Linkages

Booting Up: Decadent Tech Party Edition

London calling. (Photo: flickr.com/anniemole)

Turns out Twitter’s mobile ads are more engaging than Facebook’s. [VentureBeat]

Amazon is opening a new “digital media development” office in London, which is likely to focus on streaming TV. Naturally, it is located in techie Shoreditch rather than the traditionally bookish environs of Charing Cross. [Telegraph]

The company arrives just in time for the tech talent wars to hit Europe. [TechCrunch]

“One industry party I attended had a jungle theme. This included a real, 600-pound tiger in a cage and a monkey that would pose for Instagram photos.” [New York Times]

Lots of users are less than thrilled about Google’s acquisition of Sparrow. [GigaOm]

Meanwhile, in cleantech: Researchers at UCLA have developed a transparent solar cell. Dare we dream of window-unit solar panels? [Engadget]

Be Cool Stay In School

Tech Companies Attempting to Lure Students Outside the Ivory Tower with Free Food, Fat Paychecks

It would take a lot of money to make us leave this. (flickr.com/Hugo Pardo Kuklinski)

Computer science majors are the new star basketball players. That is seriously the thesis of this Wall Street Journal article. Welcome to America’s tech industry in 2012, which is apparently one steroid scandal away from becoming completely analogous to professional sports.

There’s no question the developer talent crunch has filtered down to our nation’s institutions of higher learning. Startups and established companies alike are jockeying to remove students from said institutions as quickly as possible, and to that end, they are plying them with free food and free Android pajamas (no, really). According to one student:  Read More

Talent Crunch

It Pays to Know Ruby: New York City’s Top Tech Jobs (and Their Average Salary)

ruby00

Here’s some interesting data that slipped through the holiday news hole. CyberCoders, a technology staffing company, assembled a list of the top ten tech jobs in New York for the coming year.

The company is based in Irvine, California, but recently opened an office in New York. With the office expansion of companies like Google and Twitter, says CyberCoders CTO Matt Miller, “We are seeing a significant demand for various types of web development, as well as candidates who manage projects and the sales team to support those efforts.” Startups are unlikely to ask a staffing firm for help with hiring up, but their numbers offer a nice overview of coveted jobs and compensation. Read More

Tech Talent Crunch

Ad-Tech Feels the Talent Crunch In Silicon Alley

Competition for engineers and developers in NewYork is fierce, as it is in tech hubs around the country. It’s a well worn story that Silicon Alley competes with Wall Street for the best programmers. But there is another multi-billion dollar industry in the Big Apple hungry for those mathematical minds: advertising.

Over the last year, reports the New York Times, the number of want ads for highly technical positions has nearly doubled on the industry job board AdExchanger. The wave of big data is rich soil for advertising companies to mine, but it requires some serious quants to seperate the signal from the noise.

“The demand has far outstripped the supply,” said Joe Zawadzki, chief executive of MediaMath, told the NY Times. “The number of things that you need to know is high and the number of people that have grown up knowing it is low.” Read More

Hack Hack Hack Hack It Apart

10Gen’s Brandon Diamond Tells Us Why New York City Needed a Hackers Union

Brandon-Diamond

At a town hall for NY Hackers this week, its founder Brandon Diamond announced the creation of the Hackers Union, a unifying non-profit resource for all engineers in New York City.

“We’re still sort of in the early stages of a self-sustaining engineering culture like you might find in San Francisco,” said Mr. Diamond, who also serves as associate director of NY Tech Meetup and a database kernel engineer at 10Gen (the company behind MongoDB). “Our goal is not to become the next big meetup. We want to consolidate all the activities into a central hub.”

The effort has already attracted a potential sponsor–a hedge fund, no less. Read More

Talent Crunch

Billions Dollar Analytics Firm, Palantir, Staffing Up in New York

Palantir's Meat Packing Digs

Although it doesn’t have much mainstream name recognition, Palantir Technologies has seen some explosive growth in the last year. And with new offices in the Meat Packing district, Palantir is competing hard for New York tech talent.

The firm, which began analyzing complex data sets for intelligence agencies, has since brought its tools to bear on a wide range of government and financial services.

Founded by Alex Karp and Peter Thiel, a Paypal co-founder and early Facebook investor, the company just closed on a $50 million round of funding that would value Palantir between $2.5 and $3 billion.

The company won’t reveal whether or not its profitable, saying simply that revenues have grown, but its benefit package is pretty swank for a pre-IPO firm: catered breakfast and chef prepared lunch, nap rooms and rec areas with HD projection screens, laundry service and a housing subsidy. Wonder if East Coast perks are equal to Palo Alto.  Read More