Sunday, February 27, 2011

Startup Watch | January 2011

As the job market for Web technology professionals heats up, the market for ninjas, gurus and rockstars is boiling!

Dharmesh Shah, Founder and CTO at HubSpot, is looking for developers. There is just one catch. Only awesome ones need apply. Refer an awesome developer and pocket $10,000. Check out the details in his blog post entitled HubSpot Fires First Shot in Boston Battle For Talent: $10,000 Bounty.

This is not just a Boston phenomenon. Rand Fishkin, CEO at SEOmoz in Seattle, has upped the ante to $12,000 for software engineers. Details at WANTED: Software Engineers REWARD: $12,000. To be considered you must be amazing.

GRANA Opportunities

So, are there job opportunities in the current market? Yes, if you can demonstrate GRANA skills:

  • Guru
  • Rockstar
  • Awesome
  • Ninja
  • Amazing

After all of the GRANA coders are locked up with long-term stock options there might even be a few opportunities remaining for mere mortals.

Startup Watch for January

Mass High Tech highlights startup companies each week in a series called "Five You Should Follow."

Here are 11 startup companies to keep your eye on:

[NOTE: Hover over company name to view a tooltip summary of that company's value proposition.]

Five new startups are listed every Tuesday at Mass High Tech -- The Journal of New England Technology. Access Startup News for details. If your company was founded within the last three years, and would like to be considered for the Watch List, contact the Startup Watch editor.

Access previous Startup Watch lists:

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Friday, February 18, 2011

Ruby on Rails | Boston

The growing demand for Web technology workers can only be met by increasing the supply of skilled candidates. Skill is developed through a combination of training and practice.

Crisis or Opportunity?

The unemployment crisis is not abating. Yet, as reported in Boston Market | February 2011, the demand for Web technology workers increased steadily in 2010 and experienced an upward spike in January.

Still, many unemployed and underemployed workers are underskilled for these information technology opportunities.

Ruby on Rails

Let's dig deeper and explore a technology whose demand profile does not yet place it on the Top 20 Web Technologies in Boston list posted in the right-hand column:

~ Ruby on Rails | 43 job postings

This technology was developed by 37 Signals, creators of Basecamp, the popular online project collaboration tool, and authors of Rework, one of the Best Business Books of 2010. Wikipedia provides a nice overview of Ruby on Rails (RoR) which is defined as an open source web application framework.

You may already be using an RoR application and not even be aware of it. Twitter and Groupon are just two of many thousands of websites built using Ruby on Rails.

A recent Dice article confirms that "demand is high, but supply is low" for Ruby on Rails experts in the greater Boston area. There apparently is a talent shortage in other large technology markets as well, including Chicago.

Training Opportunity

A Cambridge-based venture capital firm, Fairhaven Capital, has joined forces with thoughtbot, inc., a Boston-based web design and development company, to offer Ruby on Rails training at a 50% discount. Not just anyone can sign up, however. You have to apply.

First, you must demonstrate experience in web languages such as Java, Python, C#, PHP, HTML, and SQL.

Second, preference will be given to developers from start-up companies.

If you feel you meet the qualification standards, then apply online for one of the 25 available training slots.

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Sunday, February 13, 2011

Boston Market | February 2011

Demand for information technology talent exploded in January!

Job postings for the top 20 Web-related technology skills in Boston increased 36 percent year over year, as detailed in the Boston Market | January 2011 post. From early January to early February these same technology skills experienced an average 49 percent increase!

  • Top 20 Skills (January 2010 - January 2011) 36%
  • Top 20 Skills (January 2011 - February 2011) 49%

We'll take a closer look at the numbers in a minute. First the bigger picture.

Job Growth 2010

According to the Labor Department three U.S. metropolitan areas added the most jobs in 2010:

  • Washington, DC
  • Dallas
  • Boston

All three cities are home to industries that are poised to hire this year:

  • information technology
  • biomedical research firms
  • government contractors

Details can be found in a Bloomberg Businessweek article.

Boston Market

The list of Top 20 Web Technologies in Boston has been updated for February and appears in the right-hand column. The list is comprised of keyword searches for web-related technologies mentioned in job postings at (managed by

The usual suspects of programming and database skills populate the Top 10 including the following:

#3 - Java 53% in 30 days
#5 - JavaScript 57% in 30 days
#6 - XML 50% in 30 days
#8 - C# 54% in 30 days

The biggest mover, however, enters the Top 10 for the first time:

#9 - social media 73% in 30 days

A closer looks at the posted jobs that list "social media" in the description reveals that many of the positions are more suited for writers and marketers. None-the-less, the social media experience occurs on the Web and Web technology professionals should know how to incorporate social media content into Web projects. This content includes, but is not limited to the following:

~ Facebook integration
~ Twitter integration
~ YouTube integration

Social Media Opportunity

Social media is not a passing fancy any more than the World Wide Web is a fad that will quietly disappear. Web technology professionals should consider adding "social media" to their technology skill set.

The best way to start is to develop a 30-day action plan to incorporate Facebook, Twitter and YouTube into your business communications.

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