Most In-Demand Programming Skills for Remote Work

Programming is the most future-proof career choice for remote work. And it’s not that difficult to get started. Of course you need programming skills, but these are skills you can learn remotely.

Jobs in programming were among the first to kickstart a trend towards remote working. By the end of 2020 it’s expected that over half of programming jobs will be remote.

The demand for programmers continues to rise. There are thousands of vacant remote programming jobs. Technology and web-based applications continue to grow. This is a job you can do from anywhere this article will aid your development.

This article will guide you through the various in-demand programming skills, including how you can upskill and where you can find these remote jobs. There a big difference in learning C++ and HTML, and the skills you learn now will impact your remote work many years in the future.

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Programming is the Most Future-Proof Remote Work

Programming doesn’t happen in a silo but it has always been a function understood only by programmers. In many traditional offices, programmers have been the odd ones out. In today’s environment, programmers are the smart people who can take their work away from the office.

A programming job involves a computer and usually an internet connection as well. There is some communication with a boss or client, done via Slack or video call. Often the boss or client prefers you to be faraway. The Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated a shift – it won’t be too long before almost all programming jobs are remote jobs.

Programming skills are in high demand. There are not enough programmers and there is too much to program. Think websites, apps, desktop applications, blockchains, and all the technology that makes our modern world turn.

These are skills you can utilise in a full-time role, part-time remote job, or project-based freelancing. Of course there is also massive demand for skills like social media marketing, another classic remote job. But there is also a surplus of supply. The world needs programmers and most programming jobs you can do from anywhere.

In-Demand Programming Skills Are Not Too Difficult to Learn

Don’t mistake the headline. You can’t do a four-hour course and land a role as a senior PHP developer. Like any career, programming will require you to start from the bottom and learn your craft. These are skills nobody ever absolutely masters – programming is ever-changing and developing.

However, it’s a profession that rewards skills. Some professions reward big mouths, confidence and an ability to sell yourself. When you know programming you’re the most valuable person on the remote team. And you get a remote job because you have the skills and talent, not because you blagged it through an interview.

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Core Programming Skills to Learn

Here are some of the fundamental skills that underpin the Internet or any computer software. All of these have stood the test of time and have been industry standard for around two decades. If you’re new to programming, this is where to start. But don’t get too frightened – you don’t need to master all of these to be a full stack developer and most are complementary with each other.

SQL and MySQL

Integral to the backend of most websites, SQL is a programming language used in database systems. MySQL is an open source system to manage databases and retrieve data from tables.

In more simple English, SQL and MySQL are the nuts and bolts to backend programming. They provide the structure behind many websites and help make sense of all the data that’s processed. It’s not very pretty. It’s the foundations and starting point to many projects. According to Developer Magazine, SQL was the most in-demand programming skill required in 2019. Consider this introductory course to MySQL database development.

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Java

Java was second on the list of in-demand programming skills, based on an analysis of global job postings. Java is a universal language that will help you further specialise in many directions.

It’s compiled code, or bytecode, meaning it can be written once and run on virtually any platform. Java programmers can work across multiple platforms and note how Java is more wide-reaching than JavaScript, which is why it’s in more demand.
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JavaScript

JavaScript mostly runs inside web browsers and makes sense of HTML and CSS. It’s the script that programs the behaviour of web pages. This programming language is also used in desktop programs (see Node below).

Thanks to its speed and wide-ranging use in website development, demand for JavaScript skills is on the rise. This Javascript course will teach you the three core frameworks you need: jQuery, AngularJS, ReactJS. Or consider this more comprehensive full stack Javascript course.

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HTML

HTML is the markup language used on web pages. It’s an easy language to learn and even master, especially because you can start on your own projects and use HTML to build a website.

HTML is the markup that defines the content of any web page. You simply can’t be a web developer without understanding HTML. And note that HTML isn’t enough to land you a developer job, as CSS and often JavaScript will also need a place in your skill suite.

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CSS

CSS is the language specifying the layout of web pages and how they look. HTML defines the content of a page then CSS describes how the HTML elements will be displayed on a page. As a remote web developer you will need both of these programming skills.

Combining HTML, CSS and Javascript will give you the core skills for bootstrap web development. This course will help you make sense of them individually, and as a package.

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PHP

PHP is an open-source scripting language that can be embedded into HTML code. Think of it as a more advanced skill to follow on from HTML, CSS and JavaScript. Remote job postings for PHP skills are on the increase and some consider PHP as a core skill for bootstrap developers.

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C Languages

C languages have been at the core of computer programming since the 1970s. They heavily influenced Java and most of the standard web processes used today. For example, PHP is a C and C++ language.

New developers have a tendency to learn web-based programming skills first. They’re faster and more intuitive to learn. However, learning a C language using a course like this one provides the foundations of a career that can evolve in many directions. If you know C languages you’ll find it a lot easier to specialise and develop more niche programming skills.

The two most important C languages to consider are C++ and C# (C-sharp). C++ remains the most in-demand programming language for desktop-based applications. It’s a lightweight compiled language, at the core of gaming and standalone applications.

C# is similar in many aspects, except it’s only supported on Microsoft (not Mac or Linux) and translates C languages for web and mobile applications. Demand for C# is increasing rapidly.

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Python

Python was the third most in-demand programming skill of 2019, according to an analysis of global adverts for programming jobs. It’s shorter than C++ and faster to develop in comparison to Java. And there is a real dearth of skilled Python developers.

Many startups and small projects seek Python skills. A common stereotype from the programming world is that it will take two C++ developers two year to develop what one Python developer can deliver in two months. Python is a little like JavaScript, applied to more than web programs. 

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What is a Full Stack Developer Anyway?

On a good remote jobs board you will find many adverts for full stack developers. It’s a widely-used term that’s difficult to comprehend for any newcomer to the industry. If there is a full stack can you be half stack? No, unfortunately not. Stacks are a means of conflating the range of programming skills and languages required to create an application or website.

A full stack developer has all the necessary skills to build a working website, application or piece of software. It requires an understanding of the database (probably SQL), the programming logic and the user interface (e.g. JavaScript + HTML + CSS), and how it all interacts to create a functioning piece of software.

It’s easy to think of full stack developers as a jack of all trades type programmer. They’re a perfect fit for employers seeking to develop relatively simple websites, or those working across many very different projects. A full stack developer can do it all. That’s great for smaller projects and it will make you very employable. While it sounds very advanced, full stack developer is a relatively easy place to get to, ideal if you are completely new to all this computer language.

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The Power of Specialism

Like most professions, the jack of all trades is paid less than the specialist and is more dispensable in the long term. Specialism takes longer to learn and may narrow the total number of remote jobs available to you. But specialist skills are the most in demand. You really will be indispensable, whether as part of a broader programming team or as a specialist employed for very specific and advanced projects.

If you’re new to programming it’s evident you can’t become a specialist after one remote course. It will take time and the experience gathered from different projects. But it’s good to understand the specialisms that are available. And some of these are a lot easier to learn than you may expect.

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Mobile App Development

Apps and app download are increasing by more than 10% year on year. 2018 was the first year the world used the internet on their phones more than on desktops. Developers can tap into a number of programming platforms, to transform their core skills into functioning mobile apps.

Xamarin Android uses C# to build highly interactive and intuitive apps. Get a massive 87% off this Master Guide Course.

Or tailor your specialism towards building apps for iOS. This course will teach you how to use C# and .Net for apps.

Swift is a development platform that simplifies programming for app developers. It creates a seamless connection between backend and frontend, making it a good option if you’re not a full stack developer and have more experience in data or design. This four-hour course can be your starting point.

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Blockchain

Blockchain is still a thing, even if cryptocurrency is no longer the hype it was in 2017. The power of blockchain is beyond bitcoin. One of the stumbling blocks for blockchain development is the lack of blockchain developers. Get skilled up with this discounted course.

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Drupal 8

Drupal is one of the world’s most popular web platforms, responsible for around 2.5% of all the world’s websites. It’s the technology behind complex CMS sites, where new huge volumes of new content is published every day, such as a news agency site. Drupal is based on PHP. Take your introductory PHP programming skills to Drupal and you can be among the world’s best paid developers. Try this Drupal 8 course.

drupal 8

Ruby on Rails

Ruby on Rails will save you time. It helps programmers simplify repetitive tasks and is especially effective for mobile app developers. It may not make you more of a specialist, but if you can work faster, you get paid proportionally more. Try this Ruby on Rails for beginners course

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Git

Git is great for mobile teams. Its a system that tracks changes in source code during software development, helping to coordinate the work of different remote developers. Mastering Git will increase your value to a remote team.

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Node

Node is an open-source code enabling developers to run JavaScript outside a web browser. It is what developers use when bringing the speed and simplicity benefits of JavaScript to a desktop.

As more and more computer processes move into the cloud, this is a rapidly growing skill, great as a second step after mastering the basics of JavaScript.

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Search for Remote Programming Jobs

Learn the skills to work remotely, then find yourself a developer job on the leading remote jobs board. This jobs board will also give you an indication of what is available and the direction you may want to specialise.

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