The most valuable software developer skills in 2020

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Credit: Andrew Neel

As one of the most important growth areas of the past decade, software development skills remain in high demand even in today’s economy. But some skills are more desirable than others.

Choosing the right ones to focus on is especially important as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact the global job market. In the UK alone, the number of advertised developer and software engineer positions both fell 33% in July from a year earlier, according to the job board. CV-library.

So which developer skills are most valuable in today’s market? We’ve looked at the data to find the most bankable developer skills for years to come, and how best to prepare yourself for success in a busy job market.

Don’t put all your eggs in one basket

Developers are often judged and evaluated on their mastery of certain programming languages ​​and frameworks, but it’s important to remember that these are transferable skills.

Stack Overflow has asked thousands of developers how often they learn a new language or framework for their Developer survey 2020, with around 75% of respondents saying they learned a new technology at least once a year.

“Languages ​​and frameworks are very similar, so the differences between programming languages ​​are much smaller than speech. Switching from PHP to Python is not like learning French ”, Hew Ingram, engineering manager at a specialist in recruiting technologies Applied said.

For example, Ingram says that if he hired for a React developer, he wouldn’t really mind if they had done React before, if they had done Angular, JQuery, or even vanilla JavaScript, they could pick up React very quickly. . “

In software development, as in many career paths, the ability to demonstrate transferable skills is more valuable than a long list of skills, and many hiring managers are increasingly language independent, according to HackerRank.

Some skills are hotter than others

That being said, there are skills and frameworks in high demand right now that will prove to be more valuable on your resume than mastering ubiquitous languages ​​like JavaScript or C ++.

Rust and Dart are two lightweight programming languages ​​that have gained popularity among developers, topping the list of the fastest growing programming languages ​​on GitHub between 2018 and 2019. As the GitHub State of the Octoverse observed report:

With Flutter in our trending repositories, it’s no surprise that Dart has gained contributors this year. We’ve also seen trends toward statically typed languages ​​focused on type security and interoperability: the Rust, Kotlin, and TypeScript communities continue to grow rapidly.

Likewise, Google’s Go programming language is growing in popularity according to the Hired tech hiring market, which has seen skilled engineers win an average of nine or more interview requests per candidate, with Scala and Ruby coming close with more. of eight interview requests per candidate in 2019.

Still, Java and JavaScript can be the most profitable programming languages ​​to learn if you are just starting out. In fact, Java remains the second most requested language by employers behind SQL, according to the analysis of the popular job site Indeed.

Then there’s Python, which has risen quickly through the skill ranks over the past decade. Python is popular with data scientists and is the third most requested language, according to millions of US job postings on Indeed.com between 2014 and 2019.

Money can be good too, with the average salary for a proficient Python developer at $ 91,000, according to Wage scale. For comparison, a Java Developer an average of $ 74,000.

Again, the GitHub State of the Octovere report offers some context:

Behind Python’s growth is a growing community of data science professionals and enthusiasts, and the tools and frameworks they use every day. These include the many Python-powered core data science packages that both lower barriers to data science work and prove foundational for projects in universities and businesses.

Last year also marked the first time that Python overtook Java as the second most popular language on GitHub by the contributors to the repository. The king is dead, long live the king.

Switch to cloud native

More broadly, a clear direction of travel can be seen in the trend towards containers and cloud native development.

Soft cloud computing skills tend to align with major vendors: Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform (GCP). Hiring managers tend to hire based on their experience with these cloud environments, so developers can be quickly integrated into a team.

If you are looking to align with a particular cloud, AWS continues to be the most popular, as many companies have built their services on the AWS stack. Indeed’s analysis showed that vacancies for AWS-skilled developers quintupled between 2014 and 2019, far exceeding demand from Azure and GCP.

On the container side, Indeed’s research shows that demand for Docker skills continue to rise, up 4,162% since 2014, and Docker was in over 5% of all tech jobs in the United States in 2019.

Requirements for mastery of the container orchestration tool Kubernetes – which is available on the three main clouds – and the service mesh Istio naturally followed, as both have become standard ways of handling containerized environments.

Kubernetes remains one of the 10 most popular open source projects by contributors according to the latest GitHub State of the Octoversy report. Likewise, Istio was among the fastest growing contributor projects, with a 194% increase in contributions in 2019.

Full battery order

A major development for software developers in recent years has been the rise of the so-called full-stack developer, a jack-of-all-trades that can handle both front-end and back-end coding required to build and run web applications.

According to HackerRank Developer Skills Report 2020, hiring managers at companies of all sizes “agree that full-stack developers are the top priority,” with 38% saying it’s the number one role they need to fill in 2020.

There is a debate as to whether a full-stack developer is actually a unicorn, but if you are looking to meet the criteria for hiring managers, you will need to be proficient in both front-end languages ​​like HTML / CSS and JavaScript and back-end languages ​​and frameworks like Node.js, Python, Ruby, and Java, with some Git, database, and mobile apps skills for good measure. Good luck.

Data is always the new oil

The rise of data science and its operations partner, the data engineer, has also seen several languages ​​and skills steadily rise in popularity.

Data streaming tools like Apache Kafka, modern data warehouses like Amazon Redshift and Snowflake, and big data platforms like Apache Spark have all experienced increasing demand in recent years. Jobs that require skills in Python and the language R are also part of the thirst for data science skills.

This is before you even wade through the complicated waters of which involves machine learning and artificial intelligence skills. This has seen the rise of machine learning platforms and frameworks such as TensorFlow and PyTorche.

Of course, not everyone can be a data scientist, and many developers won’t have this skill set, but having complementary skills certainly won’t hurt your employability.

Formal education is not everything

Finally, it is important to remember that a formal degree in computer science is not a necessity to get a job as a software developer in 2020.

“It is essential that hiring managers focus on assessing a candidate’s skills rather than over-indexing education. While 50% of software engineers have a computer science degree, 32% either learned to code on their own or learned through a coding bootcamp – and they may well have the same set of programming skills ” , wrote CEO Mehul Patel in the State of Software Engineers 2020 technical recruiter report.

In fact, both Google and Microsoft have launched alternatives to standard college degrees this year, with Career certificate system and Microsoft’s Global Skills Initiative.

“Gen Z is more likely than any previous generation to use bootcamps. Almost one in six say they have taken advantage of bootcamps to learn new skills,” said HackerRank Developer Skills Report 2020. Additionally, 32 percent of hiring managers bring in bootcamp graduates and 72 percent say these recruits “were as or better equipped for the job than others.[s]. “

Debate will continue on the true value of a traditional computer science degree and how it helps you become a successful engineer. But what is certain is that the traditional route may not be accessible to all, and this should not exclude these people from the labor market.



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