DoNanza, an Israeli company that provides a search engine specific to the work-from-home job market, published a study on July 21, 2010 detailing trends in that market. I spoke with Liran Kotzer and Gil Pal, the founders of DoNanza, who told me that they gathered the numbers for this study from more than 1.5 million job postings indexed by their search engine. They based the trends for Q2 on roughly 450,000 new project postings, as compared to about 350,000 in Q1.
Work-from-home trendsSoftware development ranked highest in demand worldwide in the second quarter (Figure A). Graphic design and Writing, combined, barely exceed it — even though these two activities seem to be much more easily farmed out with clear, distinct requirements. That's good news for software developers like me who prefer to work from home. I wonder if this indicates that remote collaboration tools are maturing, or that more companies are willing to try this approach in spite of the project management challenges it evokes. Figure A
Image credit: DoNanzaWorldwide demand figures may be misleading, though. When broken out by country, you can see that Writing and Graphic design are much more popular in the United Kingdom than software development when it comes to working from home. In the United States, software development falls just behind Graphic design. India's where you want to be if you're a work-from-home software developer — okay, maybe not, because the expected rate is drastically lower (Figure B). Figure B
Image credit: DoNanzaIf you're a Flash-hater like me, you'll love this trend: The number of new Flash projects declined in Q2, while the demand for HTML5 shot up. We aren't out of the evil forest yet, though — Flash projects still outnumber HTML5 by 11 to 1 (Figure C). Figure C
Image credit: DoNanzaThe rise of the iPad may represent an even more dramatic trend, not only in growth (which you'd expect) but also in total number of projects (Figure D). The iPad generated more demand for new projects in the second quarter than the Android platform, and about 40% as many as the iPhone. If it's a flash in the pan, then that's a pretty big pan. The average budget for these projects is also higher than for Android by about 30%, which DoNanza postulates may be due to the higher number of free apps on Android (it's harder to recoup development costs there). Figure D
Image credit: DoNanzaSocial media apps continued to grow in demand, but Facebook apps dominate this space (Figure E). It seems that businesses see more value in Facebook — maybe it's all that user data they might be able to harvest. Figure E
Image credit: DoNanzaFor years, the hype about the web centered around its global reach, but recently people have discovered how well it can integrate and coordinate local activities. As a result, apps for location-based social media have taken off. The average budget for projects on foursquare is higher than for any social network, which indicates the perceived potential for return on investment (Figure F). Figure F
Image credit: DoNanzaThe chart in Figure G represents the demand for browser-specific applications, such as add-ons. I could not be happier about these numbers. Do you remember the days when "if it runs in IE, we won't worry about the rest?" Well, even though IE continues to dominate in user base, more new apps are targeting Chrome and Firefox. Partly, I'm sure, that's due to their extension mechanisms being superior in both technology and security. Hopefully, it's also a harbinger of usage statistics yet to come. The folks at DoNanza note that Firefox led this category in previous quarters, but Chrome has overtaken it. Figure G
Image credit: DoNanzaWeb developers, do you want to know which language to study up on? If you're looking for demand, it's PHP (Figure H). While I could certainly think of better languages than PHP, it certainly sits better with me than choices #2 (.NET) and #3 (Java). The demand for .NET projects actually declined. Watch out for Java, though — its demand grew at more than twice the rate of PHP (perhaps we're about to see a Java renaissance). I asked Liran and Gil about the #4 spot, and they told me that Ruby on Rails occupied that position, with about half the number of projects as Java. I'd like to see Django on this list, even though I prefer Ruby over Python. Figure H
Image credit: DoNanza
If you're looking for work, check out the DoNanza search engine, which is free for job seekers. DoNanza makes its money through revenue-sharing agreements with some of the sites from which the company draws its data. DoNanza also has a publisher program that allows you to provide a job search as part of your site and earn some of that revenue.Note: DoNanza gave me verbal permission to reprint the images featured in this article. Get weekly development tips in your inbox Keep your developer skills sharp by signing up for TechRepublic's free Web Developer newsletter, delivered each Tuesday. Automatically subscribe today!
Chip Camden has been programming since 1978, and he's still not done. An independent consultant since 1991, Chip specializes in software development tools, languages, and migration to new technology. Besides writing for TechRepublic's IT Consultant blog, he also contributes to [Geeks Are Sexy] Technology News and his two personal blogs, Chip's Quips and Chip's Tips for Developers.