Eclipse: 637, Netbeans: 7

Eclipse: 637, Netbeans: 7

Summary: Looking to improve your marketability as a developer? You might want to learn Eclipse.

TOPICS: IT Employment

Between outsourcing and constant technological change, developers have to constantly keep themselves up to date. If the challenge of learning new stuff isn't enough (and it should be), consider that you never know when that pink slip could arrive, no matter how stable your company is.

Of course the trick is to know what to study in your limited time. One metric you could use is search engine terms, such as the Yahoo!/O'Reilly Buzz game. Another popular one is just looking for terms in job requirements posted on popular headhunter sites.

Let's say you're trying to decide whether to learn, oh, just to pick two things at random, either Eclipse or Netbeans. Putting aside which one is better (that's largely a matter of personal preference), which one is more likely to get you a job? Well, the results from a keyword search of are pretty clear:

   "eclipse": 653 jobs

   "netbeans": 25 jobs

Interestingly, of the 25 jobs that matched "netbeans", 16 of those also listed "eclipse" as an option, and 2 listed WSAD (WebSphere Application Developer), which is based on Eclipse. So taking out those leaves us with:

   "eclipse and not netbeans": 637

   "netbeans and not eclipse and not wsad": 7

The Eclipse one would be higher if you added in WSAD and RAD (Rational Application Developer) and other Eclipse based toolkits, but I figured the number was high enough at it is.

Interestingly, if you go out and read some of those Eclipse postings, a good percentage of them are looking for plug-in or RCP developers. Now I know this is a completely unscientific study, but even Charles would have to admit that's a pretty wide gap.

BTW, I just attended a nice talk Wayne Beaton gave for our local Websphere User's Group. He gave a presentation on the Web Tools Platform and the Rich Client Platform. To see his slides check out his new web site at (I'm not making this up): .

Topic: IT Employment

Ed Burnette

About Ed Burnette

Ed Burnette is a software industry veteran with more than 25 years of experience as a programmer, author, and speaker. He has written numerous technical articles and books, most recently "Hello, Android: Introducing Google's Mobile Development Platform" from the Pragmatic Programmers.

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  • Hiring Practices

    I have seen this before. In 1995 proponents of Windows APIs
    did and could show hiring practices as a rationale for using
    Windows APIs instead of Java. What they and you missed were
    that hiring practices were always behind technology trends by
    six months to a full year or greater. The current hiring practices
    really reflect NetBeans 3.6/4.0 and the marketplace during that
    period. There are strong trends in NetBeans' favor that will
    change these numbers. In addition, developers are a practical
    lot - many Eclipse shops are now using or starting to use
    NetBeans for the host of new features part of NetBeans 5.0. I
    could fill pages with anecdotes of rEclipse developers recently
    starting to use NetBeans for various reasons and many moving
    to NetBeans. With full UML support, SOA support, Profiler,
    Mobility, the best GUI builder available and full collaboration
    features added recently - I am very confident that the numbers
    will trend substantially in NetBeans favor within this next six
    month to one year window. If you do look at some search
    engine results as you point out and technology trends - they
    heavily favor NetBeans.

    In six months to a year these numbers will look like medieval


    • Bet on it?

      So you're saying that in 6 months these numbers will flip? Care to make a small wager on that like Tim and David did?
      Ed Burnette
      • Re: Hiring Practices

        >So you're saying that in 6 months these numbers
        >will flip? Care to make a small wager on that >like Tim and David did?

        If you read what I wrote - I didn't say they would "flip". I expect the "numbers to trend in NetBeans favor" in the next six months to a year. The search engine results have flipped and momentum has now moved in NetBeans favor - that's why i expect the "overt" hiring numbers to do the same. As others have pointed out there are additional nuances - the Eclipse hiring postings represent a miniscule 4% of Java-related hiring postings - it looks like most companies are leaving it to developers to choose. Those numbers are moving NetBeans way - NetBeans-based marketshare has moved in a year from 17% to 31% according to Evans, that is why I expect hiring to follow the trend.

        • What are you predicting then?

          Ok, you didn't say "flip" but you said "In six months to a year these numbers will look like medieval history" which indicates a pretty serious change. If not a flip, then what kind of numbers are you predicting exactly?
          Ed Burnette
          • Simply predicting more NetBeans in your future ... :)

            The serious change has already happened - NetBeans 5.0/5.5
            are out. Today I helped a developer who is moving his Eclipse
            module over to a NetBeans module. All I'm saying is that
            eventually (6 months to a year) it will end up being reflected in
            increased NetBeans hiring postings. That's all.

            I am suggesting that you will see consideerably more "NetBeans"
            (referring to RCP and modules) in the hiring postings and that in
            six months you will be see a trend developing that mirrors the
            trends in search engines and in the NetBeans momentum we are
            seeing today. So, yes, today's numbers will look like medieval

            Further, since NetBeans is built on Java standards - unlike
            Eclipse (SWT) there is less necessity to call out for "NetBeans".
            Actually that works against a "NetBeans" posting. However - at
            the rate at which developers are building new NetBeans modules
            it suggests to me that things will trend heavily toward more
            "NetBeans" related postings.

            Lastly, as mentioned before, 4% is such a small number.
            I don't know if you have every read Daniil Kharms "Blue
            Notebook #10" (an anti-story) ? You can find it here :
            Similarly since we are only talking about 4% of the Java postings
            on a single day asking for some knowledge about Eclipse - it is
            "hard to understand what we are really talking about ? :)

  • Sane audience

    Sounds like you *had* to answer Tim O'Reilly's concern on the NetBeans buzz:

    ok, let's see... Dice has 14612 hits for Java,
    and Eclipse (just like NetBeans) is not only for Java, right? ;-)

    Developers don't like to be told what tool to use, so I take it that 4% or less of theses jobs require belief in the Eclipse hype, a pretty sane audience overall in my opinion...
  • It could also be..

    that netBeans are so easy to learn that it's not a requirement beforehand, while Eclipse isn't. ;)
  • IDEs as hiring consideration

    I don't think I'd want to work for a place that scraps the bottom-of-the-barrel so closely that it has to treat knowing a particular IDE as a "skill."
    • Re: IDEs as hiring consideration

      [i]I don't think I'd want to work for a place that scraps the bottom-of-the-barrel so closely that it has to treat knowing a particular IDE as a "skill."[/i]

      Good point. But really, it's very typical for companies to throw a big shopping list into their required/preferred skills section.
      Ed Burnette
    • Try before you reach any conclusions

      Have you at least tried it?
      I respectfully submit, it's more than an IDE.

      Give it a whirl and the 'light bulb' will go on!

      Thanks Erik! :)
      D T Schmitz
  • Subject should be "Hiring Practices"

    Nothing is going to change until these recruiters and consulting companies realize that "age discrimination" is illegal in this country. It seems that someone that is 40 plus with COBOL, CICS, Eclipse, Java, Oracle, C++, and C-sharp experience trumps someone that is "just learning" Eclipse and is 22 right out of college.

    Do what I do, take a voice-activated recorder with me to job interviews. When I have enough evidence of age discrimination, I sue. Haven't lost a case yet!

    I may be old fashioned, but it seems to me it would be in America's best interest(s) to train fellow Americans in new technologies (i.e. new computer tools and languages), then to terminate them and hire some idiot from India that cannot speak the language. Those people say they charge less but really don't. They also "really don't" have the skills the claim to have!

    Our government should be offering tax incentives to keep American jobs in America, not letting them go to save a buck. I guess this is another reason not to vote Republican. Meanwhile Katrina victims are homeless, starving, and out of work, but Bush still has millions for the super rich and for killing innocents in Iraq. Those dollars must be coming from the stolen Iraqi oil and from the sub minimum wage jobs Bush enacted with his "executive orders" to clean up after Katrina and Rita. Funny how Halliburton got billions but plain folk only got $1.50 per hour. Pitiful!

    George W. Bush, you are America's Number One A**hole!
  • Eclipse / It aint just Java

    The decision by IBM to 'relabel' the product from Visual Age to Eclipse is exceedingly appropriate.

    Coupled to your story, when you follow current events as in:

    1) Borland jettisons their IDE Line (e.g., Delphi, C++Builder, JBuilder) in favor of Eclipse new product line development.

    2) Adobe <Labs> relabels the merged Macromedia Studio MX to 'Flex Builder 2.0' and is an Eclipse plugin

    it becomes very apparent where things are going.

    Coming from a Borland IDE development background, hailing back to the days of Turbo Pascal, I have and still do hold C++Builder and Delphi in high regard.

    But now having installed Eclipse to SuSE 10 and giving it a try, well, Eclipse is really programming and OS 'neutral' not to mention the fact that the eclipse 'platform' per. se. can be used to build completely free-standing applications!

    Read an interesting article about progress made with a Ruby plugin here!:

    Based also on the 'bookspace' quotient, Borders is adding a new wing just for room to accomodate the new 'Eclipse Cult' section. ;) (kidding)

    Need I say more!? :)

    Thanks for a good article.

    Eclipse folks!
    D T Schmitz
  • Erewegoagain

    Wow...And here it is i always thought an IDE was a means to an end.

    Imagine this

    Vacancy - Application Developer
    Job requirement:
    - BSc Computer Science/IS..etc, or relevant certification.
    - Certified Eclipse Application Developer.
    - Minimum 1 year experience in application development using Eclipse IDE.


    zdnet will never change :)