The first article that was interesting news to me was an article in the Business Intelligence Pipeline (http://ie.bizintelligencepipeline.com/news/184429377) that describes a surge in entry-level IT hiring.  I think this is good news for our industry and may indicate that the early romance and honeymoon with outsourcing is ending.  If the trend of outsourcing had continued unabated, I worried that IT might turn into a dead-end street for up-and-comers. 

Outsourcing certainly has its place and offers undoubted value when properly managed.  However, it's not a panacea and many business are learning that you cannot outsource internal business functions that are already chaotic or poorly managed by the organization.  As a friend once said "You can't outsource chaos".  If you are looking for a good place to learn the ABC's of outsourcing, I suggest this clearinghouse from CIO Magazine - http://www.cio.com/research/outsourcing/edit/outsourcing_abc.html?source=cioinsider.

The second article that struck me as important discussed the views of Ray Lane, former president and COO of Oracle Corporation.  Find the article at http://www.infoworld.com/article/06/04/04/77111_HNraylanesoftware2006_1.html. Lane says that the world of software development is moribund, with slowing growth and a shrinking pool of profits.  In fact, 85% of the software industries revenues are in the hands of just 15 software vendors with Microsoft getting the lion's share.  Lane sites technologies like Skype and WebEx as successful examples of innovation.  Lane's views are important because he's a partner at Kleiner Perkins, a hugely important venture capital corporation.  If Lane is correct, then we may see a slowdown or plateauing of the USA's ascendence in IT innovation.

Finally, an interesting blog to check out is Sean McCown's "DBA Underground" found on the InfoWorld website.  Sean is a full-time DBA and also the reporter covering the database beat for InfoWorld.  One of the things I like about Sean's blogs is that he's not afraid to take unpopular or contrarian positions.  I think a little agitation is good for dialog and sometimes the only way to shake people out of complacency.  One of his recent post discussed the history of a competing group of database products from Idera, Quest Software (my employer), and Red-Gate.  Check out his thoughts at http://weblog.infoworld.com/dbunderground/archives/2006/04/backup_war_goes.html

These are just a few of the huge number of articles that look interesting.  Of course, I don't have nearly enough time to read everything I'd like to investigate.  But, hey, I'm trying!  Let me know what you think.  Is our industry in decline, on the verge of decline, or fighting back?

Best regards,

-Kevin