Saturday, February 07, 2009

Boston Market | February 2009

In January nearly every worker in Boston lost his job! Only in a science fiction movie? No, only in the United States.

If every job eliminated in the United States in January (598,000 pink slips) were concentrated in Boston, only 10,000 out of 608,000 residents would still be employed!

After the most job losses in one month since 1974, the jobless rate in the United States surged to 7.6 percent.

IT Unemployment

None-the-less, there are patches of green turf in this near-apocalyptic vision. If you are an information technology (IT) worker, you are less likely to lose your job and stay unemployed. According to InformationWeek the unemployment rate for IT workers has risen to less than half the national average -- 3.2 percent.

Of course, IT workers are not immune to layoffs in Massachusetts. However, technology workers with the right skill sets are seeing an increase in job postings for the first time in more than three months.

Boston Market -- February

The Top 20 Web Technologies in Boston has been updated for February and appears in the right-hand column. Even though Punxsutawney Phil reported six more weeks of winter, some thawing has occurred as green arrows returned to more than half of the skills indicating a selective increase in job postings for those skills over the early January job postings.

The most interesting observation to report is that open source technologies have yielded to Microsoft technologies in this the opening quarter of the 12-month long 2009 IT Super Bowl. Specifically, LAMP technologies open the year with the following declines:

PHP has dropped out of the Top 20 Web Technologies in Boston.

Replacing PHP is a rookie named SharePoint, a Microsoft technology that allows teams to collaborate. When Office mates share data, that data is stored in and retrieved from a SQL Server database. The biggest ground gainer of the month belongs to Visual Studio, a Microsoft development tool used to create Web applications. The Web development language of choice for Windows and Web applications is C#.

Here are the Microsoft stats:

First Round

In the first round of a scheduled 12-round title bout between Dynamic vs. Static web site development, the dynamic team comes out on top, especially the team headed by Microsoft. Currently, there are nearly three times as many job postings for Visual Studio tool set users as for Dreamweaver tool set users:

Training Opportunities

So, here are several cost-effective training opportunities for Web developers in February and March.

First, consider attending jQuery | An Overview from the Developer on Wednesday, February 11. jQuery recently received major street cred when Microsoft agreed to incorporate the technology into its Visual Studio Web development toolset.

Second, consider attending SharePoint Saturday Boston on Saturday, March 14.

Both events are sponsored by Microsoft and both are FREE.

Finally, if you still consider learning a Microsoft technology to be the Boston equivalent of rooting for the Yankees, consider picking up a Head First training manual:

Barnes & Noble is currently offering these newly released guides at 40% off (plus and additional 10% for members).

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