What do companies like Twitter, Snapchat, and Facebook all have in common? Other than playing a major role in creating fun and innovative ways to share information through social media, they all utilize at least one of five popular programming languages to enhance their website’s functionality. However, they’re not the only ones! In order to keep up with the evolution of technology, an increasing number of companies are constantly in search of talented IT developers that can push their business forward. So, whether you’re a recent grad trying to figure out your niche within the IT industry, or an IT professional trying to be more competitive in the current market, here’s why you should consider learning one (or more) of the following programming languages to take your career to the next level.
Ruby is slowly becoming the ‘go-to’ back-end programming language for an increasing number of companies interested in bringing a modern touch to their websites. Specifically, startups and small businesses are two types of companies invested in finding Ruby web developers to help their websites operate more quickly and efficiently. As a result of the piqued interest in web optimization, Ruby is one of the best programming languages to learn if you want to remain competitive in the IT job market. “To separate yourself from other developers, demonstrate your creativity through source code, in addition to concrete examples of how you’ve used open source projects and/or web forums to enhance your programming skills,” says Ajmal Amin, Director of The Execu|Search Group’s IT division.
PHP is another back-end programming language that is increasing in usage across many industries to accomplish anything from maintain a blog to direct a high-traffic website like Yahoo or Samsung. As an IT professional in today’s market, learning PHP may be most advantageous for your career as it is used across many different environments (i.e., startups, small businesses, large corporations, etc.), so the opportunities are endless!
Using sites such as codeacademy.com or codeschool.com may be a great first step to learning these in-demand programming languages. “Aside from having a working knowledge of PHP, you should also emphasize certain in-demand soft skills (i.e., problem solving, flexibility, communication, etc.) throughout the interviewing stages,” recommends Michael Feinstein, Staffing Manager for The Execu|Search Group’s IT division. “For example, your ability to take direction to write a certain code, or present examples of code you’ve written in the past are just some of the ways to show your prospective employer that you have the best combination of technical talent and personality fit for the position.”
If you want to specialize in front-end development, it is crucial to familiarize yourself with three of the most in-demand programming languages. They are probably the most commonly used languages by IT professionals, so these roles are constantly in demand. Content management systems such as WordPress or Drupal are great examples of companies using these programming languages effectively. “To that end, employers are in search of candidates that have an artistic approach to implementing front-end code (i.e., interface design, visual graphics, etc.) similar to these websites,” says Michael. “In addition, prospective employers want to see how well you’ve publicly portrayed your front-end capabilities via your portfolio, so we recommend that candidates highlight their website(s) or side coding projects clearly at the top of their resume, which will ensure you’re viewed as a well-rounded IT professional whose creativity will lend well to the prospective role.”
Objective C (iOS) / Java (Android)
As smart phone and tablet technology continues to evolve, mobile development has emerged as an excellent field for IT professionals with a working knowledge of different frameworks (e.g., iOS, Android, etc.), as well as a variety of programming languages (e.g., Objective C, Java, C++, etc.) to transition to. “Not only will these languages serve as a solid foundation for working with any company that utilizes iOS or Android frameworks, but as these programming languages continue to advance over time, your skills may continue to adjust to meet the growing demand for mobile app developers,” highlights Ajmal.
For mobile developers, the best way to emphasize your technical skills throughout the interviewing process may be to create an app in which you not only demonstrate your technical competency, but also show your motivation to learn and execute something new. In the end, learning any of these programming languages will allow you to remain competitive and up-to-date in today’s market.