Which Development Skills Should You Invest in Next Year
For developers in every landscape, earning a degree in the IT world is rarely enough to ensure ongoing success. In a world as fast-paced and digitally transformative as the one we know today; developers are constantly facing new challenges and trends. This means they need to commit to regularly updating, and enhancing their skills in a host of different areas.
Whether you’re working for an agency, or selling your services as a freelancer, investing in the right qualifications, abilities, and education will improve your chances of earning a consistent income. It also ensures you can continue to deliver the right results for your clients or employer.
The challenge for any developer is figuring out where they should be focusing their attention. Today, we’re looking at some of the key skills you can use to boost your career opportunities in the years ahead, from technical skills to broader soft skills.
- Ecommerce Management Skills
Increasingly, developers and web designers are beginning to play more versatile roles in the digital world. Not only are they available to help companies build their websites and create unique applications, but they can also offer consultation and guidance, as well as managerial talents.
An Ecommerce manager is an individual with a deep knowledge of development strategies like UI and UX design. However, they also know how to run the back-end of an online store, and optimize its performance to increase potential sales. While not every developer will necessarily look for ecommerce management opportunities, knowing how to effectively run and optimize a store could give you access to a wider range of career opportunities.
Developing your ecommerce management skills will require you to work not only on your leadership and motivational talents, but on your knowledge of sales strategies too. If you plan on building websites for ecommerce stores, it’s worth looking into this area.
- Python and Data Science
While data has always been valuable to developers, it’s grown increasingly important to business leaders and innovators too. As a developer, you’ll instantly be more valuable to your customers and employers if you know how to leverage reports, analytics, and data science tools when building the best stores and applications.
To really thrive in this area, you’ll want to focus on developing a deeper knowledge of tools like Python, R Language, and Tableau. This will be crucial for helping you organize and filter through the data you’re going to be using in your data strategy. If you want to take your data abilities to the next level, you can also consider experimenting with machine learning and artificial intelligence.
Investing in data science will allow you to work with brands on building more comprehensive tools, and unique experiences for a variety of end-users. You may even be able to create automations for Shopify stores and apps which help businesses to boost their revenue.
- UX and UI Design
Any developer looking to earn more employment opportunities in the years ahead should think about updating their knowledge of UX and UI design. While design and development are still two different areas in the digital world, you’ll need to know how your role as a developer contributes to the overall experience an individual might have with a website, app, or theme.
Working on your UX and UI design skills helps you to better understand what the components of a good customer experience looks like. This will ensure you can work cohesively with designers to build tools which not only attract users, but keep them coming back for more.
The good news is there are a huge variety of tools and resources on the web available to help you better-understand the concepts of UI and UX. Using these solutions, you can add to your portfolio, enhance your resume, and make yourself more attractive when it comes to applying for a range of design and development based roles.
- Version Control and Data Management
If you’re a developer focusing on things like theme creation and UI development, then a good understanding of version control will be essential to your future. This is particularly important for Shopify developers, as it’s crucial to be able to keep track of all the various changes and updates you make to your Shopify ecosystem over time.
Many Shopify developers today already use version control software like Git, Mercurial, and CVS. However, it’s worth refreshing your skills from time to time to ensure you understand exactly what kind of information you should be preserving when making updates to a theme or app.
You’ll also need to think more carefully about how you can manage your data as securely and effectively as possible. A developer with good data management skills will be more appealing to employers in the years ahead, as concerns about data security and privacy continue to grow.
- Advertising and Marketing Skills
Just like managing Shopify stores, marketing isn’t something every developer will be responsible for going forward. However, if you know the basics of digital marketing, you can make yourself a more valuable member of any company’s team. Most of the development tools available for ecommerce and business website owners today come with solutions for marketing built-in.
If you’re creating a Shopify store from scratch, you’ll need to know how to design the structure of each website to ensure it delivers excellent customer experiences, and boosts SEO potential. You’ll also have to have a clear understanding of how you can integrate different advertising tools and applications into a website environment.
For Shopify store developers, it’s crucial to know how to make the right connections between tools like Facebook and Google analytics, and Shopify websites. While you don’t need to become a copywriting or content marketing expert, you should at least know the basics.
- SQL and Database Management
Although some developers spend a lot of time using specific tools like Liquid for Shopify development, and pre-existing databases, it’s still crucial to have a deep knowledge of how to create databases using other technology. SQL and database management skills are one of the top talents employers in the technology landscape are looking for today.
As a developer, you’ll need at least a basic knowledge on common database concepts, like how to design tables, add and delete information, and create queries for websites and applications. You might find it helpful to experiment with a range of different database solutions, like MySQL server, Oracle, and other solutions, depending on the work you want to do.
The good news is once you start learning the basics of database management, it’s relatively easy to expand your knowledge, and start interacting with other ecosystems.
Although this skill isn’t specific to developers, it’s one many professionals forget to invest in. Regardless of whether you’re developing custom themes as a freelance developer, or you’re working exclusively for a specific business, you’ll need to know how to consistently expand your connections to other professionals, and build on your network.
Networking skills will help you to find new job opportunities, and even learn from other professionals in the development space. You can start simple, by building your presence on forums, in community groups for Shopify, and even by creating your own LinkedIn page.
Building your networking skills also means working on your abilities to communicate seamlessly. This is important for any developer, as you need to be able to connect with both technical, and non-technical professionals on a day-to-day basis.
- Cloud Computing
Finally, when you’re building Shopify stores, working with APIs, or creating applications, you’re likely to eventually encounter the cloud environment. Having a basic knowledge of cloud computing and how different platforms work can make life much easier for you in your day-to-day workflows.
There are various tools and resources available on the web today to teach you how different cloud platforms work. Knowing how to navigate these environments will make you more appealing to companies who need help building their own software in the cloud, or leveraging various cloud tools for things like hosting.
When it comes to choosing which cloud solution you should be focusing on the most, the easiest strategy is to look at the kind of companies you’ve been working with so far. Find out what kind of cloud resources they’re most reliant on, and go from there.
Invest In Your Development Skills
Building your development skills consistently each year ensures you can stay ahead of an ever-changing and evolving marketplace. As a developer, you need to be on the cutting edge of the technology industry, and up-to-date with all the tools and services your employers are using.
If you already have a number of development skills in the Shopify landscape, join Storetasker today to become one of our experts, and expand your earning potential.