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 .
Austin, Texas-based enterprise software development firm Headspring Systems plans to hire 100 app developers by the end of the year, with most of the hires based in Dallas, where it’s opening a new office. The company nearly tripled its headcount last year and expanded to Houston. It plans a Chicago office in 2015. The company focuses on custom application development , business intelligence and systems integration . In February, it launched a mobile division . Opening in May, the Dallas office will hire in software development and mobile application development . Available positions include senior .NET developers in Austin, Houston and Dallas. “The demand for us is so high right now that we just can’t fill the positions fast enough,” J.T. McCormick, the company’s president, told the Dallas Business Journal. The post Headspring Systems Seeks 100 App Developers appeared first on Dice News .
“There has been an increase in demand for data architects ,” says Rob Byron, a principal consultant in WinterWyman’s Boston-based IT Search Division. Data provides knowledge and power to any company that knows how to harness it, and lately organizations have been pushing not only to capture all the data they can, but to understand how to leverage that information in a way that’s meaningful to their business. Consequently, data architects have become the critical link between business and technology. “That’s where the big boom in business intelligence is starting to happen,” says Byron. “It’s now a big piece of the data architect role.” Architects are expected to understand all elements of databases, and also ensure that a company’s technology group has a complete understanding of what the business actually needs. What Employers Are Looking For The data architect should be a technologist, a mediator/liaison and a data strategist. Per Byron, clients are looking for professionals who can evangelize best practices and good data practices to the technology team. They must also be able to socialize those practices within the business. Whether it’s the CEO, marketing or operations, the data architect must be able to understand each of the business’s variants and work with disparate teams to make sure information is organized precisely and in a way that’s actually useful to their employer. “The data has to be structured in a certain way,” says Byron. “The data layer has to be laid out correctly. These people not only have to be technically strong, they have to be able to interface with the business at a high level.” Base Knowledge The in-demand skill set still includes being conversant in traditional data-modeling tools both physical and logical, such as ERwin , PowerDesigner , ETL , Oracle and SQL Server Database . Even if the architect isn’t going to be hands-on, they must be able to develop a proof of concept, set the framework and communicate with the team who’s doing the final building. Big Data is Here Byron says the buzz around Big Data is getting louder. He notes that tools that were used in the past aren’t going work with cutting edge companies that are using massively parallel processing (MPP) databases. “There are NoSQL types of databases that are out there and we’re starting to see more requirements for MongoDB or Hadoop . The architect need not be an expert, but they must be able to build a proof of concept, evaluate the situation and work with selecting the right vendor when it’s time to turn the project over to the builders.” The post Demand for Data Architects Keeps Rising appeared first on Dice News .
The Problem: Employers are ignoring your resume. In fact, you’ve only scored one interview after sending it out to more than 100 open positions. The Solution: You use the PSR – for “problem, solution, results” — methodology to punch up your experience bullets and provide a brief project summary. The Results: You score a dozen interviews and two offers after tantalizing employers with a revitalized package that emphasizes your value. So what is this magical PSR methodology? In a nutshell, it’s a classic writing technique that authors have been using for years. Instead of providing information in a vacuum, you lure in reviewers by defining the challenge you’ve faced, your course of action and the results you achieved. The repeatable formula is often used by technical writers to create compelling marketing messages when space is limited. If you want to see the technique in action, take a look at these case studies from Microsoft . Let’s review the process and how to use the results to jump-start your search. Define the Problem: First, describe a situation where you used relevant technical and non-technical skills to solve an urgent problem. Say an employer is looking for someone to troubleshoot and resolve network issues. Instead of writing: “Troubleshot LAN/WAN connections for 16 locations,” provide context by asking yourself, “Did the network have a history of failures? What caused the problems and how did the issues impact productivity, user satisfaction and the bottom line?” Include that detail. Describe the Solution: After identifying the problem, describe the steps you took and the skills you used to resolve it. Did you use a specific tool to test routers, domains and other network components? Did you install new servers or correct configuration problems? Why was your solution effective or unique? Remember, it’s OK to boast as long as it’s accurate. Outline Your Impact: Describe your outcomes specifically and glowingly. Note who was impacted and how they benefited. After all, it’s how you align your skills to the company’s strategic goals and use them to solve problems that creates value for IT managers . Transform Your Information into Results The final step is to edit all of this into powerful accomplishment bullets, project summaries and interview vignettes. Use power verbs , colorful adjectives and statistics to create one- to two-sentence accomplishment bullets that address the major requirements. For example: Resolved a costly history of intermittent network interruptions by using Traceroute and Ping to test and troubleshoot route and router issues. Using diligence and expertise, initiated a unique alteration of the routing table that produced 100% uptime and increased staff productivity by 15%. Augment your resume by offering prospective employers a short synopsis of your relevant projects. Or, if you’re a consultant, consider incorporating snapshots of appropriate projects into your resume as we did in this sample for an information security consultant and this one for a freelance project manager . Integrate your resume with the interview by using the PSR formula to create a series of short vignettes that illustrate how you’ve solved problems, applied your skills and created value for previous employers or clients. Short stories are perfect for diffusing negative questions or responding to questions about your behavior , experience and work preferences. When you combine your achievements with information about the problem and the solution, you’re on your way to creating an appealing — and highly effective — resume. The post How to Craft a PSR Resume 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 .
With tech salaries rising a modest 3 percent last year and IT professionals realizing the best way to bump up their salaries is land a new job, it’s not all that shocking that a new study finds more than 60 percent of engineers may seek a new job in 2014. And, of this group, 40 percent are already looking, according to the survey conducted by Experis , a unit of ManpowerGroup . “At the same time, 95 percent of hiring managers of engineers report difficulty filling open engineering positions,” the company reports. “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 engineers ranked highest on the list of the most in-demand.” With engineers finding compensation growth rather lackluster and new opportunities plentiful, hiring managers and recruiters may potentially find a greater pool of available talent. The survey of 700 engineers and 200 hiring managers also found that when it comes to engineers: 72 percent work eight to 10 hours a day 58 percent rarely or never have the option to work remotely An increasing number of companies are beginning to offer the ability to telecommute, especially in Silicon Valley – with the exception of Yahoo , which may be another reason engineers are looking for new opportunities. Of the companies surveyed, 17 percent seek electrical/electronics engineers, 14 percent mechanical or manufacturing engineers and 6 percent each for chemical and computer engineers . According to a separate talent shortage survey , engineers have been among the top 10 most difficult positions to hire every year since 2008, two years after the annual survey began. For hiring managers of engineers, the Experis survey reports challenges filling positions stem from a lack of applicants, 44 percent, lack of hard skills needed for the position, 37 percent, lack of experience, 33 percent, salary demands that are too high, 29 percent, and lack of workplace competencies/soft skills, 23 percent. The post Majority of Engineers May Job Hop in 2014 appeared first on Dice News .
Storage giant EMC has announced a restructuring that will involve about 1,000 job cuts , though with simultaneous hiring the company expects to end up with the same headcount as before, or even “slightly more.” EMC had 60,000 employees at the start of the year. The restructuring is “almost a mirror image of what we did last year,” David Goulden, CEO of EMC’s Information Infrastructure business, said during the company’s quarterly earnings call. In May, EMC said it would cut 1,004 positions, including jobs at its VMware subsidiary in Palo Alto, Calif. Jobs were eliminated in its Information Storage, RSA Information Security and Information Intelligence Group divisions. However, the company said it ended 2013 with a net increase of 2,000 jobs as a result of the shifts in its business. That may be an indication of where new hiring will take place this time around. Fourth-quarter earnings beat analyst estimates and executives stressed the company’s on track with its cloud and Big Data operations — which it spun off last year as a unit called Pivotal – and other emerging businesses. The new layoffs are expected to be “substantially completed” by the end of the first quarter, and fully completed by the end of 2014, EMC said. It has not made public the positions to be cut or the locations. However, as William Blair Analyst Jason Ader told the Register , “Management stated that the restructuring should be viewed more as a rebalancing, as the company moves people into ‘third platform’-oriented parts of the business and reduces headcount in legacy areas of the business.” “Third platform” involves the latest IT, plus mobile and cloud computing. Meanwhile, an EMC solution provider told CRN that the layoffs are focused on “people who sell EMC’s noncore products as the company moves the sales of some of its ancillary products to its core pre-sales personnel.” In its hiring, EMC looks for what Tom Murray, the company’s vice president of global talent acquisition, calls “classic” storage skills , but it also has a strong need for data scientists . The post EMC Restructuring Means Job Cuts Here, Hiring There appeared first on Dice News .
Software development is the most in-demand skill for technology jobs in the U.S., according to a study by Wanted Analytics. More than 232,000 jobs for software developers have been advertised online in the past 90 days, an increase of 3 percent over the same period in 2012, and more than 120 percent from four years ago. The business intelligence firm considers positions including Web developer, computer systems analyst, IT project manager and software quality assurance engineer as involving development skills, in addition to those concerned strictly with creating software. Seattle saw the highest demand, as well as the largest year-over-year growth – 15 percent. More than 21,000 jobs for software developers were posted there. Rounding out the top five markets were Washington, D.C., New York, San Francisco and San Jose. Wanted Analytics’ Hiring Scale , which scores jobs from 1 to 99 based on their projected difficulty to recruit, ranked software developers a 76 across the nation, indicating they’re tough to find. Cities where the difficulty is greater than the national average include Saginaw, Mich., San Francisco and Baltimore. Employers will find less competition in Santa Rosa-Petaluma, Calif., Columbus, Ga., and College Station, Texas. Interestingly enough, outsourcing company Cognizant Technology Solutions has just announced it’s setting up its U.S. headquarters in College Station – home to Texas A&M – and will hire 10,000 tech workers in the U.S. over the next three years. Software developer also ranked first on Forbes’ Top 10 jobs of 2013 , a list of occupations requiring at least a bachelor’s degree. Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics used in a ranking from CareerCast showed software developers as having the third best job in the country, behind actuaries and biomedical engineers. Those rankings were based on criteria including work environment, job stress, hiring outlook and average salary. Health IT vendors especially have been courting software developers. Orion Health announced plans to add 300 and eClinicalWorks is in the market for 100 . The post Hottest Job in the Market: Software Developer appeared first on Dice News .
With IT budgets up, salaries increasing and more companies investing in training, it’s a great time to be in the IT job market , says Leon Kappelman, a professor at the College of Business at the University of North Texas. Kappelman, who focuses on IT management issues, was part of the team that compiled the 34th annual Society for Information Management IT Trends Study for 2013 . “It’s a good time to be a geek: Salaries are increasing, money going to training is increasing — which is typically a sign of employers trying to keep their IT people — and we see turnover increasing, which is typically a sign of a healthy IT job market,” Kappelman told InformationWeek. Indeed, 62 percent of the CIOs recently surveyed by staffing firm TEKsystems said they expect their IT budgets to grow in 2014. That’s up from last year, when just half said their budgets would grow. The higher budgets translate to raises for IT staff, TEKsystems found. Some 47 percent of respondents said they planned to increase their full-time IT employee headcount, while 46 percent expected to hire more temporary IT workers. Meanwhile, a survey by Accenture noted the trend toward increased training . The 400 executives at large U.S. companies in that study said IT skills were their biggest need. It also found that 52 percent of workers are receiving formal training through their companies. Kappelman said several data points in the SIMS study indicate that IT departments are becoming more business focused, an idea that companies have been stressing for years. However, the metrics companies use to evaluate IT projects continued to focus on schedule, budget and customer satisfaction. Ranking much lower were increasing the number of products and services, creating innovative ideas and contributing to revenue growth. “The message to senior management is quit bitching about IT not being strategic, and change their incentives,” said Kappelman. “If you want them to be more strategic, pay them to be more strategic.” The post Budgets, Salaries, Training Point to Strong IT Job Market appeared first on Dice News .
A programmer’s skills need constant updating. You know the story: Technology that was hot two years is old hat as far as employers are concerned – which means they want something different today. And while it used to be companies would spring for the cost of training, that’s become increasingly rare. So, how do you get the training you need? That’s what we explore in this week’s hangout. Our panel — Software Engineering Talent Guide Catherine Powell, C++/C# and Java Talent Guide David Bolton, and NOVA Job Center Career Coach Sharadon Smith — looks into free and low cost options, as well as ways to prove your expertise in skills you’ve already learned. Resources Staying Up to Date Course Aggregation lists mooc-list.com skilledup.com (aggregator of learning options) Training Opportunities Free coursera.org udacity.com MIT’s free online self-guided courses Stanford’s self-guided courses Consulting companies and vendors often offer free training. Paid lynda.com (offers many levels of technical training for a subscription price. I recommend the $37.50/month model because it comes with exercise files) thoughtbot (A Boston Ruby on Rails consultancy. This one costs $99 per month without mentoring and $249 with) Design Contest Sites (great ways to get coding experience and network): kaggle.com challenge.gov hackforchange.org codeforamerica.org news.dice.com (Contests in our C++ and Java Talent Communities) http://www.visualizing.org/open-challenges (Data visualization) http://community.topcoder.com/tc Companies such as Google and Intel sometimes sponsor competition (look on their websites) Code review sites (opportunity to practice coding and get feedback): http://exercism.io stackoverflow.com stackexchange.com The post How to Get Low-Cost – or No-Cost – Training appeared first on Dice News .
One of our community members asked: How should I respond when hiring managers ask where else I’ve been interviewing? If I say nowhere, they’ll think I’m desperate. Or, they may think their job is my second choice if I mention high profile companies. What do I do? This question requires a strategic response. The key is to provide just enough information to satisfy the interviewer’s curiosity without hurting your chances. Here’s how to do it. Describe the companies without mentioning their names or where you are in the hiring process. The exception is if you want the interviewer to know you have an offer from another company on the table. For example: “I’ve recently interviewed with a bank and a mid-size oil company. However, I’m very interested in this opportunity. When do you need someone to start?” Naturally, you need to tell the truth in case the manager asks you to name the firms. But this answer should satisfy their curiosity without letting the cat out of the bag. No irons in the fire? Just say: “I’ve recently applied for several positions, but this one caught my eye.” In other words, talk about your activity and job search strategy, not your results. Make sure your answer aligns with your brand and story. For instance, you don’t want to mention that you’re interviewing for a programming role if you’ve just spent the last hour talking about your QA expertise. Or that you’re interviewing with a startup if you emphasized your desire for job security. Again, you need to be honest, but vague as possible if your other interviews contradict what you’ve said. How about you? Do you have advice to share? Post your comment below. The post How to Answer ‘Where Else Are You Interviewing?’ appeared first on Dice News .