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Top 5 jobs in Silicon Valley

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From Apple to ZocDoc, tech companies are hiring at a furious pace. But the No. 1 most-coveted gig just might surprise you.

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FORTUNE — If there’s anything observers can say with certainty, it’s that Silicon Valley remains an anomalous industry.

The numbers tell the story: Unemployment in startup-heavy San Francisco for instance, stood at 5.6% last August, well below the 8.9% state and 7.3% national averages. Most tech companies, big and small, can’t seem to hire to fast enough.

Part of that has to do with a relatively small hiring pool. Indeed, many tech companies say that nabbing excellent engineers is one of the toughest challenges in the ongoing war for talent. For some specialized workers, that translates to a bidding war over their skills; for others, it still means a competitive job search.

To learn more about the tech hiring crunch, Fortune sought out Matt Mickiewicz, co-founder of Hired.com. Nearly 600 companies, including Facebook (FB), Twitter, and OpenTable (OPEN), look to his online marketplace to recruit new employees.

Here are the top five most-coveted jobs in the Valley, based on Mickiewicz’s observations, in ascending order:

5.  Senior Ruby on Rails engineer
Salary: $120,000 a year

Think of Ruby on Rails simply as the programming language framework many companies use to build their web apps now. Current demand for excellent “Rails engineers” far outstrips supply. Because of that, venture capital-funded startups and larger companies will frequently entice them with perks such as free food, gym memberships, Uber transportation credits, full health coverage, unlimited vacation and PTO, subsidized phones, and an unlimited computer equipment budget.

4.  Data scientist
Salary: $150,000 – $250,000 a year

With big companies collecting more data about their users than ever before, they need people who can sift through all that information. Enter the data scientist. From LinkedIn (LNKD) to Uber, companies rely on data scientists for insights on user behavior, building recommendation engines, and personalizing the company’s web experience. Candidates for this role are typically required to hold a degree in an area such as applied mathematics or computer science. (Ph.D.s are very common.) Like Rails engineers, they too are in high demand. Mickiewicz recalls one particular man with a Ph.D. in computer science from the University of Washington, who received a $200,000-plus salary offer from one major tech company.  Another interested party was competing for him, too, but simply couldn’t match that, Mickiewicz says.

3.  VP of engineering
Salary: $175,000 a year

A VP of engineering’s most valuable skill is perhaps the ability to lead and manage people to make the rest of their team more effective. As such, employers regularly seek out candidates with between five and 15 years of experience, including time spent managing groups of software engineers. Being a great coder who can’t communicate, who can’t inspire, or who can’t be a good boss doesn’t work in this managerial role. Says Mickiewicz: “You have to be both very technically savvy and experienced so you’re able to coach and mentor others … to come up with the right solutions.”

2.  Senior iOS software engineer
Salary: $130,000 – $140,000 a year

For an operating system that’s only been available since 2008, being a capable iOS software engineer pays quite well. And because the mobile operating system remains a relatively new technology, the most knowledgable of iOS veterans may only have five years of experience or less. For senior-level iOS software engineers, many companies settle for those with 18 to 24 months of full-time experience. That doesn’t mean getting a job is easy: Apple (AAPL), Google (GOOG), and Facebook all want engineers versed in the basics of computer science. And every company subjects applicants to a pretty rigorous technical screening. Actual interview questions may include:

  • What’s the difference between nil and NiL?
  • Explain how push notifications work.
  • How do you handle persistence on the device?
  • What is heap fragmentation?
  • What do you think about encapsulation?
  • What’s the NSCoder class used for?

1.   Facebook intern
Salary: $7,000 a month (or $20,000 across 10 weeks)

Yep, you read that right. The most sought-after job in all of Silicon Valley isn’t a cushy engineering gig but may be an internship with the social network. According to Mickiewicz, Facebook typically prefers its interns be educated at one of the top 15 computer science schools. Students supposedly get bonus points if they attend Stanford University or UC Berkeley, since both campuses reside so close to Facebook’s Menlo Park, Calif., headquarters. Facebook treats the internship as a kind of test bed to surface the best and brightest, who they may hire before graduation. “The requirement really is attending one of those top schools and having visibility there,” Mickiewicz puts simply.

source: http://tech.fortune.cnn.com/2013/10/01/top-5-jobs-in-silicon-valley/?source=cnn_bin

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Industry

THE FINTECH REVOLUTION IN INSURANCE

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Advancing technology has collided with longstanding customer issues to create a series of deep, lasting, systemic challenges for insurance. How will these trends impact insurers’ businesses and the industry overall?

The rise of fintech, changing consumer behavior, and advanced technologies are disrupting the insurance industry. Additionally, Insurtechs and technology startups continue to redefine customer experience through innovations such as risk-free underwriting, on-the-spot purchasing, activation, and claims processing.

The report from Deloitte Global examines forces that are disrupting the insurance industry and presents four possible scenarios for the future. We explore:

  • Changing the channel: Partnerships with product makers and distributors, and embedding insurance into other products and services may enable customers to select products that best fit their lifestyle.
  • Underwriting by machine: Technology advancements including AI innovations and algorithms will likely individualize risk selection and pricing, and customers can select products based on a wider range of price points.
  • Rise of the flexible product: Time-flexible, event-driven, modular and adjustable coverage may evolve to accommodate life stage, lifestyle, and wellness changes among consumers.
  • E-Z life insurance: Given the growth and shopping patterns in emerging markets, insurers who introduce flexible term products, and master digital distribution without compromising underwriting are likely to win in the marketplace.

Read the report to understand what the future holds for the insurance industry.

Key Contact

Neal Baumann

Neal Baumann

Global Insurance Leader

Neal leads Deloitte’s Global Insurance practice and is the US insurance consulting leader. He has 20 years of experience advising financial services and insurance company clients on corporate and comp… More

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Business

EUROPEAN INVESTMENT BANK RUNS BLOCKCHAIN HACKATHON

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A team from EY triumphed in a 48-hour European Investment Bank (EIB) hackathon designed to find ways to use blockchain technologies to redesign the transaction processing of commercial paper.

The EIB brought together 56 coders from 15 countries in 12 teams for the hackathon, run alongside the bank’s annual forum dedicated to treasury issues.

While the conference was running, the coders were locked in an adjacent room, trying to prove that blockchain tech can improve the transaction process of commercial paper – a short-term financing instrument that is used worldwide in treasury operations and still relies on an ‘archaic’ and complex process.

In the pitching session, the EY team won the contest with an effort that taps a combination of blockchain, robotics and business AI tools to optimise the issuance process and reduce the number of exchanges between the EIB and its counterparties while maintaining each one’s role within the ecosystem.

The EY team won a EUR5000 cash prize and a contract with the EIB to further develop its solution into a proof of concept.

Alexander Stubb, vice president, EIB, say: “There will be major gains from the use of new technologies such as blockchain, generated from the simplification and streamlining of existing financial processes. The new perspectives opened up by digitalisation and Distributed Ledger Technology must be assessed and we must all be ready to make use of them and embark on this new venture.

“As the EU’s financial arm, we decided to be on the active side, learn by experience and make things happen, to be a facilitator and join with our banking partners to pave the way for tomorrow’s financial industry.”

Separately, Barclays is planning a hackathon that will see coders use blockchain technology for post-trade processing of derivatives contracts. The event will take place over two days in September in London and New York, according to Coindesk.

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Industry

GOOGLE NEVER REALLY LEFT CHINA: A LOOK AT THE CHINESE WEBSITE GOOGLE’S BEEN QUIETLY RUNNING

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More information is leaking out about just how Google is planning to re-enter the Chinese market with a mobile search engine application that complies to the country’s censorship laws.

The Intercept first broke this story when a whistleblower provided them documentation detailing the secret censored search project (codenamed Dragonfly). According to them, an overlooked Google acquisition from 2008 — 265.com — has been quietly laying down the foundation for the endeavor.

In order to run a business in China, tech companies are required to obtain a Internet Content Provider license from the Chinese government. As it’s difficult for foreign businesses to obtain this license, Google has long partnered with Chinese IT company Ganji.com. Back in the early years of Google.cn, Google actually operated directly off of Ganji.com’s license, even claiming the Chinese company was temporarily running its search engine. Facing intense scrutiny from the Chinese government and the media over this license arrangement, in 2007 Google formed a legitimate joint venture company with Ganji.com — the Beijing Guxiang Information and Technology Co.

Because of the necessity of that license, Google has maintained that joint venture and has been operating in China under the name Beijing Guxiang Information and Technology Co. ever since. Even after the shut down of Google.cn, Google’s Chinese advertising enterprise has been operating under the joint venture company as well as, low and behold, 265.com. A whois search of the 265.com domain name, which provides a record of the current domain registrant information, pulls up Beijing Guxiang Information and Technology Co. as the registrant organization.

A significant number of Google employees are reportedly none too happy about Google’s project complying with Chinese censorship laws. This most recent news, that the company has long been collecting data for a moment just like this, surely won’t make morale among these workers any better.

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