There used to be a time when having elementary coding skills, a good grasp over C, Java or expertise on mainframes was more than adequate to land a good, stable and secure job as an IT professional.
But the last four or five years have ushered in a new torrent of technologies, programming languages, platforms, business models and architectures; hence, making IT jobs undergo a big and unprecedented degree of change. This change is now seen in almost every new job requirement or career aptitude test happening these days.
Before we knew, mainframes were being written off and new server technologies, accompanied by open hardware, cloud architectures, and new data centre frameworks became the mainstay.
COBOL became passé and PHP, Python, Hadoop became cool. The same impact was witnessed in the fields of database models, technologies, and processing architectures.
In short, nothing is the same as before. What’s more, nothing is going to stay the same for long either.
The pace as well the scope at which the digital transformation wave is spinning many old-economy, new-economy businesses alike is too massive to be ignored. So we hear new concepts like DevOps, NoOps, app economies, containerization, digital edge, Internet of Things, Open source frameworks, community code, citizen coders and crowdsourced apps among other things.
The future is going to be dotted with a complete re-invention of programming, databases, CPU technologies, computing hardware, software, application development and other fundamental areas that impact job demand.
There is going to be a huge demand for new-age skills in the area of Big Data, Analytics, Hadoop, Dockers, micro-apps, DevOps culture and fog computing. To add to this list, there are artificial intelligence, machine learning, virtual reality and augmented reality entering the skills market.
To make a successful IT career, one would need to constantly re-define one’s profile, competencies and domain expertise.
In the job market of tomorrow, what would essentially change the game would be qualities called adaptability and agility. Digital businesses are in constant need for people who can seamlessly merge physical worlds or legacy processes with digital wireframes. This new world would be one where digital transformation expertise would be the most sought after and hence, most amply recognized and rewarded, besides others.
It would be wise to learn new areas of proficiency in upcoming areas like IoT, IIoT, super-computing, application-economy, AI, AR and robotics. It would also help to get involved in community software, container frameworks, agile programming and wearable software.
In the surge of new platforms and breakthrough innovations that drive the digital paradigm forward, one’s ability to master Hadoop or Docker technologies or in-memory processing etc would go a long way in helping with the right mix of skills and expertise.
If one can demonstrate a good exposure and grip on pilots, can deliver adequate support in prototyping new advancements and can assist enterprises in handling the complexity and disruption that the new world is bringing in, then these skills can never go out of date.
The job market won’t be limited to IT players and software vendors anymore. The job market of tomorrow would include every business and every company ready to become digitally relevant. So, be ready for an explosion in demand for technology experts as well as business specialists. This is going to be the world where a flood of new skills would impact the market. If you can marry domain expertise with new technologies, you would be at the upper rung of the skills ladder.
Stay agile, stay relevant, and stay secure.