Tag Archives: trends

  • Health Information Technology and Global Trends

    The first national HIMSS conference took place on April 1, 1962, at the Emerson Hotel in Baltimore.  It is appropriate the event began in those Camelot days, when people asked themselves not what can be done for them but what they can do for others.  The seed from which today’s HIMSS conference grew started with […]

  • Will Tech Unemployment Keep Declining?

    shutterstock_267308135

    The U.S. unemployment rate hit 5.1 percent in August, the lowest in seven and a half years, although actual job growth seemed to slow.

    Those in the technology industry know it’s a robust labor market; the unemployment rate for tech workers hit 2.9 percent in August, a decline from 3.4 percent in July (and a tad below the 3.1 percent hit in August 2014).

    Over the past several quarters, programmers and software developers have enjoyed some substantial dips in their respective unemployment rates, although the numbers have been far more mixed for Web developers, network and systems administrators, support specialists, and others. Computer and electronic manufacturing continues to lose jobs, thanks in large part to slackening demand for hardware such as PCs.

    “The continuing trends of ‘everything-as-a-service,’ ‘software-defined everything’ and the proliferation of devices and applications requiring integration and support have spurred hiring by a wide range of IT companies,” Tim Herbert, senior vice president of research and market intelligence for CompTIA, wrote in a statement accompanying that organization’s August report about the state of the tech industry.

    CompTIA’s data suggested that the tech industry had managed to generate jobs in 14 of the 18 months between January 2014 and June 2015.

    Does that mean the unemployment rate for tech pros will continue to dip? It’s impossible to predict; while the tech industry remains strong, it’s still subject to macroeconomic trends. At the same time, it doesn’t seem as if the appetite for tech pros who specialize in cloud-based services or software development will slacken anytime soon.

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  • Python Snakes Up List of Fastest-Growing Skills

    Python Screenshot

    The most recent Dice Report offered a list of the fastest-growing tech skills, including cybersecurity, Puppet (an open-source IT automation tool), Hadoop, and Big Data.

    One programming language appeared on that list: Python, which enjoyed 21 percent growth year-over-year (as of Sept. 2), based on mentions in Dice job postings. (Skill requests had to appear in at least 1,000 job postings on a given day to qualify for the analysis.)

    Click here to find Python jobs.

    That growth is no surprise. Python, currently in version 3.4.1 (released in May 2014), remains a popular element in college-level introductory courses, according to data released this summer by the Association for Computing Machinery (AMC). It’s also topped the rankings of popular programming languages produced by analyst firm RedMonkTIOBE Software, and other entities.

    What underlies Python’s popularity? For starters, it’s a mature and well-established language that can trace its roots back nearly 25 years. Major firms such as Google have embraced it as a key tool for building Web properties. Developers and programmers of all skill levels enjoy its combination of simplicity and power.

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    “Python’s syntax is beautiful; the language is concise; and it’s modern,” developer (and editor) Jeff Cogswell wrote for Dice News in August. “I consider it one of the best languages I’ve ever used, and I feel that one of the biggest mistakes made in the world of computer software was when the browsers added JavaScript as their client-side language.” Better client-side software might exist, he added, if Python had become the language of choice instead of JavaScript.

    Those interested in building out their programming skills would do well to look at Python, but other languages are also worth examining, including JavaScript, C#, PHP, and Swift.

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    Image: Python.org

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  • The Fastest-Growing Tech Skills: Dice Report

    fastest growing tech skills

    Employment for technology professionals continues to thrive, yet this rising tide of job opportunities for tech pros has not lifted the prospects for all skill sets equally. So which technology skills have ridden the wave to the biggest increases over the past year?

    Let’s dive into the nearly 80,000 jobs posted on Dice on any given day to find the Top 10 big movers year-over-year, skills-wise, based on mentions in job postings:

    • Puppet – The open source IT automation tool of the moment is anything but child’s play. It has gained a foothold with some of tech’s biggest players and Puppet Labs completed a $40 million round of investment funding in mid-June. We expect tech professionals with automation and orchestration experience to continue to be on hiring managers’ wish lists into the future.
    • Cybersecurity – It’s no surprise that two of the top 10 skills on the list (#9 Information Security) address keeping data secure. As an increasing number of data breaches make headlines and consumer anxiety concerning personal information abounds, organizations’ and retailers’ need for bench strength when it comes to IT security needs little explanation. Expect demand for this skill to continue to grow as companies look for tech professionals who can both proactively and reactively attend to security gaps.
    • Big Data – Big Data continues to be an ever-bigger deal across industries ranging from pharma to health care, defense systems to video games. The tech professional who can extract intelligence from data at this scale best stands to collect most in the future.
    • NoSQL – As mobile apps multiply and Big Data and the cloud gain even greater acceptance, NoSQL databases are picking up speed in the marketplace. Professionals who know when to use (and when not to use) these new approaches will bring much-needed flexibility, efficiency and agility to their companies’ operations.
    • Hadoop – As more and more businesses seek to analyze and interpret massive amounts of stored information, this open source Apache framework will continue to gain traction. Hiring managers use Dice’s Open Web to find Hadoop professionals who also have NoSQL (#4) and Big Data (#3) experience.
    • Cloud – A recent survey by Intuit predicts that 78 percent of U.S. small businesses will have fully adopted the cloud by 2020, as compared to 37 percent today. As cloud computing grows, job opportunities should soar as well.

    Shravan Goli,
    President, Dice

    Image: Dice

    The post The Fastest-Growing Tech Skills: Dice Report appeared first on Dice News.

  • 4 Morphing Technology Jobs

    Butterfly

    Earlier this week, ZDNet listed “four classic IT jobs that are moving to the back burner:” mainframe programmers, systems administrators, help desk technicians and SMB IT managers. While it’s true these roles are being changed, there’s still work to be done in each area—it just may get done in a different way.

    Probably the most obvious job on the list is mainframe programmer. Changes in the way data is hosted and accessed have de-emphasized the need for mainframe software, and fewer people are entering the world of mainframe programming. That said, governments and financial companies continue to rely on mainframes, especially for transactional applications. “For a transaction processing computer, there is no faster or more reliable machine out there than a mainframe. The big enterprises all know this. That’s why they keep them,” said Transworld CEO Mary Shacklett.

    Click here to find a mainframe programming job.

    In the next 10 to 15 years, watch for demand for mainframe programmers to kick up as today’s workers begin to retire. However, the skills required will be different than they’ve been in the past, pointed out Global Knowledge Senior Vice President Michael Fox. In addition to traditional mainframe skills, new workers “[are] also going to need Web services, mobility, they’re going to have to tie all that together.”

    Meanwhile, the systems administrator’s role is evolving as more companies migrate operations to the cloud. Though there’ll continue to be a need for sys admins, much of their work is moving from the client to the vendor side. Vendor-based sys admins are likely to find themselves working for a number of organizations, not just one.

    Then there’s the help desk technician, another role being impacted by fundamental changes in business operations. Not so long ago, employees worked almost exclusively with company-supplied hardware and software. Today, they’re increasingly likely to bring their own devices to work, and be an expert themselves in how those devices operate. As a result, businesses have less need for dedicated help desk personnel, and are more likely to look for lower-cost alternatives to maintaining solutions in-house.

    Finally, there’s the IT managers at small and medium-sized businesses. Increasingly, companies want to combine this role with others, either by assigning IT work to tech-smart people in other departments, or by hiring a generalist who can cover all of the business’s IT demands.

    All of these jobs are examples of roles that are morphing with technology. Many of their core skills will remain in demand, just in different ways, and in new places.

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  • What the Next 18 Months Holds for Software Careers

    It’s easy to put your head down and focus on the work that you have to do today. To think about the job you’re doing now. To think about the technology you know already. To understand the team structure you’re currently in. That’s what’s now. But what’s next? Let’s take a walk through the next 18 months and see where engineering is going. Focus on Learning H iring managers have figured out that tomorrow’s skills won’t be today’s skills, so they’re looking for learners. With the time and productivity crunch managers face — not to mention their desire to sweeten the pot for qualified talent — they’re going to be more inclined to support your ideas for training. More and more companies are creating training budgets that employees can use any way they want. What to Expect: In interviews and reviews, expect to start seeing more emphasis on how you learn, how quickly you learn and what you learn. The good news is that it means you’re also more likely to get an interview even if you only have 80 percent of the job’s matching skills. It also means that you’re going to be more responsible for identifying your own training opportunities such as online courses , podcast subscriptions and conferences to name a few. How to Handle It: Take charge of your own training, whether you’re working or between jobs. Ask your manager what projects are coming up, do some research and suggest training options that make sense. Make your learning projects public even if they’re for personal use, and don’t be afraid to ask for feedback. Write a summary of how you went about learning so you have a good story to tell at your next performance review or job interview. Mobile First and Mobile Only What’s Going On: Apps are everywhere. Smartphones are everywhere. According to IDC, PC sales are dropping and will continue to do so through 2018. At the same time, global smartphone sales are up 46 percent, a solid mix of Android and iOS . How to Handle It: Software developers and the companies they work for need to reach people where they are: on their phones. That means more apps, more mobile websites and more emphasis on semi-connected use. If you’re a PC application developer , it’s time to figure out how to build mobile apps . If you’re a Web developer , make sure you’re up to date on responsive design and mobile constraints. If you’re a server developer , there’s good news: All those apps still need servers. You’ll be building a lot of REST APIs . Focus any outside-of-work learning you do on technologies that are mobile-friendly. Volunteer for any mobile projects your company is starting so you can start to learn. Rise of JavaScript Frameworks What’s Going On: The pendulum is swinging back from thin clients to thick clients, but now the browser is the thick client. To support that, JavaScript is taking on characteristics of server-side programming: encapsulation, light object-orientation, MVC support. The odds are high that your next Web application will use Ember , Angular or something similar. Backbone — the granddaddy of the JavaScript frameworks — has lost momentum but will remain prevalent for a year or so. How to Handle It: If you’re a Web developer, get your hands on a JavaScript framework tutorial and start learning. It doesn’t matter which framework you choose, but this is a tool you’ll need in your arsenal soon. Testing Integration What’s going on: The future isn’t bright for manual testers. More and more teams are focusing on “whole team testing,” which usually translates to automated testing by developers and “acceptance” or light manual testing by business users or customers. Dedicated testers are turning into specialists, particularly in performance, load and security-related testing. How to handle it: If you’re a manual tester, you’ll need to find a niche ( automation , performance , security , etc.) or you’ll have an increasingly hard time finding a job. If you’re a developer, expect to start testing your own code, usually with existing test frameworks. All engineers should expect to spend more time with interested business users and to start explaining features and bugs to a wider audience. Conclusion Technologies, techniques, patterns and team dynamics are all places where today’s solutions won’t solve tomorrow’s problems. The onus is on you to keep up so that your career today is a career you can continue tomorrow. Fortunately, you have some notice, so you can be ready. The post What the Next 18 Months Holds for Software Careers appeared first on Dice News .

  • 5 Things Impacting Your IT Job Search Right Now

    The unemployment rate in technology is running well below the national average – 3.5 percent during 2013’s fourth quarter — and employers regularly complain that there are too few candidates available for too many IT jobs. That’s good. But it doesn’t mean you can approach your job search cavalierly. In any environment, it’s important to understand the dynamics at work so you can position yourself in the best way possible. Here are five dynamics of today’s tech job market you should understand. Companies Are Focusing on New Technologies for Growth It’s critical that tech professionals keep up with new technologies and update their skills appropriately. “The No. 1 thing that impacts a job search is having good experience with the newer technologies,” says Lincoln Stalnaker, director of technology recruiting for the Seattle Search Group. As examples, he cites Amazon’s AWS and Microsoft’s Azure . Businesses Need People Who Can Communicate Communication skill is another area that can impact your search, says Dino Grigorakakis, vice president of recruiting for Randstad Technologies’ Philadelphia, Pa., office. “Communication skills are important because business people have needs and IT people must be able to communicate so that they can fulfill the IT requirements of the given business,” he says. Experience in Multiple Languages is Expected Both Grigorakakis and Stalnaker point to the importance of knowing multiple programming languages and having a variety of up-to-date skills. “In the current job market, you need to do more than one thing. You can be systems engineer but also write SQL code,” says Stalnaker. “The more you can do, the more valuable you are. I had one person turned down from a job offer because he could not do middle-tier, so the company would have had to hire two people,” one to do front end, the other to handle middle tier. Personal Websites Are Used to Source Candidates Engineers and other tech professionals who fail to create a website with links to their coding projects, resume and social network profiles may be losing out to others who do, says Roger King, founder and CEO of IT recruiting firm Chief People in Sausalito, Calif. “I’m seeing more and more candidates who maintain a personal website with updates to their resume, links to their (social media) profiles, etc. These candidates often have an advantage over those who might send in a resume without so much as a cover letter.” King adds that in today’s market, employers are largely looking for people with very specific skill sets, and candidates sell themselves short if they haven’t included all of their relevant experience in their materials. Job Seekers Are Receiving Multiple Job Offers This one’s a great problem to have. While most of the trends recruiters list can hurt a candidate’s prospects, here’s the great exception. However, as great as multiple offers can be, they have to be managed properly. “When reviewing multiple job offers, ask yourself what you’re looking for,” says King. “Do you want advancement, a chance to learn new things, a shorter commute? Also, it’s important to consider what you enjoy and don’t enjoy about your current job.” Stalnaker advises candidates in this situation to look out five years and consider what they want their career to be at that point. Doing that will help you decide which offer is the most attractive. “Are you willing to work 40-, 50-, 60-hour work weeks?” he asks. “If not, the offer from a more mature company may be more appealing. It will have less fire drills.” On the other hand, he notes, “people who are starting off in their careers may want to work at smaller companies where there are more opportunities for growth, more impact and more visibility to grow their management skills and be more marketable for the next opportunity.” The post 5 Things Impacting Your IT Job Search Right Now appeared first on Dice News .

  • Cloud Administrators and Architects Among Top 5 Tech Jobs in 2013

    As 2013 comes to a close, IT professionals in software development, cloud, mobile, Internet of Things and Big Data not only found their occupations in high demand but also face projections of continued interest from hiring managers and recruiters going in to the new year and all the way to 2018, say industry recruiters and analysts. Software developers, which includes such roles as Web developers, software quality assurance engineers, and computer systems analysts, took the No. 1 spot on a Wanted Analytics survey for the top tech job this year, as well as Forbes’ Top 10 Jobs for 2013 . Driving software developers to the top spot was the frequency of job postings for this position, according to both reports. Forbes, which included software apps developers and system software developers, cited a 7 percent growth in job postings to 70,872 this year from 2010 levels. Cloud administrators also ranked among the top tech jobs in 2013, as demand for managing public, private and hybrid clouds heated up. Cloud services for all three flavors of the cloud are expected to grow to $242 billion in 2020 from $40.7 billion in 2011, according to Forrester. This position was not only a top job in 2013, but it’s expected to stay on the upward trajectory through 2018 and beyond. Cloud enterprise architect is another 2013 tech job that is expected to remain in demand in the new year and through the decade. The popularity of this job is fueled by employers seeking to build their own private clouds and companies looking to offer cloud services to outside customers. Database developers and administrators also ranked on the top 5 list, David Foote, CEO of Foote Partners, told Dice News. He cited the 3.5 percent rise of this position over the past year in his IT Skills and Certifications Pay Index. Database administrators were also among the Top 5 positions last year in a CNN Money survey , which projected a 30.6 percent growth over the next 10 years due to the explosion in data that companies have to consume. Mobile app developers, while technically part of the broader software developer category, have such a high demand among employers that they are worthy of breaking out as a separate occupation. They were a highly sought group in 2013 and will remain one next year and beyond, say executive recruiters. With companies eager to provide a mobile version of their offerings in either an iOS or Android version – or more likely both – it’s understandable why mobile developers were among the top 5 tech jobs in 2013. The post The Top 5 Tech Jobs in 2013 appeared first on Dice News .

  • Budgets, Salaries, Training Point to Strong IT Job Market

    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 .

  • Conflicting Reports on IT Job Market’s Health

    Two tech groups are reporting a slowing job market for technology professionals, but a third survey – from Robert Half Technology — reports the opposite. According to TechServe Alliance, an association of IT and engineering staffing and solutions firms, technology hiring grew by 3,200 jobs in November, 3,100 jobs in October and 6,100 jobs in September – a pace well off the gains posted earlier this year. “We are noticing a clear deceleration in the rate of growth,” said Mark Roberts, the Alliance’s CEO. However, the group did note 28 months of consecutive job growth in IT. The industry now employs 4.5 million people, up 180,200 jobs this year, it said. Meanwhile Janco Associates, which generally takes a conservative view of tech hiring, has called the IT job market “anemic.” The firm’s study looks at a smaller data set, and found only 400 IT jobs added in November, and 4,300 added over the past three months. Based on interviews with 104 CIOs over the past two weeks, Janco says that tech executives and their companies have grown more cautious. It attributes that to lingering uncertainty about the economy and another round of government sequestration coming in January. Janco CEO Victor Janulaitis notes that states that have high numbers of IT workers – such as California, Washington and Virginia — also have big defense installations likely to be affected. Better Views On the other hand, a look ahead by recruiter Robert Half Technology estimates that 16 percent of U.S. CIOs plan to add to their teams in the first half of 2014, an increase of 5 percentage points from this year’s second half. For companies that operate on a calendar year, that means new budgets are in place to get new projects rolling. Fewer companies embark on new projects during the second half of the year. Most (67 percent) will continue to fill only vacancies on their staffs, while 15 percent plan to put hiring plans on hold. Just 2 percent expect to reduce their IT staffing levels. RHT’s projections are based on interviews with more than 2,300 CIOs from 23 major U.S. markets. “We continue to see strong demand for IT professionals across the United States,” said John Reed, senior executive director of Robert Half Technology. “Professionals with skills in mobile applications development, data analytics and networking are in especially high demand.” Recently, Wanted Analytics said software developers were the most-sought-after IT professionals , with 232,000 jobs advertised online in the past 90 days. That’s an increase of 3 percent over the same period in 2012, and more than 120 percent from four years ago. Robert Half found that 88 percent of CIOs are somewhat or very confident in their company’s growth prospects for the first six months of 2014, an increase of 2 percentage points from six months ago. And 69 percent were confident that their firms will invest in IT projects in the first half of 2014, a rise of 6 percentage points. The post Conflicting Reports on IT Job Market’s Health appeared first on Dice News .