A programmer and developer in Poland, Adrian Stolarski, acknowledges that the software developer landscape has changed quite a bit this year compared to half a decade ago.

Stolarski, who in July joined Tenkai as a PHP programmer and a MySQL database architect, is also the founder and CEO of interactive agency Extreme Dev, applications integrator twonee.com, and software engineering entity Extreme Programming Group.

CCNA Quad Cert – Online Mentored Pricing – Intense

As part of this edition of the “Then and Now” series, InfoSec Institute’s Intense School recently talked to Stolarski, a fervent security evangelist who happens to be a frequent InfoSec Institute contributor himself, to get his perspective on the different skills and requirements of software developers in 2009 versus in 2014.

The Interview

Q: When did you get into the software developer business?

A: I have 10 years of experience [on the] commercial [side].

Q: What is it about the job that appeals to you?

A: Taking on new challenges and science modeling the surrounding reality. I love to see how the code becomes something tangible that works.

Q: Can you discuss some of the differences in terms of skills you needed as a software developer in 2009 compared to skills you need to be successful in 2014?

A: In 2009, it was straight JavaScript crawling….People did not pay attention to good manufacturing techniques of the software. Few companies had heard about continuous integration and testing of the application. The developer did not have to write unit tests. Few people had heard of the Scrum. Now programmers must be able to write unit tests and acceptance. You have a good knowledge of JavaScript and at least a couple of frameworks for creating mobile applications. We work in Agile methodologies.

Q: Are there challenges that you face as a software developer in 2014 that you did not face in 2009?

A: Of course. We live in an era of increasingly intelligent applications whose goal is a matter of replacing us in every area of life. The challenge still is to create applications, providing you like the most useful applications. In 2009, roiku never thought that I’d made so many games and mobile applications. Today, the creation of this type of application is the norm.

Asked what sorts of skills will make software developers successful in 2014, Stolarski mentioned the following soft and hard skills:

Soft Skills

  • Knowledge of Agile
  • Application testing methodologies
  • Software life cycle methodologies
  • Ability to work in a team and to work with business customers

Hard Skills

  • Java, C # and PHP
  • Unity Framework and C#/JS
  • Node.js for creating web applications

The Nitty-Gritty

Looking at some articles focusing of software developers that were published in 2009 revealed that aspiring software developers needed to earn an undergraduate degree in computer science, information systems, or software engineering, and those who wanted to go further might go onto pursue a master’s degree in management information systems or engineering. And critical certifications included things like an SAS Certified Advanced Programmer, SAS Certified Base Programmer, Microsoft Certified Solution Developer, Siebel 8 Consultant Certified Expert, Siebel 7.7 Certified Consultant, Oracle Certified Professional in Java, and Oracle Certified Associate.

Fast forward to 2014, and the academic path to becoming a software developer has more or less remained the same. An article looking at in-demand skills for software developers in 2014 mentioned skills like Java/Javascript, C #/ASP.NET, C ++, Python, PHP, Ruby on Rails and, among other skills, iOS/Android. Certifications are still important and can be differentiators when it comes to selecting job candidates. Popular software developer certifications this year include Microsoft Technology Associate, Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer, Oracle Application Express Developer Certified Expert, Oracle Certified Professional (OCP) MySQL 5.6 Developer, Certified Information Systems Security Professional, and Certified Software Development Professional.

What’s Ahead?

Software developers who want to remain successful going forward will want to stay current by adding to their hard and soft skills and, fortunately, there are some positive industry forecasts that suggest that there will be plenty of job opportunities for the taking.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics notes, for instance, that the projected percent change in the software developer job market from 2012 to 2022 is 22% compared to the 11% average growth rate for all occupations combined. This will translate into an additional 222,600 jobs in the field over the same 2012-2022 period, adds the Bureau of Labor Statistics.