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April 25, 2018

Skill Adjacency: The L&D mantra to future-proof IT workforce

As technological advancements become complex, there is an increasing demand for IT professionals to diversify their skillsets. Employees specializing in single skillset may soon become a thing of the past. Continuous learning is, therefore, a necessity to advance one’s career and stay relevant in the job market. This is true for both technical and behavioral skills.

This new reality is forcing L&D professionals to offer new learning paths for technology professionals, aimed at upskilling employees for today’s and tomorrow’s business. How exactly can L&D leaders in IT enable and empower their people to perform well consistently, through an ever-changing skills-scenario? One of the means is to leverage the power of skill adjacencies.

What is skill adjacency?
Technology acts as a bark with multiple shoots. It is easier for employees to pick up skills in adjacent technologies if they are well versed in the core technology. Encouraging employees to develop a broad area of expertise is an add-on to the organizational capability, with relatively lesser effort and investment, compared to learning an entirely new skill set. This concept shows promise for IT professionals.

What adjacent skills should one develop?
L&D professionals must be aware of the technological and capability trends in IT. The following are some latest skill adjacencies to help L&D professionals design and deliver great learning journeys for their employees:

  PowerShell: Cloud computing is one of the hottest skills but did you know that building data centers that follow cloud operator patterns is one of the allied, in-demand skillsets? When making a new virtual machine in AWS, it must be designed to be automated, and that is made possible with the allied automation technology like PowerShell.

  Java: Java is ever-evolving with Spring 5 being released a few months ago with a completely revamped API. The latest syntax is stable and has enabled better error-prediction, making Java development more robust and reliable. Newer languages such as Kotlin and Scala use this syntax and latest features such as “Optionals,” making Java development a breeze.

   Python: Python is a rage in the IT market. The IT major Microsoft is said to be considering adding Python support to its flagship excel office product. Python is set to grow as a hot IT skill.

   Scrum: As we move towards agile business methodologies, a new allied technology that will add value is Kanban. There will continue to be an increasing demand for qualified Scrum practitioners, especially Scrum Masters and L&D must design learning interventions to meet that demand.

    HTML5: HTML continues to form the strong foundations of web development, and this is only set to strengthen with W3C planning to release some new elements and improvements with version 5.3. Some breakthrough improvements are happening in Cascading Style Sheets (CSS)- one of the basic building blocks for HTML.

    Angular:  L&D professionals must help developers move from Angular 4 to Angular 5, making future migrations easy. The recipe for modern web development lies in its elements such as clearly defined release cycles, and L&D professionals must design learning interventions to enable this.

These are some of the technologies that L&D professionals need to understand to take advantage of the evolving technology landscape. Investing resources in the right learning direction can help achieve learning outcomes sooner and better, and thereby motivate employees to invest in their own learning. With rapidly changing IT scenario, understanding trends such as the ones listed above will form the foundation of a learning organization.

(Disclaimer: The matter of this article has not been edited and has been copied from Pluralsight blogs by skillreporter.com. SkillReporter shall not be responsible for any damage caused to any person/organization directly or indirectly.)