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Mobile, Cloud Top List of Most In-Demand Dev Skills

C#, Azure and JavaScript skills also make the Top-10 Most Wanted list.

Mobile development, cloud development and front-end skills are the most desirable for programmers to have at present, and it's a trend that's likely to continue into at least the near future.

That's the conclusion of worldwide recruiting firm CyberCoders, which just published a list of the 10 most sought-after skills of 2013. The firm compiled the list from an analysis of the hiring requirements of more than 10,000 tech companies.

Demand for mobile dev skills is currently outstripping supply, said CyberCoders CTO Matt Miller. Proficiency with iOS and Android in particular continue to be among the most in-demand skills, because of the growing awareness that companies need to have a presence on native mobile apps. "Anyone looking to have a presence on these devices, or distribution in Apple's AppStore," the company concluded, "needs to be able to develop for iOS." Cloud capabilities came in second, with a particular demand for AWS and Azure proficiency.

But front-end development for mobile applications and Web sites also continues to be a top priority for potential employers. Especially appealing: devs who know CSS3, HTML5, and JavaScript. Why? More and more companies are looking to build content-rich pages with relatively light code, which requires familiarity with these and other mobile optimized languages.

Among other things, the CyberCoders list reflects an increasing complexity in the front end, which generates demand for increasing specialization among the software tiers, Miller said. 

"A few years ago you could have a great software engineer who could do the back end and work with the database and business logic in the middle tier, and also the front end," Miller said. "But the front end has become so complex that it has become a specific skillset that people want."

The CyberCoders analysis also revealed a strong demand for UX/UI designers, because "companies appreciate the importance of creating compelling and engaging user experiences - these experiences result in an engaged and returning user base."

Big Data skills (Hadoop, MongoDB, NoSQL) came in fifth on the list, followed by C#, Ruby on Rails, Java, PHP and Linux.

The demand for C# dev skills edged Java because the language is "a bit more efficient" for the kind of development coders are being called upon to do, Miller said. Another reason, however, is that Microsoft has provided a great set of development tools in Visual Studio.

"Every day we see the engineers with these skills getting an average of four to five job offers," said CyberCoders CEO Heidi Golledge in a statement. "…"This is an incredible time for those who have tech skills or are willing to learn them. Unlike the dotcom bubble of the last decade, our need for continually improving technology is constant due to our improved processes and every day enjoyment of our smart phones and big data."

This is the second year the company has released a Top-10 skill list. No new trends emerged this year, Miller said, but the demand for mobile development skills continues to surge. "And we don't see that slowing down," he said.

CyberCoders Top 10 Tech Skills for 2013

  1. Mobile Development (iOS, Android) 
  2. Cloud Computing (AWS, Azure)
  3. Front End Development (HTML5, CSS3, JavaScript)
  4. UX/UI Design
  5. Big Data (Hadoop, MongoDB, NoSQL)
  6. C#
  7. Ruby on Rails
  8. Java
  9. PHP
  10. Linux

About the Author

John K. Waters is the editor in chief of a number of Converge360.com sites, with a focus on high-end development, AI and future tech. He's been writing about cutting-edge technologies and culture of Silicon Valley for more than two decades, and he's written more than a dozen books. He also co-scripted the documentary film Silicon Valley: A 100 Year Renaissance, which aired on PBS.  He can be reached at jwaters@converge360.com.


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