Saturday, 23 July 2011

Want a semantic web/ linked data job?

20 years ago, if somebody post a job position saying he or she wants to employ a web developer, nobody would understand what's that! However, see what is happening now. Not saying the big business, every tiny small business needs a web site to advertise themselves. Everybody knows what is a Web developer and there are thousands and millions of Web developers out there.

Will this be the a similar story for linked data developers in 20 years time? We know PHP, Java, XML, Javascript, etc. Later there might be job requirement for SPARQL, OWL, RDF, etc. How far away these semantic Web technologies from our daily life?

It seems to me that currently, jobs about linked data and semantic Web usually stay in big research institutions and big companies who are "living" on the Web, such as Google, Yahoo, Microsoft, facebook, etc. There are several pioneer companies, such as Talis, Garlik, Seme4 and ordnance survey, which focus on semantic Web and linked data solutions. These companies provide semantic Web related software and help you publish your data into linked data cloud. If your go to, you will find more companies or organisations like those.

To make semantic Web and linked data more popular, there is a gap we have to fulfill, which is the gap between research and money. Certainly, if we want to persuade Lord Sugar to invest a company doing linked data or shift his current business into linked data, we have to give him a clear idea how much is the budget and where is the profit. Every businessman will ask similar question when comes to the concept of linked data: "how can linked data make money for me? And what benefit linked data can bring to me which is impossible for the current technologies?"

It's not an easy question to answer as far as I know. At least, it's pretty difficult for me now to give a single example of what linked data can do (I mean linked data can do now, not in the future) but Google, IBM, Microsoft cannot.  However, I believe that the big vision of linked data is so great that it could not be achieved in a couple of days time. Business man in UK has already sat down together in mydata initiative to talk about how open data can finally make great profit to business. We need to be patient.

I hope that after a while, when I come back to or, I could find some jobs under the category of semantic Web or linked data publisher and bid on those jobs to earn some pocket money :=)

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