Tech Skills In Demand in Austin, TX

With Forbes magazine naming Austin, TX, as the fastest growing city in America for the second year in a row (2011 and 2012), and the tech industry being of interest to so many of my clients, I decided to ask Austin tech insiders which technical skills are in demand in Austin.
Austin Tech
Aaron Pullman, Senior Director of Talent Management for Rev Worldwide, a developer of innovative payment solutions, responded,

“Austin is a new tech oasis. The top tech skill sets for 2012 that will make you more employable are definitely: Web application development/Web 2.0, including .net, AJAX, PHP Javascript, XML, Spring, Struts, JSP/Java, PHP, Perl, JSF, XHTML/HTML, CSS, HTML5, Flash, and Javascript.

Also, you can’t forget mobile. We are relying more and more on our phones. So make sure to have some aspect of mobile development – Android and iOS – RESTful API, Objective C, and HTTP, for example.”

Chuck Gordon is CEO of SpareFoot, a tech startup headquartered in Austin. SpareFoot employs 47 people and is the world’s largest online marketplace for consumers to find and reserve self-storage units. Mr. Gordon describes the type of candidate sought by SpareFoot:

“Candidates have to be internet-obsessed, with updated social media accounts. That’s a really basic thing. Across the board, we’re looking for HTML knowledge. Our developers write codes using PHP, JavaScript, MySQL, HTML, and CSS. One of our developers was a recent grad with a biomedical engineering degree, and he could program.

Being able to adapt to a more relaxed workplace culture and adapting to change is required. The tech culture isn’t corporate America. We want someone who is casual and fun to work with — don’t be afraid to have a sense of humor. It makes you more memorable.

Also, be aware of tech news. TechMeme is a great site for staying on top of headlines, who’s acquired who, and looking at new startups. It demonstrates your interest in the business.”

Kim Brushaber, Senior Client Liaison for Vaco, a tech staffing company, adds,

“Currently, the tech skills most in demand are Java, Web Development, .NET, Automated QA, Python, Cloud and Systems/Network Analysts. I’m also starting to get several management level positions again for the first time in several years. To me that’s a sign that companies have been in a period of high growth and they need to start filling middle management back into their organizations.

As for new college grads, I still think that Java is one of the highest sought after technologies. There are also new college grads helping to build mobile apps. The technology is so new that college students can sometimes claim the advantage. People who are busy working in jobs don’t have as much time to ‘play’ with new technologies. However, college students who are inclined to do so can teach themselves a lot of new skills with their free time between studies.

Also worth noting is that there are 125 game development companies in Austin. They range in size from large to tiny.”

Danielle Russell heads marketing and PR for a small, high tech software company in Austin. She says:

“When we hire for high tech communications and marketing positions, we look for a unique combination of ‘left brain meets right brain’ skills. And, it can be a real challenge to find someone who can digest abstract, complex systems and then communicate them efficiently in written, visual and oral communications – whether to a technical or business audience. For example, recent graduates with communication arts degrees such as English or graphic design who also have high analytical aptitude for math and science, can leverage this cross set of skills or ability to ‘bridge the gap’ when applying to high tech companies in Austin.”

Finally, whether you are in Austin or another high tech center, CareerBliss says that the 10 hottest skills in tech are Mobile Development (iOS, Android), Cloud Computing (AWS, Azure), Front End Development (CSS3, Javascript, HTML5), UX/UI Design, Big Data (Hadoop, NoSQL), C#, Ruby on Rails, Java, PHP, and Linux.

Are you a hiring manager or recruiter in technology in Austin? If so, what do you think are the tech skills most in demand? Please comment below.

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