Demand for Win2K skills will heat up by year-end
By Esther Shein
Recruitment firms aren't yet seeing a big push, but demand is slowly starting to build for developers and programmers using Windows 2000 as the platform in the Web development space, says Brad Williams, Boston- based manager of the Information Technology Division, at Winter Wyman & Co., in Waltham, Mass.
Williams says IT professionals skilled in Active Server Pages (ASP), IIS (Internet Information Services) or COM (Microsoft's component object model) will be able to command salaries starting from $50,000 all the way up to $120,000.
"We'll see more of a push towards the end of the year," adds Jim Lavelle, an account manager with Towson, Md.-based Ajilon Services Inc., an international IT contract employee recruiting and placement firm.
For now, Lavelle says most of his clients have just migrated to NT and have no immediate plans to invest in a new operating system. But he predicts that when Windows 2000 picks up steam, the greatest demand will be for people who are MCSE certified for 2000, have Web development skills, and experience with intrusion detection software, TCP/IP and other protocols.
At Winter Wyman, Williams this year has placed about 20 permanent employees in Windows 2000 jobs. As the year progresses, he expects demand will increase for individuals who can perform load balancing and those who can "rip the OS apart and fix it to check for bugs, replace the hard drive or upgrade memory." Specifically, that translates to positions in system and networking administration, which pay from $40,000 up to $120,000 a year.
On the server administration side, Win2K is still a relatively new technology. Like most new server-based Microsoft products, however, Williams says, "that's where everyone's heading regardless if they're already on NT or Novell or some other operating system."
To date, Williams has only placed about four people in server administration because he says companies upgrading from NT 5.0, don't typically go out and hire new people�they transition people over. "You'll see those numbers increase as more people adopt the platform," he says. "It's a matter of when more than if. People don't want to jump in on the first release of any product. You're not going to run mission-critical apps on the brand new release of an operating system."
Esther Shein is a contributing editor based in Framingham, Mass.