In the tech industry, continuous education is crucial. Software developers encounter fierce competition in the job market, given the profession's reputation for high pay and the chance to tackle complex issues at major tech firms — which search for skilled developers worldwide, making the market even more competitive.

Becoming a highly skilled developer is essential for desirability in the recruiting process, but the question remains - Which are the most sought-after tech skills for a career in software development? As an expert in the field, let me introduce you to some of the tech skills every developer, beginner or senior, should consider learning for future-proofing their career.

Whether you are starting or looking to upskill, investing time in learning will help you stay ahead of the curve. Now, Let’s dive in and explore these skills in detail!

Data Literacy

Having data skills is an essential skill set for software developers. Companies are shifting towards digital-first models, which means that there is an increasing need for developers who can understand and work with data to produce better business outcomes. According to research commissioned by Tableau from Forrester, by 2025, it is estimated that 70% of jobs will involve direct interaction with data. Understanding and working with data can be a stepping stone to building a future-proof organization.

Skilled developers can be more productive and innovative by understanding and working with data. They can effectively identify insights, communicate them accurately through storytelling, and utilize them to make better decisions within their projects.

Where can you learn Data Literacy?
Here are some courses you can take to learn Data Literacy:
- Trailhead’s Data Literacy training for individuals (free)
- Data Literacy Project courses (free & paid)
- Udemy’s Data Literacy course (paid)

Cybersecurity practices

Cyber security measures are necessary for software development to protect systems from malicious attacks and unauthorized access. As technology advances, cyberattacks become more sophisticated and targeted. A report by the FBI showed that cyber-attacks cost the US $6.9 billion in 2021, with software systems contributing the most to this cost.

Developers need to prioritize security measures, best practices, and frameworks from the initial design concept to ensure secure systems. Identifying and addressing vulnerabilities early in development is crucial to avoid expensive delays and ensure a safe end product. Ignoring security concerns can hurt a business's bottom line, as fixing bugs during implementation costs six times more and 15 times more expensive during testing than fixing them during the design phase. Therefore, prioritizing security in the software engineering process today is essential. Organizations that fail to do so will struggle to compete.

Where can you learn Cyber Security?
Here are some courses you can take to learn Cyber Security skills:
- Codecademy’s Introduction to Cyber Security (free)
- Introduction to Cybersecurity - For Software Developers (paid)
- The Complete Cyber Security Course (paid)

Artificial Intelligence tools’ management

Artificial Intelligence has come to huge lengths in a very short time frame considering this technology is relatively new. AI has become a great ally to many professionals as it provides the ability to work alongside it in a manner that has been described today as, “augmented working”.

To fully realize the benefits of AI, developers need to strategically use AI tools and platforms. This will not only enhance your productivity but also improve operational efficiencies, lead to faster and more informed decision-making, and transform the way you approach projects in the future.

Which AI tools can I use to improve my workflow?
- TabNine - Code completion and suggestions (free plan available)
- GitHub Copilot - code and entire functions suggestions in real-time (paid)
- Diffblue - Testing and debugging (free plan available)
- Snyk - Find and fix vulnerabilities in your code

Multi-cloud proficiency

Being proficient in Multi-cloud servers is a valuable skill for tech in 2023. Despite 75% of organizations, both small and large, using the cloud for its cost-effective infrastructure and improved scalability and flexibility options to build new products and features, only 8% of technologists have extensive experience with cloud-related tools.

As a developer, managing cloud servers may not be as fundamental to upskilling as it is for DevOps. However, being familiar with some of the top cloud platforms, such as Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services, and Google Cloud Platform, can give you a great edge over other applicants during the recruiting process.

Where can you learn about Cloud servers?
Here are some courses you can take to learn Cyber Security:
- Introduction to Cloud Computing by IBM (free)
- Udemy’s - Cloud Computing With Amazon Web Services (free)
- Udemy’s - Google Cloud Platform Concepts (free)
- Cloud Computing by Eureka (free on YouTube)

Kubernetes

While building and shipping containerized applications may eliminate the need to maintain unique development environments, container-based workflows have had a rise in software development, and Kubernetes has seen a surge in adoption in recent years as the platform of choice.

Developers can add value to their professional profile by having proficiency in the skills that matter to the performance of their applications. Learning Kubernetes and the production environment and understanding the basics of the application platform and tools that an organization uses can make development and operations more efficient and turn developers with this asset into valuable assets for any company. While developers don't necessarily need to be experts in Kubernetes, having these skills can be crucial for becoming a reliable participant in a DevOps team.

Where can you learn Kubernetes?
Here are some courses you can take to learn Kubernetes:
- Introduction to Kubernetes (free)
- Getting Started with Google Kubernetes Engine (free)
- Udemy’s: Kubernetes, for people in a hurry (free)
- Kubernetes: Getting Started (Free Trial)
- Kubernetes for the Absolute Dev-Ops beginners (paid)
- Docker & Kubernetes: The Practical Guide (paid)

Amidst the constant emergence, evolution, and disappearance of technologies, it's crucial to hone skills that are likely to remain relevant in the technology industry. I recommend these five skills as a great place to start.

But let me be clear: I'm not suggesting you adopt all five of these skills at once. Rather, take some time to reflect on which skills resonate with your career goals and aspirations. Remember, learning something new is always better than not learning at all. It shows a commitment to continuous growth, a quality highly valued by tech industry leaders.

Expanding your skill set can lead to innovative solutions, new job opportunities, and career growth. Embrace the ever-changing tech landscape and take charge of your professional development. Don't be afraid to step out of your comfort zone and push your boundaries. The possibilities are endless!