Forecast 2010: 6 hottest skills for 2010

By Mary Brandel, Computerworld |  IT Management

"We're actually seeing new projects get the green light," says Dave Willmer, executive director of IT staffing firm Robert Half Technology. Quite possibly, he says, these were projects that were canceled at the end of 2008, only to be revived for 2010. The wave of new projects is also leading to demand for application developers who can double as business analysts and project managers, Willmer says. (Read Willmer's recent column, "IT hiring poised for skills-driven rebound.")

Specifically, companies will look for developers with knowledge of .Net, Java, Web development, open source and portal technologies such as Microsoft Corp.'s Sharepoint, says Willmer, who is a Computerworld columnist.

Demand is growing for people who know specialized programming languages like Ruby on Rails and AJAX, Silver notes. There aren't many jobs that require those skills, he says, but the number of openings has increased since January 2009.

Kilgore says he would like to find a "hybrid" software developer who can also serve as a business analyst. "We need someone who can talk to the business and be a requirements gatherer, project manager and software developer, all rolled into one," he says. He also needs developers with open-source expertise -- a rare talent, he says -- as well as professionals familiar with Microsoft tools for the ERP and marketing intelligence sides of the business.

Willmer says it makes sense that companies are looking for developers with skills in other areas, such as business analysis or even quality assurance, since employers are concerned about the cost of talent. "They're making sure they get the most out of their resources," he says.

Computerworld's Forecast survey respondents said they also need developers to build homegrown applications in an effort to save money. That's the case for James Sullivan, manager of information services at Covidien, a global health-care company in Mansfield, Mass.

Sullivan soon hopes to add three or four business-savvy programmer/analysts with Java or .Net backgrounds and an understanding of SQL databases. That represents a 25% increase in his usual hiring levels, he says, and it's a departure from previous years when he looked for programming skills alone.

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