10 Dying IT Skills (Tech Skills Heading the Way of the Dinosaur: 2020 Edition)
The world of Information Technology is ever-changing and very fast-paced. We have seen multi-billion-dollar IT companies rise and fall in the past decade. There is a thing called the IT bubble, in which companies/technologies get fame for a short period and they are quickly replaced with a newer or more advanced version of similar technology. In the world of IT reaching the top is like a jackpot, which any new rising technology can hit, but remaining at that top position requires constant advancements. This is where true professionalism comes into play.
Technologies that are at the top of their fields and have been for a long time have done so by maintaining their class, troubleshooting, and fixing bugs throughout their rise, keeping an eye out on the changing market trends, and incorporating those changes in their already popular infrastructure. Companies have to release a product or a new technology always keeps their brainchild relevant, by incorporating new changes in it.
Since the IT industry is so prone to changes, technologies that are not updated frequently or don't get much contribution/praise from the community, they slowly and gradually get faded away. And are replaced with some better, more reliable alternatives. Hence, it is essential for any technology or product or framework to always remain ahead of the curve and keep introducing new features whilst fixing old bugs in the process as well. Only this way can the future of any technology remain secure, but even in this case, its future is no 100% guaranteed.
In-demand skills of 2015 that are now dying and why
- Adobe / flash developer
Adobe flash player was a hit in the earlier stages of this decade. Anyone who has used a web browser knows the importance of Flash player throughout the 2000-2015 period. But after 2015 its downfall was imminent, as there were many security loopholes in the flash player and since the new browser version was continuously releasing, adobe player couldn’t keep up with the continuous patches. Hence in 2020, it is officially being discontinued and any certification regarding Flash will be more or less termed useless.
- PowerBuilder Certification
PowerBuilder was a well-known name when it came to extensive application development and data handling. It is a development environment and now owned by SAP, but had been in use since 1991. The PowerBuilder environment had its rise and fall, but now it is been used by roughly 100,000 people to this day. It is still maintained but not used as much as compared to its glorious days.
- C language
Who in their right mindset can ever think that C language could die? But the truth of the matter is that it actually is dying or dead already. Since the release of Java and C++, C became obsolete right away but was still being used by smaller companies. By the end of 2015, we can say that not much development throughout the world is done on C language. By 2020, it seems that C language would only be a programming language taught to the undergraduate students before they start learning C++ or Java, so it seems.
- Software install and support
Believe it or not, software install and support were a real skill and there were certifications for this as well. But gone are the days when there are people needed especially for this task, as now Softwares come with readme files and installation guides. For more complicated software there are how-to guides and videos.
COBOL is surely a dying language. There has been a long time since any new development is done on COBOL, these days only a handful of legacy applications/software are running on COBOL. A huge part of the world’s business data is still be being processed in COBOL. Even though till 2015 this huge part was 70% of the world’s business data but the death of COBOL is here since 2015 as IBM is pushing its clients to transfer their legacy apps from COBOLinto modern languages.
- Non TCP/IP networking
When talking about networking, mostly IP and TCP connections come to mind. But there are or rather there were more networking protocols that are dead or almost dying such as IBM’s System network architecture (SNA). There are still some pretty heavy stakeholders in SNA like banks and large organizations. But the fact is that TCP/IP protocols is what the whole world has adapted and there are almost no SNA certified engineers in the market today.
- Novel NetWare
Back in the 1990s a certified NetWare engineer was well recognized and well sought after. But then with the popularity of newer technologies like windows, Mac, etc, 90% of the market switched from Novel based PC servers to newer technologies. The official support for Netware discontinued in 2015. The Netware Certified engineers are a rare gem as of now, as a majority of them switched to different skills.
Cold fusion was once a highly acknowledged web programming language. With the rise of newer web programming languages such as .NET, Php, Python, etc, ColdFusion slowly and gradually lost its place in the market. ColdFusion was in no way obsolete by its time, the reason for its defame was actually that the web programming languages market was clustered with these new options each offering something new and exciting.
- Wireless Application Protocol (WAP)
WAP was a bit different from the web that we have today. During the age of the PDA device, the websites that were served on these devices were written in wireless markup language by the website owners. WAP developers came and went like a wave. This technology didn’t really meet the expectations of customers because of slow speed / slow response time. WAP did end up in the MMS technologies but that soon got replaced by social applications as well. Currently, not much development is done on WAP and it is a skill technically worthless to have.
- Rapid Application Development
There was a rise in the RAD approach during the 2000’s period. Most IT companies were opting in for RAD as it had the ability to fully satisfy the client’s requirements. Throughout the RAD approach, any major changes can be incorporated at any time in an application. With all its glitter, RAD had a few structurally breaking loopholes too, overall by the end of 2010 RAD changed into Agile and by the end of 2015, it grew into Agile and Scrum. Most of the senior scrum masters today were at one time RAD experts.
What skills will rule 2020
Here are some of the skills that are currently rising and have been a high demand for the past year. The year 2020 looks great for the following skills, as the demand for all of them is rising with time, the future for these looks promising. But as said earlier, nothing is for sure in the IT industry, technologies rise and fall.