Top 10 Software Skills for 2014 and Beyond

by HSG on Jul 26, 2013 in Articles from Software Fans

Before we go to the list do you know what makes software skills most sought-after and hence more valuable than most of the other job skills? It is simply because unlike any other skill, software skills are global and are not at all location specific! With the evolution and penetration of internet technologies, the physical distance between the client and service provider hardly matters. So, with more advancement in technology, it is indeed going to rain opportunities on the right skilled developer. I’ll take the liberty to reproduce the following quotes here to prove my claims statistically:


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Demand for “cloud-ready” IT workers will grow by 26 percent annually through 2015, with as many as 7 million cloud-related jobs available worldwide.

---IDC White Paper (November 2012).


In the United States, the IT sector is experiencing modest growth of IT jobs in general, with the average growth in IT employment between 1.1 and 2.7 percent per year through 2020.

---U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.


Although the global unemployment rate is higher than ever before, yet unfortunately 1.7 million IT and cloud related positions were unoccupied in 2012 because of lack of right skill and training needed to work in a cloud-enabled world. This trend continues in 2013 and will continue in near future as well. Prepare yourself to grab the opportunity as every organization is talking about Cloud first and Mobile first approach. In 2014 we are going to see more of this as companies will be hiring you to make applications for smart TV, Google Glass, Car, and the newly launched Google’s Chromcast and what not, i.e. any device you can think of. But the road to cloud computing may not be so easy as you need to learn or upgrade yourself with essential skills like web services, virtualization, security and APIs. Yes, there is no shortcut to success and the route to a cloud/IT career goes through at least any one of the following.


The Evergreens

1.     Java / C# / PHP– Apart from being popular, Java and C# are also the best Object Oriented Programming languages. C# powers most of the enterprise application built on ASP.Net web application framework. Similarly Java too has a good market share in enterprise application and has recently got an edge over C# as it is now used for developing popular Android Apps as well. Despite a lot of issues PHP is still very popular as the server side scripting language as it powers approximately 75% of the server sides scripts on the web. Do you know Facebook’s UI is built on PHP!

2.     Python / Ruby–  Many modern days web application are built using Python or Ruby language. Ruby on Rails (RoR) web framework has been used to design incredibly good looking web 2.0 apps such as Slideshare, Scribd, Basecamp etc. Similarly Django (Python’s web framework) powers very popular Pinterest, Disqus and Instagram.

3.     C++ / C–  Old is gold. Which language would you use to build - device drivers, embedded systems, Operating Systems, Browsers or anything that is close to hardware? Linux is written in C. Email client Thunderbird and browser Firefox are written in C++ . MySQL and OS like Windows 95, 98 ... Windows XP were developed on C++.

4.     SQL– Despite all the hype surrounding NoSQL databases, SQL still has an edge for many practical database use cases. Also, it’ll be required for maintenance of already existing millions of databases built on Oracle, SQL Server or MySQL.


Hot Skills for 2014 and Beyond

5.     JavaScript – You may hate it but you can’t ignore it. In spite of all its limitations and short comings it has become the universal script/language of the web for cross browser, platform independent apps. From past 1 year or so, after the server side capability provided to JavaScript by Node.js, its popularity has almost exploded! Also, with the evolution of cloud and mobile computing, cross browser and device independent apps are the getting highly popular and are in great demand.

6.     Hadoop: Yes, BigData is everywhere and the Hadoop elephant is on steroids in terms of growth. If you know Java and SQL it’s easier for you to get an entry to Hadoop’s world. Simply speaking, Hadoop is all about getting useful analytics from massive amount of unstructured data.

7.     Node.js Perfect choice for data-intensive real-time applications that run across distributed devices. Node.js is a platform built on Chrome's JavaScript runtime for easily building fast, light weight and scalable network applications. Currently on the rise as big IT giants (Microsoft, Yahoo, Google etc.) are putting their weight behind it.

8.     HTML5, CSS and JQuery– Needs no introduction. These are must have skills for front end developers. HTML5 and JQuery are red hot in terms of demand right now as they are supported throughout the industry for mobile apps development.

9.     Windows Azure / OpenShift / Cloud Foundry – With the rise of Cloud PaaS proprietary Windows Azure or open source OpenShift and Cloud Foundry are going to be your choice for a passport to Cloud Computing world. Developers with Java or PHP background can target Cloud Foundry or OpenShift. ASP.Net developers can target Windows Azure. (Note: Windows Azure is a polyglot PaaS i.e. it supports multiple languages - Java, PHP, Ruby, Python etc.)

10.   PhoneGap – Everyone needs a mobile app, and with exponential growth of smartphones in developing countries the demand is certainly going to be exponential! PhoneGap is free open source framework for creating mobile apps using the web technologies you know: HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.


Before I conclude let me tell you that there’s no dearth of opportunities in software development and it’s going to increase with every passing day. In fact there’s a huge demand and supply gap. Right training on the right technology at the right time may help you to get that job you were always dreaming about. Yes, now is the right time to start preparing for 2014.

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