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Slashdot Asks: Which IT Hiring Trends Are Hot, and Which Ones Are Going Cold? 190

snydeq writes: Recruiting and retaining tech talent remains IT's biggest challenge today, writes Paul Heltzel, in an article on what trends are heating up and what's cooling off when it comes to IT staffing. "One thing hasn't changed this year: Recruiting top talent is still difficult for most firms, and demand greatly outstrips supply," writes Heltzel. "That's influencing many of the areas we looked at, including compensation and retention. Whether you're looking to expand your team or job searching yourself, read on to see which IT hiring practices are trending and which ones are falling out of favor." What are you seeing companies favoring in the hiring market these days?
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Slashdot Asks: Which IT Hiring Trends Are Hot, and Which Ones Are Going Cold?

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    Hot: Python

    Cold: Slashcode

  • by turkeydance ( 1266624 ) on Monday September 18, 2017 @06:45PM (#55222345)
    have you seen that movie?
    • by msauve ( 701917 )
      Spam: The Movie?

      Because that's what this is, pure and simple. Check the submitter's history, constant submissions of articles from the same site.

      Clickbait. Just say no.

      Bad /. editor, bad.
  • by rsilvergun ( 571051 ) on Monday September 18, 2017 @06:48PM (#55222353)
    Unless we're talking H1-Bs I don't see that in the slightest. What I do see is several of my buddies in dead end jobs (and a few acquaintances rocking recent CS degrees stuck in crap IT jobs) while workers here on cheap visas and outsourcing dominate the industry. I suppose if they can keep this up though nobody local will go into IT (since you can't get work). I can tell you this, I just sent my kid to college to be a nurse. IT ranked below liberal arts degree on the list of things I wanted her to major in.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      The key word here is "top." Every single business wants to higher the top of the industry elites....not just regular people who managed to get a degree.

      There is a difference in what top tier talent can deliver. Plenty of people consider themselves to be top tier talent until the real world hits them in the face. But that is a separate issue.

      There are three problems with retaining top tier talent:

      1) they are expensive, and businesses want top tier on the cheap.
      2) Other businesses want them, so their have

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward
        I'm not so convinced that most management teams would know actual "top tier talent" if it hit them in the face, nor would they know how to let new blood actually recommend improvements that go against company culture.
        • by sycodon ( 149926 )

          Managers are idiots.

          They operate in the arena of influence and appearances. If they read in Fortune that some technology is Trending, they'll want to find someone and be able to say their department is Top technology. So their hire fresh turds of of school who've had a few semesters in Visual processing, or some other AI and pay them tons of money while ignoring the people that are actually keeping the company running by maintaining and enhancing the current systems.

          Some AI jock can't make sure the check go

        • by JaredOfEuropa ( 526365 ) on Tuesday September 19, 2017 @01:45AM (#55223783) Journal
          Also, they often don't know why, where or when they need to recruit top talent. Many jobs don't require rock star talent and can be filled by IT staff who are merely good.
      • by Chokai ( 10224 )

        I've seen this in particular with millennials and those who had helicopter parents getting hit by the real world for the first time. Some times hard.

        Oh the number of discussions I've had with folks over the last ~8 years that amount to: No you really aren't worth that much money yet, yes I know you graduated from xyz cse program. However doing good academically does not mean you are going to be as good in 2 years as the dev with 10 years experience that graduated from abc school's mid-tier cse program. I

      • by plopez ( 54068 )

        You'll find the industry elites in marketing, Google, Amazon, etc. Everyone else solves real problems.

      • The key word here is "top."

        Well, if executives are going to these (or any other) lengths to attract "top-tier" talent, then I must be the lowest of the bottom-tier, because they wouldn't even walk across the room to talk to me.

    • by JohnFen ( 1641097 ) on Monday September 18, 2017 @06:53PM (#55222389)

      This depends a lot on where you are looking. There are tons of companies that have a great deal of trouble filling developer positions, but they aren't in the usual cities or (often) with companies that are well-known in the computer industry.

      They also tend to have the most interesting and challenging work. For example, do you want to work with room-sized robots tackling computer vision and AI problems? There are lumber mill equipment manufacturers who badly need you.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        I see lots of vacancies in the small market towns in England for developers. The catch is that it's almost impossible to find somewhere to rent in a short time (I've tried, and it has sometimes taken months to find somewhere). The other catch is that they are looking for people with multiple skills, but only one will actually be the one they are wanting to use. It's up to you to try and guess and divine which one they are actually trying to fill.

      • That's a good comment. All I know is that the larger industrial world - I'm talking blue collar factories and shops - tends to be underserved by IT, to the point of it costing them big money... But there's so little overlap in the crowds, they don't know what tech can do for them, and devs don't know what they need. The money should be there if that gap is bridged.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      They are talking about top talent. Assign some percentage, like maybe even 20% to "top." 80% still won't qualify. Supply outstrips demand in their top tier. This is not news. This is why "top" != 100%. Top == scarce. Otherwise Top == average and that makes no sense. So yeah, there is a shortage of top X. Because top.

    • I don't see that at all. I see my coworkers leaving for greener pastures and getting raises when they do.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      Move to a better city, or know your market and set expectations appropriately.

    • Unless we're talking H1-Bs I don't see that in the slightest. What I do see is several of my buddies in dead end jobs (and a few acquaintances rocking recent CS degrees stuck in crap IT jobs) while workers here on cheap visas and outsourcing dominate the industry.

      Okay, now turn that around.

      How do you feel about DACA, total amnesty, and unrestricted immigration?

      Lots and lots of people are screaming for DACA and giving citizenship to just about anyone who can evade the border guards and get here.

      DACA and other immigration issues speak to the same problems you are complaining about. The argument is that the country cannot absorb the illegal immigrants(*), doing so would wreck the future outlook and way of life for US citizens.

      So, based on your post, how do you feel abo

      • Okay, now turn that around. How do you feel about DACA, total amnesty, and unrestricted immigration?

        No problems with DACA. Disagree on total amnesty and unrestricted immigration.

        Lots and lots of people are screaming for DACA and giving citizenship to just about anyone who can evade the border guards and get here.

        I see a lot of screaming about DACA. I do NOT see a lot of "giving citizenship to just about anyone who can evade the border guards and get here".....unless you want to turn it around and tal

        • by lgw ( 121541 )

          Military service has always been a path to citizenship. That aside, come here legally or GTFO.

          Throw out everyone who's not here legally. Enforce border security as if it mattered. This will cause several sectors of the US economy to collapse. That in turn will force the useless government to actually fix immigration law.

          There's a rate of immigration that's good for the US. Fix the damn process to allow for that rate (or a reasonably close guess). Do we still need to import low-skill labor? Fine, no p

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      AC, because I'm a coward.

      Find where your HR posts the H1-B notices, and complain to the DOL if you can't find them. Read them, and complain to the DOL if the salary is unrealistic or if you know someone domestic who is capable and willing to take the job.

      It is not racist to look around at a sea of foreigners, think about your underemployed self or friends, and quietly ask yourself WTF. It's a broken system that doesn't benefit you or the H1-B workers.

      This is particularly important if the workers are comin

    • What I do see is several of my buddies in dead end jobs (and a few acquaintances rocking recent CS degrees stuck in crap IT jobs)

      Being in dead end jobs or being stuck in crap IT jobs at the start of a career is a given. The trick is to GTFO, hunt niches and develop a career. Easier said than done, but it is not impossible. The process can take years, but it can be done when pursued with diligence and purpose.

      There are some people who are really complacent and lack agency, and as result end up in such jobs. But most people stuck at them aren't necessarily lazy or stupid. It is a matter of circumstances combined with a lack of direct

    • "Recruiting top talent is still difficult for most firms, and demand greatly outstrips supply."

      Yup, after a summertime job hunt with a solid resume, work experience, and knocking out technical interviews like so much batting practice, I would say (based on anecdotal experience, mind), (A) people are full of shit, and (B) that story sucks.

    • I personally know a half-dozen people who are very qualified (but, unfortunately over 40) who've been out of work for months, in a market where I keep hearing that demand for "top talent" is so competitive that we need to double the visa cap to "meet the demand".
      • by lgw ( 121541 )

        "Very qualified" is orthogonal to "top talent". Businesses will pay crazy amounts those who, on paper, look like the top 5%. Meanwhile, they could have hired 2 normal guys, and gotten a lot more done. But managers don't have a salary budget, they have a headcount budget, so it's top talent, money no object, and everyone else is ignored. It's a truly messed-up system.

  • by dasgoober ( 2882045 ) on Monday September 18, 2017 @06:48PM (#55222359)

    AI .... whether it's really AI or not is immaterial

    • Yeah, I've gotten quite a few calls and emails from companies and recruiters using those "AI"-based systems. They say something like, "We have a couple of job openings that seem like a good fit for you. Please call us back ASAP!" Yeah right! If they really had a "couple of openings" that were a "good fit," they would tell me something about the openings that makes them a good fit.

      This "AI" is just the next iteration of SPAM.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 18, 2017 @06:51PM (#55222373)

    Definitely in a downtrend.

  • by Gravis Zero ( 934156 ) on Monday September 18, 2017 @07:16PM (#55222481)

    Most firms are still offering too little money for the positions they want filled. Translated, this means most companies do not value IT staff.

    The companies with management that believe "demand greatly outstrips supply" are earning the security breaches in their futures.

    • Claiming to be understaffed, but still wasting at least half of everyone's time.

    • by JustNiz ( 692889 )

      >> most companies do not value IT staff.

      Assuming you really mean the IT department, most of them are fucking useless anyway, because they nearly all see their job as being a gatekeeper rather than an enabler.

      • IT is a custodial position. In today's world of highly commoditized software, an IT position is not a developer position. You take it out of the box, you plug the parts together. You make sure it runs. You keep making sure it runs for several years.

        That's different from software development, even if you have to do a little typing to keep all the pieces working together.

      • by swb ( 14022 )

        Most of the time IT is in a gatekeeper position because they're held responsible for systems that malfunction due to overconsumption of their limited resources, yet at the same time requests for more resources go unheeded.

        I've literally been in the meeting where I've been chided for poor performance due to oversubscription and also told no, we can't spend more money on it, either. What are you supposed to do besides ration resources when demand exceeds supply?

        • Most of the time IT is in a gatekeeper position because they're held responsible for systems that malfunction due to overconsumption of their limited resources, yet at the same time requests for more resources go unheeded.

          I've literally been in the meeting where I've been chided for poor performance due to oversubscription and also told no, we can't spend more money on it, either. What are you supposed to do besides ration resources when demand exceeds supply?

          This.. exactly this.. remember kids, if you like technology and want to be involved with it as a career, stick in the areas where you "make" something. (Developer, hardware, something)

          IT operations is a horrible, horrible, place to end up. In 99% of companies you're stuck in the exact situation described above, shit on from both sides, and you're managed by bean counters who haven't got a clue.

    • I'll add two similar comments. The first is that your first statement is completely correct. In first hand experience I was in a temporary position for some time, it finally came up for permanent, and I competed for it. After it was all said and done the cancelled the entire thing. When brought in by several managers to tell me the fun news, I noted that there had been other positions that had been posted after, and successfully filled within that time. I was told the reason point blank that my position was

  • by Gussington ( 4512999 ) on Monday September 18, 2017 @07:17PM (#55222487)
    A good trench digger might dig 20% more earth than an average one, a good plumber might lay 20% more pipe, or save 20% through a clever approach . But a good technology person can deliver a lot more than an entire team of their more average peers. But corporate pay grades never reflect this.
    If the good people were paid what they are actually worth you would have no problem attracting them.(Free market etc...)

    Oh and Infrastructure is dead, dev and design is where it's at.
    • by Tablizer ( 95088 )

      But a good technology person can deliver a lot more than an entire team of their more average peers.

      I believe this is mostly a myth. While there are people who can crank out code and/or applications really fast, the results are often not maintainable because they are either not designed with other maintainers in mind, or use a technique that typical maintenance staff is not familiar with. You want "team-friendly" developers, not lone keyboard cowboys.

      For example, I've built up libraries of code that allow m

      • But you're the kind of guy that writes his own framework....

        It's not how fast you code, it's how well you design (to be modified later), it's how well you execute that design, it's how well you split the work with the rest of the team.

        Team friendly? Building the team is the key skill, sometimes that requires you NOT be friendly. If someone has got to go, that's it. If you're handed a well functioning team, you are lucky indeed. Most teams suck.

        • by Tablizer ( 95088 )

          I guess I wasn't clear on what I meant by "team friendly". I meant organizing both team members and the architecture around the needs and abilities of the team in order for the team to be as productive as possible. This also applies to regular level coders coding for future maintainers. One has to kind of get into others' thinking processes to make it easy to grok and change for THEM. That's mostly the kind of "people skills" I'm talking about. I didn't really mean "budy budy" type of friendly, at least not

      • I believe this is mostly a myth.

        There may be a few wizards that are both quick and team-friendly, but they are pretty rare in my observation. Technical wizardry and people/team skills just don't occur in the same person. I'm just the messenger.

        Those wizards exist. I agree they aren't common, but they do exist. And the point is when you find one you should pay them whatever you need to keep them. Since replacing them will cost you more in the long run.

        • by Tablizer ( 95088 )

          Those wizards exist. I agree they aren't common, but they do exist....should pay them whatever you need to keep them. Since replacing them will cost you more in the long run.

          You assume HR is logical. They may agree to say a 10% premium, but not 50% because that's outside of their normal practice and habits; and they are not familiar enough with IT enough to verify to their comfort level.

          Such a "star" would probably be better off working for a small contractor who gets paid by project results instead of hour

    • A good technology person in forty hours cannot replace hundreds of billable/man-hours in a fixed time. It's simply not possible.
      • A good techie can save* 100s of man hours on a 10 man 10 week project, in 40 hours. But so can a good project manager.

        *) of course time, once estimated, is used and never given back. But at least the techie will have saved you from a 30 week train wreck.
    • by plopez ( 54068 )

      It's a myth see. I searching for a link but it is based on an 60's study of one programming team working one afternoon. Not exactly scientific.

      • It's a myth see. I searching for a link but it is based on an 60's study of one programming team working one afternoon. Not exactly scientific.

        I've worked in a few transformation projects so seen it first hand. 6 months of failure fixed in two weeks by replacing the team with 2 guys.
        Not everything in life needs 'a link to a study'...

    • You know as little about trench digging or plumbing as the plumber knows about what you do.

      • You know as little about trench digging or plumbing as the plumber knows about what you do.

        Having dug trenches, laid pipes, installed taps, and architected enterprise transformations I say you're wring. But hey this is the internet so there you go....

  • Run Logan, Run! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Tablizer ( 95088 ) on Monday September 18, 2017 @07:18PM (#55222497) Journal

    TFA: "In terms of job opportunities, it's probably no surprise that Millennials have the edge. Those between 25-30 years old get the most job offers, reports Hired's 2017 State of Global Tech Salaries. After the age of 45, the average salary and number of job offers decline. After 50, most IT pros see a significant decline in salary in line with their experience."

    Just like the NBA: churn and burn. It may be better to become a domain expert with IT knowledge rather than a "direct" IT expert. For example, accounting and chemistry don't change nearly as quick as direct IT. Thus, domain experience is more likely to be valued after age 45. I don't see bunches of accounting and chemistry fads equivalent to IT fads. There's no "Quarks are Obsolete! Learn NoQuarksNeeded 2.0 in 21 Days Head First Unleashed" books in the chemistry section. (Hmmm, maybe there's room for con artists in those industries.)

    IT is closer to the clothing fashion industry than real topics. That's why they want younglings. I've seen several dozens of way to do plain old CRUD screens over the years. Do we really need 38 ways to do the same thing and throw out #1 thru #37 to get 38? Plus, they often grow more complicated over time, not less. De-evolution. "It's agile functional separation of scale-able and cloud-able concerns that provides nimble global synergy..." Yeah right, shuddup[1]. The cloud, for example, is often used as an excuse to do really stupid unproven shit in order to out-buzzword your conpetition[2]. Con artists rule over IT.

    [1] and git off my lawn
    [2] misspelling intentional

    • IT is closer to the clothing fashion industry than real topics.

      Relevant [youtu.be]

    • I've seen several dozens of way to do plain old CRUD screens over the years. Do we really need 38 ways to do the same thing and throw out #1 thru #37 to get 38?

      Seems like the thing to do is to reach for bigger and more interesting problems and leave the CRUD screens to the newbies. If you've been around long enough to see so many variations, you have too much experience to be wasted on such things. At most you should be doing the code reviews.

      • by Tablizer ( 95088 )

        I like the analysis part, especially the trickier screens or flows, but want to keep a foot in the code side. Although perhaps I should let go of that final connection. It's kind of like cutting the umbilical cord to youth: I'm hesitant to admit my coding days may be finally over.

        • I like the analysis part, especially the trickier screens or flows, but want to keep a foot in the code side. Although perhaps I should let go of that final connection. It's kind of like cutting the umbilical cord to youth: I'm hesitant to admit my coding days may be finally over.

          I don't mean stop coding, just stop coding the boring, repetitive stuff. Of course, that depends on what your employer builds, but changing employers is an option as well.

      • If you've been around long enough, you need to take a little time to show the newbies how to do a CRUD screen instead of letting them reinvent the wheel and come up with Method #39 on their own. Proper coaching or even code reviews in IT seem to be rare. And perhaps it's related to the fact that experienced technical staff aren't valued.
        • If you've been around long enough, you need to take a little time to show the newbies how to do a CRUD screen instead of letting them reinvent the wheel and come up with Method #39 on their own. Proper coaching or even code reviews in IT seem to be rare.

          Depends where you are, obviously. Where I work, every new hire is assigned a mentor, and no code can be submitted without first being reviewed and signed off both by an "owner" of the relevant codebase and by someone who focuses on code readability. But, yeah, if you're a senior developer at some place that doesn't do those things, you should exercise some leadership and start those practices. Of course, that also requires learning to play the political game, but such is life.

      • to the newbies

        That's a weird name for code libraries.

        • to the newbies

          That's a weird name for code libraries.

          Even with good libraries, and tooling, there's still some manual work to be done.

  • by nobuddy ( 952985 ) on Monday September 18, 2017 @07:45PM (#55222627) Homepage Journal

    Sysadmin jobs are dying off fast, but system security or Information Assurance jobs are growing fast. Same skills, different focus.

  • and make tons of $$$
    • Yeah, I've seen those commercials too.

      And if I get a resume that prominently touts MCSE, that resume gets sent to File 13 immediately. It takes more than a certificate.

  • There are just cheap employers looking to under pay for a skill and to lazy to value it correctly. IT is hard and it really isn't that interesting to most executives. They see the accountants every day, they can see their value and more importantly evaluate their value. Sales is easy to evaluate. How many executives actually use the companies own products? That is almost the bare minimum to know what the engineers are doing and I bet less than 10% of execs do it.
  • by codeButcher ( 223668 ) on Tuesday September 19, 2017 @10:11AM (#55224979)

    1. The first obvious problem with companies looking for "top talent" is that they often are not able to recognize them when they see them (mainly because of caving in and hiring what comes along, due to project pressures, who then get to think they are "top talent" and hire others like them). I know because I've been employed by 2 or 3 of these.

    2. A lot of interviews/tests focus on technical skills. But I find that people skills, time management skills (uhmmm, I'm on /. while I should work...) etc. make up a good proportion of the skills needed in the modern workplace. No use if you could code circles around the next guy if you can't negotiate with your client around what's feasible, or get along with your BOFH team lead to work around ambiguities.

    3. So you want to hire rockstar programmers? Where's the groupies and drugs?

    The more realistic view IMHO is that most companies do not absolutely need top talent for all their job functions. It's more realistic to develop (and retain) the talent inhouse. Talent is overrated. Talent can be learned up to a level that is sufficient for operational needs. But you need to keep your people for those 10000* hours and keep challenging them (* I mention the figure just as a nod to Gladwell's book, although I do not necessarily agree with the exact figure or some of his points.).

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