Tracy's blog

I’m Tracy Au and I have graduated from the Professional Writing program from university. I am an aspiring screenwriter, so this blog is used to promote my writing and attract people who will hire me to write for your TV show or movie. I write a lot about writing, TV, movies, jokes, and my daily life and opinions. I have another blog promoting my TV project at www.thevertexfighter.blogspot.com.

Thursday, June 7, 2018

blockchain engineer/ information security analyst

Apr. 13, 2018 Blockchain engineer: Today I found this article by Jared Lindzon in the Globe and Mail:

Job: Blockchain engineer


The Role: Originally introduced in 2008 to support bitcoin transactions, the technology known as blockchain goes far beyond the world of cryptocurrencies today. Often described as a decentralized digital ledger, blockchains are now utilized in fields ranging from financial technology to contract law to health care for its ability to reliably store records in a manner that is verifiable, permanent and almost completely tamper-proof.


Proponents of the technology believe that it will eventually come to replace third-party intermediaries, central authorities, legal systems and other external enforcement mechanisms when it comes to transactions, inventory tracking, record keeping and legal agreements.

Blockchain engineers are responsible for building applications and technologies using this relatively new technology.



“In a typical day, a blockchain engineer could be working on developing blockchain code or smart contracts that run on that code, setting up and maintaining infrastructure, or interacting with the business owners on identifying the interfaces, processes and tools that the blockchain should support,” explained Luka Horvat, head of talent operations for freelance talent network Toptal, which offers blockchain-development solutions.


Salary: In a relatively new field with few practitioners, blockchain engineers typically command higher salaries than regular software engineers. Blockchain engineers also often need to possess a combination of software-engineering skills, including experience with database, system and back-end development.



“Engineers working on blockchain projects tend to bill higher rates than for other technologies at the moment,” explained Mr. Horvat.


According to online job-posting website Neuvoo, the average salary for blockchain-related careers in Canada is $102,500, with entry-level positions earning an annual salary of $72,000 and the most experienced commanding an annual salary of $144,000. By comparison, the website estimates the average annual salary of a Canadian software engineer at about $99,500.


“Once the hype around blockchain starts to diminish and the technology is viewed as being more mainstream, there will likely be some stabilization of the rates engineers charge to be more similar to other in-demand technologies,” added Mr. Horvat.


Education: There are limited options for formal training as a blockchain engineer. While some postsecondary software-engineering programs offer blockchain courses, and while there are a number of crash-course training programs available in Canada, Mr. Horvat says that many working in the industry today are self-taught.


“By the time someone would design and implement an in-depth curriculum, it’s likely a lot would change with that specific technology,” he said.



Instead, Mr. Horvat says blockchain engineers typically have substantial previous experience in back-end or system development before pursuing self-education in the field.


Job prospects: With new applications for the technology constantly being discovered, and relatively few practitioners currently available, demand for blockchain engineers in Canada is very strong, and only expected to increase. “Toptal has seen an increase in client demand for blockchain expertise by over 700 per cent since January, 2017,” said Mr. Horvat.


Challenges: One of the greatest challenges of working in such a new field within the technology industry is that it is constantly changing, and keeping up can be difficult.


“A big part of being a successful blockchain engineer means staying up to date with the ever-changing landscape of technologies,” said Mr. Horvat. “As new tools and new versions of existing tools are being released on an almost daily basis, keeping track of them is no easy task.”


Why they do it: Apart from the higher-than-average salary – even when compared with other technology industry workers – blockchain engineers typically enjoy the challenge of innovating in a brand-new field.


“Most of the blockchain engineers we surveyed cite extremely high levels of satisfaction with their jobs and the technologies they work with,” said Mr. Horvat. “These skilled engineers enjoy being on the cutting edge of technological progress and applying those technologies to improving various aspects of businesses or people’s lives.”



Misconceptions: Although blockchain was originally conceived to support bitcoin, many people fail to differentiate the technologies, even as blockchain technologies seep into domains ranging from health care to smart contracts to supply chain management.


“People often confuse cryptocurrencies with blockchain, and are having a hard time grasping the core concepts of the blockchain, as well as how it could be used in other domains,” said Mr. Horvat.



Jun. 6, 2018 Information security analyst:  Today I found this article by Jared Lindzon in the Globe and Mail:

Job: Information security analyst


The Role: To protect computer networks and systems from attack. While the role was once limited to large information technology (IT) companies, its presence has expanded in recent years to companies of all shapes and sizes.


Information security analysts can have many different tasks in an average day – including coding, programming and monitoring information networks – but the primary focus for many is on protecting consumer data.



“Most security analysts are responsible for monitoring the system and preventing cyberattacks,” said Sheri Ladoucier, the program co-ordinator for Seneca College’s Faculty of Continuing Education and Training. “The biggest thing in the industry right now is to protect their customer’s data.”


Ms. Ladoucier adds that IT companies were historically the only ones protecting data, but now, most companies have some valuable digital assets to protect.



Salary: Ranges from $35,000 to $82,000 annually, with a national average of approximately $68,000, according to career resource website Glassdoor.ca. Where an employee falls within that range is often determined based on their years of experience in the industry and level of certification, according to Denis Gravelle, the chair of continuing education for Seneca College of Applied Arts and Technology.

“Industry-recognized certifications, coupled with your college education, would make you a lot more marketable,” he said.


Education: While practitioners can be self-taught, formal education and certification is becoming more of a requirement for employers as attacks and threats become more sophisticated.


“Most of the experts right now were self-taught, but because they’re now fighting expert coders, they need some expertise,” Ms. Ladoucier said. Mr. Gravelle added: “The attackers are so cunning and they’re coming out with a lot of really leading-edge code that you need more formal education to understand.”


Some of the primary industry-recognized certifications include CISSP and Security+. Certification prep courses are available through colleges and universities countrywide and can be acquired through continuing education programs or optional undergraduate credits.


Those pursuing certification typically have an IT or computer science-related educational background from a postsecondary institution or some relevant work experience.

Job prospects: With more companies handling sensitive information and with threats growing more advanced, the need for information security analysts has never been higher and is only expected to grow. In fact, experts predict a shortage of 1.5 million security positions by 2020, and Canada’s 2018 budget allocated at least $500-million for investment into cybersecurity over the next five years, although that number could reach as high as $1-billion.

Recent high-profile data breaches at major companies, including Equifax, Uber and Target, underscore the increasing need for information security analysts within the technology industry and beyond. “The cybersecurity field is so key to any business now, even a mom-and-pop shop,” Mr. Gravelle said.

Challenges: One of the most significant challenges faced by information security analysts is the ever-changing threat landscape, which requires continuing education in the field. Furthermore, cyberattacks are not limited to the 9-to-5 hours and those working to prevent them are typically expected to be available at all hours of the day. “Attacks can come at any time,” Ms. Ladoucier said. “Depending on your level of seniority, companies will be contacting you frequently.”

Why they do it: With the world becoming more interconnected through digital technology, information security analysts take pride in providing a vital service.

Furthermore, as a role that doesn’t necessarily require a physical presence, they often enjoy a high degree of work flexibility and freedom. “It’s a global job, it’s highly transferrable,” Ms. Ladoucier said. “I think it’s also kind of fun, personally.”

Misconceptions: One of the biggest misconceptions about the cybersecurity industry as a whole is that many companies believe an out-of-the-box antivirus or firewall solution can do the same job as a dedicated cybersecurity specialist.

“An anti-virus is being reactive, but you have to be proactive in defending your network,” Mr. Gravelle said. “A lot of the times when they’ve been hit, being reactive can be devastating to companies financially,” Ms. Ladoucier added.

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/business/careers/career-advice/article-i-want-to-be-an-information-security-analyst-what-will-my-salary/

My opinion: Here are a couple more jobs that were invented in the last 10 yrs. 


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