Top 8 Tech Skills for 2018
The face of technology is ridiculously volatile. There are over 1000 programming languages in existence. Some are created to solve a specific problem, others are created within specific organisations (e.g Facebook’s Hack Programming language) and still others are created just for fun.
There are just as many APIs, libraries, frameworks and technologies in existence. They rise to fame, and then fade away in the course of a few years. With so many options and so much promise, it’s hard to predict what technologies and trends will affect our lives in the future. There isn’t enough time in the world to master every tech skill out there so the best approach to staying relevant is to keep learning the skills that matter.
In today’s super-heated technology environment, even the most popular, most secure seeming technology skills can suddenly become obsolete. Just ask the guy who focused all his energy on mastering Flash if you don’t believe me. No matter how in-demand your current skill set, you can never rest on your resume.
Without further ado, here’s my pick of the top 8 skills to pick up this year.
1. Blockchain technology
Even though bitcoin was born 10 years ago, blockchain only became a hot tech topic around 2017, thanks mostly to Bitcoin’s meteoric rise. In a nutshell, blockchain is an incorruptible digital ledger of economic transactions that can be programmed to record not just financial transactions but virtually everything of value. It is poised to revolutionize nearly every industry, even beyond digital currency. In 2018, we’ll start to see the first attempts at this disruption through business-class blockchain platforms.
Python is a general-purpose programming language used for web development and as a support language for software developers. The continued growth and demand for machine learning developers may be what is driving the popularity of Python. It ranks 4th on TIOBE and 3rd on RedMonk and only seems to be rising every year. This is because it has proved to be more than just a fast-moving trendy thing. It’s not just relevant, it’s mature. It is used heavily for writing quick scripts for server administration tasks and is used frequently for scientific purposes.
If you’ve been following my blog for a while now, my support for Java will not surprise you. It is one of the most popular programming language of 2018 according to pretty much all lists and it shows no intention of slowing down. It is a well established language used by millions of developers and billions of devices worldwide, and able to run on any hardware and operating system through the Java Virtual Machine. All Android apps are based on Java and 90 percent of Fortune 500 companies use Java as a server-side language for backend development. Needless to say, learning Java this year would be a pretty safe bet.
4. Cloud Computing
Cloud computing is computing based on the internet. In the past you had to run applications or programs from software downloaded on a physical computer or server but cloud computing gives you access to the same kinds of applications through the internet. When you update your Facebook status or check your bank balance on your phone, you’re using cloud computing. It increases efficiency so it’s no surprise that most companies use at least one cloud service. Due to the significant growth in the adoption of Cloud services in AWS, Azure and Google Cloud there will be an even higher demand for professionals with a working knowledge of these platforms. Experience with DevOps, containers, the entire cloud stack and IPv6 will also benefit your chances for a top job tremendously.
5. Cyber Security
Given the recent infiltration of networks, cybersecurity is on everyone’s mind. Stakeholders are now more aware of cybersecurity concerns and are willing to pay big money for excellence in cybersecurity. Organizations need to ensure they are protecting the data they capture behind the walls of their networks. The tech industry will need expertise in this area in 2018 so cybersecurity represents a green pasture for developers who want their skills to stay in-demand for the foreseeable future.
7. Mobile App Development
Mobile application developers will continue to be in high demand this year, just as they have been the past few years. Mobile apps have revolutionised the mobile world, allowing people to have information right at their fingertips. With all types of smart gadgets available, each running different operating systems, you would need to be fluent in many programming languages and design skills to master app development. But once you have, the demand for you will skyrocket.
8. Artificial intelligence.
Of course, this list would not be complete without artificial intelligence. AI is the simulation of human intelligence processes by machines, especially computer systems. AI is providing solutions in healthcare, law, manufacturing, business, finance and education (to name a few). We’re reaching the point where businesses absolutely need to adopt AI in order to stay relevant and it is heavily understaffed. It is arguably the most in-demand tech skill at the moment and you have much to gain by taking an interest in AI this year.
Want to be unstoppable? Commit to learning some or all the skills in this list. You can’t go wrong.