by December 5, 2009 0 comments

India has always been looked as a place from where companies could hire
programmers and coders because of the vast talent pool available. Indian
software developers were equally on demand internationally as well. All actions
came to a halt with the economic downturn last year. Now economy is crawling
back in to shape. So the demand curve for software pros is going to rebound. But
now, organizations are looking for software professionals who can see the bigger
picture, and not have just the micro view of the project they are assigned. The
shift is towards professionals who apart from having IT knowledge would also be
aware of industry dynamics and can adapt to the changing needs of the industry
and be up with the competition. Enterprises are now starting to spend again on
streamlining their business processes by using IT thereby creating new
opportunities in the IT job market. The important thing for professionals now is
to know the areas that would see most traction, and accordingly hone their
skills and learn relevant technologies to be ready.

Evergreen Java and  .NET
The two key technology platforms used by software houses the world over for
developing applications are Java and .NET. The professionals having core
expertise in either of these enjoy being in the evergreen market demand. There
are two professional career paths that these professionals can follow. One
towards web development and the other to enterprise class applications
development. The application development both on web front as well on the
enterprise level will be on demand and so the demand for such professionals will
always be there. But just knowing the core technology is not of much help
nowadays. As the skill requirement for Java and .NET developers now encompasses
not being just a web developer or an enterprise developer but to be able to
bridge the gap between the two. For instance, a Java professional of enterprise
applications would be having expertise on J2EE technologies like Java EJBs, RMI
or Spring framework and other distributed computing components. Since the
natural progression is now more towards web oriented applications, a developer
needs to add skillsets for web technologies to his core expertise, so as to be
able to adapt and make himself suitable to the changing needs. Similarly for
.NET developers, there isn’t any dearth of opportunities. There is a lot
happening in the Web 2.0 space. So a developer can also build skills on
technologies that enable the next generation web such as Silverlight, AJAX,
Expression as well as those which enable rich user experiences such as WPF.

Cloud C­omputing
This year saw Cloud computing as the big buzzword. And just because of the
benefits that the cloud computing architecture offers, it’s going to be adopted
in a large scale. Many organizations have started contemplating having their own
private clouds or plan to offer Cloud based services. The application
development for the Cloud is not any different from mainstream application
development, but there are some constraints attached to that. A developer of
enterprise applications knows what his likely overhead is going to be, as his
application will be in a closed environment. While application deployed on the
Cloud will have to be flexible and robust enough to scale itself to the sudden
inflow of requests and also retract back when there is no traffic or requests so
as to save on resources. Such constraints will have to be kept in mind by
developers while developing applications for the Cloud environment. Google
AppEngine, Microsoft Azure, Amazon are few cloud platforms for which developers
can build and deploy applications.

Enterprise applications like CRM, ERP etc. which were already being offered
as SaaS based services, are now being hosted on Cloud platform. Similarly
enterprises who would be setting up their private clouds would be shifting their
existing applications to the new platform. There would be a need for such
application to be compliant with the Cloud architecture. There would be need to
modify and test the applications for the Cloud. This would require both
developers as well as testers for the process of transition to the Cloud

Post recession as the Indian industry is growing, more and more Indian
employers are realizing that there is a need for technical people. This
thought was missing earlier. Now we are seeing people who want to remain
technical and not foray into management side. Earlier people with 8-9 years
of experience were pushed into project management and program management.
Now the mindset is changing as people want to be technical managers rather
than person managers. This is largely due to the fact that customers want
experienced people for their projects and not people with just 2-3 years of
experience. This is one trend that industry is seeing post recession.

The hot jobs for next year will be for those with lot
of GUI expertise. The Indian developers used to focus mostly on middleware
and considered GUI as designer related job. The other would be on the
applications being delivered on the hand-held devices.

Umesh Wason, AVP – Talent Acquisition,

Era of Rich Internet Apps
With the advent of Web 2.0 there has been an increased focus towards user
experience and interactive software development. The appearance of Rich Internet
Applications (RIAs) is the result of this evolvement. Unlike standard HTML based
application, RIAs enable seamless and interactive transitions from one stage to
another. RIAs offer enterprises a new platform for various types of content
distribution as RIAs allow allocation of text, images, audio and video data in
the most effective and user-oriented way. For many years, we have been seeing
Flash based animations and regarded it as an overload while delivering a
webpage. But now Flash with supported functionalities of Flex and AIR has become
the main platform for RIA development. Flash’s competitors, such as JavaFx and
Silverlight, are also upping the ante on features and performance. Microsoft’s
Silverlight though stands second, it’s surprising that JavaFX has lagged behind
in the race of RIAs. The upcoming set of new web standards, i.e. HTML 5 will
also be incorporation RIA functionalities including database connectivity. With
so much happening on the technology front, and also organizations coming up with
more intuitive, interactive and rich applications, having an RIA expertise will
be the key resume differentiator for the coming year.

Web is here to stay. And two things that developers ever demanded were A) a
channel through which their application can reach to a maximum audience and
web provides that potential to reach out to the whole world; and B) the user
should have a friction free access to the application. Again the web enables
that, the user just has to fire up the browser and type the URL to access
the application. These two attribute make the web powerful and exciting
medium. There is proliferation of mobile devices too, people want to move
seamlessly between web and the mobile devices, and they expect same
experience. So if you are a developer then think of mobile development as it
is going to continue to be a hot area. The other area that will be hot in
next few months will be the Cloud. People first need to fundamentally
understand what it means to play in the cloud.

S Somasegar, Senior Vice-President, Developer
Division, Microsoft

As discussed earlier, it is not enough to know core languages; Java or .NET.
Enterprises are looking at adding more disparate functionalities to their
applications, it’s imperative and essential for a developer to be able to grasp
on opportunities to know at least one of the RIA associated framework and
technology. The gap between the designer and the developer is now fading.
Earlier developers didn’t focus on the design of their applications. Now as user
experience is rated the most on any software development project, the focus of
developer is towards design also. Microsoft’s Silverlight or JavaFX or even Flex
and AIR are the technologies that are not difficult to learn and provide
developer to add RIA functionalities to their applications. It’s not just the
Web but also desktop applications that are being delivered on RIA platform.
Application like TweetDeck, a desktop client for Twitter or Ebay’s client
applications are based on AIR. Flex and AIR developers can command for high
opportunity and demand as organizations are developing RIA applications for
their users and thus creating huge demand for such professionals.

There is a huge demand supply gap of good embedded technology professionals
in India. As I see, it may be because nobody wants to touch the hardware
now, everybody wants to write applications. Nowadays a developer can’t debug
his application by looking at the memory dump. This is because he wants to
be a software developer and not a hardware or embedded developer. If
somebody wants to be an embedded developer he should know the computer
architecture and should be able to write applications for different
architectures and also to debug their applications, as it is a major thing
as there are very few professionals who know how to debug embedded
applications. He can expect his career in embedded technology to have
success then. As India is becoming a destination for offshore embedded
works, there is a huge growth potential in the field and lots of

Mr. Sanjoy Maity, Vice President of Software
Engineering, American Megatrends (AMI)

Mobile development
iPhones, Blackberrys and other smartphones have triggered a whole new avenue as
a career for software developers. It won’t be wrong to say that enterprises are
going mobile. Because, applications that a business user would want are
available to him on his smartphone, for example he can send/ receive emails,
view and create documents and presentations, etc. As smartphones are becoming
more powerful and replacing computers or notebooks, enterprises want
applications like CRM or BI to be available to their employees. The coming year
will see more and more organizations delivering their enterprise applications on
the mobile platform.

But mobile platforms are on disparate frameworks, be it Java, Windows or
Symbian. A developer who wants to foray into the mobile development domain will
have to gain core expertise in one of the framework. For instance, a Java
developer should gain knowledge of java ME along with the specifications of CLDP,
etc. Similarly .NET developers have a good prospect here as many of these areas
are based on .NET framework and developers having core .NET skills can switch
easily to mobile domain. These technologies are seeing large-scale adoption in
small as well as large IT companies in India and developers are uniquely
positioned to leverage this opportunity without having to go through a
completely new learning curve.

Unlike iPhone, the new Android platform is open and developers can build
applications for the phones that will be on Android platform. This too has
opened new opportunity for developers who want to work freelance, and can sell
their applications as downloads from Android store.

Embedded technologies
The advent of mobile devices and smart electronic devices has opened up an
exciting area for embedded software developers. With embedded technology being
used in digital devices of daily use, like cellphones, televisions, video
players, cameras, cars, etc, the IT industry needs professionals -both hardware
as well as software levels, for embedded software. With devices mostly being
based on ARM chips or x86, it is important for embedded software developers to
have complete knowledge of the architecture knowledge of C/ C++ languages for
programming purposes. A developer should know the different architectures of the
chipsets and how to deploy an application across.

It’s not that embedded developers would be planting BIOS and other hardware
level programs into the devices. Now as netbooks are becoming popular and dual
chipset based netbooks being available having both Intel as well as an ARM
processor. It has opened up avenues like having a complete operating system like
Android embedded into the ARM chipset. There are many innovations going in the
industry and thus is the increasing demand-supply gap for embedded professionals
in India.

Project management
The biggest revenue provider to the Indian IT Industry is the IT
services/export industry. Success for an organization  is defined by the ability
to deliver projects on time, within budgets as per the defined scope. Project
management plays a crucial role in the success of the Indian IT Industry. It is
also evident from the fact that a majority of the members of the PMI community
comes from the IT industry. Most enterprises now demand Project management
certification for employment or advancement as a Project Manger in the

Given the current economic scenario and the growth of the IT Services sector
there is going to be pressure on the delivery team both in terms of resource
allocation and meeting scope commitments. These are integral part of the
Project Management. We believe that Project Management is a skill for life
and thus opportunities to use the discipline within and without the job is
very high. At the start of the career of a software developer he is like a
sales person. With experience and performance, a sales person then becomes a
sales manager. It is well known that all good sales people do not become
good sales managers. In the same way, a software developer needs to acquire
new skills and knowledge to perform as a team lead or project manager.
Project Management certification helps a developer to demonstrate that he
has acquired the required skills and is ready for career enhancement.

Raj Kalady
, Managing Director, Project Management Institute -India

Project management as a career can take you to different directions and to
many different industries. It is the domain knowledge which helps in deciding
which industry you are apt for. Coming from an IT industry does not bound you to
handle the projects in IT industry only. Your IT knowledge and project
management skills can be suitable for enterprises that are going through various
IT implementation projects –for instance a financial institution or a bank may
require Project Mangers to handle their bank’s automation project which will
require the expertise of an IT professional having project management
experience. IT professionals can aim for the project manager positions not only
in IT companies, but also for the IT functions in other industries as well.

There are industry recognized professional project management certifications
that include PMP, PRINCE2 that can be pursued. IBM in particular also has
accreditation and certification programs for different proficiency levels in
project management. As per a salary survey conducted by ZDNET, candidates with
PMP certifications were the highest paid. Thus, with a PMP certificate from a
Project Management Institute one can broaden his scope not only for Indian
companies but also abroad.

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