Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Boston Market -- March

This month's analysis of the Web technology marketplace in the Boston metro area is vendor-specific. Read beyond this sentence only if you are open-minded about advancing your career. The focus for March will be on developing Microsoft-centric skills.

Web design evolves into Web development when interactivity and database connectivity are added to a Website. So, database knowledge and programming skills help to differentiate a developer from a designer.

In the database arena Oracle remains king (number of listings at Monster.com):

Structured Query Language (SQL), the common language of database access, is the single most valued technology skill with more than 1000 listings!

In the skill set of Web programming Java Server Pages (JSP) holds the lead:

So, adding SQL Server and ASP.NET skills to your resume will significantly enhance career prospects.

Late last year Microsoft launched SQL Server 2005 and Visual Studio 2005. Along with these tools they announced the upgrade of ASP.NET to ASP.NET 2.0. Two new books are now on the market to help learn the Express (FREE) Editions of these two products:

Amazon offers both books together at a discounted price of only $42.88. There might not be a better training investment out there this month, except for this one . . .

Attend three Microsoft ASP.NET 2.0 Webcast Series seminars (FREE) and you will receive Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 Standard Edition software ($299 retail value) and other training materials FREE! If you have prior experience with JSP, PHP or ColdFusion, Microsoft wants to introduce you to ASP.NET 2.0. (If you have no prior experience with these technologies select the PHP option.) Webcasts begin Tuesday, March 7.

Now, if you are really into it, you can catch a 17-minute interview with Bill Gates as he discusses these and other technologies that Microsoft is building its future on. Note that this is an in-house interview from Channel 9, Microsoft's own news channel. The interviewer is not a threat to challenge Katie Couric for the coveted CBS Evening News assignment.

Microsoft has received the focus of attention this month simply because I have found no other vendor committed to providing resources to helping Web professionals develop their skills at little or no cost. If you are aware of other vendors -- Adobe (Macromedia), Oracle, IBM, Sun, to name a few -- that offer low-cost, no-cost software and training to help develop skills that are highly valued in the marketplace, then please let me know. I'll be glad to spotlight their offerings in future articles.


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