Trends

Twitch, Slingshot Suggest Big Companies’ Future Is Small Apps

Posted In Looking in Tech
Twitch
Facebook may have missed out on buying Snapchat, but that hasn’t cooled the company’s ardor for disappearing-messages apps—or the audiences that come with them: The Financial Times reports that Facebook’s engineers are hard at work on an “ephemeral messaging” platform that would vaporize videos and photos after a single view. Facebook recently discontinued Poke, its two-year-old app that replicated much of Snapchat’s functionality, after it failed to gain much of an audience. This new attempt, reportedly named “Slingshot,” will likely… continue…

Want to Upgrade Your App? Consider Breaking It Apart

Swarm by Fourquare Logo
Facebook, Foursquare and other tech companies are taking an odd approach to upgrading their core apps. Instead of adding new features or shinier buttons, these firms are breaking their apps apart. Foursquare split off many of its main app’s social functions into Swarm, which focuses on friends and check-ins; the new, leaner Foursquare app will allow users to search for nearby restaurants and other points of interest. Facebook seems determined to parse its “main” mobile app into as many standalone… continue…

Are Tablets in Decline Already?

iPads
For years, Apple CEO Tim Cook used his company’s earnings calls to tout the rising fortunes of the iPad, which he claimed would eventually overtake the market for traditional PCs. But on Apple’s April 23 earnings call, Cook spent a few minutes doing the exact opposite: pushing back against the perception that the iPad’s fortunes have turned increasingly anemic. Sales of the tablet “came in at the high end of our expectations, but we realized they were below analyst estimates,”… continue…

Report: Little Growth in STEM Talent Pipeline

Posted In Looking in Tech
U.S. News and Raytheon STEM Index
The pipeline of STEM talent in the U.S. continues to lag even as the need for tech professionals continues to soar, according to an index put together by Raytheon and U.S. News. The U.S. News/Raytheon STEM Index looks at 93 factors, including ACT math and science scores, Advance Placement test scores, college and graduate degrees granted and U.S. employment in STEM fields. Says the report: …after a long period of flat to down indicators, there has been some upward movement,… continue…

Women Still Losing Ground in Computer-Science Careers

Workplace Equality Chart
When President John F. Kennedy signed the Equal Pay Act in 1963, women working full time earned an average of 59 cents for every dollar made by a man in a similar job. By the time President Obama signed the 2014 Equal Pay Day, an executive order making gender bias more difficult to hide in the workplace, women made an average of 77.5 cents for every man-made dollar. Progress, right? But many women—71 percent, to be exact, according to a… continue…

Business Unit Coders Are No Threat to IT

Posted In Looking in Tech
Business App
An increasing number of corporate workers are taking it upon themselves to develop business technology solutions without the participation of IT. While that could sound like a threat to professional developers, it’s probably not: Forrester Research notes there’s a dearth of development talent out there, and that most of the applications being built by these “citizen developers” address some kind of problem that’s been backlogged by the technology department. “Most of the software built by ‘citizen developers’ addresses requests on… continue…

For Best Data Analytics, Collaboration is Key

Posted In Data, Working in Tech
Data Collaboration
A new report from research firm IDC suggests that “Big Data” projects yield best results when a company’s IT, analytics, and line of business (LOB) units collaborate tightly together. Seems obvious, right? Except that, as interest in analytics increases among companies, there’s the perception that employees tasked with data crunching can (and should) do their jobs without the involvement of other business units; the rise of powerful “self-service” business-intelligence tools has only emphasized that theme. With many companies’ personnel resources… continue…

How Tech Jobs Have Changed in 15 Years

Posted In Looking in Tech
1997 Computer Job
A comparison of tech jobs in 1997 and 2012 shows an interesting evolution. Think about the jobs that didn’t exist way back when, or at least not by their current names: cloud architect, mobile application developer, social media specialist. As part of its effort to mark the 25th anniversary of the World Wide Web’s creation, the Pew Research Center has taken a stab at analyzing the Web’s impact on employment. Pew’s analysis shows that some categories, such as software developer,… continue…

How to Keep Up With Evolving Skills

Posted In Looking in Tech
Tiobe Index
Are you looking for work now? Since you’re in tech you might want to take advantage of the demand for your skills. But how do you know that you will always be a hot commodity? The best way to make sure is to monitor industry trends and leverage your existing talent in new ways, or to develop an expertise in an emerging trend. Either way, this strategy takes time and a steady eye to pull off effectively. Let me walk… continue…

Here’s Why You Shouldn’t Worry About a Bubble

Posted In Looking in Tech
Soap Bubble
Facebook’s $19 billion acquisition of WhatsApp is seen by some as the clearest sign yet that we’re in the midst of a tech bubble that could threaten jobs in both startups and established IT firms. But not everyone agrees. “Obviously there have been some really big prices paid for tech companies recently,” says former Apple CEO John Sculley, citing both the WhatsApp acquisition and Google’s $3.4 billion purchase of Nest. The size of both deals shocked many Silicon Valley watchers.… continue…