Programming Trends Change – Keep Your Job Skills Up To Date

Technology is always advancing and business needs change, and therefore, programming languages evolve over time and new ones emerge to meet the needs of consumer demands. How do you know which languages to learn to keep yourself in demand in the job market? How can you know if a language is merely a fad or will prove to have staying power? Jeff Cogswell shares his knowledge of the field in his article, “5 Programming Languages You’ll Need Next Year (and Beyond)”. He writes about the differences in languages, what’s hot and what’s not, and maybe what you need to start focusing on to keep your resume at the top of the pile.

How Do You Choose the Right One?

Do you base your career choices on potential financial gain? Or maybe you choose to focus solely on areas that interest you. Let’s assume that most people involved in programming choose their careers based on interest. That being the case one is not likely to make career choices on what languages are currently popular. As Craig Buckler explains in “What is the Best Programming Language to Learn in 2014”, “Choosing a popular language also pits you against thousands of others. Learning Fortran won’t be trendy but you’ll find lucrative work maintaining decades-old legacy systems no other developer wants to touch.” That being said, being a master of the language you choose is the best way to stay in demand in the job market. You may love FORTRAN, but if you are not among the best at what you do, then it will be hard to make a living at it.

Using Your Mad Skills to Leverage Your Career

There are as many ways to find your way into the field of programming as there are programmers. How you become an expert in your field, or at the very least make yourself indispensable to your employer is a matter of passion and commitment. The more passionate you are the more time you will spend finding ways to increase your knowledge. Discussion groups and networking avenues are available for every language. Programmers who know their stuff gravitate to areas on the Internet where they can share ideas, problems, and fixes with others like them. You can find and contribute to discussions on any and every language. GitHub is a great place to show what you know and savvy employers are taking notice. Peter Wayner in his article, “15 hot programming trends – and 15 going cold”, explains why good resumes may not be the best way to promote yourself in the job market anymore.

“Sure, you could learn something by reading a puffed-up list of accomplishments that include vice president of the junior high chess club. But reading someone’s actual code is so much richer and more instructive. Do they write good comments? Do they waste too much time breaking things into tiny classes that do little? Is there a real architecture with room for expansion? All these questions can be answered by a glimpse at some code.

This is why participating in open source projects is becoming more and more important for finding a job. Sharing the code from a proprietary project is hard, but open source code can go everywhere.”

So do what you love, do it well, and show the world.


-Susan Mitchell