Laptop repair warning

With such a heavy reliance on technology in 2009, we all know how much of a nightmare it is when something goes wrong. But in this case, it seems that computer problems are just the beginning!

An investigation by Sky News has found that many computer repair shops are stealing information from hard drives – from photos to passwords – and even trying to hack into bank accounts. This is as well as overcharging for the work that needed to be done.

Sky took a brand new laptop, loosened the connection of the internal memory chip, installed surveillance software and took the computer to six different repair shops. Five misdiagnosed or overcharged for the fault and one was caught opening a file of photos marked ‘private’ as well as looking at passwords and attempting to login to the owner’s bank account.

So if you need your computer fixing, make sure you consult someone that you trust and keep private information safe on a hard drive at home!

Input into research on recruiting women & minorities into IT departments

Rachel Dines at Forrester Research, an independent research company, is currently looking for input into a research report on recruiting women and minorities into IT infrastructure and operations (I&O) departments – networking, storage, databases, helpdesk, telecoms etc. She’s interested in talking to individuals who manage people working in those areas and who are happy to share their ideas on recruiting, retaining and promoting women in their teams.

The report is about best practices for recruiting and developing more diversity in infrastructure and operations departments around the world. E.g. why is I&O the least diverse department in most IT departments?

If you have any experience with this, please contact Rachel directly by the middle of September 2009:
Rachel Dines
Researcher – Infrastructure & Operations, Forrester Research, 400 Technology Square, Cambridge MA 02139
001 617 613 6081 or rdines@forrester.com
@RachelDines
http://www.forrester.com/rb/analyst/rachel_dines

Thanks so much!

Worth a read

We’ve recently put together a list of our favourite blogs for women in technology – and we thought we’d share it with you:

http://anitaborg.org/category/news/blog – the Anita Borg Institute for Women and Technology is an American not-for-profit organisation, whose Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing was a major influencing factor beind our recent event, W-Tech.  “Changing the world for women in technology, read about what’s happening with women in IT on the other side of the pond. 

http://www.bcs.org/server.php?show=nav.7708 – the BCS women’s forum is dedicated to increasing the number and proportion of women in IT but also building a better profession for both men and women. Their site is great for news and advice, interesting research, case studies of female role models and discussion in their forum. 

http://www.ukrc4setwomen.org/html/women-and-girls/getsetwomen-blog/ – The blog from the UK Resource Centre for Women in Science, Engineering and Technology, with stories and thoughts from members of the network.

http://www.theglasshammer.com/ – an award winning blog for women executives in financial services, law and business, with bloggers giving their perspectives from around the world. Have a read for career tips, interviews and news for businesswomen.

http://thenextwomen.com/ – this blog calls itself a ‘business magazine for female internet heroes’ and is home to with inspirational stories from tecchie women as well as interesting news updates.

http://www.computerweekly.com/blogs/witsend/ – written by Computer Weekly’s journalists, this is a great read for female technologists with news on diversity, technology, careers and other women in tech related things.

http://www.womenintechnology.co.uk – we couldn’t leave our own site out! Take a look for information on our training and networking events, the latest IT jobs, news, advice, white papers, useful links and lots more!

We’re always on the lookout for other interesting blogs to read so let us know of any that you recommend!

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Women in science

The internet is a wonderful thing – an online presence means that comments you make can reappear years later! And that’s just what has happened to us. The Independent has recently blogged an article that womenintechnology.co.uk contributed to, about acheiving the right balance of women in SET (science, engineering and technology) careers. Have a read here.

Blessing or a curse?

What are the main challenges that women in IT face in the workplace? And how can we resolve them? Read my thoughts and some interesting quotes and anecdotes from female technologists that womenintechnology.co.uk surveyed in my article on V3.co.uk here.

IT graduates – don’t worry

It’s summertime, which means school holidays, sunshine (hopefully) and for many students, time to enter the real world and start job hunting. Many reports have said that the class of 2009 is struggling to find a job, as graduate vacancies drop and salaries are frozen.

However it’s not all bad news, as the not-for-profit initiative for smarter working, Work Wise UK, says that candidates with strong IT skills will always be in demand. Chief Executive Phil Flaxton also said that graduates with technological ability are in particular demand in the SME space as organisations find themselves with fixed budgets.

It is understandable that there are fewer vacancies in this economic climate but hopefully there are still companies that recognise the value of developing graduates to ensure that we have enough talent for the future.

A different kind of job application

Usually the job application process is relatively straightforward – send in your CV and covering letter and wait for a response. Well, not this one. Mobile phone company Teimlo is looking for a new marketing manager, but is only accepting applications through text message.

According to the Telegraph, this is to test the applicant and see if they can be creative and to the point. The company’s boss commented “If their text says: ‘Dear sir, I would like to apply for the position of…’ they are going to run out of space. They have to be a lot more savvy to fit something in that’s going to make a genuine impression. What we want is fanatics at what we do, people who will fit in and understand the subject. It’s the attitude that matters.”

Is it time that we re-thought traditional job applications? Many firms now use psychometric testing in the interview process and video CVs have become increasingly popular. Although there have been these advancements, I still think that the CV will remain for a while – a text may test creativity but without the necessary skills and experience, you won’t have the right candidate.