ACM CareerNews for Tuesday, August 22, 2017

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Volume 13, Issue 16, August 22, 2017

7 Hot New IT Jobs And Why They Just Might Stick, August 14

Unusual job titles aren’t new in the IT world, and the continued growth of emerging technologies is leading to a new round of unique job titles. Over the past few years, as firms have looked to boost innovation, cut costs, or improve security, new IT job titles have been forged to catch attention and signal a possible way forward. Visit IT job sites like Glassdoor, Indeed or LinkedIn and you’ll see creative job titles that are one-of-a-kind. With that in mind, the article takes a closer look at 7 new or newly focused IT positions that are here to stay in the IT world.

One new IT title to keep an eye out for is Cloud Cost Containment Officer. As the use of software as a service increases, companies are looking for someone to manage short-term and long-term cloud costs. This role typically requires someone with a mix of business and technical skills. With the growth of the Internet of Things, it’s perhaps no surprise that CIoTO (Chief IoT Officer) is now being talked about within some organizations. A Chief IoT Officer would be tasked with integrating new product development with the IT department, as new internet-connected products (and potentially systems across entire businesses) are developed. This role is appealing to larger companies that would hire CIoTOs to develop IoT strategy and initiatives.

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The Five New Hidden Gem Emerging Tech Hot Spots in the US
The Next Silicon Valley, August 18

Albany, Sacramento, Columbus, Colorado Springs and Madison, which all offer a high concentration of software developers, computer programmers and web developers, are among the top emerging tech hotspots in the United States. According to a recent report, “Cracking the Hardest Code: Where to Find Tech Talent,” the escalating war for tech talent in major tech hubs is leading to the search for new hot spots where there is some remaining slack in employment, and where the surrounding tech ecosystem is strong enough to support a diversity of new tech roles.

There’s a difference between quantity of jobs and concentration of jobs. Across the board, the New York City metropolitan area had the greatest number of computer programmers and software developers. However, the concentration of software developers and computer programmers is highest in Silicon Valley. This would seem to suggest that the technology ecosystem is stronger in Silicon Valley. The surprise is that the markets with the highest concentration of computer programmers are not necessarily the markets with the highest concentration of software developers. In fact, out of the top ten, only five markets appear on both lists: Silicon Valley, San Francisco, Seattle, Washington, D.C., and Austin.

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Top Skills You Need to Avoid Being Replaced By a Machine
Computer Weekly, August 17

Just as robots replaced people in automobile manufacturing, experts believe AI has the potential to replace certain jobs in the knowledge economy. AI is set to become a megatrend, with the potential to disrupt traditional business processes. That’s leading to new thinking about which skills will be needed by knowledge workers in an AI-driven economy. Experts have warned that AI will inevitably shake up the workforce, with job losses in certain areas where machines replace humans – but it will also create new job opportunities linked to AI, augmented reality and cyber security.

It’s important for IT workers to stay ahead of the AI trend. The arrival of artificial intelligence, robotics and smart technologies will help automate previously manual tasks and drive a change in tomorrow’s job roles. IT workers with a solid understanding of AI will be in the best position to help companies unlock their competitive edge. The impact of technology is at a high level, but we need better and broader skills. The important thing to keep in mind is that the AI-powered technology revolution is a good thing and automation is already part of manufacturing, such as the automation of factories. Going forward, there will be automated cars and planes, and software that does the type of analysis people do today.

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Why Should I Become a Web Developer?
Tech World, August 18

There are many reasons why you should pursue a career in web development, both professional and personal. One major consideration, of course, involves financial compensation. With demand still going strong, average starting salaries are heading higher. But there’s much more than just money involved, such as the chance to become part of a real community of professionals and the opportunity to benefit from new, flexible work arrangements.

First of all, when you become a web developer, you’ll become part of a community: Sometimes the people you work with are just as important as the work. And web development is unique, because not only will you be most likely working in a team, you'll have countless online communities at your fingertips. The online community for developers is huge, and if used to the full can be a source of technical support and a place with like-minded people. Online communities are a great resource that you can gain a lot from, not to mention what you can give back. With the demand for web developers eclipsing availability, companies are upping salaries to ensure they get the best talent out there. And the career path doesn't stop there, you can expand into other areas where the money is more rewarding. The mobile sector is booming and web developers can easily transition into mobile development. With similar interfaces, creating mobile applications can access a different market while also making developers much more attractive to potential employers.

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How America Is Closing the Cybersecurity Skills Gap
Knowledge @ Wharton, August 16

America is facing a critical shortage of people trained in cyber security and that’s requiring new planning and collaboration between the private and public sector. The Cybersecurity Workforce Alliance (CWA), a partnership of companies, the government and universities, aims to bridge that skills gap because the country’s future literally could depend on it. Since its inception in January 2015, the Cybersecurity Workforce Alliance has engaged over 600 corporate executives across a broad swath of industries. Within the education sector, the program alerts students to careers available in cyber security and provides an accelerated pathway to reach them. For employers, the program maps the specific skills students need for mobility or up-skilling to advance their careers and creates predictable career pathways.

Nowhere is the workforce skills gap more pronounced than in cybersecurity, with estimates for the current number of unfilled jobs in cybersecurity projected at nearly 1.4 million. And advances in technology such as artificial intelligence, IoT, autonomous vehicles, data mining and the like will only widen the gap between workforce-ready students and industry. The CWA’s success belies the need for higher education to shift to a bottom-line mentality in order to create a sufficient supply of cyber workforce-ready graduates. Rather than pointing fingers, the CWA put its finger on the pulse of industry by understanding that the skills gap problem has been more about market misalignment than academic mismanagement.

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What Is a Data Scientist?, August 18

The growing importance of data for the modern corporation is leading to surging demand for data scientists and other IT professionals with the right data analysis skills. Data scientists are responsible for discovering insights from massive amounts of structured and unstructured data to help shape or meet specific business needs and goals. The data scientist role in data analysis is becoming increasingly important as businesses rely more heavily on big data and data analytics to drive decision-making and as more businesses lean on cloud technology, automation and machine learning as core components of their IT strategies.

With increasing demand for data scientists comes increasing salaries. In 2016, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the average salary for a data scientist came in around $111,800 per year. It’s a fast growing and lucrative field, with the BLS predicting jobs in this field will grow 11% by 2024. Data scientist is also shaping up to be a satisfying long-term career path. In Glassdoor’s 50 Best Jobs in America report, data scientist ranked as the best job across every industry based on job openings, salary and overall job satisfaction ratings.

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The Cloud's Effect on Evolving IT Staffing Needs
Baseline Magazine, August 17

The emergence of the cloud has had a significant impact on IT staffing. For example, as workloads move to offsite infrastructures, hiring for lower-level IT positions is slowing, while the demand for skills in areas such as analytics, the cloud and security is on the rise. While IT staffing levels are remaining fairly flat, the move toward software-as-a-service (SaaS) applications, cloud infrastructure, virtualization and increased automation has required IT leaders to adjust the mix of skills and capabilities at their disposal. Forward-looking IT professionals should make note of this trend to avoid getting left behind.

With the move toward SaaS apps, cloud-based infrastructures and automation showing no signs of slowing, IT teams need to build different skill sets. 49% of the IT executives surveyed are planning to increase their IT headcounts in the next two years, up from 46% who planned this in 2016, but down slightly from 50% in 2015. 20% of the respondents plan to reduce their IT headcount by the end of 2018. Some of the key roles that could see a boost in staffing needs include application development workers, IT managers, desktop support and applications maintenance/support.

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DevOps Can’t Happen Without Education
Information Week, August 16

For anyone working in IT, it’s important to understand the dynamics behind DevOps. The concept embodies a fundamental shift in how technology is used and produced in companies today, requiring skills that may be vastly different from the past. So moving toward DevOps means companies must think about how they educate their staff, and IT pros must look for ways to ramp up in areas that were once far beyond their scope. Without a doubt, changes taking place in IT are requiring IT professionals and their organizations to adapt.

New practices rooted in DevOps are drastically affecting everyday work for those in IT. The trend toward automating many processes and repeatable tasks is removing those tasks from daily responsibilities but demanding that IT pros implement and manage automation itself. Another practice called shift left is moving processes – like testing, security, and integration with infrastructure -- earlier in the technology lifecycle. That means more collaboration and an increase in the core competencies needed to work in any capacity in IT. The upshot is that modern IT professionals must be far more multidimensional than in the past. Silos and specialties are fading away in favor of cross-functional teams and generalists with a capacity to learn new skills.

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CSTA: Computer Science Education, Equity, and the Future Workforce
Blog @ CACM, August 8

Despite a number of ongoing initiatives, computer science remains one of the least diverse of the STEM disciplines, and there’s still much more that can be done to convince students to pursue the field. CSTA, which seeks to ensure that all students are prepared to be both citizens and workers in a very different world than we knew in the past, is taking on a more active role to bring about this diversity. CSTA is also working to help retrain whole industries to be ready for a rapidly changing world. Over the past two years, CSTA has launched a pair of initiatives - the Big IDEA and the PD Pipeline, to make both of those goals a reality.

The IDEA Project is based on a broader concept of diversity that is meant to be more inclusive. IDEA stands for Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Access. Earlier approaches focused almost entirely on equity. However, by focusing almost exclusively in equity, many teachers said that they did not feel included in the conversation because they identified themselves as "teachers of CS" rather than "CS teachers." That realization uncovered the diversity of perspectives that exist within the CSTA membership—which consists of nearly every teaching domain in K-12, and teachers who both come from and work with exceptionally diverse student populations. To achieve CS for All students, the CSTA realized that the Big IDEA would be a more effective and holistic approach for focusing our efforts and building engagement in our community.

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SIGIR 2017: Diversity and Inclusion
Blog @ CACM, August 13

Diversity was a central theme at the recent ACM SIGIR 2017 event held in Tokyo, Japan. SIGIR 2017 featured a session on Women in IR (Information Retrieval) organized by professor Laura Dietz of the University of New Hampshire. The session started with one-minute presentations by a number of prominent women within the industry from all over the world. Each gave a brief overview of how they got involved in IR and how they are putting their skills to work. Despite the diversity of views and backgrounds, one topic emerged again and again: companies are hiring women from a number of backgrounds and new career opportunities are boundless.

At the SIGIR 2017 event, Hannah Bast, a professor at University of Freiburg, gave a talk on the identification of gender discrimination and stereotyping in the workplace. She presented types of follow-up actions an individual can take, such as pointing out specific inappropriate behaviors or statistics to decision-makers, and proposing concrete methods to correct the situation. Although some in the audience may have attended similar sessions at other conferences, for some first-time attendees, the session was an eye-opener.

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