Tag Archives: Technology

The Most In-Demand Tech Skills For 2013

man with computer equipmentIf you promised yourself you were going to beef up your tech skills in 2013, now is the time to get moving.

But where to start? With so many languages, platforms, protocols and other technologies, it’s hard to know what’s worth spending your limited free time to learn. Based on surveys and data from a variety of sources, ReadWrite has put together a list of seven of the most sought-after tech skills for this year.

7. All Things “Cloud”

The cloud computing craze is still going strong, if tech job hiring trends are any indication. Specifically, companies are looking for software developers who specialize in things like virtualization and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) development, with familiarity with Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) technologies.

According to one survey of IT execs, 25% of companies are planning on hiring people with SaaS and related cloud-computing expertise in 2013.  In general, SaaS and virtualization are both buzzwords often cited as being on-the-rise on job search sites.

Of course, SaaS and PaaS (not to mention whatever-else-as-a-service) can utilize any number of specific programming languages and technologies (more on those below). Suffice it to say that if a given skill helps companies utilize cloud infrastructure or virtualize any aspect of their computing needs, it’s in high demand.

6. IT Project Management

One of the most sought-after tech job skills isn’t all that technical. Slinging code, maintaining infrastructure and designing software are all really important, but their kind of useless without somebody to see the project through to completion. That’s why certified project managers can pull in six figure incomes and why 40% of IT executives are looking to hire project managers in 2013.

5. JavaScript (And Related Technologies)

On the Web, JavaScript is what makes things interactive, especially now that the rise of tablets and smartphones has bumped Flash from prominence. Whether it’s the ever-popular jQuery framework or the JSON data interchange standard, companies need JavaScript-focused talent like never before. In fact, JSON is themost in-demand skill on CyberCoders.

It’s worth noting that when people say “HTML5,” they’re often referring in part to JavaScript. That’s because what makes Web apps look and feel so app-like is CSS and JavaScript, not just the plain HTML itself.

If you’re looking to learn Web programming, JavaScript is the place you want to end up. If you want to start slow, a framework like jQuery could be the way to go.

4. Java / J2EE

Java and the J2EE development platform are popping up more and more on job hiring boards. Indeed, Java/J2EE developers are going to be in high demand throughout 2013, according to a survey from Dice.

Unlike hot new technologies like Android development and HTML5, demand for Java skills has been fairly consistent over time, although it has been on the rise in the last few years.

3. PHP / MySQL

It may lack the sexiness of mobile development or newer Web programming technologies, but PHP is still very important. The open source scripting language runs on more than 20 million websites and powers high-profile sites we deal with every day, including Facebook and Wikipedia. Any blog, news site or other website built using WordPress or Drupal is making use of PHP as well. It’s all over the Web, even if you can’t see it by clicking “view source.”

PHP is currently ranked as the most sought-after skill on Elance, with MySQL and WordPress also cracking the top ten. There are more than a quarter of a million PHP programming gigs listed on Elance alone.

2. iOS Development

It comes as no surprise that iOS developers are sought after. Most sources that track job talent demand rank iOS development or related skills like Xcode and Objective-C programming very highly. As Apple’s sales in both tablets and smartphones has exploded, so too has the demand for developers who can build apps for the iOS ecosystem.

iPhone and iPad development have been trendy for a few years now, but it’s actually accelerated pretty dramatically in the last two years. After years of slow but steady growth, demand for iOS development skyrocketed over the course of 2011 and 2012, according to data from the job aggregator site Indeed. If you’ve been meaning to try your hand at building apps for the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch, now is a good time to get into it.

1. HTML5 / CSS

Where would the Web be without HTML? Nowhere, really. This simple markup language is literally what the Web is made of, with cascading style sheets (CSS) making everything look nice and JavaScript adding interactive functionality.

It’s only natural that the language at the heart of the Web would be in high demand, even as native mobile app development and back-end cloud technologies command bigger ad bigger chunks of IT budgets. In fact, as tablets, smartphones and cloud-hosted services proliferate, the importance of the Web grows along with it. Consumers still need to access their cloud-hosted SaaS services via their Web browser. And studies show that tablet owners still love the Web.

After years of relative stagnation, HTML has made big advances in recent years with HTML5, which is now supported by the latest versions of all major Web browsers. Meanwhile, the design options available via CSS3 and the interactivity provided by JavaScript have pushed the Web even further, blurring the line between Web-based and native apps.

HTML5 makes a 23-year-old markup language is cool again – and back in high demand. Elance and Indeed both rank HTML as one of their most sought-after job skills, while other studies routinely point to it being in strong demand.

As a bonus, it’s relatively easy to learn compared to the other skills on our list.

cross-posted from readwrite.com

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Succeeding At The Modern Job Interview: The Pre-Interview Challenge

puzzle-3d

 

Ask anyone: managers, recruiters and job applicants are all unhappy with the current standards in hiring. A candidate comes in after a paper resume’s been given the once-over and rattles off her best qualities over the course of a 30 minute interview, during which time you learn little more than whether she can tell a decent story or if you like her blazer. She leaves, feeling dissatisfied that she hasn’t been able to show you what she’s truly capable of.

More often than not, you will never see each other again.

Elli Sharef, the co-founder of Y-Combinator-backedrecruiting company HireArt has found herself in the thick of this employment revolution and has seen first-hand how it leads to a happier process and, more significantly, happier, better-qualified employees down the road.

“We’ve gotten ourselves into trouble,” she says. Candidates say they feel like they’re sending their resumes into a black hole when applying for positions, while hiring managers and recruiters say they’re being flooded by thousands upon thousands of irrelevant candidates for every opening. To illustrate: Sharef recalls a conversation she had with one eager applicant who told her he’d written a computer program to send his resume to every single listing on Craigslist regardless of type.

“It’s an untenable relationship that’s had to change for nearly a decade and through video and online technology we’re starting to see solutions.” To her point, 60% companies are now conducting job interviews over video and Skype before meeting face-to-face, a 50% jump in just 12 months.

The biggest effect these next-generation interviews will have on prospective hires? Plan on passing a hurdle even before you sit down for a meet-and-greet. “You can’t really fake it anymore. Proving skills really matters in this jobs economy,” Sharef says, particularly as the skills required for the positions needed to fill within companies are often so new that there’s no degree offered to define them. You either have the skills or you don’t—and no amount of resume padding can make that point like a pre-interview challenge can.

If you’re hoping to score an engineering position, be prepared for a coding challenge; a social media manager might be asked to analyze a day’s worth of content and to present a strategy for sharing online while a personal assistant could be tasked with scouring the web for the best travel arrangements. As companies build challenges into their hiring practices, no candidate should expect to be hired without first proving their mettle.

What’s more, Sharef says most of this work will take place before you even set foot inside the workplace. “As video interviews become more commonplace, employers want to see these skills presented well ahead of time,” she says. “that way candidates can present themselves, give their elevator pitch and showcase their skills and qualifications before a company brings them in for an in-person interview.”

Sharef, whose HireArt  implements challenge-based interviewing into its own hiring and placement efforts, shares her three trade secrets for getting the job in 2013:

1. Act like you want to be there, doing this and showing off your skills.

Being energetic over a video interview can go a long way in making you stand out against other candidates that seem bored or uncomfortable, Sharef says. Even though it might be more difficult to seem enthusiastic about a job when you are just talking to the camera, you should try to come across as excited and passionate about why you want to be there.

Similarly, when asked in advance to perform a task, it’s critical to exude enthusiasm for the project. “How do you want me to be excited about you when you seem bored by the task or your presentation,” Sharef asks. “It’s about putting yourself out there and showcasing what you can bring to the table.”

2. Perfect your overall pitch. 

Whether in a video interview, written presentation or the all-important face-to-face showdown, Sharef says it’s critical to develop—and put to memory—a two minute pitch about yourself. In videos you will often be asked to lead with this pitch, she says, but in person they’re a handy tool should you reach the end of the formal questions and feel you haven’t had the chance to best introduce yourself.

Really think about what you want to get across, she says, what experiences you’d like to highlight, what sets you apart from other candidates and compose a narrative that makes sense. Practice this “elevator pitch:” who am I and how do I explain myself in a minute?

3. Make sure you know the company, its competitors and the industry inside and out. 

It’s no surprise that companies expect you to understand the position and know the company well. Still, despite the ongoing advice in this arena, Sharef says she so rarely meets with candidates who’ve done their due diligence. To remedy, HireArt and other proponents of the challenge-based interview often build a learning experience into the hiring process—they may ask you to find X,Y and Z on their corporate site and be prepared to discuss, she says by way of example.

If you score the opportunity for an interview—even if it’s only via video or Skype–use this information at every chance you get, Sharef says. “Articulate specifically why you want to work at the company – what specifically drew you to this position,” and as always, do your best to identify and showcase the skills and experience you have to meet those specific needs.

 

Meghan Casserly

Meghan Casserly

Forbes Staff Entrepreneurship

Cross posted from Forbes.com

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Filed under Interview, Skill

Glassdoor Mines Your Facebook Connections to Help You Find a Job

When you’re looking for a job, who are the first people you turn to? Glassdoor, the careers site that regularly serves up lists of odd interview questions, is betting that it’s the friends and family in your personal network rather than your professional network. That’s why it’s introducing a deep integration with Facebook, called Inside Connections.

Now when you connect Glassdoor to Facebook and click on a company, you’ll be able to see which of your Facebook friends are connected to that company — either by being an employee or having worked there in the past. You’ll also see friends of friends who are connected, too.

“Inside Connections is Glassdoor plus Facebook,” says company founder Tim Besse. “It’s about finding the ‘in’ you have at a company through the friends you already have on Facebook and combining it with all the information Glassdoor already has — all of our job listings, reviews, salaries and interview details.”

Why connect with Facebook and not the possibly more obvious professional network of LinkedIn? Apart from the fact that Glassdoor competes with LinkedIn, Besse maintains that a person’s network of personal friends is actually where people turn when they’re looking for a job. He also says that Glassdoor’s customers tend to be younger, and many are more active on Facebook than LinkedIn.

“We’ve been taught to think that Facebook is just our personal or social lives and Linkedin is our professional lives, but the reality is that when you’re boots-on-the-street looking for a job, some of the very first people that you turn to are your closest friends. And what Glassdoor does is make it really easy to tap into these connections.”

Besides offering up potential contacts at companies you’re targeting, Glassdoor’s Facebook integration further personalizes your experience with the site. The software taps into your Facebook history and network to present you with jobs and companies you actually may be interested in as you browse the site.

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Filed under Network, Social Media, Tool Box, Unexpected

The Jobseeker’s Secret Weapon: If This Then That

Feeling tech savvy? Then read this post, cross posted from apartmenttherapy.com

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If you haven’t used IFTTT, we think you should check out one of the greatest free web services around. IFTTT stands for If This, Then That, and the name is practically self-explanatory. If one of the several triggers you setup happens, then the service activates whatever multiple commands you designate. But how does all this help you find a job?

Turns out that many job sites have RSS feeds, and that happens to be one of the triggers on IFTTT. That’s the start of the process — the end result is all up to you.

How to Get Jobs Sent to You Via IFTT:
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1. Once you’ve created a free account over at IFTTT, sign in and click on the large “Create Task” button.

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2. The text will pop up, “Ifthisthenthat” and click on the word this. You’ve got tons of different triggers here, but for a job hunt, you want to find and select the RSS symbol.

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3. Here, you can either choose “New Feed Item” or “New feed item matches.” I usually choose the former, because that way I get hit with every job listing in my category, just in case.

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4. Now visit your favorite job search site, and enter in the parameters you want to use for your particular hunt. For example: I use Craigslist, which is a great place to find local stuff if that’s what you want. Tap the RSS button in the corner and then highlight the link in the address bar that pops up. That’s the address for the RSS feed, and that’s crucial. Enter the link in the box on IFTTT and move to the next step.
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5. Here’s where you can have some fun. If you want those messages right away and have an Internet-connected phone, then you can have the service send the links via text message (to do that, just click on the SMS link and follow the steps). In this case, we’re going to do email, so select the Email box in the top corner.

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6. After you’ve selected the only option for emails (“send me an email,” naturally), the screen shown above pops up. If you’re good with it as is, then just hit “Create Action” and the next time your feed updates, you’ll get an email with the name of the entry in the subject field, and the body of the email containing the links and info from the RSS Feed. Now you’ll always be the first to know about a new job, and sometimes, that’s all you need.

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Bonus OmniFocus tip: If you use OmniFocus for the Mac, try this out for size. In the “Subject” field in Step 6 on IFTTT, type in the following phrase: “–{{EntryTitle}} >job apps @online #today $5″ What’s all that mean?

OmniFocus allows you to sync with Apple Mail, that way you can send yourself an email and it will automatically put up a task for you in the system. The trigger for this can be anything you want, but in my case, I use two hyphens in the first part of the subject to start the process. Then, anything after the “>” refers to the “Project” field in OmniFocus, “@” refers to the “Context,” “#” is for what day you want it to appear in the task manager (with today being the best way to pop it to the top of your to-do list), and “$” is for the amount of time it will take to get it done.

Now not only do you get your job searches emailed to you right away, but they’re added into OmniFocus automatically so you don’t forget to tackle them. Now that’s some organized job hunting.

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Filed under Resume, Skill, Tool Box