Monday, July 27, 2009 Posted by bill at 6:42 AM
This was the simple question I wanted to answer. The impetus behind this is to know where best to focus my learning energy. As a programmer, technologist, etc., and, as the plethora of languages that all appear to have similar goals and do the same things pervades the landscape, I feel I need to periodically look up from the microscope and peep the rest of the world from 30,000 feet, especially today. Historically, maybe I could enter a field, a craft, and be happy there until I am old and gray, updating my skills every so often. But, the reality is that as programmers all this is changing very fast, and it takes agility and the ability to learn quickly to keep up with it. I would even go so far as to say it also takes a strong desire to adapt. Bottom line, though I have personal tastes and a few distastes for programming languages, I need to put food on the table. I'm sorry, but the "I love the simple elegance of brainf*ck" doesn't ensure that my family's medical bills are paid. For me, it's much easier to adapt my own skills to a rapidly changing market than to attempt to change the market to my personal preferences. So, this is what I did. I simply entered various arbitrary programming languages into the main search at Dice and Monster. I specified no other search criteria, so, the term exists either in the title or other meta data about the job. I'm sure this creates some noise, but if we can suspend and accept the concept of random sampling, this provides some interesting results. Note that the results here are from Dice, but Monster's results were similar.
Obviously, I am not a statistician and I certainly do not have the resources to pay for a Gartner consultation - I barely have the time to update my resume. However, based on my naive searches and lack of any domain context, is it fair to conclude that if I know Java reasonably well, I am more employable? Of course, this is the demand side of the equation. What about the supply?
Addendum (August 4, 2009): My friend Raj sent me this insightful excerpt from Chad Fowler's The Passionate Programmer: Creating a Remarkable Career in Software Development: http://media.pragprog.com/titles/cfcar2/intelligence.pdf