The most in-demand developer skills

Scalability projects are increasing dramatically in their frequency, most notably among startups that have already proved their concept and are now looking to take their business to that next level, both in terms of customer numbers and technological innovation.

Alongside this comes a demand for developers who are experienced both in scaling infrastructure and have the expertise to support a growing customer base and traffic with optimal end-user reliability.

Developers are currently in high demand – specifically those who can manage projects and bring them up to scale. Those who have the capability to work on major systems and support large amounts of traffic and customers are of huge value to fast-growth companies.

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Developers are expected to be equipped with not only a breadth of experience but also a wealth of technical knowledge. For front-end developers, having product or UX experience is critical. They need to be able to look at the product from a customer perspective when building a technology solution, and understand and develop products that solve a customer’s problem rather than just focusing on building elegant code.

Developers should also strive to merge their talents and passions with opportunities. They should identify an area they are passionate about and focus on developing additional skills in that area.

There is a gradual shift in the developer community as they become highly specialised and develop their expertise in a particular subject matter. Even better is if they can demonstrate that they are able to solve a challenging problem for a large number of users in this area.

Developer candidates should have experience doing multiple projects with responsive designs to enable seamless UI experience across multiple web and mobile screen sizes.

Businesses looking to hire a mobile developer are interested in seeing experience in native iOS or Android programming using Swift, Objective C and Java, while web front-end developers should have a solid background in HTML, JavaScript and CSS.

When it comes to back-end developers, having data modelling or database experience related to scalability is very important. This requires a knowledge of NoSQL data analysis tools such as Cassandra, CouchDB or Riak in addition to traditional data sources like MySQL.

>See also: Why expert developers make the worst tech leads

It’s important to note that a number of frameworks have emerged over the past few years such as Backbone and Angular, but developers are finding it increasingly difficult to keep up with them.

Something that needs to happen is consolidation and standardisation of front-end JavaScript frameworks, which will help developers to focus and work towards a standard platform.

Expanding a team of developers at a rapidly scaling company is exciting and of course a positive for any business with growth ambitions, but is not without its challenges.

The first step in the process is to gain a solid understanding of the developer landscape, acknowledge the key skills you are looking for in new recruits and take it from there.


Sourced from Sha Ma, senior director of software engineering, SendGrid

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Ben Rossi

Ben was Vitesse Media's editorial director, leading content creation and editorial strategy across all Vitesse products, including its market-leading B2B and consumer magazines, websites, research and...