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Data Storage Stats IT

Tech Segments Facing Turbulence In 2016 (dice.com) 72

Nerval's Lobster writes: David Foote, an analyst who accurately predicted the tech industry's job growth in 2015, is back with some new predictions about which segments will do well in 2016 (Dice link). At the top of his list: DevOps, cloud and software architects, and cybersecurity experts. Those that won't perform well? SAP specialists, storage 'gurus,' and network managers could all face some headwinds. 'Companies are continuing to outsource infrastructure and that will reduce the need for network specialists except for network security which will remain in-house,' he says. Whether or not he's right about which parts of the tech industry will do better than others, there are also increasing signs that things could get very tight from a funding perspective for startups, as even the so-called 'unicorns' risk seeing investor money (and customers) dry up.
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Tech Segments Facing Turbulence In 2016

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  • In other words (Score:3, Insightful)

    by halivar ( 535827 ) <bfelgerNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Tuesday December 29, 2015 @11:37AM (#51202123)

    Bullshit and buzzword titles rise to the top. It has always been thus.

    • by Paradox ( 13555 )

      Well, no. There's some truth to this. I'm part of the reason why.

      See, I am what you could call an "architect" and "cloud services engineer". I prefer the term, "Distributed Systems Specialist." I've been focused on this since I learned under a bunch of ex-Yahoo! engineers at a company called Powerset, quite some time ago now. While my story is maybe unusual, my job and my general set of values are anything but.

      And my goal is to eliminate operations personnel, "Storage Specialists", and to hasten the disappe

      • my goal is to eliminate operations personnel

        There are two ways to accomplish this:

        1) Call them something else, they're still operations but now they have a fancy new name

        2) Actually get rid of them, at which point you find out that the people you pushed the responsibility to have other things to do with their time and then it goes badly

        Now, automation can reduce the total number of operations folks you need by making the existing ones more productive and of course more expensive, but total elimination is impossible prior to strong AI.

        • by Paradox ( 13555 )

          Sorry, I disagree strongly.

          You don't need strong AI to actually implement monitoring, elasticity, and write software that fails in a method amenable to self-repair and in extreme cases, quick diagnosis.

          I've been frontline on Pagerduty at the company I founded for 5 years. There were some rough times during the first few apple features. No longer, though. Most of our systems self-heal or are designed to tolerate and report outages and partitions gracefully. Some categories of failure do knock us offline, but

          • by drolli ( 522659 )

            What you talk about is a solution by a thinking human, and not "big data - the massive cloud will solve it" pixie dust.

            IMO: If your system dependencies and requirement links are so obfuscated that you can not make fall-back rules by hand, i would bet there is no AI which will save you.

          • by Paradox ( 13555 )

            By the way, edit: 4 years. Sorry, simple typo I missed. Were that I were as diligent as my software.

          • What you're describing is how to increase the productivity of your operations staff, not how to eliminate them. Sure, a good setup may reduce your staffing needs considerably, but that doesn't eliminate the function.
            • by Paradox ( 13555 )

              If you want to say, "Operations people are the people who wake up at 3am to deal with a page" then that'd be me. But that's a pretty archaic and artificial boundary.

              Engineers who design systems should be responsible for their continued operation. This has a lot of positive outcomes. Hence the term, "Devops." But I wouldn't hire an operations engineer who couldn't have at least in principle written the system they're managing, which means I don't hire most people who claim the title. Especially so in this da

              • You're going the fancy labels route. You've merely rediscovered that hiring a few good sysadmins beats hiring a bunch of low end ones, good for you.
                • by Paradox ( 13555 )

                  Claim victory however you like. I think dedicated sysadmins are not necessary for the majority of situations in the world of commercial software now. If you're maintaining your own data center, things change. Most people aren't, so they don't need them.

                  • If you're managing the operations side of things and doing primary development for your money making product you're either A) Really small or B) Doing it wrong.
                    • by Paradox ( 13555 )

                      See: I'm saying that if you're splitting it, you're wrong. You did it wrong at the start and now you have no choice but to keep doing it wrong.

                      So I guess we agree to disagree, since you can't offer anything other than bland arguments and appeals to a largely ineffective status quo.

                    • by netwiz ( 33291 )

                      Great, so not only are you paying for a 24x7 staff to watch your ops, you're also paying someone else's overhead and profit margin. In the long run, it's still cheaper to bring things in-house once you're big enough.

                    • Time spent on operations work takes away from time spent on the money making product. One of them is going to end up getting de-prioritized with poor results. Since money comes first, this is usually going to be operations work. It'll look great for a while until the technical debt builds up too large then you'll have a series of horrible failures (security, infrastructure, etc.). To think otherwise assumes that organizations never have conflicting priorities or politics of any kind, which I can assure
                    • by netwiz ( 33291 )

                      Your'e forgetting something: in most cases, managing operations is exactly what's required to continue "making product." Those that forget this are doomed to failure. Momentum may keep you going for a while, but eventually you'll hit the wall.

              • by Cederic ( 9623 )

                t I wouldn't hire an operations engineer who couldn't have at least in principle written the system they're managing

                According to http://www.soe.org.uk/ [soe.org.uk] you don't have a fucking clue what an operations engineer is.

                Hire good system administrators. It's a different skillset and mindset to good software engineers. Hire those two. Get them to work together and presto: DevOps happens.

                But don't go hiring people with top end software engineering skills to be ops people. It's a waste of their skills, you'll piss them off, and you'll lose them.

                At Capital One you'll also need people with proper computer science skills - some of the

        • I'd like to add a more important one:

          3) You discover that the folks you handed this pile over to are far too prone to prioritize 'ooh shiny!' over things like system stability, capacity vs. budgeting, security, and more than a few other aspects to keeping the system up and running .

          See also the headlong chase to make everything that's not welded to the floor into {insert some-widget-barely-out-of-beta here}... even when it makes zero sense to do so. Yeah, devs love the hell out that shit (because it makes

          • by Paradox ( 13555 )

            Who knows - GP may be in a unique and incredibly lucky situation (e.g. a smallish company still relying on something like AWS/EC2 for their heavy-lifting). I'm betting that it damned sure ain't typical no matter the case.

            I'm a "Director of Software Engineering for Capital One. You might have heard of us. I was brought in awhile ago through one of the many acquisitions as the company flushes its legacy tech policy and tries to pivot to be a technology company. You have enough data to find my phone number now. Feel free to give me a call if you're interested in helping me out and can write code.

            As an aside, AWS/EC2 is probably not the right choice for small companies anymore. GCE and Azure are way better for little ones becau

      • Well, I realized a while back that the purpose of my job is to eliminate jobs. I've been meaning to get into massively distributed systems for a while now out of sheer curiosity. Anybody who writes a program, even if that "program" is an Excel sheet, is eliminating jobs, even if the "job" eliminated is a fraction of a job.

        One thing before my main rant: I disagree about C++. I'd say it's more an issue of knowing which features to use and which to avoid. For example, std::string and std::unique_ptr/std::s

        • by Paradox ( 13555 )

          One thing before my main rant: I disagree about C++. I'd say it's more an issue of knowing which features to use and which to avoid. For example, std::string and std::unique_ptr/std::shared_ptr, RAII good. strlen, malloc/new bad. (Unless, like you said, it really is necessary, but then I'd argue that one should be using straight-up C instead).

          I disqualify languages that do this to the extent C++ does. It's like programming in a minefield. Despite the fact I love the power of C++ and the elegance of Haskell, I do not expect most software shops to actually reliably ship on them.

          My biggest fear is the people will become unable to function without all these dashboards and reports and high-level process management apps that we're cooking up. What I mean is that it seems like the more advanced and abstracted these things get, the more people forget the processes and policies we've modeled and automated. I've run into this before when something just works too well. People forget what policies and rules they decided on that the system is modeling.

          But it's also a testament to a good system when the abstractions become central. Engineers already function at a pretty high level of abstraction for the most part. I don't think we should be too afraid of embracing that so long as the underlying methodologies are open sour

      • You mean, the kind of infrastructure that, when some moron with a backhoe slices through the fiber, renders your infrastructure unreachable, and everyone simultaneously calling the badly undermanned IT department, including managers who will still continue to blame the poor fuck who no longer has any control over any of these wonderful "distributed" services, instead of people like you.

        • by Paradox ( 13555 )

          You mean, the kind of infrastructure that, when some moron with a backhoe slices through the fiber, renders your infrastructure unreachable.

          What the hell are you even talking about? If my product is unreachable, then someone can't reach it. I can propose workarounds to this (multi-datacenter solutions with replicated databases and carefully tuned distributed consensus systems). During a true catastrophy (e.g., US-EAST going down due to flooding) the most important thing I can do is make sure that the data the system manipulates retains integrity through the event, and that the system can resume operation once connectivity can be restored.

          We ope

        • by unimacs ( 597299 )
          I run a small IT department. We will continue to keep some services in house but frankly the same sort of incident you refer to is the kind of thing that being able to turn up services in the cloud can help deal with.

          Platform as a Service (PaaS), Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), and Software as a Service (Saas) each comes with their own set of risks and rewards, but so does managing all that internally. You need to have your eyes wide open. If a company can save a significant amount of time and money
      • Allow me to translate this for those that aren't sure what this means:

        I'm also hoping in the next 5 years we can flush out most of the unmanaged language programmers from any place they don't need to be (unless performance constraints are so tight they outweigh potential security and scheduling implications, I resist the use of languages like C++*, C and Fortran).

        "I'm also hoping software developers will be replaced with uneducated under-paid employees using limited frameworks and wysiwyg editors to churn out solutions that barely work in the least amount of time possible and is outsources to a service that I directly profit from"

        I'm very busy tearing down old crappy processes and infrastructures to make way for lightweight processes and efficient distributed infrastructure.

        I'm busy replacing your infrastructure with a cloud hosted services which I profit from, but is unlikely to be able to provide all of the services you require.

        So yeah, if you (being any reader) one of those people I am your enemy and the beneficiary of this climate all at the same time.

        I have a v

        • by Paradox ( 13555 )

          "I'm also hoping software developers will be replaced with uneducated under-paid employees using limited frameworks and wysiwyg editors to churn out solutions that barely work in the least amount of time possible and is outsources to a service that I directly profit from"

          No. Nice try fearmongering though. I'm the antithesis of an "outsourcing" mentality for software. I'm busy "un-outsourcing" as many things as I can at my current employer because the value loss is just so extreme.

          But you keep trying to pretend that C++ is somehow tied to good programming.

          I'm busy replacing your infrastructure with a cloud hosted services which I profit from, but is unlikely to be able to provide all of the services you require.

          Whatever we can't get, we write. Isn't that how everyone works? What we don't need are silly single-role ops people who have no say in the actual development of software but don't have the skills to participate in its creat

          • Unlike many people, you have the resources to self-educate and keep abreast of the times and state of the art. You just elect not to.

            Personally I have spent more than a half my lifetime in school and I'm a grandfather, so I do agree that if you have the means to educate yourself then you should.

            It's good that you are not trying to profit off of outsourcing to under-paid uneducated and usually under appreciated employees cranking out inferior products. It neither benefits the business or the employees however it is entirely something in line with what those that manage by profit margins and bottom lines would do.

            But you keep trying to pretend that C++ is somehow tied to good programming.

            Good programing isn't tied

            • by Paradox ( 13555 )

              There is nothing more inhetmrently wrong with "WYSIWYG" editors than there is with C++. Judicious, appropriate use is implied. I think the industry over-relies on unmanaged code, appealing to "performance" as a crutch for bad designs and algorithm selections. The results speak for themselves.

              • I'm not going to deny that the world is full of poor decisions and poor code C and C++ included, it does not change the fact that the right tool for the right job is the best way to do things. It doesn't excuse the use of WYSIWYG development to override quality for quantity either or more simply to put off actual development.

                A great example would be handing a bunch business users a sharepoint site with site ownership and sharepoint designer and saying have fun hope you can make something useful for your tea

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Not designers, or system analysts, but the code cutters working from specs. You're all facing replacements from India, where vast coding pools using those with limited skills will do your job for <10% of your salary. The crap that comes back will then be beating into shape by the few local coders before being deployed.

    • Just wait 'til management notices that they can't be held accountable for any damage that crappy code that Bob-from-Kansas with that weird singsong accent wrote. Then the "beating into shape" part will be cut from the process.

      • by Paradox ( 13555 ) on Tuesday December 29, 2015 @12:38PM (#51202513) Homepage Journal

        This part of the thread is like some kinda racist time machine. It's nearly 2016, folks. This kind of garbage is called what it is now. Conflating trained software engineers with call center support is another great example of the kind of demeaning bullshit Americans do to anyone foreign: collapsing them into a demeaning caricature. You both should feel ashamed. Doubly so because you're comically wrong and outdated.

        First of all, outsourcing as a primary source for software has been on a sharp decline for years. A far greater problem is that the vast majority of services simply aren't writing code at all. They're buying 5-10 year old whitelabel software with confusing adapters to modern patterns or simply outsourcing entire products and then letting daily batch processes weld things together. A great example of this is most small banks and credit card providers in the US.

        Second of all, there's no reason people from India can't make great software. Go to any laudable US Compsci program and you'll find people from that country in every grade bracket of every division, if you "require proof" that humans are humans. The business model is the problem, not someone's skin color or language. Outsourcing firms (of which there area LOT in South America now, by the way, so maybe it's time to listen to Trump's rhetoric?) aren't effective because their model is making payroll, not delivering great software to their clients. Many companies are realizing this, and converting to a contracting supply model, which makes a lot more sense in an environment where good talent is hard to find.

  • Anyone else having strange issues with your Slashdot account? Like certain pages say you aren't logged in... but you can't login. BUT when you go to a story, you're logged in?

    Some kind of new cache change or something?

    • by XXeR ( 447912 )

      Anyone else having strange issues with your Slashdot account?

      I've had to re-login several times over the past few days on the same device.

    • I can't reach the My Comments page from my Android devices. It goes to m.slashdot.org, and enters an endless loop.

      Once again, the idiots that write this site are implementing untested changes.

      But worst of all, I have no ads checked, and yet two stupid ads keep appearing on the main page. It's almost as if Dice just wants to kill Slashdot now.

    • This was happening to me yesterday. I thought my account had been compromised because my password was failing.

      The password recovery did not send me any e-mails either.

      But then, magically, midway through the day, the session cookie must have been accepted again and I was suddenly logged in.

      I, of course, changed my password... but I assume it was some server-side disruption.

    • Were you getting the thing where even if you were logged in it was telling you the captcha was wrong, when there wasn't even one visible? And both submit and preview buttons disappeared?

      There was a similar bug a while back, maybe even before beta was introduced.

      For me, it sometimes works if I log on from the main page and if I want to open a story or post a reply I do it by opening a new tab. Makes you wonder if dimothy and his crew test anything, ever.

      I think they let the work experience boy frig around

  • So, in a nutshell (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Opportunist ( 166417 ) on Tuesday December 29, 2015 @11:49AM (#51202195)

    The experts in the flavor of the month technologies (i.e. the buzzwords of which have arrived at the C-Level table) are in demand, the experts in the flavor of last year technology not so.

    That's really astonishing. Who would have thought? How insightful, how unexpected!

    • by Tablizer ( 95088 )

      Is Node++ on Cloud MongoRails still "in", or is that passe? I lost track.

    • The experts in the flavor of the month technologies

      Infosec has been the flavor of the last five years. Unfortunately, recruiters still have no idea what they're looking for so they'll keep copy-pasting 'CISSP' into postings for every level of position, regardless of pay or whether it's a management job.

    • The experts in the flavor of the month technologies (i.e. the buzzwords of which have arrived at the C-Level table) are in demand, the experts in the flavor of last year technology not so.

      That's really astonishing. Who would have thought? How insightful, how unexpected!

      No. The prediction is not just about buzzwords, but about trends that are taking place now (in particular DevOps and the "cloud" - I hate that term.

      Anyways, whether those trends are for better or worse are beyond the point. I can see a dip occurring in 2016 and 2017. And we are bound to have one if we expect a 4-year cycle between dips and our last dip was in 2012 (a mild dip) preceded by the much worse dip of 2008.

      Some places are more immune to such cyclic occurrences than others, but the general rule

  • Please hurry, I am so sick of Dicedot
    • Prediction: some place like Reddit or code.org will buy up Dicedot. Not going on any real evidence, just a hunch.

      At any rate, hopefully the site will stop wonking out for a day or two every other month. Either that or it would be the tipping point for a mass migration to the red site (maybe even a bump for the blue site, too).

      Can I post this one while logged in? Let's see!

  • CS departments are pumping out graduates like a mill.

    Corporations are pushing hard for H1B visas....

    Outsourcing still going strong....

    Massive consolidation into data centers.

    Tech field is a total disaster. Anybody studying in it right now should switch ASAP to another field.

    There is some money left to be made however it's going to be the extremely rare exception rather than the rule.

    • I lived through the dot-com bubble bursting. From about 2001-2005, it got really tough out there. Only those who truly loved software development stayed in. All in all, it had a good result--the quality of the people still in the business went up dramatically.

      This time around is nothing compared to that time period. Yes, I do think we're at the peak of another bubble, but not as big. This time, people actually know they want software, and why.

      If you're ready to leave the industry, please do! I for one

      • by dablow ( 3670865 )

        This is not a bubble bursting.

        It's an entire industry transforming itself. A paradigms shift.

        We are living in a post PC world, and it's never going to come back.

        With everything centralized, the hardware commoditized...there will not be any decent jobs left in this field (for somebody that lives in a Western nation).

        • by dablow ( 3670865 )

          Just to clarify:

          It's not that IT jobs will not exist. They will. It's just that the majority of the labor will be off shored, and what cannot be well they will have hundreds upon hundreds of graduates competing again H1B's (or your nation's equivalent) for the little remaining jobs.

          Kinda how like farming works in USA and Canada. You know where they fly in temporary workers from Mexico and then ship them back when the season is done.

        • This is not a bubble bursting.

          It's an entire industry transforming itself. A paradigms shift.

          We are living in a post PC world, and it's never going to come back.

          With everything centralized, the hardware commoditized...there will not be any decent jobs left in this field (for somebody that lives in a Western nation).

          Then ride that shit. That's how we get through times (source, survival of several paradigm shifts.)

  • Tech industry in slump because tech startups discovered everything they planned to design or build in 2016 is now illegal. However, rental properties, mortgage backed securities, and marijuana farming all looking promising in the coming year.

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