September 2013 Archives

Mortimer Spinks and Computer Weekly's Technology Industry Survey now open

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Computer Weekly's joint survey with Mortimer Spinks is now open and we would like to invite you to take part.

This is our third annual Technology Industry Survey in partnership with Mortimer Spinks which is aimed at technologists of all levels from the CTO to the graduate programmer.  

The survey's aim is to give a cross section of what people in the tech sector are doing and saying around the big technology issues right now.  

Some key themes in the survey:

  • Should governments be regulating the internet?
  • Does anyone truly understand online privacy/ownership agreements?
  • How online have our lives become?
  • Which, if any, of the tech giants are truly good for the world?
  • Do "cryptocurrencies" have a realistic chance of replacing traditional currencies and if so when?

You can take part here.

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Sound the alarm and secure fresh talent for the data centre

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This is a guest blog from Adelle Desouza, business marketing executive at Enlogic


Over the past two years I have witnessed first-hand AD Headshot high res.jpgthe shortage of young employees entering the data centre world, an issue the Data Centre Alliance (DCA) has recently tried to tackle with the launch of a boot-camp. Taking place at the University of East London's Dockland's campus, this 10 day intensive course will welcome 21 select graduates from universities across the South East. As a lady in my early twenties, I am in the minority at the company I work for. But as senior members look to retire in the next few years, we're all acutely aware of the need to hire new talent that will help to secure the future of the industry.


The rise of smartphones and tablet computers means that data is increasingly being uploaded and stored, inevitably in data centres, even when people are on the move. With the dependence on big data becoming an everyday requirement, the data centre industry is not going to slow down. Current datacentre professionals have set the stake in the ground but the industry cannot be sustained without fresh talent. The ironic part is that the graduates of today are the online generation, those that had mobile phones before they were teenagers, held Facebook accounts before GCSEs and now we need them to support the charge for tomorrow's technology. 


The DCA's launch of a boot-camp is an exciting step in the right direction towards recruiting graduates, but could it be too much too soon? It is important that we don't miss a step. In my opinion, the data centre industry needs to raise its profile first before it launches something like a boot-camp. To date, it has been plagued with the misconception that it is dull, stuffy and niche. But do people realise how much an entry level job can pay, how much you learn and stand to earn in the long run? 


Students need to be made aware of the opportunities on offer to build and gain a whole spectrum of skills both in business and IT, spanning virtualisation, networking, business development, project management and even wiring. It is not just the physical site of a data centre that needs talent but the industry as a whole, including marketing and sales. Some students may not know that the industry exists at all. Many of those that do believe the misconception that skills developed during a career in the data centre are not transferable to other professions.


The data centre industry needs to walk before it can run and should be working with universities and schools to raise its profile among young people. Offering deserving candidates a 'taste' of the industry and a strong presence at career and recruitment fairs could also help to rectify the problem. Before we look for graduates to train, we must first sound the alarm.

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How to stay on top of the never-ending digital evolution

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val-photo (2).JPGThis is a guest blog from Val Atsu a director at Joseph Media.


It is natural to resist change. However, during such times of massive technological innovation, it is becoming more and more important for both businesses and consumers to wise up. It pays to be proactive when it comes to the digital evolution.


If you can't beat them join them


When trying to stay on the cusp of digital technology it is important to understand the appeal and effect of new products/services. Whilst you can thoroughly research these innovations, nothing can enhance your understanding more than actually possessing the product or using the service.


If you can spare the cash, some purchasing investments may prove rewarding. For instance the gulf between mobile phones and 'app-phones' is enormous and will not cost you a fortune to bridge. Apps can save both time and money by providing access to services and utilities on the go; e.g. Google Analytics, DropBox and my favourite, Tube Map.


Using or owning something like this can really instil a desire to get up-to-date and stay knowledgeable about new technology. Furthermore, as you gain a further understanding, you can begin to apply what you've learnt to your own life. Perhaps you access your businesses website on a tablet and you realise it was never optimised for that screen resolution or you find a new job through networking on LinkedIn. The more you in put the more you will get out of it.


Take advantage of Social Media


Social media is not just a trivial means of socialising. For example, one salient use of Twitter, is the ability to interact with people you wouldn't otherwise be able to. From industry executives to Hollywood screenwriters, there is a plethora of interesting people to follow. Subscribing to these feeds allows you to access the thoughts and feelings of people you respect.  Furthermore, as Twitter gives you the ability to interact directly, one of the most satisfying feelings occurs when the account in question responds to you.


Seek out members of industry sectors that interest you and seek them out on social networks. You will benefit greatly from being metaphorically 'around' these people.


Understand how it works


Young people are being taught not just how to work technology, but to also 'understand how it works.'


By learning about the systems that underlie technology you will feel empowered, more informed and ultimately wiser. Just a basic understanding of web design will completely transform the way you look at the web. You will find that you possess more respect for these industry figures when you can relate to them on a technical level.


At times it can feel like you are part of a special club; even if you only know the basics, it's far more than most.


Podcasts and other media


This is the information age and there is truly plenty of it around. However, it can often feel like there is too much to trawl through and much of it lacks the human touch.


I have mentioned podcasts in particular, as they are a great, human way to absorb information. Podcasts are brilliant in that they can be educational, intriguing and above all entertaining. If you can find presenters that are affable and insightful you are bound to learn from them in much the same way as you would learn from a close friend.


The aforementioned points are all great places to start, but it remains a matter of effort. My advice would be to try and derive enjoyment from it; people excel at things they receive pleasure from.

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This page is an archive of entries from September 2013 listed from newest to oldest.

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