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Poll Result: Most Java/JVM Developers Expect a Profitable 2012; Others Agree

Posted by editor on February 6, 2012 at 1:34 PM PST

In the most recently completed Java.net poll, the Java/JVM developers who chose to participate generally anticipate stable or increased job opportunities in 2012. A total of 373 votes were cast, with the following results:

In 2012, job opportunities for Java/JVM developers will...

  • 19% (72 votes) - Expand rapidly
  • 25% (92 votes) - Increase moderately
  • 23% (86 votes) - Remain stable
  • 9% (33 votes) - Decline
  • 17% (65 votes) - I don't know
  • 7% (25 votes) - Other

So, 2/3 of the voters believe job opportunities will remain stable or increase, while only 9% expect opportunities to decline. That's a level of optimism that I don't think we've seen in a while.

For example, looking back to our March 2010 poll that asked "Is the software engineering job market improving?", less than half of the voters selected one of the positive responses. Of course, the polls asked different questions, so it's a little complex trying to draw conclusions. Still, that poll was posted at a time when almost everyone had witnessed declining opportunities in the recent past. More than a quarter of the voters were still awaiting 'the promised "recovery"' or saw the situation continuing to worsen.

I have seen various articles that suggest a boom (or at least a fairly strong upward tide) is underway for software engineers. For example, there was the Dice.com (US) survey that I blogged about a month ago where United States recruiters indicated that finding "Java/J2EE Developers" is their top priority for 2012.

What's happening in the mobile apps arena is also pretty amazing. On April 15, 2011, the Wall Street Journal had an article titled "App Talent Pool Is Shallow: Companies Scramble for Engineers Who Can Write Software for Smartphones." (I have the clipping, but can't find an online link.)

Then there are these recent interesting articles at Forbes.com:

  • Venkatesh Rao, 5 December 2011 - The Rise of Developeronomics (the author cites software developers as being the one "safe haven" that exists today for investors); and
  • Tomio Geron, 21 December 2011 - Just How Much Are Engineers In Demand? Very Much So (which starts with: "As any technology executive in Silicon Valley could tell you, hiring engineers is one of their toughest tasks these days.")

Here's a demonstrative figure from Tomio's article:

This all says to me that if you're good at what you do, today can indeed be a very good time for advancing your career in software engineering. It also suggests that adding new skills that are highly in demand can significantly increase your value in the marketplace.

So, please, keep working, learning, practicing, and advancing, people!

New poll: Lost JCP EC voting rights

Our new Java.net poll asks Under JCP 2.8, EC members lose their voting rights if they miss two consecutive meetings. Your view on this?. Voting will be open until Friday, February 17.


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