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Editorial Note: We earn a commission from partner links on Forbes Advisor. Commissions do not affect our editors' opinions or evaluations.

Cybersecurity Ventures projects that cybercrimes will cost the world a staggering $10.5 trillion per year by 2025. Given these high stakes, organizations are seeking cybersecurity experts to protect their data and help limit losses to cybercrime.

Beyond the many entry-level and intermediate cybersecurity positions, the role of cybersecurity engineer is near the top of the career ladder. This position requires advanced skills and offers competitive salaries.

This article explores how to become a cybersecurity engineer, day-to-day job duties for these professionals and career data for cybersecurity engineers.

What is a Cybersecurity Engineer?

Cybersecurity engineer is among the more advanced roles in cybersecurity. This role is sometimes called information security engineer or network security engineer. Cybersecurity engineers focus on protecting data and preventing disruptions caused by digital attacks.

Cybersecurity engineers’ primary responsibilities include designing, implementing, monitoring and upgrading security measures. As part of information or cybersecurity teams, these engineers respond to security breaches, test and identify system vulnerabilities and write reports for those in managerial roles.

Cybersecurity Engineer Salary and Job Outlook

Cybersecurity engineers earn highly competitive salaries. According to Payscale, these engineers make an average base cybersecurity salary of nearly $99,000. Their wages are likely to increase as they gain experience and earn certifications.

As for job outlook, there is a massive labor shortage in the cybersecurity field. Cyberseek—a collaboration between the National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education, CompTIA and Lightcast—performs data analysis of the cybersecurity job market. Between May 2021 and April 2022, there were over 700,000 job openings for cybersecurity professionals, according to Cyberseek.

Cybersecurity roles take 21% longer to fill than other types of jobs on average. This indicates a large talent gap in the cybersecurity field.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 35% job growth for information security analysts from 2021 to 2031. This indicates continued high demand for similar cybersecurity professionals.

How to Become a Cybersecurity Engineer

Cybersecurity engineers occupy advanced roles that require a solid foundation of computer science knowledge and skills. Candidates can learn these skills through traditional degree paths, self-study or bootcamps.

Remember that becoming a cybersecurity engineer will likely require years of study and experience. Earning a certification can be helpful as well.

Earn a Degree

If you’re wondering how to get into cybersecurity, remember that this is a highly technical field requiring a background in computer networks, coding and programming and encryption, among others. A bachelor’s degree in cybersecurity or computer science can provide a solid foundation in these subjects. Related fields like electrical engineering or math can also provide useful skills.

A degree is not always required for a cybersecurity career, but it is a strong option. According to a survey by the (ISC)², an international nonprofit information security organization, 81% of current cybersecurity professionals have an undergraduate degree or higher. Fifty-one percent of cybersecurity professionals hold degrees in computer science.

For those who take the non-college route, a cybersecurity bootcamp can also provide a good education. Completing a cybersecurity bootcamp can quickly equip you with the skills required to perform in an entry-level role in the field. Bootcamp graduates may also pursue certifications to back up their expertise.

Gain Experience

A cybersecurity engineering job is unlikely to be the first role in your career. First, you should seek entry-level cybersecurity jobs to help you gain experience and build your skills.

Potential roles to consider include cybersecurity specialist, cybercrime analyst and incident and intrusion analyst. More intermediate positions include cybersecurity analyst, consultant and penetration tester.

Alternatively, you might start out in an information technology (IT) job before transitioning into cybersecurity. Related roles include software developer, network or systems administrator and IT auditor. In the aforementioned (ISC)² survey, over 50% of respondents started their careers in IT before making the transition.

Obtain Certification

Due to the advanced nature of this engineering role, cybersecurity certifications can serve as a great way to make you a more competitive candidate for available roles. As you work toward an engineering role, consider obtaining one or more of the following certifications.

Entry-level certifications like CompTIA’s Security+ and Network+ can bolster your cybersecurity resume and help qualify you to become a cybersecurity engineer. These certifications also fulfill the requirement to work for the U.S. Department of Defense, if that’s your goal.

For intermediate cybersecurity professionals, ISACA’s Certified Information Systems Auditor® and Certified Information Systems Manager® are good options. Moreover, Global Information Assurance Certification, an entity that administers information security certifications, offers credentials that measure specific knowledge and skill areas.

The cybersecurity industry gold standard is the Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) certification, which marks you as an elite cybersecurity expert. This designation requires a minimum of four years of paid experience and the recommendation of a current CISSP-holder.

Apply for Jobs

Once you have gained the education and certifications you need, it’s time to apply for jobs. And with over 700,000 open positions in the field to choose from, you should be able to find a cybersecurity engineering role that catches your eye. Companies like Palo Alto Networks, Datadog and CrowdStrike are good places to start.

If you are interested in working for the U.S. Government, USAJOBS is a one-stop shop for positions across the country.

FAQ About Becoming a Cybersecurity Engineer

What should I learn to become a cybersecurity engineer?

Required knowledge includes fundamental computer hardware and software knowledge, firewall intrusion and detection principles, programming languages such as Python and C++, identity management principles, encryption and vulnerability testing.

How long does it take to become a cybersecurity engineer?

Demand for cybersecurity experts is high, and the time it takes to become a cybersecurity engineer may vary. Expect to spend several years completing an education and gaining experience in the field before landing a cybersecurity engineering job.

Is it hard to become a cybersecurity engineer?

Becoming a cybersecurity engineer requires hard work and dedication, but it is doable. According to (ISC)², 26% of cybersecurity professionals surveyed started in a different field. Eight percent explored cybersecurity concepts on their own and were recruited to work in the field.

Tue, 29 Nov 2022 17:32:00 -0600 Brandon Galarita en-US text/html https://www.forbes.com/advisor/education/become-a-cyber-security-engineer/
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Killexams : States Where Biomedical Engineers Earn The Most Money In 2022

In a study conducted a few months ago, we analyzed and determined the highest paying medical jobs in the United States in 2022. Cariologists topped that list, but it brought up another question, one about jobs that are adjacent to medical occupations: How much money do biomedical engineers earn in 2022?

In a past article, we examined the highest paying engineering jobs in every state. That list was heavily dominated by petroleum engineers, nuclear engineers, and aerospace engineers. However, biomedical engineering careers have been blowing up in popularity. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ (BLS) Occupational Outlook Handbook (OOH), the job outlook for biomedical engineers is excellent: Employment of biomedical engineers is projected to grow by 10% from 2021 to 2031, a rate which is faster than the average for all jobs.

In terms of pay, the average biomedical engineering salary is over $100,000 per year on the national level, according to the BLS. The median annual biomedical engineering salary is naturally slightly lower at $97,410, but it rises to $123,400 for the 75th percentile of biomedical engineers and $154,750 for the 90th percentile. Thus, biomedical engineering is definitely an intriguing and remunerative field to pursue.

Read on to find out the states where biomedical engineer salaries are the highest in 2022.

10 States Where Biomedical Engineers Earn the Most Money in 2022

Looking at the country as a whole, the average biomedical engineering salary in the U.S. is $101,020. That is only a little shy of double the average annual wage for all occupations in the nation, $58,260. Of course, biomedical engineers can go through years of education, including undergraduate degrees, master’s degrees, and finally doctoral degrees, in order to practice in their field professionally. According to BrokeScholar, the college with the largest number of doctoral degrees in bioengineering and biomedical engineering is Georgia Tech, with 39 doctoral degrees awarded in the 2021-2022 academic year.

Despite Georgia Tech turning out the most biomedical engineering doctoral degrees, Georgia does not rank among the top states where biomedical engineers earn the most money. Below is a breakdown of the top 10 states where biomedical engineering salaries are the highest. Some of the states where biomedical engineers earn the most may be quite surprising.

1. New Mexico

Average biomedical engineering salary per hour: $64.48

Average biomedical engineering salary per year: $134,120

2. Arizona

Average biomedical engineering salary per hour: $58.16

Average biomedical engineering salary per year: $120,970

3. Minnesota

Average biomedical engineering salary per hour: $57.33

Average biomedical engineering salary per year: $119,250

4. Connecticut

Average biomedical engineering salary per hour: $55.97

Average biomedical engineering salary per year: $116,430

5. Massachusetts

Average biomedical engineering salary per hour: $55.61

Average biomedical engineering salary per year: $115,670

6. Louisiana

Average biomedical engineering salary per hour: $53.58

Average biomedical engineering salary per year: $111,440

7. New Jersey

Average biomedical engineering salary per hour: $53.22

Average biomedical engineering salary per year: $110,700

8. Washington

Average biomedical engineering salary per hour: $52.60

Average biomedical engineering salary per year: $109,420

9. Wisconsin

Average biomedical engineering salary per hour: $52.05

Average biomedical engineering salary per year: $108,250

10. New York

Average biomedical engineering salary per hour: $51.29

Average biomedical engineering salary per year: $106,690

Trends in Biomedical Engineering Salaries

Geographically, the top 10 states with the highest average biomedical engineer salaries are a mixed batch and it is hard to identify a clear pattern. The two states where biomedical engineer average annual wages are highest are located in the Southwest — No. 1 New Mexico and No. 2 Arizona. Another two of the top 10 states are located in New England — No. 4 Connecticut and No. 5 Massachusetts. Two of the top-paying states are in the upper Midwest — No. 3 Minnesota and No. 9 Wisconsin. And then another two states are in the Northeast but outside New England — No. 7 New Jersey and No. 10 New York. Louisiana is the lone state representing the U.S. South to make the top 10 list.

Table of the States Where Biomedical Engineers Earn the Most Money

The BLS does not have wage data for biomedical engineers across all 50 states. Instead, it only has wage data for biomedical engineers in 35 states plus the District of Columbia. Below you’ll find a table that includes the state, the average hourly biomedical engineer salary, and the average annual biomedical engineer salary. States are ranked in order of highest biomedical engineer salary to lowest.

Mon, 28 Nov 2022 10:00:00 -0600 Andrew DePietro en text/html https://www.forbes.com/sites/andrewdepietro/2022/11/29/states-where-biomedical-engineers-earn-the-most-money-in-2022/
Killexams : F1 Manager 2022: Best Race Engineers No result found, try new keyword!Having a good race engineer in F1 Manager 2022 can be the difference between success and failure. These are the best race engineers for any team. Race engineer’s have an overall rating and three ... Mon, 07 Nov 2022 16:22:00 -0600 https://gamerant.com/f1-manager-2022-best-race-engineers/ Killexams : Engineers Pick the Ten Best STEM Toys to give as Gifts in 2022
The top ten toys rated by Purdue University engineers help children build spatial reasoning, problem solving, coding and design thinking skills, among others. Purdue University/Teresa Walker

With the holidays approaching, adults are lingering in the toy aisle or combing the internet, keeping an eye out for the perfect gifts for the kids in their lives. For those searching for educational fun this year, a team of engineers has selected expert-tested toys that promote science, technology, engineering and math skills.

Every year since 2015, the Inspire Research Institute for Pre-College Engineering at Purdue University has put together a guide to skill-building, mind-stretching STEM toys. Previously, it has brought children into the lab to test drive the games and puzzles, but the Covid-19 pandemic and other factors have led the engineers to pick the toys on their own for the past three years. Several of the toy-testers are parents, and they’ve used that to inform their rankings, curating a select group of activities, all released in accurate years, that can serve children in future STEM pursuits.

“A lot of your child’s time is outside of the classroom and outside of formal learning environments,” says Morgan Hynes, the deputy director of Inspire and a professor of engineering education at Purdue. “It might just be at home playing with toys.”

While not all play has to be focused on learning—though experts agree any kind of play benefits children’s development—some toys combine delight and STEM basics. Playing with these promotes fundamental skills that can help children approach mathematical or engineering tasks later in life. For instance, building blocks boost spatial awareness and their understanding of how objects influence one another in the physical world. Other toys promote creative thinking, brainstorming solutions or trial and error.

Hynes encourages parents to play along with their kids. Whether by walking children through the extra challenges in a game’s manual or discussing what future careers use similar skills, parents can enhance the toys’ educational power. And they just might have a good time while doing it.

“I'm a trained engineer, but some of these, they remind me of things I either forgot or never learned,” Hynes says. “So, I think there’s an opportunity for everyone to have fun.”

Forty-seven gifts make up this year’s complete guide, but here are the top ten selected by the Inspire team.

Kids First Intro to Gears

Ages 3+

With Intro to Gears, kids can follow instructions to build four geared machines or use their creativity to make whatever they want. For the youngest children, simply placing the gears on the board and spinning them is an entertaining activity that will teach resilience: When a gear doesn’t spin, they’ll have to make some changes to the design to correct it. Older kids can create more advanced constructions by placing the gears at 90-degree angles from each other.

The instruction booklet walks young engineers through experiments to teach how gears of different sizes can change the axis of rotation. It explains where gears are used in real life and reinforces learning of ratios and mathematics in a hands-on activity.

“You can really feel it,” Hynes says. “You can see it and feel the difference when you are speeding something up or slowing it down and giving it more power. You can experience that in a physical way, which I think is fun.” (Thames & Kosmos, $39.95)

Kids First Intro to Gears

Join Ty and Karlie — the young engineers featured in the other Kids First early engineering kits — to build four awesome geared machines and learn all about how gears work.

Sensory Leaves Math Activity Set

Ages 3+

Sensory Leaves are a fresh take on teaching math to young learners. The set has various boards that children place leaves on top of, whether by matching a pattern or in response to a prompt. Parents can supervise children through these activities to reinforce learning. “It's a great way to introduce young children to counting and sorting and categorizing and logical thinking as well,” Hynes says. “But I think what stood out… was that there were connections to science and biology.”

With six different shapes, the leaves show children how to identify various trees, including maples, redbuds and live oaks. The activities also help children recognize patterns, shapes and colors. Textured bugs on the leaves add another level to some of the counting challenges. And to top it all off, the pieces are made from recycled materials. (Hand2mind, $24.99)

Sensory Leaves Math Activity Set

This certified, recycled plastic set includes 6 different types of tactile leaf counters in 6 different colors and 3 different sizes. With 10 teacher-developed, double-sided Activity Cards, children learn early math skills, compare their counters to real-life leaves, think creatively, and so much more!

Switcheroo Coding Crew

Ages 4-7

Switcheroo Coding Crew consists of an electronic toy car, with three colored shells that kids can slide onto the vehicle to turn it into different kinds of trucks. Challenge cards lead children through storylines that encourage them to complete a task in the game board city, perhaps driving to a certain location to help put out a fire. Kids press buttons to code the car to perform its actions in a particular order—drive forward three beats, then turn left, for example. The game builds patience for trial and error, and it encourages children to identify problems and find solutions.

To think like a computer programmer is to step outside of how a human might approach a task and imagine what sort of prompting a machine would need to get the same thing done. “The earlier you get people familiar with the kind of logical reasoning that goes with computer programming, the easier it is in the future, if they choose to pursue that in a course or career,” Hynes says. “These toys break that down and allow children to demonstrate that ability.” (Learning Resources, $59.99)

Switcheroo Coding Crew

Draw a coding rescue challenge card, snap on one of three vehicle shells (police car, fire truck, or construction vehicle), and code to solve the mission!

STEM Explorers Brainometry

Ages 5-10

Hynes refers to the Brainometry puzzle shapes as “Tetris blocks.” Though they’re not shaped exactly like the pieces in the famous video game, the triangles, squares, zigzags, L shapes, plus signs and T-shaped blocks of this set encourage the same sort of spatial reasoning. Brainometry also includes challenge cards that set criteria, like which patterns must or must not touch, for the structure a child is building. Kids can put together a structure that stands and balances or one that lies flat on the table or floor. Even at a basic level, Hynes says, stacking up the pieces can teach foundational spatial skills. (Learning Resources, $15.99)

STEM Explorers Brainometry

Explore this set's 10 STEM challenge cards for critical thinking puzzles that turn shape pieces into the 2D and 3D building blocks of victory! Manipulate six different shape pieces into solutions that require a eager eye for stacking, sorting, and geometry.


Ages 5+

Discover contains all the tools a child needs to build fantastic structures: Just add cardboard. Kids can bring new life to old, discarded boxes using this set of safe saws to cut the material, a folding tool and 120 screws to fasten cardboard together into new shapes. From a favorite animal to a flower, to a life-size tunnel or playhouse, the possibilities are literally endless.

“It really emphasizes the creativity in design thinking,” Hynes says. While building, kids can also hone their ability to take precise measurements and to stabilize a structure, among other crucial engineering skills.

What kids get out of this game is dependent on how much they put into it. But ambitious young engineers who want to build structures or toys will get a feel for the entire design process, start to finish. And for those with access to a 3D printer, the manufacturer, Makedo, provides directions on its website to print even more advanced pieces that will take a child’s creations to the next level. (Makedo, $45)

Hydraulic Plane Launcher

Ages 6+

Using this kit, children construct a paper airplane launcher that works with hydraulic pressure. Kids can tinker with the design of their plane and the height of the launcher to see how those factors impact the height and distance of the flight. They fill a syringe with water and push on the plunger to send their plane soaring.

The set comes with a manual that lists challenges and experimental setups that children can test out. It also includes paper with markings that guide pilots in making various kinds of planes. The toy promotes curiosity about how planes fly and how the launcher works, and it encourages children to tweak their setup and Improve their results. “That’s a great opportunity for them to make connections between the making of something, the testing of it [and] the redesign of it,” Hynes says. (Elenco, $32.99)

Hydraulic Plane Launcher

This Hydraulic Plane Launcher allows your little scientist to build a Hydraulic Plane Launcher and use the power of hydraulic pressure to launch paper airplanes.

Mega Cyborg Hand

Ages 7+

Wearing this larger-than-life cyborg hand, children can pretend to be Iron Man while learning about a crucial innovation: hydraulics. This realm of technology uses liquid pressure to get big items to have soft, controlled movements. But in the real world, hydraulic components of machines are often hidden.

This toy pulls back the curtain and lets children understand the science of hydraulics. But first, kids have to assemble it—perhaps with some parental assistance—building fine motor skills and spatial reasoning. Once the toy is constructed, a child slides their hand in and puts their fingers through little rings that control the movement of the massive machine, which can dexterously pick up small items.

Plus, the kit includes a manual that talks about exoskeletons and how they can provide safety to people. “You can manipulate things with your body but also not put your body at risk,” Hynes says. “You have [an] exoskeleton take the risk for you.” (Thames & Kosmos, $44.95)

Mega Cyborg Hand

Build your own awesome, wearable mechanical hand that you operate with your own fingers.

Iggy Peck’s Big Project Book for Amazing Architects

Ages 8+

Iggy Peck is an architect, and kids can be, too, as they complete the activities in this workbook. The projects encourage children to use items around the house to think like a builder—such as constructing a bridge out of marshmallows and dry spaghetti. Other pages have puzzles to solve or prompts for drawing and sketching.

The project book is a good companion to the original picture book, Iggy Peck, Architect, by Andrea Beaty, but it also is effective as a stand-alone gift, even for children who haven’t read the story, Hynes says. “The books [in the Questioneers collection] are nice and get you excited about the ideas and following a storyline, but this [project book] was the practical, hands-on guide to go with it,” Hynes says. “All that stuff that Iggy was doing in the book, you can now do.” (Abrams Books, $14.99)

Snap Circuits MyHome Plus

Ages 8+

This toy gives children a glimpse into how electricity powers homes. Kids can learn the nuances of parallel and series circuits without any of the wiring or soldering typically involved—these pieces simply and safely snap together.

“You can actually build a structure that looks like a house, connect different lights and sensors to that, and create what would be an automated smart home,” Hynes says. With more than 50 projects, kids can bring electric lighting to the house, build a doorbell, add a home security system and use solar panels.

This is a toy a child can grow with, Hynes says. Eight-year-olds, for example, might be able to build some of the more basic constructions, and as they get older, they could use the same toy to attempt advanced circuits and still find a challenge. (Elenco, $129.99)

Snap Circuits MyHome Plus

Build 53 exciting STEM projects that are based on electric circuits you would find in most homes. Learn how power gets to your home, how power travels inside your walls, what happen when you turn on a light, what happens when the power goes out, what are fuses, circuits breakers, and more!


Ages 12+

This problem-solving game is a great way for older children to build logical thinking. The multiplayer Zendo has one participant assume the role of a moderator and put together a structure that follows a “secret rule” that only that person knows. Maybe, for example, no two pieces of the same color can touch. The moderator can answer other players’ questions about the rule. Then, those players must try to guess the rule and build a different creation that also abides by it.

To be successful, children must use inductive reasoning, coming up with a general conclusion based on a specific example. If they’re wrong, they need to make another practical guess. “It would be pretty rare to get it right on the first time,” Hynes says. But what this and other games in the guide teach is that going back to square one isn’t necessarily a bad thing. In fact, engineers have to do it all the time. (Looney Labs, $44)


The classic puzzle game of inductive logic is back, purer, and clearer than ever! Beautiful crystalline pieces in three shapes and three colors are used to build structures marked by the Moderator according to a secret rule selected from a versatile deck of options.

Sun, 04 Dec 2022 14:06:00 -0600 en text/html https://www.smithsonianmag.com/innovation/engineers-pick-the-ten-best-stem-toys-to-give-as-gifts-in-2022-180981176/
Killexams : Ex-Twitter Engineer Accuses Twitter of Retaliation for Helping Doomed Coworkers

Photo: David Odisho (Getty Images)

One of the nearly 4,000 Twitter employees laid off in the company‘s tumultuous post-Elon Musk acquisition says the company illegally targeted him for trying to help fellow employees save documents prior to their abrupt removal from the company.

Former Twitter engineer Emmanuel “Manu” Cornet reportedly filed a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board on Monday accusing them of retaliatory actions days after Musk took the helm as CEO. That firing, according to the complaint, came in response to a Google Chrome extension Cornet built and shared with employees that let them obtain emails from their Gmail accounts. Twitter haphazardly moved to lay off around half of its global workforce last week and has already reportedly had to beg some of those workers to return.

Cornet detailed some of the time leading up to his firing on his personal blog. With rumors of mass layoffs circling Twitter’s online channels, Cornet says he decided to upload his email downloading tool to the Google Play Store and then sent a copy of that link to a Twitter Slack channel. Workers, now in hindsight rightfully fearful of sudden layoff calls from their new boss, could use the tool to obtain important documents like performance reviews, stock statements, key proofs of achievement and other human resources documents.

“Think about it: if you thought you may lose access to all your work email tomorrow, is there anything in there that you may need?” Cornet said.

Twitter allegedly saw things differently. Cornet, in the complaint and on his blog alleges Twitter fired him the same day he shared the extension link on Slack. The post containing the link was also allegedly taken down. Cornet published a redacted version of his termination email which said his, “recent behavior has violated multiple policies.”

Twitter did not immediately respond to Gizmodo’s request for comment.

Cornet has had a busy few days away from Twitter. Last week, he was the lead plaintiff in a class action lawsuit accusing Twitter of potentially violating federal and state laws requiring companies generally to provide at least 60 days of advance notice for major layoffs.

“A couple of people much smarter than me have suggested that that this may be an excuse to fire me over a ‘troublemaker’ vibe coming from me,” Cornet said on his blog. “I don’t deny that, and I don’t blame the new management for preferring not to have to deal with that liability.”

The new complaint comes on the heels of another unfair labor complaint filing, this time by the Alphabet Workers Union, which accused Google of illegally preventing contract workers from accessing an online “Share my Salary” spreadsheet showing workers pay rates. The AWU says hundreds of workers had submitted pay details to that spreadsheet since it was created in 2021 in an effort to bolster workplace transparency. According to the AWU, Alphabet withdrew access to that spreadsheet on July 14, leaving as many as 50,000 workers locked out of the file.

“It’s clear that Alphabet and its various affiliates do not want workers to be armed with knowledge regarding pay rates across the company,” Alphabet Workers Union Organizing Chair Shelby Hunter said in a statement. “Every Alphabet worker, including Temporary, Vendor and Contract workers, have a right to pay transparency and fair wages.”

Tue, 08 Nov 2022 08:02:00 -0600 en text/html https://gizmodo.com/twitter-layoffs-engineer-elon-musk-1849758837
Killexams : Here’s how a Twitter engineer says it will break in the coming weeks

On November 4, just hours after Elon Musk fired half of the 7,500 employees previously working at Twitter, some people began to see small signs that something was wrong with everyone’s favorite hellsite. And they saw it through retweets.

Twitter introduced retweets in 2009, turning an organic thing people were already doing—pasting someone else’s username and tweet, preceded by the letters RT—into a software function. In the years since, the retweet and its distant cousin the quote tweet (which launched in April 2015) have become two of the most common mechanics on Twitter.

But on Friday, a few users who pressed the retweet button saw the years roll back to 2009. Manual retweets, as they were called, were back.

The return of the manual retweet wasn’t Elon Musk’s latest attempt to appease users. Instead, it was the first public crack in the edifice of Twitter’s code base—a blip on the seismometer that warns of a bigger earthquake to come.

A massive tech platform like Twitter is built upon very many interdependent parts. “The larger catastrophic failures are a little more titillating, but the biggest risk is the smaller things starting to degrade,” says Ben Krueger,  a site reliability engineer who has more than two decades of experience in the tech industry. “These are very big, very complicated systems.” Krueger says one 2017 presentation from Twitter staff includes a statistic suggesting that more than half the back-end infrastructure was dedicated to storing data.

While many of Musk’s detractors may hope the platform goes through the equivalent of thermonuclear destruction, the collapse of something like Twitter happens gradually. For those who know, gradual breakdowns are a sign of concern that a larger crash could be imminent. And that’s what’s happening now.

It’s the small things

Whether it’s manual RTs appearing for a moment before retweets slowly morph into their standard form, ghostly follower counts that race ahead of the number of people actually following you, or replies that simply refuse to load, small bugs are appearing at Twitter’s periphery. Even Twitter’s rules, which Musk linked to on November 7, went offline temporarily under the load of millions of eyeballs. In short, it’s becoming unreliable. 

“Sometimes you’ll get notifications that are a little off,” says one engineer currently working at Twitter, who’s concerned about the way the platform is reacting after vast swathes of his colleagues who were previously employed to keep the site running smoothly were fired. (That last sentence is why the engineer has been granted anonymity to talk for this story.) After struggling with downtime during its “Fail Whale” days, Twitter eventually became lauded for its team of site reliability engineers, or SREs. Yet this team has been decimated in the aftermath of Musk’s takeover. “It’s small things, at the moment, but they do really add up as far as the perception of stability,” says the engineer.

The small suggestions of something wrong will amplify and multiply as time goes on, he predicts—in part because the skeleton staff remaining to handle these issues will quickly burn out. “Round-the-clock is detrimental to quality, and we’re already kind of seeing this,” he says. 

Twitter’s remaining engineers have largely been tasked with keeping the site stable over the last few days, since the new CEO decided to get rid of a significant chunk of the staff maintaining its code base. As the company tries to return to some semblance of normalcy, more of their time will be spent addressing Musk’s (often taxing) whims for new products and features, rather than keeping what’s already there running.

This is particularly problematic, says Krueger, for a site like Twitter, which can have unforeseen spikes in user traffic and interest. Krueger contrasts Twitter with online retail sites, where companies can prepare for big traffic events like Black Friday with some predictability. “When it comes to Twitter, they have the possibility of having a Black Friday on any given day at any time of the day,” he says. “At any given day, some news event can happen that can have significant impact on the conversation.” Responding to that is harder to do when you lay off up to 80% of your SREs—a figure Krueger says has been bandied about within the industry but which MIT Technology Review has been unable to confirm. The Twitter engineer agreed that the percentage sounded “plausible.”

That engineer doesn’t see a route out of the issue—other than reversing the layoffs (which the company has reportedly already attempted to roll back somewhat). “If we’re going to be pushing at a breakneck pace, then things will break,” he says. “There’s no way around that. We’re accumulating technical debt much faster than before—almost as fast as we’re accumulating financial debt.” 

The list grows longer

He presents a dystopian future where issues pile up as the backlog of maintenance tasks and fixes grows longer and longer. “Things will be broken. Things will be broken more often. Things will be broken for longer periods of time. Things will be broken in more severe ways,” he says. “Everything will compound until, eventually, it’s not usable.”

Twitter’s collapse into an unusable wreck is some time off, the engineer says, but the telltale signs of process rot are already there. It starts with the small things: “Bugs in whatever part of whatever client they’re using; whatever service in the back end they’re trying to use. They’ll be small annoyances to start, but as the back-end fixes are being delayed, things will accumulate until people will eventually just give up.”

Krueger says that Twitter won’t blink out of life, but we’ll start to see a greater number of tweets not loading, and accounts coming into and out of existence seemingly at a whim. “I would expect anything that’s writing data on the back end to possibly have slowness, timeouts, and a lot more subtle types of failure conditions,” he says. “But they’re often more insidious. And they also generally take a lot more effort to track down and resolve. If you don’t have enough engineers, that’s going to be a significant problem.” 

The juddering manual retweets and faltering follower counts are indications that this is already happening. Twitter engineers have designed fail-safes that the platform can fall back on so that the functionality doesn’t go totally offline but cut-down versions are provided instead. That’s what we’re seeing, says Krueger.

Alongside the minor malfunctions, the Twitter engineer believes that there’ll be significant outages on the horizon, thanks in part to Musk’s drive to reduce Twitter’s cloud computing server load in an attempt to claw back up to $3 million a day in infrastructure costs. Reuters reports that this project, which came from Musk’s war room, is called the “Deep Cuts Plan.” One of Reuters’s sources called the idea “delusional,” while Alan Woodward, a cybersecurity professor at the University of Surrey, says that “unless they’ve massively overengineered the current system, the risk of poorer capacity and availability seems a logical conclusion.”

Brain drain

Meanwhile, when things do go kaput, there’s no longer the institutional knowledge to quickly fix issues as they arise. “A lot of the people I saw who were leaving after Friday have been there nine, 10, 11 years, which is just ridiculous for a tech company,” says the Twitter engineer. As those individuals walked out of Twitter offices, decades of knowledge about how its systems worked disappeared with them. (Those within Twitter, and those watching from the sidelines, have previously argued that Twitter’s knowledge base is overly concentrated in the minds of a handful of programmers, some of whom have been fired.)

Unfortunately, teams stripped back to their bare bones (according to those remaining at Twitter) include the tech writers’ team. “We had good documentation because of [that team],” says the engineer. No longer. When things go wrong, it’ll be harder to find out what has happened. 

Getting answers will be harder externally as well. The communications team has been cut down from between 80 and 100 to just two people, according to one former team member who MIT Technology Review spoke to. “There’s too much for them to do, and they don’t speak enough languages to deal with the press as they need to,” says the engineer.

When MIT Technology Review reached out to Twitter for this story, the email went unanswered.

Musk’s recent criticism of Mastodon, the open-source alternative to Twitter that has piled on users in the days since the entrepreneur took control of the platform, invites the suggestion that those in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones. The Twitter CEO tweeted, then quickly deleted, a post telling users, “If you don’t like Twitter anymore, there is awesome site [sic] called Masterbatedone [sic].” Accompanying the words was a physical picture of his laptop screen open on Paul Krugman’s Mastodon profile, showing the economics columnist trying multiple times to post. Despite Musk’s attempt to highlight Mastodon’s unreliability, its success has been remarkable: nearly half a million people have signed up since Musk took over Twitter.

It’s happening at the same time that the first cracks in Twitter’s edifice are starting to show. It’s just the beginning, expects Krueger. “I would expect to start seeing significant public-facing problems with the technology within six months,” he says. “And I feel like that’s a generous estimate.”

Tue, 08 Nov 2022 06:31:00 -0600 en text/html https://www.technologyreview.com/2022/11/08/1062886/heres-how-a-twitter-engineer-says-it-will-break-in-the-coming-weeks/
Killexams : Engineers Improve electrochemical sensing by incorporating machine learning

Combining machine learning with multimodal electrochemical sensing can significantly Improve the analytical performance of biosensors, according to new findings from a Penn State research team. These improvements may benefit noninvasive health monitoring, such as testing that involves saliva or sweat. The findings were published this month in Analytica Chimica Acta.

The researchers developed a novel analytical platform that enabled them to selectively measure multiple biomolecules using a single sensor, saving space and reducing complexity as compared to the usual route of using multi-sensor systems. In particular, they showed that their sensor can simultaneously detect small quantities of uric acid and tyrosine -- two important biomarkers associated with kidney and cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, metabolic disorders, and neuropsychiatric and eating disorders -- in sweat and saliva, making the developed method suitable for personalized health monitoring and intervention.

Many biomarkers have similar molecular structures or overlapping electrochemical signatures, making it difficult to detect them simultaneously. Leveraging machine learning for measuring multiple biomarkers can Improve the accuracy and reliability of diagnostics and as a result Improve patient outcomes, according to the researchers. Further, sensing using the same device saves resources and biological sample volumes needed for tests, which is critical with clinical samples with scarce amounts.

"We developed a new approach to Improve the performance of electrochemical biosensors by combining machine learning with multimodal measurement," said Aida Ebrahimi, Thomas and Sheila Roell Early Career Assistant Professor of Electrical Engineering and assistant professor of biomedical engineering. "Using our optimized machine learning architecture, we could detect biomolecules in amounts 100 times lower than what conventional sensing methods can do."

The researchers' methodology features a hardware/software system that enables them to automatically gather and process information based on a machine learning model that is trained to identify biomolecules in biological fluids such as saliva and sweat, which are common choices for noninvasive health monitoring.

"The machine learning-powered electrochemical diagnostic approach presented in this paper may find broader application in multiplexed biochemical sensing," said Vinay Kammarchedu, 2022-23 Milton and Albertha Langdon Memorial Graduate Fellow in Electrical Engineering at Penn State and first author on the paper. "For example, this method can be extended to a variety of other molecules, including food and water toxins, drugs and neurochemicals that are challenging to detect simultaneously using conventional electrochemical methods."

In their ongoing work, the researchers are applying this approach on such neurochemicals, which are difficult to detect due to similarities in their molecular structure and overlapping electrochemical signatures.

"Our methodology successfully used one material to differentiate and distinguish four neurochemicals that are important in diseases like Parkinson's and Alzheimer's," Ebrahimi said. "While this preliminary data is promising, we must work further to be able to detect the lower levels of these neurochemicals in biological samples such as saliva."

Beyond the specific results with the uric acid and tyrosine, the researchers are excited about the potential and versatility of the methodology.

"It is a new way of designing electrochemical diagnostic methods that may be applied to a variety of applications beyond biomedical systems," Ebrahimi said.

Combined with innovations in material and device engineering for sensor development, the researchers' analytical method may provide opportunities in pharmaceuticals, life science research, food screening, detection of environmental toxins and biodefense, where accurate and multiplexed testing or in-line monitoring is needed.

Conventionally, multiplexing is achieved by spectroscopic methods that rely on bulky and expensive equipment that is more suited for lab-based analysis. In the researchers' current prototype stage, the hardware is benchtop sized. They are working to make a smaller system that can be implemented for more than just health monitoring.

"Ultimately, we envision a handheld and field-deployable device that will be easier to use and more readily available than the current practices used in laboratory or clinical settings," Kammarchedu said.

The research was funded by Phase II of the National Science Foundation (NSF) Industry-University Cooperative Research Centers Program (I/UCRC). Derrick Butler, who was a doctoral student of electrical engineering during this project, contributed to this research. Kammarchedu, Butler and Ebrahimi are also affiliated with the Center for Atomically Thin Multifunctional Coatings (ATOMIC), which is an NSF:I/UCRC Center in the Materials Research Institute at Penn State.

Story Source:

Materials provided by Penn State. Original written by Mary Fetzer. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.

Sun, 27 Nov 2022 10:00:00 -0600 en text/html https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2022/11/221128162129.htm
Killexams : Astra chief engineer resigns, CEO shakes up management 'to execute faster'

Benjamin Lyon, chief engineer and executive vice president of engineering and operations


Beleaguered rocket builder Astra is losing its highly touted chief engineer, Benjamin Lyon, the company disclosed in a securities filing Friday.

Lyon resigned from his role as Astra's chief engineer and executive vice president of operations and engineering on Monday, the company said. Astra said he is leaving to pursue another opportunity and that his last day is expected to be Dec. 27.

Astra CEO Chris Kemp thanked Lyon "for his service and contributions," but told CNBC the company is making leadership changes following Lyon's departure to speed up development of its rocket.

"Putting the team that was reporting to [Lyon] under me basically flattens the entire thing, and just allows us to execute faster," Kemp said.

After disclosing Lyon's departure, Astra announced four promotions to its management team. The new Astra program leads: Giovanni Greco on Launch System Delivery, Jonathan Donaldson on Spacecraft Engine Delivery, Doug Kunzman on Launch and Test Operations and Bryson Gentile on Manufacturing.

Lyon joined Astra in February 2021 from Apple, where he had worked in development for products including the iPhone and Mac.

But Astra is facing an uphill battle after the company pivoted away from its Rocket 3.3 vehicle after a mid-flight failure, and decided to pause launches to build a larger, upgraded vehicle, called Rocket 4.0. The company announced a layoff of 16% of its workforce on Nov. 8, as it works to trim operating expenses and moves forward with development.

"[Rocket 4.0] needs to work and it needs to happen next year," Kemp added.

Kemp said Lyon's departure "isn't a blow" for the company, but the move marks another change to the company's leadership in the past few months. In October, Astra's vice president of communications, Kati Dahm, left the company, and last month Chief Financial Officer Kelyn Brannon transitioned out of her role, with the company bringing in Axel Martinez as CFO from Virgin Hyperloop One.

Astra stock is down 92% this year as of Thursday's close. It received a delisting warning from the Nasdaq in October after its stock fell below $1 a share. The company has until April to lift the share price back above the level.

Shares of Astra were little changed in early trading, from its previous close of 52 cents a share.

Correction: Astra announced a layoff of 16% of its workforce on Nov. 8. An earlier version misstated the date.

Fri, 02 Dec 2022 05:38:00 -0600 en text/html https://www.cnbc.com/2022/12/02/astra-chief-engineer-benjamin-lyon-resigns-from-rocket-builder.html
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