Wanted: Java developers-to-be

IT services company has a plan to help alleviate the shortage of U.S developers skilled in Java

Emphasizing a critical lack of Java developers in the United States, IT services company Cook Systems wants to remedy the problem with a recruitment and training effort.

The company's FastTrack'D program is aimed at producing 1,000 skilled Java developers per year within 24 months. While claims of IT worker shortages often anger IT persons who have found it difficult to find jobs in this economy, Cook Systems CEO Wayne Cook maintains that the shortage of Java developers is in fact very real.

"Really, what [the program] is about is creating an answer for severe shortage of developers in this country, specifically Java developers," he said. "Being a large solutions staffing company, I can tell you firsthand that you can hardly find an American Java developer, no matter how hard you try. Rarely can you find one." Job-finding site Careerbuilder.com, meanwhile, lists pages upon pages of Java developer openings.

Although Java has had to deal with complaints of security weaknesses recently, it remains a prominent enterprise-level language and development platform. It consistently shows up at or near the top of language popularity indexes, including Tiobe and PyPL indexes.

Cook attributes the shortage to Americans not embracing object-oriented technology in large numbers lately and to companies looking to reduce costs after Y2K by importing H-1B visa holders and sending work offshore. "I just believe that it's a much more cost-effective model [to program] in our own time zone."

For the seven-week program, Cook looks for candidates with the right aptitude and decision-making skills, as well as some core experience, which could include Web development skills or previous course work in Java. "We get the ones who have some core Java experience, and then we take them on a deep dive of Java, and after a few weeks, we take them into developer training," said Cook. Interested candidates can contact the company via its website, but Cook is adept at finding its own candidates, he noted.

The in-class program currently is limited to locations in Memphis; Columbus, Ohio; and Richardson, Texas, with graduates set to work for Cook Systems. The company hopes to expand to at least 10 regions in the next two years, all in the Central time zone. Cook also has set its sights on providing Java application testers and on offering testing courses within six months.

This story, "Wanted: Java developers-to-be," was originally published at InfoWorld.com. Get the first word on what the important tech news really means with the InfoWorld Tech Watch blog. For the latest developments in business technology news, follow InfoWorld.com on Twitter.