Dave Brimley

IMDG Skills and Jobs Index 2017

February 16, 2017 | 4 Minute Read

How relevant are my IMDG skills?

I ran across a LinkedIn post yesterday from 451 Research, they were updating their NoSQL Skills index at the request of a poster. It was a pretty simple thing that was based on the counts of a few different LinkedIn Searches, things like the number of profiles that mentioned a NoSQL product. It had the usual suspects like MongoDB, Redis & Couchbase. However, there wasn’t anything regarding IMDG (In Memory Data Grids).

As an independent IMDG consultant, I’m always keen to make sure that my skill set aligns with the current trends and demands of the market. I’m not particularly keen on being out of work. My skills are in Gemfire, Hazelcast and Oracle Coherence. So purely for my own interest, I ran a few searches against LinkedIn.

There’s nothing scientific about them and they’re all easily reproduced for verification. I’ve made no attempt to find duplicates in terms of job postings and I’ve tried my best to merge results where a product might be known under two different names.

I’ve chosen what I consider to be the top 5 IMDG, Four of them are open source and one is proprietary, closed source.

IMDG Product mentioned in LinkedIn Bio.

An important statistic and a good indicator of a products popularity. I could imagine this might be quite important to an organisation if they’re looking at the talent pool available.

This shows that the Granddaddy of IMDG, Oracle Coherence wins closely followed by Hazelcast. Not an unexpected result, Oracle Coherence has been the bulwark of many IMDG systems for quite a few years now. I first came across it in 2006 when it was still known as Tangosol Coherence, yet to be bought out by Oracle. Oracle Coherence was the first IMDG I ever used.

IMDG Skills Count

IMDG Skills Bar Chart

IMDG Skills Pie Chart

Notes : LinkedIn Search for people mentioning the product keywords in their profile. Where a product is known by 2 names results have been combined. This could advantage these products as the same job may be double counted.

Search conducted on 16th February 2017

IMDG Product Job Listings

This is the big one for me, is there enough work out there? Are organisations going to need my skills? The strange thing here is that Oracle Coherence dips quite a bit after the good results in the skills count, I’m not sure what this indicates. It could mean that the Coherence people are happy in their jobs and not moving or maybe there’s not much new development going on. I would imagine some analysis of Coherence profiles might reveal if people are still working in this area or it’s a legacy situation now.

I’m happy to see that Hazelcast has a big requirement for jobs in both the USA and the UK.

Of the two Apache IMDG projects it looks like Gemfire is going strong in terms of job demand. Something else with the Apache IMDG, they always seemed to have jobs listed for their commercial brand names, Gemfire & GridGain. Rarely did I find a job mentioning the Apache project name.




I’m based in the UK, so I was also interested in the UK job market. The number of jobs in general listed here are a lot lower. I think this is because the UK relies more on other job sites like JobServe.




Notes : LinkedIn Search for jobs mentioning the product keywords. Where a product is known by 2 names results have been combined. This could advantage these products as the same job may be double counted. 
There could be duplicate entries from multiple agencies listing same job.

Search conducted on 16th February 2017


For me, personally, I think I’ve selected the right IMDG products to keep my career ticking along. To verify what I’m seeing here isn’t totally unreasonable I also took a look at the excellent db-engines ranking website, they include many different types of Database, including IMDG which they list as Key Values stores, this does them a bit of a disservice in my opinion, they’re so much more than that. In any case, their rankings seem to back up what I’ve seen in this brief search on LinkedIn.

Let me know what you think in the comments section below. Does this all tally with your current experiences of the IMDG job market?