I was mildly taken to task by Ed Brill about my post that the data on a UK IT jobs site reflected the vitality of the underlying platforms. That site showed significantly more jobs on Exchange and Sharepoint than on Notes/Domino.
Ed used Jobs search site indeed.com to show the reverse. His specific search was flawed, but his general point was fair: other jobs sites show different results.
The two sites in question sites show approximately the same number of IT jobs, but there are major differences between them:
- The UK site is structured. I.e someone has categorized each job. Indeed.com is just a plain text search, so you have to search for combinations of product and company names to count the jobs.
- The UK site includes IT jobs only. I.e there are no jobs for bankers or plumbers. Indeed.com covers jobs of all types, so you can never be sure you've hit all the relevant jobs and excluded the irrelevant ones (e.g. "Heat Exchange specialist", "take Notes at meetings," or "Domino's Pizza").
- The UK site appears to count jobs only once. I couldn't find any duplicates there. Indeed.com has lots and lots of duplicates.
Ed searched indeed.com to compare <Lotus AND Notes> with <Microsoft AND Exchange> but that missed:
- IBM AND Notes ... i.e. no mention of Lotus
- "Notes developer" .. with no mention of Lotus
- Lotus AND Domino ... no mention of Notes
- MS AND Exchange ... Microsoft not spelled out
- "Exchange 2000" .. with no mention of Microsoft (there were lots of these)
So, I did a bunch of searches to try and catch the relevant positions, exclude the incorrect ones and not double count. Contact me if you want the specific searches. The results were:
- Notes plus Domino: 34, 424
- Exchange plus Sharepoint: 30,153
I am confident that this is close -- within 20%. The indeed.com (mostly US positions) showed Notes slightly ahead, which is mildly counter-intuitive. To be fair, though, the UK results were surprisingly skewed against Notes.
So, what does this tell us? My observations (using the principle of least complexity):
- I do believe job postings (and particularly trends over time) reflect platform vitality (i.e. jobs increase with platform share and growth).
- The UK data is well structured and there's no evidence of a systematic bias against Lotus or pro Microsoft. It probably reflects the UK market accurately.
- The indeed.com data is less precise but it's not so imprecise as to be useless. I'd have to conclude that in the US, the platform story is much closer.