Tuesday, March 13, 2012

The Future of Flex? This Graph might give you a hint

Recently I've been meeting many Flex developers who are trying to figure out where's the Flex job market going, mostly asking themselves if it's time to switch to HTML5 or other client technologies. This graph might give you a hint. The graph displays the percentage of jobs found for each search terms on indeed.com. According to this graph, demand for Flex developers is obviously taking a huge fall while demand for HTML5 is rising in an amazing rate.

source: Indeed.com

I find two possible explanations to the graph, each one is also introducing a different forecast :
  • [Pessimistic] Flex is vanishing from the industry, in a couple of years it will no longer be used for new projects, Flex developers will still be able to find jobs maintaining existing projects, very much like developer of other technologies that have vanished form the job market.
  • [Optimistic] The market is over reacting to Adobe's recent Flex related strategy. Yes, some companies are avoiding the use of Flex for new projects and are exploring new technologies, but soon those companies will find out the obvious, HTML5\JS Are not mature enough and at this point can not offer companies a real alternative to Flex. Many of these companies will soon understand that leaving Flex was a mistake. They will get back to hiring Flex developers.

Which one of these forecasts is the right one? we'll just have to wait and see.

10 comments:

Tink said...

The comparision is skewed a little as Flex is used mainly for RIA's. HTML is in great demand for digital marketing, advertising, mini sites etc. due to clients wanting their web content to work on mobile.

Lior Boord said...

@Tink that it's true, it's also important to note that this graph is based on very raw data and can not be regarded as solid statistic data. Having said that,I have to admit that this graph is consistent with what I see in the industry these days. I meet lots of companies and talk to developers, there's no doubt that some companies are shifting to HTML5\js from Flex.

Anonymous said...

If you have ever tried to build an enterprise HTML/JS application, then you would know that it is twice as difficult as it is with Flex. That alone may account for the higher demand for HTML/JS developers.

Lior Boord said...

Anonymous, LOL, never thought about that explanation :)

Nicolas Bousquet said...

Haha, Anonymous, unfortunately, I think the HR people, who, in the broader sense, understand shit about our jobs, follow the global trend. A few stage3D demos will convince them otherwise.

Nikos said...

I think its a overreaction, + will allow higher paying jobs in the future as less developers

davidjmcclelland.com said...

Pay/demand for Flex specialists is up in my world. Devs who can do Flex + something else are more apt to be doing that something else instead, leaving me with nice options.

This effect is good short-term but a lack of available talent could also accelerate the move to less powerful/mature alternatives more quickly.

Lior Boord said...

@davidjmcclelland.com even if the pessimistic forecast is correct, you can count on a few good years of demand for Flex experts. Financial institutes, IT software vendors, spent millions on Flex apps that are already in use, they are not going to throw all this away, they will still need experts to maintain and develop they're existing apps in the next years.

Mark Lapasa said...

People who defend Flex is the best choice for enterprise are right only because they don't have any choice given how slow enterprise moves. Given more time, some of the newer technologies will find it's way into the ecosystem displacing Flex.

People who stick around with Flex and refuse to go with the ebb & flow of user interface implementation tools will be paid a very handsome reward for maintaining legacy software because of a lack of skilled talent. There is nothing announced today or recently about Flex that would not make it a dead-end career choice.

I left Flex a couple of weeks prior to the 11/9 news and haven't turned back. It's a dying technology in that nobody is dying to learn it or trying to sell it. You don't have to tell me how powerful it is. I started Flex during version 2 beta 2. It was a great run.

Anonyrock said...

2014 and Flex is fairly dead. I get a call about once a month from a HH looking to staff a legacy project that hasn't had the plug pulled yet.