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  • A significant share of technology professionals said they encounter barriers in getting necessary, regular training on Linux and cloud systems, according to a recent survey from the Linux Academy. Very few reported that their IT department has such an advanced grasp of these topics that it requires little training. Many, in fact, would like to get up to speed on Linux, DevOps and the Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud. However, time constraints, budget limitations and inadequate employer support are keeping these workers from getting the training they need. It doesn't help that, thanks to the shortage of available talent, it's taking two months or longer to fill open job vacancies that demand Linux or cloud skills. "The advancement of [open source and cloud] technologies is clearly outpacing the pool of professionals who are able to service and manage them," said Anthony James, founder of the Linux Academy. "By the time professionals receive the training they need, the technologies have progressed, making their training obsolete. This underscores not only the need for access to timely and affordable training, but also for companies to further invest in their employees' skills." Nearly 890 IT professionals took part in the research.

  • Many working professionals have put "find a new job" at the top of their New Year's resolutions list for 2017, according to a recent survey from CareerBuilder. Findings reveal that younger employees are more likely than older workers than older workers to look for a new job this year. However, a substantial segment of all the employees surveyed will continue to explore career options, regardless of the situation with their current employer. Given this volatile environment, managers should strive to maintain high engagement levels with staff members to avoid excessive turnover. "A new year makes many people set their sights on job hunting," said Rosemary Haefner, chief human resources officer for CareerBuilder. "To keep your top workers, you need to keep a pulse on what they're seeking. For example, poll your employees from time to time to learn more about their goals and motivations and how they want to be treated." The findings also include employees' other 2017 resolutions, and we've included some of those here. More than 3,400 workers took part in the research, which was conducted by Harris Poll.

  • When it comes to technology companies, what makes a particular firm a great place to work? For starters, you would have access to some of the best tech tools anywhere. You'd also thrive on compelling challenges that bring out your best skills as an innovator. Then, you'd benefit from leadership that encourages career growth at all levels. And, of course, there would be perks, such as holiday parties, catered meals, time off to volunteer, generous vacation packages, etc. If you think such an environment is out of reach, think again: These perks are among the many benefits at the technology companies that made the "Best Places to Work" list, ranked by Glassdoor. The top two vendors are well-known. (Hint: One is the top social media site in the world, and the other has created the top search engine.) Beyond that, the list contains a mix of familiar and not-so-predictable names. They are unified, however, by their dedication to engaging employees through meaningful projects, professional development and "cool stuff." Glassdoor based its rankings on company reviews shared by U.S.-based employees over the past year. The company ratings reflect factors such as career opportunities, compensation and benefits, culture and values, senior management and work-life balance. (In some cases, the employee comments included here were lightly edited for space requirements.)

  • Vocational-type training on specific technologies will become more common as we skill up and down to meet the waves of technology demand with a liquid workforce.

  • Technology continues to advance at a breathtaking pace … except when it comes to the traditional business presentation. Most professionals still depend on PowerPoint for these sessions, according to a recent survey from Shufflrr. Some still haul out a projector to share their slides, while others print them out. Professionals are still taking hours—or an entire day—to create a presentation. And many of them are monopolizing what otherwise would be productive time by producing presentations that are 20 slides or longer. If they'd opt for more modern means—such as mobile solutions, screen shares or a formal presentation management system—creating and giving a presentation wouldn't be such a chore. (It would also be far less of a chore for the people who have to sit through them.) In addition, professionals could more easily recycle content from prior efforts. "Presentations are valuable enterprise communication tools, yet they are generally created once and then lost," said James Ontra, CEO of Shufflrr. "From creation, use, reuse, sharing and the tracking of slides, the overall process of creating a presentation is inefficient and wastes a vast amount of time and resources, which is why [organizations should] increase productivity at every stage of the process." An estimated 1,000 professionals took part in the research.