Communicate Blog

Data Management undergoing substantial changes

Mallisa Watson - Wednesday, January 27, 2016

cable The South African legislative environment is constantly changing - often before, business has become completely comfortable with its responsibilities under the prior legislation.

Irrespective of which industry you work in, data is your most valuable resource. It pours into organizations from every possible source, operational and transactional systems, mobile and the web.
The importance of data management has changed significantly in recent years and this is due to the advances in big data mining and the benefits it offers businesses. The landscape of data management is again undergoing changes, due to the introduction of the Protection of Personal Information (POPI) Act.

Even though the aspects of the Act that apply to companies are not yet in effect, it is recommended that companies start their journey towards compliance as early as possible.

What will the act mean for IT departments within South African businesses?
Companies that deal with personal information need to invest in the best possible security systems and processes. They need to ensure that the IT staff members they employ have the required skills sets to work with these systems. Not to mention the challenges that arise with mobile device strategies, bring your own device (BYOD), adoption of social media and cloud-based strategies.

According to an article published on IT News Africa, they said that specialist IT positions will be created in larger companies to deal specifically with POPI compliance.  New titles such as privacy officers and data specialists are already coming into play.

Companies may also want to look closer to home in terms of website hosting and compliant software. South African software producers and IT practitioners know the provisions of the Act and can be better positioned to ensure compliance.

Deleting data after usage
Data security is a major issue for businesses and organisations today. Ensuring that your data is secure is becoming more important every day and vital to business operations. South Africa may be one of only 28 countries with a security policy in place; this has not stopped hackers from cyber-attacks. Hackers have shown how creative they are when it comes to accessing personal information. When a company's database is hacked and this information is made available online, the brand image and trust of that company are easily destroyed.

Managers who will or who already is in charge of data storage need to look at the Act carefully to make sure that customary practices, some of which may have been in place for many years, do not violate the Act.

There are companies that hold onto data for years before they destroy it, however, the POPI Act instructs companies to get rid of data once it has served the purpose for which it was collected in the first place. Businesses need to ensure that they keep all the legal details of the Act in mind when dealing with data.

Have you taken measures towards data loss prevention and encryption in your business?  

With over 35 years’ experience within the IT industry, we know what your business needs when it comes to hiring the best fit.  Contact us today to discuss and find your next IT employee.

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Is there an App for that?

Mallisa Watson - Tuesday, November 10, 2015

media Who would have thought that 10 years ago, the mobile phone would not only be used for making and receiving calls, sending text messages and connecting to the internet, but they are also being used to access mobile money services and much more.

With the app development economy thriving globally, Indran Naick, master inventor at IBM SA says that South African businesses are lagging behind. Although most South African companies understand the opportunities the digital environment offers them, few have really invested in the developing of apps relevant to their business.

The sole purpose for any company to want to develop an app is that it could be used as a PR tool, in terms of marketing, advertising and improving branding. It can also be used to get more customers and clients and another form of contact to your market.

As for South African businesses, they are starting to realize that the application economy will bring dramatic changes in the way they run their businesses and engage with partners and customers. However, they are not always clear on the necessary roadmaps, strategies and technologies to help them adapt to business in this new era.

But does your business really have a reason to develop an app in the first place? Before you develop, consider what you're trying to accomplish, and develop the right tool for the job.

1. Is It Necessary For Your Business To Have An App?
Not every company (or industry) should develop an app. If you already have a user friendly website that it is fully mobile responsive, than there’s no need to get an app. The main reason businesses think they should develop an app is to stay up-to -date with their competition, which is one of the reasons to get one.

The most important consideration for developing an app is that it needs to be functional and there needs to be a clear objective. If people can only get information like your contact details, pictures, blogs and events about the company, then the app is not useful at all.

2. What Does It Cost to Develop an App?
The cost of your potential app will depend on a couple of things. To name a few:

  • You would look at the functionality, will it be a basic app or have layers
  • Who will you get to develop the app?
  • Which platform will you want to host it on, Web, Native or Hybrid?

This is the “mobile version” of a site that runs in a web browser. Web apps use JavaScript, CSS, HTML5 or other languages. They are sometimes designed to look and work like apps and are generally ideal when you want to make your content or functionality available on mobile. They are not expensive.

A native mobile app is a smartphone application that is coded in a specific programming language, such as Objective C for iOS and Java for Android operating systems. Native apps provide the best usability, the best features, and the best overall mobile experience. However, this type of app is expensive to develop because it is tied to one type of operating system, forcing the company that creates the app to make duplicate versions that work on other platforms.

Hybrid apps are defined as a web app, primarily built using HTML5 and JavaScript. It is usually quicker to develop and will cost you less, compared to native apps. Apart from it being cheaper, another advantage that hybrid apps have over native is that it’s faster and easier to develop. It’s also easier to maintain and you can change platforms. The app itself will not be as fast as a native app as it still depends on the browser speed.

3. Your App Checklist…
No one said developing an app would be easy so before switching the green light on towards your mobile app development, make sure you understand the process.
Even though your mobile app idea might have occurred in a matter of minutes, your application won't be developed overnight. Discuss the project scope with your developer (s) and make sure that you understand the process. Below are the areas you should consider:

  • Planning
  • Design (Wire framing & Visual design)
  • Programming
  • Functional Specification
  • Testing

There is no one-size-fits-all, finding the right app for your business may be challenging. Consider what your main goals are and what your audience needs. Research your options and get a great developer. Ask for recommendations.

With technology evolving at such a high speed, enterprises of all sizes, in all markets, have to embrace the application economy and place software development at the centre of their business strategy.

Tap into having only the best talent in your company! Contact us today and we will make sure to find the ideal candidate for your business.

We are an IT recruitment company with consultants that specialize in working with Developers (Java, Python, .Net)  Architects, Consultants in CRM and ERP through to BI, BA and much more.
Check out our vacancy page and apply today.

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Cyber Security in South Africa

Mallisa Watson - Tuesday, October 20, 2015

security South Africa has shifted from doing things traditionally to doing it the 21st century way. Companies are now doing a bigger percentage of their business online, from digital payments to saving their data on servers. This allows consumers to easily access services; however it does come with a few hiccups.

 The South African Fraud Prevention Association, highlighted that South Africans lose in excess of R1 billion annually to internet fraud and the practice of trying to trick someone into giving their secret bank information.

The 2015 Security Summit that took place in Johannesburg revealed that South Africa is one of the most attacked countries on the African continent. Even though small businesses are the biggest target, eventually this will spiral into every single company becoming a target. But what could be the reason for this? Is it the gaps found in the infrastructure? Does this vulnerability allow cybercriminals to use this weakness to their advantage?

Securing the data
The amount of work we can accomplish on a mobile device is rapidly increasing. In today's digital world, many employees expect IT to provide easy access to corporate systems and information from mobile devices.
When it comes to security, one of the biggest challenges we face is user identity verifications. There needs to be better and smarter ways to authenticate users, hard and software. Fingerprint readers have been introduced in our own country. This may be one step in the direction we want to move.

When it comes to businesses, the most critical problem for them is securing the software. One way to do this may be through better programming languages that have security protection built into the ways programs are written. And technology is needed that would be able to detect unprotected features before software is installed; rather than waiting for an attack to happen.

Every business wants to feel confident knowing they have better security for their data flowing over different routes on the internet.

Cyber Security Policy
In today’s time, we as users expect and prefer services to be online. But this will have implications on us because our personal data will be at risk and there is a big chance that our information will get stolen and used for fraud. A cyber security policy needs to be in place in order for us to make use of online services without putting ourselves in jeopardy.

The National Cyber Security Policy Framework has been passed to the Cabinet three years ago and we are still waiting in anticipation. Government's State Security Agency (SSA) has promised to move with speed to finalise the national cyber security policy in the coming financial year.

State Security Minister David Mahlobo said that cyber security, an area government has long been criticised for neglecting, was top of the priority list in this year’s National Plan. While government is busy working on this, private sector should take it upon themselves to develop their own policy to minimise vulnerabilities.

From a business point of view, companies should invest in skills development at all levels, from senior executives to IT to users to make them aware of the rapidly changing risk landscape, how to identify weaknesses and report incidents, and the personal and business implications of failing to apply good information security practices.

If you think you have what it takes to work for one of South Africa’s top-tech companies, we can make it happen!

We are an IT recruitment company with consultants that specialize in working with Developers, Architects, Consultants in CRM and ERP through to BI, BA and much more.
Check out our vacancy page and apply today. 

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The Importance of Data Centres for Business

Sandra Olivier - Tuesday, September 01, 2015

hand with mechanical wheelsIt doesn’t matter what industry you work in, companies depend on the accurate recording, updating and tracking of their data on a minute-to-minute basis to survive in today’s economy. Employees use this data to complete accounting reports, calculate sales estimates, and improve customer service. Organizations no longer struggle to gather customer and partner data, the challenge now is how to effectively store, access, and analyse that data to drive strategic business decisions.

The data centre industry continues to be affected by the exponential growth of data and the recognition that there is enormous value in that data. Market analyst firm IDC says by 2020, the data the world will create and copy annually will reach 44 zettabytes, or 44 trillion gigabytes.

Key priorities to consider when choosing a data centre:

The first is the availability of power. In a country that is notorious for battling to keep the power on, this has moved to the top of the priority list. The main purpose of a data centre is to provide reliable, uninterrupted data access, and the importance of power backup in a data centre cannot be underestimated.

Given the virtual and mobile nature of how companies do business today, data centre connectivity plays a vital role. It’s how the information, applications and services hosted in the data centre are accessed, and it has a profound impact on their performance, security and reliability. All companies large and small rely on managing and distributing huge amounts of data across multiple locations.

The best way to future-proof your data centre investment is to choose a provider that offers a wide range of connectivity options and can adapt as your needs change.

Future forecasting of demand
The average life of a data centre is only about 15 – 20 years. When you think about the changes in IT in that timeframe, you can begin to see how hard it is to predict capacity requirements. How can you make effective decisions on future demands at today’s speed of change? Part of the answer is having solutions that can flex with your business. Starting with the infrastructure, it’s important that the data centre itself can adjust to the business requirements overtime, where you can simply dial capacity up and down in line with live business requirements.

As we move to the digital economy, the data centre will become even more important as the nerve centre within business. What and how we innovate in the data centre will mean the difference between success and failure for many businesses.

If you believe you have the right IT skills to assist business to face the challenges that data storage offers, we want to talk to you. Communicate Personnel is an IT recruitment company with consultants that specialize in working with developers, architects, consultants in CRM and ERP through to BI and BA. Check out our vacancy page and apply today.

If you require skilled staff to ensure the success of your business, contact us today to assist you with all your permanent and contracting staff requirements. 

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Three of the Most Influential Women in IT

Sandra Olivier - Friday, August 21, 2015

executive women According to the advocacy organisation Women in Tech, only 23% of tech jobs in SA are held by women. Globally, women occupy 26% of computing occupations. While these statistics are poor, it shouldn’t discourage young female school-goers, school-leavers and university graduates from entering the IT industry.

Three of the most popular women in IT hold top positions at three of the world’s most popular technology companies: Google, Facebook and Yahoo!. We profile them here:

Marissa Mayer: President and CEO of Yahoo!
Early in her studies, Marissa Mayer had wanted to become a paediatric neurosurgeon, but she changed her major to focus on symbolic systems, which includes the study of artificial intelligence, cognitive sciences and interaction between humans and computers. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science (and later a Master of Science) in Computer Science, and in her post-graduate work, contributed heavily to the field of search. It came as no surprise that after graduating, she received 14 job offers! Mayer signed on to Google in 1999 – its 20th employee – and became Google’s first female engineer, also responsible for many of the company’s search offerings that has made it such a successful engine.

Marissa Mayer joined Yahoo! in July 2012 as president and CEO, and implemented changes to the company’s culture programmes, personnel policy on telecommuting (for which she was heavily criticised) and also extended maternity leave and pay. In the year following Mayer’s appointment, Yahoo!’s stock price doubled – this in spite of sharp criticism from outsiders of her management style. She is, however, very active in the industry and sits on various boards – both company and non-profit – and has achieved multiple awards and honours for her position and influence.

Sheryl Sandberg: COO of Facebook
Sheryl Sandberg has strove for achievement from a young age – having been top of her class in school, class president in her sophomore year, a member of the National Honour Society, and graduating summa cum laude at Harvard with a BA in Economics. In 1995, Sandberg received her MBA with highest distinction. Following graduation, Sandberg worked at McKinsey, then served as Chief of Staff for the US Secretary of Treasury. Sheryl Sandberg moved into technology when she joined Google in 2001 as its Vice President of Global Online Sales and Operations.

In 2007, Sandberg was considering moving to The Washington Post as senior executive, but met Mark Zuckerberg at a Christmas party, and in early 2008, she was hired as Facebook’s Chief Operating Officer. She adopted the task of making Facebook profitable, and through the use of discreet advertising, the company’s profits suddenly started to grow by 2010. According to Forbes, “Sandberg helped the social network scale globally, go public and expand digital revenue.” Sandberg is responsible for overseeing business operations relating to sales and marketing, business development, public policy, HR and communications for Facebook. She is also known for advocating for workplace equality and released her book, Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead in early 2013. It has since become a global success with over 1 million copies sold.

Susan Wojcicki: CEO of YouTube
Susan Wojcicki (pronounced “vu-CHIT-ski”) comes from a family of female achievers – her sister Janet holds a PhD as an anthropologist and epidemiologist. Her other sister Anne is the founder of the personal genomics and biotechnology company, 23andMe. Susan was appointed as Google’s 16th employee. However, it was in her garage in Menlo Park that Google founders, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, set up their office.

Susan Wojcicki studied at Harvard, graduating with honours in history and literature. She’d planned on pursuing academics, but soon discovered technology and received her Masters of Science in Economics (1993) and her MBA (1998). A year after Google became incorporated, Wojcicki was hired as the company’s first marketing manager in 1999. Her primary focus was on viral programmes and the first Google doodles, and helped develop Google Images and Google Books.

She became the Senior VP of Advertising and Commerce at Google, leading ad and analytic products (AdWords, DoubleClick and Google Analytics), and developed AdSense – Google’s second largest source of revenue. It was under Wojcicki’s leadership that Google purchased YouTube ($1.65 billion), which would replace Google Video, and DoubleClick ($3.1 billion). She held the office of Senior VP of YouTube, becoming its CEO in February 2014.

In 2011, she was named “the most important person in advertising” and holds many positions on lists that praise the most popular, influential and powerful women. She values the balance between work and family life – and, with five children, is a strong advocate of paid maternity leave.

The ICT industry provides endless opportunities for South Africans to advance their careers and although it is still largely male-dominated, there are more and more woman that are making great strides in changing the face of the industry.

If you are looking for new opportunities in your career, we can assist. Communicate Personnel is an IT recruitment company with consultants that specialize in working with developers, architects, consultants in CRM and ERP through to BI and BA. Check out our vacancies pages and apply today.


Is Java still the programming language to use?

Mallisa Watson - Tuesday, July 28, 2015

javaReadability is a particularly valuable trait for a programming language, especially one used for writing new software. With complex software, programmers must be able to understand code that may have been written months, or even years earlier.

And that is exactly why Java has remained on the development workbench when many other widely used languages of the 1990s, such as Delphi or Perl, have been pushed to the side or used only for a select set of duties.

Java's success in remaining relevant on the ever-changing landscape of software development has been its relative simplicity. It is pretty easy to read Java code and figure out what it means. There aren't a lot of obscure gotchas in the language. Even Google chose to use Java as the programming language for its massively popular Android mobile operating system and it has led to a renewed interest in the language from a whole new communities of software developers.

In this age of rush, there is an obvious trend to produce code that is highly productive while lessening the headache of maintenance. Java seems to deliver just that.

Java developers are in great demand
People with Java-related skills are a hot commodity in the job market. With employment a vital concern to everyone, the abundance of Java jobs will keep the language and platform in trend.

The ITWeb Salary Survey 2015 highlighted that when it comes to those who have software development as their primary expertise, Java developers (amongst others) tops the best-paid list, all averaging over R580 000 a year.

A growing community
There is a huge community to help the programmer in need in most critical situations. Blogs, articles, code snippets, you name it. You know that help wizard that pops up in Windows, eager to provide hints and suggestions? The Java community has built many such wizards. Essentially, programmers are always looking for ideas and problems that inspire them and are eager to help, offer suggestions to one another through numerous blogs and forums.

Java is rich in Application Programming Interface (API) documentation, concept articles, tutorials, sample codes. Apart from that, there are several books available covering almost every corner of Java. Many of them are freely downloadable. Though not an ideal way of learning, I suppose if every documentation, tutorial, article is followed one do not even need a hard copy of materials to learn Java.

Write once, run anywhere
Perhaps the most exciting quality of Java is its platform independence, write once and run anywhere. The Java compiler does not create an executable file, but rather it produces a half compiled code, called bytecode. This half compiled code is given to the Java Virtual Machine (JVM) installed in a specific platform (also known as the operating system). JVM is a layer above the operating system that understands bytecode and processes that code further in order to run the application.

Portability, speed and security
These three are the most essential pillars to support modern programming languages. Many of its predecessors failed in this aspect. For example C++ programs are very efficient with respect to speed, and portability but doesn’t have resilient security. Many of its gaps can be easily exploited and tweaked to inject insecure code. Java runs through several layers and does not have a direct access to the underlying operating system. This however compromises speed but ensures reliability. So a happy balance among the three is often more desirable than one exceptional feature.

Java, while a successful platform for more than 19 years, certainly faces challenges. What follows are just a few of the development issues and what they mean for Java.

Performance is a concern of applications written in any language. Most programmers are familiar with common performance issues using a conventional language such as C# with a stand-alone or even a server application.

In addition, Java applications do struggle with problems surrounding the collaborations between modules running on different systems. Performance problems may clear themselves in unexpected ways or appear to be caused by different parts of the code other than the actual problem area. Identifying the performance holdups rapidly is a significant challenge in distributed application development.

Enterprise Java applications, especially distributed ones, are often mission-critical in nature: all parts of the application must work perfectly at all times. Developers and development managers must be able to measure the reliability of their applications accurately. While the characteristics of the language tend to make Java applications less error-prone, there are still plenty of ways to introduce runtime errors.

Java makes it possible to write highly threaded applications that make sense in a distributed environment. But using threads means that problems with resource disagreement and deadlock are much greater.

Java applications face the same testing problems as traditional ones. They must be tested as thoroughly as possible before saved, and developers should have a good idea of the extent of the test coverage before certifying an application. Distributed software systems written in Java, however, are extraordinarily difficult to test and debug. Because components reside on different computers and must work together perfectly for the application to work properly, all components must be tested simultaneously.

Every single developer has his or her own preferences when it comes to using a language for a particular project, which language do you as a developer prefer?

Are you looking for the next big break in your IT career? We are a specialist IT recruitment company that can help you find your next job opportunity. We have a variety of IT vacancies ranging from Java Developers, Business Analysts, SQL DBA, Business Systems Manager & more. Visit our website and apply today!

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Advantages of Insourcing vs Outsourcing

Mallisa Watson - Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Software Development DiagramWhen it comes to software development most organizations find themselves in need of custom applications tailored to their business processes. Typically two approaches are considered to solve this problem – build the custom application in-house (insource) or outsource it. Dedicated in-house developers may be able to develop the project with their years of experience in the field. There may however, be cases where an in-house developer may lack in certain skills that are needed to complete the project in which case outsourcing is the best alternative option.

Before deciding whether insourcing or outsourcing is the best option for your project, it is important to first outline your business goals. A poorly defined objective may result in neither insourcing nor outsourcing being beneficial.

Outsourcing: Contracting an internal business task to a third party organization.

Insourcing: Using internal business resources/employees in order to fulfil a certain business function.

You need to identify and understand the gap between your current capabilities and what you will need, to get it right and understand whether you've got the ability to close that gap in a reasonable period of time.

Advantages of insourcing

Employees understand the company needs
Your employees already understand your business and how it works. This can work to your benefit if you choose an insourcing solution. You'll protect jobs and boost employment if you hire new workers to add to your skills base. Insourcing seems to be more dominant with companies that hire services from an external organization for IT infrastructure in order to cut costs and decrease their tax liability. Insourcing has distinct advantages over outsourcing. While it is more expensive, it allows an organization to have better control. Projects can be done under the direct supervision of the management and board of directors without having to deal with the second layer of management or a third party organization.

Long-term investment
If the development project is run in-house, it could come with a hefty price tag. However, if you provide your employees with the needed training, guess what? You will make a long-term investment in them. Having your employees up to date with what’s happening in their specific industry will also benefit your company in the long run. So in other words, you will end up saving money and won't need to constantly outsource to specialists, you’ll have them right in your organization.

Advantages of outsourcing

Self-managed team
Outsourcing allows management to hand-over the details to a specialized company. Removing the details, allows management to focus on the larger issues within the organization. Typically, the specialized company that handles the outsourced IT work boasts technological capabilities superior to the organization. Organizations view outsourcing as a cost-effective means to expand into other countries and new markets. The outsourcing partner has a dedicated team of software developers well versed in the latest technology and tools to help solve your business need. They simplify the development process, right from the selection of software suitable to your needs till its actual deployment. Through outsourcing, you get the most suitable software and the latest technology for your business without shifting your focus from your core business operations.

Cost savings
Outsourcing gives you access to specialized skill sets of resources and processes that insourcing simply cannot match, not without significant costs. Outsourcing software development also proves to be a cost efficient solution, as you will not be investing in hiring new staff to meet your new business requirements.

Both insourcing and outsourcing have their distinct advantages when it comes to how an organization should approach development. Outsourcing is the cheaper option, and allows an organization to devote more resources to less number of projects. Insourcing allows for tighter control over and often higher customer satisfaction. Both insourcing and outsourcing is directly tied to business goals and should be unique to each company, meaning there is no one size fits all approach to determining what sourcing model will work best for your company. Insourcing might work for some tasks and outsourcing for others.

Finding the right individual to add to your company can be time consuming, but it doesn’t have to be. We at Communicate Personnel have specialized IT recruitment consultants who can help you with your permanent and contracting staff requirements.   

If you require staff across all levels of the IT industry get in touch with us today!

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Credit: by Stuart Miles

2015 ITWeb/CareerWeb Salary Survey Results

Sandra Olivier - Thursday, June 18, 2015

website codeSalary Surveys are always popular not only under employees, but also for companies to benchmark against others occupying similar positions and that are equally qualified. It allows companies to take a closer look at their talent management strategies, providing the necessary information to ensure they offer competitive salary packages that attract and retain top talent.

On the other hand, it also provides an important guideline for employees to understand whether they are underpaid or rightly paid by their employer. This information is especially important when they are looking out for a new job as it helps them understand their worth in order to negotiate salaries with potential future employers.

This year Communicate Personnel sponsored the 2015 ITWeb/CareerWeb Salary survey and the results have just been released.

Here are some of the key findings:

  • IT salaries are up 8% from 2014, and women are making faster gains while CIOs and chief architects keep the top earner spots.
  • Enterprise architect has been the highest-paid senior (middle management) profession year after year. The average annual salary reported this year is R782 551, up 4% from 2014.
  • Java, C, C++ and C# developers top the best-paid list in terms of software developers, all averaging over R580 000 a year.
  • Gauteng pays the highest average IT salaries, in-demand skills such as business intelligence and mobility earn more in the Western Cape.

Communicate Personnel is a specialist IT recruitment company with dedicated consultants that can assist your organization to find the right talent. If you are in the job market, we can also help you find your next job opportunity with a variety of IT vacancies ranging from developers to architects, consultants in CRM and ERP, through to project managers, systems engineers business intelligence, business analyst and much more. Contact us or apply today.

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Skills Developers Should Invest In

Mallisa Watson - Tuesday, May 12, 2015

enterEvery minute of the work day is an opportunity for developers to update and develop their skills. During this time, you can make a decision to grow in your craft or choose to lag behind. Rather than getting comfortable with the set of skills you have, ever thought of pushing a bit forward? The IT industry is constantly changing because of advances in technology, keeping your skills sharp and up to date will ensure you work on bigger and more challenging projects and ultimately advance your career.

Below is a list of key skills you as a developer should invest in:

1. Application Development
This is one of the top skills that are in demand. Organizations are more regularly refining their digital customer experience, making user interface and experience design crucial skills in the coming year. From internal systems to front-end apps, software will be everywhere to improve business processes. This year, we started witnessing a huge demand for programmers to upgrade existing computer systems, or for the design and development of new applications. So, if you have strong skills in Java, hardware controllers, web and mobile applications, this is the year for you. Talent with preferred coding skills such as Java, Java EE, JavaFX, .NET, C, Objective-C and UI/UX Design can make the best of the demand.

2. Mobile platforms
2014 was the year when the demand for smartphones and tablets reached record highs. Businesses across the world are adopting mobile application development strategies to meet their business objectives. There are many ways to create mobile applications, from an HTML approach which renders build-in controls from another language. However, all of these have one thing in common: when running on the device, these applications are running on native code. If an organization is going to create and install a mobile application, they will need to use someone who understands the native level, even if the application is built using another technique.

iOS, Android, and Windows Phone are a few good choices to mention here. They all provide platforms with exciting development communities in which you can engage. Just this skill alone will greatly increase your value to your organization as well as your personal marketability as a developer.

 3. Full project life cycle experience 
Bird’s eye view of a project? Yes, clients want developers who see a project from an architectural point of view. Understanding how a project fits together and links into the business is a key skill set and that demand will continue. This is also true for project management. Not every developer should be a project manager, however you need to understand the process. You need to understand how to track progress on tasks and how to work with other developers to get things done.

4. Know a server language
This is an important element. If you are mainly a front-end developer, then you still need to have a brief understanding of how things work on the back-end. Being able to create the entire chain from a front-end application through the application programming interface (API) layer and to the database is an important skill set. In this case, there are a lot of choices. Java, .NET, Python, and PHP are all sustainable options.

5. Know JavaScript
There is no denying that since its inception in the mid 90’s, JavaScript has become one of the most popular Web development languages. Although initially developed as a browser-agnostic scripting language, in recent years, we’ve seen its continued evolution beyond the desktop to areas such as mobility and server-side web applications.

One of the big shifts that has been slowly happening is the ability to use JavaScript as a shared logic layer between native experiences. Almost every computing platform has a browser. So JavaScript programs run virtually everywhere. JavaScript’s ability to meet the demands of rapid development, while at the same time maximizing the user experience, makes it a natural fit for mobile development platforms and crucial skill for any developer.

6. Data visualization
Data keeps multiplying, which means whatever message you hope to communicate online must find increasingly creative ways to break through the noise. That's where data visualization comes in, which involves using a visual representation of the data to discover new information and breakthroughs.

Data visualization is perhaps the most promising of formats with the rise of Big Data.  Stimulating multiple areas of the brain, visual feedback is one of the best ways to understanding something.

Learn to use these tools in a way that benefits you and updates your workflow. Use them on your side-projects, and use them even when you think it might be overload. Learn how to do things which save you time like linking and closing issues with your commit messages. In short, if you are going to use it you need to be good at it.

If you have already brushed up on your skills and ready for a new challenge in your development or IT career, let us help you find a new job!

Communicate Personnel is a specialist IT recruitment company that can help you find your next job opportunity. We have a variety of IT vacancies ranging from Software Development, Website Development, Business Analysts, SQL DBA, Business Systems Manager & more.

Visit our website and apply today!

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Where have all the Developers gone?

Sandra Olivier - Tuesday, March 24, 2015

arrows choice shows options alternativesHow long did it take to hire your most recent software developer? As you sat through interviews, did you wonder where all the developers have gone? The technological advances achieved in the past few decades have brought about a revolution in the world of business, affecting nearly all aspects of working life. When you look at technology, it drives so much of what business does, from productivity to communication to improving speed to making better business decisions. With these changes in the business world, the demand for specific technical skills and highly relevant experience continues to escalate.

Currently there seems to be a specific demand for Java, .Net and Mobile developers. Our consultants are finding it challenging to track down available individuals with the necessary skills in these areas. There is an noticeable increase in the number of clients anxious to find the right staff to support the growing reliance on technology in business in general. However, it seems the industry is struggling with a supply and demand issue, in that the demand has outstripped the supply.

The use of business software, in any sector, has become an integral part of an organisation’s ability to perform tasks with a greater degree of efficiency, accuracy, and ease. Innovation and commoditisation of technology and the consumerisation of devices ensure that the needs for skills in this area will only continue to grow.

Add to this the fact that South Africa is setting the pace for mobile development and solutions, and is very much the breeding ground of the developing world’s mobile development. Africa is very software and app focussed when it comes to the tech space and because we have people that think local and understand local problems, it’s no surprise that the demand for software developer skills is increasing at a rapid pace.

Manager of the JCSE’s Applied Research Unit, Adrian Schofield explains that the ICT sector currently grapples with a number of wide-ranging issues; from the quality of education and the employability of graduates, the investment in training and development, to the job roles and retention practices of employers. All of which take place against the background of an uncertain economic and political environment.

One of the main challenges facing the Information Technology industry is education and experts warns that we should not place too much weight on Matric results as a guide to our educational status quo. The 2014 passed rate was slightly lower than the previous year however; the real concerns are with the number of students that qualify in, what are seen as feeder subjects for careers in IT; namely Maths and Science. There are far less people registering and passing these subjects, which automatically means the amount of students who are eligible to register for a BSc degree are drastically diminished.

Although the challenges don’t stop there, you also have to look at the fact that we only have around 25 Tertiary Institutions across the country offering further education. Although many of them work hand in hand with the private industry to ensure graduates are receiving the right training and are employable at the end of their studies, there are still inconsistencies.

One example of a successful partnership is the CapaCITi education project started by the Cape IT Initiative in conjunction with UCT, CPUT and UWC which is aimed at skilling, up-skilling and re-skilling talent to create jobs and get unemployed graduates to become active economic participants in South Africa.

Private Projects
In the last five years we’ve also seen the establishment of several independent projects to try to bridge the skills gap in the future. Former FNB CEO Michael Jordaan along with tech journalist Elizabeth Gould, serial entrepreneur and engineer Dave Weber and Cara Turner, established a new training program specifically aimed at developers.
CodeX is a brand new full-time apprenticeship programme that provides on the job training for the talented young brains to help build Africa's digital future.

Another example is the mLab Southern Africa (SA) project that is a mobile solutions laboratory and start up accelerator that provides mobile developers with the support they need to develop innovative mobile applications and services.

Although these projects are a step in the right directions and more partnerships like this are needed, the reality is that for the foreseeable feature the scarcity of developer skills will continue.

Talent Management strategies?
This begs the question, knowing the shortage of skills, what are you as a hiring manager going to do about filling your talent gaps? What strategies are you going to employ to ensure you are able to have a chance to find and hire the right skills?
For many developers the criteria when looking for a new job has changed. They are starting to look much more towards company culture, the team they will work with, the side projects they will be allowed to develop rather than just salary and job description.

It’s important to know that it will take time to find the developers you need, that you might have to consider hiring people when they are available and not when you need them. You will need to re-look at your talent retention strategies and what your company can offer more than just the standard.

If you are struggling to find the answers on how you will recruit the right people to your organization, then we can help you. Communicate Personnel is an IT recruitment company with consultants that specialize in finding skilled developers, architects, consultants in CRM and ERP through to BI and BA. Contact us today.

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