Document Actions

ACM CareerNews for Tuesday, June 7, 2011

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 7, Issue 11, June 7, 2011




States With the Most Open Tech Jobs
Network World, June 1

As the result of a recent hiring binge in the tech industry, the number of open tech jobs now exceeds the number of computer-related graduates in 18 states and the District of Columbia. In California alone, the number of open jobs is nearly triple the number of new computer science graduates. One reason for the shortage of talent is a lack of new graduates: between 2004 and 2008, the number of computer-related bachelor's degrees granted in the U.S. fell from roughly 60,000 to 38,000. Moreover, nearly 138,000 technology jobs will be added between the fourth quarter of 2010 and the fourth quarter of 2011. These factors are creating talent shortages not only in tech strongholds such as Silicon Valley but also in states that aren't traditional technology magnets.

In its new research report, titled “America’s Tech Talent Crunch,” Dice identified the top 10 shortage states: California, New Jersey, Texas, New York, Massachusetts, Illinois, Washington, Connecticut, Virginia and Washington D.C. Those "shortage states" overlap critical tech markets including Silicon Valley, Seattle, Dallas, Boston, Atlanta, New York, and the DC/Virginia/Baltimore region. States with the largest shortages of talent are also among the states with the largest drops in new graduates. In California, New York, Texas, Illinois, North Carolina, Maryland, Georgia, Colorado and Maine, the number of computer-related bachelors and associate degrees conferred dropped by more than 30% from 2005 to 2009, Dice.com reports. The declines are even more dramatic in New Jersey (51%), Connecticut (55%) and Arizona (68%). The exceptions are Delaware, Virginia, and the District of Columbia, which today confer more computer-related bachelors and associates degrees than they did in 2005.


Click Here to View Full Article
to the top


For Buyers of Web Start-Ups, Quest to Corral Young Talent
New York Times, May 17

The current trend in Silicon Valley is for large, established Internet companies to acquire smaller start-ups solely for their IT talent. In some cases, they are so eager for the best talent that they are buying companies to acquire their founders and engineers, and then closing down the start-up entirely. According to some talent acquisition experts, top engineers can be worth half a million to one million dollars apiece. As salaries escalate and stock options proliferate, many of Silicon Valley’s most talented are willing to trade their dream of becoming the next Internet superstar for a prominent job with one of the Valley’s largest. The article takes a closer look at the logic behind these talent acquisitions, asking if companies might be overpaying for talent that may attempt to defect as soon as it can.

The talent acquisitions are a reflection of the most competitive market for computer science talent in more than a decade. Big companies and small start-ups alike complain that they cannot find enough good people. They are dangling new perks and incentives, from free iPads to lessons in entrepreneurship, to lure them. Perhaps no one has jumped on the trend more enthusiastically than Facebook, which has bought a string of small start-ups, and then discontinued almost all their products. These acquisitions are intended solely to acquire the companies’ top-level product managers and engineers, including their founders.


Click Here to View Full Article
to the top


Western Graduates Head to China for Internships
Wall Street Journal, May 31

In a crowded job market, having work experience in China on your résumé can provide a competitive advantage. As a result, recent graduates in industries from engineering to finance in both Europe and the U.S. are making their way to China, hoping to land their first jobs faster and more easily than their competitors. Going to China calls for the ability to act outside of one’s comfort zone and the willingness to relocate, which could be appealing to employers. Applications for internships in China have more than tripled over the past couple of years. With the Chinese economy booming and growth prospects cooling in the U.S. and Europe, China offers a unique opportunity to establish a long-term career.

China has come into focus for Western companies looking to grow. A lot of businesses realize that if they want to be part of the global economy, they need to be going into China. Experience there can give you a greater awareness of cultural differences, as well as business customs, that may be disorienting at first. Living in a city like Beijing and dealing with a totally foreign language is often challenging. Students say that two months' work experience in China can be more rewarding than other internships in more familiar environments, especially if you are given more responsibility, such as sales and promotion.


Click Here to View Full Article
to the top


Eight Tips for Nailing Your Next Startup Job Interview
Mashable, May 17

In high-tech hubs across the U.S. - from New York to Austin to Seattle - dozens of smaller-stage companies are emerging and hiring everyone from programmers to interns. However, when it comes to hiring decisions, startups are a breed of their own, emphasizing “fit” over specific experiences or skills. As a result, knowing a startup’s particular “fit” criteria can mean the difference in securing additional interviews at the company. Equally important, of course, is understanding how well the startup fits you. The article provides insights into how to position your skills, experiences and career ambitions to start-up founders.

For startups, “fit” is the primary characteristic that matters. When there are less than a dozen employees in a company, every one really matters. The challenge is that what constitutes fit varies from startup to startup. Some startups celebrate collaboration and autonomy, while others are focused on productivity or technical innovation. Find out as much as you can about the culture before you go in, from sites like LinkedIn and Glassdoor, or by asking questions of other employees. Once you have your sights set, the first thing to do is get on the radar. Startups tend to hire friends and former colleagues, so relationships really count. While you’re mining your network, make sure your LinkedIn profile is current and nicely polished. At some point, the decision maker is going to pour over your profile looking for someone who can provide an unsolicited reference. So make sure your skills and job history are current and your endorsements are strong.


Click Here to View Full Article
to the top


Predictions About the Future of Gen Y at Work
Lindsey Pollak, June 2

With the oldest members of Generation Y now entering their 30s and taking on more and more leadership positions, this will bring about some significant changes to the work world. Most importantly, companies are already expanding and lengthening the definition of “entry-level” positions to include individuals years removed from graduation. Titles and career paths will also become more customizable, reflecting the creativity and individuality of Gen Y members. Finally, in response to more flexible work patterns, standard business communication will evolve to include things like video teleconferencing.

Because members of Gen Y are extending the onset of adulthood into their mid-twenties or even age 30, companies will follow suit in treating the twenties as more of a career-training period. We will see expanded internship programs (perhaps lasting several years beyond college), more alumni career resources being offered by universities (so there is less pressure to choose a career by age 21) and longer corporate rotational programs — perhaps moving from two years to three or four. The days of graduating college and joining a company for life are long over, but we are only beginning to see companies develop creative new career path approaches.


Click Here to View Full Article
to the top


IT Roles Shift With Move to Cloud
Computerworld (via CIO.com), May 26

As more companies transition their non-core business processes to the cloud, they will look for ways to convert traditional IT infrastructure positions into higher value-added positions that move their business forward. One way to transition staffing numbers away from IT infrastructure is to move to an infrastructure-as-a-service model. Doing so enables companies to divest themselves of costly assets: they can hand off the infrastructure and its management to providers of private cloud services. With that in mind, the article takes a closer look at how IT employees will create new roles related to hardware, applications, operating systems and managed IT services.

The shift to infrastructure-as-a-service means that job descriptions need to change. Such shifts are required when moving from an in-house or co-located data center to an infrastructure-as-a-service model. The IT team's role changes from managing and supporting technology to managing services. And it's not just the provider that needs to be supervised. Business relationship managers are critical in interfacing with the different internal business units to ensure that the business understands not only the benefits that may come from an as-a-service model, but also the limitations.


Click Here to View Full Article
to the top


How to Get Paid What You Deserve
AOL Jobs, June 2

If you think you're being underpaid in your current role, finding out what you're worth and doing something about it can improve your personal bottom line. While broaching the subject of pay is never easy, making sure you're well informed, figuring out your value to the company, and framing your argument to your boss in a way that underscores the benefits to the organization rather than simply yourself will take you a long way. In a point-by-point approach, the article explains how to build a case for yourself: doing your homework upfront, keeping co-workers out of your decision, and finding ways to think beyond salary.

The better informed you are about how you stack up against others, the more you're empowered to ask for what you believe you deserve. Check online salary calculators to determine how much others in your same position are being paid. Use several different sources, such as Payscale.com, Glassdoor.com or Indeed.com. Be sure to factor in particulars like your company's margins and geographic location. Keep in mind that talking about salary with co-workers is a dangerous move. Just because you work the same job as someone, does not mean you will get the same salary. Making that kind of demand puts your manager in an uncomfortable spot. If you do want to talk with someone at your company, approach someone more senior to you, like a mentor, and ask a broader question, such as: “If I get promoted, what are the pay ranges for those types of jobs?”


Click Here to View Full Article
to the top


Five Social Media Recruiting Tools for Small Business
Mashable, May 23

Donna Wells, the CEO of Mindflash.com, comments on the five best social media recruiting tools for small business. While larger organizations may be able to spend a lot of money on recruiters, smaller businesses are always on the hunt for new tools and apps that can address the labor-intensive process of finding and hiring great people. With the advent of social media and cloud apps, there are some great new solutions out there, including automated applicant responses and upgraded versions of old recruitment standbys. These tools make it easier to efficiently tap all of your digital networks and communication tools to find great hires. They should help you broaden your search and more efficiently harness your current employees’ social networks.

The Resumator tool helps hiring managers keep real-time tabs on where their job listings are posted and who’s looking at them. Upload a job description to the site and it automatically posts it to Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. After that, The Resumator tracks candidate resumes, and applies its own algorithm to rank applicants on a five-star scale. Jobvite is an end-to-end social web recruiting and tracking tool that delivers a seamless and social recruiting process before, during and after the interview. It enables a company’s own employees to see your company’s open jobs and send targeted invitations to their friends on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Once their friends or contacts get into the pipeline, the referring employee can track the interview process. The tool also matches prospective candidates with job listings based on matches found in their social profiles, providing a way to find qualified “passive” candidates.


Click Here to View Full Article
to the top


The Computing Profession: Who Are We Now?
Communications of the ACM, Vol. 54 No. 6, June 2011

Former ACM president Peter Denning comments on the current state of the computing profession. By looking back at what has changed over the past decade, it is possible to gain new insights about how and why computing is now such an integral part of business and everyday life, as well as why continued expertise about computing is so important. After describing ACM’s considerable depth in professional activities, this thought piece considers what the primary elements of the computing profession should be, and what this all means for current computing professionals.

The term information technology has not achieved the all-encompassing character originally envisioned. Today, IT refers mainly to technology and business applications of computing. Computing is now the preferred umbrella term. As a sign of the field's continued vitality, several important new specialties have appeared. These include cyber security, cloud computing, network science, and Web programming. Expansion of the computing profession will continue. Certification is becoming more common, mainly at the sub-profession or specialty level. A growing number of computing jobs require specialized certifications and licensing has begun to appear in engineering specialties of computing, where concerns for health and safety are strongest.


Click Here to View Full Article
to the top


Chinese, U.S. Universities Share Top Spots with Russian Schools in ACM International Programming Contest
ACM Press Room, May 31

In the 2011 ACM International Collegiate Programming Contest (ACM-ICPC), Chinese universities placed first and third, while the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor took second place. Five Russian universities also placed among the Top 12 teams. This international competition, now in its 35th year, took place in Orlando, Florida and featured more than 100 teams competing in the final round. Earlier rounds of the competition included nearly 25,000 contestants representing 2,070 universities from 88 countries.

ACM President Alain Chesnais applauded the global reach of ACM-ICPC and its allure for the world’s top computing programmers, noting that the competition draws the brightest young computing talent and brings recognition of their achievements to the global technology community. It offers expanding career opportunities for the participants, but it also illuminates the role of computing in solving problems, driving innovation, and benefiting society in boundless ways.


Click Here to View Full Article
to the top