Xamarin vs. React Native vs. Flutter: Pros & Cons

Software developer, Md Akhtar Hossain, compares 3 of the leading cross-platform mobile development frameworks: Xamarin, React Native & Flutter. His analysis features an in-depth look at pros and cons, industry trends, major adopters, and training options for each tool.

cross platform mobile development frameworks

Xamarin, React Native, and Flutter are some of the best frameworks out there for cross-platform mobile application development. These tools save you a lot of time as they let you build apps for multiple mobile operating systems - such as Android and iOS - using just one codebase. Obviously, you need to make some additional adjustments for each platform, but these frameworks let you reuse code to a great extent for cross-platform development, drastically increasing your efficiency and ROI.

But which one of these 3 tools is the right fit for you? This post will provide a concise breakdown of these popular mobile app development frameworks to help you choose.

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Top Tech Skills in the Remote Work Era

ITCareerFinder interviews technology, business, staffing and education leaders to identify the most desirable skills in the post-Corona IT workforce.

Desirable Remote Tech Skills

The global pandemic has thrown organizations large and small into turmoil as offices shuttered overnight, and employees began a trial-by-fire adjustment to home office environments.

This has had a profound impact on the IT needs of businesses, and offers those in the tech job market a series of opportunities in the areas of IT service management (ITSM), unified communications, security, and a host of areas where businesses will need to ramp up their acumen—quickly and permanently.

“The most shocking thing about the pandemic was not that people were starting to work from home, it was how quickly it happened,” explains Shirin Mangold, senior director of IT at software and information solutions specialist Deltek.

She notes the company immediately lost their ability to go in and pick up IT equipment, and had to support employees who had never worked outside the office. This requiring providing an avalanche of information her team needed to communicate to people working remotely, without the ability to rely on traditional in-office communications.

“We had an increased reliance on online collaboration tools and that became extremely important for communicating information to people,” she says. “As people went home, they asked for support on consumer products, home printers, WiFi and cable providers, and it challenged our ability to troubleshoot, so we really had to share knowledge more creatively.”

She sees business needs for IT Service Management and Unified Communications ramping up dramatically as IT departments struggle with a deluge of tickets, a view shared by Matt Hackney, regional vice president for the New York region at the staffing firm, Robert Half Technology.

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Best Computer Jobs for the Future

best-computer-jobs-for-future-2012

Trying to determine your ideal IT career path? Want to know which computer jobs will be in the greatest demand, offer the highest salaries and best opportunities for advancement once you finish training? ITCareerFinder assembled this comparison of the decade’s hottest technology careers to serve as your guide. These 10 computer jobs will experience the fastest growth, pay salaries well above the national average, boast top employment rates, and offer a range of promotion opportunities.

Best Computer Jobs

Compare the best computer jobs by employment projections, key growth factors, salary and more, then click the links of your favorite IT career paths for deep dive career profiles featuring skills and responsibilities, desirable certifications, wage analyses, education requirements, training & degree programs, local job openings and tips from IT insiders.

Methodology used to discover this decade’s best computer jobs centered around a four-point weighted analysis of employment growth forecasts from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Outlook Handbook, IT salaries from Indeed.com, the ratio of job listings to qualified applicants on leading technology job boards, and potential for upward mobility based on interviews with technology and employment experts, as well as recent IT hiring trends.

Discover the ten best computer jobs for the future:

  1. Mobile Application Developer

    best mobile app developer jobs

    Mobile App Developer Employment Projections | 2018 - 2028

    Key Growth FactorsMobile application development is one of the world's fastest growing occupations. As smart phones and tablets continue to change the way we communicate, do business, and access news & entertainment, the demand for new and innovative mobile apps is growing at an incredible speed. This increased demand translates to one of the largest IT skills gaps ever realized – there are simply more mobile application development job openings than skilled developers to fill them. Google's Android and Apple's iOS (iPhone & iPad) platforms will continue to offer the most job opportunities for mobile developers; view this graph for a breakdown of mobile OS market share.
  2. Software Engineer

    Best Software Engineer Jobs

    Software Engineer Employment Projections | 2018 - 2028

    Key Growth FactorsWorkforce demand for software engineers will rise along with technological advancement and the growing ubiquity of software. For example, rapid adoption of cloud technologies is driving demand for applications software engineers who can build secure and scalable cloud programs. Likewise, as the proliferation of computer systems continues and software spreads into new industries and smart devices, the need to develop the computer systems that power these initiatives will create jobs for systems software engineers.
  3. Video Game Designer

    Best Video Game Designer Jobs

    Video Game Designer Employment Projections | 2018 - 2028

    Key Growth FactorsThe $140+ billion dollar gaming industry has more than tripled in size over the last decade. Beyond the booming market for PC and console games, the increased popularity, processing power, and graphics capabilities of mobile devices has unlocked a new world of job opportunities for video game designers, artists and programmers. Game designers with mobile development expertise will be especially sought after as smart phones and tablets continue to change how video games are played. Game designer employment will also benefit from emerging technologies and rising demand for augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) applications.
  4. IT Security Specialist

    IT Security Specialist career growth

    IT Security Specialist Employment Projections | 2018 - 2028

    Key Growth FactorsSecurity will remain a top concern for IT executives and hiring managers as the frequency, scope and complexity of cyber attacks continues to escalate. Year after year, IT executives report actively seeking professionals with information security skills, but finding it difficult to locate good talent. This indicates an incredible opportunity for technology professionals to advance their cyber security skills and certifications. Computer security skills in the greatest demand include IT operations security, mobile device security, risk management, information assurance, network and cloud/virtualization security.
  5. Computer Systems Analyst

    Computer Systems Analyst career growth

    Computer Systems Analyst Employment Projections | 2018 - 2028

    Key Growth FactorsAs organizations continue to increase their reliance on technology, computer systems analysts will be hired to architect new systems. Health care is a key industry for systems analyst job growth, as aggressive government mandates and funding initiatives continue to drive increases in electronic medical record (EMR) adoption, electronic prescription services and other health-centric software projects that require custom computer systems. The U.S. Department of Labor also predicts a 43% increase in systems analyst hiring at IT consulting firms, which translates to a huge amount of freelance and contract employment opportunities in this position.
  6. Web Developer

    Best Web Developer Jobs

    Web Developer Employment Projections | 2018 - 2028

    Key Growth FactorsEach year, a record number of businesses bring their offerings to the Internet. As the number of products and services online continues to grow, web developers and designers will enjoy increased job opportunities. Proliferation of social networks will boost demand for web developers as businesses look to engage a new generation of customers and spur a competitive advantage in this rapidly growing space. Responsive web design, user interface (UI) and user experience (UX) skills are a hot commodity in this position as displays must increasingly adapt to varying device sizes and types, e.g., smart watches.
  7. Health Information Technician

    Best Health Information Technician Jobs

    Health Information Technician Employment Proj. | 2018 - 2028

    Key Growth FactorsHealth care will produce more new computer jobs through 2020 than any other single industry. Aggressive government mandates and funding incentives for medical practices to adopt centralized electronic health records is driving unprecedented hiring of health information technicians trained and certified in these new technologies. Health information technicians may earn the lowest starting salary on this list, but the required education is the quickest (typically a 2-year degree program in Health IT), plus candidates learning now will be well-positioned for lucrative management positions as the health IT job market continues to mature.
  8. Technology Manager

    Best IT Manager Jobs

    Technology Manager Employment Projections | 2018 - 2028

    Key Growth FactorsJob growth for information technology managers is directly tied to the growth rates of the IT workers they supervise. Record-breaking growth in a variety of technical jobs – including networking, mobile development, software engineering, data management and cloud computing – will continue through 2025 and beyond, in turn fueling strong demand for talented IT managers. Additional growth will be driven by increased focus on information security and the hiring of additional cyber security personnel.
  9. Database Administrator

    best DBA jobs

    Database Administrator Employment Projections | 2018 - 2028

    • 10-Year Growth Pct: 9% (faster than avg.)†
    • 10-Year Growth Volume: 10,500 new jobs
    • Average Salary: $91,000
    • DBA Career Path ››
    Key Growth FactorsBusinesses are racking up impressive amounts of digital information, spurring the need for trained and certified DBAs to store, organize, analyze and secure this data. In addition, as more databases are connected to the Internet and cloud, data security will become increasingly vital and complex; database administrators and developers - especially those with information security skills - will be hired to protect corporate data from hackers and other cyber threat vectors.
  10. Network Administrator

    Network Administrator Job Growth

    Network Administrator Employment Projections | 2018 - 2028

    Key Growth FactorsDemand for network administrators will rise as organizations invest in new computer systems and network technologies to increase productivity and gain a competitive advantage. The rapid adoption of mobile devices and cloud computing into corporate culture means more organizations will use the Internet to conduct business online, translating to increased job opportunities for network administrators and network managers who can help businesses securely use these emerging technologies.

Links Favored by Blog Readers:

The average ten-year growth rate for all occupations is 5% (bls.gov)

Sources: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics' Occupational Outlook Handbook • Indeed.com

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Hot IT Skills in the Internet of Things

internet-of-things-home

The Internet of Things is one of the most revolutionary technology trends of our lifetime -- and it’s poised to explode. These skill sets will maximize your salary and marketability in the proliferating Internet of Things.

Hot Computer Skills IoT

Simply put, the Internet of Things (IoT) is the merger of the physical world with the digital. In the IoT, everyday objects are embedded with technology – such as Wi-Fi and sensors – to acquire a unique online identity and gain the ability to interact with their external environment. This infinite network of “smart” devices promises a range of benefits for businesses, individuals and society at large, including reduced waste, increased safety, greater convenience and improved quality of life.

The vanguard of the IoT revolution is here: Smart objects ranging from fitness wearables and home appliances to connected factories and even whole smart cities are coming online daily, but this is only the beginning. As broadband and hardware costs continue to fall, innovations in mobile and cloud abound, and society continues to embrace an increasingly connected culture, the Internet of Things will explode -- Gartner (conservatively†) predicts 26 billion devices on the Internet of Things by 2020, when by IoT product and services will be generating $300+ billion per year.

Big business is all-in: Tech-giants like Cisco, IBM and SAP are launching internal business units and spending billions to grow the infrastructure of the Internet of Things, while major consumer and industrial manufacturers like Ford, General Electric, Bosch and Philips are working overtime to develop the next generation of intelligent devices. And it's a feeding frenzy on IoT startups; myriad VC firms alongside IT trend-setters like Google and Intel are rapidly acquiring promising hardware and software suppliers in the Internet of Things ecosystem.  

As the Internet of Things continues to expand, forward-thinking IT professionals will enjoy a variety of challenging and lucrative job opportunities. These IT skill sets will be especially sought-after in the age of IoT:

  1. Business Intelligence

    With so many devices consuming and sending exabytes of raw information, the true potential of "big data” will be realized. Organizations will endeavor to collect, store, and analyze smart device data streams for actionable intelligence -- business intelligence specialists with skills in sensor data analysis, data center management, predictive analytics, PaaS (Platform as a Service), as well as programming chops in popular big data platforms like Apache Hadoop and NoSQL, will be ideally positioned to meet these needs. Strong business acumen will also be a key differentiator, particularly for BI executives tasked with divining additional opportunities in the burgeoning Internet of Things.
  2. Information Security

    Already home to one of the largest talent gaps in the IT workforce, cyber security specialists will be even more sought-after as the influx of IP-enabled devices increase the complexity – and with it the potential exploits and privacy concerns – of networked devices. Will someone be able hack into your smart-fridge and gain access to your entire network? IT security pros skilled in vulnerability assessment, PKI (public key infrastructure) security, ethical hacking, and wireless network security are already being scooped up to evaluate and mitigate risks like these. Knowledge of data ethics and privacy policy will further help you advance your information security career in the IoT.
  3. UI / UX Design

    PC, smartphone and tablet screens are rectangles. Objects in the Internet of Things will come in every shape and size; some will have very small screens, and others will have no visual display at all. Talented user interface (UI) and user experience (UX) designers will be a hot commodity as IoT providers strive to develop effective, user-friendly interfaces despite this shift in paradigm. Marketable skills for UI/UX designers in the IoT include Responsive Web Design (wherein visuals dynamically adjust to screen-size, platform and orientation) and Service Design (human-centered design approach that intuitively guides users through complex services).
  4. Mobile Development

    Many of our smart objects will be controlled with mobile devices, i.e., smartphones, tablets, and wearables, driving additional demand for the white-hot mobile application development job role. Platform-wise, Apple iOS and Android application developers will garner the most demand, as these two platforms account for over 90% of mobile devices in U.S. circulation (currently neck-and-neck at about 45% market share each). Digging a little deeper, those with experience developing mobile apps that communicate with external hardware and sensors will be especially sought-after in the proliferating Internet of Things workforce.
  5. Hardware Engineering

    Computer hardware engineers design and build the actual electronics at the heart of the Internet of Things movement. Engineers who can develop and install Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and other connectivity solutions will be in great demand. Other valuable hardware skills in the IoT include AutoCAD drafting, micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS) engineering, wireless sensor design, and quality assurance. Hardware technicians will also benefit from razor-sharp soft skills, such as effective verbal/written communication and conflict resolution, which they’ll need in spades to successfully collaborate with design and manufacturing teams in the IoT.
  6. Networking

    Smart devices wield a variety of sensors and applications to communicate with their environment. Getting these devices to interact effectively demands a wide array of networking tools and techniques. Network pros will need top-notch skills in designing, maintaining and optimizing large-scale traffic across secure, reliable and redundant backbones. Working knowledge of WiFi and other wireless (3G/4G/5G) connection methods will be in high demand, along with the ability to support Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) and Near Field Communication (NFC), and wireless protocols that don't consume a lot of battery power - such as Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) and ZigBee. Providing for diversity of content and understanding the underlying application flow will also be vital for IT pros supporting this critical data network.
  7. Programming & Software Development

    With the industry still in its infancy, the IoT development landscape is very diverse. There are various platforms to choose from and it'll take more time before industry standards are stabilized and set in stone. Nonetheless, some programming skills are more in demand than others. Python is a choice language. It is popular with Raspberry Pi, the single-board computer that is widely used in IoT projects of all sizes. Also crucial to IoT is Node.js, a low-resource server platform that manages connected devices. Node.js is based on the JavaScript programming language. If you want to dig deeper and get into more advanced scenarios such as programming microcontrollers and Arduino boards, knowledge of C/C++ will be a must. These platforms will give you a great jumpstart in programming the IoT.

The list of marketable skills in the Internet of Things will continue to grow as new business challenges and tech breakthroughs arise. I will continue to update this post with the latest & greatest IoT skill sets as they emerge.

Gartner predicts 26 billion devices on the Internet of Things by 2020 (excluding PCs, smartphones and tablets). International Data Corporation (IDC) forecasts 30.1 billion autonomous devices on the IoT in 2020, while Cisco and Ericsson each say 50 billion (but keep in mind they have a horse in this race). Personally, I wouldn't be surprised if the scope of the Internet of Things surpasses all four predictions by decade's end.

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Best Project Management Certifications for IT Pros

Experienced IT project manager, Mary Kyle, breaks down the most valuable PM certifications for tech professionals and software developers.

best project management certs

The field of Project Management is hands-down one of my favorite career paths. Project management is challenging. It pulls in elements of resource management (human and tangible), planning, scheduling, risk mitigation, scope, finances, and so much more. For individuals with an eye to detail and who love the challenge of taking a mere concept from initial planning to the final product, then project management just may be the career for you.

For IT professionals and developers, project management can be an exciting career opportunity. Project managers who possess technical skills are in high demand. A search for technical project managers on SimplyHired yielded over 90,000 job posting. Granted, this was just a snapshot in time but no matter how you look at it, that’s a lot of employers seeking project managers who possess technical skills! It’s a perfect win for employers as well as IT pros and developers.

Whether you’re a seasoned project management pro, looking to make a mid-career transition to project management, or simply exploring what project management is all about, certifications can help you achieve your career goals. There are many different project management certifications available today and selecting the right PM certification may appear daunting. How do you choose? In reviewing certifications, consider where you are in your PM career (entry level, mid-career or experienced). Has your organization adopted a specific project management methodology such as Agile, Six Sigma, or Scrum? Are you located in the US or another geography? These types of questions will help you select the cert program that is right for you.

Below, we’ll take a look at a few of my favorite project management certifications. This is by no means meant to be an exhaustive list of PM certifications. But these are all well-respected, globally recognized, and sought after by employers. You’ll find them a welcome addition to your career portfolio.

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The Best IT Certifications for Beginners

If you want to break into the technology field, proactive training and experience – validated by industry-recognized IT certifications – is a great way to begin. These certifications are the best for beginning IT pros looking to land an entry-level position.

best it certifications for beginners

The COVID-19 pandemic has cost millions of Americans their jobs and made it difficult for 2020 college graduates to find work. Additionally, the advent of a larger remote workforce means the state of jobs today looks pretty different than it did just one year ago. Perhaps you’re looking to change careers. Now may be the perfect time. If information technology is a field that interests you, here’s what you need to get your resume noticed and your foot in the proverbial door.

Train Before You Get the Job

Yes, IT skills are in-demand right now. If you’re researching a career in IT you’ve probably read about the IT skills gap. Essentially this means that there are more technology jobs available than qualified professionals to fill them. The good news is, there are plenty of resources out there to skill up to get one of these in-demand positions. One of the best ways to validate your knowledge in the technology industry is via IT certification.

Certifications aren’t just about adding a gold star to your resume. The skills and knowledge gained through proper certification training and exam prep is exactly what IT departments need. The skills gap is slowly hurting organizations and the best solution is upskilled employees. Preparing for, and earning, an IT certification(s) is one of the best ways to gain the critical skills employers need.

The Best Certs for IT Beginners

Before we get into the best IT certifications for beginners, let us first define “best.” It is, after all, a subjective term. Does best mean it will make you more money? Lead to more interviews? Or does best mean that employers are specifically looking for these credentials?

We have decided the “best” certifications for IT beginners are those that will help you get an entry-level job. To that end, we’ve matched desirable entry-level tech roles with the skills needed to land that job, then paired the most marketable certifications with those skills.

Here are the best IT certifications for beginners, segmented by 3 of the hottest technical domains:

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Highest Paying IT Degrees

Highest Paying IT Degrees

While money isn’t everything when choosing a career, with the average total cost for a 4-year college degree reaching approximately $122,000, you certainly want to invest in a program that will increase your chances of landing a high-paying job after graduation and foster long-term success.

For many, a degree in information technology is probably your best bet. According to the U.S. Department of Education’s College Scorecard, bachelor’s degrees in computer science and engineering lead to the highest salaries. Mathematics and business rank among the top paying fields, too.

Computer and mathematical occupations are expected to grow 12.1 percent between 2019 and 2029 (much faster than the 3.7% growth rate for all occupations) according to new data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). And many companies are still hiring for entry-level roles in IT and computer tech, despite the pandemic.

Whether you are already working toward a degree or shopping around for colleges, read on to learn more about the top paying degrees you need to land your dream job in IT.

(Note: Unless otherwise stated, all salaries cited in this post were taken from sites that collect data anonymously from employees.)

Here are the top paying bachelor's degrees in information technology:

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3 Reasons Chicago Is Becoming America’s Newest Tech Hub

Ian Clark, Head of Americas at cloud staffing firm Frank Recruitment Group, breaks down the key reasons IT professionals are moving to The Windy City.

tech jobs chicago

When you think of the world’s great tech cities, Chicago may not always be top of your mind, but its transformation over the last decade makes it impossible to omit from any discussion about the best American cities for IT professionals.

The global skills gap in technology means that professionals hold most of the cards when it comes to choosing how and where their career pans out, but Chicago has a lot to offer to make sure people want to be there.

Of course, there must be opportunity, and there’s plenty of that. Tech giants such as Google, LinkedIn and Salesforce all have offices in the city, which is partly why CompTIA named Chicago as one of the largest tech employers in the US last year.

Here are the top three reasons tech professionals are packing an extra layer and heading to the Jewel of the Midwest:

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Online IT Schools