We love the idea that technology could make drivers obsolete and roads safer. Of course, let’s just ignore the price tag for now.

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Mobile is everywhere these days, an even in places where cell phone service is not. For instance? The open waters.

Royal Caribbean is using mobility in new and different ways on board its ships, largely with iPhones, iPads and other handheld systems, according to CIO Magazine. Parents can track their kids on an iPhone to see where they are on the ship via a Wi-Fi-enabled bracelet, vacationers can view wine lists on their iPad, and employees can use the devices to assist customers with their daily activities.

From an IT standpoint, this represents a huge opportunity. More and more of our consultants are coming equipped with skills in mobile development, which we see as a major driver for spending for as far as we can see. But don’t just take it from us: Gartner predicts that IT spending will reach nearly $3.6 trillion this year, up 5.6% increase from $3.4 trillion in 2010.

Whether you love baseball or not, you may love some of these lessons.  They apply in many aspects of life, including our relationships with our co-workers.  Spring training is upon us – let’s look at a few reminders from the world of baseball.

From Tim Bridge, “Nine Innings of Baseball’s Life Lessons.”  Play ball!

Joy Hood, Sr. Technical Recruiter @ UDig

Apple continues to fascinate consumers and investors with “secret” product cycles and tight-lipped research and development department. In a recent article in Forbes, speculation surrounds a 500,000 square foot data center being constructed in Maiden, North Carolina just north of Charlotte. Rumors support a massive iTunes subscription streaming service or even relaunching MobileMe as a cloud-based storage locker. We Apple enthusiasts at UDig want to know if you’ve figured out Apple’s big plans for the massive data center in North Carolina.

Rob Havey
Director of Recruiting, UDig

This week we profile Dara, a UDig consultant specializing in a variety of languages and specialties, from HTML and CMS to Java and ActionScript and everything in between. He’s currently on site at one of our clients here in Richmond (by the way, we don’t list full names of consultants for competitive reasons, or our clients for privacy issues). However, we do want to share the knowledge we’ve got.

What are the major trends you’re seeing out there in the IT world?
CMS replatforming, at least in my world. It is in high demand because there’s a lot of content out there and you have to manage it in effective ways. Companies are going online and their demands are changing, and the technology needs to catch up to where they can manage it. More customers are demanding greater flexibility, and that means new ways to organize and post content.

Do you have a real world example of something you’ve created that affects everyday consumers?
We made a system for a client where users of the website could submit feedback and give their opinions about the company. We built the management system on the backend where client can manage and respond back to the customer. From this system, our client can take care of general customer service issues in real time, and online.

How do you see the IT changing over the next five or ten years?
We’re going into different channels, and fast. More and more of our work is in the mobile space and in electronic devices besides a typical computer. And we’re not really in a technology bubble mode right now, so IT is still growing. One thing we need is more people who are educated and have more experience in the field.

And your advice to those people?
I’ve been in this field since 1999. Right out of high school, I worked for a company and we built websites and animation and multimedia applications. My skills grew from there. Technology classes in high school gave me a leg up. Get experience. Real world experience. Intern somewhere. Take on your own projects and build your own applications and soak up as much knowledge as you can.

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