Tech salaries gain largest jump ever

It pays well to be a techie in the US. From 2014 to 2015 tech salaries experienced their largest annual jump ever, to nearly 8 percent. The average salary of $96,370 reflects the demand for highly skilled technical workers. “Opportunities await…for highly skilled tech professionals…”, stated Bob Melk, President of Dice.com, the site that conducted this annual survey. Dice surveyed 16,301 employed technology professionals between October and November 2015.

A person employed in the technology industry saw their salary rise 7.7 percent from 2014 to 2015.  Not only is this the biggest increase in salary every, according to the annual survey done by Dice.com, employees could also expect to bring home bigger bonuses as well.

Those most likely to receive bonuses were senior tech employees. The percentage of survey respondents that reported a bonus stayed steady at 37 percent. But, the amount of these bonuses last year enjoyed a 24 percent increase from where they were in 2009. The wage increase indicates a healthy job market, and an emphasis on valuing talented employees.

“The competition for tech talent today is undeniable,” Melk said in a statement. “Demand for skilled talent and low unemployment rates for tech professionals aren’t making the hiring landscape any easier. Employers realize offering competitive pay is a necessity.”

Many cities on the list boasted average salaries that passed the $100,000 annual mark. Although there were the usual suspects, such as San Francisco and New York, there were also unexpected cities like Minneapolis on list. While Minneapolis is not usually considered a tech hub, there has been a growing community of seasoned engineers gathering there. Other unexpected cities added to the $100,000 club include Washington, DC and Portland.

Tech jobs appear in every sector of our economy, and therefore high paying jobs are no longer relegated to traditional technology hubs like Silicon Valley. From those surveyed, the industries where experienced workers were most likely to receive bonuses included banking/financial, telecom, hardware, entertainment/media and utilities industries.

 

Article via Cnet: 26, January 2016

Photo: Money by Pictures of Money [Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs]


Coding in pink: leading more females into the technology industry

In 2013, only 18% of U.S. college graduates with a computer science degree were women.  It seems like if you give the opportunity for a woman to code, the technology industry expects her to ask “where are the pink accessories?”

More girls should be granted access to tech spaces. The root of this problem does not lie in universities or even Silicon Valley and their notorious nonexistent gender diversity. It stems even further, from a very young age. Girls and boys are taught that math and science are for the boys. Whenever a computer crashes, you call a technology specialist and chances are, he is a male. So how can this field invite girls in? A potential answer is “pinkifying” coding. They use this tactic because girls may find coding uninteresting and using the color pink can help encourage and invite them to try something new. The color is meant to emphasize “you’re a girl who codes” and “you’re a coder.”

Emily Reid, curriculum director of Girls Who Code, tells Mashable the tendency to pinkify coding comes from a desire to “meet girls where we think they are.” While she says the intention is good, the problem comes with assuming girls won’t be inherently interested in computer science — that things like “pink and princesses” are needed to lure them in.

Coding is a space that is historically not inviting to girls, especially African American girls. Kimberly Bryant, founder of Black Girls Code, also uses the color pink to appeal to girls.

All in all, it’s a controversial solution. If girls were encouraged from childhood, this would not be so “offensive.” But it’s definitely a baby step towards evening out a male-centered profession.

Article via Mashable, January 24, 2016

Photo: Crossroads Elementary School via DoDEA [Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs]


Top 1 percent own more than the other 99 percent

Oxfam International, a coalition of 17 organizations dedicated to reducing world poverty, just released its newest report on global income inequality. Fittingly titled “An Economy for the 1%,” the report states that the globe’s top 1 percent of earners now own more than the other 99 percent altogether. Moreover, the 62 richest people in the world own as much as 50 percent of the planet’s population.

Since the year 2000, income inequality has skyrocketed. The bottom 50 percent of the population have experienced a decrease in wealth of 41 percent—over a trillion dollars—and the top 1 percent has accumulated half of the total increase in global wealth since 2000. This occurs even as new technologies are brought to developing countries in order to improve their economies and help individuals.

The largest share of blame, according to the report, should be dealt to wealthy individuals who circumvent taxes through the use of consultants and offshore accounts. However, the increase in income inequality is also partially due to improvements in technology that increase capital gains.

“One of the key trends underlying this huge concentration of wealth and incomes is the increasing return to capital versus labor. In almost all rich countries and in most developing countries, the share of national income going to workers has been falling,” said the report. “This means workers are capturing less and less of the gains from growth.”

This issue is augmented by modern intellectual property laws, which drive out competitors and increase prices. The pharmaceutical industry, for example, spent over $228 million in 2014 on lobbying campaigns.

World Economic Forum Founder Klaus Schwab talked about the “fourth industrial revolution” that has resulted from the developments of new technologies. “Those who are entrepreneurs, who have talents, will push innovation—will gain from the revolution—and those who are on the other side, particularly in service positions, will lose,” he said.

From another perspective, this means that entrepreneurs in developing countries have a newfound shot at success. Half as many people lived below the extreme poverty line in 2010 than in 1990. According to the Oxfam report, however, the number of people living in extreme poverty “still remains unacceptably high.”

Article via The Washington Post, 21 January 2016

Photo: Boss by Santiago S.V. [Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs]


Facebook to fight hate speech

Facebook is promising to fight hate speech amid the European refugee crisis.

“In the past year, we’ve seen millions of people come together online to support refugees and stand in solidarity with the victims of terror attacks,” wrote Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg in a post on Monday. “But we’ve also heard voices of hate growing louder. With extremism damaging lives and societies across the world, challenging those voices has never been more important.”

The company did not disclose a particular plan, but they did announce the Online Civil Courage Initiative, meant to empower users to fight against hate speech. It also appears that Facebook will be backing more powerful non-governmental organizations which are already involved in fighting radicalism and hate speech online.

The Online Civil Courage initiative is yet another effort to prevent hate speech on social media. In December, Facebook and other companies like Google and Twitter agreed to remove instances of hate speech within 24 hours, in accordance with an agreement with Germany authorities. German politicians and celebrities also voiced concern about rising hatred on social media, as nearly 1.1 million migrants and refugees entered the country in 2015 alone. Last August, Germany’s minister of justice asked Facebook to remove racist posts targeting asylum seekers.  Three months after that prosecutors opened a criminal investigation because they suspected that Facebook failed to take down a wave of anti-immigrant posts on the social network, inciting racial hatred.

Following the terror attacks in Paris, France also called on Facebook, Twitter, Apple, Google and Microsoft to combat extremist propaganda and expand safety tools in the event of a future attack.

“Hate speech has no place online — or in society,” Sandberg said. “Together, we can make sure the voices of peace, truth and tolerance are heard. Love is louder than hate.”

 

Article via Mashable, 19 January 2016

Photo:Facebook icon by Jurgen Appelo[Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs]


Legaltech trade show tips

Legaltech is the most important legal tech trade show of the year.  It is the number 1 resource for law firms and professionals to get the latest information for law practice management. The next show is scheduled for February 2-4 2016 in New York City. If you plan on attending, this post is meant to give you a few tips to get the most out of the conference. These are tips coming from Legal tech marketers on having a great experience at Legaltech this year.

1. Get started early

Get in touch with your contacts before you get to the conference. Make appointments now so that you will have an agenda of people to meet with when you arrive.

2. Start updating your social media feeds

Social media can be a powerful way to make connections with those that you know and those that you don’t yet know. When it comes to big events like this, it is inevitable that those within your industry will be abuzz with information leading up to the show. Use this as an opportunity to bring attention to your legal business and yourself.

3. Attend editors’ and bloggers’ breakfast

These are free events so there is nothing to lose. It will also give you the chance to be exposed to thought leaders in the industry as well as learn about what is coming next. You will get access to dynamic editorial and leadership teams, as well as entrepreneurs working in your industry.

4. Write about your experience

You can write anything from a blog post on your company site to a series of tweets. What is important is sharing your experience. This will not only give you the chance to attract an audience of curious colleagues, but this will also give you another chance to bring attention to your own practice or firm.

Article via LegalTechNews, 14 January 2016

Photo: Tech cocktail conference crowd by Frank Gruber [Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs]


Apple App Store made about 1.1 billion over the holidays

In between Dec 20 and Jan 3, Apple said that customers purchased about $1.1 billion worth of app and in-app purchases which is a new record. Last year, Apple made about half a billion dollars in revenue. In 2015, customer spent a total of $20 billion on app purchases like Minecraft, Trivia Crack, as well as social networks such as Facebook Messenger and Snapchat. All in all, gaming and subscription apps did the best, like Clash of Clans and Hulu.

Not only has it been creating revenue, Apple has definitely seen growth in jobs. According to the new Progressive Policy Institute Report by Michael Mandel, Apple said it created 1.9 million jobs in the U.S., including 1.4 million through the App Store for developers, entrepreneurs, and some non-IT staff.

The App Store has consistently been the selling point for Apple products. This is a ray of hope because iPhone sales- the largest source of company profits- are expected to drop. Analysts do see revenue decreasing for 2016. Steve Koenig, a Consumer Technology Association market researcher, said that a number of factors, including a strong dollar and weak economies in parts of the world that had been driving new tech spending, indicate that 2016 will be a slower year for global tech spending overall.

The App Store will still continue to provide Apple with a distinguishable selling point because it helps keep customers coming back and gets them to buy more Apple products. Even more, Apple just launched a version of the App store for the Apple TV, expanding its presence to the family room.

Article via Washington Post, January 6, 2016

Photo: Apple. Tree. via Stuart Maxwell [Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs]