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Millennials as an important resource in the modern workplace
In case you were wondering, millennials are an important resource in the modern workplace. Here's why.
millennials
Millennials
4/11/2019 11:10 AMIndustry NewsLerato Mashego4/11/2019 11:10 AM
Network Recruitment

MillennialsIn case you were wondering, millennials are an important resource in the modern workplace. With baby boomers retiring, and millennials currently holding about 20% of all leadership roles, it's vital for employers to create a culture that will allow millennials to thrive in organisations as their roles increase in leadership importance.

According to Cura Software Solutions' sales and operations regional director, Alex Roberts, the most valuable contribution millennials bring to the table is their close relationship with technology.

"The negative preconceived notions that some hold about this generation are often unsubstantiated, misguided and incorrect, and an attempt to understand how to maximise millennial efficacy can amplify the company's productivity," Roberts mentioned.

Although the generation has its own share of shortcomings, Roberts argues that the value they bring to the success of any organisation outweighs their preconceived weak points.

What do they bring to the table?

  1. Increased focus on teamwork. Millennials enjoy collaborating with others on projects. They have an increased focus on working together.
  2. Increased diversity and inclusivity. Millennials feel strongly about diversity and inclusion. A study by Pew Research revealed that millennials are more inclined to identify themselves as multicultural than any other generation before and after them.
  3. Increased flexibility. Studies found that millennials will stay at an organisation that encourages a flexible working environment. "Ultimately, the risk that millennials bring to the workplace is not that they lower the bar. In fact, their commitment to technological advancement, purpose-driven work, flexibility, inclusion, and diversity raises it," he suggests.

What's at stake?

If organisations fail to embrace millennials, they run the risk of falling behind their peers, particularly when it comes to technology. Technology is increasingly becoming a vital part of increasing production in the workplace and as such you will need tech-savvy employees. Living in a tech era, millennials are constantly adopting new ideas and willing to think out of the box.

Making it work

As technology continues to advance, so has the need for instant gratification. A millennial's desire to climb the corporate ladder quickly is often unrealistic - they can definitely stand to learn a few things from baby boomers. As millennials continue to step into leadership positions, it's up to employers to impart skills while helping them to develop their careers.

Are you looking for an IT jobFinance jobEngineering job, or a Contracting assignment? Contact Network Recruitment, the centre of recruitment excellence.

Personal brand vs freedom of expression
Here are tips that will help you to uphold your personal brand on social media.
Pb vs freedom of expression
Personal brand vs freedom of expression
4/4/2019 12:25 PMPersonal Branding, Industry NewsLerato Mashego4/4/2019 12:25 AM
network recruitment

In this technological era, the average employee has 10 times more followers on social media than the average business. In fact, 92% of consumers trust an individual recommendation over a brand's advertising, making it easy to lose sight between work and personal perception. Although everyone has the right to post anything on social media, take into account that everything that is posted on social media has a direct or indirect effect on your personal brand. 

Social media makes the world much smaller and provides people with access to shared information at the drop of a hat. Freedom of expression empowers individuals to have opinions about any issue and receive, seek and impart information and ideas through any media.

Here are tips that will help you to uphold your personal brand on social media.

Don't politicise your brand

Social media, when used correctly, can be an effective marketing tool in your personal and professional capacities. In addition, it's also about building an emotional connection and trust with your followers. Remember, you are more than just a personal brand; you are an extension of your company. Anything you post on social media that may be perceived as offensive may have a negative impact on the company you work for. Your community/ followers may associate your comments with those of your current employer. Always ask yourself: "what is my content saying about me?".

Don't vent discriminatory views

Professionals should be aware that their employer can dismiss them for any insensitive and inappropriate behaviour and content posted on social media even if it doesn't have anything to do with the employer and company as explained by Werksmans Attorneys.

Their director Bradley Workman Davies explains that the reason behind this is because the inappropriate content can cause potential hard to the business of the employer. "Equally, employees should realise that in the digital age, with regards to the employment relationship, nothing posted publicly is private or irrelevant," Davies added.

Davies made an example of an employee of Nehawu who was dismissed after being found guilty of misconduct for consuming alcohol after hours at a union congress. "In this case, the adjudicator found that 'employees are considered to be employees 24 hours out of 24 hours at a Congress' and therefore after-hours consumption was as good as consumption during working hours," Davis mentioned.

According to Verlie Oosthuizen, head of Social Media Law at Shepstone & Wylie, racial rants on any social platform will get you fired.  In a BusinessTech article, Oosthuizen mentions that while there aren't many Labour Court cases regarding dismissals around social media expressions, racial rants on Facebook will get you fired. 

For example, there was a policeman who posted a racial comment on Julius Malema's page and was dismissed from his job. Oosthuizen explained that the judgement indicated that the courts don't tolerate the use of social media to vent one's racial views.  She warned users not to expect any sympathy if you decide to participate in this type of behaviour.

However, employers will always provide the employee with the right to makes statements of whether they are guilty before deciding on what action, if any, would be taken against the employee.

Are you looking for an IT jobFinance jobEngineering job, or a Contracting assignment? Contact Network Recruitment, the centre of recruitment excellence.

Everything you need to know about Microsoft’s Lillian Barnard
In January, Microsoft South Africa announced the appointment of Lillian Barnard as its new Managing Director. With over 20 years' experience in IT, Barnard will spearhead this tech company from 1 March 2019.
Lilian Bardnard
Lilian Barnard
3/1/2019 2:15 PMIndustry NewsLerato Mashego3/1/2019 2:15 PM
IT recruitment, network IT recruitment

Lilian BardnardIn January, Microsoft South Africa announced the appointment of Lillian Barnard as its new Managing Director. With over 20 years' experience in IT, Barnard will spearhead this tech company from 1 March 2019.

Here is her interview with True Love magazine about breaking the glass ceiling:

How did you end up in IT?

IT chose me. After finishing my BCom (Hons) degree in 1992, I had two opportunities. The first was a job in the banking sector and the other was a job at an IT company. I debated both opportunities with my older sister and was more intrigued by the job in IT and ultimately went with the IT Company. Looking back 20 years now, it was an absolutely fantastic career choice.

You've held many positions, how has it been breaking ground in a male-dominated industry?

It was hard then, but even today, it's still difficult to break the proverbial glass ceiling and obtain recognition as a female leader in business. You had to be very deliberate about a lot of things and where you wanted to go in your career. You needed to knock on closed doors numerous times before someone would open it for you, and needed to get mentorship and coaching along the way to keep you motivated and focused.

What has been your career highlight to date?

Getting a significant leadership position – country sales operations leader - at a blue-chip company at the age of 28 was amazing. That role fundamentally changed my career trajectory. In roles like that, you automatically get noticed. In addition, having had the opportunity to build an international career was also the opportunity of a lifetime.

What are you hoping to achieve as the new director of public sector at Microsoft?

I really believe in Microsoft's vision of empowering every person and organisation on the planet to achieve more. In my current role, I want to enable a Digital Government; this process will allow the government to a more effective, efficient and accessible. I want Microsoft to become the strategic partner of choice for government, which assists the government in delivering on its mandate to deliver services to the people of South Africa.

What is the one thing that you'd like to share with young women climbing the corporate ladder?

Have the courage of your convictions to ask for what you believe you deserve, whether it is a raise, promotion or the next opportunity. This is something I wish someone had told me when I was 21. Unless you ask for something, people would not know what you want or are capable of, so no matter how audacious, have the courage to ask.

Why is the mentorship of young women so important to you?

Mentorship is the story of my life as it has made all the difference in my life. You underestimate the power of it until you see the impact of it in your life. Somebody else is helping you grow professionally and personally, sharing their life lessons with you, and telling you about their mistakes so that you can avoid repeating these and get a head start on the journey to success. You do not only reach the goals you set for yourself, but your mentor helps you set even higher goals and provides the support you need to reach those. It played a tremendous role in my career and so I think it is important to pay it forward.

Do you have any more goals to achieve?

Previously it was to start my own consultancy, but I have achieved that and it was an incredibly gratifying experience. Now though, becoming captain of the 'ship' is part of the career goals. 

What's your favourite thing to do in your downtime or to relax?

I do love travelling, reading, and speaking at events, but my favourite thing to do to relax is simply spending time with my family. I also like to setup empowerment gatherings where women can share knowledge and learn from each other.

Are you looking for an IT jobFinance jobEngineering job, or a Contracting assignment? Contact Network Recruitment, the centre of recruitment excellence.

Meet Elvis Chidra
Lead Developer at Vectorly, Elvis Chidra shares his story on how he became the youngest talent in Africa's tech scene.
tech scene
Meet Elvis Chidra
2/26/2019 2:20 PMOpinion, Industry NewsLerato Mashego2/26/2019 2:25 PM
network recruitment, it recruitment, network it recruitment

Seven years ago, Elvis Chidra was a village boy from Nigeria with nothing but a Nokia 2690 phone and a dream to become a Developer. It was the same device that helped him develop websites, built apps and learn HTML, CSS and JavaScript. 

At the age of 16, he launched an app called PrepUp – an educational app that helped his peers pass their exams. This passion for education has directed his current path. Fast forward to 2019, Chidra is 20-years-old and is one of the Lead Developers at dotLearn now called Vectorly – an MIT backed startup in Lagos, Nigeria.

Chidra shares his inspiring story with medium.freecodecamp.org:

Where did it all start?

My journey began with my curiosity about how to build a website. Growing up, I spent a lot of time online as I loved downloading games and reading Society Of Robots. I would save for weeks to buy a 10 MB internet bundle for 100 Naira ($0.28), and back in 2012 that could last for a month.

How did you learn how to code?

When learning to code, I took the first and simple step of doing a Google search about how to build a website. I got millions of results. Not knowing where to start, I clicked on the first link I saw, which was from W3CSchools.

The article explained that I needed to learn some languages (HTML and CSS) to be able to build a website. I checked some other resources to confirm that I actually needed to learn these things. Then I started the W3CSchools HTML and CSS course. Each day after school, I would head over to the website to study. Initially, the code examples and explanations didn't make much sense to me. However, I kept studying regardless. I referred to various tutorials when I was stuck. This helped me view the problems I encountered from many different angles.

How did you build your production apps on a feature phone?

I was lucky that a relative had gifted me a feature phone (The Nokia 2690). This phone changed my life. It's what I used to develop Xmx Me, my failed social network, and several other projects. With nothing but a phone and the will to succeed, hour after hour I typed my code on that tiny keyboard. I was lucky again to have found an app that allowed me to compile my J2ME projects. Yes, building a J2ME app on a J2ME phone is possible.

The SDK was resource hungry, so my battery often died. I would carry on, writing out all my code on paper and try to review it for any syntax errors. I don't think I'll fail any Java whiteboard coding tests after having done this for so long. :)

What was one of the best decisions you've ever made?

While going through my news feed, I saw a job advert for an Android developer position at Dot Learn. I looked them up and realised they are an MIT startup working in an education technology field that I was passionate about, and in a market, I understood. They had a unique idea: to solve the problem of access to online education by making educational videos that are extremely data-light — as low as 1MB for every hour of video.

This was almost unbelievable, and I knew it was key to making education very accessible to a lot of people. I am very passionate about revolutionizing education in Africa. In fact, I have already built a free (ad-supported) exam prep app called PrepUp that has over 35,000+ installs and was one of the finalists at the West Africa Mobile Awards in 2016. So I wanted to be part of what Dot Learn was building.

So I went through the developer job requirements and I felt I had a chance. But impostor syndrome didn't want me to be great. For days, I had conflicting thoughts. Should I apply or not? Then I realized one thing: I had nothing to lose. The worst that could happen would be that I got rejected. But I wouldn't die. So, I went ahead and applied.

Well, long story short: after lots of preparation, answering some difficult questions, a phone interview, and some coding projects, I was accepted. I couldn't believe it. I was ecstatic. Looking back at it, this was one of my best decisions

Any final thoughts?

I know I'm just getting started, but the goal of my story is to inspire someone somewhere in a similar situation like me.

Are you looking for an IT jobFinance jobEngineering job, or a Contracting assignment? Contact Network Recruitment, the centre of recruitment excellence.

How analytics can drive smarter Engineering and Construction decisions
Three applications illustrate how companies are beginning to embrace data solutions while establishing a foundation for more ambitious initiatives in the future.
engineering and construction
 Engineering and Construction
2/14/2019 9:30 AMIndustry NewsLerato Mashego2/14/2019 9:30 AM
Engineering recruitment, network engineering, network recruitment

Three applications illustrate how companies are beginning to embrace data solutions while establishing a foundation for more ambThree applications illustrate how companies are beginning to embrace data solutions while establishing a foundation for more ambitious initiatives in the future.

The construction business faces a major productivity challenge. While labour productivity in the global economy has increased by an average of 2.8 per cent a year over the past two decades, and in manufacturing by an impressive 3.6 per cent, the construction sector has registered a mere 1 per cent annual improvement. As the capital-project partners responsible for execution, engineering and construction (E&C) firms are well positioned to drive changes that can help close this troubling gap.

To do so, some are turning to data-driven solutions that have already revolutionized many other corners of the economy. These techniques are emerging as vital tools for improving capital project outcomes and reducing risk. By enabling E&C companies to leverage the vast amounts of data they already collect, analytics can uncover critical insights that both speed up and improve the quality of management decisions. In particular, they can help project teams assess market conditions, portfolio composition, and individual project performance.

1. Should we bid on this project, and if so, how much?

Usually, E&C firms must decide whether to bid on a project based on incomplete information. Major construction projects often have a five- or 10-year timeline, if not longer, which makes it difficult to accurately define the scope and predict likely complexities or complications up front. Companies rely on staff experience to weigh potential risks and profitability, but those judgments are subject to inherent biases and may be affected by ambitious growth targets or individual incentives.

Misjudging risks and underestimating costs can prove disastrous. In a business with typical margins of 5 to 7 per cent, underestimating a bid by 10 per cent without the ability to recover the extra costs can make the project an expensive money-loser for the E&C firm. Conversely, overpricing a project by building in too big a contingency cushion will likely mean the loss of the contract—something a firm can ill afford in an industry with win rates of merely 15 to 25 per cent.

Data modelling can replace cognitive bias and flawed assumptions with fact-based insights about a project’s statistical chances of success. By analysing historical information such as types of labour and contract arrangements, regional spending trends, and project size, analytics can assess the probabilities of project outcomes. Those, in turn, enable teams to better evaluate the attractiveness of a given project, re-balance the portfolio away from jobs that tend to underperform and calculate the right level of contingency to include in a bid.

2. Are the subcontractor bids reasonable?

When E&C firms receive bids from subcontractors, they turn to procurement specialists to assess the quotes. These individuals often rely on parametric estimates to evaluate the quoted costs and tap the expertise of project managers, slowing down the process. Complex estimates pass through multiple reviewers, with each one adjusting the estimate based on his or her own experience and judgement (as well as potential bias).

Despite these extensive consultations, the lack of an empirical foundation makes it hard for engineering companies to credibly challenge a subcontractor’s estimates beyond relying on generalized rules of thumb. In addition, while many companies maintain (and subscribe to) databases of parametric cost factors for bidding, they rarely follow up with the actual costs at the end of their projects to gauge the accuracy of those estimates.

Analytics can provide a solution to these problems. By analysing individual drivers of past project costs, such tools can enable E&C companies to rapidly assess a realistic level of effort and cost for a project and compare those figures to subcontractor quotes.

3. Is the project about to run into trouble?

Traditional project controls often lag the incurrence of costs by days or weeks, which makes them an effective tool for retrospective reporting but not for managing ongoing projects. The controls also don’t account for the interconnectivity of different metrics and the unique combinations that may have outsized effects on performance.

Unable to continually track and grapple with all the data a project generates, managers tend to follow a few key performance indicators. The resulting incomplete picture of the project’s daily progress can lead to flawed decisions on the ground.

Analytical tools can deliver a significant improvement on this front by allowing companies to quickly and continuously analyse project data and assess progress, enabling managers to react faster to potential problems. With real-time or near-real-time project controls in place, an E&C firm can track events or problems known to correlate with the erosion of bid margins, such as a one-day weather delay or three consecutive days of a subcontractor’s failure to complete designated tasks.

Engineering and construction firms wishing to prepare for the digital age will need to establish a new operating model. Such a shift requires treating digital initiatives as part of the core strategy, adapting processes and organizational structures, and ensuring staff have the necessary training to deploy, troubleshoot, and lead digital initiatives. But the first step in such transformations is applying analytics to assess current operations and performance.

Companies also need to establish standards for the data they collect in the future. Whether it’s a full-fledged data management system or simply a standard way of tagging and collecting information, standards for what you want to collect and how you collect it are critical to a long-term analytics strategy.

As digitization penetrates all parts of the economy, including engineering and construction, capitalizing on the insights hidden in data will become essential. E&C companies reluctant to invest in the systems and skills needed to harness what they have collected should remember that competitors who have successfully made the move are already reaping significant benefits. Firms that embrace analytics can make sharper bids, thus avoiding unprofitable projects and increasing their win rates on those with strong margin potential. They conduct savvier negotiations with subcontractors, reducing costs and increasing decision speed. And they anticipate problems with ongoing projects, allowing managers to intervene before potential delays and cost overruns turn into real ones. As the industry increasingly deploys these tools, the companies that get in early will likely emerge as leaders.

Source: McKinsey & Company- Capital Projects & Infrastructure

Are you looking for an IT jobFinance jobEngineering job, or a Contracting assignment? Contact Network Recruitment, the centre of recruitment excellence.

South Africa’s fast-growing economy
South Africa's informal sector is believed to be small in comparison with other developing countries, its demonstrating sustainable growth, particularly in respect of employment.
informal sector
2/7/2019 1:55 PMIndustry NewsLerato Mashego2/7/2019 1:55 PM
Finance job, Engineering jobs, Construction, Mining, Manufacturing,

informal sectorDid you know that the informal sector provides employment and income to more than 2.3 million people and business owners in South Africa? In addition, studies reveal that one in six South Africans who are employed, work in the informal sector. Although South Africa's informal sector is believed to be small in comparison with other developing countries, its demonstrating sustainable growth, particularly in respect of employment.   

What is the informal sector?

Any small enterprises with less than five employees, based in low earning neighbourhoods, and which generate low earnings are considered to belong in the informal sector. These enterprises are not incorporated or registered for taxation.

The role the informal sector has on SAs economy

The effect this sector has in poverty-stricken areas is remarkable – it alleviates poverty. These economic activities provide income for people in these areas.   In fact, these enterprises provide about 850 000 paid jobs, according to a 2013 study which revealed that this is almost twice the amount the formal mining sector made that year.

The study further reveals that while 60 000 jobs were lost due to employment cut-backs, 150 000 jobs were created by one and multi-person enterprises. Further studies uncovered that the sector, mainly in the construction, retail trade and services, manufacturing and communication industries, created more than half a million jobs in the sector in 2013.

However, reports suggest that while the informal sector has a positive impact on the country, it does bear the risk of closing down within six months. Researchers estimated that the loss of 100 jobs in the informal sector is equivalent to losing 60-80 jobs in the formal sector, something policymakers should take into account.

Will it solve unemployment?

Not entirely. However, it should be an integral part of solving the problems of poverty, unemployment and inequality by absorbing people not employed by the formal sector.

Inclusive strategy

If the country aims to attain economic growth, it needs a clearly defined inclusive economic growth strategy that allows the poor to participate. An enabled, well-supported and increasingly dynamic sector will positively influence the economy through job creation and comprehensive growth. As a result, the country will have an informal sector that generates more practical incomes and better quality employment.

Different approaches such as formalisation and providing financial services will enable this sector to flourish as a new member of the economy.

Are you looking for an IT jobFinance jobEngineering job, or a Contracting assignment? Contact Network Recruitment, the centre of recruitment excellence.

Java vs Kotlin
Will Kotlin take on Java as the most popular programming language in the world?
programming languages
1/31/2019 9:35 AMIndustry NewsLerato Mashego1/31/2019 9:35 AM
C# developer, Java developer, PHP developer, software development, C++ developer

programming languagesJava and C have still ranked the most popular programming languages in the world, but will Kotlin take over? 

According to the Tiobe Index for January 2019, Java, C, and Python remain the most popular programming languages in the world. Other popular languages include C++ and Visual Basic, all ranked highly on the index.

While Python gained popularity significantly over the past year, Java remains the most popular language. It has dominated the rankings for years and still shows high year-over-year growth, meaning it is not going anywhere for now.

There are multiple reasons for the extended popularity of this programming language, from its ease of use and capability to its widespread adoption and development.

Powerful and widely adopted

Many developers learn Java as one of their first programming languages, with its relatively simple syntax making for easier reading and understanding of functionality. The language is also object-oriented and has a useful API, which provides many easy-to-use features.

While these make for a powerful and accessible programming language, the popularity of Java is the direct result of its adoption across platforms and its community investment. Oracle has made Java available for free to all developers, and this has cultivated a strong community which produces a large collection of open-source libraries.

Perhaps most importantly, Java can run independently on the Java Virtual Machine – making it ideal for web programming and cross-platform applications. Java developers can create applications for desktops, mobile, online platforms, and more, thanks to the language's versatility.

The programming language currently has a variety of uses and is used to build everything from Google docs to mobile games. Most commonly, it is a tool to make small application models for use in web environments like e-commerce websites or financial trading platforms.

A number of useful software platforms are also created using Java, including Netbeans, Eclipse, and IntelliJ. While it can be used to build impressive video games like Minecraft, it can also be used in an embedded environment, as any system only needs 130KB of RAM to use Java technology.

The versatile programming language has also become the default for scientific applications. The programming language is taught at universities and various other educational institutions worldwide, and is also available as a course from massive online open course (MOOC) platforms, including UdemyEdX, and Coursera.

Kotlin

Java is not without its competitors though, even though they do not appear in the top 10 rankings for popularity of programming languages. While it does not appear on the top 10 list, Tiobe predicts that the programming language Kotlin will enter the top 20 list this year due to its rapidly growing popularity.

Kotlin is designed to fully integrate with Java and the Java Virtual Machine but offers more syntax that is concise and the option to compile to JavaScript. It also fixes a number of issues, which Java suffers from. For example, its null reference is controlled by the type system, arrays in Kotlin are invariant, it has proper function types and does not have checked exceptions.

Google also officially supports Kotlin for mobile development on Android, and the language is included as an alternative to Java in Android Studio. Kotlin is currently ranked at 31 on the Tiobe Index, but it is expected to soar up the rankings over time.

However, it still has a long way to go before it takes on Java for the title of the most popular programming language in the world.

Source: MyBroadband

Are you looking for an IT jobFinance job, Engineering job, or a Contracting assignment? Contact Network Recruitment, the centre of recruitment excellence.

Women: the key to fighting climate change in Africa
Empowering females in Africa could be the answer we need to combat climate change.
climate change
1/31/2019 8:35 AMIndustry NewsLerato Mashego1/31/2019 8:35 AM
Engineering, renewable energy

climate changeEmpowering females in Africa could be the answer we need to combat climate change, writes www.infrastructurene.ws

For Africa to be better equipped to fight climate change, cope with disasters and build its green energy sector it needs to empower its women and girls.

This was the view of African delegates discussing the implementation of the Paris Agreement in Katowice Poland recently.

According to Mafalda Duarte, head of the Climate Investment Fund, research shows that agreements on the environment are more likely to be ratified and projects around natural resources, such as water, are more likely to succeed if women are involved in decision making.

Addressing needs

Dana Elhassan, senior gender expert at the African Development Bank added that empowering women in the context of climate change empowers a family, a community and a country.

"You cannot solve a problem with half the team. A lot of the unpaid work that women do, such as collecting firewood and water, and caring for the family, are massively affected by climate change – so we have to make sure adaptation initiatives address their needs, vulnerabilities and potential," she said.

Economic gains

When women are empowered equally to men there is a massive leap forward in economic gains: a recent McKinsey study found that if women were participating economically as much as men, they would be adding 28 trillion dollars to global GDP by 2025.

In Africa, lack of access to finance has resulted in an estimated $42 billion financing gap for women entrepreneurs across business value chains.

Yet unlocking African women's ingenuity and giving them access to finance could generate technological advancements that help deal with climate change, believes the African Development Bank.

Source: www.infrastructurene.ws 

Are you looking for an IT jobFinance job, Engineering job, or a Contracting assignment? Contact Network Recruitment, the centre of recruitment excellence.

How blockchain will change the finance industry
The benefits of blockchain in finance.
blockchain_in_the_finance_industry
9/20/2018 2:40 PMIndustry NewsLerato Mashego9/20/2018 2:40 PM
Finance industry, finance sector, accounting, auditing, internal auditing

Blockchain, the new technology associated with cryptocurrencies, promises to bring about a substantial change to industries such as accounting and auditing. It is said that in future it will be as significant to the accounting industry (through automation and streamlining of manual processes) as the software that is currently being utilised to record and reconcile financial transactions.

What are the benefits of blockchain?
Working as a global and public ledger, blockchain cannot be tampered with or corrupted even if you're the owner of the accounting system. This is due to that fact that it doesn't have a central database. This permanent cryptographically sealed document creates a trail of financial DNA allowing information to be stored across a number of computers, making hacking technically impossible while allowing participants to verify and audit transactions without a third party (like lawyers etc.).

Real-time updates
Furthermore, it is perfect for financial and accounting applications as information is updated in real-time and each 'block' or transaction is time-stamped. In addition, data cannot be deleted as changes and all amendments are transparent. This assists in curbing any fraudulent activity.

Faster audits
According to Charles Pittaway, Managing Director of Sage Pay, "transparency and standardisation will enable auditors to verify many of the records they need to look at automatically. This could, within the next 10 to 15 years, reduce the manual tasks involved in auditing, though it is likely that human auditors will still be needed to sign off audits and provide advice around complex transactions". This way, audits will become faster, simpler, more reliable and less prone to error.

Simplified transactions
Blockchain will simplify financial transactions between a company and its supplier. Rather than keep and reconcile records of the same transaction, the two parties will record them on a shared blockchain ledger, allowing them to streamline invoicing, payments and other business-to-business transactions. "Other future applications for blockchain in accounting might include authenticating the ownership and history of an asset the company is buying or selling," Pittaway mentions.

While automation is inevitable for accountants and auditors, Pittaway says there will still be a demand for financial professionals and practices as clients will still require strategic advice in numerous industries.

Are you looking for a Finance job, or a Contracting assignment? Contact Network Recruitment, your trusted partner in specialist IT, Finance and Engineering placements for 30 years.

Closing the gender gap in ICT
Here are five tips that can help to close the gap in the ICT sector.
closingthegendergapinICT
8/30/2018 9:00 AMIndustry NewsLerato Mashego8/30/2018 9:00 AM
software development, IT jobs, C# Developer job, PHP Developer jobs, Web Developer jobs

ICTLorraine Steyn is the founder of Khaniysa Real Systems (KRS), an organisation that delivers ICT consulting and software development services to businesses and government departments across the country. Having launched KRS in 1987 at the age of 24, Steyn was the first women to become a Delphi Certified Developer in South Africa.

Today she is an esteemed leader in the ICT industry and runs a business that employs over 60 Software Developers. Furthermore, her organisation helps young programmers to make their mark in this profession.

While women have made significant progress, Steyn says there is more that needs to done especially in technical fields. "Women have made some progress, but only in what is referred to as "soft" titles such as Project Managers, Designers, Scrum Managers and Social Media Managers whereas women are still a minority in technically related fields like software engineering and development," Steyn explains.

Here are five tips that can help to close the gap in the ICT sector.

1.    Breaking common gender stereotypes

According to Steyn, gender stereotypes and roles are what influences a young girl's career choice. By changing the common stereotype of giving boys problem-solving toys and girls toys that encourage them to be nurturers, parents should consider buying their daughters toys that stimulate problem-solving skills.

2.    Early exposure to tech

One important point Steyn raises is that boys are exposed to tech at an early age through computer gaming thus putting them ahead of the pack. "Boys have an edge through computer gaming.  From an early age, computing devices are often given to boys and not girls, Steyn explains. To even the playing field, she suggests that girls be given the same encouragement and opportunity as boys to participate in this sector.

3.    Supportive work environments

To prevent women from moving to 'soft skills' roles in this profession, organisations should aim at creating a supportive working environment. Create a company culture that cares about the development and well-being of female employees; a culture that includes them in meaningful projects, provides them with the opportunity to work autonomously and which encourages participation in organisational decision-making. Supportive work environments will affect the opportunities available to women in this sector.

4.    Have a gender diverse team

In a previous article, we outlined how having a gender diverse leadership is beneficial to your business. Studies have indicated that women in leadership roles provide many benefits for companies. It has been said that software teams that embrace gender diversity tend to outperform homogenous teams.

5.    Connection is the key

Female developers often feel isolated in this profession.  Access to female mentors is a vital component for success. In an article WeThinkCode_ co-founder, Arlene Mulder, mentioned that sometimes all we (women) need is someone to believe in us and encourage us to be bold enough to pursue our dreams. Mentors can provide women in this sector with perspective, help them to view problems through a different lens and help them find success faster.

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