To find out the most sought-after developer skills this year, Paul Heltzel reached out to a mix of recruiters, CTOs, CEOs, and other executives who offered their must-have technologies to try, strategies to consider, and soft skills to master.
Go Big With Data
Big data projects continued to get bigger last year, and there’s no sign of that slowing down in the years to come. Developers must have in-depth knowledge of [business intelligence] and analytics products, machine learning tools, and other solutions that transfer, store, and aggregate large amounts of data. Only then can they help their organizations store, interact, and analyze big data to make better business decisions.
Master the Full Stack
Many top firms are now seeking full-stack developers who comfortably move between a variety of technologies and platforms.
Buy Into DevOps
Greater access to hot job prospects isn’t the only reason to look into adding devops to your resume; DevOps practices simply make you a better developer and a more invaluable collaborator. DevOps practices also improve team cohesion and operational agility. This is the kind of edge that allows a company to accelerate ahead of the pack.
The skills companies are looking for today are considerably more varied compared to a few years ago. Java and C# remain a part of the market, but when you look at companies founded after the last recession, you’re seeing a variety: Ruby on Rails, Python/Django, Node.js, and the emergence of functional programming languages, with Scala the most prevalent.
Use the Source
In particular for freelancers, the ability to point to your code on GitHub shows that your work has been put to good use and reviewed by your peers.
If companies themselves are exploring GitHub for technologies to add to their stacks, shouldn’t you?
Agile development should be part of a coders’ quiver of skills in 2016. Be humble and be hungry. Be familiar with agile and lean methodologies — the ability to break down big projects into small stories, prioritizing, adapting to change, and delivering the most value.
According to Addison’s Murphy, companies that suffered security breaches last year already know what they want and what skills will be the most useful to them in 2016.
With the increase in adoption of the cloud, security and compliance are growing concerns for organizations, this has resulted in an upsurge of demand for experts in security, compliance, governance, and data administration.
Mobile developers are highly sought after, especially those who can distribute their creations widely. Being a successful mobile developer is not achieved through a particular technology skill set, but rather through business savvy. Writing code is only the first phase of the project. Knowing how to promote your mobile app, and attract and retain customers, is what drives success.
To the Cloud
The cloud is not all about tools, when it comes to developing career opportunities in the cloud. In part of an ongoing trend, companies are looking for developers with business skills, including project management and the ability to negotiate with vendors, says TEKsystems. Additionally, there’s a need for more "move the business forward"-type skills, but less of a need for tactical work, as cloud providers are now increasingly responsible for that.
IoT: Making Connections
Client management skills are important, particularly the ability to push back tactfully but convincingly when there are alternatives that deliver more value. Also being able to educate clients about the nature of software, guiding them toward practices that will serve them best in the long run.
If you’re the 10x, full-stack developer on your team, there’s more demand than supply for your services. But if you’re starting out or making a career change, the right attitude can make all the difference in getting — and staying — hired.
Being a good team member, having a willingness to be part of the solution rather than part of the problem, lending a helping hand to team members, volunteering ideas and efforts to improve the product or the culture are valuable to any team.