'Changing of the guard' for online tech freelancers

A jobs site specialising in freelance roles has declared a “changing of the guard across the technology industry”, amid a range of incumbent providers or skill-sets being edged out by newcomers.

Pointing to the advance of open standards on the internet, Freelancer.com said HTML5 and iQuery were gaining market share at the expense of more traditional tech providers, such as Adobe and Microsoft.

User activity on the site, which posted 190,000 jobs in the second quarter, reflects the internet becoming a more interactive platform, with a surge towards mobile devices - a trend that “won’t be reversing anytime soon.”  

The site added that, so far contrary to its predictions, Google’s Android as a provider of work has not overtaken Apple’s iPhone, which saw its jobs pool expand by 30% to 5,112 jobs (versus the former’s 20% growth to 3,444 jobs).

Across the board for the second quarter, all mobile phone jobs were up – although lower relative earnings have been reported by some Android developers, whereas jobs around its archrival’s iPad rose 26% (to 2,308 jobs).

Beyond the mobile space, yet not unrelated, the best growth performer between April and June was User Interface – with the stock of jobs leaping 42% to return a total of 1,756 openings.

Freelancer.com’s Matt Barrie reflected: “This activity has been at the expense of the web dinosaur Microsoft; .NET jobs fell off the edge of a cliff this quarter (down 39% to 2,919), and ASP jobs dropped 13% to 1,084.”

Elsewhere though, the software giant made gains. Demand for Word processing exploded 119% to return 1,594 jobs; Excel expanded 13% to almost 23,000 jobs, while data processing was also up (16% to 21,274 jobs).

The subtext is that many business owners are looking to “weather the economic” storm by investing more in business process outsourcing, as opportunities for back-office staff, virtual assistants and data entry clerks were also all more abundant than in the previous quarter.

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