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10 Recession-Proof IT Careers

10 Recession-Proof IT Careers

Eric Dahl / Inside Tech

March 19, 2009

#4 Ruby/Rails Engineer

History has shown pretty clearly that programmers who can pick up the latest hot language can make themselves indispensable. Today that hot language is Ruby and specifically Ruby on Rails. How hot? Check this trend graph from SimplyHired. After a a brief holiday- and recession-related dip, Ruby jobs are back up to their historical high, up 69% since July 2007. Just try and find a graph that looks that good in any career other than “unemployment office case worker.”

Ruby on Rails got a boost in Octover 2007 when Apple began shipping the open-source Web application framework with OS X “Leopard”. Developed for 37 Signals’s Basecamp app, Ruby has quickly gained a reputation as a fast, powerful, and programmer-friendly environment. Web companies large and small have begun to adopt it, and those that have are always looking for qualified Rails developers and engineers.

Salary: $91,000

Education: Though experienced coders can secure jobs without getting a degree, a BS in Computer Science is a nice start on the road to a career in Rails development, as is any IT or math-related degree.

Experience: As in any development-related career, employers will want to see some level of experience in the language you’ll be coding as well as on different sized development teams. Fortunately, it’s easy to pick up new languages like Ruby by working on personal or open-source projects.

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