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The Software Skills and Professionals You Need in Your Team

Today in Europe, Developers are the most wanted professionals in the software sector and this trend will accentuate. The companies of tomorrow will also need people that have a good understanding of the day-to-day business activities. That’s why soft skills and business knowledge need to be integrated — in the way we train individuals for software roles, but also in the way we think and embed software in our organisations.

Developer is the most popular software role

In its 2020 The Future of Jobs Report, the World Economic Forum listed the top 20 job roles where the demand will skyrocket. Almost all jobs on that list are ICT related — with Developers firmly holding the 10th position. A trend largely confirmed by our recent findings where 45% of organisations estimated they will need extra Developers in the next five years.

Chart representing the need for extra people per software role profile
2021 ESSA Europe’s Most Needed Software Roles and Skills report “Need for extra people per role profile”

The European Software Skills Alliance’s (ESSA) report goes further and tentatively identified the skills in highest demand among software professionals.

Needless to say, hard skills like Programming are the most in-demand with Java, Javascript, SQL, HTML, PHP, C++, C#, and Python being the most needed programming languages. But what is important is for software professionals to have a solid understanding of programming principles, so that they can quickly and more easily adapt to new languages.

Soft and profession-related skills are key

Again, looking at the predictions of the World Economic Forum (2020), we can only confirm and strongly advise people with software roles to not only grow their hard skills, but invest in non-technical (transversal) skills like personal soft skills or interpersonal skills: critical thinking & analysis, self-management, teamwork, and communication skills.

Word Cloud Soft and other skills for developers
2021 ESSA Europe’s Most Needed Software Roles and Skills report “Soft and other skills for developers”

Of course, soft skills are harder to assimilate when only relying on theoretical knowledge. Thus, it is important to introduce more systematically real-life projects into learning and training curricula and programmes.

It has been discussed that profession-related skills are also to be developed. In this regard, our report findings show that security management, agile project management, and software development lifecycle skills are needed and that software professionals with an understanding of the business are the assets organisations are looking for — now and in the future.

“Even more important than teaching particular IT skills, like IT framework or programming languages, is teaching how to understand the business. Only if you can understand the purpose of the software solution, you can deliver a valuable product.”

Discover all the key findings

In October 2021, ESSA released a full report exploring current (and future) needs for software skills in Europe.

>> Get the full report<<

During the next step, we will address the conclusions of the report in a comprehensive document — the European Software Skills Strategy. Stay tuned!