ACM CareerNews for Tuesday, September 20, 2022
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Volume 18, Issue 18, September 20, 2022
According to a recent survey, the best metro areas in North America for tech talent include Silicon Valley, Toronto, Seattle, New York and Washington, DC. The CBRE Scoring Tech Talent 2022 survey uses 13 factors to measure the depth, vitality and attractiveness of each market, both for companies seeking tech talent and tech workers seeking employment. These factors include the local concentration of tech talent, labor costs, and more. Overall, the survey looked at 50 different metropolitan areas.
As companies across all industries expand their technology offerings, there is high demand for tech talent in both large and small markets. That is great news for technologists who do not live in a traditional tech hub like San Francisco or New York City. While cities like San Francisco have the highest concentrations of tech talent, up-and-coming hubs like Seattle and Toronto have seen a rapid accumulation of that talent over the past five years. For example, Toronto experienced the highest growth of any hub between 2016 and 2021 (approximately 88,900 jobs).
The ongoing crypto market correction has seen budgets and jobs slashed, but the search for top-tier crypto talent has not stopped. There is still demand in areas ranging from non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and decentralized finance (DeFi) to blockchain gaming and the metaverse. The majority of staff cuts in the crypto market have been from cryptocurrency exchanges. Crypto job boards continue to be dominated by developer and engineer roles. In addition, there is also a shortage of experienced CTO and CMO talent for new crypto projects.
As venture capital firms continue to provide funding to new crypto startups, that has boosted overall demand for crypto talent. As a result, companies with solid business models have seen sustained hiring activity despite market fluctuations. According to a new report on VC financing, $30.3 billion was poured into crypto companies in the first six months of 2022, which was more than in 2021. Web3 and non-fungible token (NFT) projects captured $8.6 billion of the total amount invested during that period. That being said, many crypto firms have become understandably cautious about over-hiring during a sustained market correction.
IT Certifications Ease Tech Job Access as Employers Lower Degree Requirements
CIO Dive, September 15
Computer science programs at the university level have traditionally been the path to a full-time job in the tech industry. However, IT certifications can also enable jobseekers to explore new fields and opportunities, especially in emerging niches. Once you get the new IT certification, you can put it on LinkedIn and on your resume, and then you can start reaching out to hiring managers. The strategy can be so successful, in fact, that some IT professionals acquire multiple certifications. In 2022, approximately one-half of developers in the 18- to 24-years-old age range learned how to code from online courses and certifications.
In the tech industry, the demand for talent far exceeds supply. As a result, employers have reframed their approach to tech talent attraction. In some cases, big players in the industry have started to phase out degree requirements in order to appeal to a larger demographic. Amazon, Accenture, IBM and HP all have areas in which degree requirements are lower than national averages, according to a 2021 report from the Burning Glass Institute. When comparing the number of job postings that required at least an undergraduate degree from 2017 to 2021, Google, Apple and Accenture have reduced their demand, according to the report. IBM saw slight growth in its degree requirements from 2017 to 2021, but the percentage gain is still well below others in the industry. The reduced demand for educational requirements lets potential prospects lean on certifications and experience to prove their skills, rather than a diploma.
Software Developer Jobs: How to Get Hired Now
InfoWorld, September 12
For software developers, adaptability is key to a successful career. The IT job market is constantly changing, whether it is due to emerging technologies, economic and environmental factors, or a mix of all three. Software developers who quickly adapt to the changing demands of the IT job market seem to do better than those who do not. For example, they can adapt by learning new skills, gaining certifications, or adjusting their salary expectations. One thing that remains stable is that developers are in high demand across many different industries.
The job market for software developers is still strong for those with the right skill sets. As businesses and consumers continue to adopt technology for nearly everything we do, developers and aspiring developers have a great opportunity to grow successful careers right now. Hiring firm Robert Half characterizes hiring trends for developers as still moderate to fairly strong. The market remains rather competitive and finding top talent remains a challenge, say many recruiters. Front-end and back-end web developers are in high demand, as are developers with a background in cloud-related technologies. Data engineers are also seeing a spike in demand by hiring organizations. Developer job postings may have peaked in May 2022 and have fallen since, but they are still well above pre-COVID levels.
10 Cool International Locations For Remote Workers to Consider
Information Week, September 14
If you are a digital nomad, it is now possible to work almost anywhere in the world where there is a stable internet connection. That being said, a few far-flung locales have emerged as favorites for remote IT workers. These include Lisbon In Europe, Vancouver in North America and Bali in Asia. Depending on the location you choose, life as an expatriate offers a number of benefits. Many parts of the world have a lower cost of living, which means your money goes a lot farther, especially if you are still earning a typical U.S. salary. Other locations might offer a different climate, enjoyable recreation activities, or possibly some extra side adventures.
The city of Lisbon is the European hub for remote workers. One of the features that makes it most attractive to remote workers is that it is both a charming port city with a rich cultural history and modern tech hub. Many tech companies, including Google, have set up bases in Lisbon, and the city hosts many large technology events, including the enormous Web Summit, which regularly attracts more than 70,000 attendees. While the cost of living in Lisbon is higher than most of the other cities on this list, it is low relative to other Western European cities. Lisbon also features fast internet, great weather, and sandy beaches where you can relax or go surfing.
This Simple Reframe Can Help Your Resume Stand Out
Fast Company, September 1
If you are using the traditional resume format, you are putting the emphasis on the roles you have held, with a chronological list of your jobs and the results you delivered. While experience is an important consideration, hiring managers also need candidates who possess certain skills. By emphasizing what you can do instead of what you have done, you can help your resume to stand out from the others. Research shows that there is not necessarily a correlation between a role that you have held in the past and your future performance in a different role, aside from the skills that you have. This is why it makes sense to emphasize your skill set to employers.
On a traditional resume, most job seekers include a bulleted list of their skills at the bottom. Usually, the section is a short and concise compilation of the technology they have used in the past. To shift the focus to these skills, some recruiters recommend bringing this section to the top of your resume. Depending on the job you are applying for, choose skills that are most applicable and include the mastery you have of those skills. It helps hiring managers know what it is specifically that you can bring to the job. Hard skills are the most common capabilities included. These are your specialties and how you bring nuance to your skill set. However, do not overlook soft skills that can overlap from role to role no matter the job title or industry.
How to Investigate Your Future Employer
Protocol, September 15
If you truly want to evaluate the workplace culture of an employer before accepting a job offer, there are a number of readily available resources that can help. For example, you can check resources like Glassdoor for salary information and comments about what it would be like to work at a specific company. You can also browse LinkedIn for current employees who seem trustworthy, or former employees who seem not to have an agenda. But not everyone has the time to investigate companies in this way. Instead, they may rely on company-sponsored chats with current employees. The most prepared candidates will do all of the above.
One way to learn more about a future employer is to participate in employer-sponsored chats that connect candidates with members of employee resource groups. This approach has been particularly popular with mid- and late-career candidates who are concerned about their overall fit with the culture of a company. It is definitely worth it for employers to offer to connect candidates with current employees. The more information they can provide, the more helpful it can be to candidates. Just keep in mind that it is impossible for company-sponsored candidate-employee chats to be completely candid. In most cases, you should assume they are using a core group of people who are prepped and primed to be positive about the company. Still, you will likely learn more about a company from these conversations than if you were simply using online resources.
What a Recession Could Mean For Your Job Hunt And Your Personal Brand
Forbes, September 15
Despite headlines about a looming recession, many IT jobseekers are continuing to move ahead with the search for a new job. For example, Bloomberg notes that 4.4 million people quit their jobs in April 2022 alone, and around one-third of all workers say they are considering doing the same within a year. This suggests that you are certainly not alone in your desire to capitalize on this moment in time and move up in your career. However, if hiring slows down in your sector as a result of recession rumors, you will face stiffer competition for the best available jobs, which means you will need to rethink your personal branding strategy to ensure that you stand out from the herd.
There are several ways to bolster your authentic personal brand to showcase your compelling skills, talents and potential. You should make it as easy as possible for employers to understand the value you can bring to the organization. In this regard, CVs have become illustrative roadmaps showing not just the history of a candidate, but also their potential value to an organization. It is easy to quantify your value, but it can be hard to know how to demonstrate your ability to fill the gaps of a team with your knowledge and skills. You can make your application more meaningful by concentrating on showing proof of your success. To quantify, simply add relevant numbers to your work history. Another approach is to put your duties in context. But to show the quality of your value, personal branding is key. Your distinctive adjectives and attributes will help to illustrate the benefits of working with you. You can also revamp your LinkedIn profile with value-boosting elements. This could make you more attractive to organizations looking for passive candidates who might not be actively looking for a job.
The Four Horsemen of an Ailing Software Project
ACM Queue, September 14
Software teams, unlike software projects, are made up of people, and interactions with people can be complicated. There are plenty of books and articles written about how software projects live or die, and as a result, there are several reliable measurements that one can use to judge the overall health of a software project. Without delving deeply into specific cases of how software teams fail, it is possible to talk about the harbingers of the end to a software project. If you can learn to recognize these signals, you will be well-positioned to spot when a software project is showing signs of weakness, no matter what the senior management team might be saying.
When a team starts to fail, one of the first harbingers to appear is dysfunction in the day-to-day operations of a team. Functioning teams can get along and share tasks, hand them off when one member is overburdened, and generally work in a congenial manner. As a team starts to fail, team members become increasingly paranoid because they do not want to be blamed for the failure. This paranoia often exhibits itself as extreme defensiveness. In a large and complex project, once enough of the team has hunkered down in this paranoid state, they will lash out at anything or anyone who might be seen to be impugning the quality of their work. The lashing out leads to arguments, which look a lot like war, although one carried out with code commits, snarky reviews, and nasty email threads. This is enough of a drain on the team to make it fall into a downward spiral of failure. As teams fail and projects get delayed, management may decide that it is time to focus effort elsewhere and to move developers off the team and into other areas of work.
Let Us Not Put All Our Eggs in One Basket
Communications of the ACM, September 2022
Researchers and practitioners in the computer science field have a number of different options for tackling climate change. The most obvious option, of course, is participating in one of the industry associations or organizations analyzing the impacts of climate change, and then doing your part to reduce your carbon footprint accordingly. This might include limiting International air travel, affiliating yourself with a carbon-neutral university, or changing the way you disseminate your research. At the end of the day, one must be able to answer the question: Am I part of the solution, or part of the problem? This might lead you to challenge some of your core assumptions about the impact of technological transformation all over the globe.
The public discourse tends to present technological transformation as a necessary and non-questionable solution to climate change. However, the computing research community has the responsibility to consider several hypotheses, including one in which the digital world is part of the problem. For example, there is no doubt that digital transformation brings improvement to the underlying technological infrastructure. And there is no doubt that this transformation also vastly increases the functionality of technology. But what about the overall environmental impacts of this growing infrastructure and the huge number of devices connected to it, or the indirect impacts on other sectors?
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