ACM CareerNews for Tuesday, July 25, 2017
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 [email protected]
Volume 13, Issue 14, July 25, 2017
- The 5 Hottest IT Jobs in 2017 and What It Takes To Get Them
- Five Reasons Why Developers Should Work For a Startup
- The 3 Most In-Demand Cybersecurity Jobs of 2017
- 10 Things IT Pros Should Consider Before the Job Hunt
- How to Make Your LinkedIn Profile Work Even Harder for You
- Hiring in the Age of Dispersed Technology Spending
- Why Job Seekers Expect Better Hiring Experiences
- The Future of Jobs and the Fourth Industrial Revolution
- Ten Ways To Be a Better Interviewer
- Coding in Schools as New Vocationalism
The hottest new jobs in IT are clustered around the biggest trends in tech: artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, data security, virtual reality and augmented reality. The skills needed to succeed in the IT jobs of tomorrow revolve around security certifications, programming and applications development, proficiency with cloud and mobile technologies, and other specialized skill sets. As a result, a list of the five hottest IT jobs includes the following: big data engineer, full-stack developer, security engineer, IoT architect and VR/AR engineer.
As might be expected, big data analysts and AI engineers are still very much in demand by IT recruiters. Data processing skills feed into jobs in the AI and machine learning fields, which largely focus on taking all of the data companies collect and using predictive analytics to affect business outcomes. With the intense focus on predictive analytics, deep learning, machine learning, and artificial intelligence, these positions should remain relevant for years to come. In addition, engineers and developers who can combine front-end and back-end development skills will be in high demand, as web services become more akin to mobile app-like experiences for customers. Developers who are familiar with open-source platforms will also likely win out.
There are five good reasons why developers, engineers or product managers should consider working at a startup rather than a larger, more established company. The major allure of working for a smaller company is that you get to make more of an impact: Working in a larger corporation might have more benefits or a higher salary but a startup is where you can really make a difference and see the influence your work is having on the business. You’re heavily involved in each stage of production and your opinion is more likely to carry weight than at a larger, more structured operation.
At a startup, you’re more invested in the overall success of the business. This focus on the bigger picture is invaluable for a tech professional’s career development. As you work in a startup, you need to be clear on why what you're building is valuable to a user. It’s no longer just executing a bunch of tasks or going through a list of bug tickets - what you do has a direct material impact on the company and its customers. You can then prioritize and build with the right level of understanding as opposed to just executing orders from your boss.
Cybersecurity roles rank among the most difficult to fill in the enterprise, with the talent gap in this field expected to reach 1.8 million jobs by 2022. This is a major problem, as threats such as ransomware are at an all-time high. Demand is extremely high, and supply is very low, so it's a candidate's market. Companies see the benefit of making sure they are investing in the right talent from the best places, and are definitely paying a heavy price as a result. The average salary for a cybersecurity engineer is between $110,000 and $160,000. And skilled candidates are more able to negotiate salary, benefits, and perks such as working remotely than in the past.
Cybersecurity engineers, still ranked among the most in-demand cybersecurity jobs, often come from a technical background within development, usually with knowledge of Python and Java. They are able to get behind the code, and take a deep dive in to see what performance issues might occur from vulnerabilities, and what changes they can make. In addition, more companies are creating the role of chief information security officer (CISO) to coordinate a company's cybersecurity strategies. In the past, a networking engineer or programmer might have handled cybersecurity on the side. Companies are also looking for leaders who aren't afraid to point out issues and offer solutions to fix them. They also need to be future-minded, and always looking into how they will continuously grow their approach to security and add new functions, be they tools or employees.
10 Things IT Pros Should Consider Before the Job Hunt
Information Week, July 17
The best practices for approaching a new job hunt are constantly changing, largely thanks to the broader business trend of digital transformation. For IT professionals, this shift is having a major impact on technology-related jobs. Skills that were hot only a year or two ago may not be in demand today. Nor are the perks and benefits that companies are offering new employees. That's why it's important to understand the market as best you can prior to starting your job hunt. Understand where market demands are and then see if the current market is favorable for your skill set, experiences and geographic location.
During the IT job hunt, it is important to focus not only on the technical job skills and title of the job being listed but also the context behind the job listing. You also need to take a step back and assess various aspects of the job. Does the company have the culture and employee policies you want? Is a fast-paced startup environment what you desire – or are you looking for a more established company? Answering these types of questions will help you gauge the type of employees a company is looking for and what will ultimately be expected from a performance perspective.
How to Make Your LinkedIn Profile Work Even Harder for You
Inc.com, July 20
There are millions of users and billions of data points on LinkedIn, but most people still are not fully leveraging their profile on LinkedIn to find new job connections. The good news is that LinkedIn is rolling out new ways for these users to get found by their ideal audience, and the newest move is an enhancement to LinkedIn Search. With the new Search Appearances feature, you can now go to your LinkedIn Profile on both mobile and desktop and see how many people found you from a LinkedIn search. You can then leverage this data to see how well your profile is being found by your ideal audience.
In order to boost the number of recruiters finding you on LinkedIn, you can reverse-engineer the job titles and industry types or company types of people viewing your profile and roll those into your LinkedIn efforts. In short, you can edit your profile to reflect the industry keywords that will show up inside a LinkedIn Search. You can also use this information to refine the content you create and share on LinkedIn. For example, if you have a marketing services background, and you find your profile is being viewed by people in a particular industry, you could add a job title and include that as part of a headline for a LinkedIn article.
Hiring in the Age of Dispersed Technology Spending
CIO.com, July 20
The tech hiring landscape is shifting now that line-of-business units command their share of technology spending. The result has been a rise in hybrid business-IT positions, as well as a need for a new approach to filling them. Rather than rely on IT to configure and administer technologies they procure themselves, line-of-business units such as HR, finance and marketing are hiring their own IT expertise in the form of hybrid positions that mix business and technical skills. IT leaders should still be involved in hiring for these technical roles, since what’s needed now more than ever is a balance between IT and business.
It’s unrealistic for technology leaders to expect that technology hiring decisions will forever remain under IT’s domain. CIOs need to find a way for IT to maintain some control over business technology without limiting the productivity of departments dependent upon technology. The good news is that, according to a recent survey, communication between line-of-business units and IT has stayed strong despite the trend toward decentralized IT spending. In fact, four in 10 line-of-business respondents said their business unit worked alongside IT to find the right hardware, third-party services and software to implement. Only 14% said their line of business unit “calls all the shots,” while 19% said the same about IT. “One of the main takeaways from the study is that business units are working collaboratively with IT departments.
Why Job Seekers Expect Better Hiring Experiences
Baseline, July 20
The majority of workers said that the job interview and onboarding processes frequently set the tone for their employment experience with a company, yet too few organizations handle them well, according to a recent survey from CareerBuilder. In short, employers aren't making enough effort to set expectations about how and when they will communicate throughout the hiring process, such as providing regular status updates. Many hiring managers admit that they don't devote time to regularly communicating with their talent pool of candidates. Given that most job seekers still communicate and interview with other companies while waiting on background results from a potential employer, organizations may want to do more proactive outreach to candidates.
Companies could do a better job of attracting top talent by reaching out to job candidates more often during the hiring process. Instead, many leave candidates in the dark. 75% of the workers surveyed said their candidate interviewing and onboarding experience was the first part of building a broader experience with their employer. More than 50% said that, in the beginning of hiring discussions, employers do not do a good job of setting expectations about how they will communicate throughout the process. 81% said that companies could greatly improve the hiring experience by continuously communicating with status updates.
The Future of Jobs and the Fourth Industrial Revolution
World Bank Group, July 13
As the global economy prepares for a Fourth Industrial Revolution powered by technologies such as artificial intelligence, it’s important to consider how these technological changes will impact the future of work. Smarter machines and devices bring many advantages, while new technologies make production and use of new inventions cheaper and easier than ever. But automation can also cost workers jobs. How can countries prepare for these changes and maximize the potential benefits? Developing countries are not immune from this trend either. If automation takes over more of manufacturing in high-income countries, there will be less demand for such work in emerging markets.
The good news is that while new technology may cause the creative destruction of some jobs, it will also create many new jobs, some of which we can’t even imagine today. In the past, technology has ended up creating more jobs than it wipes out. For instance, computers have replaced jobs, such as those done by typists, but they have also increased the demand for computer-based work and created new jobs related to developing, operating, and programming computers. The extent of these opportunities could not have been predicted two or three decades ago. Since it is more difficult to anticipate what new jobs will be created by new technology, losses from jobs we know today tend to grab headlines.
Ten Ways To Be a Better Interviewer
ACM Queue, July 18
If your company is looking to hire new developers and programmers, there are ten steps you can take to become a more effective interviewer. As an interviewer, the key to your success is preparation. Planning will help ensure the success of the interview, both in terms of getting the information you need and giving the candidate a good impression. The starting point, of course, is a detailed reading of the candidate's resume. Hopefully, there will be something in a candidate's background that piques your interest and can be a great way to start the interview with some common ground.
To be a better interviewer, it is important to review feedback from previous interviews. For example, most software companies have a longer interview process that can start with phone-screen or homework problems and evolve from there. If the candidate has done homework problems, or your teammates have taken the time to type up feedback, do the due diligence and read it. These can also be a great source of material for questions, but more importantly, it is unprofessional to ask the same questions that have already been posed to the candidate. This is partly because you won't learn as much from repeated questions, but also because the candidate will be bored or unimpressed going over the same ground. Great candidates want to be challenged, and an interview team where people are asking the same questions makes the candidate think the team is disorganized or unimaginative.
Coding in Schools as New Vocationalism
Blog @ CACM, July 18
Larry Cuban, an educational historian, suggests that requiring coding in public schools might not be the panacea that some are suggesting. In response to the growing role that tech firms are having on school policy, especially when it comes to pushing coding into American classrooms, Cuban suggests that schools are losing focus on their role of preparing students as future citizens. In short, preparation for the workplace is not the only goal for public schooling. Yet that has been the primary purpose for most reformers over the past three decades. In the new vocationalism, Cuban sees that schools have been tied to economic growth and the needs of information-age society. Cuban sees coding advocates blending the roles of school in preparing citizens and school as preparing workers, by arguing that computing is necessary for modern society.
According to Larry Cuban, any education reform faces the reality of what teachers know and what they will actually do in the classroom. The lessons that have to be learned time and again from earlier generations of school reformers are straightforward: build teacher capabilities in content and skills since both determine to what degree, if any, a policy gets past the classroom door. With or without enhanced capabilities and expertise, teachers will adapt policies aimed at altering how and what they teach to the contours of the classrooms in which they teach. If policymakers want to limit teacher innovation, and if they seek fidelity in putting desired reforms into practice, they wish for the impossible. Ignoring both of the above lessons ends up with incomplete implementation of desired policies and sorely disappointed school reformers.
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