ACM CareerNews for Tuesday, November 17, 2020

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 [email protected]

Volume 16, Issue 22, November 17, 2020

Where the Jobs Are: Tech Hiring Is On the Rise, November 12

According to a new report from Dice, hiring in the U.S. tech sector appears to be stabilizing. For its Dice Q3 Tech Job Report, the job site noted that tech job postings did decline by 7 percent from the second quarter to the third quarter. However, postings remained virtually flat from August to September. Further, more than two-thirds of top employers increased their hiring for the quarter. In addition, the number of senior management job postings grew in September, suggesting that more mid-level postings may appear in the coming months. Based on the most recent information from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, job postings in the tech sector rose by almost 14,200 last month, totaling nearly 239,000.

The top U.S. states for tech hiring during the third quarter all are home to established or emerging technology hubs. California was in first place with 124,000 job postings, followed by Texas with 54,000 postings. Virginia, New York, and Florida rounded out the top five. In top-ranked California, the cites with the most hiring activity were San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego, San Jose, and Sunnyvale. The pandemic dampened the usual rise in job postings from August to September. But over that period, several states still showed an increase in postings, including New Jersey, Arizona, Missouri, Georgia, Massachusetts, and Michigan. Across the U.S., top cites for tech job postings were New York, San Francisco, Chicago, Atlanta and Austin.

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The Ever-Expanding List of C-Level Technology Positions
Information Week, November 10

As organizations seek new ways of doing business, CIOs have begun playing a bigger role in directing the overall strategy of the business. Several different surveys have found that more than half of CIOs now report to CEOs, and many CEOs list their CIOs as one of their most trusted advisors. Furthermore, the IT executive career ladder is now extending to include several other C-level roles, such as Chief Information Officer, Chief Technology Officer and Chief Data Officer. In decades past, it was relatively uncommon for IT leaders to be part of the top tier of executive management and even those who held the title of CIO often reported to someone other than the CEO.

The most common C-level job title for IT professionals remains Chief Information Officer (CIO). At most enterprises, the CIO leads the IT department and reports to the CEO. The CIO is responsible for overseeing IT staff, setting goals, and determining budgets for the IT organization. CIOs need to have a combination of both technological understanding and business acumen. Often they have an undergraduate degree in computer science or information technology as well as a business degree such as an MBA. According to, the average salary for a CIO in the United States ranges from $81,934 to $148,927. In addition, reports that the salary ranges between $96,000 and $252,000, with a median of $165,000.

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The Best Cloud Computing Jobs and How to Land One
IT Pro, November 9

As a result of new job opportunities opening up, software developers might want to consider a career in cloud computing. Cloud computing involves delivering computer-based services over the Internet, such as databases, storage, servers, networking, analytics, intelligence and software. The goal of moving these services to the cloud is to take advantage of economies of scale, support faster innovation and increase resource flexibility. In response, job titles such as back-end developer, cloud engineer, data engineer and DevOps engineer are more popular than ever. As with any growing field, you will have to develop specific skills and acquire relevant knowledge in areas related to Agile, Azure, Java or Python.

One of the highest-paying cloud computing jobs is Cloud Engineer, with a median salary of $121,992. A Cloud Engineer is responsible for technological duties related to cloud computing, including design, planning, management, maintenance and support. They also assess existing infrastructure and look for solutions to move different cloud functions in the business. Another top option for a career in cloud computing is Data Engineer, with a median salary of $102,864. A Data Engineer is a type of software engineer. They are responsible for installing and compiling database systems, writing complex queries, scaling to multiple machines and implementing disaster recovery systems. They also look for trends in data sets and create algorithms to help the enterprise use the raw data.

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Full Stack Developer Salary: Important Things to Know
Dice Insights, October 27

Because they are skilled in a variety of areas, full stack developers can pull down a pretty significant salary, regardless of the size of their employer or where they are based geographically. While data on full stack developer salaries can vary wildly, the average full stack developer salary is close to six figures. For example, data on Glassdoor suggests that the average base pay for a full stack developer is $105,813 per year. Meanwhile, Indeed places that salary number at $111,884. According to Burning Glass, which collects and analyzes job postings from across the country, the median salary for a senior software developer is $110,399 per year. Software developers who are just starting out, meanwhile, can earn anywhere from $66,000 to $99,000, depending on their company and experience.

According to the latest Dice Salary Report, the average annual pay for technologists stands at $94,000. So, in comparison, full stack developers are generally paid pretty well compared to similar types of tech positions. As with any tech profession, it all boils down to your experience and skills: if you have what employers want, you will find lucrative opportunities. Whether you are applying for a new job or sitting down with your current manager to discuss a raise, it is important to show the value that you bring to your employer. And that value, more often than not, comes down to your skills and experience. Before you sit down with your manager or interviewer, take some time and list your recent accomplishments. Did you bring in a huge software development project on time and under budget? Did you figure out how to integrate a new feature into a mobile app that is now making a company a lot of money? You can easily convert those achievements into leverage during negotiations. By explaining your track record, you will be able to show that you can use your skills and experience in ways that will benefit your team and company.

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Five Tech Jobs For the Next Decade
Digit, November 14

Over the next decade, technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), blockchain, IoT, and big data will continue to shape the world of work and produce entirely new job titles and career paths. Contrary to popular belief, AI and ML will actually create more jobs for humans than they take away. While they will automate some jobs entirely, they will result in a host of new jobs emerging in nearly every industry. Looking ahead, five futuristic tech jobs that will most probably be big in the next decade include data trash engineer, virtual identity defender, and voice UX designer.

The futuristic job of Data Trash Engineer is a direct reflection of the accelerating Big Data trend. Organizations are now producing extraordinary amounts of data, and some organizations may not use this data for months or even years. Some data may not be needed for any kind of regulatory processes. Some data may have absolutely no foreseeable use regardless of what was initially thought. However, it is all still data and data is still important. All this junk data can be turned into meaningful insights if cleaned properly. This is where a Data Trash Engineer can add real value to an organization. A Data Trash Engineer will be needed to identify unused data in the organization they are employed, clean the junk data thoroughly and feed this cleaned data into machine learning algorithms that generate all sorts of hidden insights. In this manner, the amount of meaningful data collected is increased and the data quality also ends up improving. Ultimately, a Data Trash Engineer has one goal: turn trash data into treasure.

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Use These Proposal Guidelines To Ask To Work Remotely Forever
Fast Company, November 14

The majority of professionals who began working remotely in early 2020 as a result of the pandemic would like to keep working that way after it is safe to return to the office. A recent FlexJobs survey of more than 4,000 people who have been working remotely during the pandemic found that 65 percent said they would prefer to work at home full-time after the pandemic. Moreover, 51 percent of survey respondents say they have been more productive working from home during the pandemic, and 95 percent of respondents say productivity has been higher or the same while working remotely. Keep in mind, however, that any formal proposal to work from home permanently should include your reasoning for the request and the professional benefits of a permanent arrangement, as well as details or scenarios for your potential schedule and communication with the team.

When planning for a long-term remote work arrangement, it is best to send a proposal outline to whomever you are meeting with the day before your meeting, so they have time to review it. You may want to list the specific arrangement (or arrangements) you would ideally like here. For example, you might request to work from home 2-3 days per week or continue working 100 percent from home, with in-office visits as needed. You will also need to provide your reasoning and potential benefits to the organization. Here, you can focus on factors such as your productivity, efficiency or output. You can also list specific accomplishments, achievements, and improvements related to work such as high rates of client retention during a severe economic downturn, fewer PTO or sick days, or a faster turnaround time on projects or client requests.

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Your Next Job Move Could Be Easier Than You Think
World Economic Forum, October 21

The coronavirus pandemic has had a major impact on the global labor market, accelerating many of the trends that are influencing the future of work. The good news is that this period of rapid change could open up many new job opportunities for those who are nimble enough to transition to a socially distanced and more digital world. Re-skilling efforts have become more urgent than ever as we settle into the new normal. Despite the challenges ahead, there is reason for optimism as people transition into the jobs of tomorrow.

As the impact of the pandemic on countries and industries has differed, the hiring recovery is also playing out differently across both. China and France are leading hiring recovery, while the U.S., Australia and UK lag behind. Some industries have also proved more resilient in adapting to socially distanced operations or were more nimble with switching back on to meet pent-up demand over the summer months. But the pandemic did impact every industry, even the software industry, which has traditionally been very stable. As the world moves towards recovery, there is no doubt that the new normal will look different than before. With the massive acceleration of technological change, the World Economic Forum is estimating the global labor market can absorb approximately 150 million new tech jobs during the next five years. And many other traditional jobs will become tech-enabled jobs, requiring the employees who fill them to have more digital skills. All of these forces in the labor market contribute to a huge skilling challenge ahead for individuals, employers and governments. Workers who have lost jobs need to build new digital skills to find emerging jobs that are on the rise; employers need to upskill current employees with tech skills to navigate the virtual workplace; and governments will have to provide skilling programs to ensure that their workforce is ready for a digital future.

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Pandemic Changes Work And the Changes May Be Here to Stay
CIO Insight, October 8

When the pandemic began, most businesses complained about the disruption, but now many are re-evaluating the impact on worker productivity and the ability to hire and retain new talent. Many tech workers, especially those under the age of 30, are now keen to continue the practice going forward, whether full time or as part of a partial work-from-home arrangement. Driven by an increased level of comfort with remote work tools and processes, an increased level of concern over health risks, and quality of life factors, younger workers may be reluctant to return to a traditional office environment.

The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated a gradual trend toward more remote work. Younger workers and those in the gig economy were already part of the home office economy. But those who would never have dreamed of working from home have now done so for months and many, but not all, liked it. Companies benefited, too. Some have already closed their prestigious city-center, high-rise operations. CFOs enjoyed a big drop in monthly expenses. Many workers seemed content to work from home. The trade-off appealed to both sides: no commute for employees who pay for their own heat, cooling, electricity, phone, and Internet during office hours. Few complained and many thrived. Looking ahead, prices are dropping for downtown office space in places like New York and San Francisco. Office capacity may never fully recover. Businesses are likely to consolidate operations into smaller offices reserved for top management. Shared spaces and conferences rooms will be available for workers. Some will come in once or twice a week, some monthly, some occasionally, and many not at all. Those central offices remaining will be reconfigured. As well as fewer personnel, management is reassessing long-established criteria for office layouts, conferencing, group activity space, staff kitchens and lobbies.

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Why Resentment Is the Key To Career Happiness
Blog@CACM, November 5

In order to be successful, programmers need to think differently, both about the problems and challenges they are trying to solve in the workplace and what makes them happy in their careers. While it might sound counter-intuitive, resentment could be an integral part of career happiness, as long as it feeds your ambition to do more in life. Even with a well-paying programming job or new promotion, happiness never seems to last. The secret to long-term happiness is your continual ability to overcome new obstacles and the feeling of accomplishment that comes with it.

Overcoming challenges may be the most important and consistent source of happiness. Thus, if you want continued happiness, you need to continuously overcome obstacles. This leads to a feeling of accomplishment at work, at home, and during personal pursuits. If you are not happy it is because you are not accomplishing an important task, completing a difficult project, or solving a vexing problem. Accomplishment might mean programming new features or resolving bugs in the software your team is building. If you are a good programmer, willing to put in a bit of hard work, you will find plenty of companies ready and willing to pay you a solid if not great salary. And from the outside looking in, a lot of programmers appear happy. But is this really your best self and is middle management the peak of your career?

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It Is Time For More Critical CS Education
Communications of the ACM, November 2020

Amidst the backdrop of a global pandemic and economic uncertainty, computing can play an important role in guiding and inspiring decision makers. In addition, the IT leaders of tomorrow could use computing to solve problems such as climate change or economic injustice. However, there are some caveats to keep in mind. For example, automation and technological innovation has the potential to destabilize work and devalue labor. As a result, it is important to take a critical view of computer science education. Educators will play a significant role here, helping to challenge CS students to think broadly on these themes and ensure that computing technology is helping to move society forward. Computing does not occur in a vacuum: it shapes and is shaped by ever-evolving social, cultural, institutional, and political forces.

Educators hold the power to shape public perception of computing. They do this through the problems they focus on in their classrooms; through who they choose to teach; in how they shape student career choices; and in how they conceptualize computing to journalists, social scientists, and society. The world has critical questions about computing and it is time educators started teaching more critical answers. While there are many ideas to teach, three ideas are key. The first of these is the recognition that computing has limits. Computing is powerful and the allure of this power is compelling. However, the belief in the limitless power of computing has led many to believe that computing always makes things better. This could not be further from the truth. Software is not always right, software is not always value-neutral, and software cannot solve every problem. CS education must challenge these conceptions and remind students that computing has limits.

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