Showing posts with label Jobs. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Jobs. Show all posts

Monday, February 23, 2015

5 lucrative tech careers to pursue in 2015

Most of the highest paying jobs are, naturally, in the root of tech innovation in Silicon Valley. This is also among the most expensive cost-of-living areas in the nation. A few up-and-coming tech hubs, like nearby San Francisco, Seattle and even Silicon Beach down in Southern California made it on the list as well.
Folks who know how to handle, parse and analyze an overwhelming amount of data will get the fattest paychecks in 2015 — three of the five highest paid jobs are centered on big data. We dug into the CyberCoders database of hundreds of thousands of job postings to find the average salaries of technology-related jobs. Here are the highest paying jobs and the cities in which they're located.

1. Data Scientist | $150,000 | Seattle, Washington

Data scientists are some of the most expensive and coveted professionals around today. "It’s important to note that data mining as it relates to data science is not traditionally taught in university-level computer science curricula," says Ray Bao, data scientist at CyberCoders.
While there are new, in-demand programs, like UC Berkley’s Masters of Info and Data Science,"oftentimes, what is taught in academia pales in complexity to real-world problems," Bao says.
So what’s the path to becoming a money-making data science expert? This infographic by Data Camp breaks down the typical background and necessary hard skills: According to the graphic, the core set of skills you need to learn centers heavily on statistics and mastering the appropriate programming tools, including Python and R, as well as database querying language SQL.
But that’s not all; data science requires deep analytical thinking and creativity. Data scientists should be able to not only solve complex problems through data mining but also ask the right questions to extract meaningful conclusions about the data, Bao says.
Bao suggests subscribing to Revolution Analytics to stay abreast of using open source R for big data analysis in addition to browsing Stack Overflow to learn and help other developers.

2. Data Engineer | $148,000 | Mountain View, California

While data scientists are charged with extracting meaning from massive amounts of data, data engineers are usually experts in formatting datasets, which enables other folks or stakeholders to analyze that data.
"They will likely work with Hadoop, MapReduce, Storm and all the other big data technologies out there, depending on the needs of the project," Bob Moore, CEO of RJ Metrics, a big analytics firm, says. "Because this field changes rapidly, it is critical to have experience working with a given technology, to have mastered core engineering skills and to be able to learn quickly."
Similar to data scientists, data engineers need to be well-versed in data manipulation techniques. Data engineers who can build and maintain heaps of data are valuable to companies that use this data to gain a competitive edge.

3. Ruby on Rails Developer | $147,000 | Silicon Beach, California


Ruby on Rails developers in the SoCal area are getting the biggest bucks for programming in the nation. Aspiring Ruby on Rails professionals should check out Code School. As with any other technology language, practice is critical to becoming a master.
So what are you expected to know? Having a strong understanding of the basics, including Ruby language, is important to build upon a solid foundation.
According to Joseph Biscan of Infinum, it’s a language that anyone can start learning. He offers some helpful resources in his blog, including Programming Ruby, a tutorial book on learning Ruby as well as Rails guides.

4. Machine Learning Engineer | $131,000 | San Francisco, California

Machine learning as it relates to artificial intelligence is an exciting field that focuses on developing complex programs that enable computers to teach themselves to grow. Ubiquitous examples of machine learning are Google’s web search, spam filters and self-driving cars.
"Machine learning is the science of getting computers to learn without being explicitly programmed," says Sebastian Thrun, professor of computer science and director of the artificial intelligence laboratory at Stanford University, according to Gigaom.
To master this specific skill set, again, it’s crucial to have a solid mastery of Python and R for statistical programming. Overall, machine learning is a crucial tool for manipulating big data in a useful, profitable way.

5. Android Engineer | $131,000 | Mountain View, California

As mobile adoption is generally ubiquitous these days, with users spending an average of 2 hours and 42 minutes per day on mobile devices, it’s not a big surprise to see Android engineers make the top five most lucrative tech careers. (For good measure, iOS engineers were among the top 10.)
This is perfectly in line with our 2014 study, revealing that Android is outpacing iOS in terms of job demand, as Android-supported platforms have skyrocketed over the last couple years.
To get started mastering Android skills, it’s crucial to have a good understanding of Java as well as XML and OOP to render configurations and generate the UI.
Ref. - www.mashable.com

Monday, September 1, 2014

6 Creative Cover Letters for Job App Inspiration

Your cover letter is supposed to catch a prospective employer's eye, but that's easier said than done when it's buried under a pile of applications. As a result, nearly every professional has his or her own advice when it comes to writing one of these formal introductions and bids for employment.

There's a typical formula many follow, but some job hopefuls have tried more inventive techniques to get their applications noticed. While success isn't guaranteed, these individuals chose more creative paths on the road to employment.

Whether you're looking for ideas to improve your job search, or you just want to see what people are willing to do to get an interview, here are six impressive cover letters that can inspire you to up your application game.

1. The Direct Approach

Lindsay Blackwell wanted to be social media director of the University of Michigan. Instead of typing up a typical cover letter, the tried and (sometimes) true method, she created a website with a video directed at Lisa Rudgers, the university's vice president for global communications and strategic Initiatives.
While Blackwell didn't ultimately get the job, she did land an interview for the position — an impressive feat on its own.

2. Using the Changing Communication Landscape

A PR practitioner looking for a job, uploaded his professional information to YouTube rather than creating a traditional cover letter and resume. Anthony's interactive video application included a breakdown of his skills and timeline for potential employers. It showed his video-producing and editing knowledge as well as his ability to use online resources.
In the end, it helped him land a job at Manc Frank. If a simple series of videos is enough to get you noticed, the sky's the limit.

3. The Power of Being Honest

Sometimes employers appreciate sheer honesty above well-written prose and assertions of dedication and passion. An unnamed applicant applied for a summer internship on Wall Street with a short but honest letter.
Whether the lack of embellishment helped secure the position for the student is unknown, but it made quite a splash online and proved that honesty really can be the best policy.

4. A Little Design Goes a Long Way


With a company as geared to the visual as Instagram, it can take more than a well-worded letter to catch the team's attention.
Twenty-year-old Alice Lee used her design skills to create an interactive website, complete with an Instagram stream with the social network's API. Instagram didn't end up hiring Lee, but she did get to speak to CEO Kevin Systrom, and Lee's site eventually led to an internship with another company.

5. Using the Product Itself

If the company you're interested in makes a specific product, integrating it into your cover letter will show that you're not only familiar with the company, but also that you're resourceful.
For Hanna Phan, the product she needed to use was a slideshow creator. Her imaginative cover letter for SlideRocket incorporated their technology and her style to create an engaging cover letter. If anything, Phan proves that all it takes is a little extra effort and knowledge of a product to make a lasting impression on potential bosses.

6. Using Ads to Your Advantage

Most of us have Googled ourselves at least once or twice, if only to make sure that nothing strange turns up with our names. With that in mind, Alec Brownstein decided to buy ads that would appear when specific people searched for creative directors' names, or more importantly, when said directors Googled themselves.
The ads led to Brownstein's site with a message that simply read, "Googling yourself is a lot of fun. Hiring me is fun, too." Brownstein now works at Y&R New York, and the ads only cost him $6. It isn't exactly a cover letter, but it isn't a bad strategy.

Old Coders: When Programming Is a Second Career


Liz Beigle-Bryant took her first programming class, BASIC, in 1973. At the time, computers were part of the math departments instead of the engineering departments, she recalls. And because she had a background in family art, everyone at her high school discouraged her from doing so.
Beigle-Bryant, now 57, didn't revisit coding again until a couple of years ago, when she signed up for Codecademy's free online tutorials. Though there was no immediate payoff, she found learning the skill helped ease the inevitable discouragement that comes during a job hunt.

"I felt like I was accomplishing something instead of wasting time on Facebook or [playing] phone games," she says. "It helped me feel better about myself so I could project a better image."
In 2011, Beigle-Bryant was part of a round of layoffs at Microsoft, where she had worked as an administrative assistant. That career path was, by her estimate, her fourth one. Others included a job as a costume designer on the short-lived series Hypernauts in 1996, which at least got her a mention on IMBD.

In her mid-50s, Beigle-Bryant decided on a fifth career. During her unemployed period, she spent up to eight hours a day on Codecademy learning HTML and, later, Python. Eventually, she accrued the skills to land a job at the University of Washington (where she has held various roles, including migrating data), though she wound up falling back on her business administration background. Though it wasn't exactly what she had in mind, Beigle-Bryant says she's thankful. "As you get older, you're an expensive commodity [to an employer]."

Faced with similar situations of unemployment, many bemoan their fates and even give up looking for work. Others, like Beigle-Bryant, learn new skills such as programming to make themselves more attractive job candidates. 

The U.S. unemployment rate in July was 6.2%, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The rate for programmers, meanwhile, is 1.3%, and the segment is projected to grow 8% over the next decade or so. Some recruiters believe there are as many as five jobs open for every applicant. As a result, the median salary for a programmer is $76,140, versus a median of $46,440 for all jobs.

The shortage of qualified applicants has led employers to lower their standards. A computer science degree is now a bonus rather than a requirement. Oftentimes, successful hires aren't even college graduates.

"I would say [we're looking for] anybody that can program," says Nicole Tucker, a recruiter for iCIMS, a New Jersey-based SaaS provider. "It's definitely the ability to be a problem solver. They have to be intellectually curious." Tucker adds that iCIMS has hired people who have learned to program via Codecademy or Coursera, another tech company that offers open online courses.
Stephen Babineau opted for something a bit more rigorous. Earlier this year, Babineau, who is a comparatively young 27, was accepted into Code Fellows, a Seattle-based company that provides intense boot camp-like courses that promise programming proficiency — even if you've never coded in your life.

Babineau, a former production assistant on Breaking Bad, among other projects, grew tired of 14-hour workdays. He also envisioned himself having a hard time with the physical demands of the job as he got older, which led him to try out for Code Fellows. Despite a lack of any programming knowledge, he was accepted and moved to Seattle for an eight-week program in the spring.

It was hard work. Babineau says he studied at Code Fellows 12 hours a day, five days a week — and then did homework on nights and weekends.In about the sixth week of the program, I got horrific eye strain," he says. "I talked to the teacher and he said take a night off, your sanity will much improve." Babineau took the advice and made it through the final leg of the program.
But it wasn't all drudgery. "I actually found that I enjoyed programming," he says.
Tucker says she looks for that passion in potential hires. The problem is, mid-career switchers aren't necessarily motivated — at least at first — by a love of coding. Inevitably, the lure of a higher salary and job stability have trumped their initial passion. That's why people are switching in the first place.

A recent study shows that switching careers solely for money and stability is a bad choice. Amy Wrzesniewski, an associate professor of organizational behavior at the Yale School of Management, and Barry Schwartz, a professor of psychology at Swarthmore College, who led the study, looked at 11,320 cadets in nine entering classes at the United States Military Academy at West Point. They found that those with strong internal motives for success did better than those who were highly internally motivated but also strongly influenced by "instrumental" motives like the ability to secure a job later in life.

"Remarkably, cadets with strong internal and strong instrumental motives for attending West Point performed worse on every measure than did those with strong internal motives but weak instrumental ones. They were less likely to graduate, less outstanding as military officers and less committed to staying in the military," the professors wrote in the New York Times.
In other words, if you like fixing things and solving puzzles, you'll probably be a better coder and enjoy work more than someone who is merely doing it for the paycheck. But that goes for many lines of work.




It's not always clear, however, if you'll enjoy coding. So you might try Ryan Hanna's method.
Hanna, now 30, spent his first seven years in the workforce in IT. He had a very limited knowledge of coding, so he started teaching himself via Codecademy in 2012. Starting with HTML, he moved on to CSS and JavaScript. "I've been through every one of their things," he says. Eventually, he was putting in 16 hours a week. "Sometimes I forced myself to do 30 minutes. Other times, I picked my head up and three hours had gone by." After five months of this, Hanna began working on building an app called Sworkit, which generates random exercise routines to meet your schedule.

Hanna thought 100 downloads sounded like an exciting number. But after the website Lifehacker ran a story on Sworkit, he got 10,000 downloads in the first month. This year, Hanna sold Sworkit to Nexercise, which hired him as well. He now has a whole new career.

It doesn't always turn out that way. Zach Sims, cofounder of Codecademy, says a minority of students finish Codecademy course — which is what you might expect since anyone can start one. Either way, since the courses are free, it can't hurt to try. "There is this common misconception that programming involves deep math knowledge, Sims says. "But it's gotten easy and abstract enough for most people."

At the very least, spending a few hours on Codecademy will offer a better understanding of some of the technologies that largely pervade our lives in 2014. "It's never going to hurt to understand or demystify the technology," Tucker, the iCIMS recruiter, says. "Even if you don't ever land a programmer job."

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Monday, August 25, 2014

Top 10 Tech Companies for Culture and Values


Some companies know exactly how to make their employees happy, and Twitter is at the top of the list.
The social media giant ranked No. 1 out of 25 companies with the best culture and values, according to a new report from job community site Glassdoor.
From Google to Facebook to Apple, 11 tech companies managed to make the list — more than any other industry.
Results were based on feedback from people who know these companies the best — their employees. Culture and value ratings were based on a five-point scale, with "1" representing "very dissatisfied," "3" meaning "OK" and "5" standing for "very satisfied."
Here, we've highlighted the top 10 tech companies for the best cultures and values.

1. Twitter




The social network won the overall top spot for culture and values. It received a 4.5 rating out of 5 on Glassdoor.
"Team meetings on the roof are the best, [and there's] great teamwork and a lot of smart people. I love how the 10 core values drive the company to always be better," a Twitter software engineer said for the survey.

2. Google



Google actually earned the No. 3 spot in the overall company list, but ranked number 2 among tech companies. It received a 4.4 rating.
"Each employee does not mind helping the other out if [he is] stuck. I feel it is encouraged to reach out to others," a Google software engineer said.

3. Riverbed Technology



Riverbed Technology came in at number 4 in the overall company list, but landed in the third spot among tech companies. Employees gave the company's culture and values a 4.3 rating.
"It is a great culture where employees are encouraged to take responsibility and are empowered to innovate," a Riverbed Technology employee said. "The company is moving in the right direction with respect to vision and shareholder."

4. Facebook



Facebook landed in fifth on the top 25 list, but ranked No. 4 among tech companies. It earned a 4.3 rating.
"Facebook truly values the important things in life — to me, at least," a Facebook user operations associate said. "The culture and dialog is open about everything. Whether it's with your manager, on your team or concerning a company-wide issue."

5. National Instruments



ational Instruments came in eighth on the original top 25 list, but made it to the fifth spot on the tech list. Employees gave the company a 4.2 rating.
"The company culture is fantastic. People are approachable, the attitudes are positive, there's a lot of energy in every department," a National Instruments employee told Glassdoor.

6. Intuit


Intuit claimed the 11th spot out of the top 25, but jumped to No. 6 among tech companies. It received a 4.1 rating.
"Intuit values their employees and has the best attributes of Silicon Valley companies, while being committed to diversity and 'we care and give back,'" an Intuit employee said.

7. CDW



CDW came in 13th place on the overall list, but ranked No. 7 on the tech list. The company received a 4.1 rating on Glassdoor.
"[The people] really want to help you. The culture truly promotes the coworker and you do have a say in a large company,” said a CDW corporate account manager.

8. Apple



Apple took the 15th spot on the overall top 25 list, but landed in the eighth spot among tech companies. The corporation received a 4.1 rating.
"Everyone shares a common goal to make the best products for the consumer, and it shows in most conversations you have," an Apple software engineering manager said.

9. Citrix Systems



Sitting at No. 19 on the overall list, Citrix Systems earned ninth place among tech companies with a 4.0 rating.
"There is an ongoing commitment to improve the customer journey and ensure our product strategy is well-defined," a senior manager at Citrix Systems said.

10. Adobe



Adobe landed at No. 20 on the overall culture and values list, but climbed to tenth place in tech with a solid 4.0 rating.

"Great perks, benefits. Adobe strives to be a good corporate citizen, fosters innovation and creativity," an Adobe employee said.

Wondering which other companies made the list? Check out the full report from Glassdoor below.


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