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10 emerging trends coders need to know about

20 Oct 2016

This Europe Code Week, countries around the world are putting the focus on coding. At Hays, the focus is on coding skills.

We’re reaching the end of Europe Code Week (15-23 October), during which countries from around the world have focused on coding through a number of grass-roots events.

Some 46 countries took part in last year’s event and it is clear that governments across the world are coming to understand the importance of coding, specifically for the generation of young people still in learning institutions. In 20 years’ time, the world of those students could have a different make up, and coding is likely to be at the heart of online activities as we continue to see the dominance of the internet when it comes to both market platforms and sales strategies.

Back in the here and now, software developers need to be aware of coding trends in order to keep their skills current and realise opportunities on projects they are working on. Here, we take a look at the top 10 emerging coding trends you need to know about:

1. React

The explosion of social media platforms seems to have been the biggest single internet development over the past decade. Right in the engine room of the movement is the JavaScript library React, which is used for creating user interfaces on platforms such as Facebook and Instagram. React is a firm favourite of coders, and knowledge of it could be essential in the majority of social media-led projects.

2. Docker

In the age of hybrid cloud and other infrastructures designed to streamline several systems, applications such as Docker could be called into action increasingly. Docker allows for the packing of software into one of its ‘containers’, allowing a user to view system tools, code and everything in between. Docker runs a partner programme that allows companies and specialists to upskill themselves and then tutor less advanced Docker users.

3. Grunt

Grunt is a JavaScript task runner. It saves you from repeating tasks by utilising an automated system that also works with a number of plug-ins built for the platform. It cuts down on the coding time drain, and an impressive client list featuring the likes of Adobe and Twitter speaks volumes about its effectiveness. For any organisations in which development workflow is a priority, IT personnel may be required to have a working knowledge of Grunt.

4. Elasticsearch

Elasticsearch is an open source search engine developed in Java and based on Lucene, the open source software library. It is tied into Lucene and makes its features available through JSON and Java API. Among its users are Mozilla, Facebook and SoundCloud. For companies that require reliable full-text search, those with Elasticsearch skills could be in high demand.

5. Ansible

If you are involved with any kind of configuration management, cloud provisioning, intra-service orchestration or application deployment, you might find life becomes a whole lot easier with the use of the IT automation engine Ansible, designed for multi-tier deployments. DevOps engineers and platform engineers could be asked to show evidence of Ansible skills.

6. Scala

Scala is known as a ‘scalable language’, making use of simple syntaxes to make IT processes easier. Its object orientated characteristics make it suitable for large mission critical systems. Running on JVM, Scala is designed to improve your functionality across the board. Mid-level developers might not be specifically required to have Scala skills, but they should be prepared to learn them.

7. Apache Cassandra

One of the key facets of Apache Cassandra is the lineal scalability that it provides. The ability to replicate across multiple data centres makes it suitable for medium to large organisations. If you are using a number of commodity servers, Apache Cassandra provides robust support for clusters. Developers hired to work on a large chunk of modern business applications could be required to have Apache Cassandra skills in their armoury.

8. Tableau

Tableau is a data visualisation tool that combines function with logic. If you are dealing with large amounts of data on a daily basis and wish to map it out more effectively, you can use Tableau to produce some attractive graphs and scatter charts. Tableau runs its own Data Analytics Learning Partnerships, as well as a ‘classroom training’ programme, meaning all the resources are there for developers to self-upskill.

9. RabbitMQ

If you are looking for an effective message function for your data, RabbitMQ could be of interest. Released under the Mozilla public licence, it provides gateways for streaming text-oriented messaging protocol, HTTP and MQTT protocols. Its Shovel plug-in performs the tasks of replicating and sending messages from one broker to another. Meanwhile, the Management plug-in ensures the necessary monitoring and control over clusters. If a new role requires complex event processing or storage solutions, RabbitMQ could well be a requirement.

10. Twitter Bootstrap

Compatible with all the major browsers, Twitter Bootstrap was originally Twitter Blueprint, and was created by employees at the social media network in order to improve its interface development. Twitter Bootstrap has now reached its fourth iteration and is one of the most popular open source frameworks in the world. Organisations that are aiming for speedy and clean web development might make Twitter Bootstrap an essential for incoming developers.

These are skills that employers will increasingly focus on when assessing candidates in the hiring process. Unlike many other areas of IT, it is accepted that there is a large amount of self-learning for software developers. IT contractors, for example, are expected to bring current and relevant skills to an organisation without learning them on that organisation’s time. So the best developers use a variety of tools – whether specialist websites, YouTube, Stack Overflow or GitHub – to ensure that they have the skills to remain relevant.

James Milligan is the director of Hays IT, responsible for leading the company’s UK and Ireland IT business.

A version of this article originally appeared on Hays’ Viewpoint blog.

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Updated, 12.05pm, 20 October 2016: A previous version of this article referred to Tableau as a programming language. It is a datavis tool.

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