Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Design Deadline

Design Deadline is a new Web-based service developed to help Web designers complete projects in a timely manner.

If you are a Web designer working on an independent project and are looking for a little extra motivation to complete a project, then consider turning to your online peers for help.

Simply Register

If you are working on a redesign, simply upload a "before" screen shot of the current Website anytime before the monthly deadline. Then, upload an "after" screen shot of your redesign within a week of the deadline.

Once the deadline has passed registered users will be allowed to comment on your design work and provide feedback. Since only registered users will be allowed to comment, the feedback you receive will likely be from fellow designers who are motivated enough to review your work and professional enough to provided meaningful feedback.

The service can be useful for Web applications, company sites, personal blogs, redesigns, brand new designs — you name it. As a member of Design Deadline you can rank sites, comment on them and identify favorites.

First Tuesday

Mark your calendar for the first Tuesday of every month. The first portfolio review is scheduled for February 5, 2008.

The Creator

This service was developed by Adam Howell, a UI (user interface) designer and front-end engineer at Google. Check out Design Deadline and sign up today.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Tech Worker Hourly Wages

Technology wages are near an all-time high recorded in February according to a newly released quarterly survey of more than 9,000 hiring managers representing more than 15 major metropolitan areas.

Yoh Index of Technology Wages

The average hourly wage for tech workers approaches $32 per hour.

Not all technology skills are valued equally, however. Among the hottest skills, according to Yoh Index of Technology Wages are the following:

  • Java developers
  • .Net developers
  • Oracle database administrators
The average hourly wage of a Java developer, for example, approaches $51 per hour.

This tech profile mirrors the demand for technology workers as identified in the Top 20 Web Technologies in Boston located in the right-hand column.

Demand for .NET Developers

The demand for .NET developers also parallels recent trends.

Two competing technologies for developing interactive websites are PHP and ASP.NET. According to PHP's own website, PHP usage has leveled off after years of growth.

The Web server technology platforms that support PHP and ASP.NET are Apache and Internet Information Server (IIS), respectively.

According to Netcraft's monthly Market Share for Top Servers, Apache's commanding market share has dropped to 50% for the first time since 1998. Microsoft's share has climbed to an all-time high of 35 percent.

Fortune 1000 Web Servers

Further analysis reveals that Microsoft web server technology holds a commanding lead in the large companies that comprise the Fortune 1000.

According to port80 Software, web server share in this market is as follows:

.NET Future

Demand for .NET developers should stay strong, if not expand, as Microsoft continues on a pace of reporting its fastest quarterly operating growth since 1999. The company has already begun focusing its formidable marketing resources ahead of the release of SQL Server 2008 and Visual Studio 2008 scheduled for the first quarter of the new year.

If your target market is medium to large companies, you can't afford to bet against Microsoft. Consider adding ASP.NET to your Web development arsenal by downloading express (free) editions of SQL Server 2005 and Visual Web Developer today.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Mass High Tech All Stars

The 16 most influential and dynamic leaders from across New England's innovation economy were honored at a ceremony last week coordinated by Mass High Tech: The Journal of New England Technology.

A special Distinguished Alumnus Award was presented to Desh Deshpande, Founder and Chairman, Sycamore Networks, Inc.

Here are the remaining honorees in each category:


Jeremy Allaire, Founder & CEO | Brightcove, Inc.

Interactive Media

Thomas Burgess, Founder and CEO | Third Screen Media

Media Web 2.0

Joe Chung, Co-Founder and CEO | Allurent, Inc.


Meredith Flynn-Ripley, CEO | Integra5, Inc.


Michael Greeley, Founder & General Partner | IDG Ventures


Helen Greiner , Co-Founder & Chairman | iRobot Corp.
Colin Angle, Co-Founder & CEO | iRobot Corp.


Dev Ittycheria, President, CEO & Director | BladeLogic, Inc.


Yael Maguire, Co-Founder & CTO | ThingMagic, Inc.


Andy Ory, Co-Founder, President & CEO | Acme Packet, Inc.

Medical Devices

Amar Sawhney, Founder, President & CEO | I-Therapeutix Inc.


Jit Saxena, Chairman & CEO | Netezza Corp.


David Vieau, President & CEO | A123 Systems, Inc.

Information Systems

Bill Warner, Founder | Warner Research, LLC

Life Sciences

Christoph Westphal, Vice Chairman & CEO | Sirtris Pharmaceuticals. Inc.


Elizabeth Wilson, Engineering Fellow | Raytheon Company

Friday, October 19, 2007

2007 Technology Leadership Awards

The Mass Technology Leadership Council recognized leading individuals and companies in Massachusetts at an awards banquet last evening.

The individual awards recognize the best and brightest technology innovators and leaders. The corporate awards are bestowed upon companies that either develop or implement innovative technology solutions.

Here are the honorees (category winner identified with a ★):

Individual Categories

CEO of the Year

CIO of the Year

CTO of the Year

CXO of the Year

Emerging Executive of the Year

Mover and Shaker of the Year

Corporate Categories

Enterprise Applications

Communications / Infrastructure



User / Implementer

Details can be found in three press releases (1, 2, 3) available from Mass High Tech.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

The Web Design Survey

Nearly 33,000 web professionals worldwide contributed to a survey on the business of web design and development. The survey was conducted by A List Apart.

Here are a few highlights . . .


The largest age group (44%) are between the ages of 25 and 32. A majority (52%) have a Bachelor's degree. An overwhelming majority (83%) are male.

Where We Work

Most Web professionals (73%) work in one of three environments:

  • corporation -- 28%
  • self-employed -- 23%
  • consulting agency -- 22%

Show Me The Money

The two largest salary categories are as follows:

  • $40k to $60k -- 23%
  • $20k to $40k -- 20%

Six Figures

Six percent of Web professionals earn six figure salaries. Of these the most common job titles are as follows:

  • accessibility expert
  • creative director
  • information architect
  • interface designer
  • usability expert
  • web producer
  • web director

Staying Current

The most popular methods of staying current in the field are as follows:

  • websites/blogs/zines -- 95%
  • trial & error -- 78%
  • books -- 76%

Most Valuable Skills

The four most valuable skills respondents said they needed to succeed in their current job are as follows:

  • Markup (XHTML) -- 81%
  • Development (PHP, ASP.NET) -- 78%
  • Coding (CSS) -- 78%
  • Programming (JavaScript) -- 76%

Between 20 percent and 25 percent of Web professionals say the they don't have the skills they need to succeed.

Download a detailed 81-page summary (pdf) of the A List Apart survey.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Where Does Boston Rank?

When it comes to high tech employment which areas of the country come to mind first?

  • Silicon Valley?
  • Seattle?
  • Boston?

Buried Treasure

A new report reveals that none of these three areas are among the Top Four high tech employment centers in the United States. In fact, Boston is only the third largest technology center on the East Coast.

According to this report the New York City metropolitan area employs nearly twice as many technology professionals as the greater Boston area.

Here are the largest metropolitan areas for technology workers along with the total number of workers:

  1. New York City -- 620,000
  2. Los Angeles -- 484,000
  3. Washington, DC -- 377,000
  4. Chicago -- 356,000
  5. Boston -- 318,000
  6. San Jose -- 251,000
  7. Seattle -- 209,000

A press release of "Buried Treasure: New York City's Hidden Technology Sector" is available for review. An Executive Summary (pdf) is also available, as well as, a Full Report (pdf) from the Industrial and Technology Assistance Corporation (ITAC).

The Dice Report -- "The Career Hub for Tech Insiders" -- publishes The Dice Report . The September findings confirm the relative size of the Boston job market. Currently, there are more than 4,000 high tech job vacancies posted at their Boston Dice Website, ranking Boston as the sixth largest technology marketplace.

The Top Tech Skills according to are as follows:

Operating Systems
  • Windows
  • Unix
  • Oracle
  • SQL
Programming Languages
  • C, C++, C#
  • J2EE/Java

High Tech Pays Well

Average salaries according to "Buried Treasure" exceed $75,000.

Average salaries according to "The Dice Report" exceed $73,000.

Boston Two Step

According to the Dice Tech Appeal Index, more than 90 percent of technology professionals continue to be overwhelmingly satisfied and loyal to the technology field. More than 85 percent of technology professionals are likely to recommend technology as a career to others.

If you are a Web designer/developer and would like one of these high paying high tech jobs, consider setting measurable targets in each of the following two areas:

  • upgrade your network of contacts -- how many of the 318,000 tech workers in the Boston area are part of your professional network?
  • upgrade your skill set -- developing database and programming skills will enhance your employment opportunities

Monday, October 08, 2007

MITX Awards Finalists, Part 2

The Massachusetts Innovation & Technology Exchange (MITX) has announced the finalists for the 2007 MITX Awards. This 12th annual initiative recognizes excellence in the creation of interactive technologies designed, produced, or developed in New England.

Finalists were announced in two awards categories:

  • Part 1 reviews the General Categories finalists
  • Part 2 reviews the BIMA Categories finalists

BIMA Categories

BIMA Categories represents online marketing, mobile, video and search campaigns as well as social media and other emerging technology programs.

The Boston Interactive Media Association (BIMA) is New England’s only online advertising focused industry group, comprised of over 2,000 online advertising and marketing professionals with business interests in the New England market.

Web designers and developers can review The Finalists below to identify award-winning techniques and trends.

Acquisition/Direct Marketing Campaign

Best Integrated Campaign

Best Use of Mobile

Best Use of Search

Best Use of Social Media

Best Use of Sponsorship

Best Use of Video

Brand/Launch Campaign

Winners will be announced at an awards ceremony on Thursday, November 8.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

MITX Awards Finalists, Part 1

The Massachusetts Innovation & Technology Exchange (MITX) has announced the finalists for the 2007 MITX Awards. This 12th annual initiative recognizes excellence in the creation of interactive technologies designed, produced, or developed in New England.

Finalists were announced in two awards categories:

  • Part 1 reviews the General Categories finalists
  • Part 2 reviews the BIMA Categories finalists

General Categories

General Categories represents Web projects in 17 industry categories, as well as, two special categories of applied technology and rich media application.

Of The Finalists listed below, Web professionals should definitely check out Website Grader, a finalist in the Rich Media Application category. This free Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Tool measures the marketing effectiveness of a website. The application provides an overall score along with basic advice on how the website can be improved from a marketing perspective.

Web designers and developers can review The Finalists below to identify award-winning techniques and trends.

The Finalists

Applied Technology


Consumer Goods

Corporate Training and Support

Education and Learning

Educational Institution


Financial Services


Health and Fitness

Human Resources

Kids, 'Tweens & Teens


Online Commerce

Professional Services

Real Estate

Rich Media Application (RIA)

Social Computing


Travel, Tourism, and Hospitality

Winners will be announced at an awards ceremony on Thursday, November 8.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Q4 Hiring Surveys

Five employment-related surveys released over the past four weeks paint a landscape of positive, but slower growing, jobs prospects through the remainder of 2007.

Manpower Employment Outlook Survey

This survey of 14,000 U.S. employers reveals that companies have conservative hiring plans in the fourth quarter. Three times as many employers expect to increase their workforces than trim their payrolls, a decrease from previous quarters.

CEO Economic Outlook Survey

A survey of more than 100 corporate executives reveals that "CEOs see a modest decline in economic conditions in the coming months." The CEOs in this survey represent companies that employ more than 10 million workers. "The latest results continue a pattern of gradual decline in expectations since the beginning of the year," the survey concludes.

Help-Wanted OnLine Data Series

This monthly measure of online job posting activity reveals that the rate of growth in job posting has slowed in areas like the Northeast where online job advertising has been popular for some time. Still, New England continues to offer one of the highest ads rates in the country (3.65 ads per 100 persons in the regional labor force). Technology continues to be one of the top occupations with the most online ads posted.

Q4 2007 Job Forecast released its quarterly survey that projects "cautious, but steady" hiring. More than four times as many employers expect to grow their workforce than trim their workforce over the next three months. The information technology industry expects to hire more workers than in most other sectors.

Hudson Employment Index

This index of the workforce's overall confidence in the employment market presented the most cautionary outlook. The national index dropped for the second month in a row indicating that workers are concerned about future job prospects. The Boston Index also dropped on a decrease in hiring expectations. However, the industry-specific IT Workers Index reveals that IT workers are the happiest they've been two years!


Technology workers remain in demand; however, jobs are expected to be harder to come by over the next three months. Each worker must remain vigilant about expanding his/her personal marketplace by focusing on both of the following:

  • upgrading your skills
  • expanding your network of contacts


It's not what you know.
It's not who your know.
It's how well you network what you know with who you know.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Boston Market -- 4th Quarter, 2007

October marks the expansion of the Top 10 Web Technologies in Boston. The list has now doubled to include the The Top 20.

This analysis provides links to job postings in the greater Boston area and is ranked in order by how many times that technology is currently listed in job postings at

The Top 20 Web Technologies in Boston can be found in the right-hand column.

Data Rocks

In the Information Economy data rocks. Demand for database expertise continues as three of the top five web-related technologies are database-related: SQL, Oracle and SQL Server. Rounding out the top five are HTML and Java.

Web Scripting

Lurking just outside of the top five are two technologies that offer upside potential for forward-thinking Web professionals:

Each technology is listed more than 600 times in job descriptions posted in the greater Boston area. Proficiency in these two technologies opens doors to Web-based jobs. In addition, these two languages combine to form the basis for the fastest growing technology in the Boston Market today. That technology is . . .

  • Ajax (Asynchronous JavaScript and XML)

Ajax sits in 16th place in the demand rankings. Ajax is now listed in more job postings than either Flash or PHP at 17th and 18th places, respectively.

The job demand curve for XML, JavaScript and Ajax looks as follows:

Demand for Ajax-trained professionals has exploded from virtually zero to more than 200 jobs in just over two years!

FREE Ajax Course

If you would like your Web career to sparkle like a freshly scrubbed bathroom, consider learning more about Ajax. The best training opportunity in the fourth quarter of 2007 promises to be an 18-week "Free" AJAX Programming (with Passion!) Online Course.

The course was developed by a technology architect, consultant, and evangelist at Sun Microsystems. The next session starts Monday, October 15.

Prerequisites include the following:

  • 1 month Java programming experience
  • 1 month web application programming experience
  • some HTML experience would be helpful but not required
  • some JavaScript experience would helpful but not required

Tutorials are available to help meet the basic requirements.

Once you have successfully completed the course you will receive a certificate stating the you have "Mastered Ajax Programming Truly with Passion!"