Tuesday, 30 April 2013

20th Anniversary of the World Wide Web



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Today marks the day the World Wide Web entered the public domain. Just 20 years and look all that it has achieved.  April 30th 1993 was the day CERN announced that the World Wide Web would be free to anyone.

Yep that’s right, CERN. The same research group that is currently smashing protons together with the LHD (Large Hadron Collider) to uncover the greatest mysteries of the universe also made www technologies available to world with British inventor Sir Tim Berners-Lee.

Before the internet, we use to send letters in the mail hoping they would reach their destination within a reasonable amount of time.

The Internet Map (the top 350,000 sites on the internet by similarity and popularity)

This important date marks the beginning to a life of convenience, social networking and access to an endless amount of information. The World Wide Web has changed the world in more ways than we could even imagine. Here are some stats on how much the Internet has made an impact on us:

  • There are currently 2,405,518,376 internet users in the world and rapidly rising
  • The number of users in 2012 grew by more than 550% since 2000
  • Hacktavisim was born and through social media it influenced many world events such as:
    • The Arab Spring
    • The overthrow of Tunisia
    • The overthrow of Egypt
    • The recent end to the CISSPA act in USA
    • The 99% movement around the world
  • There are over 1.2 billion people on social media sites
  • Every month, there are around 800 million unique visitors to YouTube which is equivalent to 140 views per person on earth
  • 72 hours of footage is uploaded to YouTube every month
  • There are 40 million photos uploaded to Instagram every day


To find more interesting stats on the internet, check out the ‘How the Internet Has Changed the World’ infographic.

To celebrate this important date for the World Wide Web, the CERN team started up a project to revive the very first website to its original URL, a 1992 copy of the spartan web page — describing what the web was and how it could be. Alongside the website restoration, CERN aims to dig up and preserve all digital assets associated with the inception of the web, with the ultimate goal being to turn info.CERN.ch into a historical archive for future generations.

About the Author:
Sarah writes for Firebrand Training on a number of IT related topics. This includes exams, training, certification trends, project management, certification, careers advice and the industry itself. Sarah has 11 years of experience in the IT industry.

Thursday, 25 April 2013

Survey: Is Cloud vital to the success of a company?



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In a survey sponsored by Google and created by CFO Research on senior financial executives at U.S. companies, it was found that cloud computing will soon have a considerable impact on their companies.

It found that almost 80% of those surveyed believed that using a strong cloud computing strategy will be vital to the success of the company during the next 12 to 18 months. 

There are still many companies that are still holding back on cloud technology, with Microsoft releasing Windows 8 to the public featuring cloud and Apple pushing its iCloud, the world is steadily moving towards the technology and many are already benefiting from it with positive results.

The study also revealed that over 70% said that savings met or exceeded their expectations due to the end of hardware-related costs. In addition to these savings, two-thirds of the executives stated that cloud technology would reduce their companies' operational costs by up to 20%.

Research editor at CFO Research, Matt Surka stated that “The cloud certainly offers cost savings, but finance executives are most interested in using the cloud to redirect IT resources to high-value activities — not strip resources out of IT."

Another positive result seen by these companies with cloud technology is employee productivity. Over 70% of respondents said that the cloud improved employee mobility.
The study was based on 310 electronic survey responses.

Do you believe cloud technology will have a considerable impact on your company in the near future?

About the Author:
Sarah writes for Firebrand Training on a number of IT related topics. This includes exams, training, certification trends, project management, certification, careers advice and the industry itself. Sarah has 11 years of experience in the IT industry.

Monday, 22 April 2013

What is PMI and how can it help you save £169 million?


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If you read the Times this morning, then you may have come across a rather stark and terrifying advert from PMI, the headline:


"UK organisations risk on average £169 million for every £1 billion spent on projects."

Imagine having that conversation with your Boss, 'Ed, would you care to explain how you wasted £169 million worth of the companies money?' Something tells me you are not going to get that Christmas bonus you've been waiting for.

So how true are these figures, and should you really be worried? Follow Firebrand as we talk you through PMI, the 2013 Pulse of the Profession report and how to mitigate project risk.

What is PMI?

The Project Management Institute (PMI) is the World's leading not-for-profit, professional association for Project Management. PMI currently offers six Project Management certifications including the Globally recognized Project Management Professional (PMP) certification held by more than 520,00 practitioners worldwide.

Where do these figures come from?


The deeply concerning figures form part of PMI's 2013 Pulse of the Profession report, an annual global survey of project managers. The report takes market research from insights on projects fed back by project, portfolio and programme managers to chart existing and future trends within the industry. The current report takes feedback from more than 800 project management leaders across North America, Asia Pacific, Europe, the Middle East, Africa (EMEA) and Latin America and Caribbean regions. 


Should I be worried?

According to PMI, yes. The report suggests that project success rates are on the decline, with more than a third of projects failing to meet business goals since 2010. Scope creep; uncontrolled changes or continuous growth in a project's scope, has also seen an increase from 2010 to the present day with a movement from 41 percent to 45 percent of projects affected. 

Can I prevent this from happening?

Risk is an inherent part of any project, however, implementing proven success measures and a robust project plan are strongly linked with mitigating risk. PMI's report shows that High performing organisations practising such measures see a reduced risk; 14 times that of their Low performing counterparts, and experience greater success rates with 90 percent of organisations achieving original project goals.

PMI also outlined that organisations achieving project success have the following practices in common:
  • 76 % have embrace portfolio management a foundation and framework that guides the implementation and development of specific practices.
  • 74% have active sponsors on 80% or more of projects
  • 71% have a defined career path for project managers
  • 70% use standardised project management practices such as PMI's PMBOK® Guide
  • 69% have over 35% of project managers certified with the PMP®

So what now?

Avoid those awkward " I lost £169 million" conversations by getting to grips with project management practices. Book yourself on Firebrand's 4 day PMP course, and start planning for project management success today.


About the Author:
Edward is a member of the Marketing team overseeing the Content Strategy for Firebrand. Working in the Industry for 2 years, Edward has experience with Microsoft Technologies including SharePoint 2007 and Windows Server 2008 R2. Edward writes for a variety of Blogs and Publications on all things Technology. 




Monday, 15 April 2013

Hackers & how they exploit 'the seven deadly sins'


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Prof Alan Woodward of University of Surrey (Department of Computing) wrote an interesting intake into the world of hacking and how regular people fall victims through the ‘seven deadly sins’.

He outlines how hackers take advantage of the basic human instincts to catch their victims. The seven deadly sins are Apathy, Curiosity, Gullibility, Courtesy, Greed, Diffidence and Thoughtlessness. So how do hackers take advantage of all our guilty sins?

Apathy

Our lack of interest, enthusiasm, or concern. How? Many of us believe that others have secured our internet or computer which leads to a lack of awareness. Alan Woodward shows an excellent example of this with Hotel room safes. We often keep our more valuable possessions there entrusting the security of the Hotel. But what most of us do not realise is that almost all safes have manufacturer override codes. Next time you’re in a Hotel check to see if the override code is 0000 or 1234… it nearly always is.

Curiosity

Curiosity is a common value we all share. It’s what pushes us forward, but it can also be what pushes us back. Criminals are known to take advantage of this trait and the same goes for hackers. Just like we act when we see a door open and feel the need to know where it leads; the same goes for links in the online world. Hackers use persuasive and interesting messaging to make you want to open a link.

Gullibility

We often make fun of those who are gullible, but we all know we suffer from this sin. “Put a uniform on someone and we assume they have authority” as Alan Woodward said, which couldn’t be more true. He goes on to add that giving an email an official appearance with the correct logos and the correct email address, people instinctually assume it’s real. I saw this example a few months ago almost fell for it myself. I was selling a DSLR camera on Gumtree and I received an email from paypal saying that a person from Africa purchased the item and even paid an extra £60 for the postage. I was convinced… even the email said marketing@paypal.com. But I was not prepared to send the camera to Africa, so I contacted Paypal and they had no idea what I was talking about.

Courtesy

Just because someone is being polite does not mean you should believe them. And this is especially true in the online world. We've all heard it… scammers calling our phones saying they are the bank and that they require further information of our details. Even if they sound legitimate, remember that you can always call back to double check.

Greed

This is one of those deadly sins and as much as we all don’t want to admit it, we all go through moments of even a little greed. As hundreds before me put it, nothing in life is free. Although a lot of what is in the internet looks like an open and free resource, almost everything you download comes with something extra, whether that’s cookies, trackers or viruses. As Alex rightly says, “if you're not the paying customer, you're very likely to be the product.”

Diffidence

Asking for ID is not something we ever feel comfortable with. But it has become even more important now with the online world. This is because it is now easier than ever to disguise yourself as someone else. If someone calls or emails you asking for sensitive information, ensure they prove their identity. One of the big scams mentioned in the article is someone calling around the company asking if anyone is in need of IT assistance. Once a target is found, they call from ‘IT support’ asking for their password in order to fix the supposed problem.

Thoughtlessness

The internet has become such a simple source that we often find ourselves mindlessly clicking through links. But one thing many do not realise is that links in HTML coding can easily mask their true face. While it could say it links to an official site, behind the masking and HTML coding it could lead to something more sinister. Next time you see a link, try hovering over it. At the bottom left of your browser on your cursor you’ll be able to see the real location that link will take you, including all the tracking information it could take from you.

To read the full article, follow this link: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-20717773

One key certification which has consistently been among the top IT security certs available offers a key insight into the world of security. CISM is a globally recognised achievement in security and demonstrates that none of the seven deadly sins are evoked within the company. For further information about the CISM certification by ISACA, click here

About the Author:
Julian writes for Firebrand Training on a number of IT related topics. This includes exams, training, certification trends, project management, certification, careers advice and the industry itself. Julian is the companies Digital Marketer.

Friday, 12 April 2013

Infographic - How to use File History on Windows 8


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Do you ever back up any of your data on your computer? How would you react if you got a virus on your computer and it wiped everything out? You would quickly and painfully discover that backing up data is the wisest thing to do.


So many things can happen to your computer and in seconds you can lose all your data. You can lose power or your surge could stop working and you haven’t saved any of your valuable documents or whatever else you hold of value.

In this infographic, you’ll learn how to implement 'File History' functionality in Windows 8. This guide will help you to create a backup of your files updated at regular intervals. 



The content was created by Gary Fildes, Windows 8 Microsoft Certified Trainer (MCT) for Firebrand Training. You can also read the full article - How to use File History on Windows 8


About the Author:
Sarah writes for Firebrand Training on a number of IT related topics. This includes exams, training, certification trends, project management, certification, careers advice and the industry itself. Sarah has 11 years of experience in the IT industry.

Infographic - How to use Family Safety on Windows 8


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The internet is completely loaded with content and information that is both entertaining and educational for children. Kids now-a-days have access to almost a limitless amount of resources beyond what we ever had when we were their age, and beyond what their grandparents will ever understand. But as with most things, it comes with a dangerous side to it too.

In a recent report by Internet Filter Review, it was found that nine out of ten 8 to 16 year-olds have viewed porn and that the average child is 11 when they see their first pornographic image. Other dangers to the impressionable minds of minors include cyber-bullying, dangerous contacts, viruses and trojans which can steal all your information. So it comes to no surprise that most parents need a little more control to make sure their child is safe from the dangers of the internet.

In Windows 8, the name Parental Controls has become ‘Family Safety’, which includes some improvements over Windows 7 and gives ‘booring’ parents a bit more control.

This infographic shows you how to use Family Safety, a brand new feature in Windows 8. You’ll learn how to set a curfew, prevent violent games being uploaded and restrict access to sites deemed inappropriate for minors.




The content was created by Gary Fildes, Windows 8 Microsoft Certified Trainer (MCT) for Firebrand Training. You can also read his full article - How to use Family Safety on Windows 8


About the Author:
Sarah writes for Firebrand Training on a number of IT related topics. This includes exams, training, certification trends, project management, certification, careers advice and the industry itself. Sarah has 11 years of experience in the IT industry.

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

IT job vacancies in the UK at a record high



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In a recent jobs report by REC (Recruitment and Employment Confederation’s), it was found that we are currently seeing more Tech jobs being advertised in the UK than we have ever seen before. And because of the troubling skills shortage in the market, the imbalance is pushing employers to pay top dollar for developers and other technical staff. The average pay is £38,185, a massive 15% higher than the national average.

According to the report, there were 1,196,227 vacancies in 2012 for the IT sector, making it to the UK’s top hiring sector. This is expected to rise in 2013.

REC found that companies are struggling to find permanent staff with the following skills: business intelligence, DBA, developers, digital marketing, Java, .Net, online marketing, PHP, PPC, SEO and SQL server.

Kevin Green, chief executive at REC said that “Recruiters report that businesses are willing to pay better starting salaries to get the right talent but are struggling to find people with the right skills and experience as candidate availability declines”.

The report also revealed that salaries for technology jobs in London have risen by 26% in the last year and that vacancies in the capital are at an all-time high.

But although the skills gap is still worrying, interest in this sector seems to be growing, with an 18% increase in the number of searches for Technical jobs on Adzuna over the past 6 months. There are now 50,715 technology vacancies in the UK, a record level.

The average salary for a vacant technology role in London is now £48,307, compared to £38,274 a year ago and a national average of £38,185, according to figures from job listings service Adzuna. 

Number of available Tech Vacancies:


Job Title
Number of  Vacancies Sept 2012
Number of Current Vacancies
% Change 
(6 months)
Year on Year Growth in Search
Objective C
781
1150
47%
1%
Python developer
872
395
-55%
88%
Java developer
1247
4312
246%
-3%
Android developer
721
893
24%
6%
Ruby developer
765
283
-63%
17%
Games developer
881
801
-9%
38%
Perl developer
743
276
-63%
-1%
Hadoop
207
293
42%
110%
Javascript Developer
1484
1434
-3%
67%
HTML5 jobs
2194
2980
36%
1%

You can find out how much the salary is for a specific job and the amount being advertised in which ever city in the UK you're interested in by going to Adzuna.co.uk.

The career opportunities for coders is vast, the sector skills council predicts employment growth in IT to grow 1.62 per cent per year till the year 2020. On average that's an expected growth of 129,000 new job opportunities  for the next 7 years. Amazingly this coincides with a fall in the number of students taking IT related GCSE's and A-Levels.

In 2012, IT represented only 0.4 per cent of all A-Levels in the UK, despite providing more than 5 per cent of Jobs. Campaigns like Little Miss Geek and Code Club are fantastic initiatives set up to inspire children at a grass roots level.

But you don't have to be 10 years old to get into coding, with numerous job opportunities and an average salary of £35,500 (*source IT Jobs Watch) why not start today and take a look our range of Microsoft MTA Certifications . For the more advanced programmers out there looking to back their experience with a certification, why not check out the latest range of .Net Courses



You can check out the original video on Code.org's YouTube page - What most schools don't teach

About the Author:
Sarah writes for Firebrand Training on a number of IT related topics. This includes exams, training, certification trends, project management, certification, careers advice and the industry itself. Sarah has 11 years of experience in the IT industry.


Thursday, 4 April 2013

Infographic: How to use Refresh and Reset in Windows 8



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We all like to keep our PC’s very ‘fresh’ and clean. Though at the times it can get a little untidy and un-fresh with too many icons, add-ons, upgrades etc. So it’s time for a re-install.

Can you even count the amount of times you’ve re-installed Windows over the past twenty years?

This infographic shows you how to implement 'refresh and reset' features in Windows 8. From a simple refresh removing applications to the full on factory reset - this Windows 8 Infographic has you covered. 


The content was created by Gary Fildes, Windows 8 Microsoft Certified Trainer (MCT) for Firebrand Training. To see the full article, follow this link: http://www.windows8update.com/2012/11/28/guest-post-how-to-use-refresh-and-reset-in-windows-8/


About the Author:
Sarah writes for Firebrand Training on a number of IT related topics. This includes exams, training, certification trends, project management, certification, careers advice and the industry itself. Sarah has 11 years of experience in the IT industry.

Cloud Services Market to Total £87billion in 2013



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Cloud Computing
Source: CRM In The Cloud
New Gartner Research shows that Infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) has increased by 42.4% last year, and is expected to see 47.3% growth to £6billion this year.

The research also shows that the public cloud services market is forecast to grow 18.5% in 2013 to a total of £87billion worldwide, up from £74billion in 2012. IaaS including cloud computing, storage and print services, continued to be the fastest-growing segments of the market, growing 42.4% in 2012 to almost £4billion.

"The continued growth of the cloud services market will result from the adoption of cloud services for production systems and workloads, in addition to the development and testing scenarios that have led as the most prominent use case for public cloud services to date," said Ed Anderson, research director at Gartner.

He added that "Evidence of this growth is found in the increasing demand for cloud services from end-user organizations, met by an increased supply of cloud services from suppliers."

One of the main issues with cloud has always been in its understanding. It isn't something you can often start a conversation about with just anyone. The majority of the population just simply don't understand what it is. Firebrand recently caught up with Ian Moyse from Workbooks.com, a Cloud CRM vendor who explained that "Cloud" is too generic of a term for customers to understand. Watch the full interview in our previous blog post.

"Although forecast growth is generally high across all regions, the adoption of cloud services varies significantly by country. Providers should not assume that a generic strategy applied to specific countries or regions of the world will produce the same outcome when applied to other countries, even countries with similar market characteristics," said Mr. Anderson.

Popular comedian Louis C.K makes light of this misunderstanding by the general population in his recent interview in the Jimmy Kimmel Live show.


A TechRepublic survey indicates that IT leaders prefer private and hybrid clouds over public-cloud technology. The survey results show that cloud usage is increasing. The survey looked at:
  • Vendors used for current cloud services
  • Vendors being considered for future cloud services
  • Reasons for going to the cloud
  • Does the cloud meet expectations
  • Why some companies aren't adopting the cloud
  • Current cloud status
  • Public, private or hybrid?

You can download the full results here. The report costs $149 but is free is you have a TechRepublic Pro membership.


Join the cloud


Why not cash in on this great opportunity? Get certified and learn everything you need to know about cloud with with these top cloud courses.

Microsoft offer the prestigious MCSE on Private cloud. On this course you'll learn to build private cloud solutions using Windows Server 2008 and System Center 2012. Find out more here: Microsoft MCSE: Private Cloud - Only 6 Days

Or train under the world renown CompTIA, with the Cloud Essentials course. You'll gain the knowledge and understanding of Cloud Computing concepts giving you the insight to be able to move your business to the Cloud. This course only takes a short 2 days. Find out more here: CompTIA Cloud Essentials - Only 2 Days


About the Author:
Sarah writes for Firebrand Training on a number of IT related topics. This includes exams, training, certification trends, project management, certification, careers advice and the industry itself. Sarah has 11 years of experience in the IT industry.