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  • If you think California is the top state for programming jobs, guess again. According to recently released research from Experts Exchange, two states strongly associated with the nation's capital top the list for programming employment opportunities. (The Golden State does crack the top five, however.) Given that the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects a 22 percent growth in software development jobs by 2022—double the anticipated growth for any other occupation—you'll likely want to know which regions are emerging as the most promising places to pursue a programming career. "Some of that growth will be seen in states like California and New York, which already show a high concentration of programmers and, thus, higher levels of competition," says Melanie Spatola, community manager for Experts Exchange, which is a global network for tech professionals. "On the other hand, states like Maryland have a relatively low number of qualified applicants for a growing number of jobs, making it the second most opportunity-rich state." The company compiled the research by cross-referencing online job postings, BLS statistics, Twitter data and geo-locations for programming jobs across the country.

  • When supervising workers with different personalities and work ethics, you must find a leadership style that's comfortable for you and works well for your team.

  • The vast majority of technology-focused human resources and recruitment professionals plan to boost hiring efforts in 2015, according to a semi-annual survey from Dice. Most companies surveyed are planning to increase IT staffing by significant margins, and they're also looking for highly experienced candidates. Due to these factors—plus lengthier time-to-hire rates in filling tech positions—IT professionals have the advantage, and they're making good use of it.  Tech workers are asking for more money when accepting a new job, and they're seeing more counteroffers from existing employers when they disclose that they're getting wooed by a competitor. In addition, managers are seeing a surge in voluntary departures within IT, and fewer of them are anticipating layoffs this year. "The year ahead looks bright for tech professionals," says Shravan Goli, president of Dice. "They're in high demand and—with managers looking to hire a substantial number of new employees—they really have strong negotiating power." More than 775 U.S. HR managers, recruiters, consultants and staffing company representatives who hire or recruit tech professionals took part in the research.

  • Nearly everyone has made an honest mistake while meeting with a potential employer, but we're fairly certain that you've never committed any of the following job interview gaffes. They were compiled from a recent OfficeTeam survey of more than 600 senior managers in North America, covering a broad range of what not to wear and what not to say or do. "Interviews are nerve-racking, but proper preparation by job seekers and hiring managers can help things run more smoothly," says Robert Hosking, executive director of OfficeTeam. "Although interview blunders may be embarrassing, candidates who can quickly recover might actually turn an awkward moment into a time to shine." To do so, OfficeTeam suggests the following best practices: Do your homework on any company you visit, and make sure you take advantage of the research by asking organization-relevant questions while there. Practice fielding likely questions during mock interviews conducted by friends or family members. Scout out directions to the office in advance to avoid getting lost and showing up late. Dress appropriately: In nearly all cases, you should wear a suit. And definitely don't make any of the following mistakes!

  • The IT security landscape in 2015 is setting up to be a study in contrasts: Confidence is high among security professionals, even though they expect to be victimized by more attacks, and, as a result, they are planning to significantly beef up their defenses during the coming year. Such is the takeaway from a recent survey of 250 IT security professionals conducted by security vendor ThreatTrack Security. The confidence expressed by the respondents seems to contradict a market that was shaken by a series of headline-grabbing data breaches during 2014. Julian Waits, CEO of ThreatTrack, believes that the findings hint at a welcome combination of confidence and practicality. "The overwhelming optimism that the survey respondents showed seems to indicate a growing confidence in newly available predictive security analytics tools that may help them to more quickly identify attack campaigns in progress," Waits said. "At the same time, they indicated that they are aware of the increased risk of attacks that they will almost certainly face in 2015, which goes to show that they aren't operating with their heads in the sand." One additional consideration the survey unearthed: Companies that employ a chief information security officer (CISO) appear to possess more awareness of the potential for attacks and a slightly higher level of confidence.

  • On-call IT teams are responding to an average of more than 7,700 alerts from users a year, and almost a quarter of these alerts are false alarms, according to a recent survey from VictorOps. The time spent on addressing the false alarms comes out to an estimated $140,000 annual expense for organizations, findings reveal. Given the circumstances, it's easy to see why the vast majority of tech workers said they suffer from "alert fatigue." And it doesn't help that many have to pull an on-call rotation for two weeks (or longer) at a time, leading respondents to provide the following survey comments: "I get stressed, and that causes tension, which then affects my marriage." "I always have to warn my family when it's my week on call." "I have had to leave movies, cut dates short." "It affects my health due to complications of tension and anxiety over missing family events." As troubling as the situation is, tech teams that use infrastructure automation tools said the solutions help "ease their pain." More than 500 system administrators, programmers, and other IT professionals and managers took part in the research.

  • Less than half of North American organizations will see technology budget increases in 2015, reflecting a decline from last year, according a recent survey and forecast from TEKsystems. The overall findings, however, are encouraging: Most IT leaders expect overall IT salaries to increase this year, especially for professionals overseeing security, programming/development, project management and other key technology areas. And few companies anticipate reducing their IT department's staff size. That means any budget declines will most likely result from more efficient and effective IT planning, as opposed to project eliminations and staffing cuts. "It's easy to jump to the conclusion that the reduction in expected budget increases signifies a need to cut back and eliminate important projects," says Jason Hayman, research manager for TEKsystems. "In reality, IT leaders are simply looking to be more realistic about what they can do with their resources and plan accordingly. Rather than viewing the decrease in the rate of growth of spending as a reason to eliminate projects, IT leaders can use that information to implement sound talent management strategies in areas that are truly benefiting the business, and they can allocate resources to solidify those objectives." More than 500 CIOs, IT directors, hiring managers and other technology leaders in the United States and Canada took part in the research.

  • Information security, applications software and systems analytics are emerging as white-hot niches within an already booming IT employment market, according to recent research from Sologig.com. While the overall U.S. workforce is projected to grow by 1.2 percent in 2015, the following tech specialties are expected to expand by at least twice that rate, creating more than 70,000 new jobs. Each pays more than the current $20 in median hourly earnings, and four pay more than $40 an hour. Considering the demand for these positions and the shortage of talent available to fill them, you can expect that such compensation will increase in the year ahead. "The IT sector can expect healthy headcount expansion next year," says Rob Morris, director of Sologig.com, which is CareerBuilder's job site for tech professionals. "However, many of the fastest growing occupations are the very ones recruiters are already having a hard time finding candidates to fill existing positions. As companies' tech needs grow and as competition for top talent heats up, we expect starting compensation to continue its climb for the most qualified tech professionals." The research was based on labor market analysis from Economic Modeling Specialists International, which uses databases compiled from more than 90 federal and state employment sources.