” On a smarter planet, we want to change the paradigm from react to anticipate” is the slogan of the IBM Smarter Planet global initiative which was started five years ago. IBM Smarter Cities is part of the smarter planet programme. The video Smarter Planet – a UK Introduction gives an idea of how it may impact on our lives.
With the arrival of Big Data, through the use of analytics, mobile technology, social business and the cloud it is now becoming possible to transform how enterprises and institutions operate. The embedding of sensors in cars, roads, cameras, roads, pipelines, appliances is happening and systems are beginning to ‘speak’ to each other which results in the capture of masses of data in backend systems. This data can be mined and analysed and if the queries are structured intelligently should produce information on better ways of doing or organising things.
The IBM Research – Ireland lab is IBM Smarter Cities Technology Centre and conducts research in water, energy, transportation, city fabric, risk, exascale computing, and marine environments in collaboration with top universities, cities, and industry partners. The leading academic institutions involved are Cambridge University, the Australian National University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne and Trinity College Dublin.
Researchers at NUI Maynooth have received €2.3m of funding for a major five-year project which will analyse how software and technology can influence life in a city. The focus will be on two cities: Dublin and Boston in the US. Boston is ranked number one on a global index of ‘smart’ cities while Dublin is a key technology hub in Europe. The research is funded by a five-year ERC (European Reaserch Council) grant.
Some Findings on Dublin as a Smart City
- A 2007 study of traffic congestion revealed that even though small if taken as a percentage of gross domestic product then Dublin was the world leader in this sphere over cities such as Manila, Dakar and Mexico City. The challenge was and still is to maintain the historic fabric of the city and improve the transport network without any major re-development. Dublin City Council has been collecting and analysing data, in partnership with IBM and journey time information is now released and updated every minute.Residents can go online and find the quickest route to their destination. This is just the beginning and eventually people will be updated on problems via their mobiles while on route to their destinations and advice on alternative means of completing their journeys will be given which may be bicycle, tram, taxi or even on foot.
- IBM’s vision for water is stated as
Our vision is an intelligent, integrated, and instrumented water system for our cities of the future, where both the quantity and quality of our water resources is constantly being monitored, predicted, and optimized, from rain to drain and back again.
The citizens of Dublin could vouch for the fact that even when there is a strong bond between rain and drain, over a prolonged period of time, that they still have water shortages. A Dublin City report states that 29 percent of the water produced never reaches the consumer due to water leaking from the city’s distribution system. This is due to the age of the network and many of the pipes are in such poor condition that they are prone to bursts, leaks and low water pressure. Replacing the infrastructure is a costly, time-consuming and disruptive especially when streets need to be dug up.
To reduce the amount of water lost Dublin City Council in collaboration with IBM is combining analytics, sensor data, and optimization models to find the best places in the network to install pressure reducing valves. Once installed, the models recommend the best settings to minimize leakage while meeting the requirements of the city. Dublin’s Chapelizod area showed potential to reduce leakage up to 44 percent, allowing water providers to serve 15 percent more households without investment in more production capacity or adversely affecting consumers.
‘Garbage in garbage out’ still holds true so human intelligence is a requirement for digital smartness. There are and will be no shortage of jobs for big data scientists, big data analysts and others but there will be a shortage of suitably qualified people to fill the posts.
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It is well worth taking the time to get Professional References from a Client at the end of a project (ideally on company letterhead). This way you can show them to a potential Client or Recruiter as soon as you are asked. This could be the difference between picking up or not picking up a last minute assignment. (more…)Continue reading
It is incredibly important to write a ‘high impact’ Contract CV. If you fail to do this you will waste a lot of time and receive few (if any) responses! (more…)Continue reading
In most cases you will have to work via an IT Contract Recruitment Agency in order to secure a project in the UK. Many Agencies advertise roles on IT Job Websites however it is often worthwhile building personal relationships so that (with luck!) an Agent will think of you before posting a requirement. (more…)Continue reading
As a Contractor you need to learn how to find and secure IT Contracts in the UK. It can be a bit of an uphill battle at first however once you learn the basics you will find that the going becomes a lot easier! (more…)Continue reading
In order to find an IT Contract in the UK you will probably have to use an IT Job Website. There are many IT Job Websites out there and if you are going to find that perfect contract you need to stay up to date with most of them as contracts come and go quickly.
If you’re a highly skilled expat Contractor and you’re interested in maximising your contract income and working towards a visa extension or visa transfer Commonwealth Contractors can help!
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Using IT Job Websites to find Contracts
To find an IT Contract you should;
- Search the Job Websites for possible Contracts (detailed below)
- Sign up to daily job alerts and notices
- Tailor your high impact CV to the specific Contract being advertised and then submit the CV to the Agency posting the Contract
- Follow up with a call to the Agency to register a firm interest. Be aware that:
- Agencies receive many CVs so to stand out from the crowd you should chase up to improve your chances
- Other seasoned Contractors will be calling soon after sending a CV to make sure they get to the top of the pile
- You decrease your chances considerably if you only email Clients and then wait for the phone to ring
- Keep records on what dates & times you tried to call to speak to an Agent so that you know when to move on
- Record details of the Contract & the date / time you submitted your CV (keep a Contract Finding Spreadsheet)
IT Job Websites
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