The IT sector isn’t one to collect moss. New technology emerges, new concerns arise, and new schools of thought influence the way the industry processes everything. Each month, we sift through the latest IT developments to help you stay competitive in this dynamic field.
April wasn’t short on any insight. We saw further revelations about Big Data, major security breaches, and a growing trend away from Bachelor’s Degrees. Here’s what all that means for you.
Which Languages Have the Most Buzz?
Overall, there wasn’t much fluctuation in the TIOBE Index, a report that indicates which technologies are trending most in online searches. Month over month, the only change between the March and April was a swap of (Visual) Basic for PHP. Year over year, there wasn’t too much of a shakeup in the top 10.
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6.) (Visual) Basic
10.) Visual Basic.Net
7.) (Visual) Basic
Most of the substantial changes year over year occurred lower on the list. The greatest increase was F#, which rose from 52 to 14 on the Index. This meteoric rise indicates that this language is worth a second glance, if you haven’t already given it one. It’s concise, easy to use, and avoids most of the common null reference errors that other languages encounter.
None of the programming languages that dropped on the list made enough of a change to suggest mothballing – though Perl’s 4 point fall from 9 to 14 did drop it out of the top 10 spot.
Big Data Boosts Revenues…and Wages
PC Advisor recently noted that big data analytics tools are helping to grow the revenues of the top 50 public cloud companies by 47 percent in Q4 of 2013. The total revenue earned by these practices? $6.2 billion.
Technology Business Review Inc., a financial and technical research firm, found that these companies are using extensive big data techniques to streamline operations, attract customers, and expand entire product portfolios.
Demand for Big Data savvy IT professionals is set to increase as more companies subsume big data tools into their toolkits. The median salary for experts is about $87,000, but wages can max out at almost $116,000 if you have any of the following Big Data skills.
CyberSecurity & QAs Needed After Heartbleed
The Heartbleed bug sent everybody, techie or not, into a frenzy of password changes. An encryption flaw of this magnitude exposed anyone with an IP address to sweeping vulnerability. It’s been proclaimed the “worst vulnerability found […] since commercial traffic began to flow on the internet” by Forbes cybersecurity columnist Joseph Steinberg.
And it’s set to stir up international clamber for increased cybersecurity.
Open source projects usually have built-in quality assurance measures thanks to the additional eyes provided by their community members. However, the man behind the accidental Heartbleed vulnerability says that the cryptographic library wasn’t parsed and scrutinized enough.
With the extent that the OpenSSL vulnerability potentially affected the websphere (the list ranges from Facebook & Google to Netflix & Minecraft), vigilant Cybersecurity professionals and QAs will be essential to the payroll.
Are IT Bachelor’s Degrees Needed?
It’s not a new idea. Huge tech magnates like Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, and Mark Zuckerberg never had anything more than a high school diploma. IT professionals can be self-made but often these guys were thought of as statistical outliers.
Yet new findings imply that this is more and more of the norm.
An assessment of New York City’s tech workforce indicated that 44 percent or 128,000 jobs of the metropolitan “tech ecosystem” do not require a Bachelor’s as a prerequisite. Often, an Associate’s degree is enough to do the trick. Now, the majority of IT positions still require a Bachelor’s, but this could indicate a major paradigm shift.
For those already neck deep in the industry, that may not mean much. But, neophyte coders, security techs, DBAs, and tech support pros may be able to avoid the full student loan tab incurred by a Bachelor’s program.
And if you’re looking for more information on what skills employers are craving, give our team a call. We keep up with the industry pulse to give you all the info you need on your job search.
by James Walsh