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Technology Sectors that are Hot or Heating Up Now?

Cliff posted more than 12 years ago | from the searching-for-that-next-career dept.

Technology 378

unemployedCoder-in-retraining asks: "As a recently "leisured" programmer, I'm very interested in trying to turn misfortune into opportunity. This means using this career discontinuity to bone up on the latest-n-greatest in the hot sectors of the industry, to offer a better chance of a finding another great job. Of course, then one asks: 'What's Hot?' The Telco/Switching sector seems to have flatlined (Nortel and Lucent as examples). Cable and DSL access device and service development seems to be struggling. Wireless 3G networks seem to be having a hard time in North America. And yet, we here that a recovery is underway and that the technology sector as a whole is picking up again. So I ask you: 'Where?' In what sectors? What are the most important new technologies to learn to enhance employability? Somewhere, somebody is hiring or will be soon. What do I and other victims of the slowdown have to know to 'get back in the saddle' in the near future?"

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um... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3708427)


huh... (-1)

MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM (537317) | more than 12 years ago | (#3708437)


Don't chase trends (5, Insightful)

csb (23046) | more than 12 years ago | (#3708431)

By the time you figure out what's hot and train for it, it won't be hot any more. Just do what you like to do, do it well, and put yourself in a position where somebody will recognize you for it. Chasing trends will only exhaust you.

Re:Don't chase trends (-1)

MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM (537317) | more than 12 years ago | (#3708448)

Tell that to Bill Gates... without smilling.

Re:Don't chase trends (2, Interesting)

selderrr (523988) | more than 12 years ago | (#3708468)

I will depend heavily on the trend, and the trendsetter. If you want to chase a trent set by some small town startup, you're probably fucked indeed. If you follow a trens set up by a donkey with enough cash momentum to give that trend a huge initial push, you can hook up and ride along for quite some time.
A few examples are .Net, XBox, java, 3D games, palm stuff... most of these started as a gadget that turned into a trend which turned into a full blown sector. Some of these will survive, some will die out.

Hey, the poster asked for interseting job opportunities, right ? He didn't ask for an interesting or valuabble job !

LOL (2)

hendridm (302246) | more than 12 years ago | (#3708605)

> and put yourself in a position where somebody will recognize you for it.

Why the hell didn't I think of that?! 8 months of unemployment and the answer is that simple!

Studying what you like doesn't work unless what you like is a current "hot trend". I think this industry requires chasing hot trends, unless you are lucky enough to get "job security" (I heard about such a thing once in a magazine article).

Wrong Forum (4, Funny)

brad3378 (155304) | more than 12 years ago | (#3708434)

Sounds more like a thermodynamics problem

flit prost! !!! flirt prist!!! FIRST POST!! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3708438)

Probably too late.

.NET (2)

selderrr (523988) | more than 12 years ago | (#3708445)

not that I can tell if the technology is any good, but if I lock you up for 10 days with 5 managers and a horse, both you and the horse will come out with eye-stare, mumbling '.NET is cool, .NET is the way to go...'

this assumes offcourse that all 5 managers are as brainwashed as possible, but that's probably the easiest part.

Re:.NET === XML (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3708507)

Well .NET is built upon XML so if you really want to leverage that bubble I would start with it first. Basically XML provides a "standard" way to describe "hyper" data, similar to the way HTML provides a "standard" way to define hyperlinked documents. It's very useful and is bound to grow in significance over the next few years(like it's not already). Before you know it you will be sending XML keys from your PDA to your car to ask it to run the config for you vs. your SO. By the time you open the door, the car will be running, environmental controls will be adjusting to your desired settings and your favorite tunes will cue up just in time! Your car will respond with an XML health diagnostic and some notes left from SO about the burger wrappers in the rear seat ...

Re:.NET === XML (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3708564)

Actually, the xml-ized smart car will eventually replace the SO completely.

Re:.NET === XML (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3708591)

wait, what part of all that requred xml, I'm confused?

Re:.NET === XML (2)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 12 years ago | (#3708620)

XML is simply a data transmission format. Comma delimited format did not generate front-page news when it came out, so why should XML?

People trying to turn XML into databases and programming languages are missing the mark. XML does not do either of these particularly well. Databases are optimized to be databases, not optimized to fit a certain external format. That would be almost like optimizing a car engine to resemble a Peter Max drawing.

Regarding .NET, MS made a confusing mess. The advantage of VB was that it had a shorter learning curve than Java and its API's. Now that MS cloned Java, they also cloned the complexity of Java, it seems.

All it will do is create a *new* market for K.I.S.S. True, MS might suck up that market also, but they still have to start from scratch and risk all the problems related to being overbearing and mean.

(Whether the Java approach is "better" in the long run to make up for the longer learning curve is another long, flameful debate. I personally think Sun's API's are rotting crap.)

pornography (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3708451)

Porn has always made money, and always will. So if your morals are OK with it, go be a gearhead for a porn site or publisher.

I don't remember who said it, but I once read a quote that was along the lines of "The whole of computer science is nothing more than methods for increasing the efficiency of generating, storing, transmitting, viewing, and enjoying pornography." Heh.

Or, to update the recurrent slashjoke:

  • Step 1: Satisfy people's base urges in an easy and discreet manner.
  • Step 2: Open merchant account.
  • Step 3: Mega-Profit

Re:pornography (4, Insightful)

LinuxCumShot (582742) | more than 12 years ago | (#3708531)

The adult website market is too crowded, hard to get in an make money, and you have to deal with people stealing your photots. Other websites and users, and the gov't is more interrested in protecting music and movies than your smut, so you are on your own. Plus after 8 years of no worring about indecency, Dubya is back at tossing people in jail for fisting and such... plus the script kiddies and xxx password sites steal your bandwidth... its a tough business... and then your wife leaves you because you dicked on of your models...

No my friends, the money is in the back end, servers and such, image viewers... supply the porn indusrtry with what it needs and the money will come rolling in... only down side is you won't actually get to see/touch the naked people.

Re:pornography (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3708572)

I want poseable porn! That's surely within our technological grasp. Why should I be limited to the photographer or director's idea of what I want to see?

Re:pornography (1)

grokBoy (582119) | more than 12 years ago | (#3708541)

Shouldn't that be:

Step 1: Satisfy people's base urges in an easy and discreet manner.

Step 2: We don't know

Step 3: Mega-Profit



Re:pornography (4, Informative)

Tranvisor (250175) | more than 12 years ago | (#3708553)

Come on, give credit where credit's due.

The Step 1,2,3 joke is from a Southpark episode. Specifically, "The Underpants Gnomes".

The original joke was that the gnnomes buisness method was:

Step 1: Steal Underpants
Step 2: ??? (None of the gnomes could remember)
Step 3: Profit!!

AI (5, Insightful)

Astin (177479) | more than 12 years ago | (#3708452)

Where I'm working (large financial institution) they're starting to look into AI as a means of predicting market movement and trends. One could see this as becoming key in other areas as well. Any field that tries to predict chaos or long-term trends could potentially be looking into this.

Of course, there's the danger you'll invent a supercomputer that takes of the world and sends killer robots back in time to kill the leader of the resistance. This naturally would lead to his psychotic mother trying to kill you and you ultimately sacrificing yourself to save the future. Something to think about.

Re:AI (1)

dsyu (203328) | more than 12 years ago | (#3708488)

Based on the parent post, my advice to the story originator would be, "There's no fate but what we make for ourselves".

Re:AI (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3708518)

Of course, there's the danger you'll invent a supercomputer that takes of the world and sends killer robots back in time to kill the leader of the resistance. This naturally would lead to his psychotic mother trying to kill you and you ultimately sacrificing yourself to save the future. Something to think about.
You know, diet coke really hurts when it goes through your nose. ;-)

Adult Industry (5, Insightful)

LinuxCumShot (582742) | more than 12 years ago | (#3708455)

Good times or bad times, the adult industry is unaffected. And they are always the first ones to adopt new tech...

Re:Adult Industry (5, Funny)

PsiPsiStar (95676) | more than 12 years ago | (#3708477)

And they are always the first ones to adopt new tech...

...especially if it vibrates.

Reason for overly sunny info (3, Interesting)

PsiPsiStar (95676) | more than 12 years ago | (#3708457)

I've been reading the book Next (my father reccomended it. He's a businessman so it's at that level. It did have some interesting stuff though, like explaining the conflicts of interest that most financial advisers are involved in and how you can get more accurate estimates of profits just by reducing their estimates by 10%.

So that can help to explain why what you're hearing isn't matching up with reality.

Re:Reason for overly sunny info (2)

interiot (50685) | more than 12 years ago | (#3708544)

Also the job market tends to lag behind the economy a bit.

People who are currently employed are feeling secure enough in their current position to start spending more, so that's helping to speed the economy up. But companies 1) don't need to start hiring more employees because they can just make the current ones work harder, and 2) hiring someone is a longer-term commitment, and it's not necessarily clear yet that the economy has picked up for good.

Re:Reason for overly sunny info (1)

C_nemo (520601) | more than 12 years ago | (#3708631)

"2) hiring someone is a longer-term commitment, and it's not necessarily clear yet that the economy has picked up for good."

shit, what world/drug are you on?

long answer...short answer... (3, Insightful)

gTsiros (205624) | more than 12 years ago | (#3708458)

Short one: If we knew, we'd be doing it.
Longer one:
I can't tell you what...but you can start using your imagination trying to find something that people would use frequently.

And now for some brainstorming:

Whatever you do, a good marketing dpt. will make it look better. This is sad.

Not "one" thing there is. Ok, yoda speak, but what i want to get to is that people need to fill gaps in the business...some people do this...some people do that... coding is fun , ok, but if everone only coded, it'd be dull.

Look which /. subjects seem to get most attention. I consider these subjects "hot". Do this with various other publications, and since we all have seen how satire foresees reality, start with the onion ;)

storm's out.

Re:long answer...short answer... (2, Funny)

ComaVN (325750) | more than 12 years ago | (#3708485)

Look which /. subjects seem to get most attention. I consider these subjects "hot"

DON'T!!! before you know it, you'll be pouring hot grits into your widened asshole.
Oh he meant the articles... My bad.

Support! (2, Insightful)

NullStream (121401) | more than 12 years ago | (#3708459)

There are always open and varried opportunities in the ever strong field of technical support!

Re:Support! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3708498)

The booming field of retail catering is reportedly
looking forward to a back influx of former
VA Software employees.

Re:Support! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3708536)


Try the Internet (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3708460)

I'm hearing good things about the Web-net Intersites.

Huh ? (0, Offtopic)

doru (541245) | more than 12 years ago | (#3708461)

It's Thursday, already ?!

Um... (2)

NoMoreNicksLeft (516230) | more than 12 years ago | (#3708462)

Maybe you'd be better off doing what you like, and quit chasing buzzwords.

Re:Um... (1)

hendridm (302246) | more than 12 years ago | (#3708615)

So what your saying is the reason I'm unemployed is because I'm doing things I DON'T like? I didn't know!

Easy to say when you HAVE a job.

You won't hear it much on Slashdot (0, Troll)

RTFA Man (578488) | more than 12 years ago | (#3708464)

but any time you spend learning Microsoft stuff (.net framework, mcse, c#, etc.) will repay itself a thousand times over.

Just like the economy? (2, Informative)

ComaVN (325750) | more than 12 years ago | (#3708465)

I have heard the economy is starting to pick up again for months, yet no real signs of improvements show up. Probably the same for the job market for some time.

My advice: lay back, have a beer, meet new people and do interesting things with them, and when cash runs out go flip some burgers or something. In a few years time, when things look better, they'll come running for you again.

Biotech is the future. (4, Insightful)

User 956 (568564) | more than 12 years ago | (#3708472)

Just look at the stock market. Biotech is the future, my friend. In the new annual ranking of the Nasdaq 100 index--made up of the 100 largest nonfinancial companies ranked by market capitalization--seven of the 13 companies added were in biotech. The new entrants include such familiar names as ImClone Systems (IMCL ), Cephalon (CEPH ), Sepracor (SEPR ), and Invitrogen (IVGN ); they replace 13 faltering tech, telecom, and Internet outfits, including onetime stars CMGI (CMGI ), 3Com (COMS ), and Palm (PALM ). All told, biotech companies now represent 12.7% of the market capitalization of all the companies in the index, nearly triple the share they held only two years ago.

Sounds an awful lot like the Internet bubble all over again, I know. And in one sense, it is: The high market capitalization of many of these stocks suggests that investors are paying a lot in anticipation of future earnings that may never materialize. It costs tens of millions of dollars and can take five to 15 years to get a drug from the test tube to the clinic--and many drugs simply don't make it.

In several ways, however, this boom is different. The industry is more mature than it was a decade ago, when it last rose and fell. New alliances, new products, and new financing should combine to produce lasting growth in this once-turbulent field. There are some 300 biotech products in Phase III testing, the final stage of human experimentation before seeking Food & Drug Administration approval. The FDA issued 32 approvals for biotech drugs in 2000, a 45% increase over 1999. Sales of biotech products rose from $16.1 billion in 1999 to $18.1 billion in 2000, an increase of 12%. And there were 22 profitable biotechs in 1999, up from 17 in 1997. In addition, there is a distinct lack of bearded linux hippies in biotech, making it a much more attractive market segment to the general public.

Furthermore, unlike many Internet companies, the biotech companies are targeting clear and existing markets. Many Internet companies devised products without knowing whether there were markets for them. Others, such as Yahoo!, aimed for ad revenues that proved far smaller than hoped. Biotech companies don't have that problem: A drug for arthritis or cancer, say, has a huge market. If their drugs work, the biotechs will make money.

Excitement in biotech will likely get another boost when the climate for initial public offerings improves. There are 50-100 biotech companies waiting to go public, says Oronsky. That's where casual investors should be especially careful. Some of today's most promising biotechs will undoubtedly fall short of the hype. Unfortunately, that's one way this boom won't differ much from the last.

Re:Bio-informatics (5, Informative)

Paul Johnson (33553) | more than 12 years ago | (#3708549)

Biotech is increasingly an IT-intensive industry. Some of the biggest iron in the world exists to crunch biotech problems, mostly related to protein folding and drug interactions. They also generate huge amounts of experimental data that has to be managed and mined. Finally there is a lot of automated lab equipment for parallelising those bits of it that still involve real chemicals and real biology.

The field here is wide open. Lots of university biology departments are spinning off companies to make innovative new sensors, so you can get involved there. Or you can go and manage a Beowulf cluster for a big drug firm. Or anything in between.


Dumb Yahoo (2)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 12 years ago | (#3708578)

(* Yahoo!, aimed for ad revenues that proved far smaller than hoped. *)

Yahoo just seems to be making stupid decisions. I see almost *no* subject-based targeting in their geocities ads. I don't remember a single computer-related ad in my IT-related websites (such as my anti-OO site). It is already classified as a computer-related site in their system.

Further, they are killing thier own "children". They are starting to "clean up" older sites that have not changed, regardless of the number of visitors.

The cost of storing and transmitting webpages will continue to drop over time. (The only cost that might rise is content disputes, like DMCA stuff.)

Thus these two factors:

1. Better targeting ads

2. Continuous drop in storage and transmission costs

Should make things like Geocities viable. True, #2 is long-term, but they could do #1 now.

Re:Biotech is the future. (2)

RevRigel (90335) | more than 12 years ago | (#3708589)

Of course, the CEO of first company you listed, ImClone systems, was just arrested and charged with insider trading for notifying his friends (including Martha Stuart) and family that the company's cancer drug wasn't going to be approved prior to the information becoming public, enabling them to sell off the still-valuable stock.

technology or sectors? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3708474)

don't know what sectors I would chase... I
honestly doubt if I would chase sectors at all.

as for technologies, as trite as it might sound the two to pursue are probably the same damned ones people have been tyalking about for the last five years, Java and XML. both are only going to become more ingrained and widespread as companies in all industries continue to pull their various services and offerings together.


Re:technology or sectors? (2, Informative)

BeerGood (561775) | more than 12 years ago | (#3708533)

I started working in military technologie a month before Sept. Needly to say my career as IT programmer in this area has surged.

web services (3, Interesting)

bilbobuggins (535860) | more than 12 years ago | (#3708475)

web services.

i know it sounds like a trendy buzz-word but i think it's here to stay and some seriously cool stuff will start to happen soon (look at Google).
at any rate, if you can walk into a potential employer and say 'I can convert your current software into a remote API for access by your clients in a multitude of languages' I think you have a pretty good shot at a job. at least, this is what I would be trying to learn if I had time.

Oh, and being able to throw around 'SOAP' and '.NET' a lot doesn't hurt too much either ;)

when the HELL will Slashdot use year dates? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3708478)

Maybe you haven't figured out how? Believe it or not, people searching the archives kind of like to know what stinkin year an article is from. Sheesh. Typos, misspellings, kindergarten grammar- you guys get paid for this? Might as well work for ZDNet.

Re:when the HELL will Slashdot use year dates? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3708511)

They never thought slashdot would survive more than one year.

Re:when the HELL will Slashdot use year dates? (1)

ComaVN (325750) | more than 12 years ago | (#3708520)

You can modify the date/time format in your preferences.
You can relax now.

Whats Hot (1)

thomas57 (566284) | more than 12 years ago | (#3708479)

I've found that small company's are usually looking for some technology. It's worked great for me. I've been able to outsource graphics to people I know that are looking for jobs, and there is always a ton of programming to do. You just have to create a position for yourself when you step in the door.

Novely Websites, The Trend of the FUTURE.... (4, Funny)

donnacha (161610) | more than 12 years ago | (#3708480)

Bioinformatics (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3708486)

Using IT to crunch the genome, protiens, protien-folding, creating treaments by targeting specific molecular recpetor sites, etc. Definitely the next hot area and mostly wide-open from an IT perspective.

One word (3, Insightful) (471768) | more than 12 years ago | (#3708487)

Security, this is the big one now

I'm impressed with Envivio. (1)

Futurepower(R) (558542) | more than 12 years ago | (#3708490)

I'm impressed with Envivio's [] business, more capable MPEG-4 software. (No, I don't work for them.)

Easy come, easy go (1)

ipxodi (156633) | more than 12 years ago | (#3708491)

New technologies, languages, platforms, etc will come and go over the course of your career, but there will ALWAYS be a need for the Network and PC Administrators.
I'm a Network Administrator and haven't had a problem finding a job in the last 10 years. I was laid off in late 2000, and found a new job within 3 weeks.
Just get a well rounded understanding of Windows, Linux, Telecommunications, security, etc., and you'll probably always be able to get a job. You probably won't be making a 6 figure salary, but I'm more than comfortable making less than that.

Biotech? (5, Interesting)

cr0sh (43134) | more than 12 years ago | (#3708493)

This may be the next big thing, but right now most of what the usual geek could get into seems mostly hype. What I am talking about is the field of Bioinformatics. From what I understand, Bioinformatics is basically "data mining of biotech databases" - more or less. I know there are a few books available on the subject (including one by Oreilly). The main problems with "breaking into the scene" is most positions, when offered, require you to have some kind of science degree (biology related, generally) - even though it is just data-mining. I tend to wonder if it is because you really have to know the terminology behind the data you are looking through (maybe), or if it is just such a young field that the employers thinks they need such people right now.

It is something I would like to get into: I live in Phoenix, and the city is trying to get something going here called the "International Genomics Commission" (IGC - the "C" part I am hazy on) - basically a huge research lab for biotech, etc - so far, it is seemingly being sucessful. Anyhow, I haven't got a chance in hell of possibly getting onboard "early", so to speak, because not only do I not have a degree in any bio science area, but I don't have a degree at all (ok, I take that back, I do have an Associates, but from a tech school - read: Near Worthless). All I do have is 10+ years of professional experience in software development and database applications - but I am not sure that will count for much, at least at this point in time.

Another area to consider: Alternative Energy Research - I am not talking solar, etc - but more on funky engine and prime mover designs, etc - I am seeing more of this stuff crop up all over the place.

Re:Biotech? (3, Insightful)

Lictor (535015) | more than 12 years ago | (#3708543)

As someone working in Bioinformatics, here are a couple of quick opinions on your post:

Bioinformatics is *NOT* "just data-mining". Certainly, data-mining of genetic information is one aspect, but its far from being the whole field. There are lots of really interesting problems besides just "how do we deal with this huge genome..." Protien secondary structure prediction, tertiary structure prediction, computational pharmacokinetics (and biomolecule docking problems) etc... there is just *so* much more to the field than data mining.

The other thing is that this is only going to be "hot" for a limited amount of time. Bioinformatics is here to stay, but right now its on a huge trendy upswing. Drug companies are throwing millions of dollars at it in hopes of developing an 'in silico' drug testing lab... sooner or later they are going to realize that there is still a LOT of basic science that needs to be done before this happens. People working in bioinfo in industy are getting some pretty ludicrous salaries these days (yes I'm jealous... I'm in academia), but it ain't gonna last. Like any other flavour of the week there will be a huge bursting of the bubble, followed by a nice levelling off.

If bioinformatics *interests* you, then I would highly recommend pursuing it. Its a very rewarding area, and it offers you the opportunity to work with people from many different disciplines. But if you are on the "Bioinformatics == $$" bandwagon... you're going to end up dissapointed.

Biotech. Programming well is optional. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3708619)

The reason is quite simple. You are not solving computer problems, you are solving science problems. The payoff is getting drugs to market faster. Every day a drug is on the market can be $1 million a DAY in revenue.

The science behind drug discovery is fairly invovled, and time consuming to learn. On the contrary, it is pretty easy to learn to make a short program that solves a math problem.

It is not easy to learn to write a GOOD program. Generally the code used in informatics departments is slow, hard to maintain, poorly documented, leaks resources, and is prone to dump core on a large number of inputs.

The bottom line is that infomratics people solve science problems. A scientist can quickly become a passable programmer. As soon as they do that, drug companies don't care if they have to spend millions of dollars on hardwarwe to get things to run quickly. Informatics problems can be solved by scientists, they just usually don't write very good code to do it.

It would be great to have people that are good scientist and good programmers. But it is hard to teach programmers even the basic vocabulary they need to be able to talk to a scientist about what the problem to be solved is. If you can only have one, you have to take the scientist over the programmer.

Advice (1)

ryepup (522994) | more than 12 years ago | (#3708494)

Do what you want. What are you interested in? You don't want to wind up in a job you hate.
Use the time to get an in-depth understanding and knowledge of whatever the hell you want. If you get good enough at it, you'll be hired for that, and you'll enjoy it a lot more than if you become the equivalent of a Y2K bug programmer.

pump your buzz words into a job site (1)

ScrewTivo (458228) | more than 12 years ago | (#3708496)

and see what gets the hits.

Defense is way up (3, Insightful)

lingqi (577227) | more than 12 years ago | (#3708497)

Try Northrop Grumman / Lockeed Martin / Boeing, etc

as for the pure, pure computer area -- i think people are returning to the "core business". (chip wise)

LCD is another area;

wireless is picking up a little steam (look at how many DSL routers there are!), as well as other marginal stuff -- HDTV, PDA, etc...

cellphone and pda integration is considered to be inevitable by some -- so cellphones are not "flatlining", they are just not exploding as they were before.

at the same time digital imaging (cameras / miniDV camcorders) are sparking a huge thing within flash market -- look how the size have doubled time and again: imagine how much $$ of R&D / engineering went into that

home entertainment (xbox / ps2 / cube) is also kinda hot -- sony expect to sell a LOT of ps2s by christmas -- and ppl are gearing up for that too.

there are a couple more -- can't think of them off the top my head though

Like in The Graduate, but different. (2, Insightful)

vegetablespork (575101) | more than 12 years ago | (#3708499)

One word: forensics. Between Enronesque corporate investigations, the kiddie porn scares, and the emphasis on "cyber security," there's lots of opportunity there. But don't do it unless you have the stomach to be the guy that helps put some teenager playing with a website in prison, because at the end of the day, that's what the computer crime "units" seem to enjoy most.

Small Business (3, Informative)

peterdaly (123554) | more than 12 years ago | (#3708505)

I would argue small business, based on what I have seeing. Big business has jumpe on the e-commerce bandwagon, but for the most part small busniesses have not yet really touched its potential.

I am not in the consulting industry, but I believe there is quite a lot of business to be had by aproaching the right small companies with the right plans. If I were "leisured" at the moment, which I am not, in addition to looking for a real job, I would aproach some small businesses in my area with "solutions" to get started in e-commerce, or e-customer service. My mechanic, who can barely use a mouse has just setup a site, and plans to offer information about his high quality used car inventory. If you had a simple turnkey site for a market like that, there is a decent living to be had. Now kep in mind, you probably cannot charge the $95 an hour you used to get. However, there are many low end turn key systems to be sold. 40 dealers/mechanics at $1000 a site would be the equivilent of an entry to mid level programmer in my market. How many small mechanics, or used car dealers are there in your area? Used cars are just an example, I am sure you can come up with more on your own. It helps if you have an "in" with at least one business of the type you intend to go after to get your foot in the door.

Anyway, if I had a few weeks ahead of me where my employment was uncertain, I'd identify a market like that, and go after it. This is also a market where open source can be used to your advantage if you approach the situation correctly.

Hope I have gotten some thoughts going,


My recommendations (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3708512)

you should try to get a job that:

  1. pays an awful lot
  2. requires very little work
  3. keeps you knee deep in pussy every day
  4. bestows rock star status upon you
  5. has a lot of perks (private jet, skybox, etc.)
  6. 100% job security
  7. three words: corporate blowjob girl
  8. involves Linux

Re:My recommendations (1)

i_want_you_to_throw_ (559379) | more than 12 years ago | (#3708532)

There aren't any openings. That's MY job!

Larry Ellison

Re:My recommendations (1)

skinfitz (564041) | more than 12 years ago | (#3708602)

Found it, broke it, broke into it. :oP

Web services. (5, Insightful)

case_igl (103589) | more than 12 years ago | (#3708516)

I see lots of growth in Web services and entertainment. There are lots of companies transitioning to membership based models now, and that generates a lot of work to build those subscription systems and management tools.

I just hired four new developers at my company, so I will give you some pointers for actually getting in the door once you have found a company to interview for:

#1 - Accept the fact you'll most likely make less money than your last position. Times have changed in most markets. I hired for four positions and had 150 resumes (not counting the throw them in the trash right away kind). Lots of people I interviewed were looking for salaries that were gone with the 1999 dot com frenzy. Don't mentioned your MBA or Masters in CompSci fifty times, either.

#2 - Don't accept less money than you're worth. With #1 being said, don't short sell yourself either. Companies are getting away with murder when they hire right now because the market is so bad for those out of work. You want to come across as someone who is WORTH every penny you ask for. How to do this? Focus on things at your previous jobs that increased efficiency or saved your company money. As an example, someone I hired told me about how they cut their company's bandwidth costs by 30% by installing a proxy that used mod_gzip on everything going out. Companies will pay for people who will not only save them money, but FIND them ways to save even more money.

#3 - Be assertive, but not forceful. People who call me every two days to follow-up annoy the heck out of me. It sends a signal that you're desparate and don't have other options. Definately send an E-mail thanking the person for an interview with a couple BRIEF thoughts. If you call back more than once and don't hear back, don't waste your time chasing the job.

#4 - Focus on MY needs, not yours. I don't want to hear about how you are really heavily involved in open source, or have this web site you help maintain on the side that gets uber traffic. Things like that spell distraction to me. Review the Web site or product catalog of the company you are going to interview for. Do a Google search and read recent press on the company. Try to get an idea of what challenges the company is facing and apply your past project experience directly to that.

#5 - Dress and act appropriately. Don't show up in a suit unless it's an executive position and you're in an area of the country that requires it. Being overdressed makes you look out of place, and tells me you haven't been in circulation or interviewed much. Comb your hair, take out those nose rings (unless you're a graphics person, haha), and ask questions. If you don't understand something you're asked, say so. Nothing is worse than watching someone try to fake their way through an answer.

#6 - Base the business on the numbers and the market, not the Herman Miller chairs. Our office isn't super deluxe. It's pretty spartan, just a couple floors of cubes and Costco desks, tables, etc. But we're profitable for over a year, have over three million users, have positive growth, and have been in business on the net for over six years. You won't find a good job that will last if a company spends more on their office than their payroll.

#7 - Avoid the startup...This one is more of my personal experience, but most people I know are sick of hearing about startups. Hearing someone works at a startup in most cases sends up warning signs. You're better off working for a smaller, established company that is challenged by it's growth and needs quality people. You'll learn a lot more when you don't have to worry if your paycheck will be coming next month.

Just some thoughts from the front lines of a smallish Internet company in Seattle...Hope this helps!


This one's heating up real hot... (4, Informative)

i_want_you_to_throw_ (559379) | more than 12 years ago | (#3708519)


Just north of Washington DC area there are almost 200 companies that are working in the bioinformatics area s. Subject knowledge is good of course but even better is knowledge of Perl. O'Reilly even has 2 books Beginning Perl for Bioinformatics [] and Developing Bioinformatics Computer Skills []

Then there are companies that are doing lots of work regarding facial recognition.

Hope this helps.

Hot sectors (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3708522)

As a 12 month veteran (tech unemployment) i'd say learn what interests you want to pursue, but keep an eye on what skills you can sell for a reasonable living.

btw the industry had improved slightly, however we're starting to see a nose-dive again.

Wireless Broadband Internet (3, Insightful)

istartedi (132515) | more than 12 years ago | (#3708528)

People are starving for inexpensive, easy to setup, wireless. Some day we'll be able to just slap a $20 antenna on any suburban rooftop and log onto a network. Until then, there are a lot of people looking for "solutions". Move fast if this excites you. Entrepreneurs [] are already moving on it.

If this doesn't turn you on, exploit fears of terrorism. That could include surveillance, security, privacy issues, encryption... anything spook-related.

Of course, you'll be lucky to get something you actually like in this economy.

Identity is Key to Web Services (1)

elucidus (245536) | more than 12 years ago | (#3708529)

I have been following Digital Identity; Digital Identity World: Identity is Center []

They have a collection of white papers and editorials. Particularly see Why Identity Now? []
I can't guarantee it is the next big thing, but it's close enough to pay close attention.

Video Games (2)

Screaming Lunatic (526975) | more than 12 years ago | (#3708542)

Even though M$ is doing to well with their X-Box, video game makers are doing great. They have three new consoles to develop for. They Geforce3's are also becoming mass market. That means developers can pull off tricks with the progamable pixel pipeline that they couldn't do with the fixed function pipeline.

Start an ISP ! (1)

derekb (262726) | more than 12 years ago | (#3708545)

That's where the real money is

hahahaha that's funny

Setting up my VPN (1, Offtopic)

rosewood (99925) | more than 12 years ago | (#3708556)

I know a good weekend project would be for some experienced users to help me setup my VPN in #linuxhelp on or they can reply and tell me what IRC chan they want to use or if they would prefer email, icq, msn, aim, etc.

Basically I need to give people relatively secure (encrypted would be best) access to our locale network. How I was looking at doing this was using the linux box as the router/firewall. I basically need to have the remote PC be given IP addresses and work like they are on the network locally (either via DHCP or I can simply assign them static local IPs, 10.0.0.x).

Is It Worth It? (1)

grokBoy (582119) | more than 12 years ago | (#3708559)

For every company who have jumped on the latest (and greatest?) trend, and regularly use words like SOAP and 'e-Synergy', there will be many more who would like an 'old hand' in one department or other.

Why not take this time to go back and fill in holes in your knowledge? Maybe you don't know how to do x in a language you use regularly, or you can set something up but can't secure it. This is going to be far more productive in the long run.

Most of these technologies are so new it is going to be very hard to come across as an 'expert' in these fields because no-one has had enough real-world experience of them yet. Consolidate what you know.

Security (2)

nakhla (68363) | more than 12 years ago | (#3708566)

Information security is probably the hottest segment of the market right now. Penetration testing, intrusion detection, common criteria. There are a ton of different things that you can do in the field, and there's LOTS of demand. Plus, since there are a lot of positions as government contractors available you have a bit more job security than you would have as a contractor for the commercial market.

Avoid trendy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3708567)

Concentrate on technique and avoid the so-called experts. In 1990, I was working in an all-Unix shop when I noticed that our "architects" and "gurus" starting getting Windows 3.1 desktops. They all assured me that programming Unix was a dead-end and that I had better start learning WIN32 APIs or be out of a job. I never took their advice and have still managed to stay employed. Be flexible however, and don't pigeon hole yourself into a single commercial framework (e.g. SAP, Oracle, .NET, etc.) Look at all of the people who thought they'd be set for life doing PowerBuilder, Gupta, or VINES network admin.

Security (1)

Fantanicity (583135) | more than 12 years ago | (#3708569)

Get into security [] . The goverment will throw money at you.

One word for you.... (0, Offtopic)

trud (180201) | more than 12 years ago | (#3708576)


Re:One word for you.... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3708579)

Pork Belly futures.

Hot? Information Security. (1)

Shalome (566988) | more than 12 years ago | (#3708581)

Information security! Not just antivirus, but actual data and network security. Learning how to configure and deploy SECURED web, mail, ftp servers on as many platforms as possible will make you infinately valuable to any company. Learning how to manage Windows security policies will make you valuable as well. Even if it IS mostly due to media-induced infoparanoia (oh no! Those evil h4X0rS are going to 0wN my .jpg files!) the information security field is booming. Companies simply can't find enough people who are diligent and knowledgeable enough to protect their systems. Salaries in that area continue to climb. I'm one of the lucky ones who jumped on the infosec ship early. :)

Learn to spell (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3708582)

And yet, we here that a recovery is underway and that the technology sector as a whole is picking up again.

What do I and other victims of the slowdown have to know to 'get back in the saddle' in the near future?"

I'm not trying to be mean, but learning the difference between 'hear' and 'here' is pretty important. As someone who can and does hire people, I wouldn't take a second look at someone who didn't know the difference and made such a poor mistake in their writing. Being employable has less to do with a laundry list of skills than it does with being intelligent and flexible. This is especially true now despite common sense: many employers need to get by with less staff so they tend to look for people who are articulate, clever, experienced, and lastly, skilled.

The future is so bright I need a radiation suit (2)

gelfling (6534) | more than 12 years ago | (#3708583)

Walmat's real hot right now. They give you a uniform and everything.

Oh sorry, you meant coding?

Work on up-and-coming Big Free Software Projects (3, Interesting)

Micah (278) | more than 12 years ago | (#3708584) GNU Enterprise [] .

As people continue to see the light and increasingly prefer Free Software, and want to keep their data in a more open system, projects like this should skyrocket in use, and people that know them well should be more valuable.

why (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3708587)

why would you go poking around for employment advice
among the largest pool of unemployed rejects known
to internetdom?

Java (1)

Bloody Bastard (562228) | more than 12 years ago | (#3708588)

I mean the coffee stuff! Coffee is always a "hot" trend (unless you like it cold =)

You really don't get it (1)

czth (454384) | more than 12 years ago | (#3708590)

This means using this career discontinuity to bone up on the latest-n-greatest in the hot sectors of the industry, to offer a better chance of a finding another great job.

Buzzword compliance won't make you a better programmer, and if you go work for an employer that hires based on such then expect seriously inept coworkers.

If you have a good grounding in CS principles (algorithm efficiency, data structures - linked lists, trees, use of pointers) plus a couple of representative programming languages (C or C++, and perhaps some higher level language like perl or sh) and can go from a problem description to a clean design and readable, documented code - then technologies with new names are unimportant. If you don't, then you'll be playing catch-up all the days of your life and still be woefully bereft of "clue."

Take XML (as in "take my wife - please" :). It's just HTML except you get to invent the tags. There are some complications (W3C comes out with a new XML standard daily) but most of them can be ignored. Anyone that's read this paragraph can now put "XML" on their resume, but what's the point? Similarly, once you learn one structured or OOP or functional language, picking up another is easy; learn one RPC system (SUN RPC, CORBA, COM/DCOM, .NET) and the rest are, for the most part, isomorphic.

Here's an article [] that I wrote a little while ago that might be of assistance.


Hey (1)

mnmn (145599) | more than 12 years ago | (#3708592)

I know whats cool and what will make you a million quickly. But you know what? I'm not telling. I'm going in it myself..

In other developments, I am writing a great book on the Tech Sector. Costs $300 but worth it. Buy two copies from me in case one gets lost.. Oh and also.. If you're deep in debt and need relief click here [] and here [] . Also Ive got great porn...

Who told you things are looking good? CNN? (2, Offtopic)

ahfoo (223186) | more than 12 years ago | (#3708594)

The Economist has been going on for months in a row about the end of capitalism as we know it and has even run articles in which The Economist of London's staff reporters have said things like-- perhaps capitalism was never appropriate for many parts of the world.
In case you hadn't heard, Taiwan's chip fabs have gone renegade and are pushing the ultimate limits of nanotechnology in a period of months rather than the twenty years drawn out schedule set by IBM. I'm talking about the 65nm fab being built in Singapore as we speak. See the last few months of EETimes if you want some scarry stories. Yeah, that was nanotech, it went by so fast you hardly even saw it, eh?
While investment bankers are being charged with corruption, Wall Street is below where it was before the Gulf War and Israel is loading nuclear cruise missles onto a fleet of submarines in an effort to beat India and Pakistan to the headlines of being the second nation in history to use nuclear weapons for offensive purposes.
Who is suggesting to you that things are suddenly going to rebound?
Oh, did I mention that Taiwan students have stopped attending the TOEFL in vast droves and are now going to grad school in mainland China instead of the US? So much for that strategic partnership. And you can guess what this is going to look like a few years down the road when the chips market has been totally commoditized and relocated to mainland China and Taiwan has de-facto reunified by popular consent from within Taiwan. Americans are going to be like --when did everything suddenly change? Well guess what, it's changing by the minute and much of it is the seeds of bitter fruit that we Americans have ourselves planted with decades of irresponsible government that has allowed the sickness of monopoly to put our economy in grave danger.
I suggest you look outside of anything that has to do with software or hardware for money. For entertainment though --hey don't touch that dial babe. PCs are the entertainment value of choice and value is what we're all going to need lots of.

He just wants to... (1)

sheepab (461960) | more than 12 years ago | (#3708596)

He just wants to make millions.
There are three ways to do this, well four.
1. Inherit it.
2. Become an entertainer and make millions that way.
3. Start your own business or...
4. Real estate

Government Work (2)

XBL (305578) | more than 12 years ago | (#3708597)

or for gov't contractors. I am just out of school, and found a well-paying job with a bunch of old guys. There is going to be a lot of people retiring in this sector over the short term.

Oh, and the job is interesting.

I don't have the final answer, but... (1)

cdupree (89998) | more than 12 years ago | (#3708603)

I can offer more questions ;-}.

One is, what are you going for? Is it more important to you to be working in a hot, even bleeding-edge, field, or does your situation call for more security? If the former, how long can you wait for the payoff? If you're looking for what'll be hot in the next year or two, I think that's very to predict. But if you're trying to prepare for five years from now, I'd be willing to bet that wireless is going to boom the next time the economy is really good. I was working for Metricom (Ricochet modems) when they went under, and most people seemed to be convinced that the major stockholders, WorldCom and Paul Allen, were not giving up, but retrenching. (In fact, my guess is that they found a neat accounting trick that allowed them to dump a billion dollars worth of debt and start over.) I sure think that someone's gonna do this, and make a lot of money. Being there at the right moment could be lucrative and exciting.

On the other hand, if you need security more than excitement for whatever reason, there are a number of choices. Someone's already mentioned support; doing that job well is difficult, and can be rewarding. Databases, networks, the backbone stuff isn't going away soon.

You're already ahead of the game with your attitude of trying to make use of the time. Good luck with your search!

Take the advice of Dogbert: (3, Funny)

Jerf (17166) | more than 12 years ago | (#3708608)

Ratbert: "I'm going to interview successful people and write a book of their tips. I'll start with you, Dobert."

Dogbert: "Set your alarm clock to go off every hour. Keep a big vat of 'Jell-O' by the bed. When the alarm clock goes of, stick your head in the 'Jell-O' and yell, 'Boy, I'm tired!'"

Ratbert: "Thanks!"

Dogbert (thinking): "Beware the advice of successful people; they do not seek company."

Seven Years of Highly Defective People, p. 137.

There aren't any "hot technologies" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3708613)

There seem to be a lot of techies looking for the next big invention that's going to make everything like it was in the late 1990's again.

I've got news for you. It ain't gonna happen.

What happened then was a stock market bubble. A bunch of greedy financial speculation in technology stocks that had the side effect of creating a nice job market for IT professionals. It had next to nothing to do with any technology; it could just as well have been tulip bulb stocks.

Versatility is the key... (1)

Cooker (322848) | more than 12 years ago | (#3708616)

The most versatile employees are axed last: the sys admin who can put up a web page showing disk usage stats and his schedule and task list (and keep it full) will keep his job over the one who doesn't.

The developer who knows an extra language the company wants to use/has bought a software package dependent on the language, etc--will keep his job longer. Also, productivity and experience counts.

Of course all things aren't always equal and never forget that while you may be a creative techie, work is still politics, may I recommend: The 48 Laws of Power [] (no, I'm not the author)

As for potential industries, I'd have to pick three: security, health care, and small businesses. Lot of people may say/think biotech, but it's already a crowded house with an uphill challenge. Even by the best estimates 1 in 10 biotech companies will survive/make anything. Pfizer has a hit with a boner pill and everyone thinks they're going to strike it rich. Zeesh! looks like nothing has been learned from the idiots.



Security would be a hot thing... (2)

antdude (79039) | more than 12 years ago | (#3708617)

I currently for a software security company, and I believe security is a hot future.

looking for work? (1, Flamebait)

oliphaunt (124016) | more than 12 years ago | (#3708623)

I think the FBI [] probably needs someone to teach them how to use Google. []

Choose automation/process technology! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3708624)

And then apply for a job at
Atomirakennus Inc [] who might make the new finnish atomic power plant (=

Do Some Open Source & Brag (3, Insightful)

justanyone (308934) | more than 12 years ago | (#3708625)

Find a subject or area that interests you, and follow up on it by finding an open source project (see [] for good ideas).

Basically, find a module on CPAN that is neglected, or look for some idea that hasn't been done elsewhere, work on it and post it to the web, and get your claim to fame!

Another great idea is to help out with the CJAN (sourceforge has the project) and bone up on your Java skills, converting ideas from CPAN into Java and posting them on some kind of CJAN site. You'll

  • get Java experience,
  • help the community,
  • prove you can program well,
  • prove to a future employer that you know something, and
  • prove you're motivated to do good work you're not afraid for other programmers to use/read.

Some other ideas:

  • Don't be afraid to brag on the resume,
  • practice answering the top 50 interview questions believably, with good and truthful answers,
  • post your resume on lots of job boards,
  • create a kickin' homepage,
  • find old documents like howto's that you've written that are generally usefull to everyone and post them on your page,
  • don't forget to wax your car! It's summer!
-- Kevin

The Problem with "Hot" Jobs (3, Interesting)

fidget42 (538823) | more than 12 years ago | (#3708628)

is that they tend to cool off, and the hotter they are the faster (and farther) they cool. I would really recommend a more "tempid" area for work, as those jobs will be around for a while. Network administration may not be sexy, but I have yet to see a network that can manage itself.

I personally work in embedded systems development. While the pay may not be at the top of the curve, you will not find a more challenging area nor will you find a brighter group of developers. The best thing is that your skills are kept sharp for when the industry heats up again (i.e., You can do what on a 486 with 128K of memory?).
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