Job and Industry Resources for
Computing & Technology Careers
A career in any computing or technology field demands constant connectivity. From app developers to hardware engineers; from academic professors to database administrators; from project managers to desktop support specialists; every tech professional has to stay on top of the latest developments in software and hardware, and understand how these changes impact developers and/or end users.
But a successful tech career also takes connectivity with other people, both in your own niche and in related ones. So here, we'll explain how to track down pages, groups and companies that'll help keep your career moving forward - as well as how to turn these resources to your advantage.
Cultivate your network(s)
If you've been working in the tech industry for a while, chances are that you're already connected with other professionals in your field via LinkedIn, Google Plus and other social networking sites. But active participation in social-network groups can expand your web of connections even further - and maybe earn you some shiny new endorsements in the process.
As you've probably discovered for yourself by now, social networks' advanced search functions tend to be pretty intuitive - which makes them handy for narrowing your searches down to group pages (rather than personal ones), to groups that include people in your friends list (or ones that don't), and to groups centered in your own corner of the world. You can also poke around via Google - try searching for terms like "software engineering LinkedIn group" or "database administration + Google Plus," substituting your own interest or specialty as needed.
The Facebook groups "TopCoders" and "Google Code Jam" are huge hubs for networking with other coders - while the Google Plus groups "Computing Byte Size" and "Technology in Education" are great places to track down learning resources, and discuss them with other tech professionals. LinkedIn also provides a centralized information hub in the form of the group "Information Technology: IT Networking, Forums and Jobs." The group is private, but if you're not already a member, it's worth your while to submit a request to join.
Expand your job search
Recruiters and staffing firms abound in the technology industry - and many of them even cater to particular technological specialties. Millennium Search, for example, specializes in the software development industry, JB Homer Associates focuses specifically on executive-level IT talent, and Ki Technologies works with developers of high and emerging technologies. Still other firms, such as Deare Recruiting Solutions, place workers in a wide variety of positions throughout the sales, marketing, development and human resources departments of technology companies.
If you'd rather browse job openings - or hunt for fresh talent - on your own, technology-specific job boards can help you filter potential positions (or employees) by geographical region, skillset, expected experience level and salary range. The well-known tech magazine Computerworld hosts an active and diverse job database - while sites like Headhuntable and DevBistro focus foremost on coding positions.
Even if you're already secure in a tech job you enjoy, it may still be worth your while to join a professional association or other organization - or at least check in with some of their websites for news that might be relevant to your career. Running a quick Google search for terms like "technology research organization" or "computing career organization" will give you a general idea of what kind of groups are out there, and what they're up to.
Some tech associations, such as the Software and Industry Information Association (SIIA), exist primarily to provide public advocacy on behalf of the tech industry, and to keep interested parties updated on the latest technological developments and policy issues. The Computing Research Association, meanwhile, connects academic technology researchers with others who share their passion - and still other groups, such as Women in Technology International (WITI) and Creating IT Futures, focus on education and career advancement for particular groups of tech lovers.
Though you don't need to join an organization just to stay up to date on industry news, you might find that sharing some of your own time and knowledge with members will expand your professional network, putting you in touch with organizers, policymakers and mentees you'd never have encountered otherwise. Not to mention that contributions like these will add some extra polish to your resume.
Getting connected with the right groups and organizations may take a little up-front time investment, but a few extra clicks during your downtime can lead to major career payoffs down the road. And once you've got your system of automated, you'll soon start to find that you're able to answer questions and bringing up new topics before your peers - and, more importantly, your competitors - have gotten the inside scoop. Now there's a reason to open a few new browser tabs and see what you can find out.
Headhuntable.com -- A large site where "code ninjas" can socialize with other developers and showcase their work.
Software and Industry Information Association (SIIA) -- A major trade association for the software and digital content industries.
FDM Academy -- A free professional training institute specializing in hands-on IT skills.
You may also want to review Engineering for additional resources. Graphic designers, Mobile Content Developers, and Electronic Game Developers will want to check Graphics / Animation / Electronic Games. Independent IT consultants will want to look at the Free-Agent websites.
Also visit our Career Research Center to learn more about jobs, salaries, and employment growth in Computing and Software.