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Developers, IT Still Racking Up (Mostly) High Salaries

Nerval's Lobster Nerval's Lobster writes  |  2 days ago

Nerval's Lobster (2598977) writes "Software development and IT remain common jobs among those in the higher brackets, although not the topmost one, according to a new study (with graph) commissioned by NPR. Among those earning between $58,000 and $72,000, IT was the sixth-most-popular job, while software developers came in tenth place. In the next bracket up (earning between $72,000 and $103,000), IT rose to third, with software development just behind in fourth place. As incomes increased another level ($103,000 to $207,000), software developers did even better, coming in second behind managers, although IT dropped off the list entirely. In the top percentile ($207,000 and above), neither software developers nor IT staff managed to place; this is a segment chiefly occupied by physicians (in first place), managers, chief executives, lawyers, and salespeople who are really good at their jobs. In other words, it seems like a good time to be in IT, provided you have a particular skillset."
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http://news.dice.com/2014/10/16/game-developers-labor-of-love/

Nerval's Lobster Nerval's Lobster writes  |  5 days ago

Nerval's Lobster (2598977) writes "With "GamerGate" and all the debates over who counts as a "gamer," it's easy to forget that games are created by people with a genuine love of the craft. Journalist Jon Brodkin sat down with Armin Ibrisagic, game designer & PR manager for Coffee Stain Studios, the Swedish studio that made Goat Simulator, to talk about why they built that game and how it turned into such a success. Brodkin also talked to Leszek Lisowski, founder of Wastelands Interactive, about the same topic. While these developers might debate with themselves (and others) over whether to develop games for hardcore gamers, or jump on the mobile "casual gaming" bandwagon, they'll ultimately in it because they love games — a small but crucial detail that seems too easy to forget these days."
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5 Programming Languages Marked for Death

Nerval's Lobster Nerval's Lobster writes  |  about two weeks ago

Nerval's Lobster (2598977) writes "As developers embrace new programming languages, older languages can go one of two ways: stay in use, despite fading popularity, or die out completely. So which programming languages are slated for history's dustbin of dead tech? Perl is an excellent candidate, especially considering how work on Perl6, framed as a complete revamp of the language, began work in 2000 and is still inching along in development. Ruby, Visual Basic.NET, and Object Pascal also top this list, despite their onetime popularity. Whether the result of development snafus or the industry simply veering in a direction that makes a particular language increasingly obsolete, time comes for all platforms at one point or another. Which programming languages do you think will do the way of the dinosaurs in coming years?"
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U.S. Remains Top Country for Global Workers

Nerval's Lobster Nerval's Lobster writes  |  about two weeks ago

Nerval's Lobster (2598977) writes "The Boston Consulting Group and The Network recently surveyed 200,000 people in 189 countries to figure out the global willingness to work abroad. Their conclusion? People will indeed set down professional roots in another country—although younger workers seem far more willing to expatriate than their older peers. Where do the majority of global workers want to head? The United States, which 42 percent of respondents listed as their top potential work destination, followed by the U.K. (37 percent), Canada (35 percent), Germany (33 percent), Switzerland (29 percent), and France (29 percent). But citizens in the United States seemed a bit more reluctant to return the favor—less than 50 percent said they either lived abroad or would consider doing so for work. That’s in sharp contrast to countries such as France, where a significant majority of citizens seemed willing to explore jobs in other nations. Of course, those who work in tech already know that globalization is a huge issue."
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Why Military Personnel Make the Best IT Pros

Nerval's Lobster Nerval's Lobster writes  |  about two weeks ago

Nerval's Lobster (2598977) writes "Every year, approximately 250,000 military personnel leave the service to return to civilian life. When the home front beckons, many will be looking to become IT professionals, a role that, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, is among the fastest growing jobs in the country. How their field skills will translate to the back office is something to ponder. With the advent of virtualization, mobile, and the cloud, tech undergoes rapid changes, as do the skill sets needed to succeed. That said, the nature of today’s military—always on the go, and heavily reliant on virtual solutions—may actually be the perfect training ground for IT. Consider that many war-fighters already are IT technicians: They need to be skilled in data management, mobile solutions, security, the ability to fix problems as they arise onsite, and more. Military personnel used to working with everything from SATCOM terminals to iPads are ideally suited for handling these issues; many have successfully managed wireless endpoints, networks, and security while in the field. Should programs that focus on placing former military personnel in civilian jobs focus even more on getting them into IT roles?"
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Building a Honeypot to Observe Shellshock Attacks in the Real World

Nerval's Lobster Nerval's Lobster writes  |  about three weeks ago

Nerval's Lobster (2598977) writes "A look at some of the Shellshock-related reports from the past week makes it seem as if attackers are flooding networks with cyberattacks targeting the vulnerability in Bash that was disclosed last week. While the attackers haven’t wholesale adopted the flaw, there have been quite a few attacks—but the reality is that attackers are treating the flaw as just one of many methods available in their tool kits. One way to get a front-row seat of what the attacks look like is to set up a honeypot. Luckily, threat intelligence firm ThreatStream released ShockPot, a version of its honeypot software with a specific flag, “is_shellshock,” that captures attempts to trigger the Bash vulnerability. Setting up ShockPot on a Linux server from cloud host Linode.com is a snap. Since attackers are systematically scanning all available addresses in the IPv4 space, it’s just a matter of time before someone finds a particular ShockPot machine. And that was definitely the case, as a honeypot set up by a Dice (yes, yes, we know) tech writer captured a total of seven Shellshock attack attempts out of 123 total attacks. On one hand, that’s a lot for a machine no one knows anything about; on the other, it indicates that attackers haven’t wholesale dumped other methods in favor of going after this particular bug. PHP was the most common attack method observed on this honeypot, with various attempts to trigger vulnerabilities in popular PHP applications and to execute malicious PHP scripts."
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Windows 10: Last Hurrah for Microsoft's OS?

Nerval's Lobster Nerval's Lobster writes  |  about three weeks ago

Nerval's Lobster (2598977) writes "There’s a reason why Microsoft executives spent the bulk of their Sept. 30 presentation emphasizing Windows 10’s security, app store, and management features—i.e., everything usually glossed over in presentations—and it’s that the new operating system isn’t a revolutionary step forward. If anything, It seems more like an iterative upgrade to Windows 7 than anything else. That could satisfy business customers, who usually aren’t enthused about change, but it’s unlikely to generate much excitement among consumers, many of whom increasingly rely on other operating systems such as Android and iOS. Is Windows 10 a step in the right direction for Microsoft, and a way to fix the ill reception and anemic upgrade rate of Windows 8? Or is Windows' peak years behind it, even if Microsoft seems determined to place it on as many tablets, smartphones, and PCs as possible?"
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What Developers Need to Know About REST APIs

Nerval's Lobster Nerval's Lobster writes  |  about three weeks ago

Nerval's Lobster (2598977) writes "There are various reasons to adopt REST as the underlying layer and build RESTful APIs for data access, Espresso Logic CEO Paul Singh argues in a new column on Dice (yes, yes, we know). 'While connectivity is the obvious focus for building a RESTful API, it’s not enough. It’s critical to address factors like API usability, app server functions and performance.' Pagination, discoverability, app server functions, integrity logic, security, and performance are just a few of the laundry list of things to watch out for. While Singh is obviously pushing a commercial framework as a way to make building a RESTful API simpler, a skilled database developer could probably cobble together open-source technologies to perform many of those same functions."
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Building Apps in Swift with Storyboards

Nerval's Lobster Nerval's Lobster writes  |  about three weeks ago

Nerval's Lobster (2598977) writes "Apple touts the Swift programming language as easy to use, thanks in large part to features such as Interface Builder, a visual designer provided in Xcode that allows a developer to visually design storyboards. In theory, this simplifies the process of designing both screens and the connections between screens, as it needs no code and offers an easy-to-read visual map of an app’s navigation. But is Swift really so easy (or at least as easy as anything else in a developer's workflow)? This new walkthrough of Interface Builder (via Dice) shows that it's indeed simple to build an app with these custom tools... so long as the app itself is simple. Development novices who were hoping that Apple had created a way to build complex apps with a limited amount of actual coding might have to spend a bit more time learning the basics before embarking on the big project of their dreams."
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What Developers Need to Know About REST APIs

Nerval's Lobster Nerval's Lobster writes  |  about three weeks ago

Nerval's Lobster (2598977) writes "There are various reasons to adopt REST as the underlying layer and build RESTful APIs for data access, Espresso Logic CEO Paul Singh argues in a new column. "While connectivity is the obvious focus for building a RESTful API, it’s not enough. It’s critical to address factors like API usability, app server functions and performance." Pagination, discoverability, app server functions, integrity logic, security, and performance are just a few of the laundry list of things to watch out for. While Singh is obviously pushing a commercial framework as a way to make building a RESTful API simpler, a skilled database developer could probably cobble together open-source technologies to perform many of those same functions."
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Figuring Out a Decent Computer-Science Degree

Nerval's Lobster Nerval's Lobster writes  |  about a month ago

Nerval's Lobster (2598977) writes "There's the longtime and pervasive myth of the self-taught developer, the autodidact who toils away at their craft for years with only a few textbooks and some online advice to guide the way. It's a good myth with a lot of basis in fact, as many developers will tell you. But for every intrepid soul who learns a new programming language and builds something amazing out of it, a whole lot of other people need some formal schooling. Dice (yes, yes, we know) has updated its advice about computer-science degrees in 2014, which includes the need to find a CS program that's heavy on practical experience in addition to theory, and making sure you choose a program that offers a decent rate of return for its graduates."
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Kicking the Tires on 5 Free Python Editors

Nerval's Lobster Nerval's Lobster writes  |  about a month ago

Nerval's Lobster (2598977) writes "With so many options for Python editors out there, which should you use? Over on Dice (yes, yes, we know), developer and programmer David Bolton takes a look at five free Python editors, many of which are cross-platform: Eclipse plus PyDev and other plugins, PyScripter, Eric Python IDE, PyCharm Community Edition, and CodeSkulptor. He finds PyCharm "slick," Eric Python loaded up with some cool features, PyScripter nicely simple, and so on. "I’m leaning toward Eric because it’s just so full-featured, but that’s a personal preference," he writes. Everybody might not agree with his conclusions, especially given the popularity of Eclipse, but he does give an overview of what's out there."
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Friendly Reminder: Do Not Place Your iPhone in a Microwave...

Nerval's Lobster Nerval's Lobster writes  |  about a month ago

Nerval's Lobster (2598977) writes "...placing your iPhone in the microwave will destroy the phone, and possibly the microwave. While that might seem obvious to some people, others have fallen for the “Wave” hoax making its way around online. The fake advertisement insists that the new iOS 8 allows users to charge their iPhones by placing them in a “household microwave for a minute and a half.” Microwave energy will not charge your smartphone. To the contrary, it will scorch the device and render it inoperable. If you nuke your smartphone and subsequently complain about it online, people will probably make fun of you. (If you want a full list of things not to place in a microwave, no matter how pretty the flames, check this out.)"
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A Beginner's Guide to Programming with Swift

Nerval's Lobster Nerval's Lobster writes  |  about a month ago

Nerval's Lobster (2598977) writes "Earlier this year, Apple executives unveiled Swift, which is meant to eventually replace Objective-C as the programming language of choice for Macs and iOS devices. Now that iOS 8's out, a lot of developers who build apps for Apple's platforms will likely give Swift a more intensive look. While Apple boasts that Swift makes programming easy, it'll take some time to learn how the language works. A new walkthrough by developer David Bolton shows how to build a very simple app in Swift, complete with project files (hosted on SourceForge) so you can follow along. A key takeaway: while some Swift features do make programming easier, there's definitely a learning curve here."
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Ask Slashdot: Any Place for Liberal Arts Degrees in Tech?

Nerval's Lobster Nerval's Lobster writes  |  about a month ago

Nerval's Lobster (2598977) writes "A new article in Fast Company suggests tech CEOs want employees with liberal arts degrees, because those graduates have critical thinking skills. Meanwhile, a new article on Dice (yes, yes, we know) posits that STEM degrees such as data science, IT admin, and electrical engineering are what science-and-tech companies are going to want for the foreseeable future. What do you think? What place do those with liberal arts degrees have in companies such as, say, Tesla or a biomedical engineering firm?"
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Unpopular Programming Languages That Are Still Lucrative

Nerval's Lobster Nerval's Lobster writes  |  about a month and a half ago

Nerval's Lobster (2598977) writes "In theory, learning less-popular programming languages could end up paying off big—provided the programmers who pursue them play their proverbial cards right. And as with any good card game, there’s a considerable element of chance involved: In order to land a great job, you need to become an expert in a language, which involves a considerable amount of work with no guarantee of a payoff. With that in mind, do you think it's worth learning R, Scala, Haskell, Clojure, or even COBOL (the lattermost is still in use among companies with decades-old infrastructure, and they reportedly have trouble filling jobs that rely on it)? Or is it better to devote your precious hours and memory to popular, much-used languages that have a lot of use out there?"
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Essential IT Certifications for 2015

Nerval's Lobster Nerval's Lobster writes  |  about a month and a half ago

Nerval's Lobster (2598977) writes "Figuring out which IT-related certification program to pursue can prove a daunting task for anyone. ITworld recently posted their top suggestions, based on a study from consulting firm Foote Partners. Now Dice has a few, because, well, Dice sees a lot of certification-related job postings on any given day. Amazon Web Services' Certified Solutions Architect, Red Hat Certified Architect, EC-Council's Computer Hacking Forensic Investigator, and a handful of others seem to be the most popular ones heading into 2015. But no matter which certification you're thinking of pursuing, it's important to take several questions into account, such as whether you'll have time to complete the coursework, and whether there's a significant salary benefit to the certification. Which certifications do you think matter?"
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Steve Ballmer Authored Your Blue Screen of Death

Nerval's Lobster Nerval's Lobster writes  |  about a month and a half ago

Nerval's Lobster (2598977) writes "Millions of people have shrieked in horror and dismay at Microsoft’s infamous 'Blue Screen of Death.' What fewer people know—at least until now—is that the text accompanying the BSoD was originally written by Steve 'Developers! Developers! Developers!' Ballmer, who recently stepped down as Microsoft's CEO. According to Microsoft developer Raymond Chen, Ballmer didn’t like the original text that accompanied the BSoD in Windows 3.1, so he wrote up a new version. If you used Windows at any point in the past two decades, you can thank him for that infuriatingly passive 'This Windows application has stopped responding to the system' message, accompanied by the offer to hit Ctrl+Alt+Delete to restart the PC (and lose all your unsaved data). At least Ballmer didn't try to write something like, 'RESTART! RESTART! RESTART!'"
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Taking the Ice Bucket Challenge With Liquid Nitrogen

Nerval's Lobster Nerval's Lobster writes  |  about a month and a half ago

Nerval's Lobster (2598977) writes "As a trend, the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge seems a bit played out—who hasn’t yet dumped a bucket of icy water over his or her head for charity? But that didn’t stop Canadian chemist Muhammad Qureshi from executing his own sublimely scientific, potentially dangerous variation on the theme: After donating to the ALS Association, he proceeded to douse himself with a bucket of liquid nitrogen. Anyone who’s taken a chemistry class, or at least watched the end of Terminator 2, knows that liquid nitrogen can rapidly freeze objects, leaving them brittle and prone to shattering. Pouring it on your skin can cause serious frostbite. So what prevented that bucketful of liquid nitrogen from transforming Qureshi into a popsicle? In two words: Leidenfrost effect. Named after 18th century scientist Johann Gottlob Leidenfrost, the effect is when a liquid comes near a mass that’s much warmer than the liquid’s boiling point, which (in the words of Princeton’s helpful physics explainer) results in an insulating vapor layer that “keeps that liquid from boiling rapidly.” In other words, the vapor makes the liquid “float” just above the surface of the object, rather than coming into direct contact with it."
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Did Microsoft Just Reveal the New Windows 9 Logo?

Nerval's Lobster Nerval's Lobster writes  |  about a month and a half ago

Nerval's Lobster (2598977) writes "Microsoft just accidentally—or 'accidentally'—leaked a logo for Windows 9. Microsoft China posted the image to Chinese micro-blogging site Weibo, along with a note: 'Microsoft’s latest OS Windows 9 is coming soon, do you think the start menu at the left bottom will make a come back?' The post was quickly yanked, but not before setting the Internet abuzz. (If it is an official logo, it gets zero points for originality.) Windows 9 will reportedly rebalance the Windows user interface in favor of keyboard and mouse input, rather than the touch-friendly system pushed by Windows 8’s Start screen. What’s certain is that Microsoft wants to put Windows 8 in the rear-view mirror as quickly as possible. Greeted by lukewarm reviews upon its release in 2012, Windows 8 failed to overtake Windows 7 or even the ancient Windows XP in terms of market-share; third-party developers seemingly had little enthusiasm for building apps for the platform, and many consumers expressed confusion over the dual interface, which paired the traditional desktop with the aforementioned Start screen."
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