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Digital media jobs rise in SA

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With digital agencies looking at a turbulent marketplace and fierce competition, hiring in the sector is increasing year-on-year, says JESSE GREEN, Country Manager for South Africa at Adzuna.

Despite considerable competition and challenges facing the advertising agency sector, employment activity is up. This is according to data from online job aggregator Adzuna, who measures activity across all jobs on a constant basis.

With growth from around 556 jobs in 2017 to almost 900 jobs in January 2018, the digital agency space is growing rapidly.

Salaries have, on average, rocketed from under R300,000 to R380,556, more than 20% growth in just one year. Many industry experts see the growth in salary attributable to the increased hiring of developers in the sector, as opposed to paying for these skills through development providers.

Lee Williams, owner of Luminous Recruitment, a recruitment firm placing numerous developers, agrees. “More media agencies might be hiring developers to create better solutions, systems for clients,” says Williams, who added that this organically increases sales.

In 2017, a number of agencies were bought or sold in South Africa, mainly by overseas companies expanding internationally. These include FOXP2 in 2017, and recently The Jupiter Drawing Room, Machine, Quirk and Hello Computer. However, this is in an industry in a slight decline, as reported by Moneyweb in June 2017. Nevertheless, skills are in high demand.

Others mention the fact that companies still prefer to outsource their digital efforts, citing cost and efficiency benefits for larger, especially international, firms. Media agencies thus cut out the middleman if they offer these developers directly.

Traditional media agencies, however, report a higher average salary (R419,470), led seemingly by brand specialists and the above-mentioned digital-related positions creeping in. While this average is presumably boosted by the very same digital positions entering into the agency world, strategy and brand roles are commanding higher remuneration, according to the research done by Adzuna.

Mobile developers, hired to build apps for agency clients, are often hired on a contract basis, bringing home even more bacon, as these developer positions in media houses show, some at over R800,000 per annum.

Adzuna continues to watch various sectors closely, with technology-driven areas a strong focus. The highest paid and most demand position are repeatedly shown to require mostly engineering, IT and finance skills.

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CES: So long, and thanks for all the beer!

Last week, the Las Vegas expo showed off its fun side with state-of-the-art technologies for enjoying beer, writes BRYAN TURNER

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From craft beer-making machines to robots that pour beer, CES had more beer than usual in Las Vegas last week. And even free beer if you found the right stand. Stampede’s saloon-style booth offered beer to visitors who tried out its latest drones, virtual reality, and other gaming products. No beer tech, though.

Here are some of the beer technologies that stood out:

LG HomeBrew – Craft beer made at home

LG’s HomeBrew craft beer-making machine,  debuted at CES 2019, brings the brewing process home thanks to single-use capsules,  a self-cleaning feature, and an algorithm optimised for fermentation. 

Like a Nespresso coffee machine, the beer maker uses capsules, which contain malt, yeast, hop oil and flavouring. At the press of a button, LG HomeBrew automates the whole procedure from fermentation and carbonation to ageing. A companion app lets users check HomeBrew’s status at any time during the process, from their handsets.

The beer machine not only offers a simple way to make craft beer, but also enhances the quality of beer it makes. The fermentation algorithm intelligently controls the fermenting process with precise temperature and pressure control. It automatically sanitises itself, using nothing more than hot water, ensuring everything is hygienically clean for the next batch.

Designed with discerning beer lovers in mind, HomeBrew allows for in-home production of batches of more than 4 litres of beer in a variety of styles. The following five distinctive, flavoured beers are available now: 

  • Hoppy American IPA
  • Golden American Pale Ale
  • Full-bodied English Stout
  • Zesty Belgian-style Witbier
  • Dry Czech Pilsner

The only catch? It takes about two weeks to make, depending on the beer type.

“LG HomeBrew is the culmination of years of home appliance and water purification technologies that we’ve developed over the decades,” said Dan Song, president of LG Electronics Home Appliance & Air Solutions Company. “Homebrewing has grown at an explosive pace, but there are still many beer lovers who haven’t taken the jump because of the barriers to entry, like complexity, and these are the consumers we think will be attracted to LG HomeBrew.”

Click here to read about the party speaker that holds beer and robots that pour beer.

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CES: Alienware gets Legend-ary

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At CES in Las Vegas last week, Dell’s Alienware released a family of high-end, thin, light, and affordable machines for both amateur and professional gamers – and a new identity.

Alienware marked CES 2019 as a brand milestone with the debut of a new design identity, Alienware Legend. It aims to set a new bar of excellence for what gamers want most – performance and function. Alienware says it evaluated multiple concepts and chose one that was the biggest and boldest departure from its current look.

Alienware Legend, says the company, stays true to the brand’s core design tenets, taking cues from its deep roots in sci-fi culture and its early industrial designs, to distinguish the brand from the rest of the industry. The new Legend design is optimised with cutting-edge thermal cooling technology to achieve and sustain overclocking power, improved AlienFX lighting, and ultra-thin screen borders. It also unveiled a new “three-knuckle hinge” design that reduces the overall dimension while creating a stronger assembly, all combining to yield a better gaming experience.

“We’re excited to come to this year’s CES with some truly groundbreaking products, next-gen software and strategic partnerships that will bring more people to experience PC gaming and advance the industry,” said Frank Azor, vice president and general manager of Alienware. “The legend design answers the call for more and better from our gaming community, and the new G Series laptops will make PC gaming even more accessible to those looking for high-performance gaming at a cost they can appreciate.”

Click here to read about Alienware Legend in action with the Area-51m and m-series laptops

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