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Tag Archives: innovation

All Talent Development Centre posts for Canadian technology contractors relating to innovation.

Canadian Technologies That Contribute to Global Innovation

Happy Canada Day to all Canadians, near and far, on paper and in spirit! Today is a day to celebrate what makes our country so great, including the innovations that contribute to Canada’s success on the global stage.

A couple years ago, in celebration of Canada’s 150th, BellMTS put together this infographic displaying the technologies and inventions by Canadians that made a lasting impact. We’ve always known Canadians are awesome, but you may be surprised at just how many technologies Canadians have contributed to.

So, when you are looking at the fireworks tonight in awe and amazement, think about all 150 years of Canadian innovation.

Canadian Technologies That Contribute to Global Innovation

Do You Still Need a Mousepad?

We all have a few items that we like to hold on to, even when it’s outgrown its purpose. Maybe you still wear that old hoodie every weekend even though it’s full of holes or you refuse to trade in your current phone even though the screen is completely cracked. Would you believe that there are also people out there who have no desire to give up using the mousepad even though they no longer use a ball mouse? It’s true! And according to this video from TechQuickie, they’re not as crazy as you might think.

As the video says, while a good optical mouse can track on any surface, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they should. Find out why in less than 5 minutes by watching the video below. And, if you’re that person using a mousepad and getting flak for it, be sure to forward this video onto the anti-mousepadders!

Exciting Technology Trends to Watch for in 2019

Merry Christmas! As millions of Canadians celebrate this morning, there are no doubt a bunch of new gadgets and confusing technologies being explored, with new owners trying to figure out how to use them. If you’re impressed (or worried) with the technology innovations you’ve seen this holiday season, it may only be the beginning. Just check out this graphic below.

Hiddenwires teamed up with Trendforce to create the visual of Top 10 Technology Trends we can expect in 2019. From 5g to increased voice interaction and, of course, expanded IoT, the new year is shaping up to be exciting. Did any of these new technologies arrive in your house this holiday season?

 

Exciting Technology Trends to Watch for in 2019

New and Growing Job Opportunities for IT Contractors by 2022

According to a recent survey from Nintex, 71% of decision makers across multiple industries say automation will affect up to one out of five positions at their companies. In IT departments, this could include those in roles that include troubleshooting, password resets, and upgrading security patches.

Given the numerous studies being released on this topic every day, should IT contractors and technology professionals be concerned about their future? Only if they’re not willing to change and learn future skills says the Future of Jobs Report published by the World Economic Forum. In fact, there are a number of opportunities! Just have a look at this very brief summary of the report:

1. Automation, robotization and digitization look different across different industries

The many faces of the robot revolutionWhile it’s expected that companies world-wide will be developing robots and automation, different industries will have different needs. As such, WEF says we can expect to see fewer of the robots we’re used to seeing in sci-fi movies, and more stationary robots.

2. There is a net positive outlook for jobs – amid significant job disruption

The World Economic Forum predicts that by 2022, 75 million current job roles will be displaced due to machines and algorithms. That may sound devastating; however, they also expect 133 million new job roles will emerge. Moreover, occupations like Data Analysts, Software & Applications Developers, and E-Commerce & Social Media Specialists should see some significant growth.

3. The division of labour between humans, machines and algorithms is shifting fast

Of all of the industries covered in World Economic Forum’s Future of Jobs Report, there is currently a 71%/29% split in task hours performed by humans versus by robots. By 2022, this is expected to be 58%/42% and 48%/52% by 2025.  According to the report, “Even work tasks overwhelmingly performed by humans today — communicating, interacting, coordinating, managing and advising — will begin to be taken on by machines, although to a lesser degree.”

4. New tasks at work are driving demand for new skills

Skills such as precision, memory, reading/writing, even management are expected to be less and less significant on resumes. Instead, the experts at World Economic Forum predict that you’ll get ahead in the next few years if you start highlighting skills such as analytical thinking, active learning, technology design and emotional intelligence.

5. We will all need to become lifelong learners

As noted in the previous point, learning is more and more important. Both individual workers and senior leaders are seeing a growing skills gap that can obstruct an organization’s growth if not managed properly. This shows opportunities for independent contractors in IT who manage to keep up with the latest skills and trends. It’s expected that one-half to two-thirds of the world’s companies will be turning to them for help.

What are you doing to prepare for the future and the inevitable changes due to automation? Will you be a leader taking advantage of the new opportunities or will you fall behind due to fear and resistance?

Artificial Intelligence: The Opportunities and Threats are Up to You

For years, we’ve been hearing that advancements in technology will steal our jobs. Innovations like robots, automation and artificial intelligence will all apparently be equipped to perform the tasks of humans and we’ll all find ourselves on the side of the road with no money.

This discussion frequently divides people into two schools of thought. The first states that continued technology and innovation will only create more opportunities as people will have to teach the robots and a more efficient economy will lead to more jobs. Vice-versa, some experts will tell you that while that may have been true 100 years ago, our current generation’s technology revolution is a different story that will hurt workers. Since reality is yet to be proven, like many other debates, it comes down to how you choose to perceive the situation.

Just One Opportunity from AI and Automation

There is no shortage of articles and case studies showing how artificial intelligence has changed the way we do nearly everything. As far as technology roles go, many can be complemented. Simple Programmer provides a fantastic example of how software testers and quality assurance professionals can benefit from AI’s influence in a number of ways:

  • Faster and More Stable UI Tests
  • Reducing Maintenance and Eliminating Flaky Tests
  • Continuous Learning from Production Data
  • Removing Dependencies
  • Ease of Authoring and Executing Tests
  • Releasing at the Speed of Development

Tech Jobs at Risk Due to Automation and AI

Last month, Dice published an article about the 4 tech jobs most at risk from automation and artificial intelligence. They say that while automation might help tech pros, it won’t be great for everyone, with these for jobs being most at risk:

  • Data Centre Administrators – “Backups, provisioning virtual machines, and security are just three core processes that companies can leave largely up to software.”
  • Help Desk Staff – “Talk of “responsibility” aside, it stands to reason that if Google (or any other tech firm, such as IBM) can create an automated assistant with human-like speech, companies will use that to eliminate call-center staff.”
  • Programmers – “The rise of no- and low-code application builders is just one facet of this evolution; in theory, future software platforms will be able to assemble relatively simple programs with just a few mouse-clicks.”
  • Data Analysts – “Instead of having a dedicated person to analyze in-house data, businesses could rely on this software in conjunction with employees who receive some training in data analysis.”

To be fair, this article referenced from Dice did explain which predictions were a stretch and provides advice to IT professionals on how they can remain competitive; however, the base embraces the negative side of AI.

The way you interpret unknown situations and debates is your choice. You can choose to focus on the positive or get stuck on the negativity and fear. What do you think AI and automation will do to the future of your job? Will it complement your profession like the example given by Simple Programmer, or is your job at risk and you’ll have to strategize how to keep it as described by Dice?

Technology Will be the Star of the 2020 Summer Olympics

In exactly two years from tomorrow, the 2020 Olympics will kick-off in Tokyo. The world will have their eyes on the Summer Games rooting for their home countries’ athletes and excited to find out who will break the next record. Naturally, most sports lovers will be watching the events in anticipation of the record-setting runners, swimmers and jumpers. Another demographic, however, will be checking out the record-setting technologies.

The Olympics are not new to using cutting-edge technology in their processes and breaking records with their innovations. Did you know that the 1912 Stockholm Summer Games were the first to use electronic stopwatches on a mass scale? Or that the Berlin Summer Games in 1936 was the first sporting event broadcast on live television? According to this infographic from Futurism, Tokyo introduced the world’s first high-speed train in 1964 and intend to continue their innovative tradition in 2020. If you want a reason to be excited for the Olympics (other than the games) check out these predictions. These games are going to be unreal!

Changes at Eagle (and for Me!) Expected to Drive Opportunities into Our Contractor Base

Morley Surcon By Morley Surcon,
Vice-President Strategic Accounts & Client Solutions, Western Canada at Eagle

I am pleased to announce that my position as GM/VP of the Calgary region is changing. Kelly Benson will now take over the branch management responsibilities from me, which is allowing me to refocus my efforts externally. My new title is VP, Strategic Accounts and Client Solutions and my area of responsibility will be Western Canada.

This change is exciting for a couple of reasons. First, is that I believe Kelly will do an excellent job managing the Calgary branch. She’s a very capable and enthusiastic individual and has a great base of experience from which to draw. The branch is in very good hands. Second, is that for some time now Eagle has been internally/operationally focused and this change will have me pro-actively engaging in the market once again!

One of our company’s core values is Innovation. Over the past year or so, Eagle has introduced a number of technological innovations to support and enhance our processes. These innovations enhance our onboarding, candidate sourcing, contractor management, and compliance/safety programs. Together, they have an impact on all of our internal processes, making us more efficient and effective in our business operations. And if that wasn’t enough, we have also gone through the process of recertification for our ISO quality system, moving from the older 9001:2008 standard to the current 9001:2015 standard. All these changes meant that management needed to be introspective. These technological innovations have made us better at what we do and kept us on the cutting edge, which is critical in our hyper-competitive industry. However, in doing so we’ve had reduced connections, at the executive level, with the broader market.

My new role will see me re-engaging with our clients at senior levels, acting in an advisory capacity and building value by sharing Eagle’s accumulated knowledge of the contingent workforce industry. Additionally, I will work with companies to consider innovative alternatives to the typical temporary staffing model. I will essentially be a resource to support their own labour-planning process. My expectation is that I will learn of companies’ business challenges at both strategic and tactical levels. As a result, I’ll need to engage with thought leaders, business consultants and subject matter experts from our contractor database across Western Canada to create solutions for our clientele. These solutions will require resources and Eagle’s recruiters will be calling out to our contractor database to check on availability and gauge interest. The more successful I am, the more opportunities there will be for our contractor partners!

As my move into this role is still very new, it is hard to say just where the successes will come; but opportunities for Eagle’s contractors and consultants will certainly be a result.  I’m looking forward to engaging with both clients and consultants in the upcoming months to drive out this new initiative!

If you have a strategic or out-of-the-box idea to share, I can easily be reached via my LinkedIn profile

What the World Could Look Like in 2050 (Infographic)

This infographic may be a couple years old, but we’re still many more than a couple years away from learning how accurate it was. If you’ve been wondering if and when we’ll finally be able to download dreams, build hotels on the moon or have electronic tattoos, then look no further.

Nowandnext put together this visual aid to tell us the likelihood of seeing these and other seemingly far-off technologies in the year 2050. Are there any that you’re particularly interested in seeing?

what-the-world-could-look-like-in-2050