ACM CareerNews for Tuesday, July 10, 2018

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 14, Issue 13, July 10, 2018


10 Hottest Job Skills For Young IT Workers
Information Week, June 28

For organizations that are looking to hire in the tight IT labor market, attracting younger workers can be critical for remaining competitive. That means they need to create job postings that will appeal to Millennials. Because technology changes so quickly, tech workers tend to look for jobs related to areas that they believe will become more important in the future. Their interests can highlight trends that are likely to remain relevant for some time. By analyzing job seeker behavior on Indeed.com, it is possible to come up with a list of terms that appeared most often in the job postings clicked by young Millennials.

Machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) are among the hottest areas of technology today, so it makes sense that many young IT workers are looking for jobs in this field. While machine learning has fascinated theoreticians for decades, it has only begun to see widespread use in the last few years, and that has led to new jobs centered on machine learning. Today, many big data analytics tools, recommendation engines, computer vision systems, self-driving vehicles, chatbots, voice assistants and other types of solutions incorporate machine learning capabilities, and all the major cloud computing vendors offer machine learning services that make the technology more affordable.

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The 5 Most In-Demand Cybersecurity Roles
Tech Republic, June 28

More companies are seeking cybersecurity professionals in efforts to comply with the new EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), according to a new report from Indeed. Companies looking to avoid GDPR non-compliance penalties, which can result in a fine of 4% of annual global turnover, are increasingly looking to hire professionals to help them protect their information. As GDPR went into effect in May, Indeed found a 261% increase in job postings per million for data protection officers on its job search engine in the past year alone. Supply and demand for cybersecurity professionals in general continues to grow: Between March 2017 and March 2018, postings of cybersecurity roles increased by 3.5%, Indeed.com found. Meanwhile, job searches for cybersecurity roles increased by 5.7%.

In terms of geographic location, no one metropolitan region dominates when it comes to open cybersecurity jobs. The top five metro areas with the most jobs available are Washington, New York, Dallas-Fort Worth, Baltimore and Chicago. While cyber professionals with the right skills are in high demand and can command a high salary, it is important to adjust for cost of living. Taking this into account for cybersecurity professionals, the five top-paying metro areas and their average adjusted salaries are Charlotte ($125,173). Chicago ($119,887), San Francisco ($116,073), Austin ($113,126) and Denver ($112,206).

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How You Can Build a Career In Blockchain
Entrepreneur.com, June 25

The blockchain job market is thriving, and those looking to get involved can follow their own path to success. Rather than spending years at an academic institution to prepare for a blockchain career, a number of strategies can streamline the process and make it more viable for just about anyone to attempt. According to Upwork, blockchain-related skills were the most in-demand on its platform in the first quarter of 2018. Moreover, TechCrunch reports that blockchain-related jobs are the second-fastest growing in the labor market today. There are now 14 job openings for every one blockchain developer. Since blockchain technology is a new job sector without a tried and true path to success, there is plenty of room for experimentation with non-traditional career paths.

It is clear that those looking for a career in blockchain technology will be following a different script than tech entrepreneurs who came before them. With that in mind, what is the best way to strategically establish a career in blockchain technology? What the blockchain industry needs are people who are continually developing their skills, and staying up to date with the advancement of the industry. There are steps blockchain enthusiasts can take to start developing their career without having to sign up to a traditional university program or attend an expensive seminar. It all starts with building the basics. Blockchain is unlike any other technology available. Understanding its unique value proposition is a critical building block of a blockchain education.

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Freelancing At A Hyper-Growth Startup
Forbes.com, July 2

Freelancers have become the secret weapon that hyper-growth startups find invaluable in achieving their goals. For young tech workers, experience with fast growing, high visibility startups can offer a big boost to freelance careers. This trend has important implications for the leaders of hyper-growth startups, and for freelance careers in areas like software development, design, AI, and blockchain. New research by Toptal shows an important symbiotic relationship between freelancers and hyper-growth startup success. Hyper-growth companies have pressing talent needs that they are unable to fill in a timely manner through traditional means. Moreover, the experience of working in a demanding, fast paced, innovative environment is equally meaningful for freelancers.

The primary challenge facing companies of every size, and particularly startups, is the availability of great talent. First, there are more jobs than available workers. Second, most startups lack the funding and the stability to attract the best professionals as regular employees. Third, the intensity of global competition for talent has made it even more difficult. And fourth, even when startups have sufficient funding to hire staff, all but a few have the reputation or name recognition to loosen the loyalty strings that keeps top people at great companies from going to work for a risky startup, even one growing unusually quickly. Freelancers provide startups with a unique and powerful supplementary talent pool. This is especially the case for hyper-growth companies, which are those growing at 40% or more annually.

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8 Ways That AI Will Create More Opportunities For Work
The Next Web, July 6

Despite concerns that AI will take away some jobs, many IT workers actually believe that AI will increase opportunities in the workplace. For example, AI will encourage people to be more creative. AI is going to take away jobs that do not require a high degree of creativity, such as activities that can be automated and are fairly repetitive or linear. But what it will have a hard time replacing are positions that require great creativity and are focused on large, complex problems. AI will free up bandwidth to help workers focus on things that are actually more impactful in the long term.

AI could very well help to create new job opportunities. AI is expanding its analysis of big data in many fields, from finance to medicine. While machines are needed to collect data, you still need humans to make sense of it. Wherever you have data, you need people who are qualified to analyze it and make recommendations. This will be true in government, business and education. Data analysts, consultants, financial advisors and many other jobs will flourish. Moreover, AI will help many companies scale in size.

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Reasons To Consider a Career As a Web Developer
Tech World, July 5

For many workers considering a career transition to the tech sector, web development offers the perfect combination of creativity and analytical skills. IT is for the detail oriented and those with an eye for design. But, if no other reason inspires, the salary certainly will. With demand going strong, the average UK web developer has seen a 3.9% increase in salary over the past year. In addition, the web developer role can be varied, fulfilling and challenging.

The first reason to consider a career as a web developer is that you do not necessarily need an advanced degree to get hired. A large number of developers out there do not have any formal qualifications. Of course, a degree in computer science is extremely advantageous. However, a lot of the same skills can be self-taught. If you know a programming language and have experience with database management, there is nothing stopping you pursuing a career in web development. A lot of organizations offer training on the job, so you will get up to speed very quickly. In fact, the number of self-trained developers is growing, and with companies like Udemy and Coursera providing online development courses very affordably, it is easier than ever to get started.

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People Ghosting at Work is Driving Companies Crazy
LinkedIn, June 23

Recruiters and hiring managers say a tightening job market and a sustained labor shortage have contributed to a surge in the practice known as ghosting, in which professionals abruptly cut off contact and turn silent even after receiving an offer. The practice is prolonging hiring, forcing companies to overhaul their processes and placing new pressure on recruiters, who find themselves under constant pressure. Where once it was companies ignoring job applicants or snubbing candidates after interviews, the world has flipped. Candidates agree to job interviews and fail to show up, never saying more. Some accept jobs, only to not appear for the first day of work, no reason given.

Candidates, many of them used to years of applying for jobs, spending hours preparing for interviews, only to get form rejections back, may not be entirely to blame for the practice. In many ways, they learned ghosting from the employers. Employers were notorious for never getting back to people, and only letting them know what was going on if it turned out they wanted them to go to the next step. Recruiters say there is an easy way to ease such frustrations: communicate. Do not accept jobs if you’re not serious about taking them. If you do need to drop out of the process, say so. It is important for both recruiters and candidates to be courteous with each other. That is partly because careers take many turns; hiring managers and candidates will both likely end up at different companies in the future, so closing the door respectfully is essential.

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The Generational Shift in IT Drives Change for IT Professionals
Information Week, July 6

Advances in technology mean a shift in IT roles, and another major shift is taking place today. Today, the cloud and other emerging technologies it enables are the forces that are bringing about change, not only for IT professionals but also for entire organizations. Cloud-based technologies have already shifted the focus of CIOs to new innovative services that enhance business agility and drive forward digital transformation. As every area of a business moves to the cloud, the IT professionals who will facilitate and manage those efforts must find new ways to adapt.

In many ways, the cloud is the future of IT careers. Using the cloud, every IT professional has the opportunity to transform the IT function from a cost center to a value generator. Thus, IT organizations and departments must leverage their current capabilities, knowledge and experiences to embrace the cloud. Instead of focusing on the challenges that emerging technologies bring focus on the new opportunities they offer, just as they did when the Internet arrived and mobile devices became more commonplace. IT professionals can play a key role in using technology-driven creativity to enable innovation, standardization, and simplicity into the business, helping the whole organization get ahead of the curve.

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A Software Architect Is the Person You Blame
Communications of the ACM, July 2018

Any software project could potentially benefit from the addition of a software architect, and that is especially true as the world of software development rapidly moves towards more agile workflows. The software architect role is a crucial component that delivers unparalleled guidance in the project pipeline, assigning responsibility to an individual who can turn a company vision into code. Most importantly, the software architect is the individual who takes the blame when a project fails or is praised when the software team succeeds.

The software architect is the guide for your software team, the person selected to transform the initial vision into a fully solidified working piece of code. As leaders, they elect to take the responsibility for the direction in which they lead their team. It is possible to compare the responsibility of a modern software architect to that of a bridge worker from the nineteenth century. At that time, the key group of engineers, architects and workers stood under the bridge while the first vehicles were on it; thus, they staked their lives upon the construction and the strength of the structure. When we say that a software architect must absorb the blame for a project, we are merely saying that the project outcome that is produced shall fall upon their shoulders. It is entirely up to the software architect to delegate responsibilities of a project utilizing available methodologies.

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Validating Beneficial AI
Blog @ CACM, July 3

The goal of the second annual AI for Good Global Summit in Switzerland was to bring together a diverse AI community in order to build an infrastructure to advance the sustainable development goals of the United Nations. The AI for Good Global Summit is the leading United Nations platform for dialogue on Artificial Intelligence. The more than 500 attendees attempting to solve the greatest challenges facing the world consisted of a diverse set of multi-stakeholders with wide-ranging expertise, including members from high profile UN agencies, AI researchers and public and private sector decision-makers.

The focus of the 2018 edition of the AI for Good Summit was to bring together stakeholders to propose practical projects to tackle topics within 17 different areas. Inspired by the XPRIZE incentive model, the goal was to present actual proposals in front of attendees to validate feasibility, timing, and how meaningful next steps can be identified. As part of the summit design, AI innovators in attendance were connected with invited public and private sector decision-makers. Four breakthrough tracks set out to propose AI strategies with supporting projects to advance sustainable development. Teams were guided in this effort by an expert audience representing industry, academia, government, and civil society. Each track proposed projects as well as introduced existing and future obstacles to the attendees who then worked collaboratively to take promising strategies forward.

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