recommended reading

ARCHIVES

Most Americans Spend Two Full Workdays a Month on Facebook

By Michael J. Coren // Quartz // April 2, 2016

JaysonPhotography/Shutterstock.com

Procrastinating on Facebook appeals equally to the young and old, but sending disappearing messages on SnapChat is truly for millennials.

The latest figures on digital traffic that the audience measurement company comScore released this week suggest that while the younger set are heavier users of social media overall, Americans of every age use social media networks in similar proportions—except when it comes to Snapchat (and, to a lesser degree, Instagram).

Facebook is by far the most popular for every age group. Americans are spending more time on Facebook than every other service combined, comScore reports. More than 90 percent of adult Americans devote 15 to 18 hours per month—two workdays!—to the social network. (The measurement company collects data from two million users in its monitoring program, as well as tracking software participating companies install on their web pages, apps and other digital content.)

Snapchat, which launched in 2011, reaches just 7 percent of people over 35 years old. Millennials, on the other hand, have taken to it: 38 percent of people between 18 to 34 years old use the service for 380 minutes on average per month (compared to 111 minutes among the few in the older...

2 Out of 3 Developers Are Self-Taught

By Michael J. Coren // Quartz // March 30, 2016

welcomia/Shutterstock.com

The discussion site Stack Overflow has evolved into much more than a place for developers to ask and answer questions about their coding problems.

“We are the world’s programmer community,” it declares on its Facebook page, and indeed, with the 4.7 million users it claims, it deserves that title.

The site offers a telling snapshot of that community with the results of its annual developer survey. The site posed 45 questions to its users about themselves and the technology, jobs and values most important to them. The answers of the 56,000 people who responded hint at what’s next for technology.

Here are some takeaways:

Every company is becoming a software company

“Software is eating the world,” said venture capitalist Marc Andreessen in a 2011 Wall Street Journal essay (paywall). It’s also invading every other profession. “Software developer” has already become the most common job title in several U.S. states.

Most of the developers who responded to the survey don’t work for software or Internet companies anymore: 62 percent are in finance, consulting, health care, retail, manufacturing and other industries.

Many developers don’t have computer science degrees

Self-taught developers dominate technology: 69 percent...

Workers in These Countries Believe AI and Robots Will Replace Them

By Joon Ian Wong // Quartz // March 20, 2016

A Chinese woman works amid orange robot arms at Rapoo Technology factory in southern Chinese industrial boomtown of Shenzhen.
A Chinese woman works amid orange robot arms at Rapoo Technology factory in southern Chinese industrial boomtown of Shenzhen. // Vincent Yu/AP

Chinese workers have seen the future, and it involves artificial intelligence, robots and other forms of automation replacing them, at least for repetitive tasks. That’s how workers responded to interviews about the future of work conducted in 13 countries by the ADP Research Institute, part of the payroll systems company ADP.

In contrast to China, a minority of workers in Germany think machines will take over repetitive tasks in the future. Workers in Chile, Singapore, the United Kingdom and France among other countries agree. But American workers and those in India are inclined to see things the Chinese way; nearly two-thirds of those polled said they thought the machines were coming for repetitive work.

The impact of robots and artificial intelligence on the workplace is well-documented. These technologies are likely to impact everyone in the coming years, from factory-floor workers to doctors and lawyers.

Millennials and employees who aren’t managers were the most concerned about rising automation, according to the report. Senior workers were more optimistic about a tech-enabled future, perhaps because they are closer to retirement, and occupy positions with more power and control, the report said.

Still, the majority of workers polled, or 55 percent, said...

Slack Is Working on Manager Bots That Will Automatically Check up on Employees

By Mike Murphy // Quartz // March 17, 2016

cjmacer/Shutterstock.com

“Did you get the memo?”

In the future, you won’t be bugged by your manager over Slack for status updates on your work. Slack itself will be bugging you. At a talk yesterday at South By Southwest—the music, tech and media festival in Austin, Texas—Slack founder and CEO Stewart Butterfield told the audience the company is creating bots that will be able to converse with employees, get status updates, and send that information to others in the company. Middle managers: Be afraid.

Since it launched, Slack has had digital assistants built in to the platform. When you start an account with Slack, you’re greeted by Slackbot, the not-very-helpful assistant which can remind you to do things once it’s programmed to respond to certain phrases. In late 2014, Slack introduced a feature to allow anyone to build their own bots and customize them.

Which Tech Company Hires the Most Tech MBAs

By Oliver Staley // Quartz // March 14, 2016

Jeramey Lende/Shutterstock.com

Amazon is a voracious employer, but it has a particular appetite for MBAs.

The e-commerce giant is the biggest employer in the tech industry of graduates from elite business schools, hiring more than twice as many top MBAs last year as Microsoft, the next biggest tech employer, according to data from the schools in the top 20 of U.S. News & World Report’s rankings that release company-level hiring statistics.

And while consulting firms like McKinsey and Deloitte are usually still the single biggest employers—consulting is often the biggest hiring category—Amazon leads the list at some schools. At the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business, for example, Amazon hired 34 MBAs in 2015, ahead of McKinsey (22). The Seattle company also led in summer internships at Michigan, which often turn into full-time jobs.

Number of MBAs hired in 2015 from elite US business schools

Amazon Microsoft Google Apple
Michigan 34 7 5 1
MIT 22 7 14 7
Northwestern 16 9 7 6
Duke 15 19 4 4
Chicago 14 5 n/a 8
Columbia 9 7 4 6
Total 110 47 34 32

Among the business schools that don’t release employer-level data, like Harvard...