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Omnipresent Technology and its Effect on Tech Talent

Written By Tom Nikl | February 25, 2015

Today’s world is one in which technology is ever-present. Not only is new technology being developed quicker than ever before, it’s also being adopted faster: research published in the Harvard Business Review shows that while it took the telephone several decades to achieve 50% penetration, when the Internet was popularized in the 1990s it took just a few years to attain the same reach.
Sometimes, though, we don’t see just how ingrained new technology is in our lives. So, we wanted to point out a few places where technology is playing a huge role but may still be overlooked. Behind the scenes, these technological expansions are resulting in a huge need for top technical talent at organizations across the board. Here are three great examples of technology playing a huge role in places that may have previously been strictly analog:
Disney’s MyMagic+
Visitors to the world-famous Disney theme parks and attractions now have the ability to use technology to make their trips more convenient and efficient. Disney guests can use the new MagicBand wristband to do things like unlock their hotel rooms, charge food and merchandise to their guest accounts, enter Disney parks, and redeem FastPass reservations.
Disney has invested over $1 billion into the technological development of its MyMagic+ project, which encompasses MagicBand technology as well as a new Disney mobile app for vacation planning. This makes the MyMagic+ project one of the most expensive investments in the company’s history, requiring the development of a significant technological infrastructure. That means Disney had to spend a lot of time and money building out a technology team who could accomplish this feat.
Some may be wondering how this will ever pay for itself. Well, it already is! According to Disney’s fourth quarter 2014 announcements, the MyMagic+ programs are already boosting revenue and profits in its Disney parks.
New York City’s Transit Wireless
New York City’s subway system is a massive public transportation system that carries roughly 5.5 million riders in a single weekday. Unfortunately for busy riders, much of the city’s subway system is underground, which means it is difficult to get cellular reception or access the internet while riding the subway or waiting for a train.
New York’s Transit Wireless technological development initiative was created to correct this problem. So far, the project has established WiFi, voice, and data service at 47 of the city’s underground subway stations. New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority estimates that all 278 underground subway stations will be equipped with WiFi by 2017. That’s a massive transformation from no WIFI to complete WIFI in just a few years.
Smart Household Appliances
The home appliance industry has developed significantly over the years: the latest generation of refrigerators, washing machines, and ovens come equipped with the ability to play music, suggest recipes, and turn themselves on and off after a set length of time. Some appliances can integrate with online shopping and video services, like Netflix and YouTube.
However, these appliances come with their own challenges: they require a unique approach to technological development and the melding of types of technologies that have never before been present in the same device. Peter Bright at Ars Technia published an Op-Ed outlining some of the developmental challenges involved with these smart appliances: updating codecs, improving security, and adding compatibility for new generations of apps.
This means an entirely new set of programming challenges that appliance companies will need to deal with. Going forward, the burden will be on them to develop the best practices for improving this new breed of appliances. All of this will require a technology team that knows how to adapt to this new fusion of technology and evolve their techniques into general guidelines and best practices.
Get ahead of the tech talent curve
These are just a few of the many examples of how technology will soon be applied in new and creative ways throughout our every day (and not-so-every-day) lives. Companies who are interested in keeping up with industry competitors should already be researching and implementing tech initiatives like these.
To do this, however, they will need sufficient developer talent to support these initiatives. The battle for top tech talent is only just beginning and keeping up with demand will mean looking in all the right places in all the right ways. The companies that have the smartest, most efficient sourcing, screening, and interview tools and techniques are the companies that will ultimately land the best tech talent.

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