The 5 Most Important Skills Developers Should Learn This Year

The 5 Most Important Skills Developers Should Learn This Year

Developers constantly need to be up-to-date and ahead of the learning curve. As a result many spend a lot of time teaching themselves new languages and tools: it's a basic requirement of an industry which is always looking for developers who know the latest languages and technologies. Here are the top 5 developer skills worth picking up this year.

1. The Agile Toolset and Development Methodology

Not everyone in development needs to be a project manager, but if you're developing applications you should understand the process. You need to understand what it takes to track task and code progress. The rate of progress defines your performance, after all. At the moment, IT companies are adopting Agile methodologies more and more -- these include concepts like Kanban, Scrum, Extreme Programming, and more. Spend a little while reading up on these processes to understand how they work.

2. Project Estimation

Every developer must be able to estimate their project progress, cost, and chance of success. Even if you're only working on small pieces, you have to be able to estimate your specific task as part of the larger project. It's crucial for you to be able to do this along with overall development. If you're using Agile tools, then you also need to be able to fully use your toolset to accurately estimate your work. The reason is that even if your code quality is excellent, your project may still fail if the estimation is not done right.

3. JavaScript, HTML, and CSS

JavaScript is now the preferred front-end language worldwide. If you haven't learned it yet, you should learn it now. You can use JS in mobile apps, server apps, blogging engines, and a lot more. It's now even being used in native code layers, and mobile platforms have started to add JavaScript to their SDKs. Employers are looking for programmers who understand JavaScript in ever larger numbers, too.

Similarly, HTML and CSS are crucial elements in any kind of web development. Knowing these two languages pays off handsomely. You can use them when designing apps and programs too, not just for websites -- though they are, of course, most important for web developers. HTML and CSS are also used for laying out concepts and producing abstract designs. Best of all? There are plenty of online courses for learning HTML and CSS.

4. Server-side Languages

Even if your focus is on front end development, knowing the backend is just as important. You need basic knowledge of the API layer and database if you want to produce a workable front-end design. You can start with Java, PHP, and .NET fundamentals. If you already know NodeJS and JavaScript, knowing a backend language will help you deploy your apps to the Cloud, create simple tests for your mobile apps, or even set up a basic web site.

5. Git

Both small project teams and larger organizations have started moving to version control systems such as Git. Overall, Git is the best version control system out there -- and as it gains acceptance, it's increasingly important that you know how to use it. Start out learning the essential elements like the Git-Flow branching strategy. If you need a tutorial, check out the Atlassian comprehensive Git tutorials.

So if you are starting up, learning the above mentioned skills will help you reach the requirement of an industry which is always looking for the best developers. Developers always need to be up-to-date in their fast changing industry, but knowing these five skills will always be their base and a launch pad for their future endeavors.  

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