However, the reverse is also true: there are many new skills and areas of expertise that today's software developers, hardware developers, system and network administrators, and other IT professionals need that simply didn't exist in the past. (Where "the past" could be anything from "more than three months ago" to five, ten, twenty or more years.)
Knowing what you need to know matters, whether you're just starting out as a software developer (or planning to become one), or are a "seasoned" professional who wants to keep your chops fresh so you can stay in, re-enter, or advance.
So here are what software developers that should add to their existing knowledge portfolio.
Using libraries"One thing that strikes me as a new skill is the need to work with massive pre-packaged class libraries and template libraries in all the new languages, like Java or C++ or Python," says consultant and software developer Jeff Kenton. "It used to be that once you knew the language and a small set of system calls and string or math library calls, you were set to program. Now you can write complex applications by stringing library calls together and a little bit of glue to hold them all together. If you only know the language, you're not ready to produce anything."
Asynchronous programming and other techniques"Because of the move to cloud computing mostly through web-based interfaces, we are seeing an emphasis on asynchronous programming," says Itai Danan, founder of Cybernium a software development and web design consulting company. "Ten years ago, this was mostly used by transactional systems such as banks, hotels and airline reservations. Today, all but the simplest applications require asynchronous programming, mostly because of AJAX. This is a very different style of programming -- most things taught about software optimizations do not apply across the network boundary."
"Programmers don't learn that someone else is going to take care of the code they write," criticizes Sarah Baker, Director of Operations at an Internet media company. "They don't learn about release management, risk assessment of deploy of their code in a infrastructure, or failure analysis of their code in the production environment -- everything that happens after they write the code. They don't learn that a log is a communication to a operations person, and it should help an operations person determine what to do when they read that log."