Tech Skills in Demand: What Software Developers Should Know in 2024
In 2023, new trends emerged in the technology and software sectors, including the rise of the use of AI tools on the job. Because tech is always evolving, we can expect even more new trends to emerge as we move through the new year.
While we can’t predict the future, we can rely on industry data to consider what tech skills are likely to remain important or emerge as newly important in 2024. Read on to learn about the combination of hard and soft skills needed for success in the current software development landscape.
The Tech Skills You Need in Software Development
A career in software development requires foundational technical skills like coding, database knowledge, and the ability to learn on the fly to adapt to new tech and evolving challenges. In 2024, here are two areas to focus on:
Coding in Various Languages
Coding is the foundation of a software developer’s career. In 2024, many of the same coding languages previously used will remain important, but there could be a shift at the top.
The ability to code using a range of programming languages is a critical skill. One of the wonderful things about learning to code is that once you grasp how a particular language works, it’s easier to learn others, so you can build upon your knowledge as you go.
Continued Use of AI Tools
Stack Overflow asked respondents about AI tools, and 70% reported using or planning to use AI tools in their development process. That’s a big percentage, and we expect to see it get even bigger in 2024.
Respondents who are just learning to code are more likely than professional developers to use AI tools (82% vs. 70%). For these new coders, it’s important to use AI tools as learning enhancers instead of tools to shortcut the learning of coding fundamentals. Knowing and deeply understanding coding fundamentals is beneficial throughout an entire coding career, and when used responsibly, AI tools can help you learn them even faster than was previously possible.
As for which tools were most popular in 2023, Chat GPT was by far the most used among Stack Overflow respondents, with 83% reporting they use it regularly. GitHub Copilot was the top AI Developer Tool, with nearly 55% saying they’ve used it regularly within the past year.
Don’t Neglect the Soft Skills For Lasting Success
Soft skills are also important for a lasting, fulfilling tech career. Developers need soft skills that enable them to work with others in effective, efficient ways that expand creativity and allow for team-building.
Software developers and other technology professionals do not work in a vacuum. They routinely work with other developers, other teams and even company leaders. These professionals work in groups for a common goal, so teamwork is essential.
In tech, clear communication is paramount. Miscommunication can cause unnecessary delays in the design process or misunderstandings between tech teams and non-tech teams who might need to work together. With clear, precise communication, tech professionals are better able to achieve desired results for their companies and clients.
Technology changes quickly. In this sector, the most successful are often the most curious. They want to know how new systems work and how to achieve the best results, even if the path to those results is different than previously used methods. If you stay curious, you’ll create a foundation for success in technology.
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Written by Kalyn Breneman, Director of Admissions