3 Key Skills Every Developer Needs to Master

3 Key Skills Every Developer Needs to Master

Find out why any developer needs to have experience and expertise in these three key skills.

Today's fast-moving environment means that the nature of development roles is changing all the time. In past years, professionals may have only needed expertise in one or two highly specialized areas in order to enjoy a successful career, but today they are expected to be much more rounded in their skillsets.

So what areas should every developer look to ensure they have skills in if they want to ensure their projects are successful, and that they can meet the demands of executives and recruiters? Here are three skills every professional should have in their toolkit.

1. JavaScript

If you're going to focus on one programming language for 2018, it has to be JavaScript. This frequently crops up at or near the top of the most in-demand job listings, with executives and recruiters both desperate for people with proficiency in this area.

Shawn Drost, co-founder of Hack Reactor, told TechRepublic earlier this year that this is a trend that's set to continue as more companies look to explore the potential of technologies such as virtual and augmented reality, machine learning and automation, so there will be an increase in demand for developers who can write code to support this - which often means JavaScript, as it is a powerful and flexible language.

"There is a great opportunity for experienced Javascript developers to immerse themselves in these technologies to meet the demand."

Within JavaScript, anyone looking to enhance their skills in this area needs to focus on key frameworks such as AngularJS, React.JS, and on the server side, NodeJS. Mark Tuchscherer, president of Geeks Chicago, noted that with so many companies building applications using this, it is becoming very difficult to find developers with familiarity for these roles. Therefore, anyone working in JavaScript "should be learning these as fast as they can".

2. Full stack

In today's environment, it won't be enough for developers to specialize in just one technology or platform. Instead, going forward, it will be vital for professionals to be comfortable moving between a variety of solutions.

MongoDB developer associate Bryan Reinero told Infoworld that engineers will need a broader range of skills to be effective. He said:

"Fortunately, increasing the scope of expertise is both healthy for the engineer as well as for the company in which she works.”

Dan Miller, manager of business development at Addison Group, also emphasized the importance of developers being proficient across a full stack of front and back-end technologies, telling TechRepublic:

"Software now affects all areas of business, and there are expectations to provide excellent customer service and interface with the business so everyone understands how everything functions."

As well as the likes of JavaScript and NodeJS, key technologies and tools that developers will need to know in order to be successful include HTML5, CSS, Sass, LESS, XML, and WebSocket.

3. UX/UI

Another key skill that every developer now needs to have is a strong understanding of user experience/user interface (UX/UI). It's no longer enough to hand off responsibility for these elements to specialists, as these factors need to be considered at every stage of a project and be tightly intertwined with key functionality.

It's especially important you're able to provide this on mobile as well as desktop applications. Even though many people now use smartphones and tablets as their primary - and in some cases only - computing device, many mobile applications remain stripped-down versions of their desktop counterparts. T

Bradley Holt, ‎developer advocate and senior software engineer at IBM Watson Data Platform, explained:

"At the end of the day, they're building software that will be used by people. To be effective, software developers must be able to understand who these people are, what challenges they face, and what sorts of tools they need."

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