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Want to be a top developer? The languages you need may surprise you

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As a top developer, you need a niche set of in-demand skills. You’ll also need to evolve your skill set to keep pace with the ever-changing technology landscape to ensure your career stays on track. Some programming languages are more valuable than others in achieving this.

There are so many different programming languages out there. For instance, I see a consistent demand for .NET developers in my industry, where the fastest-growing technologies in demand are AngularJS, Java and Python.

Java has seen steady growth in its popularity across the board, partly due to the rise in Android users in the market. It’s also a simple, readable programming language so you should be able to grasp the basics through an online course. And with the Java 9 launch in July 2017, it’s likely to remain in demand.

Python has also continued to grow in popularity within the developer community. You could learn this language by picking up a Raspberry Pi microcomputer and using it to create something different to really make your CV stand out from the crowd.

The JavaScript framework AngularJS has improved greatly between versions too, causing its popularity to rise. Thinkster is a good online AngularJS course to get your teeth into.

In addition to these three mainstream technologies, we’re also seeing a rise in the need for new and complementary tools such as the ReactJS library, the Docker container system and Google’s Go language.

Go has seen a real surge in popularity recently. It was named 2016’s programming language of the year and is now behind some of the world’s most important cloud-centric projects. There are plenty of free resources out there to try Go, this tour is a good place to start.

I’ve also noticed job postings including the term “iOS” have remained stable – so you may also want to consider the iOS family of coding languages if you’re more interested in coding for iPhones than Android. Languages including Objective-C, C, or Apple’s new Swift programming language are worth a look – with the latter making the top 10 most popular programming languages for the first time earlier this year.

Learn some old tricks

However, it’s not all about the latest technologies. In an interesting turn of events, we are also seeing a doubling down on using JavaScript as the primary language for developers. In fact, more people use JavaScript than any other programming language.

Additionally, SQL topped the list of the most in-demand programming languages of 2017, with the number of job descriptions including SQL increasing year on year. While some may argue SQL is not a total programming language – it is used to communicate and manipulate databases. As the IoT and Big Data become more prevalent, it looks likely that SQL skills will also increase in popularity

Don’t forget DevOps

Remember that while writing an app is a valuable skill – so is getting one deployed on time. Therefore, in conjunction with the above, I am also seeing a real need for the DevOps skills necessary to make development and deployment processes more efficient and reliable.

Companies are eager to employ those individuals that can provide a holistic knowledge of business practices to meet deadlines. It’s not enough to “just code” anymore – make sure you brush up your platform knowledge and take some time to improve your soft skills as well.

There are plenty of developer jobs out there, but you never know who the competition is – and it can’t hurt to have the upper hand. Acquiring and keeping on top of the latest in-demand skills must be a priority.

I find employers now want to recruit developers with so much more than knowledge of one coding language – so make it your mission to learn the top languages in the industry and keep ahead of the competition.


Auteur: James Milligan, Director UK & Ireland

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