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40 years ago we saw Apple delivering its first Apple II in 1976. Atari, Commodore and yes, Texas Instruments, were the most common computers found in offices. In August of 1976 Computerland had 14 stores and Radio Shack was popular with their TRS-80 Model 1 that had just been released.
Back then, most of us working in offices eyed our computer equipment with love and a great deal of distrust. It was so easy to wipe out all your work or the entire office’s files. Companies started hiring “IT guys” to deal with the “blue screen of death” and the numerous operator and hardware induced errors. The IT guys were beloved while being mostly ignored by the corporate office and structure. To many, they were a necessary evil driving overhead costs up during this fascinating yet nightmarish scenario of early technology meeting business.
Fast forward to today. IT has become a driving force in business and personal lives. Those geeky imaginations? Just look at what they’ve done and imagine what these bright, hardworking, dedicated technology professionals may invent going forward. No longer focused solely on buying, maintaining and upgrading hardware and software, they’re seeking ways to monetize and deploy new capabilities and related innovations.
InformationWeek talks about the “new IT” transition and poor visibility holding IT teams back. However, many companies outside of the technology industry have integrated IT seamlessly into their business goals, R&D, and service or product delivery to clients. One industry that’s embraced IT is engineering.
I’m not talking about software or hardware, I’m talking about the engineering firms that design your roadways, wastewater and water treatment plants, environmental mitigation and recovery plans and more. Just take a look at Tetra Tech, CH2M, and AECOM and others.
Almost all their projects have a strong IT component. They have integrated the technology of today with strategies for tomorrow, helping to plan, design and build Smart Cities, Stadiums, Transportation Systems, and more. Their IT executives and team members are heavily involved in developing new programs and offerings for their clients, work closely with the decision makers in their companies, and are sought out by engineers, scientists and business professionals for their insights and practical application of their knowledge.
Andi Mann, author of the article for InformationWeek, is right. The technology industry is moving forward and the “New IT” leaders, as she calls them, are gaining ground and making impacts that help give their companies a competitive edge. That “IT Guy” is your differentiator and these engineering firms know it.
We frequently hear of the success stories about technology professionals who started in their garage, without a college degree (or high school diploma). Rarely do we hear about a story like this one from Pirates to MIT to Silicon Valley, this Uber man is living the American Dream.
How this Vietnamese refugee became Uber’s CTO
by Octavio Blanco @CNNMoney August 12, 2016: 7:32 AM ET
By the time Thuan Pham was just 12 years old, he had already had several brushes with death.
While escaping Vietnam with his mother and younger brother in 1979, a violent storm battered the dinky, wooden fishing boat carrying the family and dozens of other refugees. Pirates later robbed them. And once they landed at a refugee camp in Indonesia, they lacked shelter and sanitation for weeks.
“My mother decided that it was better to risk our lives…rather than grow up without opportunities for a better life,” Pham said. “That’s what you do as an immigrant: You are willing to trade your life for freedom. Sometimes you get lucky and you get to live.”
Fortunately, Pham’s family got lucky. And they eventually landed in suburban Maryland.
Pham worked hard in school, fell in love with computers and gained admission into the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where he studied computer science.
After graduation, he headed to Silicon Valley and became an integral part of the tech industry’s transformation.
In 2013, he was hired as Uber’s chief technology officer. Since that time, Pham, now 49, has built Uber’s engineering group from 40 engineers to more than 2,000. The company’s technology has gone from handling 30,000 trips a day to millions.
In addition, Pham was recently named one of 40 Great Immigrants of 2016 by the Carnegie Corporation, the nation’s oldest grant making foundation.
Here is Pham’s American Success Story.
What was life like as a child in Vietnam?
When Saigon fell in April of 1975 we lived through four years of Communism. My uncles were sent to a concentration camp and they died there.
My mom, younger brother and I left in the middle of the night. We crammed about 470 people on a dinky, wooden fishing boat — the MT-2377. As we set out, everyone was throwing up.
Some of the nation’s largest banks, acknowledging that traditional passwords are either too cumbersome or no longer secure, are increasingly using fingerprints, facial scans and other types of biometrics to safeguard accounts.
Sourced through Scoop.it from: www.scoop.it
Passwords are quickly becoming a thing of the past. We see laptops, cell phones, and now banks, moving to retina scans and fingerprint scans. I've found the fingertip scan to be less than reliable and wonder just how well this is going to work if adopted by industry.
Sourced through Scoop.it from: www.informationweek.com
The last 24 months has seen a dramatic rise in the number of people who are aware of, and understand to some degree, how the Internet of Things is rapidly becoming part of their life, their city and their workplace.
Developers for IoT have increased 34% in the last 12 months -- 6.2 million worldwide.
By 2020, there will be 50 billion devices connected to the Internet. Jonathan Strickland takes us on a tour through a living room of the future to see how this “Internet of Things” (IOT) will impact our daily lives.
Your next refrigerator may know more about diet than your doctor.
How many objects do you have that are connected to the Internet? About a decade ago you probably would have said one or maybe two if you were an early adopter of smartphone technology. But today, oh, well I’ve got a work computer, I’ve got a personal computer, I’ve got a tablet, I’ve got a smartphone, I’ve got a video game console, I’ve got a media player, I’ve got a smart TV, I even have a smart refrigerator. Now extend this trend outward and what do we get? Well it’s estimated by 2020 there will be 50 billion objects connected to the Internet.
Now that’s billion with a “B.” It’s also estimated by the US Census Bureau that there will be 7.6 billion people alive at that time. So that means that for every person there will be 6.6 objects connected to the Internet. We’re talking about a world blanketed with billions of censors. These censors are taking information from real physical objects that are in the world, and uploading it to the Internet. It’s a world where your environment transforms as you walk through it, because technology that you may not even be aware of is monitoring your every move. It’s a world that’s constantly changing all around us due to these sensors and the Internet and we call it the Internet of Things.
Lets stroll into the living room of the future. Now immediately this room identifies you and taps into a cloud based profile of preferences like climate control, music, lighting and decor. Had a long day at work? The room knows based on the calendar app on your phone and biosensors that detect the stress via blood pressure and heart rate. So it turns off the rockabilly surf guitar you usually listen to, and switches to a more soothing classical music.
From environmental sensors outside and maybe even worn within your clothing itself, it knows it was snowing earlier, so the climate control begins to crank up the heat in anticipation as your walk through the door.
Now on the software side we’re talking about algorithms that are so sophisticated, they may be able to predict what you want before you know you even wanted it. So when you walk to the refrigerator, it tells you not only what’s in there, it tells you what you can make with the stuff you already have. And it’s already telling you what’s inside and what’s the perfect meal based upon your mood, your activity level, and maybe even, well, your weight loss plan for some of us.
As for how many objects could be connected to the Internet? Well, consider this. The latest version of Internet protocol, IPV6, creates more potential address than there are atoms on the surface of the Earth. So we’re going to live in a world completely filled with sensors with data reacting to us, changing every moment depended on our needs. I’m no longer going to be asking you “Hey, what’s your favorite color? What’s your favorite music?” I’m going to ask you, “What’s your reality like?” I know what mine is when I walk into my house, how the world reacts to me. But how does it react to you?
This is more than philosophy. It’s more than technology. It’s altering reality as we know it. And it’s all regulated by the Internet of Things.