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By James Kobielus (@jameskobielus)
What minimal qualifications do you actually need to call yourself a data scientist these days?
The cynical answer would be: whatever you can get away with. But the fuller answer would be: whatever the market can bear.
By the latter I’m referring to the core principle of a dynamic free-market economy: supply will emerge, by hook or crook, to satisfy demand.
A realist would admit that–even if you have no experience, qualifications, certification, track record, or any other objective evidence that you are on some level a competent data scientist—you can plausibly, without fraudulent intent, call yourself one if you feel that you’re up to the challenge. That’s called “marketing.” And if someone else accepts your self-definition and opts to engage you in an initiative in which you’re expected to deliver on your offer of data scientific services, you are doubly entitled to call yourself one. That’s called “sales.” And if you can indeed, in spite of all appearances, provide data scientific services that they find acceptable, and if you can collect monetary compensation in the process, you’re indeed a legitimate, professional data scientist.
Those are the minimal qualifications for calling yourself a professional in any line of work in a free economy. Of course, there may, in various lines of work and various jurisdictions, be plenty of formal degrees, certifications, union memberships, and other hoops you may need to jump through before you’re entitled to call yourself, say, a doctor, lawyer, certified public accountant, or air-traffic controller. There are few such hoops in the data-science profession so far.
Likewise, there are in various professions codes of conduct that are widely accepted and constrain the extent to which anybody can pass off shoddy work as the valid output of a competent professional. As I noted here, various individuals and groups in the data science profession have proposed such codes of conduct, though none is universally recognized. And none of the ones that have been proposed is being used in any concerted fashion to limit who may or may not market themselves as a data scientist.
To the extent that employers adopt hiring practices that incorporate minimal qualification criteria from these or other codes of conduct, you wouldn’t be able to market your so-called data science bonafides to any of them until such time as you conform to those. Clearly, the self-taught, self-appointed data scientists among us must face up to that challenge if they wish to make steady careers in the profession.
Given the persistent undersupply of qualified data scientists to meet growing demand, the autodidacts (who can actually deliver the goods) will be able to prosper in today’s big-data-besotted economy. Many of them will avail themselves of the ample free resources to boostrap themselves into this “sexy” profession on the cheap.
All power to them. Being an aspiring data scientist in this day and age is a bit like being an aspiring soldier in a wartime emergency. The fact that you’ve enlisted or been conscripted doesn’t make you up the challenge. The fact that somebody handed you a gun and a uniform doesn’t mean you can be trusted to defend your country. The fact that you can follow orders and march in a straight line doesn’t mean that you’re cut out for this line of work.
But the fact that somebody’s giving you orders and that they’re apparently satisfied enough with what you’re doing means you’re indeed a soldier now. You’re as much a soldier as the major general…or your drill sergeant.
And nobody can tell you you’re not.
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Do you believe the RSA Conference is getting too big for San Francisco? Find out in this week’s roundup.
1. RSA Conference 2015 recap: Record attendance, record stakes – Eric Parizo (SearchSecurity)
This year’s RSA Conference once again broke the previous year’s attendance record. Is the show getting too big for San Francisco? Plus key takeaways and final words from our executive editor.
2. Apache CloudStack marches on in OpenStack’s shadow – Trevor Jones (SearchCloudComputing)
What CloudStack lacks in corporate sponsorships it makes up for in user appeal and isn’t going away any time soon.
3. Government agencies struggling with security data analytics – Maxim Tamarov (SearchSecurity)
Security data analytics are a must-have for government agencies to stay one step ahead of cyber attackers, according to a study conducted by MeriTalk.
4. EMC World 2015: Expect backup, flash, future directions – Dave Raffo (SearchStorage)
EMC will roll out products in its Data Domain, XtremIO and ViPR platforms at EMC World 2015, but what about a CEO succession plan?
5. Universal apps, holographic magic at Microsoft Build 2015 – Francesca Sales (SearchCIO)
At Microsoft Build 2015, the software giant showed it’s determined to do for mobile devices what it did for PCs — only this time it’s the services, not the OS, that it hopes will be the cash cow.
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Are long-duration security attacks the norm now? Find out in this week’s roundup.
1. Long-duration advanced persistent threats now the norm, say experts – Michael Heller (SearchSecurity)
Threat experts at RSA Conference 2015 say today’s most dangerous attack techniques reflect a shift toward long-duration attacks that are often nearly impossible to detect.
2. Spectra Logic Corp. upgrades BlackPearl with more cache, object support – Garry Kranz (SearchDataBackup)
Spectra Logic has tweaked S3 commands on BlackPearl archiving gateway to enable bulk transfer of objects to backend LTFS libraries.
3. Report shows increased failure rates for ERP implementations – Jim O’Donnell (SearchManufacturingERP)
The 2015 ERP report from Panorama Consulting Solutions also shows SAP outpacing Oracle and Microsoft on buyer shortlists.
4. New data center cooling systems slowly displace CRAC – Robert Gates (SearchDataCenter)
As CRAC remains a top data center cooling option, cheaper and more environmentally friendly options will continue to emerge.
5. Google reports 12% revenue increase – Kayleigh Bateman (ComputerWeekly)
Google misses analysts’ $17.5bn target but reports 3.7% profit increase through growth in mobile ad sales.
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Can HP’s hardware play an important role in the cloud market? Find out in this week’s roundup.
1. HP cloud services here to stay, but IaaS ambition shifts – Ed Scannell and Trevor Jones (SearchCloudComputing)
HP knows its cloud services won’t beat AWS, Google and Azure, but its hardware can play an important role in the cloud.
2. IoT device explosion challenges data center security – Robert Gates (SearchDataCenter)
The billions of Internet connected devices in the IoT wave introduce new data center security concerns that IT managers must head off at the pass.
3. Patch Tuesday, exploit Thursday: Windows HTTP.sys flaw under attack – Michael Heller (SearchSecurity)
A critical vulnerability in Windows HTTP.sys was detailed as part of Microsoft’s April Patch Tuesday, and the flaw is already being actively exploited in the wild.
4. News recap: Report shows promising telecom employment numbers – Katherine Finnell (SearchTelecom)
In telecom news, a report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows promising telecom employment numbers; broadband customers are increasingly using OTT services.
5. Crossroads Systems boosts StrongBox DR failover to tape – Garry Kranz (SearchDisasterRecovery)
Crossroads StrongBox archiving appliance ingests writes to disk and copies data to up two tape libraries for disaster recovery.
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Do you think cybersecurity threats are getting more complex? Find out what our experts think in this week’s roundup.
1. Experts disagree on growth, complexity of cybersecurity threats – Michael Heller (SearchSecurity)
The Websense 2015 Threat Report claims that cybersecurity threats are getting more complex, but one expert says the trends aren’t anything new.
2. CipherCloud launches free cloud compliance resource center – Rob Wright (SearchCloudSecurity)
CipherCloud’s new Global Compliance Resource Center aims to clear up the confusion around global compliance and data privacy protection laws as they pertain to the cloud.
3. Microsoft Hyper-V Containers the latest Docker embrace – Trevor Jones (SearchServerVirtualization)
Microsoft continues its push for Docker, the Linux container technology, with a new Hyper-V Container tool for greater application isolation.
4. Microsoft goes small with Nano Server – Jeremy Stanley (SearchWindowsServer)
What’s more (or less) Server Core than Server Core? Microsoft’s Nano Server, expected in the next release of Windows Server, will be all about PowerShell management.
5. Inovalon federates healthcare info into data leaks for analytics – Dave Raffo (SearchStorage)
Healthcare analytics firm Inovalon escapes a siloed approach by building hybrid cloud data lakes for petabytes of data with EMC Federation technology.
Internet of Things image via Shutterstock
Is the IoT hype justified at RSA Conference 2015? Find out in this week’s roundup.
1. RSA Conference 2015 preview: Is IoT hype justified – Michael Heller (SearchSecurity)
The Internet of Things dominates the agenda at RSA Conference 2015, but experts believe enterprises should focus their attention on threat intelligence and other topics.
2. VMware EVO:RAIL attracts lots of tire kickers, few drivers – Ed Scannell (SearchServerVirtualization)
VMware users are showing interest in EVO:RAIL, but competitive offerings and more complex decision making slows the purchasing process down.
3. Azure Site Recovery expands cloud DR to VMware users – Trevor Jones (SearchCloudComputing)
Azure Site Recovery expands Microsoft’s cloud disaster recovery capabilities to VMware users and potentially to other services, too.
4. Wells Fargo continues massive data center consolidation – Robert Gates (SearchDataCenter)
Since merging with Wachovia in 2009, Wells Fargo has closed 100 data centers, decreasing its risk profile and reducing its carbon footprint.
5. IBM innovation centers give enterprises a dry run with SDN technology – Gina Narcisi (SearchSDN)
As enterprise interest in SDN grows, new IBM innovation centers allow businesses to test SDN technology from a variety of vendors.
Analytics image via Shutterstock
By James Kobielus (@jameskobielus)
Some possessions are best left mute and dumb, unless you feel you can’t get through life if everything you own isn’t constantly peppering you with “friendly reminders,” like an overbearing spouse.
Machines don’t need to sleep, and they can monitor anything and everything 24×7. As the Internet of Things (IoT) pushes sensor-driven smarts into everything, we’re going to create a world where inanimate objects know who we are, what we need, and, through machine-driven alerts, how to guide us in that direction. Not just that, but embedding of IoT endpoints into every personal possession might create a world where we all risk being smothered in an overload of notifications, reminders, guidance, and other messages.
Are you ready to be spammed by the universe at large? It’s been said that the road to perdition is paved with good intentions, and that’s certainly the case with the potential dystopia of IoT-stoked overnotification. As this recent EE Times article notes, there are legitimate reasons why, say, every container of food, drink, pharmaceuticals, cleanser, gasoline, and other substances in and around your household should notify you if they’ve been left open for longer than normal. But do you also want those containers, by default, to instruct you that you need to refill or replace them regularly with some new, improved, premium brand?
Perhaps it’s premature to moan about overbearing IoT analytics, to borrow a phrase from the cited article’s headline. But as smart appliances become mainstream and as people adopt smartwatches and other wearables that receive continuous alerts from hither and yon, it’s only a matter of time before an overnotification culture takes hold everywhere. To get a foretaste of the IoT-stoked message madness that awaits us all, just look at today’s never-ending spam nightmare of email and social media. Either the IoT-triggered notification messages will be turned on automatically when we activate a new smart possession, or we’ll turn them on ourselves and seldom “opt out.”
Sad to say, IoT analytics could make the problem much worse, rather than better. Behind the scenes, cloud-based machine-learning and predictive models may be set up to find a continuing stream of events, threats, and opportunities that absolutely must be called to our attention ASAP.
Say what you will about the privacy and malware implications of all this, but even the most benign of these messages will prove annoying if we receive them constantly and can’t easily tune them out. Even if we could block some IoT notification spam in the future, the need to continually manage it all—even the stuff that we long ago opted into–will wear us down.
HP image via Shutterstock
Need help with OpenStack? Find out how HP’s Helion Rack is giving it a helping hand in this week’s roundup.
1. HP Helion Rack gives users helping hand with OpenStack – Ed Scannell (SearchCloudComputing)
HP’s new private-cloud-in-a-box, Helion Rack, should speed deployment of private clouds for IT pros unable to jump the OpenStack skills hurdle.
2. FISMA report highlights federal cloud security deficiencies – Rob Wright (SearchCloudSecurity)
A new report on government cybersecurity efforts delivered some troubling findings for the federal government’s cloud operations.
3. Survey: Enterprises ready to buy SDN products – Antone Gonsalves (SearchSDN)
A majority of U.S. businesses are preparing to implement SDN products in the data center by 2017 in order to reduce networking costs.
4. New tool eases enterprise file sync-and-share searches, security – Jake O’Donnell (SearchConsumerization)
SearchYourCloud’s new tool gives users a way to search multiple cloud sync-and-share services on mobile and desktops, with file-level security.
5. IBM splits SoftLayer cloud storage into endurance, performance tiers – Sonia Lelii (SearchCloudStorage)
SoftLayer upgrades its IBM Cloud storage with services for granular performance management that calibrate IOPS to application needs.
Internet of Things image via Shutterstock
Is the IT industry ready for the Internet of Things? Find out in this week’s roundup.
1. IoT technologies emerge to manage connected-device deluge – Jake O’Donnell (SearchConsumerization)
Deployment of IoT, wearables and connected devices are coming at rates even experts never thought possible and IT must be ready.
2. Azure IoT play biggest yet amongst mega cloud vendors – Trevor Jones (SearchCloudComputing)
Azure IoT Suite may be the first major cloud platform to cover the spectrum of collecting, analyzing and presenting data from Internet of Things devices.
3. Experts: Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights may ease privacy compliance – Michael Heller (SearchSecurity)
The Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights proposed by the Obama administration is a good first step, according to experts, and may simplify privacy compliance for enterprises currently dealing with many different state laws.
4. Cisco Spark the new name for Project Squared collaboration app – Gina Narcisi (SearchUnifiedCommunications)
Cisco has given a new name to Project Squared. The cloud-based collaboration app is now Cisco Spark and will cost as much as $25 per user per month, the company said at Enterprise Connect.
5. Promise Technology pushes into object storage for PB scale with VSky – Sonia Lelii (SearchStorage)
Promise Technology’s VSky object storage can handle petabytes of data and is aimed at rich media and video surveillance.
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Who will win in the brewing hybrid cloud management battle: VMware or AWS? Find out in this week’s roundup.
1. Hybrid cloud management battle brews between VMware and AWS – Beth Pariseau (SearchCloudComputing)
VMware plans to allow its customers to move virtual machines into and out of the AWS cloud and AWS has a plugin for vCenter. Which approach will prevail?
2. Unidesk adds Hyper-V support, bolsters Microsoft VDI – Jake O’Donnell (SearchVirtualDesktop)
Unidesk 3.0 includes support for Microsoft VDI, giving some VMware Horizon users reason to consider a move to Hyper-V.
3. Does Rowhammer mark a new wave of hardware vulnerabilities? – Michael Heller (SearchSecurity)
Experts agree that the Rowhammer vulnerability likely isn’t an immediate threat to enterprises, but disagree on whether hardware vulnerabilities are about to reach a tipping point.
4. Juniper SDN switches aimed at enterprise clouds – Antone Gonsalves (SearchSDN)
Juniper Networks has introduced a line of SDN switches that give corporations a choice in open and proprietary technology for building public and private clouds.
5. Google tries to melt Amazon Glacier’s lead in cold data storage – Sonia Lelii (SearchCloudStorage)
Google Cloud Storage Nearline takes on Amazon Glacier, promising restore times in seconds rather than the hours it takes for Glacier customers.