Silicon ValleyThe NASA Ames Research Center in Mountain View expects to draw upon Silicon Valley's intellectual capital base as it adds staff under the space agency's proposed $100 billion budget. The proposal, which would be be implemented later this year assuming Congress approves it, includes more money and more jobs for the facility. Given the technological nature of NASA's mission, many of those jobs are expected to be IT-related.       

NASA Ames says it's too early to know exactly how many jobs will be created by the agency's proposed new emphasis on unmanned space missions, climate change research, extending the International Space Station, and ongoing partnerships with big high tech firms such as Google and Cisco. NASA has been working with Google to help make its spacecraft more autonomous, and with Cisco to integrate the world's climate change databases. 

The folks at Ames expect funding to support a host of new programs, including Exploration Scouts, an effort to develop small, robotic precursor missions to the moon, Mars, Martian moons, and nearby asteroids; and the Small Satellite Subsystem Technology, which touches things like formation flying, long life power systems, and miniaturized remote sensors. A third program includes a host of small satellite demonstration missions. All will require high-level software and applications design staff.      

National Semi Hiring

Selective hiring continues in the area for technology-related positions at a number of large and medium-size firms. At the end of March, National Semiconductor was looking for analog chip designers and software engineers, among others. National's vice president for worldwide human resources told the San Jose Mercury News anticipates "continued growth in the coming quarters." 

-- Doug Bartholomew