Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Salary Guide -- 2006

"Recent gains in IT employment activity, teamed with a shallow candidate pool, are fueling competition for highly skilled individuals," according to a representative of Robert Half Technology (RHT), which recently released its 2006 Salary Guide.

According to the guide the three top high-demand specialties, along with the average starting salaries for these job functions, are as follows:

  • IT auditor ($67,000 to $94,250)
  • lead applications developer ( $72,000 to $98,250)
  • network security administrator ($67,500 to $94,750)

Additional job functions and average starting salary ranges are as follows:

  • business systems analysts ($58,750 to $84,750)
  • data analysts/report writers ($54,000 to $71,250)
  • developers/programmer analysts ($55,250 to $86,750)
  • project managers ($72,750 to $99,250)
  • quality assurance/testing managers ($67,250 to $88,250)

"Lead applications developer" is the job category that most closely resembles "Web Developer." Salary.com provides the following job descriptions that relate to "lead application developer":

Continuing education is the key to career advancement and programming skills and database expertise continue to be rewarded in the marketplace.

Robert Half Technology, a leading provider of IT professionals on a project and full-time basis, conducts its survey annually based on an in-depth analysis of thousands of job orders managed by the company's U.S. offices. A press release is available for review at the RHT Website where you can also request a free copy of the 2006 Salary Guide.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Ajax & Atlas

November 20 marked the 20th anniversary of Microsoft Windows. During the first decade of Windows, programs such as Word and Excel improved and evolved into a suite called Office. The second decade of Windows featured Internet access and connectivity to all Office applications. So, what will the third decade bring?

Well, one concept that is evolving is the interactivity of Web technologies designed to create even richer Web applications. The name for this emerging concept -- Ajax!

Ajax is an acronym for Asynchronous JavaScript and XML. It is not software. It is not a Website. It is not a development tool. Rather, Ajax is a Web development technique that relies on several of the following commonly-used Web technologies:
  • HTML
  • CSS
  • JavaScript
  • XML

Internet users typically interact with a Web server by clicking a button or a link and this "event" triggers a request for a new page. Ajax techniques allow a Web developer to create a dynamic environment for the user that bypasses this "round trip" request for information.

To see this technology in action visit Google Suggest. Simply begin typing your search request and watch as the Web server dynamically offers suggestions (without requesting a new page) based on what others have been searching for.

Microsoft likes the technology so much it has incorporated support for Ajax in its latest upgrades of ASP.NET and Visual Studio 2005. Microsoft refers to its implementation of Ajax techniques as "Atlas."

To learn more about this emerging technology access an Information Week interview with Microsoft's Atlas product manager. In addition you can access an Atlas Quickstart Tutorial at Microsoft's Atlas Website. You can also review a non-Microsoft overview of the evolution of the Ajax from Adaptive Path.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Microsoft "Sea Change"

Microsoft nearly missed the Internet party and was "blindsided" in 1995 when Netscape launched its Navigator browser. The unanticipated dawn of the Internet Age forced Bill Gates to issue his famous internal memo entitled 'The Internet Tidal Wave' that redirected Microsoft's development efforts to focus on Web-enabled products.

Fast forward 10 years and imagine a world without the Internet! What will the next 10 years bring?

While nobody knows, Bill Gates is not leaving the future up to chance. His latest company-wide e-mail, referred to as '
Sea Change', is being compared to 'The Internet Tidal Wave' in terms of impact on the company's strategic direction. And this 'sea change' has a direct positive impact on the demand for IT professionals with Web development skills.

The '
sea change' refers to the shift to Internet-based software and services. "This coming 'services wave' will be very disruptive," according to Gates. And with relatively little fanfare Microsoft announced plans for Windows Live and Office Live, two Web-based offerings that aim to help the company compete with Google and Yahoo, companies that are already seeing success with such Web-based offerings.

Whether you are a fan of Microsoft or not, history has proven that betting against Bill Gates is not a wise strategic decision. If the marketplace is indeed moving rapidly toward Internet-based software and services, then it makes sense to develop your Web skills accordingly.

Web developers in training have two primary skill-set options:
The Web services train is leaving the station. In ten years you might just look back and be glad you purchased a ticket and climbed on board today.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Boston Market -- November

The demand for Web Developers continues to outpace the demand for Web Designers by a rate of four to one in this month's analysis of the Greater Boston technology job market. Batson Computer Services provides a nice overview of the difference between a designer and a developer.

Monster.com provides the following listings (number of opportunities in parentheses):

Two key skills distinguish Web Developers from Web Designers:

  • database knowledge and expertise
  • programming knowledge and expertise
Database training opportunities for November include the following:

Programming training opportunities for November include the following:

Databases and programming are two Web Development skills you can learn today that will help you reap financial rewards tomorrow.