Individuality is important. With that in mind, it is understandable why you wouldn’t want to make a habit of following trends, but if you want to be popular in the world of software development and analytics, you have to be able to supply what’s in demand. When I say popular I really mean, ‘employable’ and, although experience counts for a lot in the IT industry, when it comes to new fields of technology having the right skills will put you right in the frame.
If you are considering which new skills you may need to add to your portfolio, it is worthwhile spending some time considering the technological driving forces that are likely to define the IT world over the next few years. These trends will be instrumental in shaping your training plan and ensuring you’re able to fully utilise your new skills.
As a software professional in today’s world, your skills will have to be usable on both what the industry has inherited and, what it aspires to build. Over the last few years, things like social media, cloud computing and big data have made a strong entry into industries which in turn, changes the game for people with a more ‘traditional’ skill set. Generally, social media and cloud computing can be developed using broadly traditional tools such as PHP, PERL, Python, JAVA, C++ etc. so other than the paradigm shift in application interaction points and scale, they are created in using the old code type just in new places.
Big Data and Analytics
GlobalKnowledge Research report that Cloud Computing, Big Data and Data Analytics are amongst the biggest strategic targets for the technology sector and that this will undoubtedly create demand for jobs in these fields. Unfortunately, ITBusinessEdge rather gloomily predict that although this may lead to as many as 4.4 million jobs in these fields by 2015, current training and employment trends suggest that only one third of them will be filled.
Pessimism aside, what are the jobs in Big Data & Analytics and what can you do about filing them?
EMC, Teradata & Hadoop
The major players in the emerging markets are using some new and proprietary products to provide the scalable environment that define the big data revolution. EMC, Teradata and Hadoop are a few of the names establishing themselves as having a serious part to play in this emerging market and they are ideal for new implementations.
Traditionally, the providers of existing data platforms such as Oracle, SQL and DB/2 have been left wanting in these developments but take heart because these skills are still increasing in demand.
SQL skills were still cited as required for 8 out of 10 of the top IT job categories by the E-Skills Council in their 2012 report. In fact jobs requiring SQL and SQL Server skills have typically constituted around 20 % of IT jobs advertised in the UK each quarter since 2010.
And, as a nod in the direction towards these legacy skills, products such as Lingual by Concurrent Inc has been developed to allow native SQL queries to be used on the Hadoop platform.
IBM, although not exactly hitting the mark with their DB/2 offering in the past, look determined to ensure they will have a hand to play with Netezza and their SPSS analytics application. IBM bought the SPSS application a few years back and after a time of looking lost in the wilderness, the application may be a key player in their ‘Smarter Planet’ initiative.
On its own, SPSS has had a 30 year pedigree in data analytics and has become a de facto standard for statistical analysis across social science and academic environments. The social media data boom and big data analysis requirements will bring SPSS into a more commercial frame as correlation and statistical reporting becomes the next big thing.
Though there are no current formal certifications as yet for data analytics, EMC, Datameer, IBM and CISCO are all setting up programmes help customers and developers alike.
So it looks like the old dogs will indeed be learning new tricks and the legacy skills in SQL and analytical tools like SPSS, will have an important part to play throughout the Big Data revolution. Don’t neglect them. They will serve you well through the coming years.
After brushing up on these skills or perhaps enrolling in a SQL or SPSS training course, maybe take some time to look at the Hadoop platform in conjunction with EMC’s Greenplumb and IBM’s Netezza and you will be well on your way to becoming indispensable through the Big Data and Analytics revolution.
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