How bad is the job market?

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Bruce A. Epstein

Bruce A. Epstein
Nov. 19, 2001 07:58 AM

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I'm a multimedia programmer and consultant by trade. I specialize in Macromedia products such as Director, Flash, and Dreamweaver. In the summer of 2000, every consultant I knew was flush with business. We couldn't find a programmer with 2 or 3 years of real experience for less than $80,000/year (in the NJ area).

By January of 2001 the market had tanked, and by summer almost 75% of my colleagues were unemployed and the remainder were underemployed. Today I stopped to get gas and the attendant asked what I did. When I said I was a software developer, he said that he was too. Earlier this year he was a middleware programmer integrating PCs and mainframes. Today, he was pumping gas to pay the rent. He says he submits resumes to various online places but gets no responses.

Update Dec 1, 2001: I was at a gas station and the attendant noticed my Macromedia T-shirt. He asked if I used Macromedia products. Turns out that he was a student at a local multimedia training program, also pumping gas to pay the bills.

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Bruce A. Epstein is the author of Director in a Nutshell and Lingo in a Nutshell, the coauthor of Dreamweaver in a Nutshell and the editor of ActionScript: The Definitive Guide.