How Did You Become a Software Engineer? Mary Brians Shares Her Insights

Initially pursuing an art degree, Mary Brians fell into engineering by accident during her time at the University of North Texas. Since then, she found a new passion in Linux and developing embedded applications. . . . . “I rebelled and tried my hand at being an art student in high school and college, so it took a while to find my professional calling. I discovered software engineering partly due to a class at the University of North Texas called game programming, taught by Dr. Ian Parberry. I appreciated the fact that software engineering was not nearly as subjective as art or other industries. n. . . .  I believe it starts with being confident enough to speak up and find your voice. I am frequently not very assertive with managers or coworkers. However, I try to fight that quietness when it matters – but in the past, I was always quiet. I feel that many other women in engineering have this problem. Much of the female management I’ve had has both encouraged me to speak up and grow confident. As a female in STEM, I think we have to encourage each other to speak up and not be afraid to ask questions when it matters most. . . . ” full story here

LinkedIn’s job-matching AI was biased. The company’s solution? More AI.

ZipRecruiter, CareerBuilder, LinkedIn—most of the world’s biggest job search sites use AI to match people with job openings. But the algorithms don’t always play fair.

excerpt: For example, while men are more likely to apply for jobs that require work experience beyond their qualifications, women tend to only go for jobs in which their qualifications match the position’s requirements. The algorithm interprets this variation in behavior and adjusts its recommendations in a way that inadvertently disadvantages women.

“You might be recommending, for example, more senior jobs to one group of people than another, even if they’re qualified at the same level,” Jersin says. “Those people might not get exposed to the same opportunities. And that’s really the impact that we’re talking about here.”

Men also include more skills on their résumés at a lower degree of proficiency than women, and they often engage more aggressively with recruiters on the platform.

To address such issues, Jersin and his team at LinkedIn built a new Ai designed to produce more representative results and deployed it in 2018. It was essentially a separate algorithm designed to counteract recommendations skewed toward a particular group. The new AI ensures that before referring the matches curated by the original engine, the recommendation system includes a representative distribution of users across gender. 

Kan says Monster, which lists 5 to 6 million jobs at any given time, also incorporates behavioral data into its recommendations but doesn’t correct for bias in the same way that LinkedIn does. Instead, the marketing team focuses on getting users from diverse backgrounds signed up for the service, and the company then relies on employers to report back and tell Monster whether or not it passed on a representative set of candidates. . . . full story here

Want a Job in Mechanical Engineering? Here Are 20 Top Companies

The employment of mechanical engineers is projected to grow 9 percent from 2016 to 2026, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That’s about the same as the average for all occupations. But this only shows one dimension of the employment picture for mechanical engineers. The profession continues as one of the top job placement careers. When you get out of college you’re almost certain to get a job.

The states and districts that pay mechanical engineers the highest mean salary are New Mexico ($114,420), District of Columbia ($112,240), Maryland ($109,800), California ($107,920), and Alaska ($103,360).

We’ve listed some of the top employers in the slideshow. Some of them are a bit surprising: While we might not think of these companies as mechanical hardware companies, indeed, they employ an army of MEs . . . . full story here


Top 20 Engineering Schools That Produce the Best-Paid Graduates

According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers, those graduating with engineering degrees are the highest paid new grads in the US. The average starting salary for an engineer with a bachelor’s degree was $66,521 in 2019. For the Class of 2020, starting salaries were 4% higher — $69,188 on average.

With the help of PayScale, we’ve compiled a list of those engineering schools whose graduates are paid well when they graduate and during their mid-career years. We’ve ranked the schools by the highest mid-career salaries of their graduate . . . . full story and slide show here


Pandemic accelerating the move to a hybrid workplace

As employees swap the corporate office for the home office, business leaders are forced to re-examine the business model and strategic priorities.

The pandemic has amplified several trends already prevalent in the workplace: the growth of the dispersed workforce, the proliferation of digital engagement, and the rise of the subscription economy. Together, they are ushering in an era of a rapidly emerging work environment that promotes business agility and growth through a mix of on-site and remote employees, modern digital experiences, and on-demand access to software and solutions.

Flexible work environments will play a more central role moving forward. As one respondent put it, “remote workers are going to be the new norm for our company.” . . . Equally important to business leaders, employees are onboard with more remote work. According to PwC, almost three quarters (72%) of US employees now want to work remotely at least two days per week, with one third (32%) preferring to never go to the office. Similarly, Gallup reported in April 2020 that 60% of Americans would prefer to continue to work remotely once public health restrictions are lifted. full story here


Software Developer Drought: Where are you in Demand?

With an increasing need for software by non-tech companies, a developer drought is growing outside of Silicon Valley.

Turns out there’s a major need for software developers outside of the traditional geo-center of Silicon Valley. Despite COVID-19, states in the US heartland are actively hiring developers. Plus, professionals on the West Coast are reassessing work-life opportunities and exploring start-up prospects outside the Valley and other tech hotspots.

This isn’t a shift to remote workers. In July and August, 92% of software developer job ads on three leading employment sites were for work-on-premises jobs. Apparently, employers are slow to embrace remote working.

The data comes from Mendix, a Siemens business involved in low-code application development. The company recently launched the Mendix 2020 Software Developer Drought Index, an effort to track hiring shortages for developers on the US county and state levels. click here for full article . . .


Companies Start to Think Remote Work Isn’t So Great After All

Projects take longer. Collaboration is harder. And training new workers is a struggle. ‘This is not going to be sustainable.’

Four months ago, employees at many U.S. companies went home and did something incredible: They got their work done, seemingly without missing a beat. Executives were amazed at how well their workers performed remotely, even while juggling child care and the distractions of home. Twitter Inc. and Facebook Inc., among others, quickly said they would embrace remote work . . . . Read full article here at WSJ

Diversifying the Tech Workforce

The tech field is one of the largest sources of wealth generation in the United States—and is 68% White and 65% male. Not only can diversifying the field address wealth gaps, but inclusive tech companies can reduce the likelihood of technology harming underrepresented groups. Here are three organizations that are supporting underrepresented communities in tech.

Diversifying the Tech Workforce, Black Girls Code, Tech Disability Project . . . . full story here

How Are Manufacturers Holding Up During the Pandemic?

Both reshoring and the deployment of automation have become more interesting to respondents. The survey reveals that 64% of manufacturers say they are likely to bring manufacturing production and sourcing back to North America, which is a 10% increase from the same sentiment reported in Thomas’ March survey of manufacturers. Another key finding shows that 25% of US manufacturers are considering expanding industrial automation as a result of COVID-19. . . . . full story click here

Science and Technology Online Video Lectures

Joseph Stiglitz lecturing at Columbia University: The Great Divide

The annual Linus Pauling Memorial Lectures Series takes place in Portland Oregon (Linus’s home town). The presenters each season address topics ranging over all of the sciences, engineering and related philosophies of science and engineering. the focus has been on leading-edge thinkers.

Click here to go to series of lectures on. YouTube: