If you’re a .NET expert or an experienced Linux systems administrator, job recruiters want to hear from you. That’s the word from top IT recruiting firm Winter, Wyman, which is seeing peak demand for high achievers in both arenas.
A ubiquitous Microsoft framework, .NET is in use everywhere. Most companies use Microsoft and Windows-based platforms to run their day-to-day business, and .NET makes it all happen.
“One of the things we’ve been bumping into over the past two years is that the really talented .NET people are the ones who have stayed employed,” says Joe Kotlinski, a Boston-based partner and manager for Winter, Wyman’s information technology division. “The best people have a sense of comfort and stability and don’t want to leave for just any opportunity.”
As a result, it takes a sexier company, a more challenging environment or an exciting opportunity to get folks to move to another company, he says.
“They’re being very selective,” Kotlinksi says.
.NET Divide: C# v. VB.NET
Digging deeper into the .NET demand, Kotlinksi says that C# and VB.NET development environments are what recruiters are looking for most. Both languages are used for Web-based and non-Web-based application development. But between the two, C# is in greater demand.
“There seems to be a real line drawn between C# and VB.NET,” says Kotlinski. “Most of the clients we recruit for want to see C# people. They’re just not as interested in VB.NET people. Part of that is because C# is a more complex language and can do more. What we hear is that C# is more demanding, so clients say they only want to see C# candidates.”
Make a Leap from VB.NET to C#?
Certifications can help, Kotlinski says, but they won’t get you a job.
“Few of our clients look at certifications and assume the person is qualified. They feel a certification simply proves you can study for a test. Hands-on experience is so much more important,” Kotlinski says. “So yes, it’s a bit of Catch-22 in trying to get both a job and the necessary experience at the same time.”
Linux Trumps .Net
As for Linux administration, demand is just as great – if not more than for .NET, says Kotlinski.
“These people are flying off the market. More companies than ever have their development and production environments based on Linux,” he says. “I’ve been doing this for 15 years, and I can safely say that everything Unix has now gone to Linux.”
Emerging technologies are changing the role of Linux systems administrators, Winter, Wyman says. In the past, Linux systems administrators could work in back rooms maintaining company servers. Today, they’re front and center, dealing with things like configuration management software, scripting languages, virtulization software and cloud computing strategies.
In fact, Winter, Wyman is seeing the emergence of the so-called “DevOps Engineer.” It’s a person who straddles the line between software development and operations. Instead of focusing solely on hardware, the DevOps Engineer takes a collaborative approach and works closely with the development team to write code and scripts, automate processes, fix bugs and help push out the product.
“It’s a newish job title that we first heard on the West Coast,” Kotlinski says, “But now, it’s spread nationwide.”