What is the most valuable programming skill at the moment?

What is the most valuable programming skill at the moment? by Ken Mazaika

Answer by Ken Mazaika:

The most valuable skill is the one you’re probably not thinking of.

(image via collider.com)

Just the other day, I was talking with a student of mine on a Google Hangout about this very same topic.

At the end of our conversation, here’s what he said to me:

“Ken, that’s the single most boring piece of programing advice I’ve ever received. But I’m so happy you gave it to me.”

Here’s the gist of what I said:

Just like in any other field, everyone in programming likes to talk about the latest stuff. Lots of the conversations that I have right now are about things like:

  • Is AI the future of programming?
  • Should I be learning about VR?
  • Will React/Elixir/Websockets be the biggest technology of the next 5 years?

All of this is fun to talk about. But if you’re only focusing on the cutting edge technologies, you’re completely missing the point.

Programming has always been about one main skill:

You need to be really good at figuring things out on the fly.

Technology will constantly evolve. There are always going to be new programming languages and frameworks coming out all the time. You shouldn’t spend your time chasing the cool trends.

Instead, you should spend your time on becoming a Self-Sufficient Developer, somebody who can learn new things as they arise.

Why?

Markets change. Nobody knows for sure what the next big thing in programming will actually be.

The one constant is that the market will always have a demand for people who can:

  • Effectively use Google searches
  • Solve the problems that they’re faced with
  • Figure stuff out quickly

Become exceptional at figuring things out. Then you’ll always be in-demand.

If you want to become an in-demand developer but are unsure of where to start, check out The Coder’s Compass, a tool I helped build to help aspiring developers find their way.

If you liked my answer, I’d appreciate it if you upvoted it by pressing the light blue button below.

What is the most valuable programming skill at the moment?

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