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Comparing Software Development Skills in the UK and Ireland

30 Nov 2023
3 min read
Comparing Software Development Skills in the UK and Ireland
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For aspiring software developers in the UK and Ireland, this analysis provides a roadmap of skills to acquire and develop. For businesses, it offers insights into the skills they should be looking for in potential hires and the skillsets they might need to develop in their existing teams to stay relevant and competitive in the software development landscape. Keep reading to find out more!

Software development is a rapidly evolving field, with new technologies and methodologies emerging regularly. This blog post takes a close examination of the most common and fastest-growing software development skills and languages across the UK and Ireland. By understanding these trends, professionals in the field and businesses can better equip themselves for future industry demands.

According to research by Statista, JavaScript is the most widely used programming language globally, with 63.61% of professionals utilizing it as of 2023. However, in both the UK and Ireland, JavaScript was the second most commonly used language. Insights reveal that Structured Query Language (SQL) is more commonly used, with 51% and 41% of software developers using it, respectively. This is an unexpected finding, considering that SQL ranks only fourth in the worldwide language popularity scale, after JavaScript, HTML, and Python. Nevertheless, Statista’s data shows that 48.66% of developers were still employing SQL as of 2023, and it continues to be a crucial language for communicating with databases.

In today’s highly competitive industry, developers are required to be proficient in the majority of the leading languages, including SQL and JavaScript, as well as Agile Methodologies, Java, Python, HTML, and C#. These skills form the backbone of the software industry globally, and any aspiring software developer would be expected to be proficient in most, if not all, of these areas. As a result, it’s no wonder that the margins are so tight between languages. This shows that most developers use more than one language or methodology.

The insights support this and show a rapid yearly increase in several languages and skills that software developers are employing. Overall, the software development industry in the UK and Ireland is not static. It evolves rapidly in response to new technologies and methodologies. In both the UK and Ireland, Front-End Development was one of the fastest-growing skills, seeing a 72% and 64% increase, respectively. This was the largest increase in the UK; however, for Ireland, Back-end development grew by 78%.

Cloud computing has become a more specialized area of software development, with Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services seeing a significant increase in usage. In the UK, Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services have grown to 51% and 49% respectively. In Ireland, Microsoft Azure has seen a 42% increase. These figures indicate a shift towards more concentrated skill sets in the field of cloud computing.

Interestingly, Artificial Intelligence has seen significant growth over the last year. This is due to several factors, including a demand in the job market for skilled professionals who can develop, implement, and maintain AI-driven solutions, the need to stay current and gain expertise in emerging AI tools, frameworks, and methodologies to remain competitive in the job market and as a way to increase efficiency as developers skilled in AI can create solutions that automate repetitive tasks, freeing up time for more strategic and creative work. These are just a sample of the motivators behind why developers are increasingly upskilling in AI.

While the most common skills in software development remain relatively consistent between the UK and Ireland, the fastest-growing skills show some divergence. This reflects the unique influences and trends present in each country’s software development industry. However, one clear takeaway is the growing importance of specialized skills like cloud computing, AI, and big data. As these technologies continue to evolve and become more integrated into various industries, the demand for them is only expected to grow.

If you want any more information or need some help with your talent pipeline, we’d love to hear from you, reach out to us here!

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