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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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Member Profile: Open Source Founder and Android Fan Anthony Favre

Anthony Favre used Linux for the first time as a student in 1997 and has since started two companies that specialize in Linux and open source technologies. 

AnthonyFavreIn 2002 he founded Linalis, an IT company in Geneva that provided LPI (LInux Professional Institute) certifications. There he wrote one of the first LPI-certified study guides. Then in 2009, he founded the Swiss branch of French IT company Smile, also active in open source, where he is now managing director. 

"My job is to promote open source solutions in general and Linux in particular," Favre said. "My company is a Red Hat advanced partner and we provide solutions based only on open source." 

He recently joined the Linux Foudation as an individual member after learning that membership is an option for anyone.

"I didn't know it was possible to join The Linux Foundation. Since I saw that, I was pleased to grant a little bit to the foundation," he said. "Unfortunately, I'm not technically strong enough to develop or help on projects."

He's still very active in the community through the events he organizes to promote Linux such as the 2009 conference LinuxDays and this year's Open Source Now event in Geneva. He's hoping to take advantage of his membership to attend Linux Foundation events such as LinuxCon Europe in Barcelona Nov. 5-7. Members receive 20 percent off the registration fee for LinuxCon events.

His favorite Linux innovation?

"All of them, but specifically Android," he said, because it's an easy-to-use Linux for end users.

Welcome, Anthony!

Want to share your story with The LInux Foundation and have your profile featured on Linux.com? Email Digital Content Editor Libby Clark, lclark (at) linuxfoundation.org.   

 

Top Open Cloud Stories This Week

Open cloud news this week brought with it some new competition, some reflection on existing competitors and some unexpected cooperation.  I've also thrown in a short counter perspective on the issue of portability -- is it a myth? 
 
What did you think was this week's top open cloud story? Please tell me in the comments, below. I'd love to hear from you. Your feedback will help me refine this list and and make it more useful to the community. Thanks!
 OpenCloudRoundup2
First the competition:
 
Open source cloud toolkit funded by EU Optimis project to arrive in June, ComputerWorld UK
Funded by the European Union to make Europe more “cloud friendly,” the Optmis project is gaining steam. The European OpenStack equivalent is also getting some pressure to partner with OpenStack.

Red Hat debuts OpenShift Origin project, takes swipe at VMware's Cloud Foundry, ZDNet

The Origin project will serve as the upstream for code and improvements to OpenShift, Red Hat’s PaaS, which today runs on Amazon Web Services cloud and competes against VMware’s open source Cloud Foundry.

Marten Mickos: For Eucalyptus open cloud is more than open code, TechWorld
Mickos compares cloud storage to depositing money in the bank. All depositors should have free and open access to their stored data. He also comments on Eucalyptus’ partnership with Amazon to support Amazon Web Services’ API, saying it gives his company a competitive advantage over OpenStack, which doesn’t have a similar deal with Amazon.
 
Cooperation (or just less competition):
 
Thanks to Piston, OpenStack gets an unlikely ally in VMware, GigaOM
Piston Cloud wants to bring together the Cloud Foundry PaaS with the OpenStack IaaS. Wasn’t OpenStack in part a play against VMWare, as well as Amazon Web Services?
 
Open Compute one year later. Bigger, badder and less disruptive than we thought, GigaOm
With the growth of Facebook’s Open Compute open hardware project and OpenStack it’s possible to build an entirely open hardware infrastructure layer and companies are demanding more flexibility. The big data ecosystem has adjusted, with companies like Dell and HP offering new server and storage designs compatible with Open Rack.
 
A different perspective:

Two Cloud Myths Busted: Lock-In and Locked Up, PCWorld
Portability is a favorite mantra of open cloud supporters. But is portability a myth? This commentary says profitability and intellectual property values will always trump portability.
 

Quotes From The Linux Foundation Enterprise End User Summit

For the past two days, we've held our annual Enterprise End User Summit at the New York Stock Exchange. Besides the fun of ringing the bell during our evening reception, it's been an incredibly valuable event, fueling collaboration between kernel maintainers and enterprise end users who are pushing Linux to its edge.   Here are highlights: “We’re not going to use our APIs to lock people out. Trust and security are at the heart of everything we do.” Stanley Young, CEO of NYSE Technologies “if there is one community who has embraced collaboration and openness,...

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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.

 
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