Daily Tech Digest - September 17, 2023

Experiment: IT companies eager to hire self-taught pros

“Self-education can be a valuable pathway to a successful career in cybersecurity and IT,” he says. “However, it may be challenging for self-learners to gain a comprehensive understanding of complex topics without structured guidance.” He adds: “Many cybersecurity roles require certifications and degrees for the validation of skills and knowledge. And while self-learners can earn certifications through self-study, some employers may still prefer candidates with formal degrees or recognized certifications.” Traditional education often provides opportunities for networking and internships, which can also be essential to career growth. "It's a very exciting time for education right now. People who are yearning to learn have a myriad of choices. Traditional paths are no longer the only way to secure essential experience and expertise to build careers,” said Sharahn McClung, career coach at TripleTen, an online part-time coding bootcamp. She believes that self-education puts learners in the driver’s seat, and people can find what they need to fit their unique circumstances and goals.

Eliminate roles, not people: fine-tuning the talent search during times of change

When someone expresses an interest in something, whether it’s emerging tech or a new process, are they going to step up? Do they know what they claim to know? And at the end, are they excited about sharing that? If you see that passion, pick them up and put them where they want to be and you’ll have such greater morale and engagement. It really is something any organization can do; they just have to make the space for it. It’s something where any HR leader can ask an employee, “Are you doing something you’re passionate about? Is there something you want to learn more about? Would you rather grow more in your current role, or explore another facet of the business?” Ask and you’ll be amazed at the data you get from one well-crafted question. From there, you can create that talent bank that says, “Oh, Julia actually said she was really interested in mobile computing, so we’re picking you up and putting you right here.” It’s easily done and accomplished, but I’m also a big fan of demonstrating what you know. So if you’re passionate about something, you know the universal knowledge behind it.

Top Intent-Based Networking Benefits and Challenges Explained

Intent-based networking (IBN) is a software-enabled automation technique that improves network operations and uptime by combining machine learning, artificial intelligence, analytics, and orchestration. IBN allows for flexible and agile network design that optimizes the quality of service for end users, using an algorithm that automates much of the process and scales well at a low cost. While traditional approaches to network management can scale up to a certain point, they quickly run into problems as a network grows larger. IBN addresses these issues by automating processes based on intent, giving network administrators tools that make it easier to manage large networks. ... IBN architecture is guided by a high-level business policy derived from user feedback. The software then checks to see if a user’s query is doable and sends proposed setups to the network administrator for authorization. This means intent is translated into actionable plans by validating against current network constraints.
Older workers are skilled and attentive listeners and prove to be exceptional assets in the workplace due to their receptiveness to training. Their ability to grasp instructions effectively and apply them with minimal repetition is a valuable trait. ... Older talents make excellent employees due to their efficiency and the confidence they have in sharing their suggestions and ideas. Their extensive experience in various roles equips them with a deep understanding of how tasks can be executed more effectively, ultimately leading to cost savings for companies. Additionally, their years of experience have cultivated their self-assuredness, making them unafraid to communicate their insights and recommendations to management. ... Hiring older workers can lead to significant savings in labour costs. Many of them come with existing insurance coverage from previous employers or have supplementary sources of income, which makes them more open to accepting slightly lower wages for their desired positions. 

Are You a Disruptor or a Destructor? A Complete Guide to Innovation for Today's Leaders

Disruptive Innovation is a term coined by Clayton Christensen in 1997. It refers to a process where a smaller company, often with fewer resources, manages to challenge established industry leaders. The disruptors do this by targeting overlooked market segments or creating new markets altogether. Over time, these disruptors refine their products or services and start attracting a broader audience, eventually undermining the existing market leaders. ... On the flip side, Destructive Innovation refers to technologies or practices that harm or make existing models obsolete without adding significant value to the industry or consumers. ... the path you choose has profound implications for your business model, market positioning, and long-term sustainability. Whether you're a seasoned executive, a budding entrepreneur or a forward-thinking sales director, understanding these terms can help you steer your company in the direction that leads to long-term success rather than a short-lived buzz.

Platform Engineering: What’s Hype and What’s Not?

Rather than dealing a death blow to DevOps, a more accurate take is that platform engineering is the next evolution of DevOps and SRE (site reliability engineering). In particular, it benefits developers struggling with code production bottlenecks as they wait on internal approvals or fulfillment. It also helps devs deliver on their own timeline rather than that of their IT team. And it helps operator types (such as SREs or DevOps engineers) who are feeling the pain of repetitive request fulfillment and operational firefighting — busy work that keeps them from building their vision for the future. ... The agile development practices that are at the core of DevOps culture — such as collaboration, communication, and continuous improvement — have not extended to the operations domain. This has hobbled the ability of agile development teams to quickly deliver products. In order not to perpetuate this dynamic, DevOps team culture should evolve to support platform engineering, and platform teams should embrace DevOps team culture.

10 principles to ensure strong cybersecurity in agile development

Security is a team sport. Every developer needs to play their part in ensuring that code is free of security loopholes. Developers often lack the knowledge and understanding of security issues and they tend to prioritize software delivery over security matters. To empower developers, organizations must invest resources towards coaching, mentoring, and upskilling. This includes a combination of security training and awareness sessions, mentoring from senior developers, specialized agile security training events, and access to freely available resources such as OWASP, CWE, BSIMM (Building Security In Maturity Model), SAFECode, and CERT. ... It’s less costly and more efficient to bake security in from the start, rather than trying to add it after the cake comes out of the oven. Leadership must establish processes that help manage information risk throughout the entire development lifecycle. This includes agreeing on high-level application architecture from a security perspective, identifying a list of "security-critical" applications and features, performing a business impact assessment, conducting information risk and vulnerability assessments at early stages, and a process for reporting newly identified risks. 

“Embrace cybersecurity automation and orchestration, but in moderation,” says my puppy

There are three general principles to employ when using automation and orchestration to minimize these risks and maximize the gains in efficiency, cost reduction, and security effectiveness:Scale: automate at small scales, not large. Large-scale automation can be done, but is best done through incremental increases and gains over time rather than in monumental leaps and gains. Look and test: look at the blind spots that automation can cause and test actively with red teaming and purple teaming. If automation is driving analysts to investigate a certain way, occasionally send them different types of prompts or alerts or look at the data that is ignored. Check under the hood: make sure that those who are getting support and are growing their skills in the shadow of automation and orchestration understand how that happens. Encourage skepticism in the system itself in operations. Overall, automation and orchestration are both critical components of a strong cybersecurity strategy. Arguably, they may be necessary to grow in maturity and handle advanced threats at scale.

The future of private AI: open source vs closed source

When deciding which approach to take, investment is always a consideration. Developing private AI models in-house typically involves a greater investment than platform or public cloud options, as it requires businesses to fund and build a team of experts, including data scientists, data engineers and software engineers. On the other hand, taking a platform approach to private AI does not require a team of experts, which significantly reduces the complexity and cost associated with private AI deployment. Speed of deployment is another consideration. ... Another important factor to consider when choosing an AI strategy is whether to train AI using an open source AI or a closed AI model. While open source AI is pre-trained on huge sets of publicly available data, the security and compliance risks associated with this approach are significant. To mitigate risks, organisations can adopt a hybrid open source AI model, where their data is kept private but the code, training algorithms and architecture of the AI model are publicly available. Closed AI models, on the other hand, are kept private by the organisations that develop them, including the training data, AI codebase and underlying architecture. 

Domain-Driven Cloud: Aligning your Cloud Architecture to your Business Model

DDC extends the principles of DDD beyond traditional software systems to create a unifying architecture spanning business domains, software systems and cloud infrastructure. Our customers perpetually strive to align "people, process and technology" together so they can work in harmony to deliver business outcomes. However, in practice, this often falls down as the Business (Biz), IT Development (Dev) and IT Operations (Ops) all go to their separate corners to design solutions for complex problems that actually span all three. What emerges is business process redesigns, enterprise architectures and cloud platform architecture all designed and implemented by different groups using different approaches and localized languages. What’s missing is a unified architecture approach using a shared language that integrates BizDevOps. This is where DDC steps in, with a specific focus on aligning the cloud architecture and software systems that run on them to the bounded contexts of your business model, identified using DDD. 

Quote for the day:

"If you spend your life trying to be good at everything, you will never be great at anything." -- Tom Rath

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