Personal tools
You are here: Home Membership CareerNews Archives ACM CareerNews for Tuesday, February 21, 2012
Document Actions

ACM CareerNews for Tuesday, February 21, 2012

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 8, Issue 4, February 21, 2012




LinkedIn Leads In Social Job Recruiting Followed By Twitter And Facebook
Tech Crunch, February 13

According to a new report on social recruiting activity, LinkedIn leads in terms of frequency of usage by recruiters and effectiveness for sourcing candidates, followed by Twitter, with Facebook coming in third. Despite the rise of Facebook as a source for job seeking and professional networking, data shows that recruiters’ LinkedIn networks still drive more views than their Twitter and Facebook networks combined. Recruiters who post jobs on social networks are likely to receive more applications from LinkedIn, with the social network driving almost nine times more applications than Facebook and three times more than Twitter.

While LinkedIn leads as a recruiting channel, there are signs that other social networking platforms could play an important role and are currently underutilized. For example, a Twitter follower is almost three times more likely to apply to a job than a LinkedIn connection, and more than eight times more likely to apply than a Facebook follower. Moreover, Twitter followings drive almost twice as many job views per job as their Facebook fan bases. According to the report, 48% of recruiters use LinkedIn exclusively. These recruiters have an average of 661 connections, and don’t leverage the other two networks for social recruiting.


Click Here to View Full Article
to the top


Six Key Skills New IT Grads Are Lacking
Network World (via Computerworld), February 13

Recruiters are increasingly making the point that undergraduate and graduate schools aren't able to keep up with the IT hiring needs of companies, which could lead to a reassessment of which skills IT grads need to learn. In many cases, it is simply a fact that there's just not enough time in college to learn all the skills that workers need to be successful. IT leaders continue to value the "soft skills" -- particularly communication skills, customer service skills and an understanding of how to behave professionally -- that have topped their lists for years. But now they're also looking for specific business and technical skills that recent grads seem to be lacking.

The most important skill for new computer science grads is having knowledge of business basics. They need to understand accounts receivables, logistics and operations, and marketing plans. After all, many end up in corporate IT positions where they're expected to develop applications to facilitate the work done by other departments. And while graduate-level IT programs do a better job of offering business-related courses, there can still be a knowledge gap. Secondly, grads need to have experience with systems integration. Most computer science students spend a majority of their time in college learning how to build their own applications and systems, even though businesses often don't necessarily need that type of expertise.


Click Here to View Full Article
to the top


Apps-Related Jobs Tallied At 466,000 in U.S.
CIO.com (via Computerworld), February 7

Nearly half a million jobs in the U.S. have been created because of the more than one million applications designed for smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices. According to a study released by TechNet, there are an estimated 466,000 U.S. jobs that have been filled by app developers and those in related jobs in application infrastructure. The App Economy generated almost $20 billion in revenue in 2011, based on app downloads, in-app revenues, sales of virtual and physical goods and services. All the apps jobs have been created since 2007, with the launch of the iPhone App Store, Android Market and other app stores for mobile devices.

According to the study, app jobs were dispersed around the nation, with New York City, San Francisco and San Jose as the top locations. Interestingly, more than two-thirds of these app jobs are outside of California and New York. Since the App Economy is growing rapidly, the number and location of the jobs are likely to shift in coming years. Mobile operating systems, such as Android, iOS, BlackBerry and Windows Phone, are helping to create App Economy jobs, as are social networks, such as Facebook, which are helping proliferate the use of apps. In fact, more than 53,000 jobs can be attributed to employees of third-party developers of Facebook apps.


Click Here to View Full Article
to the top


Linux Job Openings on the Rise
eWeek, February 14

Linux know-how is topping the list of most highly sought expertise in software programming positions. A report from IT jobs specialist Dice indicates demand for Linux skills is on the rise but that finding talent is difficult. The report noted that this is leading to better salaries and bonuses for Linux professionals, as companies look to open-source IT specialists to solve their business challenges and provide growth opportunities. More than 80% of survey respondents say that hiring Linux talent is a priority in 2012. This urgency is driving a substantial increase in recruiting activity, with 47% of hiring managers expecting to add more Linux professionals to their firms in early 2012 and 63% noting Linux hires are increasing relative to jobs created in other skill areas.

Despite the growth in interest around Linux positions, a full 85% of hiring managers report having difficulty finding qualified Linux professionals to fill these positions. In an economy where contract and temp-to-hire positions have become more prevalent, Linux professionals garner more full-time positions and better salaries, bonuses and perks. While the average pay increase for tech professionals averaged just 2% in 2011, professionals with Linux skills have seen a 5% increase in salaries and a 15% jump in bonus payouts over the same timeframe. 75% of respondents cited the mid-level professional with three to five years of experience as their most-sought hires, especially those with development or systems administration skills.


Click Here to View Full Article
to the top


Ten Career Steps to Take After a Layoff
Forbes, February 11

While the overall U.S. unemployment figures are trending down, layoffs are still a very real possibility. With that in mind, the article provides ten steps to take if you’ve been laid off. Most importantly, remain professional in your relations with others. In the work environment, don’t contribute any additional negativity. Maybe you regret not starting a job search sooner or not saving more money. Dwelling on what might have been is not going to help you and will in fact fuel additional anxiety and frustration. Instead, think of obstacles you have overcome in the past to focus on things that will give you confidence.

After a layoff, negotiate your package and end date. Pay attention to your end date because this determines how long you have insurance, how much of your retirement account vests, or how much paid time off you accrue. Consider lateral transfers, both permanent and temporary. Your department might be laying off staff, but other areas might be growing. Don’t forget to consider subsidiaries or joint ventures of your employer. Ask about consulting opportunities -- sometimes a department doesn’t have permanent headcount but they have a consulting budget and they could benefit from having someone who already knows the internal ropes. Prepare your story to explain what happened. When there is a large layoff that makes the headlines, it’s easy to summarize your story. But for lesser-known restructurings, you will have to explain to your network and prospective employers what happened.


Click Here to View Full Article
to the top


IT Services Providers Sign Up To Apprentice Scheme
ComputerWeekly.com, February 13

UK IT service providers have agreed to take on more IT apprentices to help bridge the gap between education and the workplace, as part of a government-backed scheme. The Ministry of Justice, private charity Business in the Community and nine of the biggest UK IT service providers have agreed to back the project and employ IT apprentices. These companies, which aim to help students further their careers in IT, will offer standardized apprenticeships in six roles: software development, testing, IT support, project management, networks and business analysis.

The companies, which already take on IT apprentices from A-level to degree level, have schemes that meet the principles of the charter. They have now standardized the six roles to prepare for recruitment in September 2012. By collaborating in this way, the IT industry can more effectively address the skills gap and strengthen appeal of IT careers, particularly for women. Committing to this charter provides a consistency of approach that benefits IT industry as a whole. Going forward, every industry needs to look at innovative ways they can work together to mobilize more young people into the UK workforce.


Click Here to View Full Article
to the top


The Age of Big Data
New York Times, February 12

Recent graduates with a strong quantitative background and who are fascinated with data are in hot demand by companies helping businesses make sense of an explosion of data in everyday life. This data, which is often unstructured, includes Web traffic and social network comments, as well as information from software and sensors that monitor shipments, suppliers and customers. Used correctly, this data can guide decisions, trim costs and lift sales. A report last year by the McKinsey Global Institute projected that the United States needs 140,000 to 190,000 more workers with “deep analytical” expertise and 1.5 million more data-literate managers, whether retrained or hired. The march of quantification, made possible by enormous new sources of data, will sweep through academia, business and government and impact everything from politics to healthcare.

The most successful companies of Silicon Valley will be those that can harness the data of the Web -- such as online searches, posts and messages -- and combine that with revenue from Internet advertising. Big Data also has the potential to become an intelligent tool that can help combat poverty, crime and pollution. Big Data refers to the fact that there is more data than ever before: data is growing at 50% a year, more than doubling every two years. It’s not just more streams of data, but entirely new ones. For example, there are now countless digital sensors worldwide in industrial equipment, automobiles, electrical meters and shipping crates. Most of the Big Data surge is in unstructured data like words, images and video on the Web.


Click Here to View Full Article
to the top


What Coworking Can Teach Corporate Offices
Web Worker Daily, January 27

The Global Coworking Unconference Conference in Austin will be taking a closer look at the impact of the coworking movement on rank-and-file managers and corporations. As more and more workers take up the promise of technology and get out of the office to work where and when it suits them, employees’ needs for their company’s office change radically. Cubicles, for example, fall in importance as many opt to stay away from the office. Coworking, based on the idea of providing spaces to break down isolation and get workers’ creative juices flowing, could help corporations reconfigure their spaces to foster collaboration.

The Global Coworking conference is focused on teaching participants how to design, build and grow their space for collaboration. According to panelists, anyone interested in the future of office design should pay plenty of attention to coworking, especially since many corporate offices are destined to become coworking offices. A space that was able to host 100 permanent workers can now hold 300 mobile workers working different hours, half the time from home, or the cafe. Therefore, corporate offices should be learning everything they can from coworking spaces, especially how to maintain a sense of community when the population suddenly triples in size.


Click Here to View Full Article
to the top


MITx Prototype Open for Enrollment
Communications of the ACM, February 14

Enrollment is now open in the first course available through the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's MITx online learning initiative. The first MITx course, Circuits and Electronics, will begin March 5 and run through June 8. Enrollment in the course, as for all MITx courses, is free. Modeled after MIT’s introductory course for undergraduate students in MIT’s Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, this new course will help students make the transition from physics to the fields of electrical engineering and computer science. Each week, students will watch video lectures and demonstrations, work with practice exercises, complete homework assignments, and participate in an online interactive lab specifically designed to replicate its real-world counterpart. Students will also take exams and be able to check their grades as they progress in the course.

At the end of the course, students who are motivated to do so may earn a credential from MITx signifying that they have mastered the coursework. MITx will not require that students be tested in a testing center or otherwise have their identity certified in order to receive this certificate. Further MITx courses are expected to become available in the fall semester. MITx expands on the institute's OpenCourseWare initiative, launched in 2002, by offering interactive instruction and the credentialing process rather than just posting course materials online.


Click Here to View Full Article
to the top


The Management Team
ACM Queue, February 13

Noteworthy software personality Joel Spolsky weighs in on how entrepreneurs should approach management, based on his first-hand observations within the startup world. Very few company founders start out with management experience, says Spolsky, so they tend to make it up as they go along. Sometimes they try to reinvent management from first principles, adopting a “command and control” approach to getting things done. The problem, unfortunately, is that this top-down management approach rarely works well with any organization larger than several people.

As Spolsky points out, 90% of startup founders use the “Command and Control” management approach at first, simply because they know of no other approach. However, this is dangerous because it’s not going to scale. When the company grows from 3 to 30, top-down management doesn’t work, because it doesn’t take advantage of everyone’s brains in the organization. It is de-motivating to work for a company where your job is just to take orders. Tech startups need to organize their workforce so that smart hires can use their brains 24/7. They need to stop thinking of the management team at the top of the organization and, instead, start thinking of the software developers, the designers, the product managers, and the front line sales people as the top of the organization.


Click Here to View Full Article
to the top