So far this year, the most common question I am getting is along the lines of “is there a recession coming” or “how is the market looking”. The answer? The market has never been stronger, but you must be prepared to execute at your highest level. Interviews are “easy” to come by right now, but, time after time has proven, that quality, top-notch opportunities (culture, technologies, people, vertical market, upside) are still HIGHLY competitive and you must prepare yourself accordingly.
For those nervous about the future — a little perspective is in order — although there are signs of slowdown in the first half of 2008 for the broad-based US economy, the Boston high-tech/software/IT market is more influenced by business cycles that follow-on from significantly curtailed business spending vs. consumer-spending or a manufacturing contraction. In the 2001-2004 slowdown, so many firms cut back so significantly, and delayed technology/IT spending that most firms are still at just mid-point of various upgrades/re-investments etc. At the micro-economic level, what does this mean here and what are my thoughts for the year ahead? I am cautiously optimistic about the overall economy will barely stay out of an official recession, but, for many people, it will FEEL like a recession. As for job growth (and salary growth) here in the Massachusetts area — I believe we are still on pace for another exceptionally strong year — just be sure to align yourself with a great software recruiter in Boston, who can introduce you to the very best firms — not just taking another interview. Remember, even in 01-04, those top candidates and top companies, still came together on a regular basis — that good news, was simply drowned out by the negative news spin that is pervasive in times such as this.