An Evaluation of the Current Technology Job Market: Updated

31 Jan 2005

Apparently my last post about this same topic got around a bit on the net, and last week I received an e-mail (as well as a site comment) from one of the founders from Indeed telling me they'd fixed the problems I pointed-out in my previous post. Cool! The power of the internet never ceases to amaze me. They've also added advanced searching capabilities since I last did this update, so I was able to group more searches together instead of having to separate them out. I certainly don't fault them for leaving this stuff out-- it's still beta after all, not to mention I understand the difficulty of search technology as I work with it on a daily basis myself.

Below is an update to my earlier post. If I decide to keep this up, I'm going to have to script this to automate it as it's a PITA to do manually, not to mention it would be interesting to keep track of trends. Actually, I just noticed that they added webservices to the site to allow me to do this. Very cool! Perhaps I'll get around to it sooner than later if enough people find it interesting enough to check-out.

Listed are the primary searches I used, with additional searches in parens which I added to the parent search for alternate terms used to describe the same thing:

Programming Languages & Platforms/Architectures:

  1. java (-barista -coffee) 53,618

  2. .net 47,651

  3. c++ 35,322

  4. perl 19,432

  5. visual basic (or vb -visual basic and -visualbasic) 18,508

  6. c# 14,319

  7. asp (asp -asp.net -.net) 12,100

  8. c programmer (and c developer -programmer) 11,711

  9. cobol 6,713

  10. flash 6,353

  11. asp.net (-asp) 5,644

  12. php 4,194

  13. coldfusion (and cold fusion -coldfusion) 3,360

  14. delphi 1,122

  15. actionscript 421

Operating Systems:

  1. windows (-glass -frame -sunroom -sunroof -tint -replacement -retrofit) 87,790

  2. unix 63,524

  3. linux 24,193

  4. solaris 19,263

  5. aix 9,291

  6. hpux (and hp-ux -hpux) 5,134

  7. irix 540

  8. freebsd 433

  9. sco 414

As for some additional notes and comments:

  • I find the results for Java and Unix relatively interesting. I honestly view both of those technologies as higher enterprise based technologies than the Microsoft offerings which compete with them (based on personal experience, not blind bigotry). So in theory there are quite a number of Enterprise/Corporate IT type jobs available. Though the results of Windows vs. Unix show around a 24,000 job difference, I still find it surprising how competitive the Unix keyword is given Microsoft's monopoly on the desktop. It seems like there are always a ton of openings for help desk people as well as contracts for windows installers for instance.

  • It's relatively hard to compare Java to C# as Java is a fairly generic keyword (I see so many postings that say "JAVA experience is a plus, which usually means they don't currently use it nor understand Java isn't an acronym), but for all of the buzz around C#, Java still seems to be heartily on top even if you account for the aforementioned type job listings There are also a fair number of jobs which have .net in them, but I think the above case also applies (i.e.-- .net experience is a plus).

  • There are more Linux jobs open now than Solaris jobs. I suppose there is a reason Sun is working hard to try and gain back customers that are bleeding off to Linux based solutions. Though it's certainly cost-effective to take the Linux & Intel path, there will always be a market for "big iron" in one way or another think despite it's shrinkage in the last few years. Granted, x86 platforms have continually made big strides in performance (though the last year has been a bit stagnant), but even as these systems get bigger, business demands also continually exceed what is possible on those platforms (without implementing some uber Beowulf cluster of x86 systems at least).

  • Lastly, it should not be any surprise why IBM is bracing Linux so much. Using these numbers, it would appear that AIX is losing to it's competitors including Sun.

3/6/2005 Update: Welcome Slashdot Visitors! It looks like after some tweaking my wimpy server has been able to keep up with a weekend /.ing! Anyhow, please keep in mind that I don't view this informal querying of a job aggregator to be the end-all absolute truth, nor do I really view it as a scientifically sound study. Mostly I found it interesting that I was able to search a large percentage of the jobs available in the US and wanted to compare some various technology related keywords. Feel free to leave constructive criticisms in the comments so I can improve this comparison in the future.