Thursday, October 30, 2014

RHT: 5 Keys to Receiving the Job Offer

by John Reed  Robert Half Technology
October 30, 2014

Even in a hot IT market, you have to distinguish yourself from other qualified candidates.
Much has been written about the war for talent and how there are not enough IT professionals to meet the jobs demand in the marketplace. In fact, I’ve written on that very topic several times myself.
However, just because you’re qualified for a particular position doesn’t mean you’ll get the job offer. There’s still quite a lot of competition in the marketplace for many coveted IT jobs. So how do you increase your odds of being selected when you’re one of the finalists for a position? Here are five tips:
  1. Create separation from other competing candidates: Assume you have competition for the job throughout the interview process. Look for opportunities to further demonstrate why you’re the best candidate by providing samples of your work, e-mails that document your past achievements, and recognition and awards.
  2. Make it clear you want the job: Over the years I’ve seen many instances in which the most qualified candidate didn’t get the job offer. Most of the time it was because the hiring manager didn’t think he or she was interested in the position. If you want the job, ask for it. Be clear and transparent in your communication as you wrap up the final interview. You might say something like, “I’m very impressed by your firm and team. This opportunity is exactly what I’m looking for and I’m confident I can perform very well in this role. I’d like to discuss how we can formalize an offer of employment so I can join your department as soon as possible.”
  3. Follow up right away: Immediately after the interview, send an e-mail (or better yet, a hand-written note) of appreciation for the interview. Express your continued interest in the role, why you believe you’d be a great fit for it and excitement to move forward with the opportunity.
  4. Exceed the employer’s expectations: If the hiring manager asks for three references, provide five. If she asks you to do homework on the company, not only do the research, but also follow up with a written summary of your findings. Highlight areas that you found particularly interesting, and offer congratulations for the successful launch of a new product or a recent industry award.
  5. Tap into your network for an endorsement: Conduct thorough research of your personal and professional network. Do you know current employees of the firm who can speak on your behalf to the hiring manager? Do you know a former employee who left on good terms and could put in a good word for you? Current employees know what it takes to be successful at their firm, so their endorsement speaks highly of you as a candidate.
It’s a great time to be in IT and consider new employment opportunities in the marketplace. As exciting employment opportunities come your way, these tips will increase your odds of receiving the job offer.

Thank you.

— John Reed

John Reed is the senior executive director of Robert Half Technology. He can usually be found racking up frequent flyer miles each week traveling to RHT offices across North America and speaking to industry groups about technology hiring trends. When he’s not on the go, he serves as an armchair quarterback for the Oklahoma Sooners. Follow him on Twitter @JReedRHT.

One week later, Google algorithm change hits streaming, torrent sites hard After early efforts in 2012, it appears Google's gotten the results it wanted.

by Casey Johnston - Oct 27 2014, 2:35pm PDT Ars Technica

One of Project Free TV's domains has dropped in traffic since Google's algorithm change.

Video streaming and torrent sites have dropped precipitously in Google rankings after the companyaltered its algorithm last Monday, according to reports from Searchmetrics. One of Project Free TV's main operating domains,, fell 96 percent in Searchmetric's rankings, one of the biggest drops alongside and

"We’ve now refined the signal in ways we expect to visibly affect the rankings."

Google committed to fighting piracy by decrementing search results that allow users to access illegal streams or torrents back in 2012. The first round of changes didn't help much, according to interested parties like the Recording Industry Association of America and the Motion Picture Association of America.

Google complies with takedown requests, of which it received 224 million in the last year, according to its own report. The company responded to these within six hours on average, but industry parties pushed for Google to make content sites less visible overall. Even with its new solution, Google notes that this won't be the same as removing domains from search entirely: "the number of noticed pages is typically only a tiny fraction of the total number of pages on the site," the company said.

But in a week, the algorithm changes have already made a difference. In addition to the sites listed above,'s Searchmetrics visibility dropped 66 percent, dropped 86 percent, and dropped just over 80 percent. Should an Internet user go looking for certain material via search, they will be less likely to see these sites among the results.

Casey Johnston / Casey Johnston is the Culture Editor at Ars Technica covering business, privacy, the Internet, and new media. She graduated from Columbia University with a degree in Applied Physics.@caseyjohnston on Twitter

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

BBC: A Day Without Data

28 October 2014 Last updated at 20:06 ET BBC
Article written byRory Cellan-Jones Technology correspondent

Can our technology correspondent spend a day without sharing data?

Every day, anyone who is connected to the internet leaves an ever bigger trail of data behind them. But how aware are we of who is collecting this information and of who benefits from it? I spent a day without data to to explore these questions.

My guide for this no-data diet is Dr George Danezis, an expert on privacy and information security at University College, London. As I sit at the breakfast table, handing over my gadgets he sets out the challenge I face:

"Your job today is going to be very difficult, You won't be able to use the internet, but you also won't be able to do lots of other things - in fact you won't be able to live a 21st Century life."

As someone who is addicted to being online, checking Twitter the moment I wake up, still reading online news last thing at night, giving up my smartphone is hard.

But George also makes me hand over my travel card and my BBC identity card which gets me into my office. Both record data about my location, so they have to go.

Even dogs can have a data trail if they're chipped
George explains that there are three big collectors of data: companies, governments and the police and the security services. Consumers may have grown accustomed to this data collection and in some cases see benefits.

But we may still be in the dark about some aspects. "It's collected for primary but also secondary purposes, you might be handing over data while you're shopping and that might be used later for marketing or working out health insurance."

I determine not to buy quite so many biscuits if that is going to send bad signals to my insurance company.

We head out with the dog for a walk, trying not to leave data as we go. George explains that we could not take the car without the risk of being tracked, either by my satnav or by number plate recognition systems.

And of course in London a bus is also out of the question - the drivers no longer take cash, only London's Oyster card.

Without my mobile phone, which constantly tells the network operator where I am, I should be safe just walking along, but then George points to the various CCTV cameras monitoring our progress along the High Street.

Using cash is no guarantee that your purchase cannot be tracked
Even a trip to the shops with cash rather than cards presents difficulties. "Big notes have their serial numbers tracked by the banks. If you take one out of the cash machine and give it to the shop they will pay it straight back into the bank and then you can be tracked."

I ask George whether I might be better staying at home. For now, he says, that might be okay but what about when my home becomes smart?

"Right now you assume your kettle isn't sharing data but smart objects will be much more difficult to read. You might pick up some object that looks innocuous, like a kettle, and find out that it does actually share information."

We end up taking the dog for a walk in the woods. Surely here, far from CCTV cameras, mobile phones, smart cards, I am off the grid? But George points out that even Archie the dog is chipped, so in theory someone with a reader could work out where his owner is.

And, just as we dismiss that as totally far-fetched he comes up with something more unsettling.

"If someone like you who normally shares a lot of information suddenly goes totally dark, this in itself is quite noticeable and a lot of analytical systems out there will immediately notice that something odd is going on."

Once you have laid a data trail, it seems, even going off the grid does not work.

But having thoroughly unsettled me, George tells me not to be paranoid and gives me some tips for healthy data habits.

"There is a good reason to keep track of public policy around data - make sure that no more than necessary is collected. You should also make sure that the technology you have has options for being used without collecting data, which as we've seen today isn't easy."

Maybe we should all read those endless privacy statements from online companies instead of just pressing "Agree". Or perhaps it is time for consumers to demand more transparency and a better return for their data from all those who collect it.
Article written by Rory Cellan-JonesRory Cellan-JonesTechnology correspondent

A day without data

29 October 2014

Rory Cellan-Jones attempts to spend a day without leaving any sort of data trail or share any information.

Read full article

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

2015 Winter ICT Educator Conference, Jan 5-6, 2015 in San Francisco

You are invited to attend and present at the: 

Baker Beach By Brocken Inaglory (Own work) CC-BY-SA-3.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

This 7th annual conference features excellent presentations from representatives of ICT industry and education.  Let's gather and share high quality information, resources and practices to improve ICT education and prepare people to prosper as part of the rapidly growing ICT workforce!

Community college ICT educators and ICT industry and employer representatives are invited to attend free, and to submit a presentation proposal.  Qualified faculty may be eligible to receive limited travel support.

When and Where:

Monday and Tuesday, January 5-6, 2015 at the City College of San Francisco Chinatown/North Beach Campus, starting 8:30 each morning, finishing around 7pm Monday and 3pm on Tuesday.


Register online If you register and later determine that you will not attend, please let us know, so we can free limited conference space for others.

Call For Presentations and Demonstrations:

You are invited to submit a presentation or demonstration proposal for the conference in the areas of:
  • Industry contributions to ICT education and ICT certifications
  • ICT educator/education best or high quality practices
  • ICT education and workforce diversification efforts
  • National and regional resources for ICT educators
  • Panel presentations:   Voices from the field (employers and employees) 
Proposed presentations should be one or two 45-minute segments, and we encourage interactive, hands-on or lab elements. Please register and submit your presentation proposalby 5:00 PM PST, November 17, 2014.  Presenters selected will be notified by November 20, 2014.
For presenters who give permission, your presentation will be made available in real time for remote attendees via the Internet, and sessions will be archived and made available after the event.  This greatly expands the impact of presentations, beyond those physically present in the room to a broad audience anywhere at any time.  Presentations from last year's Winter Conference are available as CCC Confer archives by clicking links on last year's program.  Most are also available on the MPICT YouTube channel.  
(Perkins) Professional Development Funding:

Because of challenges to the sustainability of this event, and to allow as many as possible to attend with limited event funding, we request all faculty to first pursue funding to attend this high quality professional development event with Perkins or other funding available through your college.  The process for professional development funding is different at most colleges.  Contact your local Career Technical Education (CTE) Coordinator and ask about use of Perkins or other funds to support your travel.
Travel Assistance:

MPICT will provide to qualified community college faculty teaching ICT related subjects in MPICT Region (CA, NV, HI and Pacific Territories), on a first-come, first-served basis, until funds are exhausted: 
  • a $50 stipend for ICT educators whose community college is within 70 miles of San Francisco,
  • a $100 stipend and 2 paid hotel nights* to ICT educators whose college is 71 to 250 miles from San Francisco,
  • a $250 stipend and 2 paid hotel nights* to ICT educators whose college is 251 to 750 miles from San Francisco,
  • a $1,000 stipend and 2 paid hotel nights* to ICT educators whose college is more than 750 miles from San Francisco (Hawaii and the Pacific Territories),
* Hotel must be booked at the conference hotel and paid directly by MPICT on a master bill.  Room sharing increases the people MPICT can support to attend, and is encouraged.). 

Limited travel support for qualified ICT educators whose community college is outside the MPICT region is also available through ATE Center Co-Producers.  Check with those centers directly for their support requirements.

If you have questions, please contact MPICT via email or at (415) 239-3600.

Opportunity for California CCs to Offer Bachelor Degrees in ICT

STATE OF CALIFORNIA                                                                             
1102 Q street, Suite 4554
Sacramento, Ca  95811-6549
(916) 445-8752


Date:               October 22, 2014

To:                   Chief Executive Officers
                        Chief Instructional Officers
From:              Pamela D. Walker
                        Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs

Subject:          Baccalaureate Degree Pilot Program Certification of Interest

On September 28, 2014, California Governor Jerry Brown signed Senate Bill 850 (Block) authorizing up to 15 California community college districts to offer a single Baccalaureate degree on a pilot basis. The Board of Governors (BOG) of the California Community Colleges (CCC) is charged with developing a process for the selection of those pilot colleges, along with other aspects of implementing the initiative.  The establishment of affordable, accessible, and quality Baccalaureate degrees at community colleges is important for two primary reasons: 1) to assist the state in meeting the need for individuals in high demand technical disciplines which are increasingly requiring baccalaureate degrees; and 2) to increase college participation rates and improve workforce training opportunities for local residents who are unable to relocate because of family or work commitments.

The Chancellor’s Office is soliciting interest in participating in the Baccalaureate Degree Pilot Program. This program would meet local unmet workforce needs as long as it does not duplicate a Baccalaureate degree program already offered by the California State University or the University of California systems. Participation is limited to one degree per community college district. These programs will commence no later than the 2017-18 academic year with a completion date by 2022-23. Additionally, each Baccalaureate Degree Pilot Program will be developed using the district’s current financial resources.

To inform the policy development of the CCC Baccalaureate Initiative, the Chancellor’s Office brought to Consultation Council a draft Request for Proposal (RFP) outline and a proposed implementation timeline. At the November BOG meeting, Chancellor Brice Harris will recommend a process for identifying and selecting the 15 pilot colleges, including a timeline and a RFP. The RFP will only be sent to those CCCs that have submitted their Certification of Intent.

ACTION/DATE REQUESTED:  Please submit the Certification of Interest form (click here to access form), to confirm interest in participating in the Baccalaureate Degree Pilot Program by Wednesday, November 12, 2014, and send to:

California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office
Kathy Carroll/Academic Affairs Division
SB 850 Baccalaureate Degree
1102 Q Street, Suite 4554
Sacramento, CA  95811-6539
916-324-6701 - Facsimile

Thank you,
Vice Chancellor, Academic Affairs

California Community Colleges Chancellor's Office