Amazon and Sony are having a bad week — and it’s only Tuesday. Amazon’s still recovering from the outage of its EC2 cloud computing service. Meantime, Sony’s Playstation Network’s been down since last Wednesday because of an “external extrusion.” VentureBeat says this is the worse outage ever suffered by a major online network. Besides these things being embarrassments to the companies — not to mention the financial problems they’ll cause — they’re also going to put cloud advocates in something of a bind. (I know SPN isn’t exactly a cloud service…) It used to be you could point to the cloud’s reliability as a reason to harness its power. Now — not so much. Skeptics now have real weight to their argument that catastrophic failures are possible in the cloud.
More consumers want to play social and mobile games. That’s pressuring console developers. Activision, Disney and THQ have all had layoffs recently, and sales of Playstation 3 and Xbox 360 have been kind of tepid this year. So — no surprise — game companies are shifting their attention to mobile games. It’s a lousy dynamic for console folks, but good news for those working in the social and mobile space. One example: Zynga, the producer of the immensely popular Mafia Wars and Farmville, plans to double its 1,500-person workforce this year.
Here’s more about mobile. Mobile app developers are in high demand right now. In fact, trying to find them is a bottleneck for companies that want to get into the mobile marketplace. The technologies are so new that there aren’t a lot of software engineers out there with mobile development experience. Also, small and mid-size businesses are looking for mobile app specialists, particularly developers, security experts and business analysts. One more thing about smaller companies. IT staffing firm Modis says they’re hiring more IT people in general.