Web Services and Your Career
Web services are the hot technology topic of the moment, but is the concept just another hype-driven flash in the pan?IBM, Microsoft, Sun Microsystems and other companies tout the amazing potential of Web services. But most techies -- the programmers, system administrators and others who actually create and maintain the technology -- havent even begun to work on Web services projects. Is this another overhyped trend, or is it, as some contend, a transformation likely to dominate software for the coming decade and beyond? Put it this way: How often do Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates and Sun CEO Scott McNealy agree on something? Gates, McNealy and other information technology executives have rallied around Web services in ways rarely seen in the IT world. They view this as nothing short of a revolution, likely to increase efficiency and spur innovation in every aspect of business and communication. As Gates said at the launch event for Visual Studio .NET, "Web services are the key to productivity that will span the entire economy."
Web services will have an effect on technology professionals, too, but what will it be? Whats more, how can you begin to prepare for it?
- Watch for Web services initiatives within your company. A ZapThink report released in late 2001 found 75 percent of surveyed companies planned internally focused Web services deployments. With ongoing questions regarding security and reliability, many organizations will use pilot projects as a way to test Web services without much risk; such projects will also be the chief route for techies to gain skills in the field.
- Current Web services action is focused on developing the tools, platforms, and other widgets needed to bring organizations and systems into the Web services world. Microsoft, Sun and other companies are at the forefront of this arena, but theyre not the only players. If youre looking for a challenge and can live with a certain degree of risk, you might consider a position with a startup -- yes, a startup -- devoted to Web services. Bowstreet, Cape Clear and scores of others are aiming to provide Web services consulting and tools.
- IBMs alphaWorks Web services area
- Microsoft .NET
- Oracle on Web services
- Suns Java Web services site