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Software development in 2018 – tools, preferences and trends


Software Mind

The technologies, they are a-changin’ – you could say about the ever-evolving world of software development. Still, there are also technologies that have maintained their strong presence for years. The same thing can be said about other factors that influence the choices of both developers and companies hiring them, such as soft skills, experience, or the value of a good portfolio. Let’s take a look at technologies, skills and assets that are shaping the world of software development at the onset of 2018.

Whether you are a software developer or someone in search of fine developers, you need to know what technologies are now in supply and demand. Developers can use this knowledge to pursue skills that maximize their chance to get great job opportunities. For the latter group, it can be helpful in determining what sort of people they should be looking for.

And it’s not just about software development technologies. What can make or break one’s chances for an interesting job can be a lack of good portfolio or proper soft skills that happen to be factored in during the recruitment process. After all, companies are constantly trying to refine the methods they use to assess software development talent in order to hire the best of the best available.

With that out of the way, let’s take a look at software development technologies, skills and assets that have been trending in most recent months and are sure to make an impact in 2018.

Programming languages – where employees and employers are in agreement

If there is one area where businesses and developers are in (nearly) complete agreement, it is the choice of a programming language. According to the 2018 Developer Skills Report by HackerRank[1], the four programming languages companies are looking for are: JavaScript (47,8%), Java (47,4%), Python (33%) and C++ (21%). It matches the preferences of software developers: all four of those languages are among the most popular in the most recent edition of the Stack Overflow Developer Survey 2017[2], with JavaScript being used by 62.5% of all respondents.

While Java remains the most popular programming language overall in the well-known Tiobe index[3], of all the major programming languages, it is Python that is currently trending most (further spurred by its ever-increasing adoption in education[4]). At the same time. Visual Basic is the most dreaded language (expressed by the percentage of its users unwilling to continue).

A noteworthy trend is a very strong interest of developers in languages championed by the industry’s  biggest companies, such as Google’s Go (37,8% of all developers want to learn it according to HackerRank) or Scala (27,3%), used by companies such as Twitter.

Programming frameworks – a clear room for improvement

While developers, by and large, are meeting the requirements of businesses for languages, the same can’t be said about programming frameworks. At least not to the same extent.

StackOverflow’s most popular frameworks are Node.js (47,1% of all respondents), AngularJS (44,3%), .NET Core (33,4%) and React (19,5%), with Node.js growing at the highest rate. Despite their popularity with developers, all three of the big JavaScript frameworks mentioned above are in such a great demand that the current supply can’t begin to meet it. React shows the biggest gap, with more than 33 percent of employees interested in this skill and just 19% of developers familiar with it.

Dear developers, if you have recently thought about learning one of those, now might be a good time!

Not just technologies – we want problem-solvers!

As developers get caught up in the struggle to master a variety of technologies, they might underestimate the risk of underestimating the importance of other factors important for employers. According to HackerRank, the single most important skill every company requires is problem-solving[5] - approximately 95% of all respondents believe so. It is true especially for large companies that often manage robust and highly complex applications.

While smaller companies and startups tend to put more emphasis on frameworks (probably due to the pressure to release their software faster), the importance of this ability can’t be overstated.

Years of experience beat resume

Long past are those days when a good resume was all it took to get a great job. While formal education is still important, it is only to the extent it can help you acquire desirable software development skills.

As the 2018 report by HackerRank shows, the amount of experience expressed in years ranks as the most important factor searched for in each software developer by companies of all sizes (a factor mentioned by around 90% of respondents). The reason for it is that this factor is easy to evaluate, even for a non-technical person.

However, it still neglects the differences in sheer software development prowess and speed at which developers acquire new abilities. And this is why many decision makers, especially CEOs and founders, are looking for other ways to assess the quality of their prospects.

Great portfolio beats years of experience

The recent years saw the growing importance of a project portfolio as a way to show off and prove skills for software developers. For decision makers of the highest level, it now seems to be by far the single most important factor. According to HackerRank, about 81.4% of all executives are prioritizing the portfolio when deciding on a candidate.

Are you a software developer? It might be the time to work on your public GitHub just a little bit more!

Skill assessment – a challenge for now and the future

All those findings point to very interesting new developments for software developers and their employers alike.

As more and more developers are available on the global market, the true challenge for companies interested in software development is not just finding developers, but finding the right person for the job. The challenge is also to find the best way to screen out prospects before inviting them for a time-consuming on-site interview. Developers can expect even more sophisticated ways of achieving these goals in the future.

Software Mind is a Polish software house with its eyes set on delivering top-of-the-line software outsourcing services. By hiring the best talents and equipping them with all the knowledge of the nature of outsourcing projects we have accumulated, we’re producing results and add value to the businesses we’re working with. If you are a software developer and feel up to the task, browse our career opportunities. If you would like us to work on your project, just contact us and let’s talk about it.


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