The importance of software programmers in the fourth industrial revolution

by Heat Recruitment

As we enter into the Fourth Industrial Revolution, the lines that divide the physical with the digital are becoming increasingly blurred and the future of software programming is hard to estimate. Exponential changes to the way we live and work are coming thick and fast thanks to the advent and advancement of cutting-edge technologies such as automation, artificial intelligence, robotics, IoT and 5G. Today, the images conjured by sci-fi writers in the past of a futuristic society are not far from accurate; entire industries are already undergoing vast transformation as smart factories and hyper-connected cities evolve from concept to commonplace.

Naturally, the adoption and development of autonomous robots and intelligent machines has left many concerned for the future of their careers, with a myriad of reports warning of job losses by the millions. Yet, just like every coin has two sides, every step we have made in our journey towards digitisation has brought about a surge in the need for skills in new sectors and disciplines.

As Industry 4.0 looms ever closer,  a new generation of technology in the workplace has led to a spike in demand for IT experts with the niche skills necessary to take advantage of it. With every company eager to embrace new technology as a means to gain the competitive edge, all eyes are firmly fixed on software programmers.

Demand for software developers soars

According to a report from The Knowledge Academy, more than 253,000 new software developer roles will be created by 2026– and that’s just in the US alone. In the UK, salaries for software engineers have soared by 25 per cent in the last year – a figure that reflects the fast-growing demand for professionals with the talent and technical ability to capitalise on advancements in such areas as machine learning, IoT, robotics and automation.

Without a skilled software programmer to create the code that controls sophisticated machines and applications, the fourth industrial revolution would stop short in its tracks. Today, employers across a multitude of industries recognise this and are actively looking for professionals versed in multiple programming languages, with the increase in demand for Java outpacing the rest in popularity as it is easy to learn, install and deploy. Similarly, developers adept in SQL, C# and Python are high in demand according to the latest annual report by Stack Overflow.

The rise of the security software developer

As society becomes ever more dependent on products whose functionality relies upon software, the quality of the software and in turn, the skill-level of software programmers has been under increasing scrutiny, particularly in situations where shortcomings in software exposes businesses and individuals to risk. As such, Industry 4.0 will continue to drive the demand for security software programmers who can create new tools for virus detection and ensure security measures are baked in to any software that an organisation produces.

Robot programmers to the rescue

As industry undergoes transformational change, the role of programmers capable of creating tailored code to control robots and bring about smarter working processes will be increasingly key to businesses spanning the sectors. With the ability to program robot functionality and see that machines execute tasks efficiently and effectively, software developers versed in this area should not have a single fear for the future with regard to their job security. In the next industrial revolution, robotics engineers and software programmers will come together to design, build and maintain complex robotics machines.

Naturally, candidates will also need to ensure their technical ability is supplemented with strong social and organisational skills if they are to successfully collaborate with key stakeholders to take advantage of new technologies. Persuasion, emotional intelligence and the ability to teach others are the human traits that a strong software developer will need now and, in the future, if they are to land these high-paying roles.

Are you looking for a role in software development? Get in touch with our expert information technology team today and take a look at the roles we have on offer.

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by Glen Pearse