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Rachel Willcox

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Hiroshi Ishiguro and his Android self

Not another Linux desktop! Robots cross the Uncanny Valley

Britons are getting old: baby boomers combined with a low 1970s birth rate saw the proportion of our population 65 or older increase between 1975 and 2015 from 14.1 to 17.8 per cent. That number’s expected to hit a quarter of the population by 2045, says the Office for National Statistics. Japan, of course, has already beaten …
Rachel Willcox, 16 Aug 2017
Lego heads photo via Shutterstock

You need to assemble a crack AI team: Where do you even start?

AI is finding its way into every day business and government. The idea of AI is not a new, but what is different is that today's hardware and software is bringing the various concepts underpinning AI to a mass market. What’s new, too, is the driver: from bots and digital assistants to autonomous vehicles Google, Microsoft, …
Rachel Willcox, 27 Jul 2017
Robot hand human handshake photo via Shutterstock

Get a GRIP! Robolution ain't happening until TOUCH is cracked

Predictions are rife about the millions of repetitive, administrative and operative roles set to be decimated by automation over the coming years. Robots could undoubtedly make a positive contribution to the UK's pitiful levels of productivity and make up for the dearth of people willing to take on the many tedious roles most …
Rachel Willcox, 10 Mar 2017
Broken glass girl image via Shutterstock

Learn a scripting language and play nicely: How to get a DevOps job

You’ve almost certainly heard about DevOps and the fact there’s a skills shortage. One study by data virtualisation specialist Delphix reckoned the most implemented DevOps initiatives include virtual databases, agile data masking and continuous deployment. That's opportunity, right? If you want to muscle in on the DevOps …
Nerd thinking, image via Shutterstock

Reskilling to become a devops dude could net you $105k+

There’s a skills shortage in DevOps and that’s forcing up salaries. A Netenrich survey of 200 CIOs last year found 97 per cent of large and mid-market US firms are moving to cloud – yet the same CIOs reckon their IT teams are lacking the necessary qualifications to make that move. Nearly half (42 per cent) said their IT staff …
Rachel Willcox, 28 Apr 2016
Jerry Maguire

DevOps, huh? Show me the money. Show me the MONAY!

As career buzzwords go, you’d struggle to find one that trumps DevOps judging by the number of conferences, software tools and books flooding the market. DevOps certainly seems to offer plenty of opportunities, straddling, as it does, disciplines across technology and management from building and managing apps to running and …
Rachel Willcox, 21 Mar 2016
WWI French tank picture via Shutterstock

Apparently we have to give customers the warm fuzzies ... How the heck do we do that?

Analysis “The customer is king” is up there with some of the most overused corporate mantras. But it has now been translated into a new buzzword – Customer Experience, or CX – and a whole industry is evolving on the back of it. The purveyors of enterprise software, cloud services and digital devices would have you believe you can …
Rachel Willcox, 27 Jan 2016
Marc Benioff of Salesforce. Pic: Techcrunch

Like paying huge amounts for Salesforce? Don't read this

Visit Salesforce.com’s website and you’ll find a rather helpful list of 10 benefits of the cloud, which includes – in no particular order – flexibility, disaster recovery, and increased collaboration. The fact that there’s no need for capital expenditure makes it in at number 4: “And because cloud computing is much faster to …
Rachel Willcox, 14 Sep 2015
Android icon desktop toys

Blurred lines, as consumer tech swallows delivery of BIG IT

A decade of “consumerisation” of IT has, according to Gartner, succeeded in shifting the balance of power within organisations — across departments and from hierarchies to individuals. For IT companies traditionally dominating the B2C market, the opportunities to target the enterprise space looms large. Already consumer tech …
Rachel Willcox, 24 Jun 2015
Power generators, Holborn, photo: Gavin Clarke

The watts in a box that kept West London's lights on

A fire in the Victorian tunnels beneath Kingsway in central West London on Good Friday, in April, pulled the plug on thousands of businesses in a small area. The blaze – which burned for a day and a half – succeeded in damaging 19 high-voltage cables, leading to a significant loss of load on local utility provider UK Power …

Why recruiters are looking beyond IT's traditional talent pool

Simon Zhang is a former brain surgeon, but that’s literally the last thing you’ll find on his LinkedIn profile. Until March, Zhang was LinkedIn's director of business analytics, having worked his way up through a variety of positions in data science and business analytics since joining the careers social network in 2010. But …
Internet of Things

When THINGS attack! Defending data centres from IoT device-krieg

When good fridges turn bad. It may sound like science fiction, but security experts are warning that the growing prevalence of interconnected “thingbots” is opening up businesses to all sorts of bother. Security-as-a-Service provider Proofpoint warned recently that more than 750,000 Phishing and SPAM Emails had been launched …
Rachel Willcox, 27 Apr 2015
Apple's solar array in Maiden, North Carolina

Want to go green like Apple, but don't have billions in the bank?

Going Green: Strategy (Part 1) How much energy is required to power the ever-expanding online world? With data centres the factories of the 21st Century, this may be a conundrum high on the environmentalist’s agenda, but what about those building the new Satanic mills? Last year, Greenpeace estimated that the aggregate electricity demand of the cloud ( …
Rachel Willcox, 17 Apr 2015
Fruit and vegetables on display on the shelves of a supermarket

Big Data, empty bellies: How supermarkets tweak prices just for the sake of YOUR LOVE

As the Christmas trading figures emerged from the big-name supermarkets last month, the outcome of their price war was laid bare. Consumers benefited from falling food prices while limited-range discounters Aldi and Lidl enjoyed their fastest growth ever. However, this war has not been without its casualties. Morrisons …

How to get ahead in IT: Swap the geek speak for the spreadsheet

Increasingly, we're told, IT types who "understand" their organisation's business can help their business and get ahead. But what does “understanding” the business actually mean? Why does it matter and how does an ambitious IT professional get the mix of skills needed to attain that understanding and also hit the fast track? …
Rachel Willcox, 28 Nov 2014

Hire and hold IT staff in 2015: The Reg's how-to guide

Employers beware – after years of relative inactivity, job seekers are gearing up for change. Economic improvements and an increase in business confidence have led to a burgeoning jobs market and an epidemic of itchy feet. While a certain amount of staff churn is inevitable – and even good – new research from IT recruiter Hays …
Rachel Willcox, 27 Nov 2014

New job in 2015? The Reg guide to getting out and moving on

Official stats show the British economy is recovering, with a huge demand for tech jobs across the board, and the storm of outsourcing and offshoring seen over the last few years now abating. Even those in Whitehall are hiring, bringing back in-house the planning and execution smarts they previously let go. For job-seekers, …
Rachel Willcox, 24 Nov 2014
Lenticular Cloud

Cloud skills certification can add zeros to your pay cheque

As IT recruiters collectively bemoan the dearth of cloud professionals, the doom-and-gloom predictions that cloud services would result in the death of the IT department now seem nothing short of laughable. The most recent research from industry body the Cloud Industry Forum suggests that cloud computing has achieved …
Rachel Willcox, 16 Oct 2014

Whoops, my cloud's just gone titsup. Now what?

“We apologise for the disruption. We have identified the cause and are working to restore the service as quickly as possible.” Attempting to log onto your cloud service and being faced with a message like that is guaranteed to strike fear into the heart of anybody that has trusted all or just part of their company's CRM, email …

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