ACM CareerNews for Tuesday, August 16, 2016

ACM CareerNews is intended as an objective career news digest for busy IT professionals. Views expressed are not necessarily those of ACM. To send comments, please write to careernews@hq.acm.org

Volume 12, Issue 16, August 16, 2016



op 10 Cities for Tech Workers
CIO.com, August 2

Using a combination of salary data from 200 different careers and cost-of-living information about major U.S. metropolitan areas, CareerCast has created a list of the top 10 cities to work in if you want to get the most out of your salary. These 10 cities not only have higher than average median salaries, but also low costs of living and low unemployment rates. Nearly all of these cities are also experiencing major growth in their respective tech industries.

Austin, Texas ranks highest on the list of Top 10 cities for tech workers. It has a fast-growing tech sector, as more startups are now choosing this more affordable city over Silicon Valley. It's home to the well-known SXSW festival every year, which helps to build the image of the city as having the latest in tech. According to CareerCast, the average median household income in Austin is $63,603 per year. The unemployment rate in Austin is 2.9% and the average cost of living is 6% less than the national average.

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IT Employment Dips in July, But Tech Sector Sees a Gain
IT News, August 11

Overall, the tech sector overall is showing signs of employment growth, even if there has been some month-to-month volatility in job gains. In industries such as finance, retail, healthcare and others, IT employment broadly declined in July by 88,000 jobs, or 1.9%, according to tech industry trade group CompTIA. In June, however, IT occupational employment showed a net gain of 74,000 jobs. This month-to-month volatility is normal because of the way the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports the data. Moreover, the government data includes part-time workers, and that can partially skew the data. Part-time work accounts for about 13% of these IT positions, representing about 650,000 jobs.

IT occupational employment is different from tech industry employment because the occupational category includes people who work for firms not part of the technology sector. Other than routine labor turnover, there does not appear to be one specific reason for the decline in IT occupation employment for July. The current thinking now is that IT occupational employment will end the year in positive territory, similar to last year's 3.1% increase. CompTIA's overall numbers increase with the addition of employees who work in the tech sector specifically. The IT sector added about 4,000 jobs last month, and has added 47,100 so far in 2016. The IT sector employees 4.39 million, but that includes everyone who works in the tech industry. About 44% of those employees work in IT positions.

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The 15 U.S. Cities With the Highest Salaries For Cybersecurity Jobs
TechRepublic.com, August 8

The talent gap for cybersecurity professionals continues to widen, and that lack of qualified people means salaries of cybersecurity professionals are skyrocketing. According to a new report from Burning Glass Technologies, cybersecurity jobs now come with a 9% salary premium over IT jobs overall. However, all salaries are not created equal, depending on your geographic location. In fact, once the numbers are adjusted for cost-of-living using data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), it turns out that the city with the best paid information security specialists is not a West Coast tech hub but rather, the Midwestern city of Minneapolis.

Information security specialists in San Francisco topped the unadjusted annual salary list with a salary of $149,744. However, in the more important adjusted annual salary category, information security specialists in Minneapolis were on top with $127,757, whereas security professionals in San Francisco dropped to third place with $119,346. New York City, an important financial capital and a highly attractive cybercriminal target, placed ninth. Arlington, VA, the home of the Pentagon, came in 15th, sending the signal that some government IT security jobs are less financially rewarding than some private-sector positions.

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10 Tips to Master the Art of Self-Promotion to Advance Your Career
Computerworld, August 9

Whether you're an active or a passive job seeker, it's important to have a strong sense of who you are, what you've accomplished and where you want to go next in your career and be able to broadcast those facts to your network. According to a recent LinkedIn survey, 53% of workers admitted they feel like they are bragging if they share their work achievements with others. Moreover, people are more likely to share health updates (25%) and political views (23%) on social media than news of a promotion (only 17%). Yet that unwillingness to share work achievements could be holding you back in your career, especially if you can’t explain to a recruiter why a company should hire you.

One self-promotion skill that's easy to master involves social media. LinkedIn, Facebook, and even Instagram and Pinterest can be valuable resources to help you tell your story. Short posts about big projects you've completed, major sales you've closed or software releases, for example, are great ways to showcase what you're up to professionally. Make sure, too, that you're recognizing the contributions and achievements of your fellow team members, and ask that they return the favor. Also, make sure you're updating LinkedIn regularly as you achieve new goals and receive promotions and awards, and share those with your network.

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Working 80 Hours a Week Is Not What Actually Leads to Success
Entrepreneur.com, July 14

While the natural inclination of a tech startup entrepreneur is to try to work 80 hours a week, that approach may not be the best one for building long-term career success. For one, if you are always tired and haggard, you are not going to be as productive as if you are getting enough sleep. Yet, due to the success stories in the media, some founders are fanatical when bragging that they work 60 to 80 hour weeks. Their sense of building a great new startup blinds them to the sacrifices they make. In many cases, it won’t help you to scale your startup any faster than if you are working 40 or 50 hours a week.

People are not designed for 80-hour workweeks, at least not over the long term. Various studies show that people operate efficiently for maybe 10 hours a day, and that is if you sleep well, eat right and exercise regularly. Thus, attempting to work more than 10 hours is an exercise in diminishing returns, as it keeps you from being at your peak performance for those 10 top hours. Most people need a solid eight hours of sleep to rejuvenate. This leaves 16 waking hours in a day. The only ways you can do more is to either work seven days a week (and that only buys you a maximum of 20 extra hours of productivity) or you skip doing those things called life.

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How to Prevent Millennials From Burning Out at Work
Network World, August 10

Millennials are often creating their own businesses on the side, volunteering on social matters and fostering personal hobbies and activities to promote personal growth, which leaves them with little time left over to re-charge in their professional lives. According to new survey data from the American Psychology Association, 39% of millennials say their stress increased last year, 52% report lying awake at night from stress at some point in the past month and 44% report feeling irritability or anger because of their stress. They're simply stretched too thin, and when you combine that with the growing financial pressure on this generation, a full-time job only exacerbates this and can contribute to burnout.

This stressed-out and anxious generation is bad news for employers, since millennials are more likely to miss work than other generation. Unlike older generations that value "visibility at work," millennials seem more likely to take a day off or call in sick if they're feeling overwhelmed and anxious, according to the research. The study also uncovered an epidemic around "presenteeism," which means working while sick, or anxious, only expediting the path to burnout. If your millennial workers are stressed, anxious and burnt out that means that even when they show up to work, it's likely that they are disengaged, checked out and underperforming as a result. But there are ways you can help support your stressed-out workers, even if you think they've already reached the burnout stage. For instance, a flexible work arrangement can help to stave off burnout.

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4 Ways to Unite People in the Gig Economy Age
LinkedIn, August 11

Working remotely used to be a rare treat afforded to a few, yet these days the rise of the gig economy has led to many organizations hiring people who don’t work within a designed office space. Whether an organization hires freelancers to work on a project basis or allows full-time workers to work from a home office, the days of everyone working from one space are well and truly over. While the ability to work remotely from different locations has been a real winner for employees who want more flexible work arrangements, it’s definitely created a new set of challenges for managers and leaders. As a result, leaders and managers will have to come up with innovative ways of uniting their teams.

One way to unite people in the gig economy is to use technology to increase collaboration. There are so many tools available on the market right now, yet many businesses aren’t using them. Previously, teams collaborating on a project would have had to send documents back and forth as attachments and that can be a time-consuming way to collaborate on projects. Another tactic is to ramp up your reward and recognition approach. Having members of your team working from home or from a co-sharing space overseas can lead to some unintended consequences if you’re not careful. If staff feels that they are working but not recognized, then naturally they are going to feel less engaged and energized about their work than staff that are regularly rewarded and recognized for their contributions. Ensuring that freelancers, contractors, remote workers and other team members of your contingent workforce are seen and included on a regular basis is key to promoting a high-performance culture, so don’t forget to include them in your reward and recognition program.

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Office Perks That Employees Actually Want
Fast Company, August 8

VC–funded startups have long been known for their comfortable amenities, such as foosball tables and free lunch, but many businesses both new and old are rethinking the art of keeping their employees happy. At innovative companies ranging in size from the biggest multinationals to the tiniest startups, employees increasingly value experiences over things, or at least a combination of the two. Some stick with the tried-and-true—regular happy hours, generous parental leave—and others are getting creative, offering volunteer days and round-trip plane tickets to anywhere in the world.

For employees, experiences matter as much as compensation. For some companies, these experiences include having quirky celebrations when they meet their goals. Others give their employees access to free private sessions from a professional therapist, masseuse or coach on a weekly basis. Still other companies sponsor a series where anyone can volunteer to lead a workshop on a subject they have some expertise in – everything from printmaking to sushi making.

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A Presidential Policy Directive With Little Direction
Blog @ CACM, August 2

In his recently released Presidential Policy Directive No. 41 on cyber incident response, President Barack Obama makes two important points that have important implications for anyone considering a career in cybersecurity. First, he notes that networked technology feeds prosperity and national power, but increases vulnerability. Secondly, he notes that security strategy relies on and furthers the implementation of existing policies. This implies that strategies for dealing with the double-edged nature of networking technologies have become quite path-dependent with far too much fidelity to initial choices made years ago.

Both of these points are of concern, particularly in light of the rise in major cyber incidents worldwide in recent years. From the economic realm to quasi-military cyber strikes, like use of the Stuxnet worm, it is clear that we live in a time when real effects in the physical world can be achieved by actions in the virtual domain. The problem is that policies that have been in place have done so little to deal with the threats emanating from cyberspace. It is important here to note that the decision to continue existing cyber policies—which focus for the most part simply on encouraging better interagency information sharing — is similar to national-level policies of many, if not most, other governments around the world. There is need, however, to build a globally networked response head-on. Cybersecurity is integral in nature in a very connected world; the insecurity of some contributes to the vulnerability of all. The impediment to internationally networked cybersecurity efforts, however, is the general unwillingness of nations to share sensitive information about incidents and their responses to them.

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How Online Training Can Help Businesses Prepare for Brexit Uncertainty
eLearn Magazine, July 2016

In the wake of the results of the UK’s Brexit referendum, in which the British public voted to leave the EU, professionals across every sector in the U.K. are assessing how to use online training to understand changing legal requirements and regulations. Examining legal requirements and regulations for companies is vital– it helps them both legally and operationally to know exactly where key legislation applies to their business or where their organization will stand in the event that the UK does leave the EU. In such uncertain times, one of the best resources available to employers and employees is that of online training.

If you're a larger business or organization, when you're faced with an uncertain legal situation, you can employ your legal team and task them to find out exactly which regulations might shift for yourselves. If you're a smaller company or business, you might not have such resources available to you. This is where online training comes in. Online training plays a very significant role in educating employers and employees about not only the importance of health and safety in the workplaces, but also the current structure of UK health and safety law. As part of a good online training course in health and safety, you should cover the legal requirements and parameters of health and safety law in the UK, and how it's structured. This aspect of training would allow you to not only expand your understanding of the how the law works in a specific sector, but also how this impacts your business or organization's work.

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