Saturday, October 04, 2008

Boston Market | 4th Quarter, 2008

Panic in the financial markets on Wall Street.

Stability in the technology job market on Beacon Street.

Top 20 Web Technologies

There are more job listings this month than last month for nine of the top 10 technologies.

The list of the most in-demand Web-related technologies has been updated and appears in the right-hand column along with links to job postings for that technology at Boston.com.

This quarterly report of the job market goes deeper than the monthly Boston Market updates. In particular, let's explore the remaining technologies that comprise the Top 50 most in-demand Web-related skills in Boston.

The Top 30

Rounding out the Top 30 are the following 10 technologies:

  1. Apache [ 110 ]
  2. VB.NET [ 108 ]
  3. Visual Studio [ 106 ]
  4. Tomcat [ 84 ]
  5. API [ 81 ]
  6. Dreamweaver [ 70 ]
  7. Web 2.0 [ 69 ]
  8. SOAP [ 67 ]
  9. SEO [ 66 ]
  10. InDesign [ 71 ]

Of these technologies the most valuable might be Visual Studio (#23) because it is the centerpiece tool for developing Microsoft-centric Web applications that incorporate the following technologies:

Each of these technologies has increased in value in the Boston marketplace since the last quarterly report, having moved up in the charts by at least one position in each case. ASP.NET climbed four positions.

The Top 40

Rounding out the Top 40 are the following 10 technologies:

  1. SaaS [ 70 ]
  2. DB2 [ 67 ]
  3. Acrobat [ 62 ]
  4. "Content Management System" [ 60 ]
  5. DHTML [ 57 ]
  6. Ruby [ 57 ]
  7. XHTML [ 52 ]
  8. Struts [ 47 ]
  9. ActionScript [ 30 ]
  10. social networking [ 30 ]

The Top 50

Rounding out the Top 50 are the following 10 technologies:

  1. VBScript [ 44 ]
  2. Quark [ 33 ]
  3. Rails [ 29 ]
  4. blog [ 24 ]
  5. ColdFusion [ 22 ]
  6. DOM [ 18 ]
  7. Fireworks [ 17 ]
  8. CS3 [ 17 ]
  9. RSS [ 16 ]
  10. QuarkXPress [ 16 ]

Out of World Series Contention

Popular Web-related technologies that don't make the Top 50 include the following:

These technologies offer value. However, relative to other technologies, there is little market demand for Web professionals with expertise in these skills compared to the Top 20 Web Technologies.

Of these technologies that are currently out of playoff contention, consider looking at jQuery, a popular JavaScript library used in Ajax development. The reason this technology will likely grow in popularity is that Microsoft has agreed to incorporate jQuery into its ASP.NET Ajax Framework.

Biggest Trend

So, let's conclude by taking a look at the Top 20 Skills in the right-hand column. Three technologies are bunched together as follows:

  1. ASP.NET [ 191 ]
  2. HTML + CSS [ 187 ]
  3. Ajax [ 175 ]

HTML & CSS are both foundational skills. ASP.NET and Ajax add a layer of value to these core skills.

Here is a trend chart of the absolute demand for these four technologies over the past several years:

When viewed on a relative scale, however, no other technology is growing in demand faster than Ajax, as evident by the chart below.

Check out Indeed's Job Trends to compare the absolute and relative values of your current skill set.

Best Training Option

The one technology that will add the most value to a Web professional's skill set over the next three months is likely to be Ajax.

The best training value in the marketplace today is Head First Ajax by O'Reilly Media. Barnes & Noble is currently offering Head First Ajax at 40% off.

For under $30 -- and an hour a day of study and practice over the next 90 days -- you can buff up your resume with Ajax and add sparkle to your career.

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