Know the Market

Knowing what you’d like to do is great, but don’t box yourself in too narrowly. You also need to understand the current job market and how it constrains your search for the “ideal” job, especially during an economic downturn like the one that burst the Internet bubble of the late ’90s or the global real estate and banking meltdown of the late 2000s.

Basic Market Information

A number of sources of information exist about what’s hot and what’s not in the developer job market, including the following:

  • Social networks — The tremendous growth of social networks, such as LinkedIn, Facebook, and Google+, have transformed social networks into virtual recruiting grounds for all types and sizes of organizations. LinkedIn is particularly important. The other social networks can provide an indirect “pulse” of the market and also valuable leads for new and even unannounced job postings.
  • Online job sites — Visit two kinds of job sites as part of your research. Job listing sites such as Dice (which specializes in technology-related career listings) and Monster (a general job listing site) enable you to see what kinds of jobs are currently in demand. Review sites such as Glassdoor and CareerBliss discuss working conditions, salaries, bonuses, perks, and other information useful for finding the right kind of company for you.
  • Bookstores — Even though more and more programmer documentation is available online, professionally published books are still important, whether printed or ...

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