This article was originally published by Jetcake.

Looking to get hired in the new year? Freelance developers are in high demand. Analysts predict that roughly 4.5 million new tech jobs will be created by the end of 2020 to fuel the widespread adoption of the Internet of Things, the rise of AI, and growing cybersecurity concerns in virtually every industry. Developers with certain skills will be well-positioned to take advantage of the many opportunities coming this year.  

There are many soft skills professional developers need to be successful. Along with characteristics like communication, teamwork, and flexibility, job experience in these technical areas is predicted to be highly sought-after in 2020. Here’s where developers need to focus their professional development in the coming year. 


“Python is one of the hottest skills out there, named the most in-demand skill for 2020 across nine of our global markets,” writes one industry analyst. Since 2018, there’s been a 45% increase in developers listing Python as one of their areas of expertise: this coding language is in high demand for its versatility and ease of learning. Because Python can support everything from functional programming to object-oriented programming, it will continue to be one of the most in-demand skills of 2020. 

Java and JavaScript

Research by Indeed found that demand for both Java and JavaScript has risen by 6% and 17%, respectively, since 2014. Similarly, Hackerrank’s research found that JavaScript was 2018’s most well-known language. Developers interested in working on mobile and web applications, games and database software should invest in Java training; those interested in front-end applications and making websites more interactive should spend time focusing on JavaScript. 

Web development

Companies are adopting new web development tools such as Gatsby.js, React Hooks, Next.js, and SwiftUI, according to Udemy. Gaining expertise in the newest, cutting-edge apps and software can give developers a competitive edge in the job market. If you’re already an expert in web development, consider deepening your experience by mastering one of these platforms. 

Amazon Web Services

Amazon is dominating the market in cloud computing with Amazon Web Services. Their comprehensive cloud division covers database storage, analytics, content delivery, and other services that help businesses scale and grow. Demand for experience in AWS has grown 418% since 2014; consider getting a certification in AWS for 2020 to improve your position in the job market. 


Recent headlines aside, cybersecurity is a continuous priority for businesses of all sizes. Small businesses are especially vulnerable, with 43% of cyber attacks aimed at small merchants who are ill-equipped to protect their customer data. Cybersecurity offers a lot of job security (pun not intended) as more and more companies collect and store sensitive customer data to fuel their marketing and product innovation. Expertise in data security, InfoSec, network security, penetration testing, and Linux security can earn developers a high salary in a fast-growing field. 

Machine learning

Machine learning encompasses a variety of capabilities related to AI and IoT. Python and Java are part of machine learning expertise, but so is C++, R, probability and statistics, data modeling, distributed computing, automation, deep learning, and more. This field focuses on teaching computers to perform specific tasks without explicit programming. A background in applied math, algorithms, and statistics is also very helpful.

Data science and analysis

“In the last two years alone, 90% of the world’s data has been generated. The digital era has helped businesses across all industries to collect and store data in great volumes and this rapid growth isn’t slowing down,” writes one industry analyst. Experts at The Economist argue that the world’s most valuable resource is no longer oil – it’s data. There’s an overwhelming amount of data available, and demand for developers who can help collect, clean, synthesize, and analyze this data has grown exponentially since 2005.