USA: 30,000 New Technology Jobs Added in 2010

on Wednesday, October 6, 2010
While the number of tech jobs is running below late 2008/early 2009 numbers, there has been some expansion of hiring. Three major categories of tech jobs have seen growth.

In the first six months of the year, 30,200 technology jobs were added to the economy, according to a report by industry trade group TechAmerica. The trade organization looked at data provided by the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The main areas adding jobs include software services (14,200), technology services (29,700) and technology manufacturers (9,100). These jobs were added between January and June of 2010. Official sentiments from TechAmerica executives are simultaneously optimistic and cautious. Job numbers in technology are still down compared with the end of 2008 and beginning of 2009, but recovery in key areas is a positive sign, notes the trade group.

"Though the tech industry was among the last to feel the effects of the economic downturn of 2008-2009, it was not immune to job loss and is only slowly showing signs of climbing out of it," said Josh James, vice president, research, for TechAmerica Foundation in a statement. "Tech employment, as of June 2010, stood at 5.78 million, compared with 5.99 million in January 2009. So there is still a way to go before we've made up for lost jobs, and continued recovery is by no means certain. With job growth in three of the four tech sectors, we remain guardedly optimistic."

One area that has shed jobs in 2010 is telecommunications, which saw a loss of 22,800 jobs. Year over year, technology jobs saw a 1.2 percent decline, losing 72,800 jobs.

"We have weathered the storm better than most," said TechAmerica president and CEO Phil Bond in a statement. "From its position embedded in every other industry, technology remains the best hope for driving robust recovery across the economy. America can only realize the full promise of an innovation recovery with smarter public policies focused on developing and attracting the best talent, investing in research and development, and growing and securing our information infrastructure."

The question remains, however, whether companies will be driving the growth of high technology jobs in this country or will they be doing so abroad? Many of the major technology corporations, such as IBM, HP, Microsoft and Cisco, have burgeoning research and development facilities abroad and are hiring local talent in other parts of the world, including in Asia, South and Central America, Canada and Eastern Europe.

There is little denying that much of the growth for U.S. multinational companies is abroad, and the jobs are expanding in these locales.

"While cost savings are the strongest motivation [for moving R&D offshore], companies are also going abroad to tap global talent pools and to be closer to growth markets," wrote Vivek Wadhwah, senior research associate at the Labor & Worklife Program at Harvard Law School in a 2009 article for Bloomberg BusinessWeek. "Some of the biggest U.S. companies now get most of their revenue from abroad. Hewlett-Packard gets 69% of its revenue from outside the U.S., and Caterpillar gets 67%. IBM gets 63%, while Intel and Pfizer each generate 57% of sales from foreign markets."

With recent changes to H-1B visa fees and measures in such states as Ohio that ban the use of offshore outsourcing services, there is a protectionist sentiment in the air that aims to help U.S. workers—but could keep business growth in the developing world from expanding to U.S. shores.

"There's been this assumption that there's a global hierarchy of work, that all the high-end service work, knowledge work, R&D work would stay in U.S., and that all the lower end work would be transferred to emerging markets," noted Hal Salzman, a public policy professor at Rutgers and a senior faculty fellow at the Heldrich Center for Workforce Development. "That hierarchy has been upset, to say the least. More and more of the innovation is coming out of the emerging markets, as part of this bottom-up push."

Top 10 Technology companies to work for!

on Sunday, October 3, 2010
Based on Fortune Magazine's 100 Best Companies to Work For, these are the "best of breed" companies that are focused primarily on some aspect of the technology industry. Here are the top ranked employers, with information about where they fell on the Fortune 100 listing.

1. Google
Number 1 on this list and on Fortune's Top 100 Employers list is Google. With a great campus, tons of perks and a group of highly skilled co-workers, there is a feeling of prestige among Google employees.

2. Cisco Systems, Inc.
Taking the number 2 spot on my list (and the number 6 spot on the Fortune top 100 list) is Cisco Systems, Inc. Great salaries, perks and a dominant market position make Cisco are favorite place to work among their employees.

3. Qualcomm
Qualcomm is a wireless telecommunications company based in San Diego, CA. They rank number 8 overall on the Fortune 100 Best Places to Work, and end up at number 3 on this list.

4. NetApp - Network Appliance
NetApp, which was known as Network Appliance until recently, ranks in the top of many employee satisfaction surverys, including the Fortune 100 Best Companies, best places to work in Boston, Research Triangle, Silicon Valley and several other areas over the past 6 years. They also routinely rank within the Fortune 1000.

5. Shared Technologies
Shared Technologies comes in at number 5 on my list of best technology companies to work for. Shared Technologies is a technology solutions provider specializing in voice, data and converged technologies.

6. SAS Institute Inc.
SAS Institute Inc. is a leading software company, focused on statistical software packages, customer relationship management and business intelligence solutions. They rank number 6 on my list of best technology companies to work for.

7. Rackspace
Number 7 on my list of best tech companies to work for is Rackspace. A hosting service company known for their fanatical customer support, Rackspace is number 32 on the Fortune 100 Best Companies List.

8. Adobe
Adobe is a leading software company, with headquarters in San Jose, CA. They are number 8 on my list of best technology companies, and currently listed among the Best Places to Work in the US, Germany and Canada. In the US, they placed number 40 in Fortune's 100 Best Companies to Work For.

9. Intuit
Intuit has been named the Most Admired Software Company as well as landing on Fortunes Best Places to Work List for several years in a row. The financal management software company ends up at number 9 on my list of best tech companies to work for.

10. eBay
eBay is the well-known auction site, a pioneer in the world of ecommerce. With headquarters in San Jose, CA and over 12,000 emploees, eBay ranks number 10 on my list, and ranks number 68 on the Fortune 100.

London takes lion's share of new IT jobs

on Friday, October 1, 2010
Since the start of the recession London and the South East of England have created close to two thirds (64 per cent) of all new IT jobs in Blighty, up from 58 per cent before the economy dipped.

According to research carried out by ReThink Recruitment, the region shows that it is "bouncing back strongly from the recession" despite the fact that many predicted that London and the South East would suffer a huge blow because of the number of IT jobs in the banking sector.

“London has a high concentration of financial services firms, which are heavy users of IT skills. Many of them responded to the downturn by cutting their IT departments to the bone," said ReThink Recruitment director Michael Bennett.

"As businesses levels have picked up, many have found themselves understaffed and have had to replace a lot of the skills that were shed during the recession.”

He added that the financial downturn led to more investment in compliance and risk management systems, particularly in the banking sector. "We have seen a substantial increase in demand for candidates skilled in these areas,” he said.

“The wave of mergers between financial institutions brought about by the credit crunch has fuelled demand for IT candidates in London and the South East to handle post M&A integration of banking IT systems.”

Bennett said the public sector had taken a hit during the recession by pointing out that budgets had been squeezed.

"Regions outside London and the South East tend to be much more reliant on the public sector and with hiring freezes now implemented this may stifle the creation of IT jobs,” he said.

The only other UK region to see a jump in IT recruitment since the recession started in June 2008 was Yorkshire and Humberside, despite several local high street banks laying people off in the area.

The region didn't just concentrate its IT efforts on banking, however. It also invested heavily in ecommerce, had Siemens set up home there and benefited from retailers shifting parts of their biz online.

Yorkshire and Humberside claimed 5.3 per cent of total new jobs in June 2008 compared to 6.2 per cent last month.

iPhone devs' riches exceed expectations

on Thursday, September 30, 2010
Money can ease the pain of many things: a messy divorce, holding down a US contractor's job in the City of Fallujah, tripping over the paving stones on some lost and neglected city street.

It can also make up for shortcomings in Apple's App Store, it seems.

A significant number of iPhone developers are making more money than they'd initially expected they could by selling apps on Steve Jobs' App Store, according to an Open-First's survey of coders.

Almost half — 48 per cent — told an Open-First survey conducted between August 30 and September 10 that the amount of money they're making on the App Store was more than they'd expected. Open-First gathered data from 110 developers using an online questionnaire and a phone follow-up.

A hard core of 28 per cent, however, expressed dissatisfaction with Apple's market, saying they are making less than they first thought possible.

Among the reasons cited: the need to have your application placed in a "popular" category and for that app to Darwinistically break into that category's 25 apps in order to be seen. Breaking that top 25 means charging the downloader no more than $3 per app, the devs complained.

Miscellaneous reasons were cited by devs for why they're making more than they'd expected: media attention, word of mouth, and favorable reviews — nothing scientific or decisive.

Overall, 78 per cent rated themselves as satisfied, very satisfied, or somewhat satisfied with the App Store in general. Ninety-nine percent of the devs said they'd publish more iPhone applications to Apple's market.

The App Store also rates highly against rival markets, especially Android: more than 40 per cent said the Android market is worse than the App Store. Markets from BlackBerry, Microsoft, and Nokia were scored worse by more than 20 per cent of the respondents.

You can read Open-First's separate comparison of App Store, Android, and the Ovi market here.

Apple's top-line satisfaction, though, hides niggles that have developers divided, pull down satisfaction levels to less than half in some cases, and cause significant negative numbers in other cases.

For example, the App Store police's notoriously Byzantine application-approval process has developers almost split: 49 per cent expressed some level of satisfaction with the speed at which Apple's plods work, compared to 41 per cent who reported dissatisfaction.

Half, meanwhile, were happy with the App Store's prudishness and approved of the strict rules banning things like porn. More than a third, though, were dissatisfied to some degree.

Fifteen per cent were neutral on Puritanism, and — as any political pundit will tell you — it's the uncommitted voter who swings an election result. So, if enough of those folks become unhappy over time, it'll mean that iPhone developers are split on yet another facet of App Store policy.

Apple's support of end users also took a knock. While 40 per cent of the devs expressed some form of satisfaction, more than a quarter — 27 per cent — were unhappy. Among the reasons given: failure of applications to download, confusion over refunds, inability to extend applications upon users' request because of limitations imposed by Apple, and lack of awareness among users that reloading or reinstalling an application is free.

Video streaming makes up the majority of mobile data...

on Wednesday, September 29, 2010
Video streaming now makes up 35 per cent of data carried over the mobile networks, with YouTube supplying 40 per cent of that, so the airwaves are filled with TV all over again. This is creating a new technology market, which means lots of new jobs to be had!

The figures come from the Allot MobileTrends report for the fist half of 2010, based on data passing through operators around the world with a total of 190m subscribers. That data shows video streaming in the first half of 2010 was almost double the previous six months, and is now the largest consumer of mobile bandwidth as everyone seems to be watching TV on the move:

YouTube counts for 40 per cent of the video, so what are the rest watching?

VoIP has also increased hugely since 2009, rising more than 80 per cent which should concern mobile operators despite the fact that VoIP is still a small proportion of the total. Mobile VoIP is dominated by Skype, whose traffic makes up 83 per cent of voice total.

Also on the rise is Facebook, traffic to which is three times what it was in 2009, and Twitter, which is up by more than four times. Allot puts that down to increased availability of specialist applications, but notes that (according to Facebook) mobile users are "twice as active" as their desk-chained contemporaries.

All of which leads to a 68 per cent increase in the consumption of mobile data around the world, which is nice for mobile consumers but one has to ask who is making money from all that mobility?

Operators aren't - customers making voice calls subsidise data users, who are still a loss leader in most countries. Mobile Facebook and YouTube aren't delivering adverts so there's no revenue there. Twitter's ability to make money on any platform is still very suspect, which leaves Skype as the only company delivering a mobile service and seemingly making money from it.

So while the rate of data consumption continues to rise we should enjoy this nirvana of free and cheap mobile services - it's not going to last forever

Important Technology Quotes

on Tuesday, September 28, 2010
Came across this list and thought I'd share...

The number one benefit of information technology is that it empowers people to do what they want to do. It lets people be creative. It lets people be productive. It lets people learn things they didn't think they could learn before, and so in a sense it is all about potential.
Steve Ballmer

The lifeblood of our business is that R&D spend. There's nothing that flows through a pipe or down a wire or anything else. We have to continuously create new innovation that lets people do something they didn't think they could do the day before.
Steve Ballmer

Over the years, the U.S. economy has shown a remarkable ability to absorb shocks of all kinds, to recover, and to continue to grow. Flexible and efficient markets for labor and capital, an entrepreneurial tradition, and a general willingness to tolerate and even embrace technological and economic change all contribute to this resiliency.
Ben Bernanke

As we go forward, I hope we're going to continue to use technology to make really big differences in how people live and work.
Sergey Brin

Some say Google is God. Others say Google is Satan. But if they think Google is too powerful, remember that with search engines unlike other companies, all it takes is a single click to go to another search engine.
Sergey Brin

Renewable energy is proven technology, the price is dropping, the rest of the world is going that way, that's where our investment should be going as well.
Bob Brown

Even in such technical lines as engineering, about 15% of one's financial success is due one's technical knowledge and about 85% is due to skill in human engineering, to personality and the ability to lead people.
Dale Carnegie

It's a fact that more people watch television and get their information that way than read books. I find new technology and new ways of communication very exciting and would like to do more in this field.
Stephen Covey

There are managers so preoccupied with their e-mail messages that they never look up from their screens to see what's happening in the nondigital world.
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

Our business is about technology, yes. But it's also about operations and customer relationships.
Michael Dell

The interesting thing is when we design and architect a server, we don't design it for Windows or Linux, we design it for both. We don't really care, as long as we're selling the one the customer wants.
Michael Dell

Almost everybody today believes that nothing in economic history has ever moved as fast as, or had a greater impact than, the Information Revolution. But the Industrial Revolution moved at least as fast in the same time span, and had probably an equal impact if not a greater one.
Peter Drucker

The new information technology—Internet and e-mail—have practically eliminated the physical costs of communications.
Peter Drucker

Information technology and business are becoming inextricably interwoven. I don't think anybody can talk meaningfully about one without the talking about the other.
Bill Gates

I think it's fair to say that personal computers have become the most empowering tool we've ever created. They're tools of communication, they're tools of creativity, and they can be shaped by their user.
Bill Gates

It's pretty incredible to look back 30 years to when Microsoft was starting and realize how work has been transformed. We're finally getting close to what I call the digital workstyle.
Bill Gates

Paper is no longer a big part of my day. I get 90% of my news online, and when I go to a meeting and want to jot things down, I bring my Tablet PC. It's fully synchronized with my office machine so I have all the files I need.
Bill Gates

Microsoft has had its success by doing low-cost products and constantly improving those products and we've really redefined the IT industry to be something that's about a tool for individuals.
Bill Gates

We are always saying to ourself.. we have to innovate. We got to come up with that breakthrough. In fact, the way software works.. so long as you are using your existing software.. you don't pay us anything at all. So we're only paid for breakthroughs.
Bill Gates

Competition is always a fantastic thing, and the computer industry is intensely competitive. Whether it's Google or Apple or free software, we've got some fantastic competitors and it keeps us on our toes.
Bill Gates

We're responsible for the creation of the PC industry. The whole idea of compatible machines and lots of software.. that's something we brought to computing. And so it's a responsibility for us to make sure that things like security don't get in the way of that dream.
Bill Gates

Security is, I would say, our top priority because for all the exciting things you will be able to do with computers.. organizing your lives, staying in touch with people, being creative.. if we don't solve these security problems, then people will hold back. Businesses will be afraid to put their critical information on it because it will be exposed.
Bill Gates

Technology happens, it's not good, it's not bad. Is steel good or bad?
Andrew Grove

A fundamental rule in technology says that whatever can be done will be done.
Andrew Grove

Not all problems have a technological answer, but when they do, that is the more lasting solution.
Andrew Grove

I think Amazon is the preeminent pioneer in building a new way of doing commerce: personalized, database-driven commerce, where the big value is not in the purchase fulfillment, but in knowing as much about a customer base of ten or twenty million people as a corner store used to know about a customer base of a few hundred. In today's mass-merchandising world, that's largely gone; Amazon is trying to use computer technology to re-establish it.
Andrew Grove

Speech has allowed the communication of ideas, enabling human beings to work together to build the impossible. Mankind's greatest achievements have come about by talking, and its greatest failures by not talking. It doesn't have to be like this. Our greatest hopes could become reality in the future. With the technology at our disposal, the possibilities are unbounded. All we need to do is make sure we keep talking.
Stephen Hawking

In this new wave of technology, you can't do it all yourself, you have to form alliances.
Carlos Slim Helu

I still have my laptop but I haven't used it. I'm a paper man, not electronic.
Carlos Slim Helu

I think one of the big errors people are making right now is thinking that old-style businesses will be obsolete, when actually they will be an important part of this new civilization. Some retail groups are introducing e-commerce and think that the "bricks" are no longer useful. But they will continue to be important.
Carlos Slim Helu

The key is the Internet. The United States is by far the most advanced country in this new digital culture, so we have to be there. The Internet is the heart of this new civilization, and telecommunications are the nervous system, or circulatory system.
Carlos Slim Helu

To turn really interesting ideas and fledgling technologies into a company that can continue to innovate for years, it requires a lot of disciplines.
Steve Jobs

I have an almost religious zeal.. not for technology per se, but for the Internet which is for me, the nervous system of mother Earth, which I see as a living creature, linking up.
Dan Millman

It is extremely unlikely that anyone coming out of school with a technical degree will go into one area and stay there. Today's students have to look forward to the excitement of probably having three or four careers.
Gordon Moore

I remember the difficulty we had in the beginning replacing magnetic cores in memories and eventually we had both cost and performance advantages. But it wasn't at all clear in the beginning.
Gordon Moore

With engineering, I view this year's failure as next year's opportunity to try it again. Failures are not something to be avoided. You want to have them happen as quickly as you can so you can make progress rapidly.
Gordon Moore

The technology at the leading edge changes so rapidly that you have to keep current after you get out of school. I think probably the most important thing is having good fundamentals.
Gordon Moore

The Internet has been the most fundamental change during my lifetime and for hundreds of years. Someone the other day said, "It's the biggest thing since Gutenberg," and then someone else said "No, it's the biggest thing since the invention of writing."
Rupert Murdoch

There is so much media now with the Internet and people, and so easy and so cheap to start a newspaper or start a magazine, there’s just millions of voices and people want to be heard.
Rupert Murdoch

I had one simple idea about telling friends about arts and technology events. People in the community suggested everything else to us, and that's our theme. We're really run by the people who use the site. We just run the infrastructure, and help out with problems.
Craig Newmark

I need to make an okay living. The people who work for us need to. But after you make a comfortable living, how much more do you need? It's like I make a joke about nerd values, because I'm very much in the rich nerd tradition. And you know, we say, like, hey, people pay us for this stuff, like programming. You know, what else do we need?
Craig Newmark

We have technology, finally, that for the first time in human history allows people to really maintain rich connections with much larger numbers of people.
Pierre Omidyar

eBay's business is based on enabling someone to do business with another person, and to do that, they first have to develop some measure of trust, either in the other person or the system.
Pierre Omidyar

I'm a great believer in new technology and I think new technology is very scary for newspaper companies.
James Packer

The fact that I have entered into IT-related business is proof that businesses have to evolve and keep with time. One has to re-invent continuously.
Kerry Packer

I don't want to be left behind. In fact, I want to be here before the action starts.
Kerry Packer

The ultimate search engine would basically understand everything in the world, and it would always give you the right thing. And we're a long, long ways from that.
Larry Page

The Star Trek computer doesn't seem that interesting. They ask it random questions, it thinks for a while. I think we can do better than that.
Larry Page

I want Wipro to be among the top ten IT companies in the world.
Azim Premji

Upwards of two hundred species.. mostly of the large, slow-breeding variety.. are becoming extinct here every day because more and more of the earth's carrying capacity is systematically being converted into human carrying capacity. These species are being burnt out, starved out, and squeezed out of existence.. thanks to technologies that most people, I'm afraid, think of as technologies of peace. I hope it will not be too long before the technologies that support our population explosion begin to be perceived as no less hazardous to the future of life on this planet than the endless production of radioactive wastes.
Daniel Quinn

Technology is always evolving, and companies.. not just search companies.. can't be afraid to take advantage of change.
Eric Schmidt

We don’t have a traditional strategy process, planning process like you’d find in traditional technical companies. It allows Google to innovate very, very quickly, which I think is a real strength of the company.
Eric Schmidt

I believe that this notion of self-publishing, which is what Blogger and blogging are really about, is the next big wave of human communication. The last big wave was Web activity. Before that one it was e-mail. Instant messaging was an extension of e-mail, real-time e-mail.
Eric Schmidt

Information and communications technology unlocks the value of time, allowing and enabling multi-tasking, multi-channels, multi-this and multi-that.
Li Ka Shing

I believe that Silicon Valley is truly a place of excellence and the impact of this tiny community on the world is completely disproportionate to its size. We are the undisputed leaders of technological change. But with our abundance of talent and resources, we also have the opportunity to be the pioneers of social change and, ultimately, this may be our greatest contribution.
Jeff Skoll

The insanity of the collective egoic mind, amplified by science and technology, is rapidly taking our species to the brink of disaster. Evolve or die: that is our only choice now.
Eckhart Tolle

Feedback: Non IT industry jobs

on Tuesday, September 21, 2010
I'm interested in hearing from folks who are
NOT working at a computer software or hardware development firm, but in some
other industry. I'd especially like to hear from people working (on a
contract or permanent basis) for:

* Banks or other financial institutions
* Universities, colleges, or school boards
* Canadian municipal government
* Hospital or other medical centres
* Insurance companies
* Environment engineering consultants

I'd like the information for an article I'm writing on the range of
job options out there that utilize technology but aren't necessarily IT jobs. I don't plan to identify any individual
or company by name, I'm not looking for corporate secrets either. Since
my experience is all in the computer industry, I mainly want to know what's
it's like working elsewhere.

What do you document (in-house software, policies and procedures,
regulations)? In what form (reference manuals, training materials, online
help, newsletters)? Who is your audience? Apart from writing (and the
implicit planning, researching, and editing), do you perform other major
tasks (training, UI design, customer support)? Do you have a more technical
or a more communications background, or really a combination of both? How
many other technical communicators work with you?

Don't feel obliged to answer all those questions, just whatever you feel
like sharing. Feel free to comment below, it will help anyone else reading this get a feel for what all is out there