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, envisioning future tendencies, and gaining more and more skills. Improvement is a constant and ongoing process that truly leads to overcoming difficult challenges.
But that can be accomplished through consistency. Since the IT industry is fast developing, software engineers must endeavor to keep up with the latest updates and trends; they need to develop an appropriate skill set so that in 5 or 10 years they can confidently embrace what’s yet to come.
Modern practices and technologies
To keep up with the ever-changing times it only makes sense to understand the new technologies and practices that are in high demand by the industry. Keep in mind these are only some of the digital tools many developers use in the current state of the field and are not a complete certainty but will surely assist you in your path of becoming a good programmer.
Data Structures and algorithms
Mastery of data structures is a part of data science and computer science that involves understanding how to organize and store data efficiently, such as arrays, linked lists, trees, and graphs. Algorithms, however, are clear procedures for solving problems. Proficiency in data structures and algorithms enables programmers to create efficient and scalable solutions to complex computational problems. This skill is fundamental in writing code that not only works but performs optimally.
Git and Github
Version control tools are a fundamental part of developing programs, allowing multiple developers to collaborate seamlessly. One of the most popular version control systems that tracks source code during the development process is Git. GitHub is a web-based unified environment that hosts Git repositories, facilitating collaborative coding, code review, and project management.
Learning Git and GitHub ensures that developers can manage code versions collaboratively, work effectively, and contribute to projects with clarity and efficiency. Having advanced version control concepts is a great way to boost your portfolio.
Containers (Docker and Kubernetes)
Containers revolutionize the deployment process of applications by encapsulating code, dependencies, and configurations. Docker is a leading containerization tool that allows developers to package applications and run them consistently across different environments.
Kubernetes, an orchestration platform, automates the deployment, scaling, and management of containerized applications. Understanding Docker and Kubernetes is a critical tool to have for creating, deploying, and scaling applications consistently and efficiently, especially in cloud-native applications and microservices architectures.
IDEs (VSCode or IntelliJIDEA)
Integrated Development Environments (IDEs) are critical tools for new software development. Unlike text editors, they provide a unified environment for coding, debugging, and testing time effectively. Visual Studio Code (VSCode) is known for its versatility, supporting various programming languages and extensions. IntelliJ IDEA is a robust modern IDE for Java development with powerful features. PyCharm, tailored for Python developers, provides advanced features like intelligent code completion, debugging, and testing tools.
All of these IDEs are, of course, excellent developer tools optimized for OOP coding (Object Oriented Programming). Mastering them enhances productivity through features like code navigation, debugging tools, and seamless integration with version control systems.
Database and SQL
Databases are fundamental to storing, managing, and retrieving data in software applications and computer systems. Essential database concepts, both relational and non-relational, are crucial for developing data-driven applications. SQL (Structured Query Language) is essential for interacting with databases, enabling developers to retrieve, insert, update, and delete data efficiently. With the exponential growth of data in today’s applications, solid database and SQL skills, including proficiency with systems like Microsoft SQL Server, are vital for designing scalable and performant systems.
Linux operating systems are prevalent in the development landscape, especially for server environments. A solid understanding of Linux commands and operations is one of the right tools to have for tasks ranging from server administration to development and scripting. Developers often work with Linux-based servers in hosting applications, and familiarity with the command line is invaluable for troubleshooting, deployment, and system management. Linux proficiency provides a foundation for efficient development and deployment workflows.
Now that we have seen the modern technologies and practices used in the industry, let’s take a look at some of the most soft and technical in-demand skills a programmer can have in the next 5-10 years.
Learning more computer programming languages
Understanding Big Data and the Internet of Things
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 the Internet of Things, and knowing how to use them will become of primary importance. Computing platforms that rely on Big Data will continue to grow substantially, and that’s a fact. Therefore, programmers should widen their scope and get some hands-on experience with Big Data 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, 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. Having a solid grasp on how computer networks can be connected through the use of cloud platforms like Google Cloud Platform is something that would allow, for example, web developers to create tools that can easily be integrated with other systems.
The evolution of artificial intelligence allows for the creation of a number of personal assistant applications. Siri, Google Now, Speaktoit, and 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, including advanced techniques like deep learning, and deployment of smart voice interface into software developments will be immense. Simply imagining the impact software with interpersonal skills could have should be enough to tell you how valuable such knowledge can be.
Most programming experts at the moment emphasize 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 a different pace and for different purposes. Being able to multitask, and apply time management skills will become even more essential than it is now. It will become mandatory.
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, and a new algorithm. Create a new code, do not repeat yourself, and try to stay inventive. Communication skills are something to not leave out either as sometimes thinking outside of the box means knowing how to ask for help and advice. Thus, being innovative will be something that programmers will need to include in their arsenal of abilities in the next 5 – 10 years.
Stay ahead of the curve by taking learning opportunities in the fields of cloud technologies and data science.
Master versatile programming languages that can be applied to different software solutions in the future.
Develop quick research skills
Programmers should be good at quickly searching for answers on 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 to deal with problems.
Man in front of a computer
Undoubtedly the counting of skills that will promise good computer practices in the future can go on forever. In 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:
“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 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.”
Georgi Georgiev, 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 tasks 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 it will be important to be able to collaborate and be patient when working on a project.”
Deyan Dimitrov, Senior Software Developer
“Ten years ago and after ten years the answer to this question was and will be always the same. All that you need is the passion to create great stuff and coherence of course.”
Harry Birimirski, Senior Solutions Architect
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 a richer set of skills is more essential than anything else.