Blog

AWS training at CI in the Spring 2020

For questions please contact: jeff.ziskin@csuci.edu (805-437-2653)

In the Spring 2020 I am going to teach two classes on Amazon Web Services (AWS), under the auspices of the AWS Academy, both open to the public:

  1. Cloud Foundations: from January 11 to January 25, with two in-person meetings (Saturday January 11 and Saturday January 25), and online otherwise.
  2. Cloud Architecting: from March 7 to March 21, with two in-person meetings (Saturday March 7 and Saturday March 21), and online otherwise.

We are following exactly the AWS curriculum, and students will be provided AWS Educate cloud accounts with credits for the duration of the classes, as well as vouchers for writing the corresponding certification exams.

America’s Got Talent, Just Not Enough in IT – WSJ

Six-figure bonuses, outsize equity stakes and the flexibility to work from just about anywhere: These are some of the perks companies are offering information-technology workers as they compete for talent in a tight labor market, job seekers and recruiters say.“

Recruiters are feeling the pressure, from the chief executive officer down to the hiring manager, and are working extremely hard to find that tech talent,” said James Atkinson, vice president of quantitative analytics and data science at research and advisory firm Gartner Inc.

Gartner estimates that most large U.S. companies are competing to fill many of the same technology roles, including computer and information research scientists, systems managers, analysts, engineers and software architects. “Nearly a third of the most critical roles, like tech talent, are left unfilled after five months, costing millions in lost productivity on the table for each company every year,” Mr. Atkinson said.

Demand for these workers is growing as companies world-wide seek an edge over competitors by using technology such as cloud computing, data analytics and artificial intelligence. Global spending on these and other enterprise IT tools is expected to reach $3.79 trillion this year, up 1.1% from 2018, Gartner said.

In the first half of 2019, tech job postings in the U.S. rose 32% from a year earlier, according to federal employment data analyzed by IT trade group CompTIA. In the past three months, U.S. employers had about 918,000 unfilled IT jobs, CompTIA said.

While some companies are racing to train existing staff in high-demand skills, others are buying smaller tech ventures to acquire IT workers.

Some of the biggest companies are adding to their arsenal of tools to secure the right employees, said Michael Solomon, co-founder and managing partner at 10x Ascend, an advisory firm for senior technology job seekers.

Source: America’s Got Talent, Just Not Enough in IT – WSJ

Winter class at CI in Cloud Computing

Last week we sent a Qualtrics survey to our Computer Science and IT students to gage the demand for a Cloud Foundations class this winter session (December 21 to January 19).

This class would be taught online, as a COMP 490, using the resources we have at our disposal as part of the AWS Academy. The class would count as an elective, with cost-free AWS accounts for students, as well as vouchers to take the certification exam from AWS (for those who want to do so).

This class would be a good preparation especially for those students who will be looking for jobs, as “Cloud Computing” skills have ranked #1 on LinkedIn and other sites over the last 5 years!

Given the resounding interest in the class as shown on the Qualtrics survey:

we have decided to offer the class if there indeed is enough enrollment and the class is approved. The provisional web site for the class is here.

Energy consumption of data centers

The music video for “Despacito” set an Internet record in April 2018 when it became the first video to hit five billion views on YouTube. In the process, “Despacito” reached a less celebrated milestone: it burned as much energy as 40,000 U.S. homes use in a year. 

Computer servers, which store website data and share it with other computers and mobile devices, create the magic of the virtual world. But every search, click, or streamed video sets several servers to work — a Google search for “Despacito” activates servers in six to eight data centers around the world — consuming very real energy resources.

fortune.com/2019/09/18/internet-cloud-server-data-center-energy-consumption-renewable-coal/

KES 2020

Excited about KES 2020, which is going to take place in Verona, Italy, September 16-18, 2020.

From the conference’s web site: The conference will be held across the Beautiful University Pole Santa Marta Campus only 1km from the historical centre of Verona. Verona is a city in northern Italy’s Veneto region, with a medieval old town built between the meandering Adige River. It’s famous for being the setting of Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet”. A 14th-century residence with a tiny balcony overlooking a courtyard is said to “Juliet’s House”.

For more information visit: http://kes2020.kesinternational.org/

KES 2019

September 4-6, 2019, we attended a very enjoyable and informative KES 2019 conference in Budapest. We presented 3 papers at the conference, co-authored with CI graduate and undergraduate students (see this post for details).

AWS Imagine edu conference

Seattle, July 8-11, 2019

AWS IMAGINE: A Better World, A Global Education Conference

I am attending the AWS Imagine education conference in Seattle. This is a conference hosted by AWS for educators who are interested in offering an AWS based Cloud Computing track at their institutions. I am happy that in the keynote by Andrew Ko, the CSU was mentioned as one of the partner university system: at CI we are offering Cloud Computing with AWS tools to our students, and we are also leveraging the resources of AWS for research. The San Luis Obispo (SLO) campus has been working with AWS tools as well (see Cal Poly Launches World’s First University-Based Cloud Innovation Center Powered by Amazon Web Services). I had the pleasure of meeting Chris Lupo, the chair of Comp Sci at SLO; other CSU campuses, such as Northridge, have also worked with AWS.

Education is built on AWS slide

Partnering with AWS: Community Colleges (CC) have already partnered with AWS in some states. At the conference we heard from Sharron Morrissey from the Virginia Community College System, where AWS was introduced comprehensively in the entire system. The Virginia CCs are able to capitalize on the fact that Amazon chose Arlington (Virginia) as the site for its 2nd headquarters, and the preponderance of data-centers in Virginia. We also heard from Monty Sullivan, the president of the Louisiana Community Colleges system, who spoke about “educational institutions are not any more in the business of furnishing diplomas, but rather they are the gateway into the job market”. Finally, we heard from Sheneui Weber who spoke about the CCs in California, and their thriving partnership with AWS: she cited a study showing that there are about unfilled 30,000 jobs in Cloud Computing in LA County and Orange County, and 5,000 of those jobs specifically mention AWS.

Amazon Fiona building

On Monday, at the Amazon Fiona building, I attended an excellent workshop conducted by the AWS Educate team on how to integrate the AWS curriculum in different degrees – my interest was to explore the possibility of introducing AWS into the Computer Science program (or the IT program) at CI. Some of the resources that AWS offers could also be deployed in our Mechatronics Engineering program (such as AWS Robomaker). At the workshop I was interested in the experience of George Mason University that partnered with Nova and AWS. Just last month this partnership announced a Bachelor of Applied Science (BAS) pathway in cloud computing.

For us at CI, the benefits of such a pathway would be as follows:

  • As we have a hands on practical degree, we are more or less ready; we would have to introduce examples of AWS tools in 3 or 4 courses, such as Networking (COMP 429), Databases (COMP 420) and Cybersecurity (COMP 424), and possibly some DevOps in our Software Engineering class (COMP 350).
  • Once approved by Amazon Educate, students would have then the ability to have educational AWS accounts with some credits, as well as access to the AWS job forum, and vouchers for AWS certification. They would also be more ready for the rapidly expanding Cloud Computing job market.

As a university we have to be technology agnostic to some extent, but since AWS is a platform, on which one can deploy practically any technology, we would not be teaching one tool. Also, we should compare and contrast the AWS offering to other solutions such as Google Cloud and Microsoft Azure. In any case, Cloud Computing is becoming the new computing paradigm, and in order to give our students the best degree possible, we need to teach it.

Rich Mendola from Emory on Building a Secure and Manageable Cloud Environment

I was keen to hear a talk on Machine Learning by Balaji Iyer, as we are currently using AWS SageMaker on a Navy Cybersecurity project. I also really enjoyed an excellent talk by Rich Mendola from Emory, on Building a Secure and Manageable Cloud Environment. It was interesting to hear about the AWS Shared Responsibility Model, a very interesting concept from the Cybersecurity point of view: AWS has built and maintains an extremely secure infrastructure, but it is up the the user to wield the tools correctly in order to maintain security.

Finally, I was excited to be for the first time in a city (Seattle) with the 5G cellular network 🙂

Marco Antonio Bustamante at Yardi

Marco Antonio Bustamante

Marco Antonio Bustamante (on LinkedIn) is a Software Development Engineer at Yardi Systems. He graduated with his Bachelor of Science in Computer Science and minors in Mathematics and Security Systems Engineering in May 2019. Prior to graduation, Marco also completed an internship with FileYourTaxes.com through the Hank Lacayo Institute Internship Program, where he developed experience in Software Engineering. In the Summer of 2018, he also worked as a Student Assistant for the Engineering Innovation Summer Bridge Program at CSUCI, where he tutored and introduced foundational concepts of Computer Science to students in the Oxnard Union High School District. During his studies at CSUCI, he found interests in Mobile Development, Databases, Networks, and Web Applications. These interests heavily influenced his projects and ultimately lead him to gaining the skill set and knowledge to secure a position with Yardi.

How much Google, Facebook, other tech giants pay software engineers

When recent college graduates and friends Zuhayeer Musa and Zaheer Mohiuddin started to break into the software industry, everything they found on the internet about engineering jobs seemed to be missing the actual information they needed: How much do these jobs pay?

Software engineers straight out of college often make six-figure salaries, not counting equity compensation. Depending on seniority, some coders make millions of dollars per year. But where on that spectrum any given engineer lands often depends on a single number — what’s often called a “level.”

At Google, for example, entry-level engineers start at Level 3. Apple has five levels for engineers, from ICT2 up to ICT6. Microsoft’s system starts at 59 for a software development engineer and goes up to 80 for a “technical fellow,” or one of the leaders of their given field.

Source: How much Google, Facebook, other tech giants pay software engineers