Archive: May 1997 — In search of developers

Immigration laws eased

In May 1997 the IT industry was desperate for software developers. The Software Human Resources Council estimated that there were 15,000 vacant programming jobs in Canada

and not enough qualified Canadians to fill them, so the federal government eased immigration laws to allow between 1,500 and 3,000 software developers into the country in 1997.

Contributing to the shortage of programmers in May 1997 was the Canadian brain drain to Silicon Valley. “”We’re competing against the draw from the U.S. Not only do they have lower taxes and higher salaries, but at any point in time there’s 25,000 open jobs,”” said DMR Consulting Group Inc.’s director of resource management, who said that his company hired on average of 75 programmers a month.

Today’s IT graduates face a much different landscape. But while they are not up for auction in bidding wars, they are confident that the economy will shift and that more jobs will open up.


CORBA’s conundrum

CORBA took a back seat to ActiveX and Java in May 1997, with a Forrester report stating that the language had only a 14 per cent penetration in the Fortune 1000, an indication of its declining popularity. The report stated that “”populist”” models such as COM and JavaBeans were quickly moving ahead, while “”elitist”” models such as CORBA, DSOM and OpenDoc would soon find themselves off the map altogether unless they began to meet the demands of the common developer.

Not everybody was willing to say goodbye to the CORBA or hello to Java, however. When asked whether readers expected Java to be a moneymaker in their businesses, the responses indicated that people were skeptical.

“”We really see no use for it, especially with the existing databases out there and the databases we work with every day,”” one reader said. Another said that although she had read a lot about articles about Java, “”I have had no one call our office with any specific questions about it or even to ask for it.””


A LAN for the Royal Family?

A keynote at NetCon ’97 Caravan described incidences that could happen if security is lax: a hacker could obtain unlisted phone numbers of the Royal Family, or a disgruntled employee could access the company president’s e-mail file and distribute it electronically across an organization. Michael Burke, chairman of Sea Change Corp., told attendees that corporations need to put a security policy in place before becoming Internet or intranet-enabled.

“”A LAN is hard to keep secure, but you can do it. Corporate WANs tend to get a little harder but you can do it. Inter-company links…can open a can of worms and then the Internet tends to explode (the difficulty level).”” Burke said the problem is compounded by vendors such as Microsoft and Sun Microsystems not taking security seriously.

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