2020 has been full of uncertainty as the global COVID-19 pandemic has slowed many sectors. One place it hasn’t slowed is software development. New products and services have to keep up with changing consumer habits. This year saw lots of development in online shopping as well as video conferencing. Have you already been thinking about next year’s trends in development technologies and skills needed to create the most innovative solutions? Well, we’ve been thinking about what kind of new skills are in demand in 2021 and which way we should develop our tech pool to stay competitive. So, here we have come up with a short list of skills that we think will be in high demand in the new year!
Along with the dynamic development of new technologies, there is still a need for new developers in the IT job market. The most in-demand developers are those who have unique expertise adapted to the current and future needs of the ever-changing market. Do you know which skills will be most favored by employers in the coming year? Read on for our forecasts for 2021!
Private blockchain technology
Blockchain is a technology that will undoubtedly have a huge impact on the next generation of the internet. Blockchain proponents want to revolutionize how we organize data and will continue to inspire further changes.
Dynamic development in the blockchain niche has led to increased interest from businesses. Knowledge of blockchains and of database architecture will continue to grow in 2021 and beyond.
And, what’s the outcome of this trend? First of all, more traditional enterprises will have to change to stay relevant or will be edged out by companies ready to take full advantage of blockchain technology.
Financial technology aim to improve various financial services, such as online payments, currency exchange or online banking. The branch is developing very dynamically. The fintech market will grow to more than $300 billion by 2025 according to a recent report from Market Data Forecast. It’s easy to guess that as an area directly related to finance, it may also generate huge profits. People crave convenience and will flock to products and services that give it to them.
According to “THE BANK OF THE FUTURE: The ABCs of Digital Disruption in Finance” report, the biggest role in the financial revolution is access to powerful databases. Investment in development will create new tools that startups and tech giants can gain new users.
Fintech may be a competition for traditional banks, but this is not the only option. The more optimistic option assumes that fintech companies will be open to cooperation. Regardless of what the future of traditional banks will look like, the development of new technologies and, consequently, the introduction of such solutions as mobile wallets or automated consultants will increase the demand for programmers who can create such innovative products in line with the needs of this dynamically growing market.
Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence
Another area worth paying attention to in 2021 is artificial intelligence and machine learning. Machine Learning is a concept within the field of artificial intelligence, which means algorithms that process and learn from collected data. Marketers, for example, could use machine learning to match relevant ads based on a user’s search results. They are also used in applications with functions such as facial recognition, speech or text recognition, navigation, and recommendation systems.
The problem in finding programmers in the field of AI is that since it’s a relatively young field, it’s challenging to find senior specialists. In other words, the barrier to entry is much higher than for other IT fields such as web programming or mobile applications.
One reason is the deep mathematical knowledge this specialization requires. If you work in machine learning, it’s essential to be familiar with numerical methods, linear algebra, probability and statistics. Additionally, experience with libraries such as NumPy or SciPy is useful. Python and R are some of the most common programming languages for AI and machine learning.
Employers looking for AI specialists concentrate in finance and big tech according to the McKinsey report the report “Artificial Intelligence. The Next Digital Frontier.” Companies in these fields have the greatest need for qualified specialists with the knowledge in the field of machine learning.
Obviously tech skills are crucial in-demand skills. But it’s not the whole picture. Soft skills are just as crucial for developers. Negotiation, leadership and creative problem solving are just a few of the soft skills employers look for. critical thinking has long ranked among the top skills for developers. “2018 Developer Skills Report” prepared by the HackerRank portal reveals that the most desired skill is creative problem solving.
Nearly 95% of the surveyed employers indicated this particular skill. This naturally should not be surprising, because solving problems is an inseparable part of a programmer’s everyday work. If a developer possesses such a skill, the gaps in the knowledge of a given technology or programming language will be quickly filled.
The key element while working in IT is to identify and understand a problem, and then break it down into smaller tasks so that as many tasks as possible can be solved. Only in this way, the programmer will be able to cope with large tasks. Analyzing the development of technologies such as blockchain and artificial intelligence mentioned above, you can notice how dynamically the IT market is evolving and changing. This means that programmers will face increasingly difficult and complex tasks that have never been encountered before.
What’s more, it has been emphasized that the knowledge of programming languages is not the only job requirement when it comes to programmers. In order to perform well, they must follow the latest trends and know what solutions will meet the users’ expectations. It is also necessary to have an innovative and creative mind that will help design applications. Creating new solutions that will be able to improve the quality of a given software, as well as the best user experience would not be possible without problem-solving.
2021 will not be different. Even as technology changes, core people skills will not.
Remote working skills
As the nature of work changes, we’ll have to adapt to new realities. Along with the creative problem-solving skills, working on a team remotely is going to be increasingly important in 2021 and beyond. Over-communication and enthusiastic team connection is vital to maintain team cohesion and productivity. Developers should develop these people skills to stay competitive in the job market.
Using videoconferencing and other communicators effectively is one key skill. People want to see other people’s faces, even if they can’t be together in the same place. Letting your team and clients know when you’re available — and when you’re not is also a great thing to keep on mind. Setting a status on platforms such as Slack is one part of working remotely effectively.
Even as COVID-19 subsides, remote work will stick around in some form or another. So plan to develop these skills for the near future.
The IT industry has been developing dynamically for many years and we have no doubt that it will still be evolving even faster in the 2021. The knowledge of innovative technologies, but above all, tracking and following the latest trends constantly are the skills that are, and will be, increasingly in demand. Next year the most important issue will be to understand the customers’ and users’ needs. This is a basis on which software will be developed that has to be adapted to and suited to the latest trends of the constantly changing market.