Tuesday, February 24, 2009

IT Skills & Salary Report | 2009

The average base salary of an information technology (IT) worker in Massachusetts is $88,700. Nearly half of all IT workers received a bonus last year. The median bonus was $5,000.

In addition, 70 percent of IT workers reported an increase in base salary during the previous 12 months with an average raise of six percent.

Massachusetts Salary Premium

Massachusetts IT workers receive a nearly 9 percent average base salary premium over workers throughout the United States:

Survey Details

These survey findings were released this week as the 2009 IT Skills and Salary Report. Global Knowledge, an IT and business training company, coordinated the online survey which included a participant base of more than 14,000 IT professionals. The questionnaire was distributed between October 20 and November 11, 2008.

Job Satisfaction

Money apparently does buy happiness in the current economy. Survey results reveal that job satisfaction rose with pay. Those reporting being "not satisfied" with their current job had an lower average pay than those reporting being "extremely satisfied":

Budget Responsibility

Being responsible for a budget commands a premium as indicated by the following average base salaries:

Top 20 Titles

Here are the 20 most popular job titles listed alphabetically along with the average salary for each title:

A press release is available from Global Knowledge. A more detailed summary is also available, however, registration is required to download the seven-page pdf. Registration is free.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

I've Been Blogged

Beantown Web is a "very good" blog according to the editors at Blogged.com. Their rating places Beantown Web in the top 13% of more than 1,100 blogs evaluated in the Business > Jobs & Careers category.

The editors evaluate blogs based on the following criteria:

The rating system is as follows:

Beantown Web received a 7.2 rating and a badge appears in the right-hand column reflecting this evaluation. Feel free to click on the badge and provide your own user rating of the value of Beantown Web.

Implications

If you write your own blog, or advise others on blog creation and maintenance, you can submit your blog for review. To learn more about Blogged.com's service you can review their FAQ.

Excellent Blogs

So, if Beantown Web is a "very good," who is "excellent"? Only nine blogs received this rating in the Business > Jobs & Career category. Here they are:

Now, the challenge is to take Beantown Web to the next level -- from (very) Good to Great, one of The 100 Best Business Books of All Time.

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).

Monday, February 02, 2009

Best Business Books | 2008

Introducing the 11 best business books of 2008. The 11 Best out of 11,000 business books published last year!

Regardless of our self-described identity -- web developer, web designer, etc. -- we all provide services for compensation. This process is commonly referred to a "business." Yet, many of us focus on our trade, often to the detriment of understanding the business climate in which we operate. And when that climate turns sour, we wonder where our "business" went -- our jobs, our clients, our livelihood.

Now, more than ever, we need to stay focused on the "business" of our craft. One way to do so is to establish a continuing education program to help us understand the best practices of business. Many experts make valuable contributions to the business community in the form of ink on paper. This medium has not gone away. The Internet merely provides us a mechanism to identify these published best practices.

What follows is a summary of an Internet search on "Best Business Books of 2008."

Best Business Books Lists

Here are the 11 sources used to identify the Best of the Best Business Books of 2008:

The Best of The Best

These lists mentioned 82 business books published in 2008 that stand above the rest. Sixty three books were mentioned on only one "Best of" list. Another eight books found their way onto two "Best of" lists.

Here are the 11 books that were mentioned on at least three "Best of" lists followed by the number of mentions on the 11 lists surveyed:

A Sense of Urgency

I will vouch for A Sense of Urgency being one of the best business books of 2008. I rated the book 5 stars at Goodreads.com. Check out my two reading lists in the right-hand column -- Leadership and Strategy -- for detailed reviews of my continuing education as a business professional. Additional books from The Best of The Best List above have been added to my "to-read" list.

If you feel a "sense of urgency" about the current business climate and want to position yourself to not only survive, but thrive, as our economy begins the healing process, then select one of the 11 books from the above list and begin applying the strategies to your business.

If you had to choose just one business book, what would it be? Perhaps, it might be The 100 Best Business Books Of All Time. Tune in this time next year to see if this book rose to the top of The Best Business Books of 2009.

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