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 

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.

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.

5 IT Skills Companies are Looking For Today – WorkIntelligent.ly

What do IT pros need to know to succeed in today’s new world of work? Earlier this year, Foote Partners interviewed 500 IT managers to examine the skills and tools not subject to the usual IT certifications in order to see where growth opportunities lay. Let’s look at their top growth areas and by extension, where you should be focusing your own IT skills development in the near future.

  1. Network Security Management
  2. NoSQL Database Technologies
  3. HBase
  4. Data Visualization
  5. Data Architecture

via 5 IT Skills Companies are Looking For Today – WorkIntelligent.ly.

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…]

The 100 Best Jobs | Best Jobs | US News Careers

From US News:

All jobs aren’t created equal. In fact, some are simply better than the rest. U.S. News 100 Best Jobs of 2014 offer a mosaic of employment opportunity, good salary, manageable work-life balance and job security. Some careers offer just the right mix of these components – for instance, nearly 40 percent of our picks are health care jobs – but the list also includes strong showings from occupations in the social services and business sectors. And for the first time, our No. 1 pick is a technology job.

Click the Link for the full list The 100 Best Jobs | Best Jobs | US News Careers.

New England Tech offers 28 of the TOP 100:

1. Software Developer

2. Computer Systems Analyst

6. Registered Nurse

9. Web Developer

11. Information Security Analyst

12. Database Administrator

17. Physical Therapist Assistant

21. Occupational Therapy Assistant

22. Clinical Laboratory Technician

24. Information Technology Manager

28. Veterinary Technologist and Technician

30. Computer Programmer

32. Respiratory Therapist

37. Construction Manager

42. Business Operations Manager

45. Medical Assistant

47. Medical Equipment Repairer

52. Computer Systems Administrator

53. Medical Secretary

54. Cost Estimator

69. Patrol Officer

77. Surgical Technologist

78. Computer Support Specialist

79. Administrative Assistant

92. Architect

95. Office Clerk

96. Auto Mechanic

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 

New England Tech grad, Neil Teixeira, comes back to recruit for MediTech

NEIT Grad Returns as Job Recruiter

MEDITECH hires New England Tech grad Neil TeixeiraMedical Information Technology, Inc. (MEDITECH) is interested in hiring NEIT students and grads. Neil Teixeira, who graduated from New England Tech in 2001 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Information Systems, recently visited our campus to interview applicants for full-time positions at the company. MEDITECH has a unique hiring philosophy, which Neil shares with Tech News readers, as well as his advice to students and grads looking to enter the world of Information Technology.

What made you decide to attend NEIT?

There were several reasons. I was working in the Sales Department of an electric immersion heater company and also part-time at a drug store. I needed both jobs to pay the bills, and I knew that I wanted a career change that would provide more opportunity for growth.

 Since I was working full-time days, I needed to look for something during the evenings. I had always seen commercials for NEIT mentioning the 18 month degree programs and that was something definitely of interest to me. I made an appointment to get more information on what the school offered.

 After learning more about NEIT and knowing that I could have my associate degree in as little as 18 months and my bachelor degree in 36 months, I made my decision to attend.

How did you choose your program?

I had taken a couple of programming classes in high school and had also written some programs at a previous job where I had to do manual data entry. Writing those programs helped me streamline some processes and helped me get out of work on time. I was excited whenever I got the chance to write any programs, so I knew that programming was definitely something that I could be happy with as a career.

What did you do to start your career?

I enjoyed my job at the electric immersion heater company, but I knew it wasn’t going to be a career. I worked to complete the bachelor’s program and then began to look for something in the programming field.

 A couple of months before finishing the program, I put together my resume, posted it to the major job search websites, sent some out, and attended a few career fairs. While attending a career fair at NEIT, there were MEDITECH representatives on hand. Based upon my discussion with them, I knew this was definitely a company I wanted to apply to.

 Many companies wanted two or more years of programming experience which I didn’t have. MEDITECH not only had the benefits that I was looking for but was also a company that only promoted from within, so they offered training for all of their positions.

Tell us about your position

I started at MEDITECH in January, 2002, as an entry level Programmer/Analyst in the Implementation Division supporting the Emergency Department Management and Community Wide Scheduling applications.

 I was responsible for providing programming support to customers installing our software. I had to learn how a hospital functioned and quickly develop an understanding of how software was used to aid in patient care. After about a year, I picked up support of a couple of new products.

 I worked as a Programmer/Analyst until February, 2004, and was promoted to supervisor of the group. I started off with about five programmers. This role was exciting as it allowed me to not only continue programming but also allowed me to help train new staff members.

 I served as a Programming Supervisor until March, 2007, when I was promoted to manager. Here, I didn’t do as much programming, but I was still able to do what I loved—solving problems and working with people. I remained in that role until this September when I was promoted to senior manager with a staff of about 60 programmers. I get to work with not only my staff, but also our development group and a large number of customers. It’s always exciting.

What do you feel prepared you for your position?

I would have to say it was the programming classes that I had at NEIT. Although MEDITECH only hires for entry level positions and provides training, knowing and understanding programming concepts is one key factor that got me the position.

Any advice for graduates just beginning their job search?

They should think about what it is that would make them want to work somewhere long term. As cliché as it sounds, you only get one chance to make a first impression so make sure you read through and spell check your resume. As someone who hires for a technical position, I sometimes wonder how good someone will be as a programmer when they didn’t check for errors on their resume. Finally, dress appropriately. For males, a suit would be preferred but at least a dress shirt and tie.

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

Do well in school. Grades show potential employers your ability to learn. Approach any interviews with the expectation that you will be starting at the bottom and proving yourself as an employee.