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U.S. Java job market change?

Joe Richard
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Joined: Aug 15, 2001
Posts: 76
Hi,

I have read that the baby boomers will be retiring soon and the U.S. job market is temporarily heavy on "supply" and light on "demand". What will the impact be of the baby boomers retiring and what about the lack of hands on control in I.T. with outsourcing?


Persistence equals goals
SCJD (In Progress), SCJP
Jay Shin
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 14, 2004
Posts: 169

heavy on "supply" and light on "demand".



I don't know about other areas in the U.S., but at least in the East Coast there are more "demand" than "supply".

At least in the company I'm working for now, I know many developers who have poor Java skills (cannot even tell the difference between Interface and Abstract Class) and have very poor communication skills, and they all got jobs and paid $100.00 per hour.
Theodore Casser
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 14, 2001
Posts: 1902

Originally posted by Joe Richard:
What will the impact be of the baby boomers retiring and what about the lack of hands on control in I.T. with outsourcing?


I don't know how much of an effect it'll have, to answer your question more directly. I think the majority of Java programmers, for instance, are younger than the baby boomers, if the median age of the developers where I work (government facility, multiple contractors) is any indication. I think there will be more advancement opportunity (upper ranks thinned), but overall..

I dont know how much I agree with Jay Shin either, for that matter - the last time we advertised for an open position at my company (I help reviewing developer resumes, and we're in Maryland), we got in the neighborhood of a hundred resumes, and we're nothing spectacular when it comes to compensation. Of course, this might vary from area to area, but my impression has been there's far more supply than demand still.


Theodore Jonathan Casser
SCJP/SCSNI/SCBCD/SCWCD/SCDJWS/SCMAD/SCEA/MCTS/MCPD... and so many more letters than you can shake a stick at!
Homer Phillips
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Joined: May 26, 2004
Posts: 311
By the time the market reaches that point you and Java will be too old.
Adding to the point made by the previous poster, the median age of Java developers is 30 or less, IMO. After you are thirty five to break into the market you will have know somebody at the second or third level of management.
Tim Holloway
Saloon Keeper

Joined: Jun 25, 2001
Posts: 15959
    
  19

Define "East Coast". I'm on the "East Coast", but around here, they're advertising $40/hr, not 100, and I'm beginning to get the nasty suspicion that the recent uptick in positions advertised locally is actually targeted to H1-Bs.


Customer surveys are for companies who didn't pay proper attention to begin with.
Jay Shin
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 14, 2004
Posts: 169
Define "East Coast".


NYC and Philadelphia metro area.

Sorry, I don't know about other area. I should've said "NYC-Philly Mid-Atlantic" instead of "East Coast".
[/QB]
Joe Richard
Ranch Hand

Joined: Aug 15, 2001
Posts: 76
I have heard that with the high switch to outsourcing a lot of companies are not getting the service they expected from their off-shore IT company. The demand in foreign companies is so high, they cannot find enough people to service their clients to the level the clients expect. It is cheaper for companies to outsource but they are not getting the service they expected. They are not getting spoiled, it used to be when the president could walk down and ask for a special request and have it done by the end of the day. With outsourcing there is usually a language barrier and a backlog of projects just piling up. I think a lot of companies are in for a major shock, they will find out they are not going to get what they expected. There are too many companies outsourcing, and they are outsourcing the back end of the business. They are letting go of a lot of business logic, I think U.S. companies are in for a fall.

With this fall I think the I.T. market will come back.
Theodore Casser
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 14, 2001
Posts: 1902

You're doing an awful lot of 'hearing', Joe - any sources, just out of curiosity, that we could see?

I'm not seeing it, to be honest. (My wife, every so often, looks at Monster and the like to see what's out there and what the salaries are, especially as we get closer to my annual evaluation.) While there are always at least a few Java jobs listed for our local area (Baltimore-Washington), it's nothing to necessarily indicate that hiring patterns - overseas outsourcing or otherwise - is changing much. *shrugs* Maybe that's just my local area.
Luke Kolin
Ranch Hand

Joined: Sep 04, 2002
Posts: 336
Originally posted by Theodore Casser:
I'm not seeing it, to be honest. (My wife, every so often, looks at Monster and the like to see what's out there and what the salaries are, especially as we get closer to my annual evaluation.)


My experience has been that job ads are merely solicitations for resumes. All of my jobs have been unadvertised.

Cheers!

Luke
Mark Herschberg
Sheriff

Joined: Dec 04, 2000
Posts: 6037
Originally posted by Theodore Casser:
You're doing an awful lot of 'hearing', Joe - any sources, just out of curiosity, that we could see?


The company I used at my last job a) had trouble finding competent developers, and b) the ones they finally kept are not ones I would hire for my team in the US.

--Mark
Jason Cox
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 21, 2004
Posts: 287

I have heard that with the high switch to outsourcing a lot of companies are not getting the service they expected from their off-shore IT company.


This has actually been my experience. At a previous employer they had one very successful offshore project, so they started switching a majority of their effort to overseas development. All subsequent projects failed and most were finished onshore, usually by people that were working on projects of their own.

The specific company we were working with claimed all the developers they supplied had 3 to 5 years of experience. However, I did a code review for them and most of it was so bad that I suspect either they were brand new or extremely incompetent.

The demand in foreign companies is so high, they cannot find enough people to service their clients to the level the clients expect. It is cheaper for companies to outsource but they are not getting the service they expected.


Not so sure if they can't find enough people. Last time I checked, unemployment is still pretty darn high in India. When my present company opened an overseas branch, we hired thousands of Indians in a short span of time and had no problem getting up to the level we proposed. Incidentally, the creation of that office created support jobs here in the US during a time when we were not hiring anything but backfills for active contracts.

As for the service, you do get what you pay for I suspect. What I found funny is that I have seen whole teams devoted to do the work of two domestic developers. Not only were they no longer cheaper, but they continued to deliver late and over-budget.

I am not saying off-shore is worthless, I don't honestly believe that. I do think that the fallacy of "better, faster, cheaper" has been disproven often enough that companies should be smarter about how they approach an off-shore project. Frankly, I think off-shore developers are best as pure manpower resources when you need something done as a one off short-term project. The last thing I would do to justify their use is because it will be cheaper or that they are somehow better than domestic help.

They are not getting spoiled, it used to be when the president could walk down and ask for a special request and have it done by the end of the day. With outsourcing there is usually a language barrier and a backlog of projects just piling up.


First of all, I hated it when VP's would come by and ask for something not in scope and expect us to just drop everything and do it. That was always a horrible business practice anyway.

Again, I have not seen a big problem with the language barrier. Even though I struggle with the Indian accent (more due to a hearing deficiency than anything) I have found that most speak good enough English to be effective. I think the biggest problem is that people underestimate what distance does to coordination. I have worked in an office that was 15 minutes away from our corporate HQ, and we routinely had trouble co-ordinating effort. What happens when you're crossing multiple timezones on the other side of the world? The assumption is that instant communication negates distance, but I have yet to see that ever be the case. Certainly, better communication does make operating over vast distances more efficient, but it cannot simply overcome it.

Also, everything gets delayed due to timezone differences. I think this has been the biggest negative. If you need daily communication on a project, off-shoring is a very bad idea. If you can write a spec and effectively "throw it over the wall", then off-shoring is more likely to work.

As for the backlog, I have yet to see any company have trouble finding and offshore firm to start a project whenever they wanted.

I think a lot of companies are in for a major shock, they will find out they are not going to get what they expected.


I think you're a day late and a dollar short. Many companies have already reveresed their off-shoring efforts or reduced it. Once again, business discovers that their silver bullet was just nickel-plated.

There are too many companies outsourcing, and they are outsourcing the back end of the business. They are letting go of a lot of business logic, I think U.S. companies are in for a fall.


I think except for a handful of companies that foolishly off-shored their entire IT departments, most companies will simply cut back and ask when off-shoring is actually effective. Of course, I'm hedging my bets here because I've already seen evidence of such first-hand. We are also evaluating a contract for helping a company rebuild their domestic IT department, which they are now spending big bucks to bring back their overseas development. Going whole hog on off-shoring was a bad bad idea.

However, if anyone is in for a fall I'd say it is Indian companies, not US. There are a lot of similarities between what is happening there and what happened here during the dotcom days. Including the general denial that they are in for having their bubble burst soon. Personally, I hope for a more gradual decline instead of a sudden drop-off, but American business trends will, unfortunately, determine how reasonable the backlash will be.

With this fall I think the I.T. market will come back.


The market has already improved a great deal in the past year or so. I am getting quite a few cold calls and inquiries from recruiters, and I am not even looking. Some of my co-workers are having the same experience.

We are probably not going to see a return of six-figure salaries for people with a handful of years experience, or huge signing bonuses. I don't want the market to go back to the dotcom days because they were never sustainable and I saw the crash coming.

While it was nice to be able to post a resume and have a job by the end of the day, it's not so hard to find a job now. Unfortunately, I think it all depends on your area. At one point I considered moving to Wichita, KS to be closer to my wife's family and quickly discovered that there are just no positions for people like me. Dallas, TX, where I currently reside, has been far behind the market trend for hiring but is still showing signs of improvement. At the same time I am getting complaints from the program manager here in Virginia that they can't keep subcontractors because other companies keep improving their rates. If demand for subs is going up, it makes me wonder how long before we see more permanent positions open up.

Not that I plan on moving anytime soon, the housing market is literally three times more expensive than Dallas.
[ October 26, 2005: Message edited by: Rob Aught ]
Prem Khan
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Joined: May 30, 2005
Posts: 189
It would be nice if I made over 35k canadian. And after taxes thats 24 K /year
[ October 26, 2005: Message edited by: Shawn DeSarkar ]
Ashik Uzzaman
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 05, 2001
Posts: 2370


The market has already improved a great deal in the past year or so. I am getting quite a few cold calls and inquiries from recruiters, and I am not even looking. Some of my co-workers are having the same experience.


This is my experience as well. After finishing my last project in Atlanta, I moved to San Francisco to join my new project. But during 1 week of my various interviewing sessions over phone for contracts, I got 4 confirmed offers from Atlanta/GA, San Francisco/CA, Austin/TX and 4/5 more offers-in-progress even after my consulting firm increased hourly rate for hiring me. I was overwhelmed at the responses and all only from online job boards! May be its due to the fact it was the start of 4th financial sycle of the year and the market for javaa developer is good now.

I am curious to know what is the job market situation for non-java professionals, for example - Oracle DBAs, Unix administrators, QA persons or business analysts. :roll:


Ashik Uzzaman
Senior Member of Technical Staff, Salesforce.com, San Francisco, CA, USA.
 
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