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The Importance of Computer Skills in Business

The modern marketplace is a digital world. Businesses that struggle to embrace digitization are floundering and giving way to competitors able to keep up with the increasing demand for convenience and speed.

Embracing new technology is a movement that reaches across all industries, but companies that wish to grab hold of a digital destiny must understand that regardless of the type of business, digitization requires a comprehensive strategy involving managing multiple platforms, maintaining relationships with software vendors and ironing out compatibility issues. It’s a process, rather than an end state, that requires time, money and energy.

The Right Skills

In the process of digitizing, companies have to recruit new employees who can help drive the shift to developing a digital portfolio. In doing so, they often seek computer programmers who can bring a diverse set of attributes to the job.

For those programmers, having enough skills in their IT repertoire is sometimes difficult in a fast-paced and ever-changing tech world. There are a number of technologies to master and constantly evolving code languages in which to become fluent. Here are three of the most commonly used and important languages driving the Internet and programming industry as a whole.

  • SQL – Structured Query Language is important in the editing and querying of data residing in database management systems.
  • HTML – Hypertext Markup Language is essentially the code upon which much of the Internet is built. Combined with other code languages such as JavaScript and Cascading Style Sheet (CSS), HTML has the potential to create web pages and apps with interactive features.
  • JavaScript – This code is used by pretty much every web browser to make websites more interactive.

Finding these skills in employees has become so important that some companies have begun to ask current, non-technical workers to learn programming. Travel and amusement deal site LivingSocial.com was having trouble finding job candidates in 2012 who could satisfy their coding needs, so the company challenged 24 employees to learn computer programming in five months. All 24 passed their classes and became full-time developers, according to a Washington Post article.

The Right Workers

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS), computer programming jobs are expected to decline by 8% between 2014 and 2024 as some companies seek programmers from overseas, slowing job growth in this country. But according to the BLS, a trend is also developing for other companies to bring programming jobs back to the U.S.

Job growth for software developers is expected to be 17% through 2024, the BLS said, and outsourcing to overseas workers may be limited because developers need to be near their customers.

Employment for web developers is expected to grow at 27%, the BLS said.

For professional programmers, it’s important to understand that businesses want to find people who not only can keep pace with the changing tech landscape, but also acquire or possess skills sometimes considered outside of the normal tools a programmer or software developer would use.

For example, as technology becomes more woven into all aspects of companies, there is a need for tech workers to be business savvy. Some major companies have begun to understand that for IT professionals to drive their business forward, they have to understand the nature of the business itself, and if candidates aren’t ready to take on the task of knowing the business more intimately, they aren’t hired.

Since so much of the way business is conducted these days is through information acquisition, it makes sense that business and IT work in sync, allowing IT to have a greater say in how companies operate.

Additionally, collaboration between the IT side and the business side of any company helps prevent a disconnection between departments that sometimes leads to IT pushing for the use of the latest technology without considering whether it solves business issues.

Conversely, workers not directly involved in IT need to have knowledge in computer information systems, programming and technology to help integrate technology into all company operations.

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