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.Mobile
HIMSS Media acquires MobiHealthNews
I'm excited to share that HIMSS Media has acquired MobiHealthNews.
The entire MobiHealthNews editorial team – Jonah Comstock, Aditi Pai, and I – are joining HIMSS Media. Apart from more content from me – this deal has kept me busy in recent months – the MobiHealthNews you know (and hopefully love) won't change.Mobile
Out of more than 2,200 U.S. hospitals, only 338 made it to this year's Most Wired list, demonstrating some of the most advanced health IT use and adoption in the nation. Check out the full list of winners here.
Here are the 339 hospitals that made it to Hospitals & Health Networks' 2015 Most Wired list. The list is searchable and sortable.Network Infrastructure
Financial-news websites are aflutter this week over news that Apple has seized 92 percent of the mobile-device industry’s total operating income; that’s up from 65 percent in 2014. According to financial-services firm Canaccord Genuity, which generated the data, Samsung and Apple pretty much divide the entirety of the mobile world’s profits between them.
Those estimates are great for Apple, but what does it mean for the mobile developers and app builders out there? First, Apple clearly has quite a bit of momentum behind it; if anyone ever doubted the long-term viability of iOS, numbers like these should settle that issue once and for all.
Second, the overall picture for third-party operating systems—including Windows Phone and BlackBerry OS—is bleaker than ever; manufacturers won’t build what isn’t profitable, and clearly iOS and Android are the only platforms at the moment capable of generating significant amounts of cash. Any developers who devoted time to building Windows Phone and BlackBerry apps will likely need to think very hard about whether they want to continue iterating on those products.
But third, Apple and iOS haven’t outright won the mobile-device wars. Although it swept up the vast majority of the profits, Apple sold less than 20 percent of the actual smartphones on the market. Even if most manufacturers aren’t making very much money off Android, there are millions of people using the OS, which means a massive market for app-builders. The idea of building apps for both iOS and Android remains a powerful one for many developers.
Imagine a device in your home that passively listens to everything you say. In past decades, you might have called such a device a “bug,” and it was probably installed without your knowledge.
But in the brave new world of 2014, this device is called Amazon Echo, and it’s apparently here to help.
Echo is a black cylinder that can go pretty much anywhere in a house or apartment, and responds to a variety of queries. You can ask it about the weather, or a trivia question, and receive a reply; you can tell it to add items to a shopping list, and it does so; you can order it to play music, which the built-in speaker will blast at appropriate volume. The device is plugged in; an accompanying app for smartphones will allow users to manage shopping lists, music, alarms, and more through a specialized dashboard.
“Echo’s brain is in the cloud, running on Amazon Web Services so it continually learns and adds more functionality over time,” reads Amazon’s copy on the product. “The more you use Echo, the more it adapts to your speech patterns, vocabulary, and personal preferences.”
The consumer-tech world has been down this road before, of course. Apple’s Siri digital assistant responds to vocal commands; Google Now will answer spoken queries. The companies building these cloud-based, voice-activated platforms claim the software becomes more sophisticated as users make more queries. But voice has yet to catch on as a default means of input. In late 2013, for example, one poll suggested that 85 percent of those who owned an iOS device had never used Siri.
For Amazon fans and customers, the appearance of Echo on the heels of the Fire Phone’s high-profile failure might lead to concerns that the company is spreading itself too thin. Amazon dominates the online-retail market, and Amazon Web Services (AWS) powers many a company’s cloud, but that’s evidently not enough for CEO Jeff Bezos: He seems to want to rule the device market, as well. But while Amazon’s Kindle e-readers and Fire tablets drew users, Amazon had to take a massive write-down on the Fire Phone.
Echo isn’t a bet-the-company initiative, but if it fails to gain marketplace traction, it could increase the calls for Amazon to focus on what it does best.
- Yep, Amazon Goofed on the Fire Phone
- Amazon’s ‘Diverse’ Staff Largely White, Male
- Amazon Launches Back-End Services to Aid Mobile Developers
For years, cynical IT pros have maintained that certifications aren’t worth the paper they’re printed on. But recruiters and analysts report a growing interest in IT certification. While it’s true that employers still want to see experience, certification can provide outside validation of your skills… and signal a commitment to furthering those skills.
Certifications in these areas are showing some of the sharpest growth in demand:
Fortune 1000 companies are now spending millions of dollars on their privacy programs, with financial services, consumer products, and retail firms leading the way, according to a survey by the International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP). A third of the responding companies said they plan to increase their privacy program staff, while only 3 percent expect to cut staffers.
That’s why certifications such as GIAC Certified Penetration Tester, InfoSys Security Management Professional (ISSMP/CISSP), and EC-Council Certified Ethical Hacker are among the fastest-growing with regard to premium pay, according to analyst firm Foote Partners.
Mobility and Cloud
In its predictions for 2015, Juniper Research maintains that mobile and cloud will alter the architectural landscape, and that DevOps techniques will revamp the way we deliver solutions to business stakeholders. Perhaps the biggest challenge facing companies, however, will be recruiting and retaining people will the skills to build applications quickly and to integrate them into legacy portfolios.
Amazon Web Services recently unveiled a new DevOps Engineer certification, which validates the technical expertise required for provisioning, operating and managing distributed application systems on its public-cloud platform. (It’s still in beta through mid-December.) To be eligible, you must already be certified as an AWS Certified Developer – Associate or AWS Certified SysOps Administrator – Associate.
A new Gartner report cites a shift to open-source software as a major factor in the coming major disruption to data centers. IT leaders responding to a survey by TechPro Research put more faith in the future of Linux desktops than in the possibility of Apple elbowing ahead of Microsoft in the enterprise.
Combine that with Microsoft open-sourcing its .NET code to run atop Linux servers, along with the wild popularity of container technology such as Docker, and the future of Linux seems bright.
Linux Professional Institute certifications, CompTIA Linux+ and RedHat Certified Technician are among the skills making big gains in market value of late.
While the ranks of Linux pros is growing, the segment isn’t expanding fast enough to meet demand, said Jim Zemlin, executive director of the Linux Foundation, in announcing two new vendor-neutral certifications: the Linux Foundation Certified System Administrator (LFCS), which covers the skills necessary for basic-to-intermediate system administration from the command-line for systems running Linux, and the Linux Foundation Certified Engineer (LFCE), which focuses on the design and implementation of system architecture. Both are performance-based and can be on CentOS, openSUSE, or Ubuntu.
- Getting Started With Linux Certifications
- 6 Essential IT Certifications for 2015
- Are Employers Willing to Pay More for Certifications?
Chief Technology Officers (CTOs) need a mix of technical and strategic skills to perform effectively in the C-suite. But more than anything else, CTOs must be motivational leaders with the communication skills to rally the troops—IT employees and non-tech staff alike—around their vision.
CTOs combine technical chops with managerial savvy, all in the name of aligning the technical needs of the organization with business and financial goals. “A CTO has to define the technology and technical strategy of the company and depending on the scope, deliver on it,” Laurent Bride, CTO at software-integration firm Talend, said in an interview. If you’re looking at software companies, he added, experience as a developer in multiple languages is a must: “Being able to design a high-level scalable, open, and adaptable architecture is also something you would expect from a CTO.”
The aspiring CTO’s resume should show a steady progression up the IT food chain, with development, architecture and management experience as must-haves. “Leading innovation teams can be a plus in the [applicant] mix,” Bride said. A deep understanding of mobile, Big Data, and the cloud are very important these days, although probably not as much as the capability to bridge old and new technologies.
(Wonder what a CTO’s resume would look like? Check out our sample here.)
Non-technical skills are just as important as technical ones. In order to deliver on goals, a CTO needs to be a thought leader and someone unafraid of failure. “He or she needs to be pragmatic on delivery plans, while challenging the team for more,” is how Bride frames it. That requires a technical curiosity as well as an innovation focus. Changes in the way enterprise companies consume software, whether it’s cloud, mobile, or open source (as well as the consumerization of enterprise software), will affect how CTOs perform their roles for years to come.
With all that in mind, those applying for a CTO role should brush up on their communication skills, and be ready to adapt their personal style to the audience. You’ll not only deal with IT staff, but non-technical employees and customers and clients. A good CTO can make complex topics understandable to even the most non-technical people in an organization.
As with most of the roles on the executive team, CTOs are more involved in the financial direction of the company than ever before—a crucial role, since CTOs are laboring under the pressure of weak IT spending. According to Gartner, worldwide IT spending was flat in 2013, and is on pace to increase a mere 2.1 percent in 2014. Before taking a run at a CTO role, make sure you know your way around a financial statement, and be prepared to counter budgetary constraints with IT innovation.
- Sample Resume: Chief Technology Officer
- IT Hiring Increases Across Sectors
- U.S. CTO Switches Gears to Recruit in Silicon Valley
IT executives continue to express confidence in their company’s business prospects, but worry about the difficulties they face in hiring the technology workers they need, according to the latest CompTIA IT Industry Business Confidence Index. Based on an online survey of 305 IT companies, the index stands at 61.3 on a 100-point scale, edging up from 60.2 in the first quarter. Disruptive technologies and business models were among the issues causing the most concern among IT leaders. “Two areas – cloud computing and mobility – are key factors,” said Tim Herbert, CompTIA’s vice president of research. “With such far-reaching impacts of these technologies, firms across the IT channel are still working through how to best meet the needs of their customers and their business.” Meanwhile, one-third of the surveyed companies said they’re understaffed. Forty two percent are fully staffed but want to hire for expansion. Half the companies have job openings, including 76 percent of large firms, 75 percent of medium companies, 47 percent of small businesses and 18 percent of what CompTIA calls “micro firms.” The majority of open positions include technicians and IT support personnel , application developers , cloud experts , network engineers and security experts . The surveyed companies also said it’s more difficult to find technical workers with the right skills and expertise (57 percent) than it is to find non-technical workers (26 percent). Related Stories Tech Pros’ Salaries, Confidence Rise: Dice Report Silicon Valley Sees Skills Shortages in Java, .NET, PHP Raleigh Employers Look for Software Developers Image: rnl/Shutterstock.com The post IT Execs Are Confident, But Still Face Hiring Difficulties appeared first on Dice News .
Office products retailer Staples has been on a hiring spree to support its big bet on e-commerce. The company has been adding “hundreds of engineers, including many from Web-only retailers who can help the retailer to bridge gaps in creating and managing technology across stores and digital,” according to Internet Retailer . While rolling out faster, sleeker and more personalized mobile sites, the company’s also looking to “omnichannel” technology that promotes in-store shopping. In September, Staples announced plans for its Seattle Development Center , described as “an innovation hub rivaling Silicon Valley” with up to 50 employees hired in positions like software development , product management , usability , analytics and online merchandising. It’s now advertising for several software engineering positions there. In October, Staples acquired San Mateo, Calif.-based conversion marketing platform company Runa to help build out its data analytics capabilities . Like other retailers, Staples is trying to gain capabilities in analytics through acquisitions that also yield highly sought-after talent. Other big-box retailers that have done the same include Home Depot , which bought pricing startup BlackLocus, and Walmart Labs that acquired predictive analytics platform Inkiru. At the time of its Runa deal, Staples said it planned to add 20 to 30 more people to build up its analytics staff up to around 50. Staples’ mobile team is based at its Velocity Lab in Cambridge, Mass., with up to 75 employees focused on customers’ growing preference for mobile shopping. Its open positions there include senior engineer mobile , senior UI software engineer and e-commerce data architect . “Staples has been hiring additional engineers to its Seattle Development Center, as it continually enhances its digital properties to help customers make more happen,” Staples spokesman Mark Cautela told Dice News. “For the new Staples Innovation Center in San Mateo, Staples has been adding associates with backgrounds in Clojure programming , deep learning and data science . And for Staples Velocity Lab in Cambridge, the company is continually searching for the best mobile talent. Staples is also looking for project managers , additional engineers and e-commerce professionals for its corporate headquarters in Framingham, Mass.” Improving the Mobile Experience Last August, the company rolled out a redesigned mobile website with improved integration with its Staples rewards program. It plans to launch its first iPad app this spring. So far, the company’s maintaining a separate mobile site, smartphone app and tablet-optimized site rather than using responsive Web design to create one site that adapts to any screen size. That’s a more expedient way to improve the customer experience, though the retailer plans to move all its sites into responsive design starting at the end of this year, Executive Vice President of Global E-Commerce Faisal Masud said recently. Staples feels pressure to improve the mobile experience because frustrated buyers quickly move on to other sites, Masud said. “As much as we want to go to responsive, there’s not time right now,” he explained. “We have to fill a short-term gap where we have a lot of traffic going [to mobile].” Among other things, the company is incorporating buying histories into its product recommendations and using information about users’ browsing habits to make each session more relevant. In addition to its mobile strategy, Staples is leveraging technology as it pares down its brick-and-mortar stores. Its developers are working on software that allows customers with Android phones to connect with in-store kiosks that highlight products they’ve tagged in the mobile app. And, it has developed technology that alerts a sales associate if a customer stands in the store’s ink section for more than a minute and a half. While Staples sells more than $10 billion worth of products online annually, second only to Amazon among the world’s Internet retailers, sales dropped 1.2 percent in 2012. It will announce 2013 results on March 6. The post Staples Hiring Spree Targets Hundreds of Engineers appeared first on Dice News .
If your job prospects improved in 2013, then you’ll probably like 2014. But there’s a caveat: You’ll continue to lose ground if you’re in a non-strategic IT role, according to David Foote, CEO of research firm Foote Partners LLC. “Overall demand will be about the same in 2014,” Foote says. “But sporadic skill shortages and an onslaught of new certifications will buoy the prospects and pay of professionals in key strategic roles. Professionals in operational roles are on the wrong side of IT and will continue to lose value.” Since 2014 is shaping up to be a mirror image of 2013 from the job market’s perspective, we asked Foote to revisit his projections for 2013 and to explain why cloud, Big Data and mobile development professionals are poised for another great year. Cloud Professionals For 2013, “we forecasted that companies would hire enterprise architects, cloud administrators and resource planners and as a group cloud skills and certifications gained 1.5 percent in market value for the six months ending Oct. 1 and 4.2 percent over nine months,” says Foote. “They outperformed all 348 IT skills and also outperformed the 293 IT certifications in our survey, so we got that one right.” Today, as companies move from planning to implementation, they’re defining the roles to be played by cloud professionals, he explains. Based on Foote’s survey, and what he’s hearing from employers, “we expect the demand for cloud architects , solution architects, administrators and integrators to continue to rise,” Foote says. “It’s not new news but it bears repeating since professionals can still catch the wave.” Big Data Expertise “Last year we predicted good things for database developers and admins and that happened too,” observes Foote. The database skills group in his IT Skills and Certifications Pay Index grew 5.7 percent in market value over the last six months, 4.6 percent in the last nine months and 3.5 percent in market value over the past 12 months. “We expect 2014 to be a good year for DBAs and data managers with one small caveat,” he says. For the most part, large companies have already assembled their Big Data teams. Small and mid-size firms are behind the curve so they’ll be doing most of the hiring.” “The winners will be database developers, architects, analysts and technical specialists, especially if they know Apache HBase, NoSQL or prescriptive tools and analytics,” says Foote. Mobile App Developers and Device Managers Last year, Foote predicted that mobile app developers , wireless engineers and wireless security professionals would be in demand. His prediction turned out to be accurate. As a group, certified and non-certified wireless skills gained 6 percent in market value over the past three months and 17.7 percent in value in the past 9 nine, according to the firm’s survey. Foote doesn’t foresee a drop in demand from the emergence of hybrid phones and mini tablets. “Demand for mobile developers would have ebbed in 2014 if not for these new devices,” he says. One emerging role in the mobility space next year will be device manager. Device managers may work in-house or for third-party firms that oversee employee-owned devices and security for companies and government agencies. Losing Ground For 2013, Foote predicted that security specialists would have a banner year. But while security certifications increased in value by nearly 2 percent over the last nine months, the demand for professionals has ebbed and flowed. “Security is an area where there’s a lot of smoke but not enough heat,” Foote believes. “Everyone wants to talk about the need for security but when it’s time to budget, companies can’t justify spending for protection instead of growth.” The post Which Tech Jobs Will Win, Which Will Lose in 2014 appeared first on Dice News .