New Oracle exchange addresses IT labor shortage

Oracle Corp. starts a job exchange to help its online developers network.

Oracle Corp. today announced plans to augment its online developer network with a jobs and components exchange.

The Redwood Shores, Calif., company has updated its Oracle Technology Network to let companies and developers post resumes, bid on or post projects, and buy and sell components. Called OTN Xchange, the reconfigured site is a combination of free and fee-based services.

The Oracle Technology Network, initially launched more than two years ago, now has almost 1 million members, according to the company.

Rene Bonvanie, Oracle's vice president for e-marketing, said the company expanded OTN because of the increasing interest in B2B exchanges as well as the ongoing labor shortage in IT.

Developers can post resumes on the site for free, as can companies that post request for proposals or projects. The idea is to satisfy the demand from Silicon Valley and other areas with developers in countries like India, China and Russia. Companies can also buy components on the site, and new content has been added specifically for database administrators.

"I think what we have here is pretty unique," Bonvanie said. "We've seen component exchanges, but we've never seen anything where jobs and components meet."

High hopes

Companies can start posting contracts starting today, but the first transaction won't take place until Sept. 15. Oracle's ambitious goal for September is to have tens of thousands of jobs posted along with tens of thousands of developers and a few thousand components available. The site is at http://otnxchange.oracle.com.

The site, developed in conjunction with Collab.Net, also will manage or host jobs on an ongoing basis for a fee, which Bonvanie said has not been determined. Paid-for services include managing financial and legal aspects of contracts. Collab.Net, of San Francisco, provides a similar marketplace and hosting services for the open-source community.

Collab.Net was hired by Oracle to expand the network based on its own services. Oracle is the first to use Collab.Net's exchange technology, said Bill Phipps, Collab.Net's consulting services manager.

Phipps said the project will not only provide information on Oracle-related jobs but will also promote a community for developers to access source-code samples and contribute their own work from completed projects.

"We believe that's really going to be the enabling technology and provide long-term sustainability" for the network, Phipps said.

Also participating in the job network are Developers.net, eworks, Flipdog.com, Niku.com, Opus360, SkillsVillage and WorkExchange.

Bonvanie said the goal of the site is to expand Oracle's reach, not its profits.

"Oracle is not going to make a penny off this thing," he said.

Also today, Oracle announced plans to revamp its professional certification program, intended to make it an easier and faster process for developers and database administrators to become Oracle-certified. Oracle will let participants combine exams from different versions of certification tracks.

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