Jooble Guide to IT Professionals 2020Oct 07, 2020 · 13 minutes
By 2022, the World Economic Forum predicts that over 75 million jobs could disappear. In 3 years it will be harder to find work for bank specialists, accountants and other office workers, whose duties can be automated. At the same time, companies will need more people whose competencies are related to new technologies. Adapt to the changing labor market today, especially those who only on the way of choosing a future profession.
It is easier to build a successful career in an area that is intensively developing itself. For this reason, many people choose IT. To get into this industry, you do not need to learn programming. Today, the IT-companies are gradually moving from an outsourced business model to service or product, where you need specialists of different profiles. Service companies create technological solutions for different organizations-customers, giving priority to more complex and long-term projects. With this model, the company itself is responsible for the entire development process, offering comprehensive services, including business analysis, project management and consulting. All these areas are open for specialists without technical education.
For those who would like to work with information technologies, we have prepared a list of the most promising areas in IT for the coming years.
Specialties for Those Who Want To Code
Internet of Things
Around 20 years ago, the concept of the Internet of Things (IoT) first appeared, which assumed that all objects of the analog and digital worlds can be connected to each other through the Internet. Today IoT includes systems of smart houses and cities, clothing that read biorhythms, self-driving cars and many other innovations. In 2020, the number of IoT devices worldwide will exceed 30 billion, and in 2025 the figure will increase to 75 billion. To justify these ambitious predictions, the IT industry will need many more programmers capable of creating IoT solutions.
IoT is a series of interrelated components: devices or sensors that collect data, networks for data transfer, cloud services and applications for users. The brain of this entire system is located on servers that process data and send commands to devices. For example, sensors in a smart home determine the temperature of a room and send data to the cloud where analysis takes place. If the temperature is high, the air conditioner will automatically turn on.
Programmers can develop software for cloud services or applications through which users will manage the IoT-system. To do this, developers use the same languages and tools as for mobile or web development. For example, programmers use Java, PHP, Python, and .NET (C#) languages to create a server room (where all the necessary computations are performed).
IoT developers need a complex of knowledge at the intersection of different spheres - it is important to understand not only the software, but also electronics. A good basis for a future career in IoT development will be the abilities in mathematics and physics.
In 2020, according to calculations of the consulting company IDC, the volume of all digital data in the world will grow to 44 trillion gigabytes. All this information would be a chaos of disparate data if we didn’t learn how to store and process it. This is what big data experts do. The demand for personnel in this field is currently growing intensively in the USA.
Big data technologies allow us to store, process and analyze the ever-increasing amount of data. In this direction there are a number of popular professions: data analyst, data architect, data engineer, database manager. And the most highly paid specialty is data scientist, or data researcher. His task is to find hidden patterns in the flow of information. For this purpose, the data scientist prepares a data set on the basis of which he teaches a machine learning algorithm or a neural network. The trained algorithm can further solve various tasks on its own: in trade - to model the demand for goods, in medicine - to predict the patient’s reaction to a particular drug.
A data researcher is a scientist, mathematician and programmer in one person. To work, you need an excellent knowledge of mathematical analysis, methods of statistics. The main programming language in this area is Python, which has various libraries for data processing and machine learning.
Mathematics and programming for the data researcher are the main working tools, but for a successful career it is important to have scientific thinking. This specialist, like any other scientist, makes hypotheses and conducts long experiments. The data researcher can work with projects in different fields, from logistics to genetics, so he always needs to be open to learning new things.
Today, more and more high-profile crimes are connected with cyberattacks. One of the most notorious cases is theft of personal data (including information about passports and credit cards) of 500 million guests of the Marriot hotel chain. It turned out that the company’s internal information has been available to hackers since 2014. And in the U.S. the investigation of the Equifax credit bureau was completed - in 2017 the fraudsters stole data from 148 million customers of the company. The consequences of hacker hacking are becoming more widespread, so there is a growing demand for professionals who provide information security. Even now there is a lack of such professionals, and by 2022 the world shortage of personnel may increase to 1.8 million people.
Today almost any organization needs information security. Even without hacker attacks, there are many risks of losing important data, for example, due to a common human error. The main task of an information security specialist is to prevent possible problems and not to cope with their consequences. For this purpose, they analyze the risks and threats of cybersecurity, as well as create and manage systems of protection against virus attacks.
Together with the development team, an information security engineer can participate in the creation of new software. For example, when developing an application, he can think of ways to protect transmitted data, and for this purpose it is important to understand the methods of cryptography. In addition to technical aspects, it is important to understand the legal framework of information protection, industry and corporate standards of cybersecurity.
Another area in which an information security professional can work is pentesting. Pentesters are called ethical or “white” hackers. They fake the actions of cybercriminals, penetrate the system to identify weaknesses in information security. Pentester not only finds all the gaps through which unauthorized access to data can be obtained, but also gives recommendations on how to fix them.
A couple of years ago Nissan recalled more than 3 million cars - in the work of sensors that activate airbags, found a software error. Before the cars were returned for rework, three people were affected by a system failure. Today, malfunctions in the software can lead to the most unexpected consequences. It is important to verify the quality of the program before it reaches the users, that’s why companies try to perform thorough testing. However, the development of software products is accelerated, new features are added faster, and there is less time left for testing. In such conditions, manual testing becomes less effective, so automation is used more often. QA-specialists with knowledge of automation (QA automation engineer, or test engineers) on average earn twice as much as ordinary testers.
Automation has combined testing and programming. Test engineers do not perform tests manually but write scripts which run the required test and compare the result with the expected one. Experts can also design automation frameworks that speed up test writing. To work, testers must know one of the programming languages (e.g. Python or Java) and tools for automated testing (Selenium, Appium, JMeter, etc.).
Automation allows to optimize many of the routine duties of manual testers who used to have to repeat the same tests frequently. As a result, the specialist devotes time to more interesting tasks, such as analysis of test results. For QA-specialists, the same personal qualities are important as for an ordinary tester - developed logic, critical thinking, and attentiveness.
In 2018, the top of the best technical specialties in the U.S. was DevOps-engineer. For the first time DevOps was mentioned about 10 years ago as a new concept in software development industry. Its essence is the close cooperation of developers and other technical specialists in the team, so that they could conduct software releases faster and better. In American IT it is a real trend followed by Netflix, Amazon and Facebook.
With DevOps approach to development all specialists from testers to system administrators are connected at once. The whole work process is automated as much as possible: programmers write code in parts, which are then tested and integrated into the program. In this way, the result is easier to track and, if necessary, changes can be made as quickly as possible. DevOps helps to avoid errors which, with another approach, would be detected only during testing or operation.
The DevOps engineer is responsible for implementing this principle in practice. His main duties are related to the deployment of the software product on the working computers, so the specialist should have a particularly good understanding of operating systems and cloud services. Special tools such as Chef, Puppet, Ansible, Kubernetes, GoCD are used to automatically manage configuration of operating systems and programs.
Specialties for Those Who Don’t Want to Code
The majority of US IT-companies are focused on foreign customers. Among the clients there are different spheres of business, from industry to retail. Customers do not have to know about technologies, and developers - in business. How do they quickly understand each other? A business analyst becomes an intermediary between a customer and a technical team.
The analyst communicates with the client, listens to his wishes, and finds out what problems in business processes to cope with. Based on this information, the specialist recommends an optimal technological solution. Then the task becomes more complicated - you need to understand all the nuances: what functionality the program should have, who will use it and on what devices. As a result, a business analyst generates product requirements (or terms of reference), which will be performed by developers.
Business analysis has its own methods of work, one of which is graphic modeling of business processes. This is a step-by-step description of the activities of employees of the organization, which is required to perform the work tasks. For example, the analyst must understand how the sales department interacts with clients to help business automate this process. Special notation systems such as BPMN and UML are used for modeling.
The complexity of a business analyst’s work is that he must take into account the interests of both the customer and the technical team. It is necessary to speak to the client in the business language, and to switch to IT terminology with the head of the development team. To interpret business requirements as technical, you need to understand how the development process works. But the key set of competencies of a business analyst is understanding of business processes, quick study of new areas and the art of communicating with different people.
In many countries of the world companies increase their IT expenses annually. Information technologies are used in every industry, but it is difficult for the business to navigate in the abundance of technological opportunities - and companies turn for IT consulting.
IT-consultant helps to improve business processes with the help of technologies. Such a specialist can plan a strategy for the digital transformation of the company or think about integrating a certain technology solution into the business.
The customer turns to the consultant with any problem. For example, the owner of an online store would like to improve the efficiency of his business with the help of technologies, but he does not know how to do it. The consultant can analyze the company’s website, mobile applications for customers and the customer’s IT infrastructure in general. Perhaps, the expert will advise to move the online store from one software platform to another, more efficient. By the way, the expert knowledge of platform solutions for business (Salesforce, Magento, SharePoint, ServiceNow, etc.) is in great demand today. An IT consultant should always think ahead - to predict the probability of problems in the customer’s business. For example, in the future, the online store will have more customers, so it is necessary to consider the possibility of scaling the database.
It is difficult to answer what the consultant should know better: in business processes or IT. For a specialist to be strong in both areas, it is better to choose certain technologies and industries at once. It is possible to specialize in IT solutions for medicine or CRM systems. In either case, the consultant should always reason from the perspective of his client and business needs.
The work of the IT-company consists of projects on which the teams of developers and other specialists work. And even if every person within this group is a professional and understands his or her responsibilities perfectly, it does not guarantee successful results. You need a coordinator, who will lay the right route for the project and lead the team. This role in the company is performed by the project manager. His goal is to set up a process so that the team will finish the work on time and the customer will get exactly what he expects in the end.
The manager prepares a project plan that outlines the scope of work, deadlines, budget and necessary resources. To prepare this document, the manager must have a good understanding of what the product is created for and for what purpose. In some aspects, his responsibilities overlap with the work of a business analyst - the manager communicates with the customer and can influence the terms of reference.
One of the important duties of the manager is to form a team and coordinate the development methodology with the customer (Waterfall, Agile, etc.). The next stage in the work is distribution of tasks among the team members and monitoring of their execution. For this purpose, the project manager can use various programs, such as Jira, Confluence.
Besides administrative functions, the manager is engaged in analytical work. For example, he evaluates possible risks for the project to initiate changes in time if something goes wrong.
The project manager does not need to be able to program or have other technical experience: more important are leadership skills, the ability to manage a team and motivate employees. Such a role is suitable for those who have developed a full range of soft skills, including time management, networking, strategic and tactical thinking. The project manager needs to control several processes at once, so it is important to be able to plan and set priorities.
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