Lanier: Who owns the future?

The virtual world is still one of the fastest growing that we experience. The pace of technological change and digital intrusion into our lives is starting to raise a number of important questions for all of us. Issues of net neutrality, data protection, data security, and how we feel about whistleblowers such as Edward Snowden are becoming ever more relevant.

It is precisely these topics that Jaron Lanier addresses in his latest book, Who Owns the Future? (Simon & Schuster, New York, 2013). Lanier is best known for coining the term « virtual reality » and has been an active participant on the bleeding edge of technological development for quite some time. He is anything but a technological luddite, but on the other hand, he’s not the sector’s biggest cheerleader either.

For Lanier, it is humans who direct the technology, not the other way around. We may be on the verge of giving up this key position, but abdicating our own responsibility for our own future may not be the most reasonable way to go. In a world of hyperbole and exaggeration, Lanier is a voice of balance and reason, and this why he deserves our attention.

Besides reviewing recent technological developments, Lanier’s focus is developing an alternate, plausible scenario for a more just and beneficial future, a program he terms « humanistic information economics ». He makes very clear that our current techno-economic model, one based on what he calls the « Siren Server »; that is, an information gatherer that, by attracting more information to itself, beats down and eventually eliminates all competition. In other words, it is a model that eventually shrinks the economy as a whole. Lanier, by his own admission, is seeking an alternative that will lead to a growing economy and a more just distribution of wealth for us all. And, he does this in a clear, easily understandable way, and with a healthy does of wit and humor besides.

Who Owns the Future? is an important book, and one definitely worth the time it takes to read it. As the old adage goes, « if you always think what you always thought, you’ll always get what you always got. » It’s time to start thinking outside the box, and Lanier’s book is a sound step in that direction.

IT specialist shortages in Germany cost €11mrd to the sector

According to a recent study conducted by Fraunhofer IAO and BITKOM (Specialist Shortages and Know-how Retention in the IT Sector) concludes that shortages of qualified specialists is costing the sector around €11mrd per year. The survey conducted among IT and communication companies in Germany also provides some suggestions on how to overcome such shortages. 

How to build your career in IT

The best technology jobs are never jobs that get posted publicly. You might hear about them through a friend or someone you meet at a networking event, but you aren’t likely to find them posted on a job board. So how do you build a career in IT when the best stuff is hiding in plain sight? You need to have a passion for technology.
There are many paths to a career in IT, including formal education and personal training programs, but no matter how skilled you are, the best jobs are found through relationships. But should you specialize or go for that more well-rounded approach? Can you learn once and expect to carry yourself through to retirement? How does your personal brand impact your ability to have a career in IT? Can what you say on YouTube today impact your ability to get a job in IT tomorrow?
Bobby Knight, SVP at Modis, provides perspective on how to build a great career in IT.

Pixelgyar has been labeled by the e-Jobs Observatory platform

Pixelgyar Ltd. is composed of a team of designers and developers focused on Facebook marketing, mobile apps and web design. The Webdesign courses started 2011 january and it is evolving every month.  
Pixelgyar is certificated, gives quality courses, and actives e-professional networks.

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CERT-IT a new partner of the e-Jobs Observatory network

CERT-IT, the German accredited certifier in the area of IT and Education has recently joined the e-Jobs Observatory network by supporting the e-Jobs Observatory platform. CERT-IT appear now in the « about » section of the site together with other supporters and will participate in the restricted collaborative working groups of e-Jobs supporters.

If you are interested in supporting e-Jobs please fill in the form.

What skills do you need for a Green ICT Job?

The new Green IT node project investigates the needed skills and competences for green ICT jobs. The project started in November 2011 and address the shortage of skilled professionals in the Green IT field. During the 24 months of the project, Green IT node  will analyse the market needs, the existing trainings available for the different components and competences, and define a professional standard in the participating European countries. 

Green IT node will develop European specialist profiles that are in compliance with the principles of the European metaframeworks EQF/e-CF and ECVET as well as guidelines for developing/setting-up further vocational training measures for Green ICT jobs. The expected impact will allow for comparable skills sets for these professions of the future which supports the European labour market and tus, the employability of professionals while at the same time contributing to one of the major challenges of Europe 2020.
Green IT node is funded by Lifelong Learning programme of the European Commission.

More information on the project
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Sustainability Systems Developer – one of the ten green jobs for the next decade

Massive investments in clean energy promise to keep farmers, urban planners, and green-tech entrepreneurs in business for the next decade. The profile of Sustainability Systems Developer has been listed together with other 9 non IT profiles as one of the ten best green jobs for the next decade!
The green economy needs a cadre of specialized software developers and engineers who design, build, and maintain the networks, as well as developers familiar with open source and web 2.0 applications.

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More specialist IT skills needed among young people in Britain

The IT employment sector is growing five times faster than the UK average. In the next five years some 500,000 new entrants will be needed. However most of these jobs – research analysts, software developers, infrastructure specialists, systems engineers – will demand higher level qualifications and skills.

There are specially real opportunities for young people who are increasingly under-represented in the IT sector. Educational performance will need to radically transform to provide the calibre of entrants required. An overhaul of the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) curriculum is required. It is hoped that Behind the Screen, an industry-funded trial of a new computing curriculum, will help to achieve this. Co-opting tech companies on to school governing bodies would promote the sector to young people. [Source:]