Tech Boom

March 22nd, 2017

Bay Area unemployment rates have been the lowest in fifteen years. In particular, Santa Clara County’s rates are amongst the lowest in comparison to the other counties in the Bay Area, clocking in at a 3.8 percent unemployment rate as of early 2016. Also, in Santa Clara County 2,900 jobs were added within the tech industry producing a majority of those jobs. Many Tech companies are hiring contract employment which increases the rate individuals are being hired and gives engineers opportunities to acquire permanent positions at such tech companies. In the Bay Area, jobs grew by 2.7 percent from 2015 to 2016 beating the U.S by an average of 1.2 percent and California by .7 percent, according to the EDD (Employment Development Department Office).

Growth in employment opportunity with the decline of unemployment rates added can be credited to the expansion of many tech companies. For example, per Stephen Levy, Director of Palo Alto-based Center for Continuing Study of California economy companies such as Google, Apple, Facebook, and LinkedIn are all scheduled for expansion. Facebook plans for expansion will bring in 6,550 new jobs, about 1 million square feet of office space, and even a hotel.  While Linkedin and Google locked in a deal to switch properties in order for both companies to expand. This allows Google and Linkedin to add more jobs, without adding difficulties to housing and traffic, an efficient deal. Deals like these are occurring and further advancements are in the near future.

Expansion in the Tech industry is inevitable with so many company projects unfolding, but it’s not limiting its growth to just the Silicon Valley region. The global tech industry is currently valued at $5.3 trillion. Therefore, expansion is a necessity to keep on with an upward curve. Last year 34 tech companies expanded to 19 markets outside the typical tech centers. Also, nationwide tech diaspora is the importance of technology to almost all industries. Tech is providing opportunity in many places and the Silicon Valley continues to lead and be a model for development.

Sensor-Autonomous Automobiles

August 18th, 2016

The sensor autonomous car is currently marking a significant change in the perspective of driving . The questions are how practical or affordable the cars will and when the actual functioning vehicle will be released, is still in speculation. The tests with the sensor autonomous cars have proven to have spectacular progress demonstrated by multiple tests on public roads and reinventing the design to create a safer environment for the consumer. Although, we are still uncertain about its effective safety measures,  we do understand that the vehicle demands a complex integration of detailed algorithms constantly running on powerful processors, that have the ability to make critical decisions in real time. Also, these cars will need large streams of real-time data coming from a complex and different array of sensors.

A substantial amount of video cameras is also a key to these autonomous cars, these cameras are able to determine where the lane is and sense objects or markers on the road, to optimize safety maneuvers. But using cameras alone can lead to multiple complications. To start off, there can be mechanical issues of setting up correct angles for the cameras correctly and the constant cleaning of them. Another problem, can be the heavy graphic processing is needed to make sense of images and adding on outside factors of possible shadows, lighting, and other factors make it very challenging to accurately decide what the camera is seeing.

However, the alternative “sight” on the autonomous vehicle is a LIDAR system( Light Detection and Ranging system) which is created through countless sensors. To enable the split-second decision-making needed for self-driving cars, the LIDAR system finds an accurate 3D information of the surrounding environment. TheLIDAR provides live  information using high-speed, high-power pulses of laser-light that are timed with the response of a detector to calculate the distance to an object from the reflected light. An array of these detectors, or a timed camera, can be used to increase the resolution of the 3D information to help with the autonomous car safety as well with its original function. The transformed result is then used to calculate the vehicles’ position, speed, and direction relative to these external objects, to determine the probability of collision, and instruct appropriate action, if needed. Otherwise, having some people questioning

For more in-control, such as parking, lane-changing, or in bumper-to-bumper traffic, the LIDAR system is not as effective, this is a problem that is also delaying the actual release of the cars. Therefore, it is supplemented by radars built into the front and rear bumpers and sides of the vehicle, as a possible solution, but more test is needed.

Electrical engineering employment trending down / App development trending up

July 8th, 2016

The number of electrical engineers in the workforce has declined over the last decade. Electrical engineering is a critical occupation that’s often described as key to technological innovation. But this occupational category has been shedding workers for years. In 2006, for instance, there were 382,000 people working in this field. Concerningly, the overall landscape of this industry has changed in the recent years. The number of people working as electrical engineers declined by 29,000 since 2015, continuing a long-standing trend, according to government data. Although there has been a recession in this specific field, continuing high unemployment, although overall tech employment has been rising.

On the other hand, the number of software developers, the largest IT occupational category, has increased by nearly 12%, or a gain of 132,000 jobs. There were 1.235 million people working as software developers last year, and 271,000 electrical engineers, according to Data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor. “A nearly 10% decline in jobs from one year to the next, in a field that is supposed to be booming, is troubling,” said Russ Harrison, IEEE-USA’s government relations director.

A large part of it has to do two major changes. The first change is the shift towards mobile and computer apps. Tools, toys, or other electronic devices are simply being replaced by applications that do the same thing, except arguably better. Some common examples are a basic flashlight, gps, digital camera, etc.

The second change is with major companies ability to outsource electrical engineering labor. Besides building power supplies, there isn’t a strong demand for many electrical engineer’s designing hardware. And where there is a need, a manufacturer could get complex designs done through a freelancer website for $5-$10 per hour with the same quality as in the US because of the inflation difference and taxes. In many developing countries, $5-$10 prices are the baseline for charges and US engineers expect to charge more when the market just doesn’t support it.

As such, electrical engineers have likely moved into other fields, such as software engineering, or to other engineering areas such as aerospace, or to Wall Street, among other occupations.

Until there is a big shift in either the massive influx of foreign workers, diversification in the interests of people beyond smart devices, or a significant drop in the numbers of engineers coming from schools, the industry is going to remain desolate for Electrical Engineerss unless they migrate to software or business

Why you should learn Python?

July 1st, 2016

Python is an extremely popular programming language used primarily for rapid application development, as well as for use as a scripting or gluing language which connects existing components together. One of Python’s major perks is its easy to learn syntax, which emphasizes readability thus reducing the hassle of constant program maintenance. Python supports most modules and packages, which encourages program modularity and code reuse. Another key selling point is that Python’s interpreter and extensive standard library is available without charge for all major platforms, and can be freely distributed. Python is the ideal coding language to pick up for both beginners looking to get into coding, and experts looking to get an edge on the tech competition.

Often, programmers fall in love with Python because of the increased productivity it provides. Since there is no compilation step, the edit-test-debug cycle is incredibly fast. Debugging Python programs is easy: a bug or bad input will never cause a segmentation fault. Instead, when the interpreter discovers an error, it raises an exception. When the program doesn’t catch the exception, the interpreter prints a stack trace. A source level debugger allows inspection of local and global variables, evaluation of arbitrary expressions, setting breakpoints, stepping through the code a line at a time, and so on. The debugger is written in Python itself, testifying to Python’s introspective power. On the other hand, often the quickest way to debug a program is to add a few print statements to the source: the fast edit-test-debug cycle makes this simple approach very effective.

Let’s begin with the first reason why you should be learning Python:

1. Easy-to-Learn
Face it, learning a programming language from scratch is not going to be a walk in the park. Luckily, Python was designed with the newcomer in mind. The language is formatted in an easy to interpret interface that trivializes code into simple problem/solution formats. Furthermore, the use of white space and common expressions eliminates need for variable declarations and brackets, which clutter up code and may look disorganized to the trained eye. This means that Python requires less code to complete tasks, making it an very convenient language for both pros and beginners alike. The difference in language length is actually astonishing: Python’s code is often 3-5 times shorter than Java, and 5-10 times shorter than C++.

For beginners, a working knowledge of Python can act as a concrete foundation for coding in tech because Python’s methodologies can be used in a broad range of applications. In example, Python’s inherent organizational architecture can act as your translator when trying to decipher more complex programming languages.

2: Demand in the work force
Lately, Companies such as Google, Apple , Nokia, and IBM all use Python for their tech related purposes. The job market for developers continues to grow each year as companies ramp up hiring to meet expanding needs for a number of their growing markets.

Due to the large number of companies actively recruiting on the site, the platform’s analytic s provides a concise list of top hiring trends within the developer job market. Unsurprisingly, the most desired job skills by companies platform was Python at 40% (out of 100%), followed by Java, and JavaScript Frontend.. This trend is only growing, evident by how the overall hiring demand for IT professionals equipped with knowledge of Python has increased by 8.7%. since 2015.

3: It’s everywhere!
Web development is still definitely a booming economic prospect for programmers new and old. Django is a popular open source web application framework written in Python that happens to be the foundation of such mega popular websites like Pinterest, The New York Times, The Guardian, and Instagram.

This means that Python is the only scripting language you’ll need to begin designing your own websites and applications. What’s true with Python is true with Django. Web development with Django is well documented, has a large support community, and also takes less time and code. This will give you more time to enhance your concepts and less time working out tedious code. The Django framework takes the complexity out of web development while still giving the user complete control over actions and development needs. Most importantly, it’s completely free! As an open-source framework, all you need to get started can be found at DjangoProject.com.

Solar Energy

June 24th, 2016

The first silicon solar cell, the precursor of all solar-powered devices, was built by Bell Laboratories in 1954. Soon after, The New York Times stated that this discovery marked, “the beginning of a new era, leading eventually to the realization of one of mankind’s most cherished dreams — the harnessing of the almost limitless energy of the sun for the uses of civilization.”

Today, demand for solar in the United States is at an all-time high. The amount of solar power installed in the U.S. has increased more than 23 times over the past eight years — from 1.2 gigawatts (GW) in 2008 to an estimated 27.4 GW at the end of 2015. That’s enough energy to power the equivalent of 5.4 million average American homes, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association. The U.S. is currently the third-largest solar market in the world and is positioned to become the second. Still, the biggest hurdle to affordable solar energy remains the soft costs such as  permitting, zoning and rigging a solar system up to the power gird. On average, local permitting and inspection processes could add more than $2,500 to the total cost of a solar energy system and even take up to six months to complete. Many major US companies have resorted to using solar energy leading consumer goods stores such as Walmart, Walgreens, and Target have installed around 150 solar grid systems to cut down on energy spending.

On a larger scale, the solar tech industry is constantly involved with governments from all over the world. Countries that seek to go green hire solar specialists to develop plans and technology to integrate into their most dense cities in hopes of increasing sustainable energy while also cutting costs. Due to international competition between the United States, China, & India’s major solar exporters, solar prices continue to fall, making solar energy is increasingly more affordable for the average homeowners and businesses from around the world. India’s Energy Minister, Piyush Goyal, says that the cost of solar power is now cheaper than coal. “I think a new coal plant would give you costlier power than a solar plant,” Goyal told the media at a press conference on April 2016.

And if the price keeps falling at a similar rate, it will soon drop significantly below coal, with some saying that by 2020, solar could be as much as 10 percent cheaper than coal power. Cheaper electricity sourced from the expansion of solar plants across the country could help make for a better, more reliable grid, and one that’s less harmful to Indians and the environment at large. California is one the few states currently spearheading energy reform in the United States. In June 2016, PG&E Corp.’s released a plan to shut California’s last nuclear power plant by 2025, which would cost approximately $15 billion if all its output is replaced with solar-generated electricity at current prices, according to Bloomberg analysts.

Moving into 2017, we can expect to see more countries and corporations move towards renewable energy. The growing solar industry will result in crucial development jobs becoming available for computer scientists, data analysts, construction experts, and marketing specialists alike.

Hiring: Seasonal & Technology

June 17th, 2016

SEASONAL HIRING TRENDS:

During winter time, holiday retailers now must deal with the overwhelming growth in e-commerce. Companies like Ebay and Amazon begin hiring a large volume of employees from call centers to packers for order fulfillment. Seasonal workers won’t only be needed for the holiday rush. Tax season (January to April) holds another extremely critical employment boom.

Just-in-time talent will always be popular with companies looking to limit labor costs. The challenge in 2016 will be to source qualified talent that’s willing to work onboard and offboard at the employer’s convenience. As the labor market tightens, many people who in recent years were open to seasonal jobs have by now have found full-time employment and demand is much stronger now than ever before. A key part of seasonal hiring relates to social media presence. In order to look for the most qualified employees, staffers must be willing to search through various professional social networking sites, namely Linkedin and Seelio.

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TECHNOLOGY HIRING TRENDS:

Tech giants begin scouting for talent in more unconventional ways.

Tech employers are seeking more innovative ways of recruiting talented coders. Currently, companies are investing in programs to seek out and even draw specialized talent to their doorstep. Social recruitment programs such as CodeFights and Hackathons challenge programmers to test themselves against their peers with a cash incentive- all while showing off their skills to potential employers. Large scale companies such as Microsoft, Facebook, and Google are taking the initiative to reach out and fund university hackathon programs in hopes of hiring talented seniors and new graduates.

3 Tech Hiring Trends for 2016

June 10th, 2016

Big Data
Companies are collecting massive amounts of data, but many are strapped for resources when it comes time to organize data in a practical way. In addition to creating new jobs, data is becoming a necessary skill for those working in information technology. In 2015, the demand for big data skills increased over 70-percent for IT project managers and just under 50-percent for computer systems analysts. Many growing small-mid sized organizations have adopted more advanced technologies in the last few years so as to stay competitive in their markets. As such there is a growing ever need for positions such as data analysts to build and process large data sets.

Cloud
Whether its iCloud, OneDrive, Google Drive, or Dropbox, You can’t fire up a new device without being prompted to opt into some form of cloud storage.  It makes sense that with the rise of mobile devices, we all want to access our content seamlessly across devices, be it personal or for work. With ever growing servers of cloud storage, the need for more data analysts and security professionals also rises.
In an Forbes article on the future of cloud computing jobs, journalist Louis Columbus says “There are 3.9 million jobs in the U.S. affiliated with cloud computing today with 384,478 in IT alone”. As cloud continues to move into the enterprise, there will be an even greater demand for workers skilled in cloud computing as well as cloud security. It makes sense that with the rise of mobile devices, we all want to access our content seamlessly across devices, be it personal or for work.

UI Engineers
Front-end development is just as important as back-end, and companies need user interface engineers who can help create intuitive and consumer focused mobile and Web applications. Whether it’s for enterprise or consumer facing apps, UI engineers are tasked with providing a seamless experience for the consumer. UI engineers will become increasing more necessary as more companies move to create software and mobile apps. Any company working with a digital product needs a UI engineer at some point in the design process of a project. As such, there is always a demand for UI Engineers to fill their roles in a continually growing tech industry.

The many uses of GIS

June 3rd, 2016

Geography Information Systems (GIS)  takes data from maps that were combined with information that can be displayed using one common route. After all the data have been entered into a GIS system, it can be combined to produce a wide variety of individual maps, depending on which data rules out to be the best. For instance,trying to rule out a faster route compared to the multiple other ways the route can be for one destination. Any GIS data layer can be added or subtracted to the same map, depending on the update.

 

They also can be used to show information that does not fully pertain to maps. For example, GIS can be used to show how many doctors there are in different areas compared with the population. They can also show what is near what, such as which homes and businesses are in areas prone to flooding.

 

GIS systems can also incorporate three dimensional images. This is useful, for geologists studying faults or to determine certain traffic ahead.  They can use satellite data to study topics such as how much of the polar regions is covered in ice. GIS can incorporate maps to do so much more than give you directions but help analyze and shorten data needed.This helps improve the  traditional process of drawing a map, which can be time-consuming and expensive.

 

iScout

May 12th, 2016

The iScout is a new dashboard display found in luxury vehicles are always similar to find in spaceship, but for those that are driving regular vehicles the iScout Heads-Up Display is to offer multiple functionalities.

The heads-up display makes driving a safer endeavor by allowing drivers to never have to take their eyes off the road. Literally, applying it on the screen of the car and dashboard. The unit will project information regarding all car essentials, like car speed, gas levels, or GPS navigation. The unit can even allow calls, messages and social media updates to be linked to the dashboard displays to keep users informed without drawing too much attention away from driving. This could be the rave of the future especially for safety and driving.

The company which developed this in Los Angeles, Nopal will be hoping to release this project in the near future. Their kick start is trying to make it big through funding of $50,000. They hope to expand and build personal functions within the product itself.

What is GIS?

May 6th, 2016

Have you ever wondered what makes online maps available? Geographic Information Systems, or also known as GIS, help pinpoint and improve the process of application maps in GPS and phones.There is a growing interest in the economic and strategic value with Geographic Information Systems, especially since the modern mindset depends on GPS to navigate. GIS is the go-to technology to make better decisions about location and to help navigate through sets of directions to get you to your destinations. Applications available to us include Google maps and Apple maps, and both can help save time and gas. GIS also helps with visualization that is easily understandable. Geography Information Systems improve communication and efficiency for the public

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