Thursday, February 01, 2007

Boston Market -- February

Are you looking for a Web-related job in Massachusetts? A research report released last week may have some bearing on the direction that technology spending might be heading in 2007.

With the launch of Microsoft's Windows Vista operating system 5,000 new tech jobs will be created in Massachusetts according to a report issued by Framingham-based
International Data Corp. The report is summarized at Information Week. The Boston Globe provides a more detailed summary of the research findings. The report was commissioned by Microsoft.

One reason why web-technology professionals should be aware of this report is that "18% of total IT employment in the state will be Vista-related." Businesses and consumers will be purchasing software and hiring third parties to provide installation, support and training. This is money that might otherwise be earmarked for Web-related projects.

If money starts to temporarily shift away from Internet development and towards infrastructure upgrade, then now might be a good time for Web professionals to take a look at Microsoft's approach to creating dynamic Web pages.

This month's analysis of the Boston job market focuses on Microsoft-centric technologies. For Web professionals these include Internet Explorer 7, ASP.NET and SQL Server 2005 .

Internet Explorer 7

The rapid upgrade from Internet Explorer 6 (IE6) to Internet Explorer 7 (IE7) continues. Three months after its official release IE7 now accounts for a greater percentage of the browser market than Firefox, Safari and all other browsers combined. Still, the vast majority of Web surfers (54%) continue to use IE6 which is a troublesome browser for Web design professionals to work with. However, if the upgrade to IE7 continues at the current pace, IE7 might become the most popular browser on the Web as soon as April.


Note: Web browser statistics for January are located in the right-hand column.

ASP.NET

ASP.NET is a set of web application development technologies marketed by Microsoft and used to build dynamic web sites. PHP is one popular open-source alternative to ASP.NET.

The number of jobs listed at BostonWorks.com in the greater Boston area that request knowledge in each of these technologies are as follows:

Currently there are more than three times as many opportunities for Microsoft-centric Web programmers than for open-source Web programmers.

SQL Server 2005

SQL Server is a relational database management system (RDBMS) developed by Microsoft. MySQL is one popular open-source alternative to SQL Server.

The number of jobs listed at BostonWorks.com in the greater Boston area that request knowledge in each of these technologies are as follows:
Currently there are more than seven times as many opportunities for Microsoft-centric database developers than for open-source database developers.

If you are not yet familiar with Microsoft's approach to Web development, perhaps now is a good time to test the waters while the Microsoft marketing machine is in full gear. Knowing Microsoft-specific technologies opens the door to three to seven times as many job opportunities as compared with open-source alternatives.

Exploring these technologies need not be expensive. For example, Microsoft provides you with all of the software and training videos you need to get started. These resources are FREE. Simply access
ASP.NET to get started today. You can even begin learning Microsoft's implementation of Ajax, a buzzword that is associated with Web 2.0.

Note: "Average Salaries in Boston" and "Top 10 Web Technologies in Boston" have been updated to reflect February statistics. Data and links are located in the right-hand column.


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