ACM CareerNews for Tuesday, December 6, 2016

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Volume 12, Issue 23, December 6, 2016

These Tech Jobs Are Set To Get a Major Pay Bump
Fortune, December 2

The latest release of recruiter Robert Half Technology’s annual salary guides surveys the tech jobs set to get the biggest pay bumps next year, and the results point to positions specializing in data. Big data engineers top the list with an estimated 5.8% pay increase predicted for 2017, for a salary that ranges from $135,000 to $196,000. Other high-paying data roles that could see a big jump in pay in 2017 include data architect and data warehouse manager. In fact, employers are so desperate for qualified data workers that some have created whole programs dedicated to creating qualified applicants.

The jobs with the highest salary ranges are almost uniformly in data-related fields. For example, data architects and data warehouse managers were both predicted to get 4.1% raises next year, with the former netting up to $184,000. Database managers followed behind, with projected earnings of up to $177,000, while business intelligence analysts rounded out the top five. All told, all but one of the top 10 jobs works closely with data, with data scientists getting the highest overall pay bump: 6.4%, for a projected salary range of $116,000 – $163,500.

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The Next Big Job in Tech: Robot Programmer
Tech Republic, November 28

Despite all the talk about the fate of human jobs in the age of automation, there is one job certain to be in-demand: Robot programmers. There is growing demand for people who are skilled in this area and who understand the types of tasks these robots will be expected to do. In fact, many startups and established companies are looking into training people in this field right now. Robot manufacturers, for example, are one type of company that would hire robot programmers.

Robot programming is a decidedly different skill from computer programming. The hard part of robot programming isn't writing the basic code that makes the robot work. Rather, it's observing what the robot actually does when it executes that code, figuring out why it doesn't behave the way you expected, and then changing things to make it work better—or maybe at all. After a large number of iterations, the structure of the code may be quite similar to what you started with but the details are usually very different.

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How to Close the Cybersecurity Talent Gap, November 29

With the launch of the first-ever Federal Cybersecurity Workforce Strategy earlier this year, the U.S. government will go on a major hiring spree. After landing 3,000 new cybersecurity and IT professionals in the first six months of the current fiscal year, agencies want to bring 3,500 more aboard by the end of January 2017. Given that the global cybersecurity workforce shortage is expected to reach 1.5 million by 2019, private and public sector officials are increasingly under pressure to find candidates with cybersecurity skills.

Federal officials admit that a lack of cybersecurity and IT talent is affecting their ability to protect information and assets, according to a White House summary of the strategy. Every day, federal departments and agencies face sophisticated and persistent cyber threats that pose strategic, economic and security challenges to our nation. These cyber threats have required a bold reassessment of the way we approach security in the digital era and a significant investment in critical security tools and our cybersecurity workforce. And these threats demand that we continue to enhance the security of the federal digital infrastructure and improve the ability to detect and respond to cyber incidents as they occur. The challenge does not simply involve attracting candidates. It also requires effectively onboarding, training, developing, promoting and engaging incoming employees to ensure a lasting, positive impact.

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How Career Mobility Programs Improve Retention, November 22

According to new research from HR executive network and research firm Future Workplace, companies are increasingly investing in career mobility programs to improve employee engagement, productivity and teamwork. There is one important trend to keep in mind: Employers are offering internal career mobility opportunities to allow employees to "test drive" new roles and prepare them for the future workplace, according to the research. For businesses, these internal mobility programs provide a way to help employees with flexibility and career growth and development while stemming the turnover rate; employees get to add skills and experience to their resume without job-hopping.

Internal career mobility programs are starting to crop up in a lot of places, and they're a great way for employees to further their education and training from within an organization, as well as for companies looking to retain valuable talent and help them grow in their careers. In short, they are virtual talent marketplaces that exist within larger organizations, and match available roles with existing employees' skill sets and experience. Two examples include Cisco's Talent Cloud and MasterCard's Smart Steps, which post available projects and then encourage employees from every area of the company to contribute.

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Best Small to Midsized Cities to Land a Cybersecurity Job
CSO Online, November 21

While cybersecurity positions are plentiful in most major cities, thousands of cyber positions at all levels are waiting to be filled in less populated and often more scenic locales that offer a lower cost of living. Although larger corporations usually post the most job openings, you’re most likely to find that you’re working at a smaller company in these smaller cities. But the tradeoff will be broader responsibilities and more experience. In smaller companies you take on more responsibilities with less specialization than in a large enterprise where roles are very well defined. The best small to midsized cities for landing jobs in the security sector include: Colorado Springs, Colorado; Huntsville, Alabama; and Des Moines, Iowa.

Coming in at #1 on the list of the best places to land a cybersecurity job was Colorado Springs, Colorado. This is the second most populated city in the state, with several defense contractors fueling job growth. Top employers posting cybersecurity job openings include General Dynamics, Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, Oracle and Harris Corp. Ranked #2 on the list, Huntsville, Alabama is home to the U.S. Space and Rocket Center, NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center and the Army’s Aviation and Missile Command. Top employers posting cybersecurity job openings in November include MacAulay-Brown Inc., SAIC, Northrop Grumman, General Dynamics and Booz Allen Hamilton.

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10 Resume Tips for Developers
Computerworld, November 29

Landing that dream developer job is hard work, but it all starts with the resume. Your code may be very good and you may have a wide range of deep experience, but if you shortchange the time spent on your resume, you may not get recognized in the job marketplace for your true worth. You might even sabotage your chance of being invited for interviews. They may not have heard of your current and past employers or products you have worked on, but if you present your accomplishments and skills in the right way, you can maximize your career opportunities in a hot job market.

Attention to detail is an essential trait for programmers, but it is best not to overdo it on your resume. In addition to losing hiring managers in your details, you also risk coming off as someone who can’t weigh the importance of your own work—a nonstarter for companies looking for programmers who can make a difference in prioritizing business goals. Your resume is meant to present you in the best light, not serve as a comprehensive transcript. One important thing you need to do is provide an overall business context for your resume. In many cases, candidates don’t describe what the company does or how they contributed to the company’s purposes. Including a short explanation that gives the business context and impact of your development work helps hiring managers fully understand your achievements, giving them not only a better view of your value but also insight as to how your efforts can help them achieve their own business goals.

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12 Secrets to Supercharging Your Personal Brand, December 2

Look at anyone who's doing very well in their business career and you'll usually see it's not just their business that's doing well; they also have a powerful personal brand that sets them apart. Often, veteran entrepreneurs have deployed specific strategies to supercharge their personal brand. In the process, they have been able top create market demand for their services for years to come. At the end of the day, one of the best ways to build your brand is to publish widely in order to attract a wide audience.

Publishing books, articles in top publications and video help to build your credibility, make you stand out from your competition and enhance your reputation. You need to start publishing your own content so that you can build your brand and propel yourself into new markets. Make it a goal to publish your own book, but start small with articles, features and digital magazines. Another strategy is to pretend that you’re making a blockbuster show. Most people try to build their personal brand through random social media posts about whatever is going on in their life. But your most important strategy is to tell great stories, the same as blockbuster shows like “Game of Thrones” do. Like all great stories in a movie or book, there's rarely just one character. There's a central plot with drama, suspense, surprise, character development and some form of resolution.

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Yes, You Do Have Enough Time to Start a Business, November 28

It’s possible to launch a new startup, even when you think you don’t have time to pursue your dreams. But if you're going to manage to squeeze your dream project into your busy schedule, you're going to need more than just inspiration. With that in mind, the article lists five specific techniques to manage your time wisely during the early startup period.

First of all, you’ll need to cut back on your networking, including invitations for coffee or drinks. If you're not raising money, you will accomplish very little for your business by meeting with VCs and networking. Building your product and finding product market fit is going to yield much higher dividends for your company than networking. Secondly, you will need to commit to savvy time management. Spend time every week figuring out what you need to accomplish and break that work into smaller, bite sized chunks. You will have tiny projects that can be completed in a free 15 minutes, larger projects that will require a few hours, and all kinds of stuff in between.

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Taking Incremental Steps Towards CS for All
Blog @ CACM, November 28

At the end of October, the Expanding Computing Education Pathways (ECEP) alliance organized a summit with the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) on state implementation of the President's CS for All initiative. One of the key insights from the meetings was that the CS for All initiative is starting to succeed, if only incrementally. U.S. states are developing novel, incremental approaches to CS for All that focus on important topics such as teacher certifications and micro-certifications.

The second day of the summit was focused on the teams from the 16 states and Puerto Rico, all of whom are part of the ECEP Alliance. At a breakout session on teacher certifications, some of the attendees were concerned with what they saw as lowering standards in order to get more certified teachers. Only a few U.S. states now offer CS teacher initial certification. That requires a choice to become a CS teacher while still an undergraduate and take years of classes. Georgia and California, like several other states, offer an add-on certification (sometimes called an "endorsement") that teachers can earn after gaining a certification in something else (e.g. business, mathematics, or science). An endorsement typically still requires multiple semester-long courses. Utah has one of the most innovative CS teacher add-on certification schemes, with three levels: an initial level that requires only some summer professional development, and two further levels requiring post-secondary courses.

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Four Essential Tips for Professional Development Success
eLearn Magazine, November 2016

Faculty professional development should be a true learning experience that encourages growth and improvement. Too much, though, professional development is treated as simply another hoop to jump through for faculty members. What’s needed is a set of standards to evaluate and improve courses, in order to ensure that instructors receive the types of personalized professional development opportunities that they need in order to excel in teaching. The basic elements needed for effective course design include measurable outcomes, engaging content, and relevant assessment. It’s also important to include elements that will help faculty stay engaged throughout the professional development course and walk away with tools and tips that they can use in their future courses.

Effective teaching strategies incorporate multiple methods of presentation and evaluation. Rather than simply talking about effective teaching strategies, share course design and delivery best practices by modeling those practices in the professional development course. This doesn't mean you cannot include engaging information to describe best practices for course design and delivery. However, descriptions fall short if you are not practicing the methods throughout your course. This idea of showing as you tell can be incorporated in the elements that are implemented into the course.

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