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Lyft and Uber like to position their ride-share services as job replacements or a good “side gig.” But recent data shows tech pros shouldn’t quit their day jobs to drive on demand.
Last month, Uber attempted to correct a study on its driver earnings, and said average gross earnings per driver were $19.04 per hour, and as much as $21.07 per hour based on an independent Stanford study. Net earnings – take-home pay after expenses such as gas and maintenance – are between $13.04 and $16.53, Uber added.
The study Uber takes umbrage with comes from MIT’s Center for Energy and Environmental Policy Research (CEEPR), and says the average hourly net wage for ride-share drivers is $3.37. Ouch.
Lyft has also released findings on its drivers. While not going directly after the CEERP study (“Understandably, we’ve seen a few external groups take their own guesses at what Lyft drivers make,” the company writes), Lyft’s findings are similar to Uber’s. It says drivers make an average of $18.83 per hour, which can drift up to $21.08 in the company’s top 25 markets. It further fudges some math for busy drivers to boost those figures to $29.47 and $31.18 per hour, respectively.
It points to the same independent study as Uber to show $3-5 per hour for operating expenses, which hammers home the point: If you drive Uber or Lyft, you can expect to make roughly $13-17 per hour.
So how does that stack up to jobs in tech? The Dice Salary Survey tracks jobs by title and reported earnings. In 20th place is “Help Desk,” often an entry-level tech job. Reported wages are $43,343 annually. Breaking that down to an hourly rate, we see Help Desk staff earn just shy of $21 per hour.
Although Uber and Lyft point to the same survey for out-of-pocket driver expenses, that data actually does them a disservice. It suggests Uber and Lyft drivers earn $16.08 on average (with the unfortunate caveat that African-American drivers say they earn about $13.96 per hour). But that doesn’t factor in expenses such as gas, maintenance, and insurance, which can have a real impact.
If you’ve had that twinge of “I should just quit and go drive for Uber or Lyft” when things get tough at work, don’t… unless you like wonky income levels, doing your own 1099 taxes, driving strangers around, and traffic.
The post Proof You Shouldn’t Quit Your Job in Tech to Drive for Uber, Lyft appeared first on Dice Insights.
If you’re a network administrator, sysadmin, or security head, your job hinges on keeping your tech stack secure. And the Internet of Things (IoT) can make that goal a nightmare.
Case in point: an unknown hacker (or hackers) who managed to steal a database of rich gamblers via an internet-enabled thermometer in an aquarium in a casino’s lobby. “The attackers used that to get a foothold in the network,” Nicole Eagan, the CEO of Darktrace, told an audience at the WSJ CEO Council Conference in London, according to Business Insider. “They then found the high-roller database and then pulled that back across the network, out the thermostat, and up to the cloud.”
At that same conference, former GCHQ head Robert Hannigan claimed to have seen a bank “that had been hacked through its CCTV cameras, because these devices are bought purely on cost.”
As the Internet of Things becomes more prevalent, it’s more important than ever to ensure it’s locked down. The first step is awareness: too many sysadmins and security experts aren’t even aware of everything that’s actually on their network. That’s what makes a regular system audit so valuable.
Every device under a company’s roof doesn’t need to be web-enabled, either. An aquarium thermostat with internet connectivity isn’t exactly a mission-critical device—and thanks to hacks such as the casino one, it’s also not something you can just connect to the network and walk away. As the Internet of Things becomes more sophisticated and ubiquitous, ironically, it might compel administrators to become far pickier about what they allow onto their networks.
But most of all, any internet-enabled device on a network—no matter how small and inconsequential—needs to undergo a full evaluation and configuration. Set limited access, ensure passwords are strong (and unique), make sure all patches and upgrades are up-to-date—if you’re a tech pro, you know the drill when it comes to reducing attack surfaces. Totally impregnable security is an impossible dream, but you can take concrete steps to ensure that your company won’t be hacked through a so-dumb-it’s-hilarious vector like the lobby fish tank.
And if you’re interested in building Internet of Things devices that are far more secure and reliable than the current generation’s hardware, check out some stats about the segment’s growth and penetration over the next several years.
The post Internet of Things Tip: Don’t Get Hacked Through Your Fish Tank appeared first on Dice Insights.
There’s no doubt that some tech pros could see their jobs eliminated over the next few years as companies adopt emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence (A.I.) and machine learning. But don’t worry: there are plenty of exciting options on the horizon that require a mix of analytics, computer science, entrepreneurialism and other non-technical skills—all things that many tech pros possess.
Are you ready to take your career to the next level? Here are some of the tech jobs that experts predict will be in high demand in 2020 (and beyond).
AR/VR Object Designer
Whether or not you believe augmented reality/virtual reality (AR/VR) will constitute most of our interactions with mobile devices, there’s going to be rising demand for object designers skilled in AR and VR frameworks, explained Steve Brown, technology futurist and CEO of Possibility and Purpose.
You don’t necessarily need to be an object designer to join the movement, Brown added. For instance, your work could involve UX design, developing AR interfaces, or building backend connections to smart objects.
Smart Sensor Engineer
If the movie “The Graduate” were remade today, the career advice Benjamin Braddock receives from a family friend wouldn’t be “plastics”; it would likely be “sensors.”
“Smart sensors will be used extensively to build bridges between our physical and digital worlds in every industry,” Brown said. For programmers, advancements in the Internet of Things (IoT) and A.I. will create opportunities to write applications that extract data, connect multiple components, and transform “dumb” products into Internet-enabled devices.
Behavior Analytics Specialist
What will consumers want to buy tomorrow, or even next year? A behavior analytics specialist combines data analytics with cognitive computing and machine learning to gain insights into consumer behavior and predict where markets are headed. Behavior analytics can also be applied to other fields such as cybersecurity.
Emotional Intelligence Designer
One thing that currently separates robots or A.I. devices from humans is their inability to interpret and react to human emotions. But that’s about to change, according to Dr. James Canton, CEO and chairman of the Institute for Global Futures.
Professionals with a background in computer science, or programmers with a deep understanding of psychology, will be needed to create algorithms that turn human emotions into code. How high is your EQ?
3D Printing Expert
“3D printing is getting ready to explode,” explained Daniel Burrus, CEO of Burrus Research and bestselling author.
For example, the evolution of 3D printing will disrupt the manufacturing of consumer products, defense equipment and parts, prosthetics, and even human organs and blood vessels. In the process, it will create new opportunities for mechanical, industrial or software engineers, as well as cross-platform software developers and modelers.
Big Data Auditor
This role integrates traditional auditing skills with data analytics techniques. In a nutshell, these pros will use A.I. learning, algorithms and analytical insights to separate relevant data from the irrelevant, and conduct “next generation audits” either on their own or as part of a team.
Space Habitat Developer
If you have experience creating, deploying or supporting the high-tech infrastructure and systems in a modern megacity, your next career could be out-of-this-world. The private space industry is experiencing rapid growth, leading to the development of space stations and habitats on the moon and, eventually, Mars. Planning is already underway, and Canton expects to see the deployment of additional pilot programs and models by 2025.
Quantum Computing Product Manager
Product managers will work independently or as part of a team to solve challenging business and science problems using quantum computing. The solutions they develop could help improve food safety in global supply chains, for instance, or accelerate cancer research. It’s the perfect job for professionals who want to use their skills to make a difference in the world.
(If you don’t see a position above that fits your skills and interests, don’t worry there are lots of options. Here is a list of 162 future jobs compiled by futurist, Thomas Frey.)
How will automation affect your city? A group of researchers at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management built an interactive tool that tries to show the impact of the technology on zip codes all over the United States.
“They found that, in general, small cities will have higher portions of their workforce replaced by machines than large cities,” read the Kellogg blog posting accompanying the tool. “The reason: While cities of all sizes have many easily automated jobs (like card dealers, fisherman, cashiers, and accountants), large cities like Boston also have larger shares of managerial and knowledge professions (like lawyers, scientists, and software developers).”
In other words, the larger a particular city, the greater its proportion of highly specialized jobs—and software has a far more difficult time taking over jobs that demand a high degree of improvisation, creativity, and esoteric knowledge. Machines can more easily automate repetitive tasks, such as some kinds of factory and food-service work.
But when it comes to the tool’s actual calculations, there isn’t much variation between the largest and smallest cities. For example, the tool believes that Charleston, WV will eventually have 63.6 percent of its available jobs automated, impacting 122,980 workers; the Los Angeles metropolitan area, meanwhile, will face an automation rate of 60.7 percent (equaling almost 5 million jobs). In general, between 55-65 percent seems to be the going rate for any city’s automation potential.
Technology’s inevitable progression means that complex jobs may also end up targeted for automation. In the far future, that might result in a dystopian landscape when it comes to human employment. “Formerly middle-class workers whose jobs have been automated will be pushed to find work at the far extremes of the wage distribution, since those kinds of jobs—CEOs on one end and janitors on the other—will be the only human positions left,” the posting added. “And because the easy-to-automate mid-range jobs are more prevalent in smaller cities, inequality will rise faster there.”
For the moment, many tech jobs fall on the “safer” side of the automation spectrum. The Kellogg researchers created yet another automated tool (also on the website) that predicts the average likelihood that certain jobs will be taken over by software. For software developers (i.e., those building applications, including automation tools), the risk is 21 percent; for database administrators, that risk is a bit higher at 39 percent. However, the tool doesn’t encompass some highly specialized tech jobs such as A.I. researcher.
Whether or not you subscribe to the particulars of the Kellogg’s team research, one thing’s for certain: automation is only getting more sophisticated, and that will have a sizable impact on jobs of all types.
We tend to think of the internet as a wide-open platform for anyone, but a recent report from Mozilla shows how the promise of a free and open web is slipping away.
The company’s ‘Internet Health Report’ is less prescriptive and more subjective than many studies. It doesn’t query users or developers; instead, Mozilla itself takes a hard look at the world around us.
To start, it has identified three key areas of concern:
- Power residing mostly with Facebook, Google, Amazon, Alibaba, Baidu, and Tencent.
- ‘Fake news’ spreading further and wider… and with greater ease.
- The clumsy Internet of Things (IoT) creating weak points.
The first two are almost hand-in-glove of late. After the 2016 election and recent news of Facebook’s clumsy handling of user data, we have learned a lot more about how ‘fake news’ is created and distributed. The echo chamber created by suspect information distributed on social media only invites divisions.
Google’s ubiquity likewise creates problems, according to Mozilla:
If no search engine can ever challenge Google, and no local apps can ever gain a sustainable market share, the opportunity promised by a free and open Internet erode. Open source challengers to social media giants, such as Diaspora and Mastodon, are few and far between, and they may at best deliver a proof of concept for an alternative future unless people can move their data freely.
Google also controls the delivery method. On desktop, Chrome commands nearly two-thirds of users. On mobile, it’s almost half.
The Internet of Things (IoT) – a phrase colloquially used for any connected item that’s not a smartphone, tablet, computer or smartwatch – also suffers from the dominance of Google, Amazon, and Apple. Mozilla asserts it’s harder for smaller firms to compete in an environment where users expect a long list of features and things like free (or nearly free) cloud storage. As Mozilla notes, the number of IoT devices will double by 2020, which only creates more weak points because “people buy things, connect them to the Internet and never think about securing them as long as they work.”
Aside from companies having too much power, there’s an alarming number of countries where social media or the internet proper is banned or limited, and the FCC’s reversal on Net Neutrality threatens the same in the U.S. Individual U.S. states have begun passing their own ‘net neutrality’ bills, which provides a sort of check and balance for the system. Internationally, things aren’t so simple: Russia, China and many eastern European and Middle Eastern nations block social media and silence opposition. Other places like Africa simply aren’t online; only about 20 percent of Africans have internet access, and it’s mostly from South Africa and Nigeria.
Mozilla’s report paints a dire picture for the web, and when judged in context of recent news items surrounding Facebook, we recognize it’s not good for any one entity – be it a business or a country – to command control of the internet. To that, the concept of a ‘free and open’ internet may actually be slipping away from us. Fortunately, Mozilla notes, security efforts are improving, and Facebook’s recent troubles are proof to all companies that acting in bad faith usually catches up with you at some point.
The post Corporate Interest May Be Destroying the Open Web: Study appeared first on Dice Insights.
Data breaches and privacy hacks seem to happen weekly, and many people appear to shrug off the impact. But studies show there’s a “red line” users are unwilling to let tech companies cross when it comes to the security of their information.
In coordination with SurveyMonkey, Recode recently published a poll of which tech company Americans trusted least. In light of recent scandals, Facebook ran away with the title: A full 56 percent say they don’t trust the social network with their personal information.
Google was second, with five percent, and Uber and Twitter both had three percent of the population stateside claiming they were the worst actors. Snap, Apple, and Amazon all checked in with two percent. Microsoft, Lyft, and Tesla all scored one percent.
Netflix doesn’t register as a company users should worry about. The company admits it tracks viewership metadata for its programs, but it’s unclear if they share that data with outside companies, or if that data is personally identifiable.
Magnify Money also queried readers on which data/privacy alert raised the most alarm for them. Its data shows that, while Facebook’s wheeling and dealing of user data is alarming, people are still more concerned about Equifax’s data breach. From Magnify Money:
Based on our survey, which polled 1,000 U.S. adults, the knowledge that information like your Social Security Number and past addresses are in the hands of hackers is slightly more disconcerting than the idea of a political consulting firm using your Facebook data to influence an election. The survey was conducted March 27-28, just days after news broke about the Facebook-Cambridge Analytica scandal and several months since the Equifax breach was first made public.
While these two surveys play to their crowd – Recode is tech, Magnify Money is financial – we see there’s a line tech pros can’t cross when it comes to safeguarding personal data. Once it gets into social security numbers, household income, maiden names, and addresses, users are far more unforgiving. It can also affect your employability.
Breaches of especially sensitive data may drive people to stop using some services entirely. A full 25 percent of those queried by Magnify Money say they’re considering stopping their use of online banking and account access, while only 19 percent say they plan to delete their Facebook accounts.
Another interesting takeaway: while the Equifax breach undoubtedly hit closer to home as far as personal data is concerned, it made consumers more aware of reactive safeguards. We can monitor our credit and use identity theft checks; it’s possible to freeze your credit, too. But social networks and services like Facebook have no such measure: the only way to secure data is to alter how you use such platforms, or stop entirely.
And plenty of people are, but data shows they’re more willing to stop using tech once it affects their social security numbers. It’s a good warning sign for those tech pros collecting and storing data.
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Interest in blockchain jobs has roughly fluctuated with the price of Bitcoin, according to an analysis of financial and Dice job-posting data.
In late 2017, the price of Bitcoin enjoyed a massive spike, shooting from roughly $2,500 per coin in June to $19,000 by the beginning of December. During that same period, both the demand and supply for blockchain-related jobs on Dice underwent a similar jump. The rate of companies posting blockchain-related jobs increased more than fourfold between June and September, while the number of tech pros applying for those jobs leapt threefold.
As the price of Bitcoin dipped in late December, so did the jobs. The price of Bitcoin now stands at roughly $7,000—very high by historical standards, but a significant reduction from its peak.
Bitcoin, like all cryptocurrencies, is based on blockchain, a distributed database that maintains a chain of “blocks,” or records with a timestamp and a link to the previous block. Blockchain is vital for cryptocurrency because it’s extremely difficult (if not impossible) for a user to retroactively alter the data within a block without someone noticing.
The correlation between jobs and Bitcoin price suggests a lot of companies were attracted to the recent hype over the cryptocurrency, and tried to staff accordingly; at the same time, a number of tech pros applied to see if they could break into a burgeoning market.
Indeed, some firms did insane things in an attempt to ride the Bitcoin rocket as high at it would go—for example, Long Island Iced Tea Corp. announced that it would change its name to Long Blockchain Corpo., a move that sent its stock price soaring 289 percent before crashing back down (sort of like the price of Bitcoin itself, ha-ha). Kodak, the photography firm, announced that it was now a cryptocurrency producer, and unveiled a Bitcoin-mining computer it dubbed the “KashMiner.”
If you’re interested in a career doing something blockchain-related (which could apply to realms as diverse as security and healthcare, not just cryptocurrency), there’s good news: it’s very much a nascent field, where those with the right combination of knowledge and skills have a lot of opportunity to quickly make their mark. Stanford and MIT offer some online courses in the technology, and a few companies are even trying to build out formal blockchain certification.
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Last week, we asked what you would do if your company was found to be misusing or mishandling user data. Now we’ve got the results, and it shows tech pros are a trustworthy bunch.
The questionnaire had one simple problem and four possible answers. When we asked “What would you do if you see an issue with your company’s handling of user or client data?,” these were the options:
- Leak it to the media
- Take it to your boss (and all the way to the CEO if necessary)
An overwhelming majority of Dice readers chose what most would consider the right thing: A full 78 percent say they’d report the issue to their boss, and their boss’s boss if necessary; in fact, they’d go all the way to the CEO if that’s what it took to have the problem examined appropriately.
Around 12 percent say they’d simply quit their job; rather than be associated with a company that mishandles data (possibly purposefully), those respondents prefer to simply move on. For good reason, too: post-Uber and Facebook, having a toxic company on your résumé can be daunting.
Another 6.4 percent report they’d do nothing about the data breach or mishandling of user info. And 2.5 percent say they’d leak the issue to the press straight away, a sign they don’t trust their company to act responsibly behind closed doors.
There were some who had more complex fixes. Some 2.5 percent of respondents report they’d both take it to their boss and leak it, and 4 percent say they’d take it all the way to the CEO and quit thereafter.
In the wake of Facebook’s issues regarding how it stores, shares, and uses our data, government regulation is potentially on the table for the tech industry. If the largest social company on Earth (with what is likely the largest trove of personal info) can’t be trusted, who can?
Happily, our data shows self-regulation still works, by and large. While we’d obviously like the number of those choosing to report be closer to 100 percent, four-fifths is a solid metric.
The post Here’s What You Would Do If Your Company Was Mishandling User Data appeared first on Dice Insights.
For tech pros, Spring brings both sunshine and events. The Google I/O developer event is happening May 8-10, and we’re starting to get a good idea of what’s coming.
Photos, Google’s catch-all photography service that launched in 2015 (it was really a re-brand), has its first official session in 2018; it promises “exciting updates” after years of iterations and feature additions. While that could be an off-keynote announcement of new features, the session is labelled “intermediate,” hinting that developers will be able to fiddle with Photos moving forward.
There are also six unique Kotlin sessions or events. A full year after Google dubbed it an official language for Android, Kotlin is now making itself at home during I/O. A Day Three session named “How to Kotlin” might interest newcomers, which is followed immediately by a session on the Android KTX for Kotlin development. There are also several office hours and code review events for those building Kotlin apps.
Google will also be bringing its .app domain out of the shadows. In a late Day One session, Google is positioning .app as specifically for developers. From the Google I/O website:
.app, the web’s first secure-only open top-level domain (TLD) for mobile apps and developers, is launching on May 8. This in-depth technical talk covers use cases for .app domain names, HTTP Strict Transport Security (HSTS), best practices for secure website development, and the unique security benefits of .app domains thanks to TLD-wide HSTS.
That’s a lot to unpack, but Google is essentially saying its .app domains will be top-level DNS with security that all but prevents a downgrade from HTTPS to HTTP. The HSTS policy also prevents cookie hijacking, which is a method for gaining usernames and passwords (or simply hijacking a session to authenticate users to a different server).
Google is also dusting off Android TV, and may have a new dongle incoming. The Chromecast-ish device is currently going through the FCC gauntlet, and I/O has three events for Android TV. There are app review and office hours events, and one session titled “What’s new with Android TV,” which promises “new features for developers.”
As a search company, Google is naturally interested in the web, and I/O may show us where it thinks the Internet is headed. There are several sessions and events mentioning “PWA” and how to make sites “progressive,” which tells us Google is very much into progressive web apps (the aforementioned “PWA”) this year. It’s also drilling further into AMP, and has a few office hours events dedicated to both AMP and PWAs.
There’s also a session on making the web AR- and VR-friendly, but not a lot of sessions dedicated to augmented or virtual realities. On the opposite end of the ‘new tech’ spectrum, machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (A.I.) are playing a huge role: there are nearly twice as many ML and A.I. sessions as AR/VR ones. If we’re being critical, the AR/VR sessions are also a bit dull for the mainstream developer audience; unless you’re at the rare intersection of VR and educational apps – or really want the web to be immersive – there’s not a lot to get excited about here.
But I/O hasn’t arrived just yet, and Google doesn’t divulge all its secrets ahead of its event. We still expect some surprises from the keynote, or at least more info leading up to the conference itself.
The post Google I/O 2018 Will Keep Web, A.I. Developers Happy appeared first on Dice Insights.
Do you need a degree to become a developer?
The short answer is “no.” Many developers without a college degree continue to thrive in the tech industry.
However, obtaining a degree is certainly something that many tech pros do. According to Stack Overflow’s recent developer survey, some 47.7 percent of professional developers have a bachelor’s degree, while 23.2 percent have a master’s. Contrast that with the 12.1 percent who have some college under their belts (but no degree), and the 8.2 percent who have a high school degree.
“It is not that rare to find accomplished professional developers who have not completed a degree,” Stack Overflow added in the report accompanying the survey data. Of those professional developers who made it through college, some 64.4 percent majored in computer science, computer engineering, or software engineering; another 8.5 percent chose an engineering discipline such as civil, electrical, or mechanical; and 8.3 percent pursued a degree in information systems, information technology, or system administration.
Indeed, many developers prefer to teach themselves new languages and frameworks without taking a formal course; when they do pursue some new avenue of learning, they often opt for online courses (i.e., MOOCs) where they can absorb knowledge at their own pace. Many employers also offer some kind of on-the-job training, especially if the necessary skills are somewhat esoteric (such as machine learning or A.I. frameworks).
According to Stack Overflow’s data, relatively few professional developers (10.5 percent) participate in full-time developer training programs or bootcamps, which makes sense—those involve considerable expense and time.
Other, smaller studies have backed up the idea that a sizable percentage of developers don’t hold a formal degree. Clearly, many tech companies are more interested in what a prospective employee can do, rather than the degree they might have in a desk drawer (there are exceptions, of course; a number of firms are sticklers for formal schooling).
If you want to pursue a career as a developer, but don’t have the resources or inclination to pursue a degree, you’re going to have to educate yourself. Many developers start with the official documentation for the technologies they want to pursue; if they have questions, they usually head online to forums and developer communities. But knowledge is just one part; if you want to land a gig, you need to demonstrate that you can perform the necessary tasks.
And how do you demonstrate that competency? Just as you pursued education on your own, you need to have self-directed work to show off. Contribute to open-source projects (and make sure those contributions are documented somewhere, such as Github) or build one (or more) apps. If you can walk into a job interview with a solid portfolio of work, that can put a hiring manager at ease about your ability to wrangle a workflow, no matter what your education.