Unix Tops Skills Index

Unix/Tornado skills lead demand, and broader skill sets are critical.

For the second consecutive year, Unix reigns supreme in the Techies.com Tech Skills Demand Index. The multidimensional operating system flavor has a new twist this year: Unix/Tornado Development. The integrated development technology, though relatively young, is the most-demanded skill. Nearly 15 percent of all jobs posted at Techies.com in May 2002 requested beginner- to expert-level knowledge of this technology.

More companies are turning to the technology pairing to complete their operating environment and increase communication options between target and host. The relatively new Tornado development platform is available for both Unix and Windows hosts. When combined with Unix (or Windows), the hardware-independent software solution speeds software design and development that runs on embedded processor architectures.

General Unix skills come in second among employer requests, appearing in more than 13 percent of job listings. (Sun Microsystems Inc.'s Solaris variety of Unix came in at No. 22.)

Overall, the in-demand skills include several more generic, vendor-neutral abilities than in preceding years. Record layoffs and subsequent added responsibilities to most positions have meant a growing need for diversification of knowledge. Combined with the consistent flood of new technologies, employers are clearly calling for broader skill sets.

Demand is still strongest for core system and development skills, like last year. Although a lot of Web-centric skills—such as HTML, Visual Basic and C—continue to slide, other desktop and Internet development tools like C++, XML and SQL remain steady.

The Tech Skills Demand Index compares the change in top skills demanded in all job listings on Techies.com between May 2001 and May 2002. It doesn't factor in filled positions. A skill's decline on the scale doesn't necessarily mean it's falling out of use or is less demanded overall. A drop in demand can result from a variety of reasons, such as smaller staff turnover or a technology so widely used it's easy to find employees without advertising.

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About the Author

Nick Doty is editorial director of Techies.com, an online career and training center for technology professionals based in Minneapolis.