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Kubernetes is transforming software development into greener code

The ICT sector is responsible for up to 3.9% of global emissions — almost as much as the airline and shipping industries. And this is before you start thinking about the energy resources around AI.

But the last couple of years have seen the world’s biggest software makers on a mission to make software greener, focusing on software that uses fewer physical resources and less energy. 

When it comes to software, lowering inefficiencies by reducing technical debt, right-sizing, VM optimisation, and writing efficient code reduces the environmental impact of software. And it offers a valuable opportunity for startups and enterprises of all levels to achieve greater sustainability and save some money on cloud storage. 

I spoke to Dr Huamin Chen, a Senior Principal Software Engineer and Sustainability Technical team lead at the Red Hat CTO office, to learn more. 

The first step to tackling software’s energy expenditure is tracking it. 

Kepler utilises cloud-native methodologies and technologies such as CPU performance counters and machine learning models to probe per-container energy consumption related to system counters and exports them as metrics. 

These metrics can be used to build dashboards that present power consumption at various levels, including containers, pods, namespaces or different compute nodes in the cluster. 

Kepler metrics can be utilised by a Kubernetes scheduler to place the upcoming workload on the compute node that is projected to improve performance per watt, ultimately reducing the cluster-level power consumption.

Similarly, Kubernetes auto-scalers can use Kepler’s power consumption metrics in auto-scaling algorithms to determine the resources needed for better energy efficiency.

The project has focused on providing reporting capabilities, especially in industrial applications like manufacturing, which involve enormous physical infrastructure, environments controlled by AI, CPUs and many machine learning models.

He notes that one of the strengths of Kepler is its strong research foundation: 

“R&D may not always have the rigorous scientific methodology or rigour to create commercial grade software that helps the community or the customer.

Our collaborative efforts mean we can generate software products that are accurate, based on the facts, not based on intuition.”

The concern is growing about the massive amount of energy, cooling systems, and required for computational resources and the energy required for AI training and inference. Common models like BERT could emit as much as a Trans-Atlantic flight. 

However, there’s no universal benchmark for tracking the carbon intensity of AI systems.

Source: tech.eu


Align Or Decline in 2023: Recession-Proofing Sales And Marketing

CEOs are responding to recession fears by asking their CMOs to double down on demand generation, the latest Chief Outsiders Survey of CMOs tells us. CMOs are (or should be) well-equipped to lead their teams in this effort, but they will be significantly hindered when marketing and sales teams do not work in tandem. The alignment between both groups is also essential in “peacetime,” of course, but the need is even more urgent in the scenario of an economic downturn.

In a recession, both consumers and businesses find themselves strapped for cash.

Companies need to present their value proposition in a way that makes their customers not focus on the price but on the value of the goods and services sold. Since businesses are also short on cash, their marketing effort has to be undertaken in the most economically efficient way possible. Those marketing tactics that delivered a so-so return on investment in the past are abandoned, and whatever has proven to work well receives additional funding.

The renewed focus on efficiency can only bear fruit when marketing and sales are well aligned. When both teams talk to one another, the marketing team will tell sales what it will cost to generate leads. Then based on the revenue that the company is pursuing, the average lifetime value of a transaction, and also based on the knowledge that the sales team has of what the conversion rates through the funnel look like, the sales team will be able to tell the marketing team exactly how many leads are needed to achieve the company’s revenue objectives.

The marketing team then builds a marketing plan that is geared towards generating the leads needed (within budget), and the sales team builds on that with its plan on how it will keep its end of the deal, turning a sufficient amount of leads into opportunities and sales. This is the only sensible way businesses can align their sales and marketing efforts across all B2B and B2C industries.

Sales and marketing should not only agree on objectives but also exchange insights about what they observe on top of the funnel (marketing) and down the funnel (sales). Marketing needs to receive (honest!) feedback from sales on what they are hearing from customers.

Marketing needs to provide sales with information on what the target market looks like regarding the changes in demographics, economic conditions, and anything happening in the market that customer surveys can provide information on. Finally,  there also needs to be shared responsibility and accountability for execution.

The effort we are talking about is primarily one of process design and culture. Technology in the form of powerful CRMs can play a facilitating role, but it is optional. Most companies that struggle with alignment do so because different teams need to communicate with one another, not because they need the right software.

Everything just said about the need for alignment might seem like a massive open door to some, but the reality is that, sadly enough, most companies do not have their house in order. For example, in HubSpot’s State of Marketing Trends Report 2022, one can discover that only 28% of salespeople say marketing is their best source of leads. Still, it gets worse: only 7% of salespeople believe the leads they receive from marketing are very high quality.

When sales and marketing align well, the revenue growth engine of the company kicks into high gear. One study from LinkedIn found that when sales and marketing teams work together, they can generate 200 percent more revenue due to their collaboration. Whoever said that communication was a “soft” skill of which the successful application was challenging to measure?!

Source: Chief Executive


How consulting firms enable digital transformation success

Only about 30% of companies navigate a digital transformation successfully. And navigating it in the midst of uncertainty – the new reality – is especially difficult because new behaviours and expectations take shape and evolve at warp speed. 

Enter the role of the technology consultant. Offering services across all areas of business – including HR, marketing, IT, and finance – technology consultants provide a wide range of solutions for enterprises. With technology, consultancy firms advise businesses on how best to use technology to meet their business objectives. In doing so, they play a key role in business transformation, allowing clients to accelerate growth, reduce cost, manage risk, develop talent, or simply just change the way they operate.

The way consulting firms work has changed. Once seen as selling people, time and resources, today consulting firms are embracing technology to help businesses on their digital transformations.

As one consulting firm, Boston Consulting Group (BCG), explains, its approach is focused on building what it describes as bionic companies: organisations that blend digital and human capabilities – and apply them to all aspects of their business.

“To achieve its full potential, technology must be combined with the flexibility, adaptability, and comprehensive experience of humans,” the company explains.

“Many of the elements of bionic companies are well-known: artificial intelligence, digital talent, and platform-based software and services, for example. But the formula for putting them all together is neither immediately evident nor easy to implement.”

Putting technology at the core of a business, digital transformation can reduce operating expenses and inefficiencies. According to analysis by Deloitte, the right combination of digital transformation actions can unlock as much as US$1.25tn in additional market capitalisation across Fortune 500 companies. Alternatively, the wrong combinations can erode market value, putting more than US$1.5tn at risk across Fortune 500 companies – demonstrating the importance of strategically approaching digital transformation.

“Digital transformation is continuous; the scale and stakes are, however, ever-increasing. For organisations, finding the inherent value of technology innovations – and not letting it slip away – is crucial to a company’s long-term growth,” says Tim Smith, Principal, Deloitte Consulting LLP, and Head of Technology Strategy and Business Transformation, Deloitte US. 

Through its open ecosystem of alliances and acquisitions department, which comprises more than 500 external-organisation members and more than 20 acquired companies, consultancy firm McKinsey seamlessly collaborates with cutting-edge technology providers, leading platforms, system integrators, and implementation experts to bring even greater end-to-end impact to organisations at the front lines of change.

“McKinsey’s open ecosystem of alliances and acquisitions provides an unparalleled offering, and it is one important ingredient in our ability to partner with our clients for end-to-end impact,” says Peter Dahlstrom, Senior Partner at McKinsey and Company. “The impact our ecosystem has generated is already compelling – and we are accelerating our journey.”

Digital transformation must be employee-driven

As explained by Arnoldy, when it comes to digital transformation, managers must lead the change by example.

“Otherwise,” she says, “the team will not follow. However, it is just as important to allow everyone their say and accept input for change from members of staff. While, in the past, change was traditionally initiated at a managerial level, this responsibility now essentially falls to everyone in the organisation. Today, leadership encompasses all members of an organisation. This also helps ensure that the transformation never strays too far from the actual business.”

Source: Technology

Customer Support

The Ultimate Guide to Social Media Customer Service (+ 3 Best Tools)

Social media customer service refers to the process of providing support to your customers through social media channels. It may involve everything from reading customer questions and complaints to providing them with a resolution. Most brands use their main social media account to receive and handle customer questions, concerns, and complaints. This is usually done by a dedicated support team through direct messages, comments, and direct mentions.

Social customer service brings a welcome change from the long hold times that come with trying to reach a phone rep. Not only does it get frustrating to go through multiple IVR systems, but people don’t always have the time to stay on the phone in between their busy schedules and social lives. With social, they simply have to send a message or post a comment at their convenience and passively wait for a response from the brand.

Know Where Your Audience is

One of the first steps is to make sure that your brand is available on the platforms where your audience is asking questions or seeking help. It’s important to conduct a thorough audit of your social media channels to see where people are reaching out to your brand and why. You’ll then need to develop an appropriate support strategy to leverage the right platforms.

Monitor All Relevant Conversations

Next, you’ll need to set up a system to monitor conversations about your brand across all relevant channels. You may get notified about new messages sent directly to you, direct @brand mentions, and comments on your posts. However, this doesn’t give you the whole picture as you won’t be able to see conversations in which people aren’t tagging your brand or @mentioning your brand.

Set Up a System for Faster Responses

The next step is to have a system in place to ensure fast responses to customer queries. This means setting up an organized system that clearly outlines who’s responsible for providing responses and how they should respond. In other words, you’ll need to assign responsibilities to the relevant team or team member.

Be Responsive…Always

It goes without saying that good social media customer service depends on responsiveness. This isn’t just about responding quickly, but it’s also about responding to every relevant customer query…and we mean every query. Seeing customer comments on your posts going unanswered and Tweets without replies will show your audience that you don’t really care about the needs and concerns of your customers.

Create an Internal Best Practices Guide

Although prompt and efficient resolution is the ultimate goal of social media customer service, it’s also important to create a positive brand image through your interactions. As such, your team needs to be tactful and in line with your brand personality when providing a response to customer queries.

Personalize Your Responses

While having pre-written responses help, they can seem impersonal and robotic to your audience. So it’s important that you still take the time to rework those templates and craft a more personalized response to create a more human experience. 

Consider Having a Dedicated Support Channel

Having a dedicated social media account to handle all your support-related queries can help you streamline your social media customer service efforts. That way, you can use your main social media handle to post promotional and marketing content while ensuring that your customers’ support needs don’t get ignored.

Know How to Measure and Report

Finally, it’s important to keep a close eye on your performance in relation to providing customer service on social media. Like all your efforts, your efforts to provide help must be monitored so you can understand where you need to make improvements. 

3 Best Social Media Customer Service Tools

1. Freshdesk

2. Hootsuite

3. Sprout Social

Source: Influencer MarketingHub


The Hot New Job That Pays Six Figures: AI Prompt Engineering

One job that’s currently being tipped to have a bright future is the newly emerging field of prompt engineering. A prompt engineer is someone who is an expert at getting the new generation of generative AI applications such as ChatGPT or Google Bard to do what they want.

What is a prompt engineer?

Generative AI tools – particularly those that are capable of creating text, computer code, and graphics – are causing a great deal of excitement (and a fair bit of worry) right now. This is because they can potentially take care of a lot of the day-to-day grind of workers in many different roles ranging from marketers to HR, law, computer programming, and data analysts.

This is where prompt engineering skills come in. Learning to get the best results from generative AI is a skill that needs to be learned and honed, just like becoming professionally adept in any other computer software.

Using natural language generating (NLG) AI like ChatGPT to write the code for a useful software application is a good example.

A good prompt engineer can be thought of as a “project manager” for an AI workforce, overseeing the completion of individual tasks that make up the job and ensuring all the workers (AI agents) have the tools (data) they need to get it done.

What skills are needed?

First and perhaps foremost are communication skills. You need to be able to express what you want the AI to do in a precise and clear way, just like if you were giving instructions or training to a human workforce.

You will need attention to detail – the greater depth you can go into about exactly what type of response or content you are looking for, the more successful you will be at prompt engineering.

Also essential are good organizational skills. You need to be able to identify the individual elements of a piece of work and instruct the AI on how to work through them systematically.

Data skills are very useful, too, as you need to be able to work out what information the AI needs to get the job done, where to find it, and what format it should be in to get the AI to process it.

Subject matter expertise is also beneficial, as not every output from generative AI applications is correct, and people with subject knowledge will find it easier to evaluate the responses.

You also need the ability to think critically in order to assess the different approaches that can be taken to getting the AI to complete a given task and decide which ones are likely to work.

And project management and planning skills are important in order to identify areas where generative AI can be useful within your organization and roll-out strategies for using it to create value.

Who is hiring prompt engineers?

Companies ranging from digital advertising agencies to software developers, healthcare providers, and utility companies are advertising for prompt engineers.

Time reports that the number of job postings containing GPT rose by 51% between 2021 and 2022.

California AI startup Anthropic says that its roles are a hybrid of “programming, instructing and teaching” and advertises salaries of between $280,000 and $375,000.

London-based digital agency Rehab is looking for prompt engineers who can prototype new applications of LLM technology, develop their ability to fine-tune and communicate with language models, and maintain an up-to-date knowledge of the field.

And Boston Children’s Hospital in Massachusetts is looking for prompt engineers to deploy large language models to assist with healthcare research and clinical practice.

Source: Forbes


7 “Best” AI Translation Software & Tools (May 2023)

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is transforming nearly every industry, including translation services. At the same time, translation services are becoming more important than ever as we live in a deeply connected world with an incredible number of languages. 

Translation tools are also important for professionals in the field who rely on the latest machine learning translation technologies to use in their everyday lives. 

Many translation services combine machine translations with human support to ensure the translation is specific to the target location. This also allows the content to use specific expressions, social references, and more. 

Here are some of the best AI translation software and tools on the market: 

1. Google Translate

Google Translate is arguably the most accessible AI translation tool on the market. It offers a simple design where all you have to do is choose your languages, type out the text, and hit “translate.” 

The software provides translation for more than 100 languages across the globe, and it uses native speakers to train the AI algorithm.

2. DeepL

DeepL is known for its intuitive interface and its seamless integration into Windows and iOS. The tool gives you the opportunity to customize the translations, and you can maintain a lot of control over the automatic translation. 

Another one of the great features of DeepL is that it retains the formatting of the original document. 

3. Alexa Translations

Alexa Translations offers customized and premium machine learning services to users, with the AI translation being one of the fastest on the market. The tool is often integrated into a human translator’s services. 

4. Bing Microsoft Translator

The software offers its text and speech translation via the cloud, and it supports more than 100 languages and 12 speech translation systems that make up the Microsoft Translator live conversation feature. 

Microsoft Translator distinguishes itself from other tools by offering you the ability to translate from images, voice, options and links. 

5. Taia 

The process for Taia’s translations involves humans who first complete the translations by using machine translation to quicken the process. Taia doesn’t require you to install any programs, and it provides an instant rate estimate. 

The tool promises high-quality translations on time, with a 99.4% client satisfaction rate. The company also offers long-term project support for those needing more than one translation done. 

6. Mirai Translate

Mirai is a cloud-based API vendor service, and besides text translation, it also supports speech. According to the company, the tool offers a high level of security, and it achieves the same level of translation accuracy as a businessperson with a TOEIC score of 960. 

The AI automatic translation solution is a great choice for corporate document translation, and it would benefit any company dealing with multilingual projects. It also offers a user dictionary function to translate text and files by group. 

7. Sonix

Sonix’s world-class language models quickly convert audio to text before helping translate the transcripts to other languages. You have the opportunity to tweak the transcript before the systems translate the text, and the entire process happens in minutes. 

With Sonix, you can make your text more accessible and ensure high accuracy in translations. It provides the same quality as professional translators and transcribers but is far more efficient. It also offers an audio-to-audio translator if you want to convert videos, tutorials, or podcasts into other languages. 

Source: unit.ai


Ten graphic design projects by students at Maryland Institute College of Art

Dezeen School Shows: a project that explores linguistic pronunciation and an installation that critiques internet “how-to guides” are included in Dezeen’s latest school show by students at Maryland Institute College of Art.

Also included is a wall-mounted timeline that sheds light on the daily routines of people with ADHD and a visual representation of how a graphic designer visualises music.

Maryland Institute College of Art

School statement:

“The MFA graphic designers at MICA use text, image, form and storytelling to construct engaging experiences across different types of media.

“Graphic design requires active thinking and making. Our dedicated faculty, vibrant curriculum and well-equipped studio environment help MFA designers build deep formal skills, nimble thinking strategies and rich professional portfolios.

“Graduates of the programme work nationally and internationally as creative practitioners, educators and thought leaders.”

Placeholders by Sara Austin

“Placeholders is a reflection on memory, pop culture and loss. This thesis leverages the power of storytelling in design to create a world that blends the widely recognisable and the deeply personal.

“Utilising a broad range of design methods including typography, type design, photography, illustration, 3D, photo editing and collage, this exhibition varies broadly in its execution but becomes a unified whole in its colour, typography and highly structured arrangement.”

Be Queer, Rest Here by Alfie Marsland

“Queer people are tired and need spaces of rest. This body of work creates conditions in which the audience can situate themselves to slow down. The target audience is queer people, though all are welcome to rest.

“In a capitalist society, being busy is glorified and idleness is stigmatised. The notion of rest as resistance is at the core of each piece produced in this collection of objects and images.

“A visual thread uniting much of the work is illegible type and lettering. Unreadable words act as visual metaphors for slowing down as they require readers to pause to decipher meaning.”

A Musician’s Translation by Michelle Shin

“A musician’s internal, abstract understanding of music is invisible to see, which makes it difficult to acknowledge. This understanding can be revealed graphically and translated visually.

“My thesis introduces a sophisticated interpretation of how I look at music as a musician through the lens of a graphic designer.

“Through my experiences, memories and subjectivity, I compose my own visual music by experimenting with abstract notations and creating a personal language.”

The ADHD Atlas by Hannah Abele

“The ADHD Atlas is a guidebook that explores the experiences of people with ADHD and the tools they have created for learning, growing and navigating their lives.

“Graphic design has been used strategically as a tool to clearly communicate information to people with ADHD and successfully hold their attention.

“The exhibition that accompanies the book – shown here – uses posters to showcase an exaggerated version of a day through the lens of someone with ADHD.”

Visual Disturbances by Drishti Khokhar

“This thesis explores visual analogies of optical disturbances. It attempts to translate bodily experiences and symptoms of ocular migraines into visual forms in order to describe sensations.

“The piece invites the viewers to encounter these visceral effects through two and three-dimensional form.

“Experimental visualisations of unquantifiable feelings act as field guides toward understanding and sharing these disturbances, which affect many people during the course of their lives.”

Toaster Type Foundry by Hui Zeng

“Toaster Type Foundry presents three different typefaces: craft, reflect and cut. Craft reacts to calligraphic strokes and the sharpness of digital type.

“Reflect employs a repeated counter shape, striving to remain consistent at all costs, while Cut tries to be as inconsistent as possible. Each typeface explores the constraints and conventions of typeface design to create new and intriguing forms.”

Slow Cubicle by Molane Hu

“Slow Cubicle challenges the conventional ideals of efficiency by utilising iconic workplace objects as vehicles to explore slowness. It also revamps the grid system by infusing mindfulness with squares, lines and circles.

“Each Slow Calendar collects all the days of the week into a separate banner, overriding linear time in favour of lived experiences.

“The Slow Planner encourages present planning through poetic prompts and ethereal tasks, and Slow Sticky Notes urge deceleration with mind-provoking graphics.

“Together, these objects ask individuals to pause and contemplate amidst the modern focus on speed and productivity.”

A Poetic Space by Shuang Wu

“In Chinese, the word ‘诗’ (‘shi’ or ‘poem’) means the language that expresses thoughts from the heart. The expressions in ancient Chinese poems can’t be perfectly translated into other languages.

“The beauty of ancient Chinese poems transcends time and space, inviting readers from any era to reimagine the poems.

“A Poetic Space is an immersive visualisation of several nature-related Chinese poems, applying simple line drawings, sound design and typography in a physical, private space.

“The design goes beyond literal language, re-translating the poems in a 3D landscape and welcoming the audience to step into the world of ancient Chinese poetry.”

How-to How-to by Aumika Shetty

“This project explores the concept of ‘how-to’ guides and the role of instructional media in contemporary culture.

“It presents a series of satirical responses to Google’s most commonly asked ‘how-to’ questions, using the vernacular of popular instructional graphic design.

“The project engages critically with ubiquitous instructional content, employing humour to undermine the perceived authority and power dynamics inherent in these types of materials.

“I invite viewers to question the impact instructional media has on the way we consume and understand information. ‘How-to How-to’ contributes to a broader conversation about design’s role in establishing authority.”

Source: Dezeen


At finance companies, even high legal spend is well managed

Our infographic, Despite high legal spend, financial companies have tight cost control, highlights some of the key findings from our LegalVIEW Insights vol. 5, financial edition report, released late last year. For those working in the legal function, particularly legal operations, at companies in the finance industry, both are valuable resources that provide practical context for the decisions legal professionals in this industry make every day in managing their outside counsel relationships.

Some of the information outlined in the infographic includes:

  • When looking across all companies, we see that only 50% spend more than 0.4% of their revenue on outside counsel costs. However, in the financial industry, 71% of companies spend at least that percentage.
  • However, financial companies were far less likely to see their outside counsel costs increase over the study period. In fact, taken as a whole, all companies saw a 21% rise, while outside counsel spend at financial companies was virtually flat.
  • One reason for this flat spend was the ability of financial companies to rein in timekeeper rate increases. While hourly rates increased on 2.8% for finance companies, most industries saw larger rate hikes. For example, timekeeper rates went up 10.8% at industrial companies.
  • This tighter control has been achieved by financial companies even though their outside counsel mix is similar to that of all companies. When breaking down the spend within each Am Law tier, the percentage of financial company spend is very close to that of all companies across every tier, with the largest variation at only 4%.

Source: Wolters Kluwer


Global Medical Coding Market Report 2023: A $47.75 Billion Market by 2031

The growth of the market is being driven by the increasing need for efficient and accurate medical billing and coding processes across the globe. The medical coding market size is expected to grow at a CAGR of 10.90% during the forecast period of 2023-2031 to attain a value of USD 47.75 billion by 2031.

The market is highly competitive and fragmented, with a large number of players offering medical coding services and solutions. Key players in the market include 3M Health Information Systems, Aviacode, Inc., nThrive, Inc., Maxim Healthcare Services, Inc., and STARTEK Health.

Medical coding is the process of transforming healthcare procedures, diagnoses, medical services, and equipment into universal medical alphanumeric codes. The codes help healthcare providers and payers to communicate uniformly about healthcare data. Medical coding is used in various healthcare applications, such as claims processing, medical billing, and reimbursement.

The primary application of medical coding is to streamline the billing process and improve the accuracy of healthcare data collection. It is also essential in medical research, clinical trials, and population health management. Medical coding plays a vital role in public health and disease control by accurately recording and reporting medical conditions.

With the increasing adoption of electronic health records (EHRs) and telemedicine, medical coding has become more critical than ever. Medical coders play a critical role in ensuring that healthcare data is accurately recorded and transmitted across different healthcare systems.

Medical coding is also used in the development of healthcare analytics and predictive models. By analysing medical coding data, healthcare providers can identify trends, risk factors, and treatment outcomes, which can help to improve patient care and population health.

Overall, medical coding has a wide range of applications and uses in healthcare, from improving the accuracy of billing and claims processing to enhancing medical research and population health management.

The global medical coding market is expected to experience significant growth over the next few years. Medical coding is an important aspect of healthcare management and is essential for accurate billing, reimbursement, and data collection. The increasing demand for accurate and efficient medical coding services to improve healthcare revenue cycle management and reduce claim denials is driving the growth of the market.

The rise in healthcare expenditure and the growing need for healthcare services are also contributing to the growth of the medical coding market. With the increasing prevalence of chronic diseases and the aging population, the demand for medical coding services is expected to increase further in the coming years.

North America dominates the global medical coding market due to the presence of a well-established healthcare system and the adoption of advanced technologies. However, the Asia Pacific region is expected to witness significant growth in the coming years due to the increasing demand for healthcare services and the rising healthcare expenditure in the region.

Source: Research And Markets

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