Saturday, November 20, 2010

Top 50 Requested Skills | Q3 2010

Freelance developers and designers can compare their current skill set with marketplace demand by accessing State of the Work-From-Home and Freelancing Economy. This third quarter report is presented by DoNanza, the largest search engine for work-from-home and freelance jobs.

Content Management Systems

The report begins with a comparison of the Big Three Content Management Systems (CMS):

CMS Conclusion

While the highest demand in the CMS freelance market is for WordPress developers, project budgets are highest for Drupal developers, perhaps because these projects tend to be more complicated and time consuming.

What is most striking is the average budget per project:

Does this mean that in order to generate $50,000 per year in revenue, WordPress and Joomla! developers need to complete approximately two projects per week?

Bigger Picture

Buried at the bottom of this report is the Top 50 Requested Skills. A comparison of this list for freelancers with the Top 20 Twenty Web Technologies in Boston (right-hand column) for job seekers yields some interesting results.

Caveat: With all ranking systems someone will likely be unhappy. Just take a look at the NCAA College Football Polls. Apples and oranges comparisons should never be taken as gospel. The two lists in this comparison measure different things. None-the-less, general patterns emerge.

Twenty technologies appear on the Top 50 versions of both lists. Only six technologies are common to both Top 20 lists.

Top Six Skills

Web developers and designers who are open to BOTH job opportunities and freelance gigs can maximize their universe of possibilities by focusing on the following six technology skills (freelance ranking vs. job list ranking):

~ PHP | #1 vs. #14
~ HTML | #3 vs. #9
~ Photoshop | #9 vs. #20
~ CSS | #10 vs. #9
~ JavaScript | #12 vs. #6
~ Ajax | #19 vs. #12

Web professionals who want to be in position to play for a national championship should develop these six fundamental "blocking and tackling" skills and take on projects that demonstrate proficiency with these technologies.

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