As my colleague Steven Cherry noted a few weeks ago, EE unemployment in the US has doubled in the second quarter of 2009 from the first quarter of the year. However, one job that is in extremely high demand is IT security specialist in the US government.

According to a study conducted by the non-profit think tank Partnership for Public Service and the company Booz Allen Hamilton, federal agencies are facing a severe shortage of cyber security experts even as they are facing increasing cyber threats, like the one that affected South Korea and the US recently.

An AP news report says the study, titled "Cyber IN-Security: Strengthening the Federal Cybersecurity Workforce",

"describes a fragmented federal cyber force, where no one is in charge of overall planning and government agencies are 'on their own and sometimes working at cross purposes or in competition with one another.' "

The study, the AP says,

"recommends that the yet-unnamed federal cyber coordinator lay out a strategy to meet the government's work force needs, set job classifications, enhance training and lead a nationwide effort to promote technology skills, including through the use of scholarships."

Speaking of the unnamed cyber coordinator, apparently no one is overly eager to take on the job. While rumor has it that President Obama will name a cyber czar will be named very soon, the job likely means a lot of responsibility but with little real authority.

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Why Functional Programming Should Be the Future of Software Development

It’s hard to learn, but your code will produce fewer nasty surprises

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A plate of spaghetti made from code
Shira Inbar

You’d expectthe longest and most costly phase in the lifecycle of a software product to be the initial development of the system, when all those great features are first imagined and then created. In fact, the hardest part comes later, during the maintenance phase. That’s when programmers pay the price for the shortcuts they took during development.

So why did they take shortcuts? Maybe they didn’t realize that they were cutting any corners. Only when their code was deployed and exercised by a lot of users did its hidden flaws come to light. And maybe the developers were rushed. Time-to-market pressures would almost guarantee that their software will contain more bugs than it would otherwise.

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