Tag Archives: job skills

  • Tech Unemployment Hits 2.0 Percent


    Tech-industry unemployment hit 2.0 percent in April, down from 2.4 percent in March, according to the latest data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

    Computer and electronic-product manufacturing gained 500 jobs in April, while technology consulting added 7,300 positions. Data processing, hosting, and related services lost 600 jobs that month.

    The tech industry continues to enjoy higher employment than the broader U.S. economy, where the unemployment rate remained at 5.0 percent in April. Among tech professionals, the rate of voluntary quits continues strongly, which many pundits and economists view as a sign of a healthy economy; people tend to leave their jobs, the thinking goes, when they feel confident enough in the strength of their industry to land a new, better position.

    Despite those positive signs, not all tech segments have enjoyed robust employment growth over the past few months. For example, the unemployment rate for Web developers climbed to 6.6 percent in the first quarter of 2016, up from 4.4 percent in the fourth quarter of 2015. Computer-systems analysts also saw their unemployment rate uptick slightly during that same period, to 2.1 percent. As with other industries, technology experiences seasonal shifts in employment; the beginning of the first quarter also sees the end of many yearly contracts.

    In any case, it’s clear that many tech firms remain in a hiring mood, which is good news for tech pros of all disciplines.

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  • Tech Unemployment Rises In Some Categories


    The technology industry’s unemployment rate crept up to 3.0 percent in the third quarter of 2015, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Although that represents an increase from the second quarter, when tech unemployment stood at 2.0 percent, it’s nonetheless lower than the 5.2 percent unemployment rate for the U.S. labor market as a whole.

    Many technology segments saw an accompanying rise in joblessness. Web developers, for example, saw their collective unemployment rate hit 5.10 percent, up from 3.70 percent in the same quarter last year. Computer systems analysts, programmers, network and systems administrators, software developers, and computer & information systems managers likewise experienced a slight rise in unemployment on a year-over-year basis.

    But does that mean the tech economy is softening? Other indicators suggest the overall industry remains strong. Layoffs and discharges for July and August, the latest months for which the BLS had preliminary data, hit 377,000 and 378,000, respectively. That represents a decline from both the first and second quarter, when the layoff and discharge rate stood at more than 400,000 per month.

    In the third quarter, voluntary quits among tech pros also remained robust, with an average of 500,000 employees per month deciding to quit their jobs. Analysts tend to interpret higher numbers of voluntary quits as a sign that employees are feeling positively enough about the economy to leave their current positions in order to pursue better opportunities.

    If there’s one bleak spot in this quarter’s economic reading, it’s manufacturing, which continues to suffer from weak demand for electronic products and hardware. That’s not a new tale; with the substantial majority of tech manufacturing taking place in Asia, and most of the nation’s tech hubs centered around companies devoted to software, the number of available manufacturing jobs in the U.S. has slowly but steadily declined.

    When it comes to the health of the broader tech economy, the numbers to watch are the respective unemployment rates for Web programming and other “hot” categories. For the moment, despite some upticks, those numbers remain largely positive for tech pros.

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  • More Tech Pros Voluntarily Quitting Their Jobs

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    New data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) suggests that more tech pros are voluntarily quitting their jobs.

    In August, some 507,000 people in Professional and Business Services (which encompasses tech and STEM positions) quit their positions, up from 493,000 in July. It’s also a significant increase over August 2014, when 456,000 professionals quit.

    Voluntary quits are generally a sign of a good economy, hinting that people feel confident enough about the market to jump to a new position (likely with better pay and benefits), if not strike out on their own as an independent.

    For tech pros, things are particularly rosy at the moment; according to the BLS, the national unemployment rate among tech pros has hovered at under 3 percent for the past year, although not all segments have equally benefitted from that trend: Programmers, for example, saw their unemployment rate dip precipitously between the first and second quarters of this year, even as joblessness among Web developers, computer support specialists, and network and systems engineers ticked upwards during the same period.

    If there’s one tech segment that hasn’t enjoyed economic buoyancy, it’s manufacturing, which has suffered from layoffs and steady declines in open positions over the past several quarters. With weakening demand for PCs and other electronics devices, many hardware manufacturers are in the doldrums; on the human side of things, innovations in factory automation have eliminated jobs.

    For those involved in many aspects of consulting and software, though, the good times continue. If you’re a tech pro who intends on jumping to a new job, just remember that it does you no good to burn your bridges when leaving your former position; you never know when you might be back.

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  • Why In-House Tech Pros Are Still Necessary


    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.

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  • 5 Top Python GUI Frameworks for 2015


    As a Python developer, sooner or later you’ll want to write an application with a graphical user interface. Fortunately, there are a lot of options on the tools front: The Python wiki on GUI programming lists over 30 cross-platform frameworks, as well as Pyjamas, a tool for cross-browser Web development based on a port of the Google Web Toolkit.

    How to choose between all these options for Python GUIs? I started by narrowing it down to those that included all three platforms (Windows, Mac, and Linux) and, where possible, Python 3. After that filtering, I found four toolkits (Gtk, Qt, Tk, and wxWidgets) and five frameworks (Kivy, PyQt, gui2Py, libavg and wxPython). Here’s why I like them.

    To find Python-related jobs, click here.


    One of the more interesting projects, the liberal MIT-licensed Kivy is based on OpenGL ES 2 and includes native multi-touch for each platform and Android/iOS. It’s an event-driven framework based around a main loop, and is thus very suitable for game development. Your application adds callbacks from the main loop at a scheduled frequency, or by one-off trigger. The Kivy framework is very powerful for handling everything from widgets to animation, and includes its own language for describing user interface and interactions.

    If you want to create cross-platform graphical applications, or just need a very powerful cross-platform GUI, Kivy is highly recommended.

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    Qt is a multi-licensed cross-platform framework written in C++. If your application is completely open source, you can use Qt for free under the community license; otherwise you’ll need a commercial license. Qt has been around for a long time and was owned by Nokia for a while; it’s a very comprehensive library of tools and APIs, widely used in many industries, and covers many platforms including mobile. If a gadget such as a SatNav has a GUI, there’s a good chance it’ll be Qt based.


    Compared to Kivy and PyQt, PyGUI is considerably simpler and just for Unix, Macintosh and Windows platforms. Developed by Dr. Greg Ewing at the University of Canterbury in New Zealand, the MVC framework focuses on fitting into the Python ecosystem as easily as possible.

    One of the platform’s aims is to interpose as little code as possible between the Python application and the platform’s underlying GUI so the application’s display always reflects the native GUI of the platform. If you’re after a simple and quick way to learn GUI, start with this one.


    This is another third-party library, written in C++ and scripted from Python, with properties of display elements as Python variables, a full-featured event handling system, timers (setTimeout, setInterval), support for logging and more. Like Kivy, libavg uses OpenGL and makes use of hardware acceleration.

    Libavg runs on Linux, Mac OS X and Windows, and is open source and licensed under the LGPL. It’s been used extensively for artistic exhibitions and has a wide range of features such as a layout engine that can deal with thousands of objects (images, text, videos and camera output), fast video output, and a markup system for displaying text, as well as GPU shader effects such as blur, Chromakery and more. Plugins written in C++ have access to all libavg internals.

    If you ever see many people playing a multi-touch game on a large flat display, you might be looking at a good example of libavg in action.


    There have already been two books written about wxPython, making it worth a mention even if it isn’t quite ready for Python 3. WxPython is based on wxWidgets, a cross-platform GUI library written in C++. In addition to the standard dialogs, it includes a 2D path drawing API, dockable windows, support for many file formats and both text-editing and word-processing widgets.

    There’s a great set of demos provided with wxPython, along with several sets of tutorials to help get you started. Given that wxWidgets has a 22-year development pedigree, this is one of the most popular frameworks. Make sure you read the wiki.


    This is a great set of frameworks that should cover most needs. All except PyQt are completely free.

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  • 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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  • 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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  • Skills All Front-End Developers Must Have

    Responsive Design

    Front-end developers go by many names. They are sometimes called front-end engineers, Web developers, UI engineers or even Web designers. While the titles vary, the things they do are the same. Their focus is on building the interactive part of the website that users see and touch. (Well, the part they touch through their screens, anyways.)

    Are you an engineer with serious design skills? Do you care about how things look as well as how they work? Are you passionate about look and feel? Have strong opinions on end-user experience? You might just be a great front-end developer.

    Click here to find front-end developer jobs.

    Libraries, Frameworks and Tools—Oh My!

    There are three key technologies every front-end developer should have on their resume:

    1. JavaScript
    2. HTML
    3. CSS

    These are at the core of any role touching the client. Things get really interesting with all the different libraries, frameworks and tools that come with these technologies. Below are some of the more common ones that hiring managers will expect to see on resumes. Keep in mind that new tech pops up all the time, so keep your eye on what companies actually need.

    What You Need

    • Angular, Ember.js, Backbone, jQuery. Even though JavaScript has been around for nearly 20 years, the recent increased emphasis on app-like interactions and consistent browser experiences has spurred a surge in JavaScript frameworks. Each of the frameworks listed above helps make JavaScript code more organized, reusable and maintainable. And since each one includes various components, they can also make development faster (which is something every hiring manager wants). However, your skills in one may not translate to another very easily, so be sure you’re knowledgeable on tools used by the companies you want to work for.
    • Bootstrap, Foundation, Pure, Skeleton, Gumby. These are CSS frameworks that make building a UI faster and more visually consistent by providing layout helpers and default styles. If you know one of these frameworks, or if you have experience building responsive or adaptive websites, you will be able to pick up others pretty quickly, without much training or ramp-up time.
    • LESS, SASS, Stylus. These are CSS preprocessors that make it easier for developers to edit and maintain a diversified set of CSS styles. Each one works a little differently, but once you know one of them, it’s pretty easy to pick up a new one. It’s just a bit of new syntax and styles.
    • Usability, Accessibility, Internationalization, Information Architecture, Portability, Security, Visual Design. While these skills are wide-ranging, a good front-end engineer should have expertise in at least a few.

    If you have strong technical skills, the ability to think through business use cases, a passion for the end-user experience, and an intellectual curiosity to learn new tools and technology, then you might be an excellent candidate for a front-end developer role.

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  • What Are the Next Big Developer Skills?

    The latest data from Dice suggests that employers want software developers who’re experts in well-established technologies such as .NET , C++ , and HTML . But IT is a rapidly evolving field, which begs the question—what will the employers of tomorrow want, skills-wise, from developers? Before taking a stab at that question, it’s worth examining the particular skills currently in demand by employers. On Dice, hiring managers searched thousands of times between January 1 and April 15 of this year for software developers, engineers, architects and leads. Of the most sought-after skills and qualifications for those roles, the top 40 included: 1. Java / J2EE 2. .NET 3. C++ 4. C# 5. Senior 6. SQL 7. HTML 8. C 9. Web 10. Linux 11. WPF 12. JavaScript 13. SDLC 14. Python 15. Test, Tester, Testing 16. Embedded 17. ASP.NET 18. Oracle 19. HTML5 20. PHP 21. SharePoint 22. Unix 23. RWD 24. Mobile 25. Ruby 26. Security 27. Database 28. XML 29. Perl 30. Agile 31. Android 32. CSS 33. Computer Science 34. Network 35. iOS 36. Websphere 37. Spring 38. QA 39. MVC 40. SDET “Today’s biggest needs surround the core, but it will change as the next generation of technologies realize their promise,” wrote Shravan Goli, president of Dice. What are those next-generation technologies? Let’s take a look at some emerging trends: Wearable Electronics: If the rise of smartphones helped define the last decade, the nascent field of wearable electronics—including “smart watches,” as well as bracelets and earbuds capable of measuring biometrics—could very well influence how we live and work over the next 10 years. If those electronics transform into a burgeoning market on the scale of tablets or smartphones, thousands of app developers could profit from building software for even tinier screens, or even no screens at all. Wearable electronics could present some fascinating UI puzzles for anyone willing to take them on. For example, what’s the ideal icon for conveying to a “smart bracelet” wearer that they have 10 urgent emails waiting for them? Can you build a map for display on the inside of a sunglass lens that doesn’t distract a driver from the road? The tech pro capable of executing on such ideas (and many more) may profit immensely in this category. “Internet of Things”: Manufacturers will produce just over 6 billion Internet-enabled devices in 2014, and the general expectation is that billions more will appear over the next several years. Picture all those devices streaming data back to companies for analysis, and you’ll have some idea of the opportunities that await those developers and engineers with expertise in sensors, embedded systems , and Big Data applications capable of digesting unstructured data generated by hardware in the “real world.” Substantial investment in “Internet of Things” startups has already begun . Drones and Robots: Google has acquired seven robotics firms over the past twelve months. Facebook is reportedly interested in flying drones that can help extend the Internet to the developing world. Tech firms’ interest in weaving robots and drones into the fabric of everyday life could generate jobs in everything from robotics design and engineering to software support . In other words, this Top 40 list could look very different in a few years. More Articles More Tech Pros Earning Six Figures Than Ever Need for Tech Pros with Analytics Skills Keeps Growing Tech Consultants: Prepare to Get Paid (and Work Harder Than Ever) The post What Are the Next Big Developer Skills? appeared first on Dice News .

  • 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 .

  • Do You Need an Oracle Database Specialization?

    Companies need solid teams if they’re going to build environments to take advantage of Big Data , and what a given company looks for in candidates depends on its specific data needs. If you’re looking to jump in or upgrade, the possibilities for the next 12-18 months may seem limitless. “First and foremost, any skill in the database arena is really, really strong right now and demand for professionals in this space is very high,” says John Reed, senior executive director of Robert Half Technology . The reason: Between business intelligence , Big Data and rapidly expanding data sets, as well as the need to use that data to create better business decisions and dashboards, companies are scrambling to hire experienced technologists. Click here for Oracle DBA jobs. And because demand is go great, employers aren’t focusing on many specific skills when it comes to staffing up for their platform. For example, Reed says, requests for Oracle RAC knowledge are no greater than for any other in the data arena. “It’s all riding the wave right now,” he explains. “Everybody is investing in trying to maximize what they’re doing with data and virtualization and cloud computing . If you’re conversant with Oracle RAC, you’re going to ride that wave, too. Demand doesn’t outpace the other skills sets because they’re equally strong.” That being said, Reed’s noticed a more common need for Oracle solutions in certain high transaction verticals such as financial institutions and healthcare organizations. Overall, the requests for specialized skills sets that stand out for Reed are in virtualization software like VMware . “Having aptitude in those technologies can make the job search of an Oracle DBA a lot easier,” he says. Related Stories Increasing Demand for Oracle DBAs Sample Resume: Database Administrator EMC’s Joe Tucci Forecasts Future for DBAs Image: Oleksiy Mark/Shutterstock.com The post Do You Need an Oracle Database Specialization? appeared first on Dice News .

  • Employers Want These Skills in Systems Integrators

    Systems integration professionals have seen an uptick in hiring as more companies implement package-based solutions to their core infrastructures. Observing the trend, Tracy Cashman, a partner in Boston-based WinterWyman’s IT Search division, says, “I don’t think it’s going away for the next year to two years.” Click here to find systems integration jobs. Hard Skills Systems integration is as diverse as the job description is broad. Titles depend on the company and level of the role. High level positions include director of integration , solutions architect , cloud architect , cloud integration engineer and SaaS engineer . Dakin Gunn, director of permanent placement services for Robert Half Technology in San Francisco, notes that recruiters are being asked for more candidates who specialize in ERP , CRM and cloud systems such as Salesforce , Workday or PeopleSoft . “We’re definitely seeing a larger need,” he says. “The title may not always be ‘systems integration,’ but the work is systems integration. The biggest demand is in cloud or SaaS or PaaS , as well as in the CRM arena.” Gunn has seen more requests for scripting languages and networking, as well. “Candidates really need to be able to script things so the systems automate with each other,” he says. “Other big ones are networking experience, networking protocols, firewalls, routing and security.” “Employers are looking for candidates with a good knowledge of apps and excellent SQL skills to tie their systems together” adds WinterWyman’s Cashman. “Old school businesses wanted a certain language or tool or skill, whether it was Java or .NET . Now you might get ‘Yes, we need someone who knows .NET but what we really need are the SQL skills.’” Soft Skills As with other areas of tech, succeeding as a systems integrator requires more than hard technical skills. Employers aren’t focusing on types of integration, such as vertical or horizontal, Cashman observes. They’re looking for breadth rather than depth. The technology piece of the soft skill that comes up the most is the ability to problem solve. “Employers want candidates who can look at the system, perceive the bumps and have an intuitive understanding of how to get the different elements to talk to one another,” she says. Having customer- and client-facing people skills is important, too, because “they’ll be going out and integrating the company’s systems into the clients’ systems,” notes Gunn. The company that’s getting the service may want their own point of contact. “Integrations are extraordinarily expensive, he continues. “When you’re paying for a service, you’re going to need your own expert.” Big Data Opportunities Another arena is Big Data . People that have experience with Big Data analytics or Big Data platform integration are in high demand right now. Gunn says a Hadoop background or NoSQL database experience is a plus, as well. “They’re not always a requirement,” he says “but most companies want to harness that data. It’s a marketable skill set.” Related Stories What Does an IT Architect Do? IT Hiring Shifts From Coding to Integration 10 Skills All IT Architects Should Have The post Employers Want These Skills in Systems Integrators appeared first on Dice News .