Statistics and trends

according to Jan Wolff

Gartner, Computerworld and Version2 all write about major IT trends. Buzzwords such as BigData, BYOD and Cloud are often heard, but what do clients actually request from ProData Consult in terms of consultant services and competences?

Jan Wolff took a closer look at this by analysing all client enquiries for IT consultants from January 1st up to the end of August 2014.

Microsoft: There is no doubt that a large proportion of our technical assignments lie in the Microsoft area, and the Microsoft System Center Suite is in particular making ground in terms of infrastructure and operation. In the CRM area, DYNAMICS CRM is in high demand, and we often need consultants with CRM competence. Last, but not least, ASP.NET MVC and Web API are on the way up and are often in demand for web development, as well as REST-based applications. There is no doubt that this is where the Internet is heading.

SAP: We are not really an SAP consultancy, so it is not surprising that our demand in this area is so low, but we do occasionally have SAP assignments and are always on the lookout for more SAP projects and SAP consultants.

Oracle: Oracle has acquired SUN and therefore also covers our Java assignments. We generally have pretty good demand for both Oracle specialists and Java developers. Within Java, especially Java SE 7 is the preferred platform, and Eclipse as IDE. The most commonly used testing tools are JUnit, Git for version control, and Jenkins for continuous integration services. Hibernate leads as ORM framework, with Maven as build tool. Tomcat is the most popular application server.

IBM: Primarily our Mainframe assignments that we sometimes receive from our bank clients. During the past eight months, almost 10% of clients' enquiries have concerned IBM. The trend is decreasing, however.

Other: Covers everything from OpenSource, SAS, Teradata and JavaScript to iOS. Especially mobile development is accelerating for our clients. We regularly have iOS projects in need of resources.


What will the future bring?

WEB in general:
There is no doubt that HTML5 was the "darling" in 2011, and both 2012 and 2013 saw high demand for consultants with experience in JavaScript and JS libraries. JavaScript is not only flexible and easy to use, but also cross-platform- and browser-friendly.

JavaScript libraries such as jQuery, Node.js, Knockout.js and AngularJS have become an integral part of web development, so that these skills are in high demand from our clients.

Requirements of websites optimised for mobile devices are increasing. Besides this, they also need to be responsive and interactive, which means that JavaScript has a key role to play now and for a long time into the future, whatever the platform.

Microsoft: 
As previously reported, ASP.NET MVC and Web API are making good ground as skills that are often in high demand. If you work with real-time web, check out SignalR. It is also worth taking a look at the Katana project, also called OWIN (Open Web Interface for .NET), which can disconnect web applications from the web server. The next release of Katana will feature support of MVC, Web API and SignalR.

Java future:
Many Java developers have started to look at Java 8, and customers will probably soon start to upgrade. I am also looking forward to seeing whether Scala wins ground as the next major JVM language. Maven is popular in the market as a build tool, but Gradle is definitely on the way up and worth taking a look at.

Last, but not least, Intellij IDEA is winning ground and definitely an IDE that is worth checking out, if you are tired of Eclipse or NetBeans.

Mobile:
We have virtually no demand for Windows phone developers from our clients. Android is at a reasonable level and iOS is increasing strongly. Especially with iOS 8 in the stores, I assess that more clients will use the new opportunities to support their business or offer new products, so that they will require consultants with professional iOS experience.


How do we find the right consultant to match a client's enquiry? 

When ProData Consult receives an enquiry from a client, the resource department sets about finding a matching profile among the CVs in our database. The first search focuses on the specific competence required, the consultant’s availability, and their level of expertise in the area required. Then, the consultant's actual project experience is considered, and how his or her skills have been used. It is therefore important that consultants keep their CVs updated, with both their most recent project experience and their skills.

The resource department also advertises for consultants via www.it-consultant.com. At
it-consultant.com almost 1,000 consultant jobs annually are posted.

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