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The Most Valuable Tech Skills in 2017

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The Most Valuable Tech Skills

The interactive graphic above comes to us from Dice Insights, and it helps to visualize the relationship between the supply and demand for over 1,400 technology skills.

Specifically, the supply shown on the graph is based on the amount of job seekers with those skills available, while demand is the portion of employment opportunities listed that require that skill. The “hotter” red a skill is, the greater the ratio of demand to supply.

Big Data Heats Up

With billions of new “things” connecting to the IoT and an explosion in the amount of information that must be processed and interpreted, it is no surprise that many of the most lucrative skills in tech today relate to making sense of large volumes of data.

Here are the ten highest paying skills in technology, according to Dice:

RankSkill2016 SalaryYr/Yr Change
#1HANA$128,958-3.30%
#2MapReduce$125,009-0.30%
#3Cloud Foundry$124,038n/a
#4Hbase$123,9345.70%
#5Omnigraffle$123,782-1.90%
#6Cassandra$123,4592.20%
#7Apache Kafka$122,728n/a
#8SOA$122,094-1.90%
#9Ansible$121,382n/a
#10Jetty$120,9781.30%

Leading the list is SAP’s HANA, or “High Performance Analytical Application”, which is part of a new wave of databases that can crunch large amounts of data nearly instantly. The average salaries of workers skilled in HANA currently hover around $129,000.

If we sort the members of the top ten most lucrative skills list by “heat” level (with several omissions according to availability in the “heat data” set) we can see that HANA is right in the middle of the plot, where supply is roughly equal to demand. This shows us that tech workers choosing to skill up in HANA are effectively getting paid what they are worth.

Top tech skills ranked by heat

Defining the Essentials

What else does “heat” ranking tell us about the market for tech skills that salary data alone does not?

First and foremost, it shows that skills like Java, SQL and HTML, all of which live in the top right-hand corner of the interactive graph where both demand and supply are very high, have become the “bread and butter” of the tech industry. The vast majority of people in the field have a need for these basic services, and as such, the majority of workers in tech have become conversant in them.

We can also see that specific fields, like database administration, web infrastructure management, automation, and big data science, are the areas that businesses need the most help in. The number of specialists skilled in these fields has not yet expanded to meet the significant demand for the associated skills. On the other hand, many marketing and web design skills have fallen toward the “cold” side of the spectrum as supply exceeds demand.

Competition and Timing

Employers may often look for very specific skill sets including one or more of the “hot” skills in the current marketplace. Combined with a hot technology sector, this demand pushes average salary ranges up and motivates tech workers to continually revise their competencies on a regular basis.

Year over year growth in tech salaries

With such a fluid marketplace for jobs in technology, unemployment is very low at around 2%. At the same time, over the past decade, the average tech salary has also increased by roughly $17,000.

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Bitcoin

Mapping the Major Bitcoin Forks

Bitcoin forks play a key role in Bitcoin’s evolution as a blockchain. While some have sparked controversy, most Bitcoin forks have been a sign of growth.

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Mapping the Major Bitcoin Forks

The emergence of Bitcoin took the world by storm through its simplicity and innovation. Yet, plenty of confusion remains around the term itself.

The Bitcoin blockchain—not to be confused with the bitcoin cryptocurrency—involves a vast global network of computers operating on the same distributed database to process massive volumes of data every second.

These transactions tell the network how to alter this distributed database in real-time, which makes it crucial for everyone to agree on how these changes should be applied. When the community can’t come to a mutual agreement on what changes, or when such rule changes should take effect, it results in a blockchain fork.

Today’s unique subway-style map by Bitcoin Magazine shows the dramatic and major forks that have occurred for Bitcoin. But what exactly is a Blockchain fork?

Types of Blockchain Forks

Forks are common practice in the software industry and happen for one of two reasons:

  • Split consensus within the community
    These forks are generally disregarded by the community because they are temporary, except in extreme cases. The longer of the two chains is used to continue building the blockchain.
  • Changes to the underlying rules of the blockchain
    A permanent fork which requires an upgrade to the current software in order to continue participating in the network.

There are four major types of forks that can occur:

1. Soft Forks

Soft forks are like gradual software upgrades—bug fixes, security checks, and new features—for those that upgrade right away.

These forks are “backwards compatible” with the older software; users who haven’t upgraded still have access to the network but may not be able to use all functionality in the current version.

2. Hard Forks

Hard forks are like a new OS release—upgrading is mandatory to continue using the software. Because of this, hard forks aren’t compatible with older versions of the network.

Hard forks are a permanent division of the blockchain. As long as enough people support both chains, however, they will both continue to exist.

The three types of hard forks are:

  • Planned
    Scheduled upgrades to the network, giving users a chance to prepare. These forks typically involve abandoning the old chain.
  • Contentious
    Caused by disagreements in the community, forming a new chain. This usually involves major changes to the code.
  • Spin-off Coins
    Changes to Bitcoin’s code that create new coins. Litecoin is an example of this—key changes included reducing mining time from 10 minutes to 2.5 minutes, and increasing the coin supply from 21 million to 84 million.

3. Codebase Forks

Codebase forks copy the Bitcoin code, allowing developers to make minor tweaks without having to develop the entire blockchain code from scratch. Codebase forks can create a new cryptocurrency or cause unintentional blockchain forks.

4. Blockchain Forks

Blockchain forks involve branching or splitting a blockchain’s whole transaction history. Outcomes range from “orphan” blocks to new cryptocurrencies.

Splitting off the Bitcoin network to form a new currency is much like a religious schism—while most of the characteristics and history are preserved, a fork causes the new network to develop a distinct identity.

Summarizing Major Bitcoin Forks

Descriptions of major forks that have occurred in the Bitcoin blockchain:

  • Bitcoin / Bitcoin Core
    The first iteration of Bitcoin was launched by Satoshi Nakamoto in 2009. Future generations of Bitcoin (aka Bitcoin 0.1.0) were renamed Bitcoin Core, or Bitcore, as other blockchains and codebases formed.
  • BTC1
    A codebase fork of Bitcoin. Developers released a hard fork protocol called Segwit2x, with the intention of having all Bitcoin users eventually migrate to the Segwit2x protocol. However, it failed to gain traction and is now considered defunct.
  • Bitcoin ABC
    Also a codebase fork of Bitcoin, Bitcoin ABC was intentionally designed to be incompatible with all Bitcoin iterations at some point. ABC branched off to form Bitcoin Cash in 2017.
  • Bitcoin Gold, Bitcoin Diamond, Other Fork Coins
    After the successful yet contentious launch of Bitcoin Cash, other fork coins began to emerge. Unlike the disagreement surrounding Bitcoin Cash, most were simply regarded as a way to create new coins.

Some of the above forks were largely driven by ideology (BTC1), some because of mixed consensus on which direction to take a hard fork (Bitcoin ABC), while others were mainly profit-driven (Bitcoin Clashic)—or a mix of all three.

Where’s the Next Fork in the Road?

Forks are considered an inevitability in the blockchain community. Many believe that forks help ensure that everyone involved—developers, miners, and investors—all have a say when disagreements occur.

Bitcoin has seen its fair share of ups and downs. Crypto investors should be aware that Bitcoin, as both a protocol and a currency, is complex and always evolving. Even among experts, there is disagreement on what constitutes a soft or hard fork, and how certain geopolitical events have played a role in Bitcoin’s evolution.

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Technology

Why Big Data Keeps Getting Bigger

Visualizing the vast amount of data produced every single minute, and why it’s still early days in the big data era of technology.

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Why Big Data Keeps Getting Bigger

The sun never sets on the creation of new data.

Yes, the rate of generation may slow down at night as people send fewer emails and watch fewer videos. But for every person hitting the hay, there is another person on the opposite side of the world that is turning their smartphone on for the day.

As a result, the scale of data being generated—even when we look at it through a limited lens of one minute at a time—is quite mind-boggling to behold.

The Data Explosion, by Source

Today’s infographic comes to us from Domo, and it shows the amount of new data generated each minute through several different platforms and technologies.

Let’s start by looking at what happens every minute from a broad perspective:

  • Americans use 4,416,720 GB of internet data
  • There are 188,000,000 emails sent
  • There are 18,100,000 texts sent
  • There are 390,030 apps downloaded

Now lets look at platform-specific data on a per minute basis:

  • Giphy serves up 4,800,000 gifs
  • Netflix users stream 694,444 hours of video
  • Instagram users post 277,777 stories
  • Youtube users watch 4,500,000 videos
  • Twitter users send 511,200 tweets
  • Skype users make 231,840 calls
  • Airbnb books 1,389 reservations
  • Uber users take 9,772 rides
  • Tinder users swipe 1,400,000 times
  • Google conducts 4,497,420 searches
  • Twitch users view 1,000,000 videos

Imagine being given the task to build a server infrastructure capable of handling any of the above items. It’s a level of scale that’s hard to comprehend.

Also, imagine how difficult it is to make sense of this swath of data. How does one even process insights from the many billions of Youtube videos watched per day?

Why Big Data is Going to Get Even Bigger

The above statistics are already mind-bending, but consider that the global total of internet users is still growing at roughly a 9% clip. This means the current rate of data creation is still just scratching the surface of its ultimate potential.

In fact, as We Are Social’s recent report on internet usage reveals, a staggering 367 million new internet users were added in between January 2018 and January 2019:

Internet user growth

Global internet penetration sits at 57% in 2019, meaning that billions of more people are going to be using the above same services—including many others that don’t even exist yet.

Combine this with more time spent on the internet per user and technologies like 5G, and we are only at the beginning of the big data era.

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