Grow-your-own Wireless Talent

Wireless technologies have reached out and touched nearly all industries: manufacturing, health care, telecommunications, retail and more. And as these technologies continue to infiltrate everyday life and business, the demand for IT professionals to develop and implement applications and devices is growing as well.

One IT manager who’s frequently searching for qualified candidates is David Johnson, technical director at Madison Heights, Mich.-based EASi, a tier-one supplier to the automotive industry. His team of IT professionals helps develop wireless technologies that can be used in the auto industry.

To keep up with demand, Johnson trains his engineers on a variety of technologies. These include mobile device limitations; Java, including Enterprise JavaBeans; XML; Palm Query Application development with Web clipping; and Palm-specific applications such as instant messaging, Wireless Application Protocol and Wireless Markup Language.

When he’s hiring, Johnson looks for prior experience in developing for wireless technology or at least a solid understanding of how the system works. For example, the individual should know how a particular request might be processed, how the response is received on the device and how the data moves across devices.

Keeping up with emerging technologies like those used in the wireless sector is crucial, not only in boom times, but also when the economy hits a bump. With that in mind, smart managers such as Johnson are always on the lookout for qualified candidates who can step up to the plate at a moment’s notice.

Johnson’s search for qualified candidates is multipronged. The first and most effective method, he says, is through networking and word of mouth.

“We can typically find the best matches using this method,” Johnson says. Other avenues include: direct job postings through user groups, Internet career sites and regional newspapers; unsolicited r