Ashok, CEO of UnfoldLabs, is an innovation veteran who believes in making the world a better place with futuristic technology products.
The market for software engineers has been on a steep growth path and shows no sign of slowing down. Software engineering jobs are to increase by 22% by 2029, the highest projected growth rate of all other occupations combined. By some counts, the U.S. is home to more than 4.4 million software developers. Needless to say, software engineers and developers are in extreme demand.
This article is for those who want to grow their careers in software engineering and are looking for opportunities to pursue that growth in 2021. Below are some strategies that can help you beat out the competition.
Skill 1: Programming
With constant upgrades and developments, it has become common to see alternative technologies exceeding each other regularly. As a result, becoming a developer necessitates constant skill upgrades. The hype in the industry also has brought in many tools, languages and frameworks that might confuse the developer.
Here are some things you can do to improve your developer skills:
• Do not stick with one language. It seems every large corporation is coming up with its own programming language for developer mindshare and usage. I expect there is going to be continued fragmentation in programming languages and frameworks.
• Look at semantics and not syntax — quite a few IDEs (integrated development environments) can help you with syntax.
• Understand the basics and how things work before then building on your programming expertise. Here is a list of the top 10 programming languages in demand for 2021.
Skill 2: Creative And Complex Problem Solving
Developers need to confront issues necessitated for team collaboration, such as being creative in their problem-solving and communication skills. These are not only needed to take on strategic initiatives but also in software development to deal with difficult problems. As the industry evolves at a rapid pace, engineers do not yet know the issues they will face next, but they will for sure need to be problem-solvers.
Think through problems before turning to online help. I have seen many go to Google first without properly understanding the problem. Google is there to help, but you will first need to understand the problem before you can determine what is needed for a solution.
Skill 3: Learning Agility
Because technology continues to evolve, organizations that accept new methods are the only ones that can stay competitive in their sector. Companies are looking for personnel who can demonstrate a high level of adaptability to change and learning. As a CEO, I prefer to recruit someone who is eager to learn and be adaptable rather than someone who possesses all of the technical capabilities but lacks curiosity or flexibility.
Here are some tips:
• Rethink what learning and unlearning mean.
• Encourage curiosity and enthusiasm for learning.
• Establish a learning North Star.
• Create a personal learning journey; manage your schedule to make time for learning.
• Begin to make little adjustments to replace old talents with new ones.
Skill 4: Time Management
Working from home is the new normal of the day, and working hours often merge with personal time. As a result, many people believe that there are not enough hours in the day. Time management skills will assist you in making the most of your time and achieving your goals.
Learn the art of time management and the art of delegating work.
Skill 5: Leadership
Distributed leadership and self-managed teams are essential for adaptation, virtual cooperation and digital transformation. This necessitates the development of core leadership abilities in everyone, managers and above:
• Define your strategic intent so that you can focus on what matters most.
• Organize your time and energy so that you can complete the most critical tasks.
• Delegate work to others to increase your team’s capacity and capabilities. In short, if someone has solved the problem before, get some help.
• Embody effective and efficient communication to ensure that all stakeholders are fully engaged and aligned.
Skill 6: Cloud Architecture
As more businesses migrate away from traditional on-premise server architectures to cloud-based solutions, the need for cloud expertise has skyrocketed. The cloud is quickly becoming a necessary component of any successful IT infrastructure. IT personnel with cloud expertise have a significant impact on both the type of cloud infrastructure used and the rate at which it is adopted. In comparison to 2020, the cloud computing market is expected to rise by 35% in 2021.
Cloud computing is here to stay, and it is growing at a breakneck pace. As a result, businesses will continue to look for qualified people with advanced cloud architecture capabilities in general. There are many learning courses, but I have found Cloud Academy offers hands-on experience with just about all cloud platforms.
Skill 7: Data Analytics And Data Management
Data science is a fast-growing career field. In fact, this career path is more lucrative now, projecting an optimistic job landscape for 2021 and beyond.
As the adoption of data increases, the quality and quantity of data will increase and so will be the opportunities they provide for enterprises. As a result, any data-related abilities, such as data analytics, artificial intelligence and machine learning, will be necessary for IT employees to learn or improve on. I also believe that competence in information governance, which encompasses privacy and security, will become more important.
The key to success is understanding and learning data analytics, visualization and predictions.
The software industry is advancing quickly, with every piece of tech becoming connected to the cloud. The winners of this industry will be the ones who can adapt quickly.
If you want to be a core software engineer, you will need to get to the depth of software and technology engineering knowledge. If you are fine being a configurator, there are many low-code and no-code tools available. However, this might not help you grow into a well-blended futuristic software engineer.
Getting to the basics of software engineering with a strong technical foundation will help you grow as a software engineer focused on the future. The future is ours to create and win. Be ready to learn, unlearn and move forward with the right attitude.