What Are the Next Big Developer Skills?

Most Desired Software Skills Graphic

The latest data from Dice suggests that employers want software developers who’re experts in well-established technologies such as .NET, C++, and HTML. But IT is a rapidly evolving field, which begs the question—what will the employers of tomorrow want, skills-wise, from developers?

Before taking a stab at that question, it’s worth examining the particular skills currently in demand by employers. On Dice, hiring managers searched thousands of times between January 1 and April 15 of this year for software developers, engineers, architects and leads. Of the most sought-after skills and qualifications for those roles, the top 40 included:

1. Java/J2EE
2. .NET
3. C++
4. C#
5. Senior
6. SQL
7. HTML
8. C
9. Web
10. Linux
11. WPF
12. JavaScript
13. SDLC
14. Python
15. Test, Tester, Testing
16. Embedded
17. ASP.NET
18. Oracle
19. HTML5
20. PHP
21. SharePoint
22. Unix
23. RWD
24. Mobile
25. Ruby
26. Security
27. Database
28. XML
29. Perl
30. Agile
31. Android
32. CSS
33. Computer Science
34. Network
35. iOS
36. Websphere
37. Spring
38. QA
39. MVC
40. SDET

 

“Today’s biggest needs surround the core, but it will change as the next generation of technologies realize their promise,” wrote Shravan Goli, president of Dice. What are those next-generation technologies? Let’s take a look at some emerging trends:

Wearable Electronics: If the rise of smartphones helped define the last decade, the nascent field of wearable electronics—including “smart watches,” as well as bracelets and earbuds capable of measuring biometrics—could very well influence how we live and work over the next 10 years. If those electronics transform into a burgeoning market on the scale of tablets or smartphones, thousands of app developers could profit from building software for even tinier screens, or even no screens at all.

Wearable electronics could present some fascinating UI puzzles for anyone willing to take them on. For example, what’s the ideal icon for conveying to a “smart bracelet” wearer that they have 10 urgent emails waiting for them? Can you build a map for display on the inside of a sunglass lens that doesn’t distract a driver from the road? The tech pro capable of executing on such ideas (and many more) may profit immensely in this category.

“Internet of Things”: Manufacturers will produce just over 6 billion Internet-enabled devices in 2014, and the general expectation is that billions more will appear over the next several years. Picture all those devices streaming data back to companies for analysis, and you’ll have some idea of the opportunities that await those developers and engineers with expertise in sensors, embedded systems, and Big Data applications capable of digesting unstructured data generated by hardware in the “real world.” Substantial investment in “Internet of Things” startups has already begun.

Drones and Robots: Google has acquired seven robotics firms over the past twelve months. Facebook is reportedly interested in flying drones that can help extend the Internet to the developing world. Tech firms’ interest in weaving robots and drones into the fabric of everyday life could generate jobs in everything from robotics design and engineering to software support.

In other words, this Top 40 list could look very different in a few years.

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Comments

  1. BY chewtoy says:

    Since when did ‘senior’ become a skill?

  2. BY CoderRed99 says:

    Touche CHEWTOY. Big Data isn’t there yet. I know no one who’d run out and get “test, tester or testing” skills for their next big job doing… test. This is big data without BI.

  3. BY JKinz says:

    I’d be more interested in seeing trend lines. This seems like a single point in time sort of thing. What would be more helpful, I think, is to see the rate of change in the skills being sought. For example maybe C# used to be the #7 most sought skill in 2013, but now in 2014 it is #4. That would indicate to me that perhaps it would be worth looking at developing that skill further for potential future job opportunities.

  4. BY Richard Everett says:

    Interesting article, but why are C# and .NET listed as separate skills?

  5. BY Dorai Thodla says:

    What is Senior? Probably a prefix of a job position (like senior developer) that escaped editing and does not belong to the list.

    • BY Nick Kolakowski says:

      Actually, “senior” was the whole term inputted; we assume that searchers were inputting it without modifiers in order to find the most experienced people…

  6. BY Darnell Smith Jr says:

    Just getting one or two under your belt is a skill set!

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