May 12th, 2009

Programming Job Trends Part II

Read Part I

It’s amazing how fast two months can fly by when you’re living on panic and adrenaline. This would have been my first week at a new company if I hadn’t jumped to a different lifeboat a couple of aisles over. I’m pleased that some of the folks from my last team managed to make a similar move, because they really love the company enough to stick around and keep trying for a comeback. I’m also just as happy for the folks who took the opportunity to move on to new adventures — from established industry giants to daring little startups.

This new role for me promises to be an interesting change back to my roots in the industry doing B2B work 12 to 18 years ago, blended with community and social networking work I’ve been doing over the past 12 years. The fun part — the learning curve — will be in picking up some new client development skills after so many years of focus on host-side open-source infrastructure architecture. I’ve renewed my MSDN Universal subscription and started playing with Visual Studio for the first time since version 97, and I’ve dusted off Xcode with the hopes of also working on the OS X platform.

Just yesterday I was given a healthy dose of executive vision and I’ve started to come to terms with the nightmarish series of events that started over a year ago to eventually land my portfolio of community products in the hands of disinterested slumlords. Those communities either needed a cash infusion for revitalization or they needed to be condemned, evacuated, and razed. While I still believe our original plans would have resulted in better homes for far less money than the new neighborhood that has since sprung up, I’m relieved to finally be done playing superintendent to the teetering old projects.

So now I’m on a new adventure with a new evolving role. I’ll get to pick up new skills, show my creative and innovative side, and see the tangible results of my efforts. It’s not as much of a change as a move to a new company would have been, but it still promises to be fun and exciting work. Hard work. The best kind.

May 11th, 2009

Alex King’s Twitter Tools

March 11th, 2009

Programming Job Trends Part I

Read Part II

Just a few words of encouragement for my departing colleagues. I’ve spent a lot of time lately mulling over what I’d really want to focus on next, after I’m no longer bogged down in outdated proprietary technology. So I pulled together some 10-second “statistics” from and I thought would be nice to share.

I should note that the .NET results on Indeed are a little off — seemed to be picking up all listings with the word “net” in them. So don’t you worry, Java coders, you haven’t quite lost the race. I should also admit that the search for c/c++ is a little lame — but it really is difficult to get accurate results searching for the letter “C.”

And don’t be too surprised by these growth rates. Percentage growth from “practically zero” always looks phenomenal.

I’ll admit I was a little surprised at how popular .NET has gotten. If I had been forced to guess before looking, I’d have placed it around where the red PHP line is. In the DC area, with all the government work, I’d expect .NET to be even bigger than the national numbers, but the very last two tables tell a different story. Most of the rest of the results probably won’t be huge shockers to you.

I’ll post some of my interpretations of these trends and some personal and second-hand experiences in the DC area in a follow-up post or two.

java, .net, c++, c/c++, php, python, ruby, erlang Job Trends graph

java, .net, c++, c/c++, php, python, ruby, erlang Job Trends graph

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March 2nd, 2009

The Complex Manifesto

Nice post Jurgen!

Instead of working out solutions, I’ve seen quite a few teams bog themselves down in debates over processes, arguments over backlog and bug tracking tools, holy wars about languages, and debates over core hours (which get really ridiculous when it comes from multinational teams).

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