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Big Data, Cloud Knowledge Key in IT Jobs Market

As a global community, we are creating and sharing more information than ever before. And, most of that activity is happening "in the cloud," which is hosted on millions of servers in datacenters located anywhere from the Columbia River Gorge, to the Nevada desert, to the most remote areas of China.

As the reality of managing that level of data sets in, the demand for employees with a unique combination of analytics and IT management expertise is on the rise. With our newest event, CloudOpen, taking place this coming summer, we wanted to learn more about this demand and the areas we should address at this event and as part of our ongoing Linux training program. So, we got in touch with Dice.com's Managing Director Alice Hill. Her responses were very useful and we thought we'd share them with you, the community.

Linux.com: We've been reading a lot about an increasing demand for professionals with big data expertise. What's your take on the primary drivers behind this trend?

Alice Hill, Dice.com
Hill:
Every company wants more intelligence – more insights into customer behavior, emerging trends, cost structures, etc.  Many firms have the data, but it’s unused, unstructured and isn’t easily digestible by managers to make decisions.  If companies can develop this asset, it will give them an edge in the market and potentially influence customer behaviors.  

Linux.com: What kinds of expertise are employers looking for related to big data?

Hill: Data architects, analytics professionals and data scientists are high on the list right now. Employers are requesting experience with machine learning, statistics, and natural language processing.  Big data takes that foundation and marries that know-how to newer technologies like Hadoop and NoSQL and other open-source tools/technologies.  

Linux.com: You recently reported that demand for Linux talent hit an all-time high on the Dice.com boards. Do you see any parallels with the demand for big data talent?

Hill: About one-third of the “big data” jobs on Dice also request Linux expertise. The employment demand for Linux expertise is much more widespread and it’s really a core skill for technology professionals today.

Linux.com: We've heard that a big data expert is likely someone with a hybrid of expertise, including business and technical acumen. How are employers dealing with this challenge?

Hill: That’s true and we see more and more job postings on Dice.com that note an MBA is a plus. However, it’s not just the technology departments’ responsibility to gain business acumen. The line of business leaders need to have a willingness to dig into the technologies and ask questions when they don’t fully comprehend the back-end of getting the insights everyone wants.  

For newer technologists, whether focused on big data or other areas, you should be able to “story board” what the business needs, contribute to the story, understand the financial analysis and deliver it in a way that is easily understood by any audience. This is where we should spend time teaching our less experienced colleagues.  

Linux.com: What advice do you have for professionals seeking a career in the area of big data?

Hill: Focus on working with internet companies with consumer audiences – ecommerce, gaming, etc.  Those firms have enormous data streams matched by a serious craving to use the data.  Ultimately, though don’t fit your career into a trend – you should do what you are best at for real satisfaction.  

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In Pictures: Linux Foundation Enterprise End User Summit

The Linux Foundation's Enterprise End User Summit kicked off yesterday in New York. The event this year is hosted at the NYSE Technologies' offices. It brings together Linux kernel developers and the world's largest users of Linux to collaborate face-to-face. The evening party was held on the trading floor of the NYSE, and we have some pictures available now that take you inside the event.

 

That's a Wrap: 2012 Linux Foundation Collab Summit Pictures

The day after one of The Linux Foundation events is always a bit like the day after a really great party: you're exhausted but in a good way. You're recounting all the great conversations you had and looking forward to the next time you get to see everyone again (perhaps, Enterprise End User Summit, LinuxCon Japan and/or LinuxCon North America).

To help get you through to the next time, and for those of you who are waiting to see everyone and collaborate in person again, here is another slideshow with some new pictures from The Linux Foundation Collaboration Summit 2012.

 

Slideshow: Live from Collaboration Summit

The morning keynote presenters were super insightful here at The Linux Foundation Collaboration Summit. Useful ideas were shared that will be topics of further collaboration over the next couple of days. OpenMAMA, Open Compute, Tizen and Linux kernel development were among the topics discussed today. Here's a short slideshow with some great pictures of our speakers.

 

 

 

Colllaboration Works, Even on Open Source License Compliance

Phil Odence is Vice President at Black Duck Software and helps lead the SPDX workgroup at The Linux Foundation. He will be moderating a keynote panel next week at The Linux Foundation Collaboration Summit titled "Getting the Kinks Out of the Software Supply Chain."

Open compliance has become a bigger area of emphasis in the Linux and open source communities as the collaborative development model and software have become widely adopted. The topic is one in which we at The Linux Foundation receive many requests for resource and more information. As part of our series of Q&As with the Summit's keynote speakers, we asked Phil a few questions about the upcoming panel and the state of open source license compliance.

You will be moderating a keynote panel at The Linux Foundation Collaboration Summit. Can you give us a teaser about what we can expect from the group?

Odence: Everyone on the panel represents a company dependent on a software supply chain and is passionate about achieving efficiency and license compliance. Their organizations are unique, so each has their own perspective. It will be a great combination of conceptual agreement and differing perspectives.

How has the global supply chain changed in recent years and how is this impacting open source license compliance?

Odence: Two things: 1) Software has gone from from being developed within four walls to across complex supply chains, and; 2) the use of open source has ramped dramatically. Companies assembling software don't have very good upstream visibility and at the same time know there's lots of open source in the code and therefore potentially many license requirements with which they need to comply.

What are some of the key challenges companies still face with regards to open source licenses and compliance? What is being done to address them?

Odence: It's a lot of work and it tends to be redundant, i.e. repeated down the supply chain. It's that frustration that has lead a number of companies to come together to work on SPDX. There are other components to the answer—polices, processes, eduction, tooling—but SPDX is a keystone.

Can you tell us more about SPDX and how it works?

Odence: It conceptually simple: A common way to represent what's in a software package and the associated license. There are devilish details, but the idea is that if everyone in a supply chain is sharing information in this way, it makes it much easier and cheaper to know what's in the software and what the licenses are.

The SPDX workgroup has really advanced work on how to ease open source license compliance. Can you tell us how the group was able to accomplish so much? Companies and community members can learn a lot from others about best practices on how to collaborate.

Odence: While the group is not developing software per se, from the outset we've run ourselves like an open source project without a lot of rules, hierarchy, structure or budget. Everyone involved is open source savvy so we can tell new participants, "We run like an open source project," and they get it. The support of The Linux Foundation was helpful in initially assembling a critical mass, and on a ongoing basis, the infrastructure and events have provided us logical gathering opportunities and places. I'm not sure we'd ever actually see each other without Linux events.

What's next for the SPDX group?

Odence: Each of our three teams has a clear, going forward focus. The Business Team needs to drive broader adoption across, as well as up and down supply chains. The Technical Team wrestles with evolving the spec to support hierarchy in an intuitive and simple way. The Legal Team has a real gem in the standard license list we developed; they are polishing that up and defining a process to expand it.

Literally our next step after the Collaboration Summit is the Forum we are running in San Jose on Friday, April 6. We welcome any locals who want an in-depth introduction to join us.

 
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