Roundup: Oracle’s Rising Certification Fees

IT experts seeking Java and Solaris certifications will soon be paying more for training. Later this year, Oracle will require hands-on training – at an additional cost of thousands of dollars. The rule goes into effect on August 1, covering Java Architect, Java Developer, Solaris System Administrator, and Solaris Security Administrator certification paths. The courses will last between three and five days and cost from $2,000 to nearly $4,000.

Software developers looking for a wealth of job opportunities should focus on Denver. As the economy heats up, says the Denver Post, it’s getting harder for companies to find software developers, particularly those with skills in cutting-edge areas like mobile applications. “Technology-industry experts say the shortage of highly skilled developers isn’t a new phenomenon or one isolated to Colorado. But an uptick in tech hiring is making the imbalance more pronounced.”

And more optimistic hiring news: According to a survey by BDO USA, LLP, a leading accounting and consulting organization: Forty six percent of top U.S. technology companies plan to increase employee headcount in 2011. Just 7 percent expect headcount to decrease, a significant sign of confidence in the sector. “Technology companies have switched gears from survival to growth mode,” said Hank Galligan, leader in the Technology and Life Sciences Practice at BDO USA.

It’s been a tough week for online content creator Mahalo, which announced a 10 percent layoff in direct response to changes in Google’s search algorithm. Google’s goal is to get spammy and SEO-driven content out of the top tier of search results, and Mahalo, which claims its content is quality material, is caught in the crossfire.”It’s hard not to be disappointed since we’ve been spending millions of dollars on producing highly professional content,” said CEO Jason Calacanis.”We are re-evaluating our freelance content production, pausing it in the near term and determining how to best produce the high-quality educational material we aspire to in the long run.”

Wednesday’s launch of the new and improved iPad 2 was made even more dramatic by the appearance of ailing CEO Steve Jobs, who celebrated the tablet’s market dominance and outlined improvements to its design, processor, and apps. Left undiscussed were any plans Apple may have to make inroads for the device into the workplace.

Of special note for anyone in the mobile application development field was the fact that developers who have placed apps in the Apple App Store have now earned a cumulative $2 billion, just eight months after they earned the first $1 billion. And there’s no sign that the growth will slow anytime soon.

Another popular consumer product looking to expand its market into businesses is Skype, which this week announced a conference calling service that will let multiple people talk, see each other through online video, and share documents. Created in conjunction with Citrix – already well known for its GoToMeeting conferencing service – the new Skype service should be operational by the end of the year.

Upcoming Tech Events

Virtualization-Powered Data Protection Seminar

March 9, 4:00PM ET – Online
Join industry experts for this live eSeminar where they will examine solutions from Veeam and ExaGrid Systems that are taking backup to a new level, using virtualization to do things never before thought possible. You’ll learn how to create the fastest backup for your virtual environment, both locally and at secondary sites, eliminate the problems of tape backup, and achieve better storage utilization and scalability.

Channel Insider Alert: Managed Services: Where to Begin?
March 10, 1:00PM ET – Online

Should you partner with a distributor to offer an existing service, or deal directly with a managed services platform provider? What is the best way to transition your existing break/fix customers into this new way of doing business? Or should you just recruit new customers to the managed services without converting your existing clients? And what obstacles and setbacks should you expect during the first year? Join the Channel Insider for this interactive eSeminar where industry experts will examine these questions and many more.

Cleantech Forum
March 14-16 – San Francisco

The convergence of cleantech and information technology is ushering in a truly new era in clean technology, enabling faster global deployments, greater scale, and more precise measurement of impact than ever before. This three-day executive conference will helpyou develop a cleantech strategy, learn where to place your technology bets and meet with the innovative entrepreneurs and global partners who can help you implement your strategy.

— Don Willmott

Creating the Global Intelligent Economy: Social, Mobile and Virtual Conference
March 15 – San Jose
IDC’s annual Directions conference is recognized as the industry’s premier event that delivers an informative and actionable overview of the issues shaping the information technology, telecommunications, and consumer technology markets. Directions features forecasts, insights, and usable guidance from IDC and Insights analysts, as well as numerous opportunities to connect directly with our analysts for face-to-face discussions on your most pressing issues.

Gartner CIO Leadership Forum
March 20-22 – Phoenix

Gartner CIO Leadership Forum offers an interactive, workshop-centric experience to exchange ideas and receive actionable guidance from prominent CIOs, Gartner experts, and senior executives from leading technology providers. It focuses on helping to turn your insights into actionable results.

— Don Willmott