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The tech jobs hiring boom is real -- for these skills

Bill Snyder | Dec. 13, 2011
After some tough years for IT and tech pros, high demand for tech workers is here in some areas -- and is expected to continue

The tech jobs boom favors developers, cloud experts, and business strategists Are we back to better times in the tech job market? Certainly. But that's not to say everyone who wants to work in tech is employed. In June, for example, 9.9 percent of the full-time workforce in Sunnyvale, San Jose, and Santa Clara, the California cities regarded as the Silicon Valley tech heartland, found themselves unemployed. It's unclear how much of the out-of-work population are techies, but given the heavy concentration of IT-related jobs in those communities, it's likely that the hiring boom has yet to make up for the massive job losses in tech that followed the financial crisis of 2008.

As job-seeker-turned-Ruby-developer Fluck discovered, the seemingly endless appetite for new mobile applications has spurred strong demand for programmers with skills in Ruby and JavaScript. Dice's listings for those two languages alone increased year over year by 67 and 53 percent, respectively. "But even people with C++, an older language, are hard to find," says Garage Technologies' Reichert. Akamai's Prokop seconds that opinion and added Python to the list of important skills for the times.

But what's hot is not limited to modern application development. Salesforce.com is eager to find employees with experience working with the cloud. "Cloud computing is not something people have built their careers on. Experience with it -- building or selling or marketing it -- is in high demand," says Salesforce.com's Martin.

Although Salesforce is looking for "skills across the board," Martin raises a point voiced by many technology executives: A grasp of business needs, both the customer's and the employer's, is key to landing and keeping a good job. "People need to be attuned to the use of technology," he says.

That goes double for smaller technology providers where everyone needs to think strategically. "We don't just build features in a backroom -- we try and figure out what users want. We create top 10 lists of things our customers say," says David Galvan, the president of Schedulicity, a young company focused on apps for scheduling appointments for small businesses, such as hair stylists.

Rachel Delacour, CEO of We Are Cloud, a French startup producing the SaaS BI application Bime, says, "We need support engineers who not only have the technical chops, but can get a sense of the customer's business and sell the benefits of cloud computing."

Is the tech jobs boom only for the young? Age discrimination in tech is one of those issues that's always out there, but is rarely dealt with openly. Naturally, no company will admit to discriminating against older workers -- it's against the law. And when you don't get hired, it's a rare company that tells you why.

 

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