Companies across the country are still struggling to land strong engineers and developers. In Silicon Valley, they’ve become so desperate that some are trying to recruit at area mixers and other social events. Start-ups are wooing people from like Stanford and U.C. Berkeley. In New York, startups like Gilt Group, Etsy, Foursquare, Tumblr, Intent Media and Rent-the-Runway are all fighting for the best talent. So are media companies like NBC Universal, News Corp., Time Warner and AOL. The three main shortages in New York: Wired says they’re engineers and programmers, online marketing people who understand analytics, and product developers.
We’ve talked before about Detroit. After watching Emenem’s commercial, let’s talk about it one more time. Ford and General Motors are having trouble finding specialists in cloud computing, mobile software applications and energy management. The automakers are hiring graduates from local universities, but they still can’t find enough tech talent to fill all the available positions. Just saying.
Good news and bad news. Let’s get the bad news out of the way first. There could be layoffs coming in the mobile world. The proposed takeover of T-Mobile by AT&T could result in a BIG loss of American telecom jobs, observers say. AT&T’s hoping to get $3 billion in cost savings out of the deal, and it acknowledges there will be “natural attrition.” But some analysts say there’ll have to be headcount reductions. One argues half of the jobs lost will be through layoffs. Back-office workers are the most likely to find themselves redundant.
And what about Nokia, which is abandoning its own OS in favor of Microsoft’s Windows Phone? Next month, the company will start talks with employees about “substantial” job cuts, although we don’t have specifics. The Finnish company says this is global restructuring, so it’s not only about Finland. That means it’s about the U.S. as well. On the other hand, the Microsoft/Nokia partnership is a windfall to the developers who are already in the highest demand. The companies need them for desktop, web apps, iOS, Windows7 and Android products. And remember: HP recently announced plans to build an apps store for mobile devices and the desktop. It plans to include WebOS on every PC its ships in 2012.