HTML is still where it’s at

I just read a ridiculous thing at NetworkWorld about the “demise” of HTML skills. It’s in the conext of an article discussing “5 IT skills that won’t boost your salary”. I’ll quote the passage and highlight the relevent parts to save your eyeballs from being assailed by their ad-heavy pages:

Technical skills may never die, but areas of expertise wane in importance as technology advances force companies to evolve and IT staff to forsake yesterday’s craft in favor of tomorrow’s must-have talent …

As companies embrace Web 2.0 technologies such AJAX, demand for skills in HTML programming are taking a back seat. According to Foote Partners, pay for skills in technologies such as Ajax and XML increased by 12.5% in the last six months of 2007, while IT managers say they don’t see a demand for technology predecessors such as HTML. “I’m not seeing requirements for general Web 1.0 skills — HTML programming skills,” says Debbie Joy, lead solution architect for CSC in Phoenix.

Is it just me, or does anyone else find that ridicuous? AJAX requires HTML, just like cars need roads, or boats need water. Without HTML skills all the flashy new AJAX development wouldn’t work.

Tell your managers, we need to keep the plain old semantic HTML skills. Without them the web is dead.