Developer skills coding
Image: Dean Drobot/Shutterstock

Want a career in software? These are the most important skills

2 Nov 2016

JavaScript is the most popular skill for the IT sector, according to Stack Overflow, featuring in almost 30pc of jobs in IT and software development.

We already know that tech and software development skills have almost completely taken over the top ten most in-demand skills of 2016.

This will inevitably lead to tech-savvy millennials heading to greener pastures in the IT industry. But for graduates looking to start their career, what specific skills within software and IT should they master?

The further into tech, data and software you go, the more complicated it seems to get. There are hundreds of programming languages to choose from and once you get your head around that, how do you narrow it down to what you should learn? How many should you learn? What level of proficiency do you need for each one?

CBT Nuggets, an online IT training provider, analysed data from IT site Stack Overflow to decipher which developer skills were most in demand. It found that JavaScript is the most popular skill in the IT market, featuring in almost 30pc of job posts. Java is close behind, featuring in almost 25pc.

Python is ranked third on the list, making it an interesting skill for new graduates to develop. 17.4pc of jobs looked for program fluency in Python, so as a less obvious option, it could give you a subtle edge on the competition.

Once you’ve chosen your primary language, it’s time to think about a second one. Before the thought of that makes your head spin, certain skills complement each other better than others; therefore, deciding what’s best to learn from your primary language choice will really help you with this step.

For example, HTML or CSS are natural skills to pair with JavaScript, while Java and JavaScript are good secondary skills if you’re learning Python.

When in doubt, look at the job market. See what skills most commonly crop up for jobs you want or companies you like and work from there. This is how you will get the most well-rounded programming education that will suit your career choice.

coding skills info graphic

Infographic: CBT Nuggets. See full report here.

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Jenny Darmody
By Jenny Darmody

Jenny Darmody became the editor of Silicon Republic in 2023, having worked as the deputy editor since February 2020. When she’s not writing about the science and tech industry, she’s writing short stories and attempting novels. She continuously buys more books than she can read in a lifetime and pretty stationery is her kryptonite. She also believes seagulls to be the root of all evil and her baking is the stuff of legends.

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