Annette Niemczyk, A “Woman to Watch”

Annette Niemczyk

Annette Niemczyk

NEIT graduate, Annette Niemczyk, received a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Information Systems Technology, Networking Concentration, in September, 2004, and an Associate in Science degree in Computer Servicing Technology in March, 2003. Since that time, Annette has worked at Envision Technology Advisors in Pawtucket, RI, for 11 years.

Her hard work and dedication to the field of Information Technology was recently recognized by Providence Business News (PBN). Annette was nominated by the CEO of her company, Todd Knapp. She was named a “Woman to Watch” in the Technical Services category of this year’s Business Women Awards program from PBN. Annette joins 11 other award winners and 12 Achievement Honorees for 2014. As she stated, “I am honored to have been selected for this award. Technology has always been one of my passions, and it has been an amazing and rewarding experience climbing the ladder both technically and professionally with Envision.” 

Because of her commitment to excellence, Annette is reaping many rewards. She now shares her story with Tech News readers. 

What made you decide to attend NEIT? 

When I was first deciding on a career path, I was interested in Information Technology (IT) and athletics but knew that IT would be a better long term option. I had completed my freshman year at UMass Dartmouth. I was two weeks away from starting my sophomore year and decided that the IT program at UMass didn’t offer the courses I really wanted. I heard about New England Tech and quickly realized that its IT program was more focused in the areas I wanted to pursue, which is networking and infrastructure.  I was impressed with the hands-on approach to learning as well.  Because of the October start, the timing worked out perfectly for me.   

How did you choose your program? 

I was always interested in computers growing up, especially the physical characteristics. New England Tech’s networking program was very specific for what I wanted to do as a career. 

What did you do to get started with your career? 

One of my professors knew the owner of Envision Technology Advisors. During my last year at New England Tech, Envision was looking for interns, and my name came up. I worked as an intern from August, 2003 to September, 2004, at which time I graduated from NEIT.  I got my business cards and was asked to come on full-time as an engineer!  Internships are so important for students to get their careers going.  Seeing the day-to-day operations of a company are so valuable.

Tell us about your position. 

The company was growing quickly and because of my work ethic, I was promoted from Engineer to Senior Engineer within two years. In my current position as Senior Engineer, I provide IT services in the areas of infrastructure, security, networking, and virtualization. I work with two types of clients. First, I work with clients on their day-to-day operations, which involves consulting and helping them build their business from a technical aspect. These duties may include hands-on work or depending on the size of the company, I may be consulting with the IT Department developing its strategy. For the second type of client, I work as an engineer executing high level projects from start to finish.  

What do you feel ultimately prepared you for your position? 

My internship at Envision was the key to my success. It bridged the gap from book knowledge to real world experience. My classes were good, especially those that were hands-on. The hands-on classes really sparked my interest and made it stick! 

Do you have any advice for graduates who are just beginning their job search? 

My biggest piece of advice is to be hungry to learn. That motivation and drive you need to get through the learning process at the entry level will get you to the next level.  You have to be willing to put in the effort upfront to get what you want in the end.  You have to earn where you want to go. It just doesn’t happen. 

What can current students do to better prepare themselves for jobs in this field?

Get out and look for internships. Look for industry exposure.  That is the biggest thing a student can do. All the certifications are great, but getting practical real world exposure is what counts.

Graduate Feedback

“(I) also wanted to note, every place I interviewed was extremely impressed with not just what I know, but the fact that I went to NEIT. Your school has an excellent reputation out in the professional world. It really allowed me to pick and choose who I wanted to work for (I received many job offers before accepting this one).”  Justin Viera 3/2010 Associate degree in Network Engineering Technology and currently enrolled in the Bachelor degree in Network Engineering Technology 

If you would like additional information about any of New England Tech’s over 40 Associate, Bachelor’s and Master’s degree programs.

More Information | Apply Now

Contact the Admissions Office at 800-736-7744 or email NEITAdmissions@neit.edu 

You’re Getting Innovation All Wrong

If you think Innovation is only for Einstein, you’re wrong.  Innovation is about being finding a better, creative way to do ANYTHING!  Anyone can be innovative.  Let’s get creative.

From LinkedIn.com:

You’re Getting Innovation All Wrong

You hear the word “innovation” all the time these days, especially as it relates to competitive advantage. Most people just see innovation as a rare big bang. It’s a lot more than that.

In reality, innovation is a series of little steps that, cumulatively, lead up to a big deal that changes the game. Yet in so many companies today, everyone defaults to thinking, “Innovation… Einstein. Edison. Jobs.” “That’s for somebody else, some genius.”

The word just scares the bejesus out of everyone.

“I can’t innovate.”

“I can’t come up with a new theory of relativity or a new lightbulb or a new iPad. I’ll leave that for the crowd over there to do.”

That’s all the wrong headset. Organizations should make it their mission to reward every little incremental improvement their people make. There’s a saying we’ve been using for the past 15 years or so with all the companies we work with: “Find a better way every day.”

It’s not just a slogan, it’s an operating principle. You want to engage every single person on your team to find a better way. You want to champion them for doing it and make a celebration out of what they improve, whether it be a more efficient accounting system, launching a new customer program, or making a screw in a factory turn a little faster to make things run a little better. Those are the real innovations. And together, with every mind in the game, they are what makes a company competitive.

So when you think about innovation, don’t let it scare you. Don’t let it be a buzzword that isolates 10 people in your company while the other 90 sit on the sidelines, waiting for the innovators to innovate. You’ve got to make innovation everyone’s job, all the time.

via You’re Getting Innovation All Wrong | LinkedIn.

The Genie Is Out of the Bottle for Silicon Valley: Lack of Diversity 

So why are there so few women in technical jobs?  Is it that they aren’t being advanced at the same rate as the men?  Or is it that there are so few women entering the technology sector?  If it is the latter, then isn’t it time women stop letting men take these high paying job when women can do them just as well as any man.  Let’s get more women to join the technology workforce.

From: Huffington Post.com

As the U.S. technology sector has boomed, women and minorities have largely been left behind. This is what’s clear in the wake of recent disclosures on workforce demographics from a handful of tech companies.

On June 25, Facebook became the latest tech giant to publicly release its demographic data, which indicated that men represent nearly 70 percent of all global employees. Worse yet, of the 31 percent of women in the company, a mere 15 percent work in jobs that are actually technical. (Women hold 47 percent of non-technical jobs.) When it comes to the top of the pyramid, although Facebook boasts COO Sheryl Sandberg, more than three-quarters of senior-level jobs (77 percent) globally are held by men. Among these senior-level executives in the U.S., nearly three-quarters (74 percent) are white, leaving just a quarter of the pie for everyone else (19 percent are Asian, 4 percent Hispanic, 2 percent black, and 1 percent two or more races#.Yahoo released a similar report two weeks ago, revealing that although the tech company is among the few with a female CEO, less than a quarter #23 percent) of people in VP roles or higher are women. Yahoo’s figures match Facebook’s exactly when it comes to percentage of women globally in technical jobs: while women comprise nearly 40 percent of global employees, disappointing 15 percent have jobs related to technology. Yahoo has a higher percentage of non-white workers than Facebook (50 percent) — but most (39 percent) are Asian, with Hispanic (4 percent), black (2 percent), and those of more than one race (4 percent) still sorely underrepresented.

Similarly, Google’s first diversity report, published at the end of May, showed that men account for 70 percent of the global headcount and 83 percent of the tech staff. Women occupy only 21 percent of leadership positions, and 17 percent of tech jobs at the company. While these numbers are incrementally higher than Yahoo’s or Facebook’s, it’s notable that Google has no female executive officers, and only one woman on its senior leadership team. Google’s workforce is 61 percent white.

While these and other tech companies (including LinkedIn) have a long way to go in improving their track record on diversity, these disclosures demonstrate a first step of commitment toward accountability and future change. The fact that Facebook, Yahoo, Google and LinkedIn have chosen to submit this information to the general public puts pressure on other tech companies to do the same. The message behind these actions is that keeping this problem a secret is not the solution. Tech companies can no longer hide from the glaring reality that they are still largely male and white — especially when it comes to the top positions and (in most cases) the tech jobs.

Working closely with a number of tech companies, SHAMBAUGH Leadership has seen that several important interconnections need to be addressed in parallel within an organization to effect change in this area. Here are a few thoughts that reflect important steps for organizations and leaders to take:

via The Genie Is Out of the Bottle for Silicon Valley: Lack of Diversity | Rebecca Shambaugh.

Five Questions With: NEIT Alum Nick Kishfy

“THERE’S A certain camaraderie that working together in a high-risk endeavor tends to bring out in people,” said Nick Kishfy, co-founder of Warren-based Mojo Tech.

From PBN.com

The Mojo Tech co-founder talks about the Warren company and how it resembles a startup.

PBN: What do you do at Mojo Tech?

KISHFY: We focus mainly on creating Web applications using Ruby on Rails, although we also develop software for the iPhone. Web applications are different from websites and blogs in that they require custom development and can’t be built using off-the-shelf solutions. The software that we build is often labeled “Web 2.0” because it relies on relatively new Internet technologies, which enable Web applications to do much more than was possible even a few years ago. We produce many applications for entrepreneurs and startups, but we also work with nonprofits and larger companies when their in-house teams need a boost or lack the right expertise.

PBN: Are your employees and clients concentrated in Rhode Island, or spread out?

KISHFY: Our core development team is here in Rhode Island, and we prefer to hire locally. (In fact, we’re looking for a Rhode Island-based junior Rails developer now.) It’s not easy to find great engineers locally, so we also have a few remote employees. Prior to starting Mojo Tech, I managed globally distributed development teams for a few startups, and that experience has really helped us grow the company to include off-site employees and avoid many of the communications and efficiency issues associated with a distributed team.

Our clients are spread out all over the world. We’re currently working on projects for companies in Rhode Island as well as San Francisco, New York, Boston and Pisa, Italy. Working simultaneously on projects for clients on the West Coast and in Europe can make for some long days, but we enjoy the challenge.

PBN: Can you tell me about some of those projects?

Click the link to continue reading Five Questions With: Nick Kishfy – Providence Business News.

PBN names Alum to 2014 Forty under 40

Congratulations to New England Institute of Technology’s distinguished alum, Nick Kishfy, honored in Providence Business News 2014 Forty under 40 Award Program.  Nick Kishfy @kishfy is Founder & CEO of MojoTech and received his Bachelor in Science in Network EngineeringMOJO @mojotech was honored last week as a Best Place To Work too.

The announcement appeared last week on PBN.com and in Monday’s print issue.  Here is the link to the online announcement: http://www.pbn.com/PBN-names-2014-40-Under-Forty,97991

Jobs That May Be Slipping Away – And Those That Are Here To Stay – Yahoo Education

There is good news when it comes to jobs that are here to stay. Three of the six mentioned are careers being taught at New England Tech.  They are Network and Computer Systems Administrator, Nursing and Computer Systems Analyst.

According to a 2013 Oxford study entitled “The Future of Employment: How Susceptible Are Jobs To Computerisation,” 47 percent of total U.S. unemployment could see job loss or a decrease in employment due to technological advancements. What’s a worker to do?

“Job seekers should follow the wisdom of hockey great Wayne Gretzky who said, ‘I skate to where the puck will be, not where it is,'” says Steve Langerud, a workplace consultant and managing partner of career guidance organization Steve Langerud & Associates, LLC in Grinnell, Iowa.

The key lies in figuring out which jobs are going away and which jobs are growing – and then preparing to pursue what’s poised to thrive.

If you’re worried that there’s no way to protect yourself from the inevitable loss of your livelihood to automation, there’s good news. The Oxford study also found that the more education you have, the less likely it is that your job will be computerized.

With that in mind, we’ve highlighted six jobs that may be slipping away according to the study, along with six high-growth alternatives to consider pursuing.

via Jobs That May Be Slipping Away – And Those That Are Here To Stay – Yahoo Education.

If you would like additional information about any of New England Tech’s over 40 Associate, Bachelor’s and Master’s degree programs.

More Information | Apply Now

Contact the Admissions Office at 800-736-7744 or email NEITAdmissions@neit.edu 

Girl Code: How Teens Are Breaking Barriers in the Tech World | TeenVogue.com

What can we do to help increase the number of girls that enter career paths that involve STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) careers? Being a ‘techie’ doesn’t have to be for boys only.

From Teenvogue.com:

Photo: Getty Images; Art: Ashley Minette

These days, most everyone is tech-savvy—from being up to date on the coolest gadgets to hopping around on social media, it’s hard not to be. But as much as these things are an integral part of daily life, women are still woefully underrepresented in STEM—science, technology, engineering, and mathematics—fields.

Only one-quarter of all computer science jobs are held by women, and the statistics aren’t improving: According to research, only 14 percent of all comp sci graduates last year were female. While the numbers can be discouraging, there’s a new crop of girl coders making themselves known in the tech world.

Jackie, 22, is one of them. She believes there’s a cultural stigma about girls in tech and admits to being a “secret coder” for years because she didn’t see herself in a profession dominated by “greasy dudes in old hoodies, crowded around a computer screen in a dark room.” Casey, a high school junior, says it’s a hard-to-break cycle. “Girls aren’t brought up to aspire to be in STEM, and we don’t have many role models,” she explains. “It’s hard to spark widespread interest: Not a lot of girls are in coding because not a lot of girls are in coding.”

Jackie’s desire to code began when she wanted to start a blog but was unsatisfied by the template designs available. She decided to customize her own by following tutorials online, and though she found the step-by-step instructions tedious at first, she learned to write her own code—and love it. “It’s like creating high-concept art,” she says.

LaTorria, an engineer at Microsoft, agrees that creativity is key. “Coding is similar to learning a new language,” she explains. In fact, when you code, you’re often writing in what are called programming languages. “Once you learn the language, you can speak it, or in this case, tell the code what task you would like the computer to perform. The interesting part about coding is discovering how truly creative you can be when you get over the initial challenges.”

Sixteen-year-old Ming taught herself to code in first grade using the MIT program Scratch, going on to learn languages like HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. “For me, the most interesting part is the logic,” she says. “I love solving puzzles. That’s pretty much all coding is, detangling the different elements, getting them to line up, and then having them all work together.”

via Girl Code: How Teens Are Breaking Barriers in the Tech World | TeenVogue.com.

How to Get Girls Into Coding – NYTimes.com

Girls can code too.  So why does there continue to be a gender gap when it comes to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) careers? Let’s change that!

From the NYTimes.com:

WHEN I was 7 years old, I knew the capitals of most major countries and their currencies. I had to, if I wanted to track down a devious criminal mastermind in the computer game “Where in the World Is Carmen Sandiego?” On screen, the ACME Detective Agency would spit out clues like notable landmarks to help players identify the city where Carmen’s globe-trotting henchmen were hiding out. I wouldn’t learn how to pronounce Reykjavik for more than a decade, but I could tell you that its currency was called the krona.I was the child of Indian immigrants, and like any begrudging Bengal tiger cub, I penciled in fill-in-the-blank maps and memorized multiplication tables after dinner. I was much more motivated to learn about geography by chasing Carmen Sandiego on the family Macintosh Plus. I couldn’t confidently point to Iceland on a map. But I did become a technology reporter.

Natalie Rusk is a research scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Media Lab who helped develop Scratch, an open-source programming platform where kids can code games and animation and then share projects and how-to tips. She thinks the next two years will determine whether coding can start to close the gender gap. “One of the key reasons to broaden participation is to get more diversity of who is designing these technologies,” she said. “It’s being presented as, ‘Learn how to program,’ ” she said, “but not, ‘What do you want to program? What’s your idea?’ ”

So what if, instead of trying to guess at what might get girls interested in technology, we looked at what’s already on their screens? While parents often worry about recreational “screen time,” some educators now believe that gaming could be a way to get girls interested in coding, and even to increase the numbers of girls in STEM — science, technology, engineering and math — classes and schools. Reshma Saujani, founder of the nonprofit organization Girls Who Code, said, “We have to meet them where they are.”

“Students kept walking in asking to learn how to code wearing Minecraft T-shirts,’” said Stephen Foster, a founder of the San Diego-based organization ThoughtSTEM, which teaches kids ages 8 to 18 to code in after-school programs and summer camps. “Once it happened the 20th time, we started to realize, ‘Oh, hey, maybe these kids know something that we don’t.’ ”

[Read more...]

Surgeon Simulator for Playstation 4 announced

Simulators have been used in military training and by airlines in pilot training for some time now but could this be the beginning of a future requirement for surgeons in training? What other fields could game designers and developers help with a similar simulator?

From TheTechGets.com

Gamers are pretty desensitized to blood and guts — after all, you can only blow off so many zombie heads or impale so many bandits before you just aren’t squeamish anymore. However, it’s one thing to have blood and random goo splatter everywhere, but it’s quite another to see actual organs taken out of people’s bodies and examined up close. Enter Surgeon Simulator, the game that lets you tear open a very unlucky patient and completely obliterate his vital organs with drills, hammers and other implements of destruction.

Surgeon Simulator has been around for a while now as a PC game and an iOS app but now it’s coming to your living room TV with a new port for the PlayStation 4. On the official PlayStation blog, developer Bossa Studios explains the challenges that the company faced in bringing its controls for the game over to the PS4‘s DualShock4 controllers.

“The first and most obvious step to take was to map hand movement and hand rotation to the left and right thumb sticks, as this is what players tend to expect on a console game,” the studio explains. “The finger controls were less obvious. We had a lot of ideas which turned out to be a bit too clumsy even for Surgeon Simulator. In the end we decided to lose the one-button-per-finger design used on the PC and instead condense it down into just two of the shoulder buttons.”

via Surgeon Simulator for Playstation 4 announced.