Sunday, April 18, 2010

Server-Side Language of Choice

Programming languages come in all shapes, sizes and levels of complexity. If you are a front-end Web designer your exposure to programming might be limited to using prebuilt JavaScript code, perhaps generated by Dreamweaver or downloaded as part of a jQuery (JavaScript library) plugin.

XHTML, CSS and JavaScript are all referred to as client-side code because the markup can be accessed by simply using View > Source from the Web browser. What if you want to create dynamic Web page content from a database using a server-side scripting language which is hidden from the visitor downloading a page from your website? What are your choices?

Server-Side Language Options

Here are a few of the most commonly used server-side programming options:

  • ASP
  • ColdFusion
  • Java
  • Perl
  • PHP
  • Python
  • Ruby

If you were new to programming and had to choose just one server-side language to focus on, which would you select?


A popular design website, CSS-Tricks » a Web Design Community created a poll and asked readers the following question:

"What is your server-side language of choice?"

Readers were asked to choose the language that they actually like the most, even if they were familiar with several languages.

Survey Says . . .

More than 11,000 readers completed the survey since it was posted more than a month ago and the choice is abundantly clear. Here are the results:

  • PHP | 75%
  • ASP | 8%
  • Java | 5%
  • Ruby | 4%
  • Python | 3%
  • ColdFusion | 2%
  • Perl | 1%
  • Other | 2%

More than 200 readers posted comments. You can review this discussion and post your own comments at New Poll: Server Side Languages.

These results confirm the following Elance Work Index finding:

"PHP is the number 1 most in-demand skill for online work for all of 2009."

Training Options

Here are four FREE tutorial websites that Web designers and developers can access to learn how to add PHP scripting to your skill set:

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Monday, April 05, 2010

Boston Market | April 2010

Job postings have increased by more than 50% since the beginning of January for the 20 most in-demand Web technologies in Boston. Since early February only two technologies have experienced single-digit declines in postings: Photoshop and MySQL.

The updated list of Top 20 Web Technologies in Boston appears in the right-hand column. The list is compiled based on how frequently that technology or keyword appeared in job postings at which is managed by The search area is a 50-mile radius around Boston.

Database expertise continues to top the list of desired skills with the following technologies holding three of the top five positions:

A few of the biggest movers during the first quarter were the following:

  • JSP | up 79%
  • SharePoint | up 72%
  • PHP | up 70%
  • e-commerce | up 61%
  • Web services | up 60%

Training Opportunities

JavaScript opportunities abound with 289 job postings mentioning this technology, placing JavaScript in 6th position. The most popular JavaScript library is jQuery with 50 job postings. jQuery is the featured training opportunity this month with two learning seminars occurring on the same evening, Wednesday, April 7:

jQuery | Beginners
Cambridge | MIT

jQuery | Intermediate to Advanced
Boston | Downtown

With job opportunities on the rise now is the time to enhance your technology skills and expand your personal network to improve career prospects.

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Friday, March 26, 2010

SXSW Web Award Winners | 2010

More than 12,000 online voters selected this year's People's Choice Award at the SXSW Interactive Festival. And the winner is Cornify.

The five day event in Austin, Texas celebrated the best minds and the brightest personalities of emerging technology.

The judges selected their favorite (Best of Show) from the 18 finalists. And the winner is Wolfram Alpha.

Web Award Winners

Here are the 18 categories along with the winning website and the category definition:

Activism | Waterlife
Green and Non-profit websites that are striving to make the world a better place.

Amusement | Atlas Obscura
Humor, memes and all the stuff that is weird for the sake of weird.

Art | odosketch
From traditional photography to untraditional performances, this category focuses on web-based collections of life, society and culture.

Blog | The Vile Plutocrat
Sites that revolutionize the power of publishing by providing regularly updated content of a personal or professional nature.

Business | TheyMakeApps
Sites devoted to the promotional needs, functions and services of for-profit businesses.

CSS | Legwork Studio
This category showcases sites that push the boundaries of CSS coding technology, bringing together top-notch design and content with standards compliant and accessible code.

Classic |
While the SXSW Interactive Web Awards focus on the best new Internet destinations, this category is devoted to sites that launched before January 1, 2009.

Community | Aardvark
Social networks and wikis that have quickly developed an extraordinarily active multi-user community and an exceptional following of users who assist with content development.

Educational Resource | 1066
From elementary school learning to advanced technology-related tips, these are sites that help you learn.

Experimental | BooneOakley
These are cutting-edge and trend-setting destinations that are pushing the envelope and challenging our perceptions of the web.

Film / TV | Jim Carrey
Sites related to actors, television, films and the film industry, as well as destinations that offer streaming video content.

Games | Smokescreen
The online destinations that help make your life a lot more fun.

Mobile | Gowalla
Sites optimized for handheld and portable devices.

Motion Graphics | We Choose the Moon
Animations, cartoons, and other intriguing content built using applications such as Adobe / Macromedia Flash.

Music | Echo & The Bunnymen
Sites related to musicians, bands, and the music industry, as well online radio and other destinations that offer streaming audio content.

Personal Portfolio | Clouds 365 Project
The portfolios, pet projects and personal collections of individuals who are displaying their work and passions online.

Student | D.I.E. - Der Interuniversale Erdball, Inc.
This category is devoted exclusively to the student web designers who are refreshing this industry with new talent and new ideas.

Technical Achievement | Wolfram Alpha
These are the sites that are re-inventing and re-defining the technical parameters of our online experience.


Web designers and developers can scan the Web Award Winners and the Five Finalists in each category to stimulate the flow of creative approaches to resolving current design challenges.

Then, get busy designing the next award-winning website. Submissions for the 2011 awards will be accepted starting in early August. Check out the Web Awards FAQ for additional details.

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Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Startup Companies | Boston

Seventy five startup companies all looking for talent. You can talk with a company representative in person at a FREE networking event.

The only requirement is to be flexible on commitment and compensation -- bootstrapped startups may be offering alternative compensation including the following:

  • reduced rates
  • equity
  • internships
  • part time
  • etc.

The Startup Companies

Here are the startup companies, along with the company contact, who will be present at the event to answer your questions:

» Acquia | Linda Greco

» | Leah Derus

» Appswell | Daniel Sullivan

» Assured Labor Inc. | Siddhartha Goyal

» At-Hand Apps | Robert Gray

» BatchBlue Software | Michelle Riggen-Ransom

» Baydin Inc. | Alexander Moore

» BetterLesson | Alex Grodd

» Boreal Renewable Energy Development | Bob Shatten

» BostInnovation | Bradford Reynolds

» | John Puskarich

» | Kenny Mendes

» Buzzient Inc. | Andreas Goeldi

» Cambridge Innovation Center | Dougan Sherwood

» CaptureCode | Tony Padam

» Car Spots | Gerry Dube

» Chase Technology Consultants | Bill Sullivan

» CSN Stores | Jamie Dooley

» DiJiPOP | Kevin Jacobson

» EnerNOC, Inc. | Daryn Lewis

» Enterprise Search | Mike Nolan

» Enterprise Solar, LLC | Kyle McKinney

» eVisioner Inc. | David Kershaw

» Fluent Mobile | Prudence Sinclair

» Greenhorn Connect | Jason Evanish

» High Start Group | Marie Burns

» HiveFire | Taariq Lewis

» HubSpot | Yoav Shapira

» HuddleHub, Inc. | Adan Gutierrez

» Hungry Fish Media, LLC | Arjun Naskar

» IEEE Boston Section | Bruce Hecht

» Illume Software, Inc. | Marisa Evans

» Incentive Targeting | Chuck Grindel

» IRONphoenix Technologies | Kyle C. Quest

» Jobnob | Julie Greenberg

» Juegas Group | Ivan Guevara

» KMDM, Inc. | Nik Atsalis

» Kyrus Mobile | Stephen Blumberg

» Langolab | Adam Duston

» LaunchCapital | Heather Onstott

» Main Streets Interactive | Ricart Prats

» Marginize | David Opolon

» Mass Innovation Nights | Bobbie Carlton

» MassChallenge | Akhil Nigam

» MGD Graphic Design | Melissa Desautels

» Mii Gourmet NH | Nicolas Peterson

» MyMobileBrand | Elio Maggini

» Next Jump, Inc. | Rachel McClain

» North Shore Career Center | Anthony Rizzuto

» Oddfellow Studios, Inc. | Shava Nerad

» OmniStrat | Matt Johnson

» Onward Search | Sarah Wilkins

» Pinyadda | Greg Gomer

» | Beth Marcus

» Polaris Venture Partners | Jon Lim

» Postabon, Inc. | Shaneal Manek

» PR Guy | Sean Horrigan

» ProNeuros | James McLaughlin

» Rate It Green | Allison Friedman

» Ressen Design | Paul Cosway

» Siemens PLM | Michael Keane

» Sparkcloud | Nicholas Tommarello

» stealthealth | Catharine Arnston

» suren chelian dmd pllc | Suren Chelian

» SVB | Tuan Pham

» SynDevRX | Jim Shanahan

» Textaurant | Josh Bob

» The Motorsport Lab | Ray Chang

» TreeTop Technologies | Lauren Murray

» Viximo, Inc. | Chris Quirk

» Vox Network Technologies | Arnold Engel

» Wattzy | Alex Patriquin

» Yes Energy | Andrew Lewis

» ZoomInfo | Chip Terry

» zthere | Daniel Ostrower

How To Participate

Date: Wednesday, March 24, 4:30 PM

Location: Tequila Rain (near Fenway Park)

Registration (FREE): Jobnob Boston Happy Hour

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Sunday, February 21, 2010

Web Innovators Group | WebInno25

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

This 25th installment (WebInno25) will feature the following presentations:

Main Dishes

  • Swift Mobile | custom apps that thrill your attendees and increase your event's success!

  • Noteflight | the online notation software that's reinventing music on the web.

  • Trefis | helps you understand how a company's products impact its stock price.

Side Dishes

  • Textaurant | aims to create a dialogue between restaurants and patrons through the use of technology

  • GeoLenz | a resource for enabling developers and businesses to rapidly deliver precise contextual data for geospatial locations associated with their applications

  • Shortbord | earn cash and deals to promote your favorite companies

  • HomeField | privately watch and discuss game video online

  • Conversation Associates | core mission: the simplification of digital analytics

  • Sustainable Minds | enables companies to innovate and grow through environmentally sustainable product design

  • Vuuch | it's like Facebook for files

Special Breakout Session

A panel conversation entitled Serial Web Entrepreneurs’ Founding Stories will be conducted with the following serial-entrepreneurs:

[NOTE: Beantown Web features the LinkedIn Profile Widget. Simply click the "in" icon to view the individual's LinkedIn profile.]

Event Details

Monday, March 1, 2010, 6:30 pm

Royal Sonesta Cambridge

Registration is FREE and the networking could prove invaluable! Check out the Attendee List of hundreds of 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 1,200 members.

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Thursday, February 18, 2010

Boston Market | February 2010

Web-related technology jobs abound as a new decade begins with impressive job gains. The Top 20 Web Technologies in Boston posted an average 30% increase in job opportunities over the past 30 days. This performance more than makes up for the sluggish job markets of January and December.

Every single technology in the Top 20 posted gains over January. The online Boston Globe want ads, managed by, is the source of the job postings listed in the right-hand column.

What's Missing?

Of course not all Web technologies are in equally high demand by employers. Database and programming skills never seem to go out of fashion. This demand bodes well for web developers.

Web designers, on the other hand, can count on the following two Top 20 skills:

Web Designers should also consider positioning themselves in the user interface (UI | #19) space. Wikipedia makes the following distinction:

"Newer implementations (of web user interfaces) utilize Java, AJAX, Adobe Flex, Microsoft .NET, or similar technologies to provide real-time control in a separate program, eliminating the need to refresh a traditional HTML based web browser."

One Web design skill that dropped out of the Top 20 this month is Flash (#22). While it is not unusual for technologies to move in and out of the Top 20 on a monthly basis, it will be interesting to monitor the demand for Flash skills over the next year. For an interesting perspective on Apple + Flash + HTML5 check out a recent podcast made available on Marketplace on National Public Radio.

What Else is Missing?

Another "technology" that gets mentioned frequently in job circles is "content management systems" (CMS). While the generic term has not been able to crack the Top 30 -- this month it stands at #36 -- individual CMS applications fair even worse in terms of job demand. Here are four common CMSs:

Combined there are 17 job opportunities for these technologies, not enough to land any of these technologies in the Top 50!

So, caution should prevail in setting a goal to master these technologies IF your goal is to land a job. One the other hand, IF your goal is to start your own Web consulting company, then you might benefit from positioning yourself as an expert in these and other niche technologies.

Best Training Opportunity

The best training opportunity for March arrives with Flash Camp Boston. "Best" because it's FREE! Technologies on the schedule include the following:

  • PHP
  • Flash
  • Flex
  • ColdFusion

While PHP is the only technology in the Top 20, these emerging technologies are worth monitoring, especially if you want to position yourself as a specialist in these lower demand, niche skills. As Biran Rinaldi pointed out in the August Boston Market report, demand is only half of the supply/demand equation. Skilled professionals in these technologies are finding high-paying work because there are relatively few professionals trained in these emerging technologies.

[ NOTE: Facebook Fans of Beantown Web gain access to an expanded list of the Top 50 Web Technologies in Boston. Become a fan today! ]

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Best Business Books | 2009

Business -- a nice concept that didn't work out too well for millions of Americans in 2009.

It is challenging to identify an American who was not affected by The Great Recession. Yet, how many of us saw it coming? How many of us made adjustments once the storm arrived? How many of us have made the necessary corrections to get back on course and strengthen our ships to survive the next storm which will inevitably batter our shores?

Business Book Resources

What is not difficult is to identify are resources that can help us navigate the world of business, regardless of our choice of occupation. What follows is a quasi-scientific analysis of the Best Business Books of 2009.

An online search revealed 14 "Best of" lists from the following sources:

Best Business Books | Runners Up

All told, 118 books were mentioned on at least one "Best of" list. Thirteen books were mentioned on at least two lists (the Honorable Mention). Here are the eight books identified on at least three lists (the Runners Up):

Best Business Books | Winners

Two books were were mentioned four times on the "Best of" lists. And the two best business books of 2009 were . . .

  • Too Big to Fail: The Inside Story of How Wall Street and Washington Fought to Save the Financial System—And Themselves
  • Trust Agents: Using the Web to Build Influence, Improve Reputation, and Earn Trust

Too Big to Fail takes a look back and explores how we created the storm that crashed our economic ship. Trust Agents takes a look forward and explores how we can use social networks to build a stronger ship to weather the next storm.

Business Action

Identify one book from the lists above and commit to learning more about the business world. Making a study of best business practices can only help improve job prospects and career success as we move into a new decade.

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Thursday, January 14, 2010

Boston Market | January 2010

Employers will covet technology workers in 2010. If you are a techie with the right skills and the right connections, then you will uncover work opportunities as this new decade begins. Here are the details . . .

CareerBuilder’s 2010 Job Forecast

One in five employers plans to increase their number of full-time, permanent employees this year. The comparison from one year ago:

  • 2010 | 20 percent
  • 2009 | 14 percent

Here are the areas within these companies that will most likely increase staffing levels in 2010:

  • technology | 33 percent
  • customer service | 28 percent
  • sales | 23 percent
  • research/development | 18 percent
  • business development | 17 percent
  • accounting/finance | 15 percent
  • marketing | 14 percent

So, companies will be hiring in 2010 and technology professionals head the list of desired talent. A summary of these survey findings of 2,700 hiring managers and human resource professionals across the U.S. is available from CareerBuilder.

Top 20 Web Technologies

To find out which web-related technologies are most in-demand access the list of Top 20 Web Technologies in Boston. The list has been updated for January and appears in the right-hand column. The downward trend from early December reflects a normal year-end slowdown in hiring.

The Top 10 remains largely unchanged from one year ago (HTML + CSS replaced ASP.NET for the #10 position). This demonstrates a strong and steady demand for the following technical skills:

  • Web Design | HTML, CSS, JavaScript
  • Web Development | Java, C#, Perl, Web Services, XML
  • Database Development | SQL, Oracle, SQL Server
The Second 10 skills (#11 through #20) include the following:
  • Web Design | UI, Photoshop, Flash
  • Web Development | Ajax, e-commerce, JSP, ASP.NET, Python, PHP, SharePoint

Training Opportunities

The best (read "least expensive") training opportunities to upgrade your skills and make connections during the first quarter are the following:

Code Mastery
Thursday, February 11, 2010
Technology focus: SharePoint, ASP.NET, Silverlight
SharePoint Saturday
Saturday, February 27, 2010
Technology focus: SharePoint

Both events are FREE and hosted by Microsoft at their Waltham, MA offices. SharePoint Saturday events occur in more than 30 cities around the globe. Access the SharePoint Saturday website to identify a location near you, if you are not in the Boston area.

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Thursday, December 31, 2009

Computerworld's 2010 Forecast

Six types of technology skills will be most in demand in 2010. Heading the list is . . .

#1 Programming/Application Development

Specifically, companies will look for developers with the following skill sets:

  • .Net
  • Java
  • Web development
  • open source
  • portal technologies

Demand is growing for people who know specialized programming languages including the following:

  • Ruby on Rails
  • Ajax

Fewer jobs require these skills, but the number of openings has increased during the past 12 months according to a survey of more than 300 IT executives.

The Others

The remaining five skills most in demand in 2010 are as follows:

#2 Help Desk/Technical Support
#3 Networking
#4 Project Management
#5 Security
#6 Business Intelligence

Details can be found at Computerworld's 6 Hottest Skills for 2010.

Getting Off The Island

If you currently find yourself unemployed, underemployed or otherwise feel lost on a desert island you can't seem to escape from, consider upgrading your skills.

No time travel machine can get you there. It requires discipline, focus and dedication.

Set a five month-goal to upgrade your programming and application development skills to include technologies mentioned above. If you do you will be in better position to shift your career in a new direction.

The journey concludes May 2010.

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Thursday, December 17, 2009

Boston Market | December 2009

If you have managerial experience, the four U.S. cities with the most job opportunities per capita are as follows:

  1. Washington, DC
  2. Boston
  3. San Francisco
  4. Seattle

Might it be more than just a coincidence that these four cities are major U.S. technology hubs?

Metro areas in the Northeastern U.S. dominate a monthly survey of the best places to look for managerial work. Cities in the Northeast hold six of the top 10 positions:

  • Washington, DC | #1
  • Boston | #2
  • Baltimore | #6
  • New York | #7
  • Pittsburgh | #8
  • Philadelphia | #10

To learn more about the job prospects in your city, access the Employment Index.

The research confirms the general uptrend in hiring that Beantown Web first noticed in June and highlighted in Boston Market | November 2009.

Top 20 Web Technologies

Red ornaments ( ) outnumber green ornaments ( ) on this month's Holiday tree. Job opportunities declined ( ) in 17 of the Top 20 Web Technologies in Boston. Many of the declines are in the double digit percentages from early November. This short-term trend is the first downturn since May and reflects a normal slowdown in job postings at the end of the year.

Here are the Top 10 Web-related skills that offer the most job opportunities in the Boston metro area:

  1. SQL | 600 job opportunities
  2. Oracle | 455 job opportunities
  3. Java | 381 job opportunities
  4. XML | 268 job opportunities
  5. SQL Server | 238 job opportunities
  6. JavaScript | 195 job opportunities
  7. C# | 172 job opportunities
  8. Web Services | 160 job opportunities
  9. Perl | 142 job opportunities
  10. HTML + CSS | 109 job opportunities

The complete list of Top 20 Web Technologies appears in the right-hand column.

Two-Step Plan

If you want to improve your prospects for landing a job -- or upgrading to a better job -- in 2010, consider the following two-step plan:

  1. highlight managerial or leadership experience in your resume and social profiles
  2. upgrade your technology skills and focus on improving one Top 10 Web technology skill

The New Year brings hope for improved job prospects. Managerial experience and technology skills will help you stand out among the competition.

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Wednesday, December 09, 2009

.net Magazine Awards | 2009

The .net Awards celebrate the best in web design and development. Awards are determined via a combination of public opinion and the insights of a leading panel of judges.

The results of the 2009 awards are published in the latest issue (#197) of .net magazine, a U.K. magazine for web designers and developers sold in the U.S. as Practical Web Design.

Best of The Web

Here are the 16 best (and one worst) for 2009:

+ Web application of the year » Dropbox

+ Best community site » Twitter

+ Best API use » TweetDeck beta

+ Interactive site of the year » NVIDIA Speak Visual

+ Blog of the year » Smashing Magazine

+ Podcast of the year » Boagworld

+ Vodcast of the year » Revision3 | Diggnation

+ Design agency of the year » Clearleft

+ Innovation of the year » Google Chrome

+ Web personality of the year » Stephen Fry

+ Viral campaign of the year » Best job in the world

+ Standards champion » Jeffrey Zeldman

+ Open source application of the year » jQuery

+ Redesign of the year »

+ Mobile site of the year » Flickr

+ Mobile app of the year » Shazam

- Infamy award » IE6

Details are available at the .net Magazine Awards website which lists two additional nominees in each category.

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Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Deloitte Technology Fast 500 | 2009

The 500 most promising technology companies in North America have been identified. This 16th annual list ranks companies based on five-year revenue growth and includes both public and private companies.

The Deloitte Technology Fast 500™ covers companies in the following business sectors:

  • technology
  • media
  • telecommunications
  • life sciences
  • clean technology

The average growth rate for these 500 companies over a five-year period was an outstanding 2,486 percent!

A press release provides highlights. The Fast 500 website provides access to a printable list of companies.

Fast 500 | Massachusetts

Listed below are the fastest growing technology companies in Massachusetts. Fast growing companies are most likely to be hiring as the economy emerges from recession.

  1. CombinatoRx, Inc. | Cambridge
  2. NxStage Medical, Inc. | Lawrence
  3. LiveWire Mobile, Inc. | Littleton
  4. Wave Systems Corp. | Lee
  5. Airvana, Inc. | Chelmsford
  6. Idera Pharmaceuticals, Inc. | Cambridge
  7. Rapid7 | Boston
  8. Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, Inc. | Cambridge
  9. LogMeIn, Inc. | Woburn
  10. Mediaspectrum | Burlington
  11. IneoQuest | Mansfield
  12. Acronis | Burlington
  13. Constant Contact, Inc. | Waltham
  14. ARIAD Pharmaceuticals, Inc. | Cambridge
  15. Netezza Corporation | Marlborough
  16. Vertical Communications, Inc. | Cambridge
  17. Starent Networks Corp. | Tewksbury
  18. Hologic, Inc. | Bedford
  19. Acme Packet, Inc. | Burlington
  20. Bullhorn | Boston
  21. Nuance Communications, Inc. | Burlington
  22. Cubist Pharmaceuticals, Inc. | Lexington
  23. Alkermes, Inc. | Cambridge
  24. SoundBite Communications, Inc. | Bedford
  25. Averion International Corp. | Southborough
  26., Inc. | Waltham
  27. BirdDog Solutions, Inc. | Andover
  28. Evergreen Solar, Inc. | Marlboro
  29. Thermo Fisher Scientific, Inc. | Waltham
  30. Satcon Technology Corp. | Boston
  31. Inverness Medical Innovations, Inc. | Waltham
  32. Spire Corporation | Bedford
  33. Virtusa Corporation | Westborough
  34. IPG Photonics Corporation | Oxford
  35. Akamai Technologies, Inc. | Cambridge
  36. DUSA Pharmaceuticals, Inc. | Wilmington
  37. athenahealth, Inc. | Watertown
  38. Grandstream Networks, Inc. | Brookline
  39. Sepracor, Inc. | Marlborough
  40. Cynosure, Inc. | Westford
  41. iRobot Corporation | Bedford
  42. Double-Take Software, Inc. | Southborough
  43. Picis, Inc. | Wakefield

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Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Web Innovators Group | WebInno24

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 24th installment (WebInno24) will feature the following presentations:

Main Dishes

  • On The Spot Systems | develops mobile and web products to enable businesses to provide their customers with information, coupons and rewards that they access while they are on your premises.

  • thredUP | exchange the clothes that you are bored of (old-to-you) for new ones (new-to-you).

  • ZoomAtlas | a geo-social networking site that allows you to reconnect with people and places from your past.

Side Dishes

  • Blank Label | provider of custom dress shirts for the trendy male

  • Dympol | ("dim-ple") Discounting Your Music Purchases On-Line

  • KangoGift | send gifts as text message vouchers to your friends' cell phones

  • KartMe | shareable, mobile lists you create on your computer

  • | a microblogging platform that keeps your company connected in real-time

  • Sponty | create and discover real social activity feeds


Monday, December 7, 2009, 6:30 pm

Royal Sonesta Cambridge

Registration is FREE and the networking could prove invaluable! Check out the Attendee List of more than 900 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 1,000 members.

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Thursday, November 19, 2009

Elance Work Index | November 2009

This is the second of a two-part series exploring Web-related opportunities for freelancers. The first article is entitled Global Freelancers Survey 2009.

Freelancing, Part 2

A monthly index monitors trends in Web-related freelance opportunities. The index is available at Elance, whose tag line is "Hire, manage and pay experts to do your work."

Elance allows businesses to locate freelancers in eight categories of expertise, including the following:

  • Web & Programming
  • Design & Multimedia

Freelance vs. Employment

A comparison between the monthly Elance Work Index for freelancers and the monthly Beantown Web Boston Market for job seekers reveals some rather dramatic differences.

For example, WordPress, a popular content management (CMS) tool developed using PHP and MySQL, is a Top 10 technology in the freelance market. However, WordPress does not even rank in the Top 50 in the employment market with a scant three jobs mentioning this technology in job descriptions in the Boston metro area.

Joomla! and Drupal, CMSs also built on top of PHP and MySQL, offer even more dismal results in the Boston job market with a total of one job posted between the two technologies. Joomla! ranks #23 and Drupal comes in at #53 in the freelance market.

Elance Work Index

The Elance Work Index ranks 100 skills in freelance labor market. According to the Elance blog . . .

"PHP is the number 1 most in-demand skill for online work for all of 2009."

Playing for Both Teams

So, what if you want to play for both teams? Perhaps you already have a job, but want to supplement your income with freelance work. Perhaps you are temporarily unemployed and want to pick up project work until you land your next full-time job.

The best strategy for Web professionals who want to maximize their potential for finding both employment and freelance work might be to develop technology skills that are in high demand, both in the job market and in the freelance market.

Cross Training

There are eight Web technology skills that land in the Top 20 in both the Elance Work Index and the The Top 20 Web Technologies in Boston which is listed in the right-hand column. They are the following:

  • JavaScript
  • HTML + CSS
  • MySQL
  • Flash
  • Photoshop
  • PHP
  • SEO

Developing expertise in these eight technologies will most likely maximize your potential for playing for both teams -- The Freelancers and The Employees.

Access the first part of this two-part series at Global Freelancers Survey 2009.

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Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Global Freelancers Survey | 2009

This is the first of a two-part series exploring Web-related opportunities for freelancers. The second article is entitled Elance Work Index | 2009.

Freelancing, Part 1

A survey of freelancers was conducted in September and October of 2009. The survey was coordinated by LimeExchange, an online services marketplace for freelancers and small and large businesses.

The technical skill sets among the survey respondents included the following (among other skills):

  • Web Development 31%
  • Graphic Arts & Design 29%
  • Audio/Video & Multimedia 22%

Global Freelancers Survey

What is the primary reason that respondents give for freelancing?

  • use freelancing to supplement income from a full-time job 36%
  • freelancing is primary job or business 29%
  • recent loss of a job 18%

The majority of survey participants prefer freelancing (with the same net level of income) over full-time employment:

  • freelancing 59%
  • full-time employment 29%

So, it seems as if many professionals have a full-time job and use freelancing to supplement their income. More might become "full-time" freelancers if they could generate the same level of net income as they could from a full-time job.

Additional Findings

How do freelancers find projects?

  • freelance marketplaces 27%
  • search engines 24%
  • friends & referrals 20%

What is a freelancer's largest source of income?

  • SMBs (small/midsized businesses) 48%
  • entrepreneurial ventures 17%
  • large corporations 14%

A summary of the Global Freelancers Survey can be found at the LimeExchange website. You can also search on current projects to see if you might want to use LimeExchange to bid on freelance opportunities.

The conclusion of this two-part series explores the technical skills that are in demand in both the full-time employment and the freelance marketplaces. Access the second part of this two-part series at Elance Work Index | 2009.

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Sunday, November 08, 2009

Boston Market | November 2009

Which of these two images do you think best represents the current job market?

Debbie Downer

If you are in the Debbie Downer camp, there are no shortage of downbeat headlines to focus on. Here are two examples:

Up With People

If you are in the Up With People camp, there are an increasing number of people surveys that reveal an upbeat trend in the technology marketplace. Here are two examples:

This is my upbeat headline for November . . .

"Eight Technologies Lead Job Market Recovery"

The list of Top 20 Web Technologies in Boston has been updated and the complete list can be found in the right-hand column along with links to job postings that mention each technology.

Over the five-month period from early June to early November there has been an increase in job postings in all 20 of the Top 20 skills. (Only one of the Top 50 skills failed to post an increase!) The Top 20 technology skills that experienced at least a 50% increase in demand over this five-month period are as follows:

So, Web developers who can demonstrate expertise in Microsoft-centric technologies including ASP.NET, C# and SQL Server are in demand, even as unemployment rates continue to rise.

Fundamental Web design skills including HTML + CSS and Web programming skills including JavaScript and Ajax provide a foundation for creating user interfaces (UI) and improving user experiences (UX). The demand for Search Engine Optimization (SEO) expertise demonstrates that organizations are continuously competing to position their content ahead of their competition's offerings.

These eight technologies are leading the job market recovery in the Boston metro area. Even as unemployment rises, companies continue to look for experts who can deliver technology-based solutions to increase revenue, decrease costs and improve productivity.

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