Sunday, September 23, 2007

New England Technology Fast 50

The 11th annual New England Technology Fast 50 list has been released. It ranks the fastest growing companies by percentage of revenue growth over the last five calendar years.

The ranking includes companies in the following four business sectors:

  • technology
  • media
  • telecommunications
  • life sciences

Technology companies predominate the list, as do companies from Massachusetts.

Rising Stars

A special category called "Rising Stars" recognized the fastest growing companies over a three-year period. These companies were:

Fast growing companies need "rising star" employees to keep growing. If you have a technology background and are looking to make a career move, then consider targeting these Fast 50 companies.

The List

Here are the 50 fastest growing technology companies in New England:

  1. iTech US, Inc. (South Burlington, VT)
  2. Vestmark, Inc. (Wakefield)
  3. Litle & Co. (Lowell)
  4. Airvana, Inc. (Chelmsford)
  5. SiGe Semiconductor, Inc. (Methuen)
  6. IneoQuest Technologies, Inc. (Mansfield)
  7. Endeca Technologies, Inc. (Cambridge)
  8. Idenix Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Cambridge)
  9. TheNextRound, Inc. (Westborough)
  10. Bullhorn, Inc. (Boston)
  11. Cubist Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Lexington)
  12. NitroMed, Inc. (Lexington)
  13. Evergreen Solar, Inc. (Marlborough)
  14. Constant Contact, Inc. (Waltham)
  15. NeuroMetrix, Inc. (Waltham)
  16. iRobot Corp. (Burlington)
  17. SoundBite Communications, Inc. (Burlington)
  18. Indevus Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Lexington)
  19. Compete, Inc. (Boston)
  20. OpenPages, Inc. (Waltham)
  21. NameMedia, Inc. (Waltham)
  22., Inc. (Burlington, VT)
  23. Vertical Communications, Inc. (Cambridge)
  24. VistaPrint USA, Inc. (Lexington)
  25. Infoscitex Corp. (Waltham)
  26. Network Engines, Inc. (Canton)
  27. Smarter Living, Inc. (Boston)
  28. VoiceSignal Technologies, Inc. (Woburn)
  29. Agiltron, Inc. (Woburn)
  30. CardioTech International, Inc. (Wilmington)
  31. Veroxity Technology Partners, Inc. (Bedford)
  32. Biogen Idec, Inc. (Cambridge)
  33. IPG Photonics Corp. (Oxford)
  34. Capital Fulfillment Group, Inc. (Hingham)
  35. Data Intensity, Inc. (Bedford)
  36. Oscient Pharmaceuticals Corp. (Waltham)
  37. ImmunoGen, Inc. (Cambridge)
  38. Clinical Data, Inc. (Newton)
  39. Sepracor, Inc. (Marlborough)
  40., Inc. (Waltham)
  41. Palomar Medical Technologies, Inc. (Burlington)
  42. OpenAir, Inc. (Boston)
  43. Virtusa Corp. (Westborough)
  44. Nucryst Pharmaceuticals Corp. (Wakefield)
  45. Click Tactics, Inc. (Waltham)
  46. Ektron, Inc. (Nashua, NH)
  47. Double-Take Software, Inc. (Southborough)
  48. Caliper Life Sciences, Inc. (Hopkinton)
  49. Hittite Microwave Corp. (Chelmsford)
  50. Diomed Holdings, Inc. (Andover)

Deloitte & Touche and Mass High Tech both provide summaries of the New England Technology Fast 50 ranking.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

IT Faculty Survey

Young professionals looking at career options should heed the advice of information technology (IT) instructors at colleges and universities.

Survey Says . . .

According to a recent survey, the two categories of applications that IT instructors rated student proficiency levels as "limited" or “no proficiency” are as follows:

  1. database applications (68 percent)
  2. spreadsheets (46 percent)

Here are the remaining technology skills in which students are considered most lacking by IT instructors:

  • graphic design software
  • multimedia applications
  • web creation
  • web conferencing

According to the survey results, IT instructors expect that more than half of their students will utilize IT skills in their careers after graduation.

The survey results included nearly 800 faculty members, who teach IT courses at four- or two-year colleges and universities. Cengage Learning, formerly Thomson Learning, sponsored this second annual technology survey. A summary is available for review.

The Opportunity

The survey concludes: "This is not a skill set confined to particular major or career interest – it is a life skill."

The Web is calling and young professionals are surprisingly lacking in training in how to use graphic design software and related Web creation tools. Not-so-surprising, young professionals are most ill-prepared to manage data in database applications.


A web professional with database knowledge should continue to do well in today's knowledge economy. As reported consistently in Beantown Web, database knowledge in the form of structured query language (SQL) is the most in-demand technical skill (see right-hand column).

high SQL demand + low SQL supply = employment opportunity

If you are new to SQL, the best training opportunity available in September is self-paced training. Check out a newly released book entitled Head First SQL (Your Brain on SQL -- A Learner's Guide). A 50% discount coupon code offer applies until the end of September when ordering directly from O'Reilly Media. Combined with free shipping, an investment of under $23 is a nominal price to pay for an significant upside of career opportunities.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Two Jobs Reports

Despite a weak jobs report that stirred concern on Wall Street late last week, two new surveys suggest that a strong jobs market is expected to continue for information technology (IT) workers.

The EDGE Report

The Employment Dynamics and Growth Expectations (EDGE) Report was released last week. The report concludes that employers are finding that workers are most difficult to recruit in the following category:

  • Professional and technical

In particular the three most challenging positions to fill are as follows:

  1. sales
  2. customer service
  3. information technology

Here are the three primary reasons why companies say they are finding it difficult to fill vacant positions [ percentage of respondents ]:

  1. shortage of qualified workers [ 52% ]
  2. inability to offer competitive compensation [ 19% ]
  3. inability to offer career advancement opportunities [ 6% ]

The survey includes responses from more than 1,000 hiring managers and 900 workers, and was conducted from mid-July to early-August by Harris Interactive on behalf of Robert Half International (RHI) and

An eight-page summary (pdf) of The EDGE Report is available for download.

RHT IT Hiring Index & Skills Report

A quarterly report from Robert Half Technology takes a closer look at the IT market by surveying chief information officers (CIOs). While 14 percent of CIOs polled expect to add IT staff in the fourth quarter of this year, only two percent anticipate cutbacks.

Here are a few questions and responses that are relevant to Web technology professionals:

"Within your IT department which single job area is experiencing the most growth?"

  • data/database management [ 11% ]
  • internet/intranet development [ 9% ]
  • other responses [ 80% ]

"Which of the following technical skill sets are most in-demand within your IT department?"

  • database management [ 60% ]
  • .NET development [ 22% ]

A press release of the Robert Half Technology IT Hiring Index & Skills Report is available along with links to Hot IT Jobs and IT Skills in Demand.


These two reports suggest that technology workers are expected to have more career options than many other workers through the remainder of the year. However, not all technology skills have the same demand profile.

Web professionals who are targeting organizations with 100 or more employees for employment opportunities will do well to highlight experience with the following Microsoft-centric technologies:

  • SQL Server

Open source advocates can consider making the transition by downloading MySQL and developing a solid command of Structured Query Language (SQL).


More than 1,800 job postings in the greater Boston area currently list SQL among their requirements, making it the most in-demand Web-related skill and a core component of database-driven Web 2.0 sites. Can you afford not to structure your technical skills around SQL?

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Effective Networking

Nearly half of senior level executives surveyed are "confident" or "very confident" that the executive employment market will improve during the next six months. This level of optimism provides encouragement for those attempting to capitalize on end-of-year hiring plans.

While many of us may not be in the hunt for executive level jobs, we can learn a few lessons from those currently in executive positions who have demonstrated success at finding and excelling in jobs with significant responsibility and commensurate compensation.

Three Rules

According to ExecuNet, the executive career and business networking organization, networking consistently ranks as the most effective method for developing job opportunities. Executives report nearly twice as many interviews obtained by this method than any other approach.

Here are three rules for effective networking, according to ExecuNet:
  • Offer Help Before Asking For It
  • Avoid "Needworking"
  • Don’t Be Shy

Three Networking Opportunities

Here are three opportunities to practice your networking skills within the next week:

One Next Step

So, once you make a new connection by practicing the three rules at one of the three networking events, the next step is to systematically manage your new connections.

According to an article in USA Today, more than 1.4 million senior executives have LinkedIn accounts. Senior executives understand the value of effective networking. Let's follow their lead and the next door that opens might be a door to the corner office.

Monday, September 03, 2007

Boston Market -- September

MonsterTRAK is the student division of, the online careers and recruitment resource. Based on the number of entry-level job opportunities posted to MonsterTRAK, one of the five occupations with the greatest demand for young professionals is the following:

  • Computer, Information Technology and Mathematical
According to a MonsterTRAK press release, this category has provided the greatest increase in opportunities over the past year with programming and web design being among the most desired positions.

Development vs. Design

This month's analysis of the Boston job market reveals that Web programmers are in greater demand than Web designers. A keyword search at reveals a demand ratio of 3.5 to 1.0 in favor of Web developers:
Web design and Web development are segments of a continuum of technology skills. These skills can be placed into the following five categories:

structure > presentation > behavior > logic > content

In an open source environment the most popular Web skills in each category are as follows:

HTML > CSS > JavaScript > PHP > MySQL

In a closed source environment (Microsoft, for example) the Web skills in each category are as follows:

HTML > CSS > JavaScript > ASP.NET > SQL Server

Here are the demand rankings for these skills in the greater Boston area, based on keyword searches [ relative ranking of number of jobs posted ]:

  • HTML [ #4 ]
  • JavaScript [ #6 ]
  • SQL Server [ #7 ]
  • ASP.NET [ #11 ]
  • CSS [ #14 ]
  • MySQL [ #19 ]
  • PHP [ #22 ]

Here are four additional skills directly related to the five design/development continuum categories:

You can use this demand analysis to identify one technology with the highest demand ranking not currently in your skill set and commit to a goal of improving that skill over the next 30 days.

A Web technology professional who can deliver an end-to-end solution -- from structure through content -- is valued in today's Boston Market.


Top 10 Web Technologies in Boston has been updated for September and appears in the right-hand column.

Average Salaries in Boston has also been updated for September and appears in the right-hand column.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Labor Day: Salaries, Part III

This three-part Labor Day special report focuses on three salary surveys.

Part I examines the 2007 AIGA|Aquent Salary Survey.

Part II examines the 2007 InformationWeek IT Salary Survey.

Part III examines the 2007 Redmond's (Microsoft) IT Salary Survey.

Redmond's 12th Annual IT Salary Survey

Redmond Magazine is the independent voice of the Microsoft information technology (IT) community. Its 12th annual Salary Survey is subtitled "Break Out the Bubbly." Presented here are a few highlights that are relevant for Web technology professionals.

The overall base salary of all survey respondents (excluding bonuses) is $72,000. Adding in an average bonus of nearly $6,000 brings average cash compensation to nearly $78,000. Salary Distribution is available for review.

Base salary for a Webmaster/Developer/Producer is $71,600.

"Becoming an expert in implementing technology is a critical component to a better salary," according to a summary of the findings. Here are the average salaries for Web-related professionals based on Technology Expertise:

  • Web Site Development/Management [ $75,100 ]
  • Database Development [ $78,800 ]
  • E-Commerce [ $82,000 ]

Middle-Aged Males

One interesting statistic from the survey reveals that male respondents outnumber female respondents by a ratio of 6-to-1.

Other findings:

  • You don't need a college degree to reach these salary levels -- nearly half of all respondents do not have a college degree.
  • You don't need a certification to reach these salary levels -- non-certified professionals actually out-earn certified professionals.

A 19-page report is available for free from the Tech Library with a one-time registration.

Next Step

If you are new to Microsoft's approach to Web development, check out ASP.NET 2.0: Building Applications, a FREE online course available from the HP Learning Center. Class begins Monday, September 3 with two modules being posted each week for a total of six modules.

Additional Surveys

Labor Day: Salaries, Part I examines the 2007 AIGA|Aquent Salary Survey.

Labor Day: Salaries, Part II examines the 2007 InformationWeek IT Salary Survey.