What key skills does the modern developer need?

Posting date: 07 September 2020

Information technology departments all over the world have been scrambling in the past few months, with many IT professionals suddenly tasked with the daunting role of mobilising a remote workforce, seemingly overnight. Looking ahead, IT spending forecasts suggest there will be ongoing demand for cloud infrastructure services as businesses continue to work remotely, according to Deloitte. The same goes for communication and telecom services and software. And with more companies using online technologies and software than ever before - to work, collaborate and communicate – we're seeing increasing demand for information technology professionals.


Working in information technology recruitment, we make it our business to keep a close eye on market trends and skills in demand by employers. Through this, we’ve seen developers continue to be sought out for companies across Switzerland and further afield. If you’re considering your next career step and want to make sure you stand out to potential employers, consider the following key skills that every modern developer needs.


Coding languages

Developers and programmers must have a firm knowledge of at least one coding language, such as Java, C++, JavaScript or Python. Most software developers in today’s technology landscape will be expected to know JavaScript, which has been ranked as the most popular developer language for seven years in a row. JavaScript is used alongside HTML and CSS for front-end web development. Meanwhile, user-friendly Python is an ideal language for beginner developers to pick up for back-end development and desktop applications, along with C++ and C# for game and mobile development.


Whether you’re a skilled java developer or a creative C++ coder, it’s a clear competitive advantage to have deep experience in at least one coding language, and ideally be familiar with others too.


Cloud expertise

Cloud computing is one of tech’s biggest boom areas now, with companies of all sizes shifting their environments to the cloud for ease of access, cost-saving and scalability. Many programmers and developers will find themselves needing to work with cloud-native applications in the near future, particularly if they’re working in the development fields of data science, artificial intelligence and machine learning. There are entire roles devoted to cloud development, where you’ll be expected to have database and programming skills along with Linux and cloud platform expertise, such as Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Service and Google Cloud Platform. Even if you don’t want to become a dedicated cloud developer, it’s still well worth developing some cloud skills to have access to more programming jobs in the future.


Flexibility and problem-solving skills

The modern developer needs to be reactive and quick on their feet. This is particularly true in the post-Covid landscape, where many organisations are entering ‘sink or swim’ mode and some are completely reinventing their business models and service offerings. The rise in remote work and conferencing platforms and online cashless solutions have contributed to a predicted tech industry increase from US$131bn to US$295bn by 2025. This boom is creating challenges for developers to react to, but also an abundance of opportunities to be innovative and creative. Modern web developers should be agile and curious, always challenging the status quo and prepared to look for new solutions and ideas. Doing so will help to remain relevant in the changing job market and stand out to IT recruitment agencies.


Find your next developer job at Swisslinx

Swisslinx has deep experience in digital and technology executive recruitment, helping to match brilliant candidates with exceptional companies. If you’re looking for your next programmer or developer role, we’d love to help. View our latest digital and technology jobs here or contact us to see how we can help.

Transferable skills that are essential in the new world

Transferable skills are those capabilities that are relevant across multiple industries and various job roles. Candidates with these widely-applicable skills are more flexible, something which is paramount in an ever-changing job market. The Swiss Skills Shortage Index 2019 reveals engineering, pharmaceuticals, technology and law to be some of the most in-demand job areas but what core abilities are most sought after in today’s recruitment scene? Here are four transferable skills that will ensure you succeed in the new world.   Adaptability Adaptability was listed in LinkedIn’s top five soft skills for 2019 and 2020 has seen this skill jump right the top for many organisations. The pandemic has presented a make or break situation for businesses, but fast-thinking decisions have kept many afloat and have even unlocked new opportunities in uncharted markets. This ability to respond to changes by adjusting priorities and applying new approaches is what makes a team agile and a business resilient. The new world signals an era where adaptability is critical for success in all markets, making it a must-have transferable skill.   Digital Prowess Coronavirus has put a rocket under digitalisation and companies are embracing the transformation. The working from home model went from a growing trend to an absolute necessity for businesses to continue providing their products and services. As such, collaboration software – including Slack, Asana and Google Sheets – became essential tools for keeping the wheels of the workforce spinning, magnifying the need for employees with a certain level of digital prowess. The quickening digital transformation will push companies in every industry to ramp up their search for the top tech talent and ensure they’re future-proofing their workforce.   Honing in on the technology job market, hiring managers are directing their attention towards candidates with software and automation skills. But there’s just as much a shortage of IT skills within this job sector as the wider workforce and the European commission has reported 756,000 vacant ICT jobs across Europe. While the IT skills gap is alarming for hiring managers there’s an opportunity for candidates to set themselves apart in the recruitment process, making digital prowess an invaluable transferable skill.   Emotional Intelligence Emotional intelligence (EI) ‘forms the juncture at which cognition and emotion meet’ and an individual’s level of EI determines many other factors, such as how well they communicate, their ability to empathise and their internal motivation. Not only that, 7 in 10 people who present a high emotional quotient (EQ) actually score better on intelligence tests than those with a high IQ.   With companies now embracing a flexible working pattern, relying on their team to collaborate virtually and remain productive whilst away from the office, employers are recognising how essential it is to have a cohort of emotionally intelligent workers. This soft skill enables employees to read social situations, engage in active listening and willingly accept constructive criticism, all of which makes for a great team player who is indispensable to a company.   Data Analytics Analytical reasoning was another skill listed by LinkedIn as a must-have for 2019 and as with adaptability, the lasting impacts of coronavirus have magnified the need for this hard skill. Data analytics cannot be confined to a few industries - instead it’s become a fundamental process for all businesses striving to stay ahead of the competition. Therefore, to be literate in data has become as important as traditional literacy skills.   Before the outbreak, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics estimated a 30% increase in jobs within big data in just 10 years. Now with more data being produced than ever before, businesses need to harness this information and use it to predict future changes in their market. Hiring managers in all sectors are pursuing employees who have a proven track record of analytical reasoning, who can draw insights from data and can make informed decisions. Those without experience in data analytics should not be discouraged bur rather take the opportunity to upskill and diversify their skillset.   Swisslinx is here to help you navigate the job market At Swisslinx, we offer a tailored service for each of our candidates, taking the time to understand your skillset and career aspirations so we can find the job opportunity that’s perfect for you. Get in touch to hear more about our recruitment process. Or if you’re ready to start applying take a look at jobs in financial services or healthcare and life sciences jobs.

READ MORE

Is gender diversity a problem in Switzerland’s life sciences industry

Unlike other industries, Switzerland’s healthcare and life sciences sector doesn’t have a gender diversity problem; it has a ‘women in leadership positions’ problem. This is an issue globally, with women making up less than 30% of executive directors at the top pharmaceutical firms worldwide. This is despite women making up 65% of the workforce and 80% of the buying and usage decisions, suggesting there is a clear gap between women entering the industry and progressing to its most senior roles. So why does healthcare and life sciences struggle to promote women to its leadership positions, and what more can be done to help? A Swiss – and global - problem Not only do women make up just 30% of C-suite teams, but they also account for only 13% of CEOs within the healthcare industry, according to research by Oliver Wyman. And women who do reach CEO level take three to five years longer than their male counterparts. Looking at Switzerland more specifically, we know that there are enormous obstacles for women who want to juggle a family with a career, with Swiss Justice Minister Karin Keller-Sutter declaring: “You cannot have everything: three children, a seat on the board and a career.” Switzerland’s family policies are conservative compared to many other European countries, with high childcare costs, a lack of paternity leave and few incentives for women to continue working after having children. Progression within healthcare and life sciences While female representation is lacking at the senior level of healthcare and life sciences, similar numbers of men and women enter the workforce with life sciences and medicine degrees. However, the further up the seniority chain you go, the more this representation dwindles, from 33% women in senior leadership positions to 29% at COO level. This prompts the question: where do all the women go in healthcare and life sciences? Some organisations do appear to be addressing this issue. Some of the largest pharmaceuticals companies in the world have appointed female CEOs, including GSK, Biocon and Mylan. Meanwhile, women make up 40% of executive committee members at Johnson and Johnson and Pfizer, suggesting green shoots are starting to emerge for women at the top. Why is gender diversity in life sciences so important? Gender diversity is important in every industry, but especially within life sciences and healthcare. For companies to understand the needs of – and produce solutions for – a diverse patient population, they need to reflect this diversity themselves. This is particularly important within R&D. Women and girls bear a bigger burden of disease than men in low-income countries, with many diseases disproportionately or exclusively affecting women. Life science and healthcare companies that understand this and focus on gender diversity and inclusion have a greater chance of meeting those patients’ needs. Within the pharmaceuticals industry, profitability relies on the ability to understand patients. This is demonstrated in the FTSE 350 companies with no women on their executive committee, who only achieve an average of 8.9% net profit margin. Compare this to the companies with 25% female representation at executive level, with average net profit margins of 13.9%, and you’ll see that gender diversity really does lead to better business results. What can we do to improve the outlook for women in this industry? We know that around as many women enter the industry with medical and life science qualifications as men – so how can we ensure they keep progressing within their field? According to a Women in the Workplace report by McKinsey and Lean In, the most significant obstacle women face when trying to progress to senior leadership is the very first step up to management level. For every 100 men promoted to manager, only 72 women are, which leaves more women remaining in entry level roles. And while many Swiss life sciences and healthcare firms are contributing to conversations around gender equality, what we need most is more action-driven change. According to the Women Count report, responsibility for this must start at the top down. CEOs should make diversity a business agenda, establishing hard targets for women in senior positions and providing transparent communications to the rest of the business – and industry - about this. Informal mentorships are one of the best ways to promote women in this field, yet many organisations do not pay enough attention to mentorships and sponsorships. Firms that choose to make gender diversity a priority, by establishing clear, concrete goals and providing support and pathways for women, are likely to be the ones who benefit most. How Swisslinx can help As recruiters, we often see an imbalance of men and women applying for senior positions within healthcare and life sciences, particularly in Switzerland. Perhaps related to this, many of our clients are proactively looking for more diverse candidates. Women apply to 20% fewer jobs than men and are 16% less likely to apply to any given job, according to LinkedIn, with women feeling like they need to meet more of the criteria on a job ad than men. There’s clearly a disconnect when it comes to women believing they are qualified for senior level roles, and we’d like to help overcome this. Diversity is important to us at Swisslinx – we're a 75% female team and understand the challenges women face in the Swiss workforce. If you’re considering your next job in healthcare and life sciences, or have a vacancy you’d like to fill, we can help. Find out about our client services or view our latest healthcare and life sciences jobs to get started.

READ MORE