Software Development

Dice shows shortage of skill developers love to hate: .NET

According to the latest Dice report, the skill that prospective employers are looking for is .NET. Here's why there appears to be a shortage of talent in that area.

As part of their October report, Dice says it's found that one of the most frequent refrains they hear from clients is distress in trying to find .NET talent and they've posted more than 10,000 positions requesting .NET experience. Alice Hill for Dice says, "That job count is up more than 25 percent as compared to last year, faster growth than total jobs posted on Dice. If demand continues to outstrip supply, wages will adjust."

Why the .NET talent shortage? Part of the gap between supply and demand is that technology workers are concerned that if they specialize in .NET application development they won't be able to easily branch out to other platforms. The other worry is money-- Tech pros who regularly develop for .NET earn about $83,000 a year, as compared to more than $91,000 for those specializing in Java. Also, .NET is a relatively straight forward framework to learn. Hiring managers and recruiters consistently chase mid-career talent.

About

Toni Bowers is Managing Editor of TechRepublic and is the award-winning blogger of the Career Management blog. She has edited newsletters, books, and web sites pertaining to software, IT career, and IT management issues.

34 comments
JNygren
JNygren

This post sure ended abruptly! Am I missing something? Is this article concluded somewhere else? I have to agree with vl1969's comment. I also see ads stating that 7+ years experience is required ... in the version that was just released 6 months ago. Anybody got one of them time-traveling DeLoreans I could use?

jacob3273
jacob3273

The comparison in the article ($83K for .NET developers as opposed to $93K for JAVA people) gets to the heart of the issue. If they're really all that anxious to find .NET talent, then the price will eventually rise to meet demand. Until that happens, they're not sincerely demonstrating their need.

The Altruist
The Altruist

Learn Java. It's portable C++ with training wheels, and the running joke is that .Net is just Java under a different name anyway. Seriously, if you spent 10 years learning Java then 4 weeks learning .Net, you will be a master at both (I would say 1 week, but that's a little too generous).

vl1969
vl1969

No , there is a shortage of geniuses who know everything. have you seen the list of technologies that get posted for a job that pays ohhh about 62K. 20 pages of acronyms starting from A to Z with 8+ years of experience in each REQUIRED.

jkameleon
jkameleon

... there is no .NET, but Java talent shortage.

vl1969
vl1969

I spend 3 month looking for job as .NET dev. after being downsized in January my problem was I have no ASP or other GUI experience. I spend about 4 years developing back end services in C# and SQL. I picked up C# on my own, on the job (thanks to company who were wiling to hire me and let me learn.) yes I was let go, but got great recommendation from them. I am by no means an expert. but doing OK. PS> I have stop looking for the MS Certifications long time ago. most of it is a waist of time and money. and many things that you need to learn to get the certificate are outdated long before you get around to learn them. smart employer knows this....

don
don

My opinion on .NET and the shortage, is based on my own experience. I wanted to be a .NET developer. I invested over $20,000 dollars to become a .NET developer. The joke was on me. Spent may hours attempting to achieve .NET certification. My first experience was with a educational facility named New Horizons. They advertised .NET training and instructed me that if I signed up for a 3 month plan I could achieve my MCSD certification with no prior C programming experience. This obviously did not happen as they did not have the courses offered that I needed during that time period and they did not have the qualified instructors either. I labored for two of the three months learning SQL and some .NET and spent much more money on books. The material was way over my head as all the text provided by Microsoft approach the learning as if you are already a C or VB programmer. At the end of the three months I did not have half the classes completed that I needed and was extremely frustrated. I was enrolled in a Master Program at the time and had to focus on that so I left the .NET issue alone. After achieving my Master I returned to the institution to try to complete the courses I paid for and they said they would honor the program. But Microsoft had changed their programs and the MCSD was no longer available. I needed all new books and could not achieve the cert I originally wanted. Also there was no instructor lead training it was all self learning on in-house network so I had to be on-site. Without prior training and no on the job experience where I was using the language the attempt to learn was impeded intensely and was eventually too much. I had to abandon the plan. After my experience I learned that the language is very difficult to keep up with as it is changing all the time and the texts are prohibitively expensive, the framework is very cumbersome to set up and maintain on a local machine such as a laptop. Educators will tell you things that are completely untrue to get your cash so beware and they do the language a dis-service by creating frustrating environments for people honestly wanting to learn it. Microsoft creates an environment where their texts and classes are over priced their cert programs are in consistent and hard to understand and seems to have no concern for the developers except for a developers social networking site called Spark which didn't really help me at all though I was very frustrated by the time I found it. It is sad that there are few .NET programmers but it is a very difficult environment to break into. I now do most of my server side programming in PHP.

jefferyp2100
jefferyp2100

I find a lot of .Net jobs advertised in my area for low-paying positions that are little more than creating ASP.Net web pages against a standardized framework. There is not much to the job except ASP.Net UI development, CSS and some JavaScript.

mklarson
mklarson

Agree that I was expecting more from this "article". Stats on salaries, trends on hiring for specific languages. More data, right? There is so much movement toward mobile computing I think we should consider what Keith Ward says in his Editoral for MSDN magazine (http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/magazine/hh148439.aspx)

dotkayk
dotkayk

so, it's clear there is no skill shortage.. the employers want to pay low salaries for experienced programmers. Try raising the salaries and providing some job training, and the so-called 'skill shortage' will magically disappear. Funny, that.

Nutter2000
Nutter2000

In particular "Hiring managers and recruiters consistently chase mid-career talent."... especially in the UK. Having just gone through the whole recruitment process after 8 1/2 years as a freelancer, I found there were a ton of jobs for .Net developers BUT they all wanted minimum 3+ years current commercial experience doing exactly the job they wanted and they wanted them cheap. After applying for quite a few it became quite clear that there was no give or take on this and no interest in training up someone in areas where they were lacking. For example, personally I have roughly 2 years .Net experience doing various apps and websites for clients, plus 11 years total commercial experience working on various projects from c++ to objective-C to J2ME so a good track record in learning on the job. That's been fine everywhere except in the .Net community they seem to think that .Net software engineers just appear with several years of experience. A sign of the times? probably short sighted? definitely *sigh* I ended up taking a non-.net role /rant ;-)

lincolnrick
lincolnrick

That was not an article. That was two paragraphs. And that was the top story on Software Engineer? I expected more.

marc
marc

I'm sure this article will start a heated philosophical discussion over the virtues of .NET vs other frameworks. : P i know for me, not coming from a CS background and learning web development on my own, .NET was simply an opportunity that presented itself to me and I ran with it, enjoy it, and have been successful with it. If it had been Java, PHP, or something else, maybe I would have gone down that path. Perhaps being a .NET developer might not be advantageous later on down the line. All I know is that, especially in this job market/economy, if there's a demand for .NET, I welcome it.

kegrah2
kegrah2

This article was, at best, brief. It would have been nice if you could have dove a little deeper in the subject. As someone who develops in a .NET environment, I was interested to read the story, but that interest quickly dwindled by the brevity of the article. A follow up of sorts would be great!

Paymeister
Paymeister

Forgive me: what does "Hiring managers and recruiters consistently chase mid-career talent." mean in the last paragraph?

jacob3273
jacob3273

I suspect that most of these kinds of job notices are written up by clueless HR "gofers" who have no idea what they're doing.

Tony Hopkinson
Tony Hopkinson

Leaving the idea that there's some one to one correspondence between the various .net frameworks and the various java ones. That C# borrowed as much from Delphi as it did Java. That there were obviously going to be similarities between two managed execution environments that use byte code and VMs and statically typed OO languages... Descibing any managed environment as an unmanaged one with training wheels makes an unjustifiable assumption. That because you work in an unmanaged environment you are trained..... The evidence is heaviliy against you. You do at least our profession a disservice, possibly yourself as well.

marc
marc

....is there a reason the reverse would not be true? (spend 10 years learning .NET then 4 weeks learning Java). I don't know Java and since it sounds like you know both, if the reverse is not true, why would that be the case?

HypnoToad72
HypnoToad72

I may have a bunch of degrees with high GPAs, but 8 years' worth of experience (and the one resume demanding 5 years' experience with Visual Studio 2008 still cracks me up - and that was written in mid-2010...) I don't have the experience, but even volunteering only goes so far. Oh, like most people I have to pay bills as well. Money doesn't grow on trees. It'd be nice if it did... then the employers could take every bit of corporate welfare, fire to their hearts' content, and nobody would be hurt.

coloncm
coloncm

The very fact vl969 states here in required skills on posted jobs everywhere actually brings up a different view that questions Dice's polls and its participants. In the same way this article was affected by this view, we're forgetting that the people who hires specialized-skilled employees are doing so because they need expertise in areas they lack. Yet, the very people who lack the skills are the judges in determining what they need, who they hire based on their needs, how experience and skills are determined, and so on, without proper consultation in that area of expertise. For those on that side of the fence, take heed that software engineers should not be tied to a system layer, platform or programming language in the same way automotive mechanics are expected to tune up automobiles, regadless of make and model. If they can't, question their certfication.

draco vulgaris
draco vulgaris

They can ask for eight years experience with "ACRONYM" but how many geniuses have experience, are available, and are willing to work for them?

cnoevil
cnoevil

You hit the nail dead on the head. They want superman talent at fast food joint wages. It's incredible some of the help ads that I've witnessed locally. I'm really astonished at the audacity some of these companies have. Who are these managers that feel like someone who has worked so hard to develop these skills and must constantly work hard to maintain them is worth so little? I know full well that these very same people would be insulted if you expected them to accept the pay scale that they expect these highly trained IT personnel to happily line up for.

NickNielsen
NickNielsen

They were salesmen. New Horizons training centers are franchises. Some centers are good, some are bad. They are all overpriced. And, as a Microsoft Gold Training Partner, I believe they are also required to teach MS training courses per MS requirements. Sounds like you didn't get that. Did you consider your local community college? I should think that SCCC would have either credit courses or continuing ed options available.

marc
marc

....I think some articles/blog posts are simply intended as starting points for discussion.

MadCityJ
MadCityJ

Dilbert said it best years ago: "We hire the best and the brightest, and pay them just under the average."

ceso_softdev
ceso_softdev

it sounded like a not so veiled and demeaning insult to me.

marek.sarad
marek.sarad

That's a new one, c# and vb may be relatively easy to learn but .net is huge. I am not sure event if ScotGu knows it all. And the pace of development of the framework... I started with .net 2.0 four years ago, before I could feel comfortable with it we had already two new versions (3.5 and 4.0). I am a self thought programmer so maybe my point of view is bit distorted. But before I have worked with .net with ColdFusion and I could be competent in this language and framework after one year. It took me much longer that that with .net and I know maybe 30% of the framework at best.

edmerc
edmerc

Is that, "Hiring managers and recruiters consistently chase mid-career talent." means people with moderate experience, but still lower than average salary histories are the preferred candidates.

lucian.gadau
lucian.gadau

It means exactly what you think it means :)... discriminating against some candidates that are either inexperienced, or too old...

vl1969
vl1969

well not only that... but who actually have this skills? I have been in the industry for (let see) 15+ years I started from VB5/SQL2000, moved to VB6 / HTML(some ASP) / SQL2000 moved to .NET 1.1-3.0 / SQL2000 - 2005 now I am on .NET 4.0(VS2010)/SQL2010 I am not a genus and it takes me some time to learn the intricacy of the frame work to be comfortable with it. and I think very few individuals can know everything about the framework unless they actually came across a future during their development. in my carer I came across some things that I personally would never even thought off possible , but when I tell the stories to some friends(SQL DBA/DB developers with 25+ years of experience) they do not belove the solution I have(developed) would work until I show them the code and demonstrate that it is working. in their entire carer they never came across anything like it, and thus never discover some hidden treasures of MSSQL server the way I did.

ashrafali_cse
ashrafali_cse

remember Toni might not be a .NET developer :), I dont know, like any other self taught developers I have to keep up with .NET on my personal times but hey I like the paycheck too lol

DukeCylk
DukeCylk

Seriouly, that is what intellisense is for. The vast majority of things you need you probably know, and those you don't, you google. Unless you plan to test out for certification, and then you have to know everything. That was my problem when I interviewed over the summer and had to take all those online geek tests - I've been programming dot Net for more than 7 years and I failed almost every test,

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