UI vs. UX

Joe Tuan, the founder of TopFlight Apps, breaks down the meanings, differences, and core concepts of user interface and user experience design.

ui versus ux design

Today, you can’t build a successful mobile app or website without effective user experience (UX) and user interface (UI) design. Job boards are filled with ads looking for UX/UI designers to help create appealing products and services layered on top of myriad gadgets and devices. But what are these really, and how do you know if you need a UX or UI designer to build your product? Read on to find out.

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Top 10 IT Skills in Demand for 2017

IT Skills In Demand 2017

The jobs you want; the skills you need.

“CompTIA projects global IT industry growth of 4.1 percent in 2017. If this growth materializes, it will push the $3.4 trillion global IT industry past the $3.5 trillion mark by year’s end,” according to the CompTIA IT Industry Outlook 2017. A one-hundred-billion-dollar increase in one year in an already massive market, where sufficient candidates are already lacking, has to spell job openings, and it does.

ITCareerFinder targets the ten hottest IT jobs this year, based on market data, outlining the skills you need to step into these positions. (The Computerworld Forecast 2017 is the source for job demand statistics where not otherwise stated.)

Here are the top 10 IT skills and job roles that hiring managers need in 2017:

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10 Ways to Keep Your IT Help Desk Relevant

Help desks are changing as technology evolves and users grow more familiar with choosing and supporting their own systems. Use these insider tips to maximize your help desk's productivity and make sure it remains an essential part of your business.

relevant IT help desk

As technology and business continue to evolve, the IT landscape looks far different than it did 10 or even 5 years ago. The traditional on-site help desk – which handled all device rollouts, support questions, break-fix emergencies and other urgent needs – is changing too. Many organizations cut costs to preserve or promote revenue-generating personnel, and the growing trend to outsource what are deemed low-level processes can hand many a help desk over to an external provider.

Furthermore, new trends and challenges such as remote access, cloud services, mobility and global interconnection can produce additional pressures on the in-house help desk. This is exacerbated by today’s instant gratification society, as well as the mindset by some in the business world that the help desk is an impediment to their productivity – something they need to make an end run around rather than working with to achieve their goals (a mindset quite likely produced by help desks that don’t keep up with the changes or which are hamstrung by inefficient operations).

A relevant help desk capable of meeting the current challenges of technology can more than earn its keep by helping employees to do their jobs to the best of their abilities. There is a misconception that help desks don’t generate revenue (the best case scenario is that they are viewed as a negative revenue preventer – in other words, helping to combat lost productivity and wages by keeping systems running), but that’s not necessarily the case. A successful help desk ensures that staff can work as effectively as possible by keeping them informed of new developments, helping them find shortcuts to work efficiently and formulating best practices for the organization to standardize – for instance, developing a PowerPoint template for employees to use in creating presentations which comes with logos and links to reference sites or file shares. These tactics will in turn help build out the careers & capabilities of help desk technicians.

Outsourced help desk services will be quick to tell you they can cut costs and improve service by offering a 24x7x365 infrastructure that will be more efficient and responsive. This may be quite true, and many issues can be resolved remotely through externally managed systems. However, nothing beats hands-on technicians who can respond to situations face-to-face. A dead laptop, for instance, is a lot easier for a technician to support if they can troubleshoot, diagnose and/or replace it immediately, rather than subjecting employees to phone calls, wait times and shipped systems. With this in mind, perhaps the ideal help desk going forward will be a hybrid of on-site and off-site personnel.

Whether on premises, outsourced or hybrid, these 10 operational methods can help keep your help desk relevant and aligned with business priorities:

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IT Positions Getting the Biggest Raises in 2014

These IT careers will score the biggest year-over-year pay bump from 2013 to 2014.

IT Pay Raises 2014

Technical staffing firm, Robert Half Technology, just released its 2014 Salary Guide, featuring historical and projected earnings for this year’s hottest IT job roles. The average raise for all IT professionals in 2014 is 5.6%, up slightly from 5.3% last year. Information technology wage hikes will once again trump all other employment sectors, which clock in at a 3.7% average raise.

Here are the IT jobs that will get the biggest raises in 2014:

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IT Salaries 2013: Top 10 Jobs Earning the Biggest Raises

The new IT Salary Guide from technical staffing leader Robert Half Technology indicates the IT professionals who will enjoy the biggest pay raises in 2013.

IT Salaries 2013

The information technology job market will experience a 5.3% uptick in starting IT salaries in 2013, dwarfing the 2.9% average raise for all American workers. A clear skills gap in high-demand positions is the driving factor in IT salary hikes; cutting-edge fields like mobile app development, wireless networking and big data analytics currently have more job openings than qualified professionals to fill them.

Android and iOS application developers will score the biggest raise from 2012 to 2013, with a 9% increase in starting salaries, followed closely by network engineers and data scientists.

Here are the 10 IT job roles getting the biggest pay hikes in 2013:

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Top 10 Technology Skills in Demand for 2016

Technology Skills In Demand 2016

For this year's breakdown of the most sought-after skill sets in the IT workforce, we're once again drawing data from ComputerWorld's annual hiring forecast. In addition, we'll analyze a range of trusted sources (see links at the end) and provide expert commentary to prognosticate about the hottest technology skills through 2016 and beyond.

For its latest forecast, ComputerWorld surveyed 182 IT managers and decision makers. With over one-third (37%) of respondents planning to grow their rosters in 2016 - up from 24% in last year's survey - the technology job market is certainly heating up. This spells good news for existing tech pros looking for a new career path, as well as job seekers new to the IT space. Of course, capitalizing on this growth is contingent on possessing the right expertise, so without further ado, here are the top ten IT skills in demand for 2016:

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5 New Programming Languages Developers Should Know About

Learning new programming languages is an essential part of career advancement for professional developers. Here, we look at five up-and-coming languages that are rapidly gaining traction.

New Programming Languages

The TIOBE Index lists the most popular programming languages among professional coders and developers. The top-ten holds no surprises: Java at number one, followed by C, C++, and Python. JavaScript is in eighth position. Learning any of the languages in the top ten is a safe bet if finding work and making money is your primary concern.

But there are many promising new programming languages making waves in the enterprise. They aren’t a sure thing, but learning one of these newer platforms might pay off in the future: they are in production use at smaller scales or they wouldn’t be on the list.

These languages may also expose you to new programming paradigms and broaden your overall understanding of programming, and mastering cutting-edge platforms can leave you well positioned as a thought-leader in a lucrative and under-served space. Most importantly, tackling a new language is always fun.

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Tips from Recruiters to Land a Software Development Job

Software Development Job Tips

Did you know that on average, recruiters spend six seconds scanning a resume? When looking at candidates' CVs or online profiles, they mostly check for certain keywords that signal whether you may be a good fit for the position. This can be especially true for technical job roles where hiring managers scan for required technologies and IT certifications. This means you only have these few seconds to make the first cut.

Devskiller, an online platform that facilitates software developer job interviews and screening exams, compiled data from more than 112,000 tests taken by candidates worldwide to create the Devskiller Global Technical Hiring and Skills Report, offering a unique snapshot of the IT and development workforce. This article will present key findings from the report that will help you maximize your chances of passing the resume scan and getting hired.

Let's get started!

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