Mary K. Pratt

About the Author Mary K. Pratt


Beach reads for techies 2017

As summer kicks in and professionals get a chance to kick back, some may find their thoughts turning to… books? That’s right: Compiling a summer reading list is an important ritual for many — from diehard bibliophiles to those just looking to escape while relaxing on the beach.

We’re here to help. For the fifth year in a row, Computerworld asked technology professionals from around the country in various positions and industries what books they’re reading right now, what books everybody should read in 2017, and which ones top their lists of all-time great reads for techies. Here’s their take on best-bet books for IT pros this summer and beyond.

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6 ways to prevent burnout in your IT staff

IT pros everywhere feel stressed, and no wonder: Some 81% of CIOs believe that the amount of pressure on technology professionals is higher now than it was just five years ago, according to a 2016 survey of more than 2,500 CIOs conducted by IT staffing firm Robert Half Technology (RHT).

Among those working in the IT trenches, Computerworld’s 2017 IT salary survey found that 46% think their job is either stressful or very stressful, with 18% saying their job is more stressful this year than it was the previous year.

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A.I. starts to deliver in the enterprise, at last

Computers soon could deliver smarter healthcare to patients at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH).

That’s the goal of a new partnership between Partners HealthCare, the hospital’s parent organization, and GE Healthcare. The two Boston-based institutions in May announced a 10-year collaboration to develop and integrate artificial intelligence throughout Partners’ clinical operations.

Partners hopes A.I. can improve patient outcomes and increase clinician productivity. The nonprofit healthcare system plans to first use A.I. to enhance diagnostic imaging, with intelligent systems being developed to detect, for example, even minute changes in tumors and then use data analysis to determine optimal treatments tailored to each case.

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The No. 1 small place to work in IT: Axxess

Andrew Sumido was used to hearing on a regular basis from headhunters looking to entice him away from his job as a senior .NET engineer. So he didn’t give it much thought when a recruiter messaged him about a position at Axxess, a Dallas-area provider of cloud software and services for healthcare organizations.

Sumido’s interest quickly spiked when he checked out the firm’s website.

“They presented themselves as a technology company in the healthcare space, which impressed on me that engineering is a top priority for the organization,” Sumido says. “It was somewhere where I felt I could have a lot of impact. It looked like an opportunity that I couldn’t pass up.”

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Meet ADP’s ‘business anthropologist,’ putting human thought behind chatbots

Martha Bird has one of the more unusual positions in the technology space: She’s a business anthropologist. Bird, who ran a family farm in New Hampshire before earning an anthropology Ph.D., has developed her craft over 15-plus years at a variety of organizations — a nonprofit, a telecommunications company and an e-commerce firm.

Her niche is helping global brands optimize their systems to meet the needs of users across multiple markets. She now works in the Innovation Labs at ADP, a provider of human resources management software and services headquartered in Roseland, N.J. “I was brought in to ensure that we are addressing real human needs in the tools we build,” she says. Here, she explains more about her work:

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