Don Willmott

Don Willmott reports on the Internet, technology, and consumer electronics for a wide variety of publications and Web sites. He was Yahoo! Internet Life’s Technology Editor and also spent 14 years at PC Magazine in a variety of editorial positions. Willmott is the author of the book “PC Magazine Best of the Web” (Wiley, 2004). He lives in New York City.

Silicon Valley Sees Skills Shortages in Java, .NET, PHP

Silicon Valley
What’s New This Quarter While blockbuster deals can seem all too common in Silicon Valley these days, Facebook’s January acquisition of text messaging service WhatsApp for a staggering $19 billion turned many of the region’s heads, with some experts contending that the company was actually worth even more. In late March, Facebook followed up the deal with the purchase of Kickstarter darling Oculus Rift for $2 billion, turning even more heads. Then there’s action camera maker GoPro, which is testing… continue…

In Seattle: Amazon Expands, Microsoft Adapts

Posted In Looking in Tech
Seattle Skyline
What’s New This Quarter Should Microsoft leave Seattle and head for Silicon Valley? That was the provocative question raised by Peter Cohan in a February Forbes column. His theory: Microsoft can no longer innovate, and its best hope is to immerse itself in the feverish environment of the Valley. “The lack of competing opportunity for Microsoft’s talent spurs complacency by employees and management,” he wrote. Of course, Seattleites immediately fired back. “In my opinion, being outside the echo chamber of… continue…

Google, Facebook and Dropbox Make Room for NY Hires

Posted In Looking in Tech
New York City
What’s New This Quarter In New York it’s all about real estate, and when a company grabs more square footage it means that things are definitely on the upswing. One good example: Google, which has finally signed an expected deal to grab a massive 360,000 square feet at 85 10th Ave. in the Meatpacking District, not far from its already huge quarters. And starchitect Frank Gehry will be overseeing renovations at 770 Broadway in Astor Place, where Facebook has signed… continue…

Washington: Surprising Reasons Behind Promising Job Market

Posted In Looking in Tech
D.C.
What’s New This Quarter A long and miserable winter in D.C. coupled with the usual governmental tumult has left federal workers in terrible moods. According to a poll conducted by researcher Market Connections and FierceGovIT, 50 percent of government employees said recent policies were a reason to leave government work, while 39 percent said staffing issues have gotten so bad that mission-critical work is not getting done. “This level of frustration is fueled by policies and budget cuts we’ve seen… continue…

Incentives Lure More Tech Jobs to Austin

Posted In Looking in Tech
Austin Skyline
The big tech job news in the Austin, Texas, area continues to surround Dell, which last year offered a voluntary separation package intended to weed out those who didn’t share its “passion and enthusiasm” for life as a private company. When response to the offer was tepid, Dell laid off a few thousand workers, equaling about 2 percent of its workforce. That doesn’t mean the computer maker’s stopped hiring, though. “We’re hiring in strategic areas of our business, including hardware… continue…

In New York, Optimism on Tech Hiring

Posted In Looking in Tech
New York
What’s New This Quarter Silicon Alley is always hungry for talent, and now it has a way of growing its own. A newly arrived “career accelerator” called  Startup Institute, similar to Manhattan-based General Assembly, is offering classes for people who want to reinvent themselves and find a way into the tech economy. Startup Institute teaches skills such as coding and marketing and gives students the cultural know-how to get along in the startup world. Director Christina Wallace says almost 90 percent… continue…

In D.C., IT Procurement Takes Center Stage

Posted In Looking in Tech
Washington D.C.
What’s New This Quarter Washington’s very messy year came to an end with a mid-December plea from President Obama to Silicon Valley’s top executives for advice and guidance in improving the Affordable Care Act’s technological underpinnings. Perhaps the only good thing to come out of the HealthCare.gov disaster is that tough questions about how the government buys and builds information technology are now a topic of serious debate. Editorial writers are calling for smarter IT buying, agile development processes, and… continue…

In Austin, Everyone (Except Dell) Seems to Be Hiring

Posted In Looking in Tech
Austin Skyline
What’s New This Quarter Quarter 4 of 2013 was a vibrant one in Austin, beginning as Dell finally completed its $24.9 billion shareholder buyout. The newly private company is now setting out to cut costs, first offering buyouts to an unknown number of employees through a “voluntary separation program,” and then possibly following it up with layoffs affecting as many as 9,000 workers. That’s a change from February, when the company said, “We do not anticipate job eliminations as a… continue…

In Sillicon Valley, New Millionaires and Big Projects

Silicon Valley
What’s New This Quarter Twitter’s successful IPO yielded big numbers: $1.82 billion in cash, 1,600 new millionaires and a $479 million tax windfall for the state of California. Chief Executive Dick Costolo’s $11.5 million seems almost sensible in an environment that remains chronically short of top engineering and management talent and leaves successful startups scrambling to attract the best people not only with money, but with perks reminiscent of the dot-com days. Subsidized Tesla rental, anyone? Over at Yahoo, CEO… continue…

In Seattle, Demand for Tech Workers is Insatiable

Posted In Looking in Tech
Amazon Headquarters Plan
What’s New This Quarter Here’s an amazing stat: Amazon recently hired 12,800 employees bringing its headcount up to 109,800, compared with 81,400 a year ago. That means the company employs more people worldwide than Microsoft does and on any given day has thousands of additional job opportunities listed. (It’s not easy to get in the door, though. Applicants at Amazon’s Lab126 in Cupertino, Calif., which currently has more than 150 positions available, report eight-hour job interviews in front of nine different… continue…