SimpliHack – World’s First Education Technology Hackathon Event!

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In the last few years ‘Hackathon’ is one event that has emerged as a great way for companies and coders (prospective employees) to meet and understand each other. For the ones who do not know what a Hackathon means, then Wikipedia states it as a portmanteau of “hack” and “marathon“, where “hack” is used in the sense of playful, exploratory programming. However to put it in simpler words, it is an event which is held within a short duration of time maybe between 12-36 hours for engineers and creative people to get together and build or design a demo or a new feature or product – anything that is created from a scratch to a full-fledged solution in a finite amount of time. The entire process from idea creation to execution is almost like building a micro-startup. In fact quite a few teams do step out of a hackathon and go on to build a company.

Between 28th Feb and 1st Mar 2015, Simplilearn, the largest certification based training company, is conducting its very first Hackathon – SimpliHack. Elaborating about the same, the company COO, Gerald Jaideep says, “Every technology company wants to reach out that elusive group of programmers who are passionate, talented and entrepreneurial. As this special breed of coders are rarely found on a job site, this hackathon is a great way of bringing this talent to the fore. We, at Simplilearn are proud to present the first education industry related hackathon.”

Gone are the days when one used to crack an interview with one’s ability to sell themselves over an interview, today the biggest mantra is ‘more doing, less talking.’ Hosting a hackathon event where coders come in and work on defined problem, is a disruptive recruitment strategy. Talented developers will often come in as they are looking to shine among peers apart from messing around with a new technology that they might have never used before. Moreover, the fact that you are competing against your peers, for a cash prize, brings out the competitive edge in everyone.

Jaideep further states, “The main objective for us to host a hackathon apart from solving recruitment problems, is also to find out an array of potential entrepreneurs who might have a wonderful idea that might not fall in line with our business, but we can support them in developing it for us. Also there is a misconception in the market that we are a training company, however the truth is, we are a technology company that provides a platform for professionals to pursue their choice of professional certification training, therefore it is also a mechanism for brand identity correction among the job seekers.”

Through the hackathon a potential employer can gauge the distinct abilities of a candidate including ability to work in a team, creativity and innovation, ability to deliver while under pressure apart from showcasing his problem solving skills etc.

Jitendra Kumar, CTO-Simplilearn says, “There will be three challenges that will be put across to the participants and based on that we will decide the winners and award them with a cash prize apart from a job offer.”

“There are three things we plan to achieve from SimpliHack; first – recruiting the best hidden talents, second – solving the existing learning problems and third – encouraging ethical hacking as a culture for solving future problems apart from positioning ourselves as a learning technological company rather than a training provider,” says Giridharan Natarajan – Product Head at Simplilearn explaining about what they plan to achieve from their impending hackathon.

On a final note Jaideep said, “As Simplilearn is growing, so are our needs to staff the best talents available in the market. If SimpliHack gives us the desired results then we plan to organize one hackathon every five to six months not only to solve our recruitment problems but also to identify some future entrepreneurs to get associated with us.”

Simplilearn is one of the leading professional certifications and training destinations in the world with a repertoire of 200+ courses and have trained around 200,000+ professionals worldwide.

If you are someone who loves challenges then this is the right opportunity for you to look at. SimpliHack will be held on 28th February and 1st March, 2015 at the Simplilearn Bangalore office around 09:00hrs. For more details and to register for the same, kindly visit http://www.venturesity.com/simplihack.html

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Shaiju Mathew is an Indian author, social media strategist, blogger, reviewer, screenplay writer, and short film director, known for his 2010 book Knocked Up and short film Planchette. For more information please visit his webpage www.shaijumathew.com or blog www.shaiju-mathew.blogspot.in. You can also check him out on Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shaiju_Mathew)

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Get Certified. Get Ahead With TOGAF!

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If you are into Enterprise Architectures then one of the hottest skills to be acquired is The Open Group Architecture Framework (TOGAF®), as there is a growing demand for TOGAF® certified architects all over. If you look at it, TOGAF Certification is considered as an achievement as TOGAF certified Enterprise Architects are earning a whopping $124,000 compared to their non-certified peers and is most sought after by Fortune 500 companies. Credible research from ITJobsWatch shows a steep increase in the average maximum salary for TOGAF professionals from 74,105 Euros to 93,817 Euros in the UK market. So, in short, being a certified TOGAF® Enterprise Architect ensures better job prospects and helps you stay ahead of competition.

Now many of you might ask, why an Enterprise Architect with a good number of years behind him take up such a certification? The answer is quite simple! It is really important for members of a profession to have a common foundation of expertise to speak the same technical language. This is also one reason why learning TOGAF® requires you to learn and remember a basic glossary of terms apart from providing an iterative process for developing architectures (the Architecture Development Method – ADM), and a set of integrated frameworks also called a “framework of frameworks”.

So, in short, a TOGAF® certification in your kitty gives you a “visible trust mark”. This also gives an impression to potential employers or clients that they can trust you as a professional with a degree of measurable knowledge.

If you look back, the number of TOGAF® 9 certified individuals as of November 21, 2014 was 37,800. This proves that TOGAF is increasingly being adopted globally with certified individuals from over 100+ different countries.

The below graph shows the figure of certifications taken for the period ending September 30, 2014:

The top 5 countries with TOGAF® certified professionals are UK, USA, Netherlands, India and Australia. Please find below a chart showing the top 10 countries with respect to TOGAF® Certified Professionals;

Now just getting TOGAF certification is not enough, as becoming an enterprise architect is more of a journey than a destination. So to develop your career as an enterprise architect with a TOGAF certification in your kitty, you need to follow the things stated below;

  1. Even though you are a certified TOGAF professional, any employer or client will still look for experience. A reliable enterprise architect is someone with a lot of experience. So get out there and architect!
  2. Read both good and bad EA case studies to figure out what went good or bad with those projects and how different you would have done it?
  3. Find a coach or mentor who can really boost your knowledge, skill and confidence. Don’t look far, you can find someone within your own enterprise with good number of experience and knowledge.
  4. Join architecture communities online, best search on Linkedin. This is necessary for you to get a hint of the latest hot and interesting topics. Sift through several community sites first to get a feeling for the key topics, and then explore the areas that interest you most.

Enterprise Architecture is still emerging as a profession and organizations all over are slowly realizing its importance to their business and therefore it is time to get certified to get ahead in your career. Simplilearn, the leading destination for professional certifications and trainings with its repertoire of 200+ courses have several courses in TOGAF®. Learning is a two way process and Simplilearn believes in partnering with you to smoothen your journey towards getting certified. With 200,000+ professionals trained worldwide in several professional certification courses offered by them, it time for you to invest in you like others. For more information please visit www.simplilearn.com.

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Shaiju Mathew is an Indian author, social media strategist, blogger, reviewer, screenplay writer, and short film director, known for his 2010 book Knocked Up and short film Planchette. For more information please visit his webpage www.shaijumathew.com or blog www.shaiju-mathew.blogspot.in. You can also check him out on Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shaiju_Mathew)

6 Top Professional Certification Courses To Pursue in 2015!

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Getting certified is a surefire way to advance your career. These days most of the professionals have realized the same and earning one ensures ones credibility as a professional to carry out their assigned jobs efficiently.

To put it in a nutshell, a certification holder upholds knowledge, experience, skill sets as well as the ability to shoulder specific job responsibilities. Although some professions require a professional to be certified, in others it simply augments the career graph of a professional.

When you have taken up a professional certification course, it guarantees you;

  1. To get a competitive edge over your non-certified peers or colleagues
  2. Better job opportunities and career advancement
  3. Get rewarded with higher wages and better perks

In every industry sector, employers seek certified professionals who are not only well equipped with the right skill sets but also who can take their organization to the next level. Let me put down five top credentials that are sought after by employers in 2015.

1) Project Management Professional – (PMP®)

Offered by PMI, Project Management Professional (PMP®) is one of the most recognized and revered credentials in project management across the world. In around 175+ countries in the world you will find around a million PMP certified professionals. This certification tests a candidate in five prime areas relating to a project lifecycle viz; initiation, planning, execution, monitoring and closing.

To pursue PMP certification one has to complete around 35 hours of training apart from having not less than 7500 hours of project management experience.

2) Information Technology Infrastructure Library – (ITIL®)

The ITIL® owned and maintained by the UK Office of Government Commerce, is a globally recognized IT service management certification. The ITIL® Foundation certification is considered as the entry level qualification in the field of IT Service Management.

The ITIL® Foundation certified professional will be able to guide an organization in implementing the best practices in IT Service Management and also in using IT as a tool for a business change and growth. The ITIL® Foundation certification course emphasizes on adapting a common framework of IT Service Management practices that will help deliver value to a business. It also focuses on Quality Management approach and standards apart from following a practical approach to IT Service Management.

Operations managers, service delivery professionals, quality analysts, and production support engineers will find the course ideal. However, the ITIL® Foundation certification course can be taken up by anyone working in the IT service industry, like IT professionals who want to move ahead in the IT Service Management sector.

ITIL certified professional is most sought after because the training is not based on a specific technology, it is applicable in any IT organization. So an ITIL® Foundation certified professional will find suitable job opportunities in any IT organization. Moreover, according to the salary survey conducted by Global Knowledge and Penton, ITIL® Foundation certification is listed among the 15 top-paying certifications in 2014.

3) Big Data Analytics

Big Data Analytics refers to the process of collecting, organizing and analyzing large sets of data to discover patterns and other useful information. Not only will Big Data Analytics help you to understand the information contained within the data, but it will also help identify the data that is most important to the business and future business decisions. Big data analysts basically want the knowledge that comes from analyzing the data.

A certified Big Data Analyst has greater scope as almost every organization are increasingly looking to find actionable insights into their data. Many big data projects originate from the need to answer specific business questions. With the right big data analytics platforms in place, an enterprise can boost sales, increase efficiency, and improve operations, customer service and risk management.

It is ideal for Java developers, Architects, Big Data professionals, anyone who is looking forward towards building a career in Big Data and Analytics. Top companies like Microsoft, Software AG, IBM, Oracle, HP, SAP, EMC2 and Dell have invested a huge $15 billion on data management and analytics, thereby increasing the number of opportunities for Big Data certified professionals. Research shows that certified analysts earn $117,000 in comparison to their non-certified peers.

4) Certified Scrum Master – (CSM®)

CSM® is a certification that is related to project management focusing primarily on software development. It focuses on handling changes in IT Projects with a Project Management approach. It is used when the customer suggests some changes during the process of project development.

5) Six Sigma Green Belt

One of the most popular strategies in any business organization, Six Sigma Green Belt is widely implemented across various industry sectors for improving quality and processes. This is one certification that will never go out of business and help you scale greater heights.

6) The Open Group Architecture Framework – TOGAF®

If you are an Enterprise Architect then one of the hottest skills you need to acquire this year is TOGAF®, as there is a growing demand for TOGAF® certified architects all over. If you look at it, TOGAF Certification is considered as an achievement as TOGAF certified Enterprise Architects are earning a whopping $124,000 compared to their non-certified peers and are most sought-after by Fortune 500 companies. Credible research from ITJobsWatch show a steep increase in the average maximum salary for TOGAF professionals from 74,105 euros to 93,817 euros in the UK market. So in short being a certified TOGAF® Enterprise Architect ensures better job prospects and helps you stay ahead in the competition.

Simplilearn is one certification destination which offers all of the above mentioned certification trainings apart from offering a variety of another 200+ professional certification courses. With 200,000+ professionals trained worldwide, it is one of the first choice for any professional looking for professional certification. To know more you can visit www.simplilearn.com. Get Certified, Get Ahead – The Simplilearn Way!

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Shaiju Mathew is an Indian author, social media strategist, blogger, reviewer, screenplay writer, and short film director, known for his 2010 book Knocked Up and short film Planchette. For more information please visit his webpage www.shaijumathew.com or blog www.shaiju-mathew.blogspot.in. You can also check him out on Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shaiju_Mathew)

Have You Stopped Learning?

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If you are a professional who want to stay ahead of competition and remain successful in your job field, then there is one thing that you must accept; Never Stop Learning!

It might sound very unreasonable when I say this, because the general perception around is to finish studies during your academic years. After you secure your dream job there is no need to study further. However with changing times and industry needs, this misconception of ‘stop learning once you secure your job’ is slowly fading away. The new mantra is ‘If you ease up on learning new skills, you are going to get lapsed!’

Industry experts feel that as the industry keeps moving, what you have to do is fall in love with the process of learning and iterating for getting better. Moreover, one should have a mindset that is quite fluid and adaptable to changes apart from facilitating personal growth with an unending quench towards the desire to learn.

People with an open mind and desire to augment their skillsets are poised to succeed in the future and gain an edge in a competitive environment. This is also one prime reason for the professional certifications and training industries to see a boom in the last few years.

With lesser supply to the increasing demand by almost every employer for certified professionals in the market, the certified professionals are an expensive catch – with lucrative compensations and additional benefits kept on offer to attract them.

But how do we overcome the mind block towards learning? With busy schedules and extended working hours the last thing one would want to think about is – Learning. How do we squeeze in those extra few hours for learning and upgrading our skills? How do we motivate ourselves to learn? Is job security the only reason for a person to learn new skills and stay updated or do there should be an unquenchable desire to learn? I would say, to each his own. A person might start learning to secure his job or he has an undesirable amount of thirst to learn new things and stay updated. Whatever the motive, the answer is, learning is a constant process and by indulging in the same you are widening your scope in an age where companies and jobs, rise and fall in a matter of months. That thing you do? Theres now an app for that, for free. Or there will be soon. That job title of yours could change next week. When thinking about careers, no one is safe.

There are many ways one can learn even when you are tied to your job. Like Krishna Kumar – CEO, Simplilearn says, “Understanding the industry needs and a professional’s challenge to put in extra hours for learning, we at Simplilearn started the blended model of training which is a mix of online as well as traditional classroom training. The idea being, to encourage learning that too at your own pace and comfort, and grow in your career. One of our brand campaign slogan is ‘Get Certified. Get Ahead’, urging everyone to learn and upgrade their skills with the changing times and industry needs.”

Today Simplilearn has successfully trained more than 200,000+ professionals worldwide and their repertoire consists of more than 200+ professional courses. Like Simplilearn there are many other companies in the market who are promoting the traditional and modern ways of learning.

In the coming days I will be covering more on learning and the different certifications that one as a professional must undertake to stay ahead in the competition.

So now the next question is, “Have you stopped learning?”

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Shaiju Mathew is an Indian author, social media strategist, blogger, reviewer, screenplay writer, and short film director, known for his 2010 book Knocked Up and short film Planchette. For more information please visit his webpage www.shaijumathew.com or blog www.shaiju-mathew.blogspot.in. You can also check him out on Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shaiju_Mathew)