Personal tools
You are here: Home Membership CareerNews Archives ACM CareerNews for Tuesday, November 1, 2011
Document Actions

ACM CareerNews for Tuesday, November 1, 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 21, November 1, 2011




The IT Jobs Cloud Computing Will Create
CIO.com, October 26

Contrary to the conventional wisdom, the cloud computing revolution may actually lead to the creation of entirely new IT-related jobs. While cloud computing will automate tasks that in the past have been performed by employees, it will also lead to increased demand for overall computational power. As a result, it will significantly increase the number of workers in the field. Technological progress that increases the efficiency with which a resource is used tends to increase the rate of consumption of that resource: as something gets cheaper, we consume more of it. Evaluating employment patterns based on reduced need for manual skills with an assumption of a fixed pie of overall demand fails to grasp the coming boom in IT employment.

Most people under-estimate the impact cloud computing will have on IT consumption. The lower cost and easy access of cloud computing is going to lead to an explosion of IT resource consumption. The net effect is that any loss of jobs caused by the move to cloud computing will be more than made up by the overall growth of computing that the cloud causes and the resulting growth of jobs associated with cloud environments and applications. Lower-skilled IT employees who cannot develop the ability to work in a highly automated, large-scale environment are going to have fewer job prospects: the practices, processes and skills appropriate to smaller-scale, less dynamic IT environments cannot support the future nature of information technology. So, IT has to change and move beyond established practices and lower-level skill sets if it is to fulfill its role in the corporation of the future.


Click Here to View Full Article
to the top


Big Demand for Computer Software Engineers in Next Decade
Tech Careers, October 26

Computer software engineers will be among the fastest-growing jobs in engineering, rising 32% over the next decade. If you know multiple programming languages and tools, your skills will be highly valued. The accelerated growth in computer systems, driven by the need for businesses to become increasingly more efficient, will fuel the growth of jobs in this engineering sector. Other job drivers will be the ongoing push for computer networking and the integration of Internet technologies with e-commerce systems. Applications will be needed to sustain and build these emerging business paradigms on a global basis.

Security and efficiency will become a major career opportunity as companies and governments are faced with cyber attacks both at home and abroad. Systems will need to be continually upgraded as cyber threats adapt to ever-increasing safeguards. High paid consultants will be in demand to fill many of these roles. And as the global economy matures, software engineers will have to add foreign language skills to their computer language repertoire. Mobile technologies, considered by some to still be in their infancy, will create a huge demand for software engineers as applications continue to grow and expand on an almost exponential scale.


Click Here to View Full Article
to the top


How to Launch a Startup While Still Working Your Day Job
Business Insider, October 17

Launching a startup requires a good idea and a vision for the future. But how do you execute on your idea when you can't leave your day job just yet? It requires self-discipline and smart strategizing, so that your side project doesn’t get in the way of your full-time commitments. Whether it's your job, or whether it's your family, it is very difficult. It's all about finding more hours in existing busy lives. The article provides several tips for turning that side project into a fully-fledged startup.

Don't leverage your income from your day job to do too much early on in the life of your part-time startup. Constrain yourself financially so you can focus on getting as much done without wasting your valuable resources. Respect your current employer, and remember that your reputation matters. Your current employer, and what he or she thinks of you, matters. Many successful entrepreneurs go to their ex-bosses for seed capital. Many investors will want to speak with former employers as a reference. If you've let your side project get in the way of your full-time commitments, you may be hurting your chances more than you think. Get an intern so you can work on the important stuff. They'll get a chance to be an important part of a fledgling startup and you'll get a chance to have some breathing room and more time to work on the tasks only you can do.


Click Here to View Full Article
to the top


Boomerang Employees
Wall Street Journal, October 24

Corporate alumni networks can make it easier for former employees to become future employees. Though formal alumni networks have existed for years, they are experiencing a surge in popularity as professional services and technology companies struggle to find skilled workers to fill their ranks. The earliest corporate alumni networks were mostly social in nature, rarely an integral part of corporate strategy. Now, these alumni initiatives provide a channel for recruiting, client development and branding. The article takes a look at several different approaches to building and leverage a formal corporate alumni network.

The latest online networks, often password-protected, can include message boards, blogs from executives, profiles of prominent alumni and both internal and external job postings. Companies usually also set up face-to-face activities, which can double as recruiting opportunities. These networks are good at formalizing more casual Facebook and LinkedIn groups, enabling former staffers to view job openings on the site and share links with contacts via LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and email. Former employees are attractive because they are more productive than completely new hires and easier to re-integrate into the firm. Companies say the network also helps them spot new business opportunities as ex-employees move to client firms, giving the bank an "in" when pitching projects.


Click Here to View Full Article
to the top


How Technology is Changing Your Career
The Globe and Mail, October 13

Toronto-based technology consultant Don Tapscott weighs in the ways that workers need to change their approach to their lives to keep up with a more collaborative, less hierarchical world. Most importantly, workers must be ready to constantly change and update their skill sets over a lifetime in order to reinvent their knowledge base as needed. As Tapscott explains, each of us, when thinking of our careers or our lives, needs to establish a set of principles, guidelines and rules that can keep maintain flexibility throughout a career, especially as the world becomes increasingly global.

The best way to prepare for your future career is by ensuring you spend adequate time doing deep thinking, having moments for private reflection, and keeping up-to-date with trends in your industry. However, many people do not have this luxury: they can’t design their life because they are too hard-pressed financially to switch jobs or return to school. This means being able to prepare for your life in a way that makes additional and new opportunities available. One important skill is collaboration, which continues to shape the business world. This means a very different kind of collaboration enabled by the Internet that can occur even on an astronomical scale. Hierarchies aren’t going to go away, and overall they are a good mechanism for enabling us to organize and structure work.


Click Here to View Full Article
to the top


Six Ways to Stand Out in a Tough Job Market
U.S. News & World Report, October 26

When you’re looking for a job, it’s easy to fall into the trap of applying and waiting to hear from an employer to see if you earned a chance to interview. However, this approach puts too much power into other people’s hands. Job seekers who seize control of their searches have a much better chance of landing opportunities than those who spend all of their time looking for open opportunities and applying. Job seekers need to take steps to ensure it’s easy to find them for the jobs they want. The article covers a number of ways to stand out in the crowd, such as LinkedIn and social networking sites like Facebook and Google+.

First, update your LinkedIn headline with a forward-looking description that describes what you are hoping to do next. For example, instead of a simple title like “SVP, Marketing,” change it to “Versatile marketing professional seeking new, strategic marketing opportunity in consumer products.” Next, stay active and update your status via social media sites. Job seekers should use social media profiles to share pertinent industry information, attendance at virtual and live tradeshows, participation in industry learning events, volunteer activities, or even athletic achievements. This will help you stay top-of-mind for your network and reminds everyone about your expertise. When you broadcast your activity and share things you are reading, prospective employers easily identify you as someone who is highly desirable. Ensure your online resume, social media profiles, status updates, user group discussions, blogs, and other online profiles have relevant key words peppered throughout the text that recruiters are likely to use.


Click Here to View Full Article
to the top


Five Ways to Keep Your Rock Star Employees Happy
Web Worker Daily, October 15

Far more important than extravagant perks or salary, it is the small things that keep the most talented employees happy, such as bosses who make time for one-on-one meetings or who take an interest in employees’ lives and careers. In short, tangibles like salary and benefits aren’t enough to guarantee that your best and brightest will remain engaged. Employees are more likely to leave or feel de-motivated if they are unsure how they’re performing, where they stand in the company, and how they fit into the overall goals of the agency. In order to avoid the loss of star performers, companies must create a culture of communication so that employees know where the organization is headed, how they fit into these plans, and what’s expected.

For employees, the single most important motivational factor is the ability to learn. Yet the study found a huge disconnect when it comes to perceptions about company training. While 90% of employees say they learn by figuring things out on their own, only 25% of executives think that employees learn independently. To keep employees motivated, companies need to build a culture of learning, where employees leave more enriched at the end of each day. Employee feedback is also a critical part of the education process, and shouldn’t just be relegated to the annual review. To be effective, feedback needs to be specific and actionable. Feedback, both positive and constructive, is most effective when given right away. If an employee does something well, that activity should be encouraged. And if there’s room for improvement, they should be given the opportunity to learn for their next task.


Click Here to View Full Article
to the top


The Value of Having a Coach or Mentor
Management Issues, October 3

Hiring a coach or mentor can improve your career prospects. Although the terms are often used interchangeably, there is a difference between a coach and a mentor. A mentor is selected by you to help you focus on your individual growth, while a coach is someone at work who is charged with helping you meet organizational goals. Coaches have a vested interest in seeing you improve specific skills and interpersonal relationships that pertain to your job, while a mentor helps you grow in various aspects of your life. In both cases, you need to have a clear understanding of the purpose of the relationship in order to fully enjoy the benefits of having a mentor or coach.

Most importantly, you'll gain clarity by hiring a coach or mentor because you're often too close to a situation to see it clearly. Having another person sharing his or her insights about your situation gives you an outside perspective on how to improve. If you are motivated to make improvements, you'll place a lot of value on that person's perspective. Secondly, you'll have accountability. Without accountability we usually end up with a lot of blame or a lot of excuses as to why things don't get done. Because it's difficult to be accountable to yourself, having someone to whom you're accountable helps you stay on track with those non-urgent but important actions that lead to personal and professional growth.


Click Here to View Full Article
to the top


Gender Demographics Trends and Changes in U.S. CS Departments
Communications of the ACM, Vol. 54 No. 11, November 2011

By looking at ten-year survey data from 1999-2009, it’s possible to obtain greater insights into gender demographics at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. The data indicates that overall both the number and proportion of female tenured and tenure-track faculty as well as females receiving a Ph.D. have increased; however, these increases are not uniform across types of departments. In many highly ranked departments female full professors outnumber female faculty of other ranks and increases have been small. Departments that have significantly increased the number of female faculty tend to have done so by hiring female assistant professors. Although the overall Ph.D. production has doubled from 2002–2008, the proportion of Ph.D.'s awarded to females varies according to type of department.

Since 1999, the number of faculty in CS and CSE departments in the U.S. has increased. Across 163 different departments, the average number of faculty increased from 22 in 1999 to 28 in 2009. The number of female tenure-track and tenured faculty has also increased. In proportion, it increased from 11% to 14.8%. Looking at the eight different groups, the average numbers for female faculty range from a minimum of 1.13 to a maximum of 7.57. In order to better understand increases in proportion and increases in numbers, the researchers examined the average number of female faculty in each rank, partitioning them into assistant, associate and full professors. Not surprisingly, the majority of the departments have increased the number of female faculty by hiring assistant professors.


Click Here to View Full Article
to the top


Five Expectations Students Should Have of an Online Instructor
eLearn Magazine, October 2011

As online degree programs become more popular for self-motivated learners to earn a degree, online course instructors need to adapt accordingly. As a higher education instructor, you should recognize the type of learning environment in which you teach as well as what students expect from you. If you're preparing for a traditional setting, you will get to know your students and their goals for the semester through dialogue and face-to-face interaction; however, in a virtual setting, you may be unsure of what is expected. It is important to take the time to set realistic expectations for your online learning environment that takes into account the dynamics of the online learning experience and establishing a sense of what your standards as an online instructor will be in terms of availability and guidance.

As an online instructor, you should be responsive to your students' inquires and make yourself available as needed. Indeed, many colleges and degree programs require online instructors to respond to all student questions within 48 hours. However, it is wise to relay that you may need a longer window of response time during holidays and weekends. You should also publish your office and calling hours in your class syllabus. Further, students' grades should be returned in a timely matter to ensure that your feedback helps with their future coursework. Communication in the online environment requires a degree of online professionalism. In a text-heavy setting, you should pay extra time and attention to the tone you relay to your students. This, in turn, will cultivate respect for you and your position. If you are an instructor that is training students for a specific career, it's also important that you convey the power of well-thought out, professional writing and technological aptitude.


Click Here to View Full Article
to the top