The software development industry is no stranger to freelancing. Millions of freelancers from all over the world have used this working model to collaborate in projects of all kinds and with companies across every industry. That phenomenon will surely deepen in a post-pandemic world, where more and more people will pick remote jobs as their default working method.
That will mean more competition across all software development projects, which will make landing a job all the more challenging. Such a context should serve you as motivation to up your development skills (or if you’re just starting out, to know which skills you should be paying attention to). Learning certain specific skills that are highly-demanded on today’s market will surely help you stand out – and land high-end (and more lucrative) jobs.
You could go with a lot of skills and end up working in a high-profile project. Yet, the following 5 are in vogue right and will surely lead you to better offers and more interesting work, be it as a single collaborator to an in-house project or as a part of a software development outsourcing company like BairesDev.
Python for Artificial Intelligence (AI)
If there’s a particular technology that has gotten out of the tech enthusiasts fan club and into the public discourse, that definitely has to be artificial intelligence. AI uses are already somewhat common across a number of industries, even in visible places (like powering virtual assistants or providing features like self-parking to modern cars). Still, there’s plenty of room for experimentation and growth for this technology.
That’s because the field is fairly young and there’s a lot of things that need to be understood and developed. That means that there are quite a lot of AI-based projects in the widest variety of industries, from gaming to healthcare. So, chances are you could land a great job in practically any field you want – provided you have the right skills, that is.
There are a lot of things you could learn to boost your AI resumé, but if you were to start somewhere, then you should definitely know about Python for AI. The programming language is widely used by software development companies and AI experts because of its simple syntax, the ability to implement different algorithms, and its highly-functional libraries (such as NumPy and Pybrain) especially developed for AI-oriented projects.
Tools for Big Data Analytics
Maybe not as visible as artificial intelligence but equally thriving is big data, which is living the first years of its golden age. The spread of online tools for work, entertainment, and social bonding have made it pretty easy for companies and organizations of all types to gather information about people. When processed, such data can provide valuable insights those companies can use to make informed decisions that drive growth, open new business opportunities, and boost their audience engagement.
The key to that process is in data analysis. Businesses have more or less sorted out the collection part but organizing and analyzing the huge amount of data available can be a daunting task. That’s when big data experts enter. Using a combination of tools and technologies, these experts can help companies streamline their big data efforts and get more value out of their strategies.
To become one of them, you’ll have to learn a wide variety of tools, including data storage tools like Amazon S3 and MongoDB and data processing tools like Amazon Redshift and PostgreSQL. Naturally, the selection of tools you can learn doesn’t end there but these are good alternatives to start diving into a daring yet highly profitable field.
IoT Tech Stack
Yet another big name in the tech discussions of late, the Internet of Things (IoT) is the most pragmatic revolution of them all. That’s because its evolution will have a high penetration in everything around us. All the devices in your home will become smarter as will the ones that you find on the street and public buildings. Heck, things like toothbrushes and toasters will become smarter too, which means they’ll connect to the internet to form a vast device network.
As wacky as that sounds, there are a lot of IoT devices already on the market, and there many, many more to come. This doesn’t just mean that there’ll be room for IoT developers to jump in and collaborate with the development of those gadgets. There’s also a place for experts to help refine the IoT as a whole, ensuring the connectivity, data security and privacy, and integration with legacy systems, among other things.
All of that translates into a demand for a wide range of IoT professionals. From developers that can work with internet connectivity and the upcoming 5G network (key to the IoT evolution) to engineers that can design sensors and microcontrollers to be embedded into the devices, to mobile app developers that can work on the accompanying platforms for all those objects, there’s a lot of demand in the world of IoT.
PWA Building Tools
And since we’re talking about mobile apps, there’s also PWAs for you to consider. That acronym stands for Progressive Web Apps and it’s the current evolution of mobile apps. You might have noticed that people don’t install that many apps on their mobile devices. Apart from the obvious choices, people tend to shy away from bloating their devices with extra apps if there’s no real value. That’s why PWAs were invented.
They are a blend of native mobile websites and mobile apps that try to include the best of both worlds. Thus, PWAs don’t need to be downloaded or installed (hence, they don’t take up space in a device) and can be accessed as a mobile website but offering an app-like experience. Though they aren’t as practical as apps, they sure provide a great UX, so they are being developed to replace current apps and most mobile sites.
Maybe you don’t know how cryptocurrencies work or why so many people are using them, but the fact is that they are here to stay and can provide lucrative opportunities for software developers skilled enough to work on its projects. Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, and even Facebook’s Libra are all cryptocurrencies that can provide you with those opportunities. Yet, if you truly want the high-end chances you should look deeper into the cryptocurrencies to the core that powers them all – blockchain.
Under that name lies a decentralized digital ledger capable of securely storing vast amounts of data and making transactions with strong privacy. Blockchain is what supports cryptocurrencies, as its peer-to-peer approach along with its cryptographic abilities ensures the whole crypto money system. But that’s not all. Companies are realizing that blockchain can work in other areas too, from healthcare to accounting.
Thus, the demand for blockchain developers is increasing. There’s a mounting need for people that know how to build a private blockchain, that’s capable of ensuring transactions that employ cryptographic algorithms, and that can create smart contracts in a strong and safety-focused environment.
Summing It All Up
There you have the 5 skills that will definitely help you land some profitable jobs and that rank high on the demand scale. Naturally, developing them won’t be a walk in the park. Learning their ins and outs will take you some considerable time in both a theoretical and practical level, so if you are serious about learning them and taking a step forward in your career, be sure you’re willing to invest the time to do so.
Even when that sounds like a bummer, consider that mastering one (or more) of the skills of these lists will almost guarantee you land a high-end job that can satisfy everything you might be looking for in a freelancing job: demand, profit, and a significant challenge.