The IT Shift “Up and Out”

Thursday, 6 December, 2012

Are you old enough to remember when the IT department was made up of mainframe computers, and users had to file requests for reports they wanted? The IT department had “kingdom” control over information. The penetration of PCs into that arena caused a huge paradigm shift, as control shifted from the IT department to the user. With that came a new set of business rules, and the first signs of computer security as we know it today. Mind you, the mainframe never left the scene; its functionality shifted to tasks that were best suited for that environment instead of the overly dynamic environment of the user request. But the PC forever changed the way information is commmunicated within organizations. And here we are again looking down the long barrel of another shift – this one caused by multiple technologies, the Cloud and smart mobile devices.

The Cloud is the source of the shift up, but not because it’s new exciting technology; this technology has been around for a long time. We just haven’t needed it till now. As companies handle increasingly large amounts of data and face the hard economics of enlarging data centers and adding servers, the Cloud is starting to look “mighty fine” as an alternative. Company IT departments are grappling with security and privacy issues. Security plays an important role but is in the best interest of the supplier to have the latest security measures since this is the number one concern of clients. Privacy is currently being handled through authentication involving limited to full access based on usernames and passwords, and job roles defined around that. There are many ramifications including impact or shift to jobs, and will become evident as the trend continues.

Smart phones and tablets are causing a shift out for IT, as more and more employees are conducting business from these devices, and the devices are achieving networking and computing abilities similar to the PC. Security and privacy as in the Cloud, have bubbled up to the surface as the key concerns. As organizations adopt their use for their employees, concerns with security have increased with such things as information-stealing applications.  The variety of phones and operating systems also poses a challenge for organizational support, along with the additional training needed. Business rules are popping up to deal with such issues as what information should and shouldn’t be stored on the device; who owns the information that is stored, how frequently the syncing of that data occurs and many others.

Here we go again….

Source:, Intel’s Vision of the Ongoing Shift to Cloud Computing white paper., Cloud Computing Concerns, Jonathan Strickland, 2nd Annual ACM CCS Workshop on Security and Privacy in Smartphones and Mobile Devices (SPSM)

Hot Jobs Continues – There are 5 More!

Monday, 15 October, 2012

Last week, we brought you the top 5 technologies that companies will be implementing in 2013 based on the Computer World survey results.  So now we’ll look at rest of the “hot” jobs that the Computer World survey identified:

  1. Cloud & SaaS – Companies are getting on board fast with cloud-computing, especially as they try to keep up in other areas where there may be limited cost cutting opportunities. Cloud offers the ability to cut costs and keep services. Architecture, configuration and security are the hot jobs in Cloud.  It’s newer companion is SaaS (that’s software as a service, not to be confused with SAS, Serial Attached SCSI).  Computer World results show that 25% of the hiring companies plan to hire in this area.
  2. Virtualization – Everyone’s doing it! Especially since there have been some improvements made. Administration and Security continue to remain the top jobs within this, along with VMware Certified Professional – Datacenter Virtualization certification.
  3. Networking – Networking is still a strong demand area in spite of Cloud becoming its own little niche area. Computer Word states, “There will always be demand for skilled and experienced network administrators and engineers, regardless of the economy and other external conditions.” Cisco skill sets are top of the heap along with the ability to convert non-virtual networks to the virtual environment.
  4. Mobile Apps & Device Management – More and more businesses are taking advantage of marketing and communicating through mobile devices so this makes it to Computer World’s top 10 list. Having skills in this ever changing technology area is a decided plus, with iOS 5 and Android programming skills being at the top of the heap, along with security.
  5. Data Center – Data Center jobs are hot, in spite of showing up in the 10th position. This area has been overlooked in the past years as being of significant importance, and now many companies are looking to placed skilled data center professionals into these positions. Hottest jobs are forecasted to be in the sever/data center operations, systems integration, and database management.

And remember: ALL jobs involve talking to people, so if that isn’t your strong suit, we recommend getting suited up in that area. Taking courses in interviewing, communicating effectively, and  managing small teams will go a long way to getting and keeping a position.

Happy hunting!

Hot Jobs for 2013 (And We’re not Talking Temperature)

Tuesday, 9 October, 2012

Computer World has completed its survey that evaluates what are the technologies that companies will be implementing in 2013. Responses also showed that one third  say they’ll be hiring additional IT employees. This is a significant improvement – up 5% from last year and 10% from 2010. While 5% doesn’t sound like alot, 5% of 235,500,000 over age 18 US citizens is 11, 775,000; almost 12 million more people will become employed in 2013. Two thirds of those responding said that they’ll be making a major IT purchase or important upgrade. All of this bodes very well for 2013! So let’s see what are the “hot” jobs that the results of the Computer World survey identified:

  1. Programming and Application Development  – Companies have held off moving into new technology areas, upgrading their systems and designing new systems, so 2013 is that year that it will happen for two thirds of the companies polled. With all the changes in social media and communications, database enhancements, and networking and VoIP improvements, companies have got to jump on implementation to compete and stay ahead of their competition. The survey indicates that web developers, computer programmers and software engineers will be the most in demand with skills in Java, Java Enterprise Edition (J2EE), .Net and PHP.
  2. Project Management – If you’re an experienced project manager without your PMP, you’re doing yourself a disservice. The PMP certification offering through the Project Management Institute (PMI) now comes in a variety of flavors including PgMP (managing programs that include several projects), PMI-RMP (managing risk within programs) and CAPM (project management for entry level managers). This is a consistently good area in which to be involved as the complexity of projects has increased with such variables as outsourced development, connectivity to the web, databases and networks and responsiveness.
  3. Help Desk and Technical Support – Are you a Windows 7 geek who can talk to people? It’s your turn! As companies make decisions to move from their “beloved XP” to the “newly loved 7” (they don’t have a choice  – the new cheer heard at Microsoft  is “No support team in 2014” :-)), they will be looking to hire additional talent with a solid understanding of features, problems, patches and glitches of Windows 7, as the volume of calls will increase as it always does with a new OS. The survey shows that in addition to Windows 7, mobile device support and those ever important interpersonal skills are in the hot seat for jobs.
  4. IT Security – Yes, we know;  you’ve heard this before…but this time it’s true!  IT Security is moving from the “lip service” category to a truly identified need within many organizations. Skilled Security professionals are needed to deal with the increasingly sophisticated cyber attacks plaguing companies. The losses due to these attacks not only impact revenue streams but reputations as well. Got Security certification along with experience? You’re on your way to a job, my friend!
  5. Business Intelligence – Data abounds in all forms: customer feedback, quality management systems, revenue streams, purchasing systems, process control measures…the list goes on, and now with the Cloud, there’s even more data! And someone (actually a bunch of someones) needs to analyze the data, appropriately group the data and present it to management in a usable form. That’s where you can come in! The survey points to areas like Big Data, math and statistics, and a solid understanding of the business along with IT, as being the high demand arena in BI.

Come join us back here at IT CareerCast on Thursday, October 11th for the other 5 hot areas of employment for 2013. I know, you’re waiting with bated breath…..breathe in, breathe out, breathe in, breathe out…

Credits: Survey results taken from 2013 Computer World. Additional content taken from posting on IT CareerFinder September 26, 2012.

IT Training Shake-Up

Tuesday, 10 April, 2012

The world of training has changed. Used to be you had find a location offering a course, travel to take the course and pay $2,000 or more to take the course. These days are gone. It is time to say goodbye to expensive, time consuming classroom courses and hello to the affordable, online 24/7 experts at GogoTraining.

Shake It UP!

Management at GogoTraining has over 50 years experience delivering instructor-led classroom training.  About 3 years ago we were asked to put instructor-led classroom courses online 24/7 for less than $600/course.  The deal was that the courses HAD TO be written and taught by top experts.  The courses HAD TO be identical to their classroom equivalent AND they HAD TO include the ability to interact with the instructors.

The Solution

Enter the GogoTraining interactive platform where you can take courses that cost $2,500 to $4,000 in the classroom for under $600/course from the same great course authors and instructors who teach these courses in the classroom.

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Is Tech Booming Again? San Fransisco Says Maybe

Wednesday, 11 May, 2011

Tech is flying high again in the Bay City, by some estimates higher than the Dot Com boom of the late 1990’s.

San Fransisco, California is fabled for various things through the ages, many being of the economic variety.  The California Gold Rush of the mid-nineteenth century caused what was a small town of 1,000 to balloon to over 25,000 people.  In the 1990’s it became one of the homes to the Dot Com boom when literally hundreds of tech startups were fueled by the excitement of a developing Internet and unchecked rivers of venture capital.  It also took a beating when that boom went bust.

San FransiscoToday, tech remains an important part of the economy and is seeing an irrefutable re-emergence.  VC investment and IPOs are increasing.  Job growth is riding on the coattails of that influx.  The approximate peak of tech jobs in San Fransisco was 32,800 in Q1 of 2001.  After bottoming out in Q1 of 2004 at 17,100, the end of 2010 had it back up to 30,700.  Everyone in the industry says the numbers are assuredly higher now, potentially over the previous peak.

Just as telling is the office space getting snapped up.  Rents are climbing in Palo Alto, Cupertino and SoMa (South of Market) district, fueled by largely by news leases from tech firms.  According to real estate firm Jones Lang LaSalle, there was 2.5 million square feet of space already leased by tech since the start of 2010 and 90 companies are looking for 2.3 million square feet more.

Tech segments that were in comparative infancy a few years ago are leading the way, including social media, cloud computing, and mobile application development.  The price-to-earnings ratio shows a much more grounded perspective than what happened in the 1990’s, with tech companies today averaging 16 (versus a heady 70 before the bust).

It is clear that growth is strong in one modern-day’s IT haunts and hopes are that it will spill over into the greater job market nationally and internationally.  Early signs indicate upward trends all around with IT being a leading growth industry coming out of the down economy.

For those looking to ride the rising wave, investing in education for key areas like Android developer training, project management training, ITIL training, and networking training, there is sure to be an open market of job opportunities.

Five Key Things to Know About Tablets in the Enterprise

Friday, 15 April, 2011

Still wondering if mobile development is a good career space to invest in? New data is out to support the buzz about enterprise adoption of tablets and other mobile devices, this time from Gartner.

David Willis, Research VP with Gartner, conducted a live webcast this week and offered several key points of interest on the subject.  Five key highlights include:

  • 80% of businesses will support a tablet-enabled workforce by 2013.  Bold prediction but evidently backed by numbers such as orders and other investments.  Willis says the key is their utility being distinct from laptops and smartphones.
  • Top uses for tablets in the enterprise are and will be “instant on” access, document and video delivery, sales, field service and analytics.  Group collaboration and personal productivity tools will be heavily represented on the available apps list.
  • In a small study Gartner did, they found an average usage duration of around 7 minutes per use and up to 12 uses per day.
  • Willis indicated that while the iPad is dominant and expected to remain so through 2014, the total base of activations for Android is larger for enterprise apps.
  • Willis recommends using HTML5 as the web standard to go with when preparing apps.  He cautions that it is not what he refers to as a true cross-platform “panacea” but says it should help in bridging divides.

Looking to get into one of the largest emerging IT fields in several years?  Check out GogoTraining’s Android Development Training Program.

3 Key Skill Sets to Be Priority of IT Spending

Friday, 8 April, 2011

Multiple surveys continue to support a rise in IT spending for 2011.  Another recent report is the Capgemini 2010-2011 World Quality Report.  We’re already seeing the effects with large and medium employers filling up job seeker sites with thousands of new open positions.  The following three skill sets emerged as clear targets of IT spending priority in the future.

Mobile developers.  It seems like the drumbeat of a new era.  If people aren’t buying new smartphones and tablets they are developing apps for them.  The only people left seem to be those figuring out how to get in on the action.  Face it, the emergence of the mobile device as an integrated part of our work and home lifestyle is an industry with lasting staying power.  Investing in skills for this environment has tons of long-term potential in terms of career and employability.  Of particular note are training opportunities like GogoTraining’s Android Development Training Program.  iOS was the first fashionable one to show up, with emerging players being HP’s new version of webOS due in the summer of 2011 and Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 already at market.

Cloud computing.  What does that mean anyway, in terms of skills?  So far we’ve determined two important areas.  First is hardware and network management.  Hosting providers are finding they have to ramp up on this sort of thing since things like virtualization, serving power, redundancy and storage are going to continue a robust growth curve with the emergence of the cloud.  Next is IT service management, specifically those best practices one can acquire through ITIL certification training.  In-house IT staff at corporations of all sizes are going to have to beef up their IT service management abilities in order to understand how to better serve the greater business and also because they will increasingly be working with vendors providing cloud services.

QA and Test.  Of particular note, 72% of IT professionals indicated in the HP/Capgemini survey that QA/test people with a development background perform better than those without.  This only makes sense; nobody know better how to break something than someone who knows how to build it in the first place.  For software developers looking for a transition point, QA/test is the name of the game.  If you are a developer, getting training in Software QA and Test would be a good direction.

For training on these and other business-critical technologies, check out the GogoTraining IT training course catalog.

Follow the Money by Training in Priority Areas

Wednesday, 30 March, 2011

In a recent survey regarding technology investment priorities, cloud computing hit the top.  Other highlighted areas include mobile, hardware, and business-process innovation.

Sixty-one percent of responding heads of IT focused on cloud computing which was a 10% lift from 2010.  Cloud computing continues to command increased attention from IT leadership as a catalyst for cutting costs, increasing efficiency and more.  The pursuit of the cloud is also transforming the role of key IT personnel in their organization, shifting emphasis toward resource management, business process and business intelligence and away from the more operational aspects of technology.

Mobile continues to appear on the scope of IT leaders.  Finding ways to apply the fruits of a recent explosion of mobile device innovation is the focus here.  IT departments are receiving or generating their own mandates to employ tablets and smartphones in ways that push beyond simple interaction.  In particular, the advent of tablets has inspired fresh thinking of how to empower human resources in the field of a variety of industries.  Intense effort being poured into mobile platform development for iOS, Android, webOS and Windows Phone 7 provide a strong backbone for this emerging field.

Newcomers to the IT field and experienced personnel looking to maintain their edge (and employability!) are increasingly seeking training in key fields.  Virtualization is a key aspect of cloud computing and is seeing expanded training opportunities.  Acquiring mobile development skills is another area of focus with Android programming the latest to emerge as a viable platform.

Expensive training options and “$99” courses that claim to equip one with a new skill set continue to populate the market.  GogoTraining, leading provider of IT and management training, continues to put forth effective and affordable training for the latest areas of pursuit.  VMware training and the Android Development Training Program are but two of a wide range of training opportunities that exist in the GogoTraining IT training course catalog.

Find what will benefit you the most and pursue it today!  These job markets are only beginning to open up and early adopters will – as usual – be positioned the best.

New Partnership Creates Viable Fourth Platform for Mobile Developers

Monday, 28 March, 2011

In the recently announced partnership between Microsoft and Nokia, the mobile device manufacturer will be adopting Microsoft’s Windows Phone platform as the foundation for new smartphones and mobile devices.  The result of the partnership will be to put Windows Phone 7 on a solid footing to take share from the mobile device platform market, with Android and iOS currently commanding leads and HP having recently announced their upcoming entry riding on webOS.

The main news for developers is to look for Windows Phone 7 being a fourth and new important market.  Both Windows Phone 7 and the re-entry of webOS (after its days with Palm) constitute fresh development territory where it comes to applications.  Windows Phone 7 was only released late Fall of 2010 and according to NPD Group the platform obtained 2% of the smartphone market in the U.S. two months after release.

The Windows Phone Marketplace (Microsoft’s app store) offers 10 million songs sold in several ways, but only boasts around 11,000 apps so far (compared to hundreds of thousands for Android and iOS).  This is similar to the early-stage number of apps available for webOS.

Windows Phone 7 applications are based on XNA or a particular WP7 version of Microsoft’s Silverlight platform.  Microsoft makes Visual Studio 2010 Express and Expression Blend for Windows Phone for  phone app development.

Android and iOS will both have to work harder now with HP announcing their enterprise-wide effort to lean into the mobile platform market with webOS.  Microsoft’s Windows 7 was a moderate threat due to their history with Zune, first assuring the community they were very much behind it and then subsequently dropping the project altogether.  The partnership with Nokia puts Microsoft firmly in the arena with a highly-motivated partner and a lot of added global sales and marketing teeth. 

Microsoft mentioned in their press release regarding the partnership announcement that the mobile market is now a “three-horse race,” however that was before HP made their intentions publicly clear with webOS. Make that four horses, Microsoft.  We already predict the winners will be mobile developers and mobile device consumers.

For developers, a great way to enter mobile device app development is through IT training courses with GogoTraining.  In particular, the Android Developer Training Program is cost-effective and highly effective.

HP, Oracle to Enter Competitive Mobile OS Market

Friday, 18 March, 2011

The mobile device operating system space has continued a long, drawn-out explosion of innovation due to the battle of Apple’s iOS and upstart Android from Google.  Especially after Android recently unseated Symbian as the top smartphone OS, that space has seemed entirely taken up by the two combatants who have been pushing the envelope of development and seemingly leaving no breathing space for a newcomer to get a word in edgewise.  Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 has seen delays getting to market and industry pundits are taking a “wait and see” position regarding the ability of the fine people in Redmond to develop meaningful market share.

Move over, says HP and Oracle.

HP recently announced several things they have set their sights on, specifically their intention to become a major cloud computing source and also to enter the mobile device field with their HP webOS which they acquired with their purchase of Palm in 2010.  HP has already introduced two smartphones to release this spring, the HP Veer and HP pre which are to release with HP webOS 2.2.

The bigger deal is the entrance into the tablet arena with the 9.7-inch HP TouchPad which will run on webOS 3.0 and is rumored to release in June for around $499 with a complement of features meant to compete with the iPad 2.  A 7-inch tablet nicknamed the Opal is also rumored for a September release date, in time to hit the holiday season.

Perhaps even more significantly, HP also announced they intend to ship all HP computers with the HP webOS on board starting in 2012.  HP CEO Leo Apotheker has indicated this is a bid to inspire developers to develop apps that will enhance and differentiate HP computers.  Developers have created well over 300,000 applications for Apple devices and over 250,000 for Android. According to HP, their webOS only has a field of 6,000 apps. If you’re an app developers, this is good news.

Oracle’s recent ownership of Java has meant a number of questions coming from the long-lived development community, a few more of which were answered recently.  Java ME is the version built for running devices that languished due to lower priority while under Sun’s wing.  Oracle is interested in turning that around.

Two key overtures occurred recently.  First, Oracle’s now much-publicized lawsuits and threats against Android with claims that the breakaway OS contains illegally copied sets of Oracle code.  In general, software giants only get into legal tussles for two reasons: to protect their IP (very legitimate) and to protect a market position they are working on entering or maintaining.

Second would be comments at the Server Side Symposium in Las Vegas this month.  Adam Messinger, Oracle VP of Development for Fusion Middleware reminds us that Java ME is already installed on many devices which he says ship at a “tremendous rate.”  He says Oracle has recently had discussions about Java showing up on tablet devices and also plans are underway to empower developers more by improving Java ME with capabilities such as library changes, metadata, annotations and more.

Whether Oracle intends to establish Java ME as a branded entrant and competitor in the mobile device space or keep consuming market share from the shadows remains to be seen.  In similar fashion, whether HP is able to replicate the success in computers they’ve had into the software and OS space also remains to be seen.  One thing is certain about both players: they have the resources and vision required to be contenders and they intend to enter the space, and that space is about to get a little more crowded.

Check out GogoTraining’s online IT training course catalog for mobile computing training courses in Android and iOS.