Friday, March 27, 2015

How valuable are IT certifications?


How valuable are IT certifications? 
IT positions make up more than 10% of all job openings, and IT certifications can help get you in the door. An overwhelming majority of IT professionals and their hiring managers agree on the value of certifications. More than 90% of hiring managers believe certifications are beneficial, and IT certifications can provide increased value to employers and their organizations.

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Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Raspberry Pi Foundation suggested the Pi has now surpassed sales of


A round of applause for the U.K.-made Raspberry Pi microcomputer — which has just passed the 5 million sales mark, some three years after it was first launched with the over-modest goal of selling “a few thousand” Pi over its entire lifetime, as creator Eben Upton has said. How wrong can you be, and how good must that feel?
Having a tasty price-point — of $35 for the Model B Pi, and just $25 for Model A — has kindled remarkable interest in Pi-powered homebrew computing. Everything from DIY computers to robotics projects are being built with Pi at their core. Whole startup businesses have also found a use for a low cost credit card-sized microcomputer.
The original Pi mission was about getting more schoolkids coding, and it’s making progress there. But Pi’s influence has spread far further — it’s proved especially popular in North America, according to Upton. The Foundation also recently launched a fully fledged sequel: the Pi 2, which is around 6x faster and has double the memory but retains the $35 price-point.
The Pi 2 makes a decent entry level PC that much cheaper. No surprise that Microsoft is keen to make sure Windows reaches the people Pi will be reaching, announcing it intends to offer Windows 10 to Pi devs for free. The launch of the Pi 2 also doubtless helped bump Pi’s overall sales figures past the 5M mark. At the start of this month overall sales were around 4.5M, with gen-one Pi sales clocking sales of around 200,000 per month.
Tweeting its new sales milestone today, the Raspberry Pi Foundation suggested the Pi has now surpassed sales of iconic, U.K.-made home computers of the past — such as the Sinclair Spectrum and BBC Micro —  which had themselves been an inspiration for the creation of Pi, having helped a generation of U.K. kids become coders. (NB: The Foundation was referring to the speed of Pi sales, rather than overall total. In a blog they note the Pi still has a way to go to pass Amstrad’s 8M total sales.)


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Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Windows 10, free to users of the Raspberry Pi microcomputer later this year


Microsoft has announced it will be offering the latest version of its desktop OS, Windows 10, free to users of the Raspberry Pi microcomputer later this year — as it seeks to keep pace with, and remain relevant to, developments powering the Internet of Things (IoT).
“We see the Maker community as an amazing source of innovation for smart, connected devices that represent the very foundation of the next wave of computing, and we’re excited to be a part of this community,” said Kevin Dallas, General Manager, Windows IoT Group, writing on Microsoft’s Windows blog.
The Raspberry Pi Foundation unveiled the next generation of its low-cost microprocessor, the Pi 2, today — adding a quad-core chip and double the memory, while retaining the $35 price-tag — taking the maker-friendly hardware “firmly into the PC space”, as they put it.
That $35 “entry-level PC” price-point is both an opportunity for Microsoft to expand usage of its OS, but also a threat — given the free Linux alternatives Pi users might turn to.
Giving away Windows 10 to makers is one way to try to keep pace with Pi’s push into the PC space, while also generating goodwill, engagement and — Microsoft will be hoping — driving adoption of its services within a developer community that’s expanding as more types of devices become Internet-connected devices.
In his blog, Dallas notes that Microsoft created the Windows Developer Program for IoT last year, and added support for Windows for Intel’s Galileo board — another single-board computer (like the Pi) that’s compatible with Arduino development hardware and software.
Support for Pi, via free access to its developer tools, is the “next step”, he said today, adding: “Raspberry Pi 2 is a surprisingly powerful device that opens up the world of computing and programing to a huge range of people and skill levels.
“We are excited about our work with the Raspberry Pi Foundation and to share that Windows 10 will support Raspberry Pi 2. We will be sharing more details about our Windows 10 plans for IoT in the coming months.”
Redmond announced Windows 10 last month — along with another freebie offer aimed at driving uptake: users of Windows 7, Windows 8.1 or Windows Phone 8.1 are eligible for a free upgrade inside the first year of Windows 10.


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Saturday, February 28, 2015

The most in-demand IT skills

The most in-demand IT skills 
Cybersecurity and information-security experience top the most-sought-after skills for 2015, Dice says. Project management, agile, DevOps expertise and SQL database understanding also ranked highly



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Tuesday, February 24, 2015

State of IT skills & hiring 2015


State of IT skills & hiring 
As companies spend more on IT -- 89% plan to increase their technology investments in 2015 -- they also seek improvement on the IT skills front. The great majority (87%) experience some degree of IT skills gap and need to hire more workers. Nearly half of U.S. businesses plan to increase their number of IT staff (48% for 2015)


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Monday, June 30, 2014

Health care sector lags in cyberpreparedness, FBI says


Health care sector lags in cyberpreparedness, FBI says 
Health care companies lack the cybersecurity measures to protect patient data, according to an FBI report that says the sector is behind other industries. "The healthcare industry is not as resilient to cyber intrusions compared to the financial and retail sectors, therefore the possibility of increased cyber intrusions is likely," the FBI said in a notice to the industry.





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Monday, June 23, 2014

Tech sector seen as leader in eliminating gender pay gap


 Tech sector seen as leader in eliminating gender pay gap 
With the national conversation focused on gender inequalities in employee pay, the technology sector can take confidence in knowing that despite its reputation as a boys' club, compensation disparities in Silicon Valley are among the lowest of any sector of the economy. According to data from Harvard economist Claudia Goldin, female computer programmers and engineers enjoy near parity of pay with their male counterparts -- significantly better than other professions, like doctors and lawyers. Goldin attributes part of the tech sector's success to its flexible work policies.


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Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Forrester: Government stability, purchases boost tech spending


Forrester: Government stability, purchases boost tech spending 
Government and businesses will increase IT spending to $1.315 trillion this year and $1.4 trillion next year, Forrester Research predicts. "2014 looks like the first year since 2011 that threats of federal government shutdowns, potential failures to raise the federal debt ceiling, and austerity measures will not disrupt the prospects for US economic growth," Forrester's Andrew Bartels says in a report. Spending for software, including mobile applications, is forecast to rise to $284 billion in 2014 and $310 billion next year.


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Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Higher productivity, lower absenteeism among benefits of remote work



 Higher productivity, lower absenteeism among benefits of remote work 
The work-from-home movement, despite some high-profile reversals from Best Buy and Yahoo, continued to accelerate in 2013 as businesses discovered that the higher flexibility and lower stress associated with remote work could affect their bottom line. A report from Premiere Global Services International says the average business cuts costs by $11,000 each year by letting full-time employees work from home -- in part because employees take fewer sick days and have increased morale. CIO.com



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Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Emerging Programming Languages Developers Should Learn

Emerging Programming Languages Career Minded Developers Should Learn

If you're a developer looking to increase your employability, then learning a new language is always a good strategy. But the big question is this: Which language should you learn?


Take a look right now and you see plenty of vacancies for programmers with skills in programming languages such as Java, C, C++, C# and Objective C, scripting languages including Python, PHP, Ruby and JavaScript, and database programming in SQL.

If you want to stay ahead of the pack, though, and be able to take your pick of the plum jobs of the future, then it may be worth looking beyond Java, Python and these other languages.

For most organizations, Java, C++ and C# are just too entrenched to replace, "and there's very few enterprises that want to expand the languages they use too much."

But the signs say a few new languages are catching on. 

Dart: Replacement for JavaScript
Dart is an open source language developed by Google as a replacement for JavaScript. Like other JavaScript replacement languages such as CoffeeScript, it's not hard for JavaScript developers to learn. It's significant because it has been designed to make it easy to build large scale, multi-developer Web apps — something JavaScript itself isn't really suited to.

Right now, Dart applications can run in Chrome's built-in Dart VM or in other browsers through cross compilation to JavaScript.

Why learn Dart? Google's backing ensures that Dart has a good chance of succeeding.


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Thursday, June 05, 2014

Google takes to the skies with acquisition of drone-maker Titan


Google takes to the skies with acquisition of drone-maker Titan 
Search engine giant Google continued its expansion into emerging sectors of the technology market with the announcement that it will purchase Titan Aerospace, a startup manufacturer of solar-powered drones that have the capacity for years of uninterrupted flight. The move -- which pits Google against Facebook in the quest for a stake in the drone economy -- is part of a pioneering effort to use unmanned aircraft to beam wireless Internet to underserved areas and is also expected to boost the mapping capabilities of Google's Maps division, Nick Statt writes




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Thursday, May 29, 2014

U.K. agency says more students are enrolling in tech programs



U.K. agency says more students are enrolling in tech programs 
More U.K. students are enrolling in computer science, engineering and technology courses, the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service says. "With engineering companies projected to have 2.74 million job openings between 2010 and 2020, there is an urgent need to encourage many more young people into engineering to meet demand," UCAS' Stephanie Fernandes says.



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Tuesday, May 20, 2014

New technologies prompt many organizations to re-examine approach to communications, CompTIA research finds


New technologies prompt many organizations to re-examine approach to communications, CompTIA research finds 
The rapid acceleration of modern technology -- with cloud computing and mobility at the forefront -- is prompting many organizations to re-examine their approach to communications, according to research from CompTIA. Data from the new CompTIA study, "Trends in Workflow Automation and Communications," shows that there is clear momentum toward considering cloud computing systems for real-time systems, such as voice and video.




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Wednesday, May 14, 2014

New business demands push tech workers out of IT


New business demands push tech workers out of IT 
The continuing digitization of the workforce is complicating the IT jobs outlook, surveys suggest, with polls showing that while companies expect to increase their tech hiring this year, workers will be scattered across a number of different business departments, including manufacturing, sales or marketing. The trend, which is reflected in conflicting IT employment forecasts, is part of a larger movement that will see the role of the technology worker continue to evolve in coming years. According to industry commentator Bill Snyder: "Many IT jobs within enterprises have moved out of the traditional IT ghetto and into various business-related departments."





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Friday, May 09, 2014

Why skill building is an IT career necessity

Why skill building is an IT career necessity 
The more skills an IT professional can put on a resume, the more opportunity there will be for higher pay, says Shravan Goli, president of Dice. However, Goli says, tech professionals need to determine which skills are necessary to move in a chosen career direction.


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Monday, May 05, 2014

Pay for IT pros at nonprofits is up 4.4% this year

Survey: Pay for IT pros at nonprofits is up 4.4% this year 
Salaries for IT professionals at nonprofits are up 4.4% this year, according to an annual survey by Computerworld. Chief information officers and vice presidents of IT in the legal and insurance field reported an average salary of $226,206, the survey found, while those in manufacturing averaged $197,781 and health care CIOs saw an average pay of $175,829.



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Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Business tech spending to hit $275.2B this year

Business tech spending to hit $275.2B this year 
IDC predicts business tech spending will hit $275.2 billion this year and $330.7 billion by 2017. Enterprise IT is forecast to hit $233.5 billion by 2017. Marketing will grow fastest, IDC says. "The connection between technology and business is accelerating at lightning pace as business users adopt what IDC refers to as the 'four pillars' — cloud, social, mobile and analytics," IDC's Eileen Smith says.



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Wednesday, April 02, 2014

How management IT expectations are taxing security pros

How management IT expectations are taxing security pros 
The drive to propel innovation by quickly adopting the latest IT solutions is pressuring enterprise security professionals to deploy software before it is properly secured, according to a poll of experts conducted by Trustwave. The survey of more than 800 top-level IT and cybersecurity specialists found that 80% of respondents had faced internal pressure, primarily from management, to roll out inadequately secured solutions, some of which were beyond the level of their immediate expertise.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

U.S., U.K. spy agencies gather data from mobile apps

U.S., U.K. spy agencies gather data from mobile apps 
Mobile game applications such as Angry Birds and other insecure apps are being tapped by U.S. and U.K. intelligence agencies to glean data on users, such as their locations, ages and gender, according to British intelligence documents. Meanwhile, amid rising concern over who has access to consumer data, Verizon said in a blog post that U.S. intelligence cannot compel the company to hand over data stored overseas.

Friday, March 21, 2014

CompTIA: Amazon listed most IT job ads in 2013

CompTIA: Amazon listed most IT job ads in 2013 
Amazon held the top spot in listing IT jobs in 2013 -- posting more than 16,000, according to CompTIA's annual IT Industry Outlook report, based on data from Burning Glass Technologies. Also in the top five were Accenture, Deloitte, Microsoft and Best Buy

Monday, March 17, 2014

Report: App flaws, security are key vulnerability issues

Report: App flaws, security are key vulnerability issues 
A Hewlett-Packard cybersecurity report says 80% of applications are not configured correctly and 46% of mobile applications are not securely encrypted. "That's a really shocking number because there is such attention being paid today on keeping mobile data safe," said Jacob West of Hewlett-Packard's Enterprise Security Products.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Senate report: Federal agencies lack necessary cybersecurity skills

Senate report: Federal agencies lack necessary cybersecurity skills 
The federal government is failing to implement basic protocols to improve cybersecurity, according to a congressional report that says agency personnel have delayed vital software updates and followed inadequate password policies. The report, released by Republicans on the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, follows similar findings from the Government Accountability Office, and singles out the Department of Homeland Security for particular criticism

Thursday, March 06, 2014

Experts: Implementing the cloud has ups and downs

Experts: Implementing the cloud has ups and downs 
Shifting operations to the cloud can solve some problems but also creates new ones, especially for smaller firms, experts say. Consultant Chad Paalman says a business must ensure it has the bandwidth to sustain a cloud strategy, and that moving data offsite means potential privacy and security issues, so service agreements must be scrutinized.