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Too many managers?

Posted by daniel on August 9, 2004 at 7:49 AM PDT

With fewer programmers, what are they managing?

One of our news items today is from an Informationweek article IT jobs Disappear. The article does report gains, but explains that "bulk of the IT workforce loss occurred among computer scientists-systems analysts, programmers, and support specialists. In 2000, there were 893,000 computer scientists-systems analysts--more than any other IT job category. Since then, nearly a quarter of American computer scientists-systems analysts--some 209,000--have vanished from the workforce. Also, 132,000 computer programmers disappeared during that period, falling 17% from 764,000 in the first half of 2000 to 632,000 earlier this year. The number of computer support specialists fell by 28,000, from 366,000 to 338,000, an 8% decline."

In that same time period where IT workers jobs were falling, management jobs were increasing. The article cautions that you should differentiate between a manager and a supervisor. Some of the traditional system analyst jobs, for example, are now being performed by managers. The article explains that businesses are moving to off the shelf solutions and quotes Karen Kosanovich of the Bureau of Labor Statistics as saying "It makes more sense if businesses are moving away from programmer-analyst positions to managers since there's more involvement with working with vendors than with the specific details of programming."

Meanwhile, WIlliam Grosso is watching another trend. He asks What Percentage of Developer Positions Should be Junior? He has notice a small market for junior developers and wonders if this is a " harbinger of future shrinking in Silicon Valley (all the junior developer jobs are elsewhere) or a sign that we've gotten to a stable economy for software developers."

Also in Java Today
, Andreas Schaefer initially didn't want to change his build process, despite what his friends told him about Maven. He writes: "when I looked at Maven the first time, I thought it was an overblown and complex tool that would never replace Ant. So far, Ant was doing its job quite well and I thought, 'Why should I bother to delve into an unknown tool when there's no immediate need?'" Yet after 15 minutes with Maven, "I've used Maven to build my project and never looked back." In Maven: Trove of Tips, he shares what he learned in making the switch to Maven, what it can do for you, and how to make the migration.

Eric Allman, founder and CTO of Sendmail, has a Conversation with James Gosling that is featured in the current issue of the ACM Queue. Allman leads Gosling to talk about Gosling's recurring theme: "this interpretive dynamic environment that includes Emacs [..] NeWS, Oak, Java, and so forth." Gosling also returns to the core issue of Security and C saying " a lot of standard practice in C is all about lying about the identity of things."

Jonathan Bruce provides a look at running Sun Java System Application Server 8.0 and MySQL
in today's Weblogs.
He responds to requests "for advice on how to get the Sun Java System Application Server to run with MySQL, especially when deploying non-EJB web application. I thought putting something together with the Java Blue Prints team and working with MySQL, we would place the the following as a guide on how to do this best."

The ACM article referenced above presents a look at Gosling's latest thoughts. Gosling himself, is posting pictures of himself in a suit poised to get wet in a dunk tank.

In today's
Forums, John M recounts a tale of folks who blindly ignore item 31: Avoid float and double if exact answers are required. "I was recently an expert witness in a case where an offshore development firm (who was claiming that they were CMM level 5 certified!) used floating point math to deal with monetary values in an online trading system."

Stepan Rutz comments on a subtle confusion in using returning zero length arrays, not nulls. Rutz points out that "their equals implementation which differs from collections significantly. Any two collections (jdk1.4) are equal if they are both empty. That is not the case of two empty arrays. This can be very confusing and some classes using collections and their equals method might break due to this behavior."

The EJB 3.0:New Life for EJB thread features a post from denka that " Most resources are either transactionally-sensitive or transaction-dependent, as is DataSource. How can a single readonly Database connection serve to concurrently perform multiple readonly operations, e.g. load multiple CMP EntityBeans in the new design? There is also no way of knowing it's readonly without transactional context, is there? How would you make multiple DataSource.getConnection() calls performed in the same context to return the same exact connection without having that context?"

In Projects and Communities, do you want to help with platform definitions for new and more advanced devices in CLDC and CDC? The JSR community homepage reports the ME executive committees approval of JSR 248 and JSR 249. Both are now forming expert groups.

It's "back to school" time for teachers of Java-based Advanced Placement Computer Science. Prepare for the year ahead with books, tutorials, and examples for use in class from the AP CS Teacher Resource CD, part of the Java Education and Learning Community.

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