Friday, September 26, 2008

Microsoft Salary Survey | 2008

The results are in and it pays to develop skills implementing Microsoft's technology solutions.

The 13th annual Redmond Salary Survey has been released. The survey was a joint effort by and, two publications dedicated to serving the Microsoft technology community. Results were compiled from the returns of nearly 1,500 e-mail responses to technology professionals who implement solutions using Microsoft technologies.

Survey Highlights

  • The average base salary among survey respondents was $78,100.
  • The average bonus was $6,400.

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  • More than one in five (21%) earn a six figure salary.
  • Managers and those with project management expertise make up more than a quarter of respondents.
  • Longevity counts as the average career experience was listed as nearly 14 years.

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  • If you hold the job title "Webmaster/Developer/Producer" you can expect to earn, on average, $78,400.

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  • If your expertise is "Web Site Development/Management" you can expect to earn, on average, $80,900.

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The Next Step

Web developers who are open to learning Microsoft technologies can focus first on developing generic skills such as the following:

  • SQL | #1
  • Ajax | #15
Then, attention can be focused on gaining experience implementing these skills using Microsoft's technologies including the following:
  • SQL Server | #4
  • C# | #7
  • ASP.NET | #12

NOTE: The number represents the relative value in the Boston marketplace with links to job listings in the right-hand column.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

WebAwards | 2008

The Web Marketing Association announced the winners of its twelfth annual WebAward Competition for Web site development.

A snapshot of the competition:

  • 2,400 website entries
  • 45 countries
  • 96 industry categories

Entries were judged on the following criteria:

  • design
  • copy writing
  • innovation
  • content
  • interactivity
  • navigation
  • use of technology

Web designers and developers can review these award-winning sites to stimulate creativity and benchmark Web creation standards.

The Best of The Web

The Best of Show Winner was Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.

Here are the Best of Industry award winning websites for 2008:

Additional award-winning categories can be searched at the WebAward site.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Manpower Employment Outlook | Q4 2008

Manpower's latest employment projections suggest "continuing softness in hiring activity" during the fourth quarter of 2008. Overall, Manpower expects a Net Employment Outlook of +9%, meaning more hiring is expected than layoffs. In particular,

  • 22% of employers expect staffing increases
  • 13% of employers expect staffing reductions

Approximately 14,000 employers across the United States participated in this survey. Details of the survey can be found in a Manpower press release.

Massachusetts Employment Outlook

A closer looks at the data for Massachusetts suggests that not all regions of the state can expect to participate in this "continuing softness" equally. If fact, much of the Boston metro area can expect hiring rates better than the national average. With the exception of Boston proper, employers north and west of the city, as well as, along the South Shore, will be looking to add new employees at rates up to 10 times more frequently than those anticipating layoffs.

For example, employers along the 128 Corridor (Burlington to Waltham) report the following:

  • 37% of employers expect staffing increases
  • 3% of employers expect staffing reductions

This net change of +34% reveals that companies in this part of the Boston metro area will be most aggressive in their hiring plans.

Here is a chart of hiring expectations throughout Massachusetts for the 4th quarter of 2008:

Manpower provides a snapshot of Massachusetts' companies hiring plans (pdf) for the fourth quarter.

New England's Digital Industry

Workers looking for opportunities will likely improve their chances of success by targeting companies along the Route 128 Corridor. It is likely not a coincidence that many of the employees that make up New England's Digital Industry work at companies that have offices along Route 128.

Technology opportunities continue to lead employment growth. Workers with solid technology skills and a professional network that extends into technology companies should fair better than average in an economy that exhibits "continuing softness."

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Web Innovators Group | WebInno19

If you are interested in previewing the latest innovations on the Internet and mobile devices, check out the next gathering of the Web Innovators Group.

This 19th installment (WebInno19) will feature the following presentations (sign in to your LinkedIn account on a separate tab, then click the "in" icon below to reveal your LinkedIn contacts at each company):

Main Dishes

  • Givvy | the first comprehensive charitable giving management solution; track both online and offline donations; compare how you donate to others in your network; receive systematic recommendations based on your giving behavior.

  • Brring | develops services and technologies allowing you to customize your communications: customize your ringback tones; form and join calling groups; connect with friends through social networking applications such as Facebook.

  • Pixily | a simple, intuitive and one of a kind service that helps you aggregate, organize, find and share your paper and digital documents online.

Side Dishes

  • Tune Rooms | record your music, upload and collaborate

  • Peopleahead | a career advancement website

  • JobVent | inside information about the jobs and employers we love and hate

  • VendorCity | connects your company with the best vendors that service your area

  • Openvote | a Facebook application designed to find out what your campus is thinking

  • RunKeeper | allows you to track your runs and map and view progress in your running history


Monday, September 15, 2008, 6:30 pm

Royal Sonesta Cambridge

Registration is FREE and the networking could prove invaluable! Check out the Attendee List of several hundred pre-registrants to determine if this networking event is right for you.

Registrants are encouraged to join the Boston Web Innovators Group on LinkedIn and connect with more than 700 members.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

IT Hiring Index & Skills Report | Q4 2008

"Organizations are directing recruitment efforts toward professionals who can . . . support the launch of Web 2.0 based functionality."

This is one conclusion reached as a result of a quarterly survey of Chief Information Officers (CIOs).

Robert Half Technology

According to a quarterly hiring index compiled by Robert Half Technology there will be a net increase in hiring in the greater Boston area during the fourth quarter. Here are the hiring plans for Boston Metro area technology executives according to The Boston Globe:

  • 13 percent plan to add staff
  • 5 percent anticipate personnel reductions

Skills in Demand

While Web professionals are not the top hiring priority for CIOs, Web development / website design skills are valued by 42% of those surveyed.

The Skills Behind Web 2.0

Earlier this year PC World published an article by Katherine Spencer Lee, the same Robert Half Technology executive who announces the quarterly skills report. In the article entitled Web 2.0: The Skills Behind the Buzzword she outlined many of the skills that she feels comprise a Web 2.0 skillset including the following:

  • Microsoft .NET
  • Ajax
  • JavaScript
  • (X)HTML
  • CSS

Boston Market

All of the skills mentioned above are in the Top 20 listed in the right-hand column. The September Boston Market Report reveals that "Web 2.0" is in 24th position on the skills-in-demand list ahead of the following popular design-oriented skills:

  • Dreamweaver | #25
  • InDesign | #34
  • Fireworks | #46

Adding Web 2.0 skills and experience to your resume will not only help open up doors with technology executives, they may even make you the coolest kid on your block!

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Boston Market | September 2008

An annual survey on employment and compensation trends released last week reveals that employers are just as anxious about the current job market as those looking for work.

Both employers and employees were asked to rate the current job market on a scale of one to five (five being the most challenging). Here are the ratings:

  • rating given by job seekers in finding a job: 3.56
  • rating given by employers in finding qualified candidates: 3.47

On average it takes between four to 14 weeks to fill an open position. The more senior-level positions require the most time.

Companies continue to face a shortage of highly skilled professionals in certain fields. Two professions, in particular, were singled out:

  • technology
  • accounting

A press release of The Employment Dynamics and Growth Expectations (EDGE) Report summarizes the responses from more than 500 hiring managers and 500 workers and is available from both Robert Half Technology and

Boston Market

Not all technology skills are equally valued in the marketplace, however. This monthly Boston Market analysis of the technology skills most in-demand reveals a general move to the downside since early August. This in not unexpected since August is a traditionally slow hiring month.

The Top 20 Web Technologies in Boston has been updated and appears in the right-hand column. The three technology skills (followed by the number of job postings) that bucked the seasonal downward trend were as follows:

All three technologies are core Web development skills and posted slight increases from early August.

A quick look at the marketplace using a different set of keywords (followed by the number of job postings) reveals the following:

  • Web Developer | 88
  • Web Designer | 30
  • Graphic Designer | 26

By this rough measure the demand for Web Developers outpaces the demand for both Web Designers and Graphic Designers combined by more than 50%.

Useful Technology Career Websites

As we enter what should be a promising two month hiring window (September and October), Web technology professionals who are looking to maximize their employment prospects should consider expanding their use of career websites targeting technology professionals.

According to a recent Network World article entitled Looking for IT Work in all the Right Places, technology professionals should consider expanding their search to include the following technology-friendly resources:

  1. Dice
  2. RealMatch!
  3. Smuz
  4. Jobfox
  5. Doostang
  6. The Laddders
  7. Jobs in Pods
  8. Thingamajob
  10. CareerOneStop
  14. JobSniper
  15. Blue Chip Expert
  18. Indeed
  19. Simply Hired

Final Thoughts

While job boards are one source of information, keep in mind that according to the 7th Annual Sources of Hire Study, employee referrals (28%) outpace job boards (26%) as a more efficient tool for hiring new staff from outside an organization.

According to Network World, "Recruiters would rather search LinkedIn or Facebook than go out to Monster because they find more active candidates and less stale information."

So, get out from behind the monitor, meet with people face to face and keep your LinkedIn profile and connections up to date.