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Programming Linux Business IT Technology

Job Market for Developers Evaluated 163

David Parmet writes "Using data from indeed.com (an aggregator for job sites), Brandon of devnulled did an evaluation of the state of the job market in the US for developers. Some interesting findings - there are more Linux jobs than Solaris jobs. Unix is still competitive with Windows (only 24,000 fewer job listings for Unix than for Windows), Java is beating .Net and overall there seem to be a lot of enterprise / corporate IT jobs available. Indeed has a web services API / XML interface available here, so if you want you can do the analysis yourself."
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Job Market for Developers Evaluated

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  • Java scripting (Score:5, Insightful)

    by fembots ( 753724 ) on Sunday March 06, 2005 @04:26PM (#11860251) Homepage
    The article mentioned it's relatively hard to compare Java to C# as Java is a fairly generic (and sometimes misused) keyword. I have seen companies who asked for JAVA experience, which in reality is expecting you to do Javascript.

    And did the analysis take into account that some "jobs" are posted by head hunters who are only interested in resumeh collection?
    • Re:Java scripting (Score:5, Interesting)

      by lukewarmfusion ( 726141 ) on Sunday March 06, 2005 @04:31PM (#11860284) Homepage Journal
      Good points. I've also seen "Java" misused when they're really just looking for a programmer that can handle that style of syntax (a nice way of saying "no VB programmers, please."

      Of course, if you're an employer, you can list it as a high paying job with a lot of requirements. The more requirements, the less likely you will find someone to meet all of them...and that means you can justify lower pay. The high salary listing attracts more folks. You might only need 10% of the requirements to do the job.

      It's not a nice tactic, but I know it happens. The same folks complain that candidates are lying on their resumes.
      • Re:Java scripting (Score:2, Interesting)

        by mscdex ( 774392 )
        I don't think it's accurate to insinuate that all VB programmers have messy code, it's mostly all the beginners and lazy people that write unorganized code. I for one write neat VB code every time, I learned that even before I started coding in VB (also learned to write neatly/efficiently in C++, etc. as well).
        • Re:Java scripting (Score:5, Insightful)

          by plague3106 ( 71849 ) on Sunday March 06, 2005 @05:01PM (#11860461)
          Its not the VB programmers most have a problem with; its the programmers that ONLY know VB. And thier code is always awful.
        • Re:Java scripting (Score:5, Interesting)

          by lukewarmfusion ( 726141 ) on Sunday March 06, 2005 @05:26PM (#11860609) Homepage Journal
          The point is that the coding syntax for Java is far more common than VB - see C, C++, and PHP. If you're a VB only programmer, you may not be comfortable with a lot of the more common syntax.

          if a = "5" then
          ' code
          end if

          if (a == "5") { // code
          }

          The difference is enough to shake things up for a VB-only programmer. It gets worse when you step into a for loop, arrays, etc.
          • Re:Java scripting (Score:4, Insightful)

            by Klaruz ( 734 ) on Sunday March 06, 2005 @07:05PM (#11861235)
            Funny you say that, I've been writting in C like languages and python for a long time. Sometimes at work I need to write a vbscript to automate something. I always takes me a while to wrap my head around the bizzaro syntax and quirks (error handling! Ahhh!!) of that language, more than others ever do. After a day or two I'm good to go, but I'm usually done with the project by then.
            • When I'm writing scripts for Windows Scripting Host, I almost always use JScript instead of VBScript. Anything to avoid writing VB. Of course if you're scripting an app like Excel or Word you don't have much choice.
              • Whoever supports that will hate you.

                I once outsourced an ASP 3.0 job. It came back in server side javascript. Yeah, I guess you *can* write ASP in javascript, but nobody does. I sent the code back and told them to do it like the other 99.999% of ASP.

                FWIW, I started in VB and still prefer the verbose approach to flow control. Nest a while, a for, a case, and an if statement together in VB and in C# and you will immediately see which is easier to figure out. "End If" is pretty clear what it does. "}
                • I once outsourced an ASP 3.0 job. It came back in server side javascript. Yeah, I guess you *can* write ASP in javascript, but nobody does.

                  Obviously someone does. But I understand your point. Much as Microsofties like to bleat that ASP supports more than just VBScript, that's really the only language which is widely supported under it (and to a lesser extent, under ASP.NET). And by that, I don't mean that other languages don't necessarily work, but the documentation and support resources are biased towar

                  • Much as Microsofties like to bleat that ASP supports more than just VBScript, that's really the only language which is widely supported under it (and to a lesser extent, under ASP.NET)

                    C# is clearly the preferred language under ASP.NET so "to a lesser extent" is actually no extent at all. Regardless, with ASP, there were plenty of languages (perl and python to name a couple) that were fully supported and documented by third parties.

                    I think the fact that you even have language options is A Good Thing.
                    • What about the numerous examples in Microsoft's documentation that only show the VB way to accomplish something?

                      Pretty much all .NET documentation has VB and C# examples. This has been the case since .NET was launched (2002?)

                      Language options are nice. Platform options are even better.

                      Now you have both :-) [mono-project.com]
                • Whoever supports that will hate you.

                  Umm, unless they really know and understand JavaScript.

                  It is a far, far, more dynamic and agile language than VBScript, and allows for cleaner code that is easier to read and maintain.

                  Sadly, most people know it from the umptizillion Web tutorials that treat it as dumbed-down variant of C or Java, ignorant of its many Lisp-like qualities.

                  Yeah, I guess you *can* write ASP in javascript, but nobody does.

                  Whatever.

              • You can use JScript to script the Office DOMs. They're both automation clients that provide engines for the Windows Script Host. The Office DOMs are automation server that provide functionality through IDispatch or dual interfaces.

                Now, if you're talking about macros and code-behind for Office documents, then you're actually talking about VBA (Visual Basic for Applications), which is actually VB - not VBScript - tied to a particular automation server EXE.

            • It makes me feel dirty whenever I'm forced to work with a BASIC-variant. At the risk of sounding like a dork, it's like taking an alignment hit in AD&D, while decreasing my ability to code in any other language.. truly evil.

            • Ha, yes VBScript. Just the other day I had to use a bit of that and accidentally used '%' where that language demands 'MOD'. I mean why reinvent such a common operator?

              Java? Our HR puts Java in every job descrption we have despite the fact we use Java for absolutely nothing. I believe the pull as many acronyms they can from as many job postings they can gather. Why do the work when others have written it for you?
          • Your coding style by itself is enough to shake things up for any sane programmer. if(a == "5") { //code } is a helluva lot more readable for the majority of people.
          • The difference is enough to shake things up for a VB-only programmer.

            If you can't handle minor differences in saying the same thing like that, then you have no business calling yourself a programmer.
      • Re:Java scripting (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Bill Dog ( 726542 )
        Of course, if you're an employer, you can list it as a high paying job with a lot of requirements. The more requirements, the less likely you will find someone to meet all of them...and that means you can justify lower pay.

        Or you can add to all the artificial jobs for which unsurprisingly no USian qualifies, thus the software industry as a whole can retain "evidence" for continued desperate need of H1-B's, that they can pay less.

    • Resume, eh? You're not from Canada by any chance, eh?
    • Re:Java scripting (Score:3, Interesting)

      by mrighi ( 855168 )
      Companies that really know that they're looking for won't just ask for Java experience... they'll ask for things such as "J2EE","Struts","Applets" or another specific use of Java.

      Also, I've been using sites like Monster.com for a while to gauge technology popularity in various cities. Living in Pittsburgh, I noticed that there seemed to be a lot of Java offerings but not as many offerings for C#. Moster.com confirmed this:

      (Under the "Computer Software" category)
      Pittsburgh
      Java: 145 postings
      C#: 9 p
      • Companies that really know that they're looking for won't just ask for Java experience... they'll ask for things such as "J2EE","Struts","Applets" or another specific use of Java.

        Often that is because they don't really want someone who knows Java in any meaningful sense, but someone who knows enough to script the Struts, EJB, etc APIs.

    • Its better to compare java to .NET then.. they are both platforms.. c# you can compare with the java language or j# for that matter.

    • "I have seen companies who asked for JAVA experience, which in reality is expecting you to do Javascript."

      Just like I've seen companies looking for .NET programmers and they really wanted VBScript or even DCOM (gasp!).

      The face-to-face interview process is necessary for both sides fortunately.

    • I have seen companies who asked for JAVA experience, which in reality is expecting you to do Javascript.

      Well, the tip-off is when the incorrectly spell things using all caps, such as JAVA or PERL. This just screams, "We've heard something about this stuff and have a vague idea we may need it. Or maybe not. We're clue-free."

  • by KingOfTheNerds ( 706852 ) on Sunday March 06, 2005 @04:26PM (#11860252) Homepage
    Indeed i do not have to goto this website and do the stats for myself. I goto pennstate university and I work at the MBNA career center building where we find jobs for graduating students. We actually do our own job statistics for different departments to attempt to find out what we should push in their ciriculum. For instance we did notice that solaris has been declining for a few years now giving way to linux use, so the computer engineering/ comp sci department has switch to developing for linux from solaris. Using the data we get from recruiters, we try to keep our students top notch as far as demanded job skills.
  • by moofdaddy ( 570503 ) * on Sunday March 06, 2005 @04:27PM (#11860255) Homepage
    The U.S. Department of labor in conjunction with the CAO did a similar study a couple of months ago. The study was request by a tech labor sub committee in the senate because they wanted to compare our tech jobs to those in other countries because of all the FUD about jobs being shipped overseas.

    The labor department study was fairly inclusive though. They showed that there has been a 120% growth over the last year and a half in jobs looking for people to do web application development. They also found a 22% drop in ActiveX and Javascript workers. I doubt there are any jobs just for these skills so it is probably jobs requiring these skills.

    On the Mac side of the aisle developers have moved away from C and C++ and now focus Objective C. On the Windows side there really hasn't been a replacement found for C++ so its numbers are holding fairly steady.
    • Dylan [gwydiondylan.org] seems like a possible alternative to C++. Here's some more Dylan resources [zesiger.com] for those who want to look into the language a little further.
      • by Anonymous Coward
        Hey, let's evaluate the job market for Dylan programmers ....
      • If Apple had seriously pushed Dylan when they were first working on it, it might have had a chance. But, today, we have Python, C#, Java, and C++, with mature implementations, lots of libraries, tons of books, and excellent environments to support them. Even if Dylan is arguably better, it is not enough better to catch on.

        Maybe if the Dylan community created a killer IDE with a really high-quality implementation, it might still take off...
        • Maybe if the Dylan community created a killer IDE with a really high-quality implementation, it might still take off...

          Have you seen Functional Developer [gwydiondylan.org]? It's a commercial windows IDE from Functional Objects [functionalobjects.com], and it's recently been open sourced. From zesiger.com [zesiger.com]'s blurb on FunDev:

          Also known as FunDev, this is a popular, commercial Windows IDE for Dylan that has just recently been made free to the public. There is talk that it could be open-sourced soon (18 June 2004). It is still being actively deve

        • No new language has much of a chance, historically speaking. The set of dominant languages changes very, very slowly. Organizations and individual developers have huge investments in their existing skill bases.

          Searching monster.com, the keywords java, c++, perl, visual basic, and (regrettably) cobol all yield over a 1,000 hits each.

          python finds 447 technology jobs, ruby language 2, but dylan none.

          Python and Java are the only newer languages that beat Fortran and Pascal. monster.com is only one wa

    • As a Mac coder, I'd really like to see all these supposed Objective C jobs. The vast majority of Objective C jobs I've seen advertised have been at Apple itself, which isn't very helpful if you don't or can't live in Cupertino, Pittsburgh or Vancouver, Washington.

      If anything, employers seem convinced you can save money by writing cross-platform C++ and using the Qt framework, at least it's what I've been doing the last couple years.

      Personally, I'd love to write in Objective C using the Cocoa framework;
      • When I do see a Mac job on craigslist (which is rarely), it's almost always Metrowerks/C++ for a commercial product and not Objective C/Cocoa.

        I think the issue is that the vast majority of programming work is for internal/vertical applications or customization. But except for publishing, Macs are generally sold right to consumers, so there isn't much demand for custom Mac software. If there were, Obj-C would probably be big.
  • Does anyone know of any statistics for UK jobs?
  • Reverse Analysis? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by markmcb ( 855750 )
    I was curious if anyone knew of any sort of reverse analysis. What is mean is that it seems easy to figure out what sort of jobs are available based on demand, but is there any analysis that shows what sort of IT-skill-sets are available from people in the job market? This sort of info would be nice to have if you were trying to avoid being one of the thousands of lemmings all focusing on the same job market.
    • Presumably the job skills with the more apperiences are the ones that are lacking.

      That is, you don't see VB programemrs in many postings because there isn't really a demand for them.
  • linux work (Score:5, Interesting)

    by argoff ( 142580 ) on Sunday March 06, 2005 @04:36PM (#11860320)
    During the dot com flush it was really slow, but now it seems like I have more work than I can handle using Linux, both programming, network admin, and system admin. My friends who had only MS admin and development experience haven't fared so well. I guess the down-turn wasn't about who fell down, but who was able to get back up again.
    • [...] but now it seems like I have more work than I can handle using Linux, both programming, network admin, and system admin.

      Too much work to count, even!

  • by booms ( 38889 ) on Sunday March 06, 2005 @04:38PM (#11860329) Homepage
    And guess what, it's on a Celeron 466 with 192 MB of RAM running on FreeBSD. I bet it died after the first 10 people got there.

    I have a new server coming in exactly tomorrow according to the last time I tracked it at UPS. Figures, eh?

    This is going to make finishing my final assignment for my current class rather interesting since I host it at home...
    • I apologize if this sounds like an advertisement, but have you looked into dedicated hosting services? Or the cheaper option is VPS hosting from places like RimuHosting [rimuhosting.com] or Linode.com [linode.com]? User mode linux in any of these two VPS plans can actually be very cost effective, especially if you run lots of sites each with low bandwidth needs since apache virtual hosting is allowed. Peter at RimuHosting is really knowledgeable and can help you setup the site the way you want it and will even help tweak it to its max pe
      • Well normally I don't get that much traffic.. about 20,000 unique visitors per month or so lately. I already have DSL, and I'm cheap (single geek with a mortgage + college), so I opt to host at home. Amoritizing the cost of a new ~$500 server every few years makes it cheap since I already expected to pay for bandwidth at home anyhow. That and it's nice to be able to fat finger an ipfw rule every now and then without having to pay someone to go fix it. ;)

        Surprsingly enough, my intarweb connection still s
        • I used to do this too, but I swtiched to linode. There a two nice things about this:

          1: my mail doesn't go down when the power blinks or the isp I'm with decides to burp.

          2: Linode gives you console access to your machine through ssh. No need to worry about not getting in. I borked an upgrade once, shrunk the image on my main uml instance, installed a 100 meg debian rescue instance, mounted my main one, and fixed the problem. It's really pretty nice.
    • Dude, I hope the following helps....

      "Brace! Brace! Brace!"

      "Women, children and gifted first!"
    • Well, if we can get it into the cache this this coralized link [nyud.net] might help.

      Booms might help by seeing if he can force it into the cache :-)
    • Good luck is right ;) tcptraceroute to devnulled.com [80]: 18 216.150.223.10 119.083 ms 19 * 20 *
    • Look on the bright side, if we're going to toast a server, better to toast the old Celeron than the new one coming in. ;)
    • "I have a new server coming in exactly tomorrow according to the last time I tracked it at UPS. Figures, eh?"

      It could be worse.

      You could have just received the new server, and been halfway through setting-up the firewall and database passwords when it got posted to slashdot...
  • ... slashdotted already. And it's only been about 20 minutes.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    programmers that are looking for work that jobs aren't as scarce as they seem. Why are they trying to do this? We're invisible. We don't count. If they'd stop talking about it, it wouldn't bother me as much.
  • work per person (Score:4, Interesting)

    by bersl2 ( 689221 ) on Sunday March 06, 2005 @05:20PM (#11860580) Journal
    We always say that it takes fewer *nix admins to maintain a *nix system than it does Windows admins to maintain a Windows system performing the same tasks.

    Should we factor this in, or does the headline really mean it when they say "developers"?
  • Have a look at www.jobnet.com.au which shows the trend in Australia. Lately Unix is on top with Java the dominating language. Not sure how accurrate these stats are (ie do they see "JAVA" as a keyword or not) but are usually pretty accurrate. Internet technologies shows that .NET and JAVA are competing head-on-head for dominance but the market is pretty much evenly split between the two.
  • ".net" jobs (Score:4, Interesting)

    by xswl0931 ( 562013 ) on Sunday March 06, 2005 @06:07PM (#11860833)
    What exactly does it mean to say ".net" jobs (which is #2 about 6000 jobs behind Java. ".net" probably includes both C# and VB.Net (and possible others). However, C# has it's own category. Combined, there's more ".net" + C# jobs than Java jobs.
    • The question that you didn't consider is whether or not those C# jobs also appear as .Net jobs in the search results.

    • Re:".net" jobs (Score:2, Insightful)

      by booms ( 38889 )
      I consider .NET a framework/platform and not a language persay. Sort of like what J2EE is like for Java. However I'm not a .NET developer, so that notion could certainly be invalid.

      Not to mention most any posting that has C# in it will also mention .NET... while there are plenty of Java jobs that don't involve J2EE at all (like say if you were working on some sort of Swing application).
  • by Bill Dog ( 726542 ) on Sunday March 06, 2005 @06:13PM (#11860858) Journal
    The .Net framework and it's languages/technologies (e.g. ASP.NET) are 1.0 or 1.1 (2.0's in beta). How dominant was the Java language/platform in its 1.0/1.1 days. I was there, doing Java then at my first company. It was not unheard-of, but not dominant. .Net and C# (I don't think VB.Net will ever be big, nor anywhere near as big as VB was) won't really take off until its 2.0 technologies and Longhorn and all the Avalon/Indigo stuff. That is, when there is much more advantage, with the newer GUI and Web Services tools, to adopt it. Right now I view .Net as mostly an MS-only Java alternative, which is not exactly compelling to me, as a Windows C++ developer. I don't need another wrapper around the Win32 API. But I expect MS to leap ahead of the competition in a year or two, and only then will we really know how things are going to shake out.
    • How dominant was the Java language/platform in its 1.0/1.1 days.

      Not very dominant at all, but on the other hand Java wasn't (and still isn't) heavily marketed by the company with a 96% desktop market share, and it isn't following (ripping off some would say) a well established path of how to do a VM based programming model,

      Personally, considering that Microsoft has dumped VB 5 support and they don't offer VB tools any more I can't see where they will get any more market share than they currently have.
  • Someone's even hiring to surf slashdot! [indeed.com]
  • by LuxFX ( 220822 ) on Sunday March 06, 2005 @06:38PM (#11861029) Homepage Journal
    I'd be interested in how many job posting were already asking for Ajax experience.

    Of course, with the modal intelligence of headhunters I've worked with, most of the adverts probably read:

    min. 10 yrs. in A.j.a.x. development REQUIRED

    • I am death-to-the-AJAX troll!

      Hear me roar!

      All your ajax are belong to us.

      Kawarini "remote scripting" tukatte itadakereba ureshiku omoimasu. naniiuttondeirunokanakimiha, yurusan.
  • Uh-oh (Score:5, Insightful)

    by wumpus188 ( 657540 ) on Sunday March 06, 2005 @06:38PM (#11861033)
    Most of these "available" jobs are in fact advertisiments required by INS for someone's H1B.
  • java v .net (Score:1, Troll)

    by mgkimsal2 ( 200677 )
    Not sure if this is ever considered, but are there more job listings for java people because it takes more java developers to get stuff done? Honestly, really, I'm not a .net fan at all. It's goe some good ideas, but you're hobbled to one platform to be productive with MS tools. Dev tools often make people more productive. I've seen relative newbies make .net do moderately impressive stuff in just a few weeks, while twice as many java people were half as productive. I'm only speaking from my obviously
    • I really really doubt that it takes 4x more Java developers than C# developers to get the same thing done. There are perfectly good Java dev tools (Eclipse is IMHO significantly better than Visual Studio, and WSAD is even better) and the language syntax is pretty damn close. And to top it off the Jakarta project offers a giant metric buttload of free stuff that you can leverage bigtime.

      It's gotta be a non-factor.

    • Rubbish. Java development tools are better than C# (compare Eclipse to... well, anything, but MSVC in particular)

      In addition, Java has a very mature and fully featured set of API's when compared to .NET which doesn't even have a general purpose table component nor a decent (== not amazingly slow like the .net bitmap classes) image class for image manipulation.
  • .NET and ASP.NET (Score:2, Informative)

    by jbplou ( 732414 )
    The article mentions 47,000 .NET programming and only 5500 ASP.NET jobs. Almost every job I've ever interviewed for that uses .NET is using it mainly for ASP.NET.
    • this guy is simply scanning. He is only looking for keywords (with the ability to back out if other words where detected).So, it is quite possible( even probable) that many of the .net are actually saying things like ".net useful", etc. Like a number of the java are actually java script (even thought it would be easy to back that out as well).

      I would guess that most of the asp are for asp jobs (even though it could easily be pimp houses looking to fill out their resume files).

  • using job sites to get analyze the state of the job market.
  • Looking at the numbers...
    You can't really have "COBOL 6,713" and no MVS/zOS? There is pretty much a one to one correspondence in COBOL and MVS.
    I still think that I could complete my career as a COBOL programmer....
  • by luh3417 ( 778061 ) on Monday March 07, 2005 @02:26AM (#11863359)
    Companies often post fake job listings to bolster their case for more offshoring and H1-B hiring. A significant percentage of those jobs just don't exist. At least not if you're an American and/or over 40. Soon, many of you reading this will become American. Soon, many of you reading this will become over 40. Hear me now, believe me later. Let's call it karma.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Interesting. I typed "Bangalore" in Where and look what I got:

    Truck Driver
    Lucent Technologies - US-IN-Bangalore
    Manage C++ builds, Make file, Clearcase configuration management experience. Strong UNIX skills. Experience of working as a configuration team member in multi-site projects. Experience in build and re...
    From HotJobs - 10 Days ago
  • At least there wasn't any mention of jobs wanting 5+ years experience with Windows 2003 Server.

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