Nokia’s decision to abandon its own Symbian mobile OS in favor of Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 will likely cause job losses in Finland but gains in Silicon Valley, where more of Nokia’s R&D will soon move. Microsoft paid “billions” to convince Nokia to join its team (and also happens to be a former employer of Nokia CEO Stephen Elop. Speaking at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Elop pointed out that while 80 percent of the world’s population lives within range of cellphone coverage, only 20 percent is connected to the Internet. Nokia, he said, can bring 3 billion people online through mobile Internet on cell phones.
And it’s not just Nokia that’s heating up the Valley. Employers there added 12,300 jobs last year, according to Joint Venture: Silicon Valley Network and Silicon Valley Community Foundation. Google, Facebook, and a new batch of social media startups are leading the charge. Facebook will be moving from Palo Alto to Menlo Park to find more office space for its growing team.
Also hunting for good tech pros: Tesla Motors, the electric car company based in Palo Alto. With revenues up, the company is hiring 165 people including firmware engineers, sales staff, and even an executive chef.
In Washington, the President’s 2012 budget includes $79.5 billion in federal IT spending, up 1.3 percent over the estimated $78.5 billion to be spent this year up. Among the initiatives likeliest to be funded are cybersecurity programs, including $2.3 billion at the Department of Defense, as well as $119 million for the military’s new Cyber Command. The government also hopes to spend on data center consolidation and cloud computing. The Washington Post suggests it’s possible to “read the 2012 budget as a roadmap to government employment.”
This week’s presidential field trip to the Valley and Intel’s headquarters in Oregon is meant to draw attention to job growth in the tech sector. Obama is set to discuss job creation with Facebook, Google, and Apple executives, among others.
The latest study from researcher Foote Partners suggests that Microsoft certifications are dropping in value and provide a smaller pay boost than skills related to Cisco, Oracle, EMC, VMware, IBM, SAP and Red Hat technologies. IT workers with Microsoft certs earn 5.9 percent more than they might if they didn’t know Microsoft technologies, but the pay premium is smaller than the industry average, which is 7.3 percent across 225 IT certifications.
Upcoming Tech Events
February 20-23 – Las Vegas
Attend the industry’s leading management gathering, offering a wide range of thought leadership subjects not found anywhere else. Fifteen tracks and 160 sessions will cover ITIL, ITSM, COBIT, Six Sigma, Lean Management, PRINCE2, PMI, ISO, Project Management, Strategic Management, business school tutorials, and more.
February 22, 1:00 PM (ET) – Online
Server virtualization is now within the grasp of any business. When properly implemented and managed, it can help you save serious money by reducing maintenance costs and minimizing the burden on your staff. Join this webcast to learn the best practices for post implementation of virtualized servers in your environment. Discover what challenges to look out for and how to prepare to avoid pitfalls ensuring total protection for your systems, applications and data.
February 23, 1:00 PM (ET) – Online
This webcast will feature Paul Baier, VP of Sustainability Consulting, Groom Energy, Matt Arnold, Principal, PwC and Michel Gelobter, Chief Green Officer, Hara discussing how organizations are realizing significant cost savings and value opportunities through comprehensive, strategic energy and sustainability initiatives.
February 25-27 – Los Angeles
The premier Open Source conference in the U.S. includes a developer’s track, a new sysadmin track, a beginner track, or a general interest track. You’ll also find an expo with over 80 booths of open source folks eager to talk to you.
March 11-20 – Austin
This much-anticipated gathering brings together the best, brightest, and coolest of movies, music, tech, and more in a nine-day festival of creativity and innovation.
March 15-16 – Palo Alto
This event connects innovative, emerging IT security solution providers, the system integration industry, and federal government communities. ITSEF promotes open innovation models and small business growth; increasing awareness of best-of-class technologies, people and organizations. It is supported by the Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate.
— Don Willmott