Recently, I have stumbled upon some research data under the generic label of “Skill Up”, conducted by Packt Publishing. The reports they prepared can be found here:
There are four reports altogether; for Web devs, App devs, Data Specialists and System Admins. They can be also useful for someone who wants to change the field of expertise or to broaden his horizons, because you can find out what kind of skills you would need to succeed in another area; but mainly they are intended to be used as a guide by the developers who want to acquire more valuable (as in, better paid) skills.
For me, the most interesting of these is the Web Developers report. It is, as they all are, about US, so the data might not be directly relevant in your country; however, US is a trendsetter, so chances are that even if the picture is not the same now, it will be – and pretty soon.
So, the first thing that is interesting here is that back-end developers are still better paid than UI developers, but guess what – they are very closely followed by full-stack guys!
So, to be a Jack – of – all trades is in – again!
The tech stack for UI, back-end and full-stack devs is very interesting.
For the Front-End devs, the technologies aren’t that unexpected. But there’s some java there and docker and mongodb, which shows that the borders between the front- and backend are becoming more and more blurred.
And of course, the full-stack devs techs are kinda merging it all together, which is only to be expected.
There’s one more thing to think about. Maybe, just maybe, you are already proficient in some top category or other; or several. But that doesn’t mean that you should stop and smell the laurels. There was a time when COBOL programming was all the rage, and where do you think went all the COBOL programmers?
Same place you’ll find yourself in, once you decide that you are set for life.
So, what can you do with this data if your skills are already in the top-level techs?
Well, there’s always where to go from there. One can select the next contender from the other categories that are creeping up, or even go for an actual outsider. Whatever it is, it should be something you’d be really interested to learn about (and preferably not too close to your current area of expertise).
And what if it doesn’t turn out to be the next big thing?
Well, the great thing about programming languages is that the more you know, the easier it is to learn the next one. Also, if you learn the concepts that are really different, you will be left with a better understanding of the generic programming principles and best practices and a well-rounded mind. Which will never hurt.
That is the beauty and the curse of being a programmer. You can’t stop learning; but if you really like your job – you won’t want to.