JavaScript, CSS, HTML Top List Of Most In-Demand Tech Skills

CRN breaks down the top 15 most sought-after technology developer skills employers are seeking, based on a new report by on-demand employment website Upwork.

Top 15 In-Demand Tech Skills Being Sought In 2020

There’s a growing demand for programming and developer expertise from businesses that are having difficulty finding people with the technical skills needed to keep up with the pace of digital transformation.

Santa Clara, Calif.-based Upwork, one of the world’s largest work marketplaces that connects millions of businesses with independent workers, has released a report using its massive database to find the top 15 most in-demand skills wanted in today’s IT market.

Mike Paylor, vice president of engineering and product at Upwork, said an Upwork survey found that 51 percent of hiring managers plan to rely on independent contract web, mobile and software developers in 2020 to better stay on top of their IT needs. “This means building a virtual talent bench that can contribute diverse skills and deep knowledge to solving highly technical problems,” Paylor said in a statement. “From JavaScript, to Python and HTML, these highly sought-after skills also show there is opportunity for independent talent to grow their businesses and build valuable relationships with high-quality clients from around the world.”

Here are the top 15 most in-demand IT skills for independent web, mobile and software developers, according to Upwork’s new report, which sourced data based on Upwork’s gross services volume from April 1, 2020 to Sept. 30, 2020. The skills are ranked from No. 15 to No. 1 based on the demand for each, according to Upwork.

No. 15: React

A React developer uses the open-source React JavaScript (JS) library to build interactive elements on websites and applications. Applications powered by ReactJS are known for being performant, full-featured and easy to scale.

Some examples of ReactJS skills includes the ability to create front-end user interfaces for websites and applications, write React and related code to implement new portal features, as well as test and deploy features and bug fixes. Additionally, ReactJS developers have experience building front-end and/or back-end applications and are familiar with related tools like Django, npm, Flux or Redux.

No. 14: MySQL

Structured query language (SQL) is the language of relational databases. Several database platforms use SQL, with Microsoft SQL Server and MySQL being two of the most common database platforms on the web.

MySQL provides the ability to host several databases on one server, use tables to store data, and uses indexes to sort data and speed up performance, supporting both desktop and web applications. MySQL runs on either Windows or Linux and can handle software projects of any size.

No. 13: jQuery

A jQuery developer can add animations and Ajax [asynchronous JavaScript] interactions to websites. jQuery developers understand the libraries, frameworks and other technologies behind a company’s web project.

Skills required for a jQuery developer include the ability to create front-end web features, conduct Ajax callbacks and manipulate the DOM using jQuery, and build responsive HTML web/email templates. Employers are looking for jQuery independent professionals who can create a responsive WordPress theme, can provide RESTful web services or can fix jQuery issues for a simple WebRTC project.

No. 12: API Integration

The need for workers to connect two or more applications via their APIs (application programming interfaces) to let systems exchange data is one of the top IT skillsets needed today. API integrations help keep data in sync and enhances productivity within a company.

API enables interaction between data, applications and devices. It not only delivers data and facilitates the connection between devices and programs, but also enables apps to communicate with backend systems. APIs allows access of services by adding code to applications, which is key to many job seekers who are hired to enhance application connectivity and boost functionality.

No. 11: Web Applications

Web application developers are software designers or engineers that help develop and design websites or network applications. Web developers typically have programming skills around HTML, CSS and JavaScript.

One of the most popular and common types of web application development is around e-commerce websites. Responsibilities of web app professionals include developing and managing software packages for websites, installing programs, troubleshooting and debugging, and programming web application codes and page links.

No. 10: Python

Cracking into Upwork’s top ten most in-demand IT skills for independent developers is Python, a popular, general-purpose, high-level, back-end programming language that’s highly valued by startups who need to quickly prototype and develop applications. It’s also used by data-driven companies that need to integrate data analysis and statistical techniques into their workflows.

Python is one of the most popular languages for data science and statistical analysis . For data scientists, Python combines Java’s suitability for building high-traffic web applications with a focus on executing complex statistical functions. It’s also cross-platform, working on Linux, Windows, Mac and most other operating systems.

No. 9: Web Design

A web designer should be able to handle a variety of different projects from top-to-bottom website designs to asset creation – including landing pages, banners and other design elements. Web design covers everything involved with making a website appealing to end-users. Web design consultants are also UI designers who specialize in websites and often know some front-end web development on top of their design skills.

Today’s business employer is seeking web designers who can design website adjustments to improve responsiveness for mobile, sales, conversions and time-on-page, or to fix reported issues or problems identified in user testing.

No. 8: HTML5

HTML5 developers possess expertise in the use of the HTML5 language to produce and present digital content on websites and mobile devices. HTML5 developers have a strong understanding and command of previous iterations of the HTML language, which can be used to help businesses update or integrate existing systems.

HTML5 is the fifth iteration of the HTML markup language used for organizing and publishing content on the Internet. An HTML5 developer uses a combination of HTML, CSS, and JavaScript to build the client-side or user-facing portion of a website and can take advantage of all the perks unique to the latest version of HTML.

No. 7: WordPress

WordPress is an open-source content management system (CMS) that is useful for businesses looking to quickly set up a website or a blog with a pre-built theme. WordPress developers are web developer who specialize in making the most of this CMS.

WordPress is best known as a tool for helping non-developers quickly set up a personal website. A WordPress professional should know the fundamentals of HTML, CSS, and JavaScript; have mastered the WordPress ecosystem such as its plugins and widgets; and be able to help with back-end web development, especially PHP and MySQL.

No. 6: API Development

APIs present endless business opportunities as APIs let applications and devices seamlessly connect and communicate (see API integration at No. 12). Having a fine-tuned skillset in API development can make a technology professional extremely valuable to a business.

Entire businesses and popular web applications like Hootsuite, Zapier and IFTT have been built solely on creative ways to leverage APIs. An API developer can enable businesses to write applications that utilize other applications as part of their core functionality. It’s important to note that companies primarily use private APIs – compared to public APIs – in order to improve agility, flexibility and velocity.

No. 5: PHP

PHP is the ‘P’ in the LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP) technology stack. The PHP programming technology can be found in the back-end systems of the majority of all websites.

PHP system developers, sometimes known as back-end engineers, are experienced in taking a client’s specifications and turning them into a workable, tangible product that runs on a web server. PHP developers code the functionality that brings an app to life and collaborate with designers to ensure that the front-end application is appealing to users.

No. 4: Website Development

Web development is commonly divided into two roles: the front-end developer who codes UI elements such as the search bar, drop-down menus, and forms; while a back-end developer handles the data management and business logic that power the app behind the scenes. While web developers can handle both roles, they usually specialize in either the front end or the back end of a technology stack.

Common skills employers are looking for today in website developers are WordPress; experience with MongoDB, Express, Angular and Node.js; and professionals with the ability to build a universal JavaScript app with React.

No. 3: HTML

Known as the backbone of a web page, HTML lets developers use tags to govern how the text, images, video and page layout are displayed in a browser. HTML developer responsibilities typically include building webpages and templates with HTML and CSS, writing scalable and well documented code, and collaborating with designers and back-end developers to deliver the desired web content.

Common projects employers need HTML developers for today include creating landing page templates, building custom HTML/CSS for WordPress website, and building websites with the new HTML5 (see No. 8).

No. 2: CSS

CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) allows you to modify color, font, and other style attributes of an HTML webpage. Businesses of all shape and sizes rely on CSS developers to take websites to the next level, revamp social media platforms or spruce up an existing application.

CSS developers are front-end developers who specialize in everything from the color and shape of a site’s navigation buttons, to the typography of blog text, to the overall layout of a website. Employers are looking for CSS developer skillsets around front-end CSS frameworks such as Bootstrap and Foundation and CSS preprocessors like Less and Sass.

No. 1: JavaScript

The No.1 most in-demand technology skillset being sought today is JavaScript, which is used to make web pages dynamic. For businesses looking to create a modern, dynamic web application, a JavaScript developer can help.

JavaScript is a scripting or programming language that allows businesses to implement complex features on web pages. Examples of JavaScript developer capabilities include being able to write scalable, testable, well-documented JavaScript code; building and deploying front-end features, and using JavaScript on the back end for APIs and server-side logic. JavaScript is also used to optimize applications for cross-platform compatibility and performance.