Reseller News: Opportunity for partners as customers still can’t find enough open source skills

Pandemic has accelerated demand for IT professionals with open source skills, and organisations are searching far and wide or retraining staff to fill the gap – opening the door for external partner expertise.

By Scott Carey
UK Group Editor, InfoWorld

After a rough year for everyone, IT hiring at least appears to be trending up again for the first time in months.

Despite a backdrop of uncertainty however, one thing is for sure: open source skills still come at a premium in the current market, according to the latest Open Source Jobs report from the Linux Foundation and EdX.

The global report, published this week, showed that 56 per cent of hiring managers say they plan on hiring open source professionals over the next six months, despite the fact that 93 per cent are still having difficulty finding open source talent, up from 87 per cent two years ago.

“Despite an overall economic downturn, having demonstrated skills in open source technologies remains highly desirable for employers seeking IT professionals for potential hire even during these times of uncertainty,” the report notes.

Read the full article here.

InfoWorld: Companies still can’t find enough open source skills

The pandemic has accelerated demand for IT professionals with open source skills, and organizations are searching far and wide or retraining staff to fill the gap.

By Scott Carey
UK Group Editor, InfoWorld

After a rough year for everyone, IT hiring at least appears to be trending up again for the first time in months, with openings starting to rebound in August and a further 12,200 IT roles being added in September, according to the most recent survey of IT executives by management consultancy Janco Associates in the US.

Despite a backdrop of uncertainty, one thing is for sure: Open source skills still come at a premium in the current market, according to the latest Open Source Jobs report from the Linux Foundation and EdX.

The global report, published this week, showed that 56% of hiring managers say they plan on hiring open source professionals over the next six months, despite the fact that 93% are still having difficulty finding open source talent, up from 87% two years ago.

“Despite an overall economic downturn, having demonstrated skills in open source technologies remains highly desirable for employers seeking IT professionals for potential hire even during these times of uncertainty,” the report notes.

Read the full article here.

U.S. State Department Foreign Affairs IT Fellowship Seeks Diverse Candidates for 2021 Cohort

The U.S. Department of State and The Washington Center for Internships and Academic Seminars (TWC) announce a Call for Applications for the Foreign Affairs Information Technology (FAIT) Fellowship – an exciting opportunity for college students who aspire to a technology career that makes a difference in the world. The Washington Center has collaborated with the Blacks In Technology Foundation to promote the FAIT Fellowship opportunity to their members.

Applications for the 2021 FAIT Fellowship program will be accepted through February 1, 2021, from college students starting their junior year in fall 2021 or a two-year master’s program in fall 2021, in an IT-related degree program at a U.S.-based accredited institution.

Funded by the U.S. State Department and administered by TWC, this two-year Fellowship provides a path to an exciting career in the U.S. Foreign Service through academic funding, internships, professional development, and ultimately, an appointment as a Foreign Service Information Management Specialist. Funding includes up to $37,500 each year for the junior and senior years of undergraduate study or a two-year master’s program.  Fellows also receive stipends, travel expenses and housing for two summer internship experiences – one in Washington, D.C. and at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate abroad.

This will be the fifth year that TWC is partnering with the State Department to attract students to apply for this program, especially individuals in historically underrepresented minority groups, including racial, ethnic, and gender minorities, and those with financial need.

“The FAIT Fellowship program has provided highly talented, exceptional students with the opportunity of a lifetime – helping them to pursue their dreams and make a difference,” said Chris Norton, TWC president. “We’re excited to be an integral part of making that happen, and we’re honored to continue our partnership with the U.S. Department of State.”

“Blacks In Technology is excited to champion the FAIT program,” says Dennis Schultz, Executive Director of the Blacks In Technology Foundation. “It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity, and a great way to serve the country.”

To date, 30 students have participated in the program. The original cohort from 2017 successfully completed in 2019 and began their careers in the Foreign Service.

Learn more about eligibility requirements and how to apply at FAITFellowship.org.

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About The Washington Center for Internships and Academic Seminars

The Washington Center is the largest and most established student internship program in Washington, D.C. Since our founding, we’ve helped more than 60,000 young people translate their college majors into career paths. We use our scale and expertise to customize each student’s experience to be truly transformative.

Contact: Carmenchu Mendiola
Menchu.mendiola@twc.edu

About The Blacks In Technology Foundation
Blacks In Technology is the largest global community of Black technologists with a combined membership and social media reach of over 50,000. The Blacks In Technology (BIT) Foundation’s goal and mission is to “stomp the divide” between Black tech workers and to fundamentally influence and effect change on the tech industry.

Contact: Dennis Schultz
dschultz_ny@blacksintechnology.net

US State Dept Call for Applications: Foreign Affairs IT Fellowship

US State Dept Call for Applications: Foreign Affairs IT Fellowship

It’s a proven fact that a diverse workforce brings innovation and creativity to the workplace, encourages fresh perspectives that inspire new ideas, and sparks positive change. The Department of State recognizes the value of diversity and has set as one of its core goals a more diverse diplomatic corps, one that is able to represent the best of the United States to nations around the world.

With a growing need for talented and creative technology staff, and the fast-changing field of information technology, the State Department sees the importance of diversifying this area of the workforce.

To assist in this effort, in 2016 the State Department launched the Foreign Affairs Information Technology Fellowship, a program that aims to attract underrepresented populations in the technology field interested in Foreign Service careers.

Based on the fundamental principle that diversity is a strength in our diplomatic efforts, the program values varied backgrounds, including ethnic, gender, racial, social, and geographic diversity.  Women and those with financial need are encouraged to apply.

The program provides up to $37,500 annually for two years of either bachelor’s or master’s degree tuition, books, and other academic expenses.  Additionally, travel and lodging expenses are covered for finalists who are selected to come to Washington, D.C. for the in-person interviews.

The State Department also provides stipends, housing, and travel for two summer internship experiences – one in Washington, D.C. at the Department of State, and one at a U.S. embassy or consulate abroad.  After completing the two-year program and meeting Department of State requirements, fellows enter the Foreign Service as Information Management Specialists and have the unique opportunity to apply their technology skills to support U.S. diplomacy abroad, experience different cultures, and promote positive change in the world.

Applications for the 2021 cohort are being accepted September 8, 2020 – February 1, 2021.  You can view the eligibility requirements on the website here.

The Fellows from the first three cohorts (from 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020) all agree that this program is an “opportunity of a lifetime.”

Prepare Now to Apply

The application deadline is February 1, 2021, but you should start preparing your application documents early to submit the most competitive application possible for this prestigious fellowship program. Learn what application documents are needed and get helpful tips in articles in the Diplomatic Roots blog on the FAIT Fellowship website. 

Virtual Information Session

Wednesday, November 18 2020 at 5:00 pm (EST)
Register: https://app.livestorm.co/the-washington-center/foreign-affairs-it-fellowship-bit-foundation-virtual-info-session

Contact Us with Questions

We’d love to talk with you and answer your questions. Send us an email at faitfellowship@twc.edu and let us know your contact info and the best time to reach you.

Learn more at FAITFellowship.org

 

Recruiting Black tech workers: Will remote work help make Seattle more attractive?

 

By , KUOW/NPR
Listen to the 5 minute audio here. 

Seattle has historically had difficulty recruiting and retaining Black tech workers. That’s led to a problem: Compared to the general population, Black tech workers are underrepresented.

But amid the pandemic, local tech companies are tapping into an opportunity to diversify their workforces — remotely.

Herman Haggerty is a Black tech worker from Texas. He moved to Seattle in 2017, to work for Amazon.

Three years later, he left. He said he was tired of not being recognized for his achievements, and was tired of people not knowing how to relate to him.

“I’m not sure if that’s just the quirkiness of engineers, because you know, I’ve been around a lot of engineers and they’re inherently quiet,” Haggerty said. “But you know when they don’t really know how to connect with you.”

Haggerty said that because people didn’t know how to talk to him, they’d leave him out of technical conversations. Instead, they’d attempt to steer the conversation toward something they assumed he’d like: Hip-hop music for example.

This, he said, led to him missing promotion opportunities.

“It always feels like an uphill battle just because of that core competency — of not being able to communicate with each other,” he said. “It seemed like they were always kind of giving me the runaround.”

Haggerty ultimately concluded that this wasn’t an Amazon-specific problem — it’s a Pacific Northwest problem.

In the South, he said, racism is more overt. “In Seattle, it’s more passive. They may not even know that they’re being racist.”

So he moved to Austin, where he said he’s much happier.

“It’s very diverse, and … I mean, the first thing I did when I got off the plane here — a random person said ‘hi’ to me. You forget that people actually talk to each other, in other places.”

caption: Herman Haggerty left Seattle out of frustration. He now lives in Austin Texas, where he works for a tech startup.
Herman Haggerty left Seattle out of frustration. He now lives in Austin Texas, where he works for a tech startup.
CREDIT: HERMAN HAGGERTY

Seattle and Portland are two of the whitest cities in the country. That, combined with the so-called Seattle freeze, and a sense that racism is passive in the Pacific Northwest, has discouraged many Black people in general — and Black tech workers specifically — from staying in the region for very long, if they’re even willing to relocate here at all.

A study of Portland found that 97% of Black workers experienced discrimination at work, and only 1% felt welcomed by their communities outside of work. This leaves tech companies that want to diversify their workforces in a difficult position.

Michael Schutzler of the Washington Technology Industry Association said local tech companies go on recruiting missions to cities with bigger Black populations. “There is a giant pool of talent in Atlanta,” for instance, he said. But a lot of people don’t want to leave their communities.

It takes more than just reaching out on the part of employers to solve the problem of underrepresentation, and the issue extends beyond the workplace.

For example, Mark Nyon in New York, said “I have family, friends and community here, people who supported me and helped keep me sane and navigate the challenges of being Black in the tech industry. It would be difficult for me to find that sustenance if I moved out to Seattle.”

Which is where the pandemic – and working remotely comes in.

We used to have this assumption that you had to physically commute into an office every day. But Michael Schutzler said remote work changes everything.

Tech companies can hire workers from places such as Atlanta, D.C., New York, and Houston, and let them work remotely from those cities.

“That creates a completely new dynamic for who it is they’re recruiting,” Schutzler said. “And suddenly, you are seeing a larger number of women and people of color in the entering classes than you did before.”

Multiple Black tech workers told KUOW they’ve been receiving more and more messages on LinkedIn about remote work, lately. But the extent of the trend and what it means for Seattle in the long run remain unclear.

If workers don’t have to relocate to Seattle, does that mean Seattle could actually become less diverse than it is now?

Not if Abas Hersi can help it. He’s an 18-year-old Black computer science student who just started Seattle’s chapter of an organization called Blacks in Technology. He lives in Tukwila, a city that’s 17% Black as compared to Seattle’s 7%.

“It’s a lot cheaper to live here than it is to live in Seattle,” Hersi said. “But realistically I’m hoping to get employed in Seattle. And so, I think that would be a great combination of me not abandoning my roots and still finding employment in the tech industry in Seattle.”

This is one strategy recommended by Partners in Diversity, the organization that produced that study about Portland:

They recommend that communities educate, empower and promote the Black workforce already living nearby. That way, hiring Black tech workers doesn’t have to mean recruiting them away from their friends and families.

Hersi believes this strategy could address the root of the problem. “This would help put the Black community at large in a better position financially in order to cope with the rising costs of living, so that it can mitigate the effects of gentrification,” he said.

 

Do it for the Culture… A Secure Culture

DO IT FOR THE CULTURE… A SECURE CULTURE

Developing an internal fortress using basic security protocols.

SPAM. SPOOFING. PHISHING. HACKING. We all have heard the terms but what do they really mean and why do we know and see them all too often? Let’s begin with some summarized explanations. SPAM basically means receipt of mail that wasn’t needed or expected, usually advertisements or cold sales messaging or junk mail. SPOOFING basically means an account has been cloned or accessed from a source other than the assigned user and that person’s email or other tools have been compromised in order to “act as” that original user. It is commonly seen in cases where email CONTACTS are accessed by a spoofed account and tons of email are sent out to those contacts asking for INVOICE verification or some variation of requesting input. PHISHING can be described as ATTEMPTS to gain information from a user by requesting action to a link or attachment. They are often paired with SPOOFED email accounts but can also be embedded in SPAM messaging. HACKING is the culmination of all forms of social engineering but directly associated with control of a source, account, device or network.

Now that we’ve cleared that up. Why do we see or hear these terms so often, especially in business environments that are supposed to be secure? The answer is CULTURE. Yes, a simple idea, culture. Not some complex technical ideology, simply culture. See, all the understanding of technology in the world cannot substitute for a solid security culture in the workplace. This means everyone from the night cleaning staff to the CEO understands the importance of keeping the business secured. Yes, everyone. Everyone in the business is a stakeholder in the success of the business. We all have the responsibility to ensure our personal and corporate security protocols are adhered to. If there is a gap in one area, the entire system is vulnerable.

SCENARIOS

#1 John is the new security guard at the corporate office. While standing his post at the front desk, a person walks in and says “I work on the 18th floor but left my badge at home. Not wanting to cause an issue with the well-dressed man with the briefcase, he badges him into the elevator up to the 18th floor. The man wasn’t an employee.

#2 The night cleaning staff may have hired a new staff member. That new temporary staff member walks by a desk and sees a password and account number on a “sticky note”. Out of curiosity, he/she records that info. The temp only worked one job and quit. Weeks later, someone has logged into OneDrive from an unknown device and has uncovered financial data including accounts and bank access codes.

#3 Susan is late for her son’s game and needs to wrap up the corporate financial report for 1st quarter before 5 pm. She leans over to Janet, a friend in the Sales department, and asks her to do her a favor. Susan gives Janet her login and Janet tried to complete the work. While working on the file, she accidentally erases an entry in an important spreadsheet but instead of undoing the erasure, she calls IT support got help.

#4 Jennifer takes her pc home during the COVID-19 outbreak. Her son, Jason is also working from home. Since Jason doesn’t have his own computer, she lets him use it to do his homework. However, Jason also uses it for some casual gaming and video downloads, some of which are downloaded from a peer-to-peer site.

All of these are really common scenarios. In scenario #1, the security guard is an important part of the first level of corporate security, PHYSICAL ACCESS. It’s his job to verify each and every person that should be in the building. That can be assisted through use of an access list or a badging system. A successful badging system will utilize an access list to detail where each person is authorized to enter and in cases where a person cannot access a specified level or area, they should request a SPONSOR to guide said access or ask a department manager or SPONSOR for change to their badge access. All of which would need business justification. In scenario #2, you’d be surprised who the real blame falls on. It’s actually the person that wrote important business data on a “sticky note”. We can’t always judge the character of an individual, although the cleaning company should do its part to vet each person they hire. However, the cleaning company may not be an internal part of the company infrastructure. Shockingly, the real blame lies on the person who sat at that desk. The best approach to how you keep your office or desk is the “rotating shift” methodology. In the “rotating shift” routine, a space is not just yours. Therefore, personalization and comfort of just leaving things around should be prohibited. Likewise, you should never write down codes or accounts and leave in an unsecured location. In scenario #3, Susan violated several rules of security. First, she asked someone outside of her department to handle a task that contained data that may have been only available to that department. Secondly, she shared her login information. Both are serious risks. Finally, in scenario #4, we get to an issue that we may encounter far too often during our current pandemic…sharing or inappropriate use of a corporate asset. It’s important to remember that a business issued device is intended primarily for business related use and you expose local and shared network data to the risk of hacking or data loss.

HOW TO FIX A CULTURE ISSUE

There are a few key factors needed in creating a truly secure culture in your corporate or personal home network environment. One, put the right tools in place. Every corporate or home network should have some form of FIREWALL security. This will guard what enters your network. Device security is the next layer. Make sure your computer has some form of antivirus/antimalware protection and/or local firewall software. The next layer is software security. Operating systems require normal updates to stay safeguarded against the outside world. Make a habit of checking in (although typically the task of your company IT administrator) for regular patching and updates. Consider these “inoculations” or “booster shots” to keep the bad bugs away. If you’re managing your own home network, simply run the Windows updates at least twice a month. Keep in mind, you can always set your PC or Mac to perform automatic updates. Here’s a good resource for Windows updates: https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/12373/windows-update-faq

Don’t worry Mac users, I didn’t forget about you. Yes, Macs require updates also. See the following link about Mac updates: https://support.apple.com/guide/mac-help/get-macos-updates-mchlpx1065/mac

Data classification is vital to how corporations keep information private and secure. This is the process of defining what the data is, where it belongs and who should have access. Likewise, user security is just as crucial as you can assign access rights to said data, resource locations and systems.

However, the most important factor in creating a secure culture in the workplace is…. drumroll, please… EDUCATION.

That’s right, education. Knowing is not good enough. Saying is not good enough. We must educate, educate and educate more on these practices repetitively. Socializing proper security culture is one of the key roles of any successful enterprise security team. Once all the tools, policies and restrictions are in place, each user needs to be reminded just how important it is that each person play their role in being an active part of keeping the business, and themselves safe.

Dwayne Thomas Coleman
CEO, Coleman Management & Consulting

 

 

 

 

 

MarTech Live: How to Truly Diversify Your Staff

MarTech next week: a personal choice

With so many sessions next week, here’s a plan to navigate through those three days.

Kim Davis on October 1, 2020 at 4:05 pm

It’s finally here. The big fall 2020 MarTech conference, virtual of course, with almost 80 sessions all supporting our theme: MarTech is marketing.

With so many sessions, attendees are going to have some tough choices to make. Here’s how I plan to navigate my way through those three days.

The keynotes. First, I always look at the keynotes. Chief Martec himself, Scott Brinker, kicks off day one by naming the five martech trends for the decade ahead. Just five, and for a decade? Scott’s a brave man. On day two, Brian Solis, Global Innovation Evangelist, Salesforce, describes “Generation Novel,” a critical customer segment created by the pandemic. What I’ve heard. from someone familiar with the content, is that this is a richly detailed piece of thought leadership. A must watch.

Check the full MarTech agenda here.

Finally, on day three, we’ll have some fun with the annual Stackie Awards. I’ve had a glimpse of the entries, and I can tell you that entrants are reaching new heights when it comes to design — the visual representation of their stacks. After Scott calls the winners, I’ll be chatting with him about themes and trends in the stack world.

Marketing stacks. Which brings me to one theme I see highlighted throughout the conference: where marketing stacks are headed and how to get the best out of them. “The Beauty Of The Beast: How To Optimize Your Monstrous Martech Stack,” presented by Helen Abramova of Verizon and Matthew Gomez of Walden University stands out, but there are a string of sessions on the present and future stack: see Tony Byrne of Real Story Group on “Future-Proofing Your Martech Stack.”

That’s not all. You can put together a route through the schedule focusing on any one of these topics: CDPs, content experience and analytics, data rights and privacy, digital transformation, email marketing, SEO and AI. It depends on what your immediate needs are, both for your organization and your own professional development.

MarTech Live. And I can’t wrap up here without a mention for MarTech Live, which will be broadcasting truly live each day at 4:45pm ET. I’ll be hosting the first session, a look at the virtual event stack with Vasil Azarov of the Growth Marketing Conference, and our own Marc Sirkin. I’ll also be closing the conference with a fireside chat featuring Christopher Penn of TrustInsights.ai on what we’ve learned from the week.

But I particularly want to draw your attention to the Wednesday session, hosted by MarTech Today editor Rodric Bradford. He’ll be convening a panel to discuss a topic of growing importance: “How to Truly Diversify Your Staff.” His guests: Dennis Schultz of the Blacks In Technology Foundation and Elizabeth Cotton, founder of Career Mingle. Feel free to invite your HR colleagues or anyone else from your organization to that one.

Plenty to think about, and I look forward to hanging out with you all. And I mean it: I’ll be in the virtual networking lounge each afternoon, a forum where you can network with your fellow attendees and MarTech Today staffers.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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Kim Davis

Kim Davis is the Editorial Director of MarTech Today. Born in London, but a New Yorker for over two decades, Kim started covering enterprise software ten years ago. His experience encompasses SaaS for the enterprise, digital- ad data-driven urban planning, and applications of SaaS, digital technology, and data in the marketing space. He first wrote about marketing technology as editor of Haymarket’s The Hub, a dedicated marketing tech website, which subsequently became a channel on the established direct marketing brand DMN. Kim joined DMN proper in 2016, as a senior editor, becoming Executive Editor, then Editor-in-Chief a position he held until January 2020. Prior to working in tech journalism, Kim was Associate Editor at a New York Times hyper-local news site, The Local: East Village, and has previously worked as an editor of an academic publication, and as a music journalist. He has written hundreds of New York restaurant reviews for a personal blog, and has been an occasional guest contributor to Eater.