

    For more IT management jobs, click here.

    When it comes to anything relating to a systems or record application, all the traditional attributes of IT apply. The two biggest concerns that organizations have when it comes to deploying systems of record, which are usually run by the internal IT department, are reliability and security.

    But when it comes to systems of engagement, the two most prized attributes are agility and flexibility. More often than not, a system of engagement is deployed by a line-of-business unit trying to achieve a specific task. While security and reliability are still significant attributes of the system, most line of business units are looking for IT people who are much less risk-adverse than their counterparts working inside the internal IT organization.

    Naturally, these two distinct types of IT personalities create something of a dichotomy among IT people working not only inside an organization, but also among the job applicants who make it to the final interview. In effect, there is now what Gartner refers to as a bimodal approach to managing IT inside most large organizations, with different types of IT personalities to manage. As more systems or record begin to find their way into the cloud, that dichotomy continues to persist.

    Steve Hamilton, a managing director for KPMG Advisory Services, notes that despite the often conservative nature of the IT people running systems of records, those applications are being pushed into the cloud. “A lot of businesses feel they simply can achieve anything truly transformational unless those applications are in the cloud,” he said. “The internal IT department may not always agree, but it takes too long to deploy new applications on premise.”

    Shawn Price, a senior vice president at Oracle, suggests that one of the primary drivers of that shift is the fact that internal IT organizations are now moving to get their arms around all the shadow IT services that have grown up in the cloud over the years. “We’re seeing a rapid movement around the formalization of shadow IT services in the enterprise,” he said. “The goal is to create a common data model across applications that share a common user interface.”

    It will take some time for that formalization to occur, which means that, at least for the foreseeable future, there will continue to be a dichotomy in terms of how IT applications are managed. In fact, that dichotomy is the primary reason that so many organizations are developing hybrid cloud computing strategies.

    “IT needs to bring all the key data repositories together,” said Judith Hurwitz, principal for Hurwitz & Associates, an IT consulting firm. “But there are a lot of political ramifications associated with doing that.”

    It’s not even clear that line-of-business units will be willing to give up control over systems of engagement. Greg Buzek, president of IHL Group, a research firm focused on retail industry trends, notes that marketing organizations with budgets that far exceed the funds controlled by most internal IT now routinely deploy their own applications. “Most IT budgets are 1.5 percent of revenues,” he said. “That’s a rounding error inside most marketing budgets.”

    But at some point in the distant future, these distinct approaches to managing IT have to converge. “Organizations have been forced to make a choice between reliability and agility,” said Chris O’Malley, CEO of Compuware, a provider of software for IBM mainframe environments that run some of the largest systems of record in IT. “Obviously, that has to come together.”

    In the meantime, IT job applicants would do well to take into account the type of IT environment that best suits their personality before applying for their next job.

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  • In Silicon Valley, Some Giants Are Hiring

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    What’s New This Quarter

    In Silicon Valley, everyone wants to be associated with the Next Big Thing. “In the Bay Area, I’m finding that SAAS and e-commerce based companies seem to be defining the current hiring status quo for other local companies and industries,” said Alyssa Seidman, Recruiting Director for recruiting firm Randstad Technologies. “They tend to have the most progressive environments and the ability to attract and afford the best talent.” That means companies in other industries, such as financial services and healthcare, need to get more creative if they want to compete for talent.

    And some financial-services companies are very much on the hunt for tech pros. Bank of New York Mellon has opened a technology lab in Palo Alto to work on tech projects including Digital Pulse, the bank’s effort to harness the Big Data it gathers. BNY Mellon hired 20 people by the end of 2014 and will increase recruitment in 2015.

    For more Silicon Valley jobs, click here.

    On the tech-company side of things, hiring in the Valley is at a high for some firms. Google never has a problem attracting talent. The search-engine giant continues on a hiring-and-building tear, spending $585 million to buy six office buildings at Pacific Shores Center in Redwood City. It also plans to occupy all of Moffett Place, a six-tower development in Sunnyvale. Google had 55,030 full-time employees at the beginning of the fourth quarter, up almost 19 percent from a year earlier; it gets three million job applications a year and hires around 7,000. With only one in 428 applicants ending up with a job, Google is far choosier than any Ivy League University.

    Dell is on a similar path, opening up its first Internet of Things Lab, a collaborative facility for hardware and software developers to build, test, and release connected products. Located at the company’s Santa Clara office, the lab should help Dell learn more about the industry and help develop standards around it.

    Meanwhile, three Silicon Valley giants have been undergoing huge transformations in the past few months:

    • In October, HP announced it will separate into two new publicly traded Fortune 50 companies: one comprising HP’s enterprise technology infrastructure, software and services businesses (called Hewlett-Packard Enterprise), and one that will comprise HP’s personal systems and printing businesses (HP Inc). The long-rumored announcement came as HP entered the fourth year of its five-year turnaround plan. While the company said it had “inspired its workforce and management teams” and created new companies “positioned to accelerate performance, drive sustained growth, and demonstrate clear industry leadership in key areas,” what was left unsaid was the final impact on headcount.
    • eBay is also changing, with plans to eliminate thousands of jobs early this year as it preps to spin off its PayPal unit. The cuts are expected to affect workers in eBay’s core marketplace division. One rumor has eBay has trimming at least 3,000 jobs. The end result could be to make the new standalone eBay a potentially attractive takeover target.
    • IBM is taking the divestment route, selling is global commercial semiconductor technology unit for $1.5 billion to Santa Clara-based Globalfoundries Inc. IBM has about 4,000 employees in Silicon Valley, and their futures are uncertain.

    Luckily, startups continue to do well. October was the hottest month in two years for angel, seed, and Series A funding of startups, according to a report from research firm CB Insights. More than $1.2 billion was invested in October, up 56 percent from October 2013. Silicon Valley accounted for about a third of the deals and more than half the dollars invested nationwide in the month, with eight of the top 10 fundings all happening in the Valley.

    Skills in Demand

    “Over the past six months, I’ve noticed an increase in demand for individuals that have UI development experience,” Randstad’s Seidman said. “Specifically, candidates that have experience with newer front end technologies like Node.JS, Angular.JS, and Python are in the highest demand. They’re more efficient and easier-to-scale than older technologies.”

    “The Bay Area is experiencing intense IT hiring due to continued software platform upgrades, virtualization projects, and mobile initiatives,” added Megan Slabinski, Bay Area district president of IT recruiting firm Robert Half Technology. “We continue to see a war for talent for in-demand roles including front end developers, data analysts, system administrators, and system architects.”

    According to IT recruiting firm Mondo’s 2014-2015 Salary Guide, the top three skills currently in demand in the Bay Area are Application and Software Development, E-commerce, and Database Administration.

    Sixty-one percent of Bay Area technology executives surveyed by Robert Half Technology said that both database management and desktop support are among the skill sets in greatest demand within their IT departments. Network administration followed in third place. Also in demand: Network Architects, Cloud Engineers, MongoDB Experts, and Hadoop Experts.

    Salary Trends

    According to the 2014-2013 Dice Salary Survey, the average salary for a Silicon Valley-based IT professional is the nation’s highest at $108,603, up 7.2 percent in the previous year and 23.6 percent above the national average of $87,811.

    According to Mondo, Data Scientists; Oracle, Hadoop, and Neteeza developers; AWS consultants; and MySQL developers are currently seeing the largest salary jumps.

    Leading Industries

    • Information Technology
    • Technology Manufacturing
    • Software Development
    • Construction
    • Defense/Aerospace

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  • Tips for Hiring the Right Engineers

    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 .