ICT Trends Article June 2014

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ICT trends; salaries, programming languages, tertiary enrolments and job ads.

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  • 1 ICT Trends Fresh Developments Redefining Programming Computer researchers and engineers are constantly searching for ways to make the teaching and learning of computational thinking, problem solving, and computer programming more user-friendly and enjoyable. Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania (Penn) are developing a tutoring tool in an effort to change the tedious process of programming into a more intuitive process. Their primary objective is to create automated program synthesis tools that check whether human-supplied code operates correctly, or even supplies suggestions for filling in the coding details of more generally defined goals. They believe that their research could have an impact on teaching all manners of math- and logic-based subjects and could have a major bearing on how programming is taught. The Penn researchers are not the only team working on simplifying the process of programming to help redefine and make the teaching of Computer Science more approachable. Programming Language Trends The current most popular languages in the TIOBE programming community index top 20 for June 2014 are C, Java, Objective C, C++, C# and VB (Fig.1). This popularity is partly reflected in last months article stating that over next 12 months the most sought after skills in NZ will be those supporting the growth of software and web based software companies. These include C# and Java Script frontend IOS and UX, and web-based development and design tools. A new programming language for iOS and OS X development, Apples Swift, is on the rise and will conceivably appear in the top 20 of the TIOBE as of next month. Geekwires Wayne Bishop states that Apples Swift code has abandoned many of the Objective-C complexities most developers have accepted as the norm and almost reads like JavaScript. Objective-Cs mixed interpretation of C/C++ has been a stumbling block for many web, Windows and Java engineers and Swift, a language four years in the making, provides some innovative ways to get work done. Chris Lattner, director of Apples Developer Tools Department, began the development of the Swift language in 2010 as a solo project. He hopes that by making programming more approachable and fun, it will appeal to the next generation of programmers and help redefine how Computer Science is taught. Fig 2 TIOBE Programming Community Index for June 2014
  • 2 Job Adverts The 16 per cent drop in Seek ICT job adverts appears to have been an aberration with an increase this month of 21 per cent on Mays low of 2084 (Fig.2). Junes total of 2520 represents an increase of 54.6 per cent since January and 3.8 per cent on the number of adverts for this time last year. Fig.2 Seek ICT Job Adverts Monthly Trends 2010 2014 (June) The Trademe IT job adverts for June have increased by 21 per cent on last month (Fig.3). The number of adverts is almost identical to June 2013 (1112) and represents an overall increase of 41 per cent since the beginning the year. Fig.3 Seek ICT & Trademe IT Job Advert Trends to June 2014
  • 3 Figure 4 illustrates the upswing in Seek ICT job adverts for this month with Wellington leading the increases for the three main regions. Wellington also leads the increase in adverts for the year to June with a figure of 80 per cent, followed by Auckland with 53 per cent, and Canterbury with 36 per cent. The increase for all NZ for the year to June is 55 per cent (Refer to figure 5 for specific numbers) and is almost identical to the same period last year at 53 per cent. Fig.4 Seek ICT Job Advert Trends Monthly Change for June 2014 Figure 5 provides a detailed record of the Seek ICT job advert trends by region for the year to June 2014. Fig.5 Seek ICT Job Advert Monthly Trends to June 2014
  • 4 Conclusion Last months drop in Seek ICT job adverts appears to have been an anomaly, with strong increases for this month restoring the upward trend over the last six months. It remains to be seen whether this trend continues to follow that of previous years with a further overall increase in July. One rationale for the development of Swift, Apples new programming language for iOS and OS X development is to appeal to the next generation of programmers by helping to make programming more approachable and fun. Penn computer scientists and their colleagues are paralleling these developments by attempting to redefine what learning to program means. Changing programming into a more intuitive process could have an impact on teaching all manners of math- and logic-based subjects and could help to redefine how computer science is taught. It could also help address the skills shortage by broadening the appeal of computer science as a subject, and ICT as a prospective career to students, leading to an increase in graduates (of both genders). News Bytes: A to Z Australia IT Wire: Salary rises on the wane but IT standing up better than most Highest average pay increases for the IT/electronics sector, and engineering, at 3.7%. Australia Dashboard April 2014: ICT labour market indicators Key measurement indicators for the Australian ICT Labour Market. Australia ITNews: Can the NT Government overcome its IT skills shortage? Despite its small size (less than 20,000 staff), the NT has managed an IT faux par of eastern state proportions. Efforts to build a government-wide asset management system have gone off the rails quite spectacularly. Kenya - Coastweek.com: ICT skills shortage hampers deployment of e-government Kenya has set a target of creating over 180,000 direct jobs in the ICT sector by end of 2017. Kenya Standard Digital: Government reaching out to IT multinationals for skills support Huawei will give a total of 100 internship opportunities to engineering students in 4th and 5th year of study. NZ Beehive.govt.nz Budget 2014: Government to invest $28.6 million operating funding (including $11.8 million of contingencies) over the next four years in three Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Graduate Schools to help address significant high-level skills shortages in the rapidly growing ICT industry. NZ Voxy.co.nz: Christchurch Educated Skills Scholarships for India announced Scholarships worth NZD$150,000 have been awarded to Indian students studying postgraduate courses in skill shortage areas at Canterburys most reputable tertiary institutions. SA ITWeb: ICT skills survey will seek to provide an accurate picture of the current situation in SA The priority skills are in the fields of software as a service/cloud computing, network infrastructure, information security and application development and the top programming languages are .NET, C#, C++, Java and VB. UK TechRepublic: Google's gender gap: Why is technology still a man's world? The decreasing share of women in the US IT workforce is mirrored by a decline in the number of women getting Bachelor's degrees in Computer Sciences and Information Sciences. UK - The Inquirer: Google, Microsoft and ARM pay up to train computing teachers GOOGLE, MICROSOFT, ARM AND IBM have pledged time and money to the UK government in order to train more tech-savvy teachers to teach the computing curriculum from September. USA Computerworld.com: Security skills shortage is real, and it's not going away anytime soon. There's plenty of evidence that there is a shortage of cybersecurity professionals, especially within government organisations.