Thursday, December 22, 2005

Outlook 2006, Part 1

Corporate IT hiring continues at its strongest pace in the last three and a half years. Overall, 13 percent of Chief Information Officers (CIOs) at large companies plan to hire staff during the first quarter, compared to just one percent who plan to decrease staff. This net 12 percent gain matches last quarter and is 33 percent higher than a year ago at this time.

Survey results are part of a quarterly national poll of more than 1,400 CIOs at U.S. companies with more than 100 employees. Details are available from
Robert Half Technology.

Microsoft Windows (NT/2000/XP) administration expertise and SQL Server management continue to be the technical skills that show the strongest demand.

In addition, CIO magazine's fourth annual
State of the CIO survey finds that one trend that continues is the pressure on IT executives to drive business innovation with technology. CIOs say the skill sets needed are less technical (i.e. programmers) and more analytical and managerial (i.e. strategists and project managers). In fact, project management is at the top of the skills that CIOs value most.

Based on these two surveys Web developers can get the attention of large company CIOs by focusing on three areas in 2006:
  • Upgrade your database skills by adding SQL Server to your technical skill set
  • Develop one new project where you can document helping solve a business need though the innovative use of technology
  • Document your project management skills by delivering this new project on time and under budget by working as part of (or ideally by leading) a team

Fortunately, developing technical expertise need not be expensive. Microsoft offers a SQL Server 2005 Express Edition available for FREE download. In addition, Microsoft also offers nine FREE online courses to help you develop SQL Server 2005 skills!

With a working knowledge of SQL Server and ASP.NET you can develop and manage a Web project that is database-driven and demonstrates the innovative use of technology designed to help solve a pressing business need.

Once complete, CIOs would love to hear about your solution. To help put you in touch with technology officers, Beantown Web has introduced a new service called Web Apprentices Career Center. In particular, check out one-click access to the largest 25 publicly-held technology companies in Massachusetts which are listed in the Boston Globe as the High Tech 25.