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Top 5 Tech Skills for 2021

Here, I am going to talk about five tech skills that you should achieve in 2021.

I believe strongly in riding waves I’ve ridden in my career over the years. I got ahead when I learned about voice-over IP and the whole industry changed from traditional telephony to voice of IP. Learning about open flow and network automation, network programmability. I like to ride waves because I think they can really accelerate your career.

So, my advice is to learn these five skills if you want to get ahead in 2021.

They can really help you now. Before I talk about the skills, I want to talk about career paths. I’m often asked what should I study, what should I become in my career and that decision is a decision that you need to make.

My advice would be to do what you love, you don’t want to spend your whole life working in a career that you hate. If you enjoy development, become a developer or a coder, or a programmer whichever term you want to use. But perhaps you don’t enjoy coding then you may want to become an ethical hacker. Decide what you want to do with your life. You have one chance to make the most of it. Do what you love, don’t spend your time doing things that you hate. Walk towards where you want to go.

If you want to be a software developer then spend time on skill development, which helps you to become a better software developer. And if you want to become an ethical hacker then spend time on skills that help you become a better ethical hacker. The good news is that the five top skills that I’m talking about in this blog will help you in multiple career paths.

So, you could start more generalist and then become more specialized as you find out what you enjoy doing. Four paths that I think can really help you are software development, ethical hacking or work in cybersecurity, networking, and working with analytics or data science, or ML, or AI. Any of those four paths or tracks if you like I think can lead you to a lot of success. But decide what you enjoy. Either focus on development or cybersecurity or ethical hacking or networking or under data science, analytics, machine learning. But again, you could be a developer as your core skill and have a strong knowledge of networking or you could become a network engineer and have an understanding of programming.

I don’t think you can be a network engineer today or a good network engineer if you don’t understand development. So, become the person that’s a good network engineer but also very strong on programming. Using python as an example will differentiate you from others by having skills in multiple areas but focus in on one.

There’s too much information to learn in a lifetime. So, focusses on one of the technologies and become the best that you can be in that specific area. But nothing is stopping you from having skills in multiple domains but deciding what you want to do.

With that in mind here are the top five tech skills that I think you should get in 2021.

1.Python

The number one of our tech skills is Python. If you don’t know python, you’re going to be at a disadvantage. It doesn’t matter if you’re a network engineer or ethical hacker or work in data science or a programmer you need to know Python. Today, it really opens up doors for you.

2.Linux

Number two, you need to know Linux. The world runs on Linux if you work in the cloud. In this new world, this tech skill is very important to have. If you work in info internet of things devices or IOTA or if you work in networking doesn’t matter where you are Linux runs a lot of the world. So, you need to know Linux. I don’t know how many times I need to say it but you need to learn Linux, you need to learn python.

3.Cloud

Among our top 5 tech skills,  Cloud is in the third position. Networking has been changing for many years. From on-premise to applications hosted in the cloud, there’s a reason that Amazon is as big as they are. Cloud technologies AWS, AZURE, Google cloud, make sure that you learn about cloud technologies. You don’t have to learn about all of them but make sure you at least have an understanding of one of those cloud technologies, AWS or AZURE or Google cloud as an example. You need to have an understanding of networking; the world runs on network applications.

4. Networking

Doesn’t matter what application you’re using today, in all tech skills this one will help you everywhere .Generally today you’re going to have a client talking to a server across a network. The big issue is caused because application developers write code that works on their laptops but doesn’t necessarily work in production. Because they make the mistake of thinking unlimited bandwidth. The world doesn’t have unlimited bandwidth, networks don’t have unlimited bandwidth, your application will be affected by bandwidth issues.

There is a delay in a network you can’t assume that because it works on your local laptop it’s going to work in production. Because there is delay or latency in a network. So, a good application developer is aware of how networks work. Think about it as follows. Is your application going to use TCP or it is going to use UDP? Why is UDP better in some cases than TCP, why is TCP better than UDP.

You need to have an understanding of basic networking. Do you understand ipv4 addressing ipv6 addressing? That stuff is really basic make sure that you at least have an understanding of networking. Now again which path are you taking? If you’re going to be a software developer your focus is on writing code but you need an understanding of networking. If you’re a networker your focus is on networking but you need to have an understanding of coding.

5. APIs

You may not code all the time but you need to know how to automate networks. But you need to know how to talk to an application developer and that gets me to the next big topic APIs. The world runs on APIs today because we have applications talking to applications, how do they communicate through application programming interfaces. We as humans use a language, let’s say English to communicate. Programs will use something like a rest API to send information from one application to another.

So, a client would talk to a server using a rest API, for instance using get-to-get information or a post or put-to-put information on the server. So, you need to have an understanding of APIs.I’ve put this in as a bonus you need to understand virtualization. Learn technologies like Virtual Machines, VMware as an example has been in the game for many VMware years with software such as ESXi used in many enterprises around the world. You have a physical server with virtual machines running on it but the world has also moved on. Now we have containers so you need to have an understanding of containers versus virtual machines.

So, think of technology such as docker and Kubernetes. This is the way the world is going. Follow the trends. Look at where the world is going, I think if you focus your time on these five areas. It will help you in life. This is where the world is going. So, make sure you learn python, make sure you learn Linux, make sure you have an understanding of the cloud.

Again, depends on where you want to focus your time. You may want to be a cloud engineer. So, you become really good at AWS but you can’t be a good cloud engineer if you don’t understand networking. Just because you put an application into the cloud doesn’t mean that you can ignore networking. You actually have to understand Networking. Because you have to understand concepts such as load balancing, subnetting, firewalls. You can’t have one without the other so if you want to put applications in the cloud and you want to manage those applications you need to have an understanding of networking.

Even if you’re running applications in docker containers you need some kind of networking. Because how are your client applications going to talk to your server applications? Notice, how all of these technologies work together. So, learn networking if you are going to be a developer as an example you may just have a little bit of understanding of networking if you’re a network engineer, you may have a strong focus on networking and a smaller focus on application development. Make sure you learn APIs and make sure that you learn virtualization. Just remember no one expects you to learn this by tomorrow. You may just be starting out but here is a road map that I think can help you in 2021.

If you focus your time on these areas it will help you a lot in the coming years okay so that’s my viewpoint.

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