Sounds pretty similar to what's happening in the UK. Things have definitely firmed up in the IT jobs market, especially in the last 3-6 months, but it's still subdued. There's a lot of consolidation going on at the moment in the financial services industry which is squeezing the market. Rates haven't picked up considerably in the last couple of years, although DBAs seem to be doing a little better than developers. One thing I've noticed is that many institutions are getting much more particular about the quality of their DBAs, most now thankfully pose a serious technical test before taking anyone on, and I've even seen job adverts stating that "wannabee DBA developers need not apply". Also on the plus side, the number of SQL Server jobs is definitely on the rise as more shops have turned to SQL Server instead of Oracle during the squeeze of the last few years. In summary, it's looking good if you're a decent, experienced SQL Server DBA, not quite so great if you're a developer.
As to spam - the industry knows who the major players are, it should be putting pressure on governments to punish the ISPs and carriers if they don't cut the scumbags off as soon as they're detected. Business costs should drive legislation that sees to this in the longer term, but it does need international co-operation.
Well, IT jobs have been nearly non-existent in the Central Florida area for the past four years. In the past 4 months, it FINALLY picked up. However, it dropped again in the last month (as indicated in economy reports). Hopefully, the economy will keep bouncing up as all the indicators are predicting. Finding a decent job has been a living nightmare in this area for a long time.
As for spam, this is a great link to information about what is being legislated throughout the U.S., Europe, etc.:
As for me, the only spam that drives me nuts is the letters from Nigeria claiming you've inherited millions and they want your account information. How stupid do they think people are? Obviously, they find the one or two idiot(s) that fall for it.
I would add that in the UK salary rates are still down on what they were 4 years ago.
Outsourcing is more of a risk in the UK. I put this down to the empire. Basically, Great Britain was quite comfortable with colonising and conquering great swathes of the planet and the legacy is that outsourcing is simply moving work to former satellites of that empire.
The term DBA doesn't mean what it used to either in the UK. Like so many other terms (Platinum card, MP, A level) it used to indicate a high level of attainment, now it means one of a herd.
I actually went to a job interview for a DBA position and was asked if I knew T-SQL
"I actually went to a job interview for a DBA position and was asked if I knew T-SQL"
I hear ya! I just had the same thing happen to me in an interview. Makes you wonder about the folks asking the questions. Hey, actually that question about TSQL may not be so bad. The other extreme is where they ask you questions that are so remote, you are not sure how to answer them 'cause they are situations that might happen once or twice a year. They call those stumper questions and I loathe them. I do not consider myself advanced by any means so when I go in an interview, I get sick to my stomach waiting for the questions that make you lurch. I am there because I answered an ad that I knew I was qualified for, not for the stumper guru DBA to kill me with.
As for outsourcing, I thing that is a complete shame and a serious failure in customer satisfaction. IT DOESN'T WORK! These companies need to get what it does to their customer satisfication, although I'm sure it is all money driven and all they care about is the all mighty pocket lining. They'll learn!
My big beef about outsourcing is that there is a huge separation between the people requesting the system and the people delivering the system.
If you work within a company then there is more of a vested interest in thrashing out the requirements. My personal experience is that the people requesting a system have trouble specifying exactly what they want. People producing the system have trouble understanding the business requirement. People managing the project to produce the system fall between these two stools.
Just as if this wasn't enough lets throw into the mix.
I've worked with some large blue-chip companies and with one or two exceptions I haven't seen the conspicuous talent necessary to make outsourcing a better option than what is in place already.
As far as I am concerned it is a means of getting the same old stuff at cheaper rates.
This is not to say that oursourced programmers are any better or worse than home grown talent.
Thats exactly what its all about, cheaper rates. Nothing else.
As rgds whether they are better or worse, in my experience they certainly lack industry knowledge/experience.
OK here is a provocative comment.
IT outsourcing is the fault of the existing IT departments. Failure to communicate and integrate with their businesses has lead to them being viewed as an interchangeable resource rather than an integrated part of their business.
Proof of this is that outsourcing is seen as delivering a predominant benefit of costs.
It is a sad comment that senior management believe that a bunch of outsiders can deliver something just as well as people who allegedly have an intimate knowledge of the business. It would be tragic if they were to be prooved correct.
"As far as I am concerned it is a means of getting the same old stuff at cheaper rates."
...and that is such a shame considering all the job losses we have suffered in the past 5 years. We would take a cut in pay just to have a real job. Whenever I hear a support person on the other end of the phone that I cannot understand, I just hang up 'cause it's a waste of my time. So much for customer satisfaction!