06Jun

Seven in ten IT professionals got raises last year, pushing the average base for non-managers to $83,500 and to $146,000 for those in senior positions.

The average percentage increase for non-managers, according to the 2020 IDG Insider Pro and Computerworld IT Salary Survey was 4.7%. Managers at all levels average between 4.2% and 4.3%.

Tech professionals with certain specialized skills saw increases in the double-digits. The report said security professionals averaged 11.2% and those in enterprise application integration got 11.3%.

The majority of respondents to the Insider Pro / Computerworld survey (55%) said the raises were standard annual increases; 20% attributed them to cost of living increases while 30% said the raise was tied to their job performance. Web developers, among the lowest paid of tech workers got an average 11.1% boost in their base pay last year. With bonus — $10,491 on average – their total compensation averages just shy of $70,000.

Contract workers too enjoyed pay hikes. Though the survey had only 102 responses from contractors, 92% said they got a bump. Salaried contractors reported earning a new annual base of $97,742. Those on an hourly contract are averaging $125 an hour.

According to the report, “CIOs took home the most flush paycheck — a total of $202,224 in total compensation, on average. CTOs pulled in an average of $192,561 annually while the mean pay for chief information security officers (CISOs) was $167,780.”

Considering the average pay increase for all private, non-farm workers last year was 3.1%, it’s no surprise the Insider Pro / Computerworld survey found 60% of IT professionals satisfied or very satisfied with their compensation.

Photo by Sigmund on Unsplash

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Soft Skills Are Almost As Important As Tech Prowess

Love ‘em or dread ‘em, Java and JavaScript skills are what employers are most often looking for when hiring software developers.

The same goes for C#, Python and SQL, according to an analysis Burning Glass did of tech job postings.

Dice.com, the tech careers site, took a deep dive into what skills employers most often list in their job descriptions and what they’re willing to pay to get the talent they want. Pulling together data from a variety of sources, Dice notes that while the term “software developer” covers a lot of territory, the five programming languages are the ones most frequently included in job postings.

Fortunately, a Stack Overflow survey found a high percentage of developers regularly use JavaScript, SQL, Python, C# and Java. In fact, almost 70% of professional developers said they most commonly used JavaScript in their work. More, though, told Stack OverFlow they loved Python; fewer dread it.

Regardless of the technical skills, Dice tells us that Burning Glass found employers also want their hires to be good communicators, collaborators, problem solvers and troubleshooters. The other “soft skills” that most frequently show up in job posts are creativity, planning and writing.

Dice points out that, “It’s one thing to code an awesome app; you also need to express your needs and wants to your team members, your manager, and even senior management.”

“Your ‘soft skills’… ultimately matter as much as your technical and coding skills, especially if you aspire to become a team leader or even run a company at some point.”

Employers may be asking for a lot, but they are willing to pay well to get the right people. Right out of school with no experience, starting pay ranges from a low of $66,000 to as much as $99,000. The top end goes to developers with specialized and high demand skills. And, though there are jobs that don’t require a degree, 88.9% of job ads ask for a bachelor’s degree.

With the demand for software developers growing every year and not enough developers to fill all the jobs, it’s taking employers an average of 40 days to hire. And that was before COVID-19 slowed everything up.

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Homeland Security Issues Windows Bug Alert

Tens of thousands – perhaps hundreds of thousands — of Windows 10 users are vulnerable to a “wormable bug” so serious it has been given the highest score possible of the Common Vulnerability Scoring System.

Although Microsoft issued a fix for the bug in March, Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency issued an alert warning of the potential risk to systems that have not installed the fix.

Commonly referred to as SMBGhost, the vulnerability in Windows 10 systems was recently shown to be exploitable. That could give hackers complete access to the computer and, because the vulnerability is considered “wormable,” the exploit code can spread throughout a network, infecting all connected Windows 10 systems.

By default, Windows 10 automatically checks and installs updates. Home and small business users should already have the patch installed. You can check by following the directions from Microsoft.

However, estimates of the unprotected PCs range from the tens of thousands into the hundreds of thousands. For these systems, the risk of being successfully attacked and having the exploit spread is what prompted the Homeland Security warning. The agency warned that “Malicious cyber actors are targeting unpatched systems.”

In 2017, a wormable bug lead to the WannaCry ransomware spread, which disrupted businesses, government and transportation, and in the UK forced hospitals to halt activities and even turn patients away. Microsoft had issued a patch for the hacking tools that had been developed and stolen from the National Security Agency, but millions did not install it, leading to the disruption and damages worldwide estimated in the billions.

Photo by Caspar Camille Rubin on Unsplash

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