It is an interesting and exciting time for talent, amid an uncertain economy and rapidly evolving technologies.
There are many challenges to navigate, it is true—as well as opportunities to seize.
In collaboration with DECODER, Tech Talent Canada breaks down some of the essential aspects of carving out a career in tech today.
AI is a technology that empowers machines with the ability to mimic human cognitive functions such as learning, reasoning, and problem-solving.
Think of artificial intelligence as an assistant in a restaurant kitchen. You, as the chef, tell it to prepare a certain dish. The assistant will analyze a cookbook (or 100), understand the recipe, and execute it with precision. And if the assistant has made the dish before, it might even suggest improvements based on past results.
Just like this lovely chef’s assistant, AI systems can analyze vast amounts of data, learn from it, make decisions, and improve over time, helping humans solve complex problems more efficiently.
Sounds futuristic. Why does this matter to me?
AI must matter to all tech talent because every worker in the field should at least be aware of its powers in order to stay relevant. In fact, we recommend that tech talent actively practise AI skills so as not to fall behind in the area, which could become one of the biggest aspects of tech work in the future. Many companies are openly placing major investments on AI tech—and we expect them to place similar value on AI tech talent, too.
Digital transformation (or “DX”) refers to the strategic adoption of digital tools and technology to improve business processes, enhance customer experiences, and adapt to a changing business environment.
Imagine a restaurant that has only ever accepted walk-in customers. To adapt to an increasingly digital world, the restaurant starts a website where customers can reserve tables and even order food for delivery. It also begins using digital-based tools for managing inventory, scheduling staff, and gathering customer feedback.
This multifaceted shift toward leaning on digital solutions for critical aspects of running the restaurant is one example of digital transformation affecting most industries.
And what does that look like for tech talent?
In 2011, Marc Andreessen observed that “software is eating the world.” The inevitable outcome? Every company is a tech company.
This is the DX that impacts tech talent. Opportunities for tech are no longer just at tech titans and software startups; every organization under the sun needs tech skills today. And new companies are forged from the fires of the DX itself, creating products and services built from the ground up for a digital-first, or even digital-only, world.
Upskilling refers to the structured process of enhancing ability and knowledge in a specific area to progress further in a career or profession.
Can you give me an example?
Picture a software developer who is a master of programming language Java. During his career, a new languages gains popularity, and projects begin to demand its expertise. To remain sought-after tech talent, the developer upskills, adding the Python language to his toolkit.
Upskilling is adapting to stay relevant in the tech world, or any other evolving industry. Skilling organizations, which themselves evolve to keep training content and delivery up-to-date, cater to various skill areas. Uvaro, Salesforce, and Jelly Academy all offer sales-based skilling programs, for example, while “coding bootcamps” such as Lighthouse Labs empower people with skillsets more like our imaginary developer referenced above.
According to LinkedIn, software engineers and salespeople are among the top career paths for recent graduates. Moreover, most of these programs are offered online, allowing Canadian tech talent to upgrade their skills—and careers—anywhere, anytime.
Hybrid Work refers to a flexible model of working in which employees split time between a physical office and working remotely.
How does that work?
Consider a tech consultant who collaborates with a team to brainstorm and design solutions at the office, capturing essential in-person energy and ideas. The next day, she deep dives into detailed work remotely without distractions. Hybrid Work balances in-person and remote work to optimize productivity and maximize wellbeing.
Covid killed the five-day office week, at least for the laptop class—which is an increasingly sizeable percentage of the workforce. It is predicted that fewer than 5% of desk workers prefer to work from a corporate workplace full-time. As a result of hybrid working, HR professionals saw improvement in employee satisfaction (67%), work-life balance (63%), and mental health (50%), an IWG report found.
But lockdowns proved that few truly prefer all-remote work either; it’s a bit lonely and boring for most. The optimal hybrid workweek has been suggested as three days in the office—but ultimately it boils down what works best for each company and each individual worker.
Looking to better understand even more tech terms and trends in Canadian fintech and beyond? Check out the DECODER Dictionary for a wealth of knowledge.