Friday, November 02, 2007

Boston Market -- November

The employment picture in Boston is currently giving mixed signals.

On the One Hand

The Hudson Employment Index reveals that Bostonians are a little gloomier about job prospects than their counterparts in other metropolitan areas. Boston registered its lowest scores in the last 12 months.

The Monster Employment Index revealed that New England recorded larger than average gains in job postings in the last month compared with other regions of the country. However, its Index for Boston (pdf) is tracking the "slowest annual growth rate on record."

On the Other Hand

The same Hudson Employment Index revealed "a huge demand for skills, and some of it is going unfilled," according to a Hudson representative quoted in InformationWeek. Web development skills that are most in-demand include Ajax and Java programmers.

"Demand for IT workers in the U.S. remains healthy and will likely remain that way for the remainder of the year,” according to a spokesperson representing the Spherion IT Employment Report.

Small and medium-sized business (SMBs) are optimistic about the business outlook for the next 12 months and plan to invest in technology and staff. A Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA) survey of more than 700 business owners with less than 1,000 employees reveals that technology investment is a vehicle for enhancing productivity.

What to Ask

So, what is a web technology professional to do? Focus on implementing technology solutions that help both you and the organization(s) you represent become more productive.

Ask yourself the following three questions:

Question #1

Can I demonstrate that the most important project I am currently working on is enhancing the productivity of my organization by increasing revenue or decreasing expenses?

Question #2

Do I have a plan for developing a technology skill that has value in today's marketplace (see the Top 20 Web Technologies in Boston in the right-hand column)?

Question #3

What networking activity can I undertake to enhance my contacts in the marketplace?

Where to Go

If you are looking for a way to enhance your technical skills and develop new contacts, consider attending Flex Camp Boston. The day-long series of seminars on Friday, December 7 is designed to introduce you to Adobe Flex 2, an entry into the emerging Rich Internet Application (RIA) marketplace.

Flex 2 is not yet a Top 20 skill. However, you can't go wrong when you get to learn an emerging technology and network with your peers for only $10! Register now while seats are still available.

What to Do

If you are looking to develop two Top 20 skills (PHP and SQL) that are in demand today, consider taking an online course entitled PHP & MySQL: Building Web Applications.

The course is FREE and made available compliments of Hewlett-Packard. The course runs from November 2 through December 7.