7 Vital Skills for Programmers to have in the Next 5-10 Years

02 Feb 2016 - 6 min read

To be a good programmer most people would say that one needs to be skillful. But that is just too general and in reality it doesn’t end here, with the skills only. Professionals in the competitive IT sector should always strive to achieve more by mastering what they are good at, enriching what they know, foreseeing what’s next to come, envisioning future tendencies, and gaining more and more skills. Improvement is a constant and on-going process which truly leads to coming to grips with technological challenges and requirements. But that can be accomplished through consistency. Since the IT industry is fast developing, software engineers must endeavour to keep up with the latest updates and trends; they need to develop appropriate set of skills so that in 5 or 10 years’ time they can embrace what’s yet to come readily and confidently enough.

Here is a list of the most in-demand soft and technical skills as a programmer for the next 5-10 years.

  • Learning more computer programming languages

An average programmer is expected to have a basic level of comfort in terms of language learning aptitude. But a strong software developer or programmer should go beyond this, especially when we talk about what the industry is going to show us next. In this regard, learning a variety of programming languages (such as JavaScript, PHP, C, C#, C++, Python, Ruby, Bash), both common and uncommon, can have a huge impact on how professionals are seen and hired in the years to come.

Another valuable skill for the next 5 or 10 years in the programming world is that of having the capacity to consume, normalize, request and stabilize data. For this reason, understanding Big Data and Internet of things, and knowing how to use them will become of primary importance. Computing platforms which rely on Big Data will continue to grow substantially, and that’s a fact. Therefore, programmers should widen their scope of expertise and get to the bottom of Big Data in order to be capable of solving higher-order issues.

  • Being familiar with Cloud Computing

This is yet another trend among users and entrepreneurs which becomes more and more substantial and fundamental. So in 10 years’ time, a programmer who knows how to take the most out of it will have 100% more chances of getting hired compared to someone who has never worked with Cloud Computing.

  • Machine Learning

The evolution of artificial intelligence allows for the creation of a number of personal assistant applications. Siri, Google Now, Speaktoit, 24me could be viewed as shallow examples of the present which in the future will be so revolutionized and innovative that the demand for deep knowledge in machine learning and deployment of smart voice interface into software developments will be immense.

  • Multitasking

Most programming experts at the moment emphasize on a narrowed-down set of tasks and projects. In the future, however, they will have to expand their areas of focus and will have to tackle different problems at different pace and for different purposes. Being able to multitask, then, and integrating with numerous tech layers will become even more essential than it is now. It will become mandatory.

  • Being innovative

If a problem cannot be solved as per books or theories, try something out of the box. Figure out a new approach, a new way, a new methodology, a new algorithm. Create a new code, do not repeat yourself and try to stay inventive. Thus, being innovative will be something that programmers will definitely need to include in their arsenal of abilities in the next 5 – 10 years.

  • Develop quick research skills

Programmers should be good at quickly searching for answers in the web. They should know where to look for useful information and should be able to sum up, condense, as well as asses practical approaches in order to deal with problems.

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Undoubtedly the counting of skills which will promise good computer practices in the future can go on forever. In the light of the event, we asked the BGO Software’s masterminds in programming what’s the best skill set to have for the next 5-10 years and here are the answers they came up with:

  • Georgi Georgiev, Senior Software Developer:

“Five or ten years ago a software engineer needed to have excellent knowledge of one or more of the existing technologies. Today that knowledge is widely available so it is more significant to be able to find it and adapt it to your task. In the future everything might be entirely different. It is possible that the Artificial Intelligence will outsmart every software engineer. Probably the best skill would be the ability to deal well with the AI, or even better – to have one doing all the work for you.”

  • Deyan Dimitrov, Senior Software Developer:

“Program languages are constantly changing. For the last ten years we have seen the rise and fall of different technologies. For that reason I think the skill set for every software engineer is still the same as that 10 years ago. Algorithms, Data Structures, analytical thinking and problem solving skills – without them we cannot proceed. Having skills to organize big task into smaller ones so that each task must be small enough to be done in a day or two is vital too. And lastly, I think in 10 years’ time it will be important to be able to collaborate and be patient when working on a project.”

  • Harry Birimirski, Technical Lead:

“Ten years ago and after ten years the answer of this question was and will be always the same. All that you need is passion to create great stuff and coherence of course.”

  • Nikolay Stefanov, Research & Development (Open Source Technologies) Manager:

“From my point of view, there are two categories of skills – those which need to be maintained and those which are a prerequisite for being a good software engineer.
The first group includes: always looking for smarter ways to develop something and never stop learning from those around you, from valuable online sources, from “the big fish” in the industry and from the mistakes of others and your own.
Then the second group of skills comprises of:
– Analytical thinking and knowing how to translate any business or requirements in software language, extracting all potential obstacles and helping end-users build what they want.
– Technical thinking – well, you might have helped your client reconsider his ideas, but now you should be able to write it to him as well.
– Keen eye for detail and quality, because everyone loves perfection
– Being able to find the shortest path to get the job done with optimized coding”

  • Dimitar Milanov, Software Developer:

“The IT industry is developing at a rapid pace. It’s impossible to know everything because while you read something, there are twenty new things coming out. Therefore, the most cardinal thing is to find what you need, apply it when you have to and find the right direction quickly enough.”

  • Bojidar Markov, R&D Manager:

“Programmers will have to learn fast, while being adaptable and flexible. Last but not least, some boxing skills may also come in handy so that people can relieve the pressure after spending many hours at the office.”

In brief, the IT industry is not likely to reach a dead end any time soon. In this regard, programmers, developers and software engineers should always try to stay abreast of any programming “fashion” and trends. Looking at the future 5-10 years from now, the changes will be drastic and innovations will be many. But those working in this dynamic sector should keep in mind that developing richer set of skills is more essential than anything else.