Like a lot of people, I’m really concerned with how the technology market is going to look in the next year. While, at this moment– with all that is going on in the financial sector, I still have colleagues that tell me that we should probably not be affected at all. But that’s a crock. We’re all going to be affected.
When the tech bubble burst in the early part of this decade, it nearly coincided with the release of the .Net framework. For some of us VB5/6-ers, it was a big learning curve and our companies didn’t want to pay for it. Those who were really committed, spent their home hours writing messy demo application to get to grips the technology. When .Net open source projects like DotNetNuke became available, we got to see how others coded as well. At this time, a friend and former mentor of mine said, "this is when a lot of programmers will go off to be accountants or something." They did (however, it was more a move into project management than accounting). But a lot of people never really recovered.
The benefit of the bubble bursting was that it did thin out the professional developer industry. Those of us who wanted to stay in it, had to work harder to prove we were worthy and do more than was listed on our job descriptions. The moonlighting web designer (or "Web Masters"– with their white font on tiled-gif background along with their enormous third-party hit counters) started to fade from existence.
Now, we are about to see upheaval again. When it really hits the fan in the next few months, contractors will feel it first, but permanent employees will be affected too. Those of us who will be let go, will be let go into a buyers market. It will even cause us to ask, "Do I jump (leave) before I am pushed (let go)?"
But the complacency of employment, I believe, has to end now. Save and study.