What today's software developers need to know

In addition to programming chops, today's software developers need a breadth of skills their predecessors never would have imagined.

By , ITworld |  IT Management, agile development, computer science

flickr/Official GDC

Today's software developers don't have to worry about many things that their predecessors used to, like coding to minimize RAM consumption even if it means significantly longer execution time, or WAN connections maxing out at 14.4 kilobits per second. (Although, there may be some out-of-fashion skills they could benefit from or that may yet regain relevance.)

However, the reverse is also true: there are many new skills and areas of expertise that today's software developers, hardware developers, system and network administrators, and other IT professionals need that simply didn't exist in the past. (Where "the past" could be anything from "more than three months ago" to five, ten, twenty or more years.) Or were only relevant for organizations and applications with immense budgets.

[ Lost programming skills: What today's coders don't know and why it matters ]

"The list of what you need today that you didn't need before depends on how long ago you went to school, how hard you've worked to keep up on technology, the software industry, and software engineering," says David Intersimone, Vice President of Developer Relations and Chief Evangelist for Embarcadero Technologies.

Knowing what you need to know matters, whether you're just starting out as a software developer (or planning to become one), or are a "seasoned" professional who wants to keep your chops fresh so you can stay in, re-enter, or advance.

So here, as a counterpoint to my "lost skills" article, are "found skills" -- what a number of IT professionals see as these new areas for software developers that you want add to your existing knowledge portfolio. (Disclaimer: For the most part, I've left out suggestions about specific programming languages, as too obvious.)

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