Golden Gate Bridge

San Francisco is home to the United States’ biggest tech industry. Silicon Valley made the  streets of San Francisco a bustling tech hub of innovation. With such changing times, comes a change in expectations. Tech workers are expected to constantly be at the top of their game. With the best of the best all vying for a shot at their dream job, what will set you apart from the rest of San Francisco’s talented pool of tech workers?

A variety of skills are needed to not only survive but thrive at a job in the tech industry. With so much expected of tech workers in today’s work climate, how do we discern what skills are worth learning? What skills will take a new tech worker to the next level and leave them high above the competition? Here are the  answers to these gnawing questions and a complete breakdown of the most in-demand skills in San Francisco. 

Skills to Land You a Silicon Valley Tech Job

Laptop on a desk.

Do you have the skills necessary to snag a job in tech?

With so many jobs and so much demand for qualified technical experts, what can help set you apart? What skills are the most vital to your job search? To answer this question, we’ll need to breakdown your skill set into two categories. 

Technical Skills 

In order to properly address the skills you’ll need to excel in the Silicon Valley tech scene, we’ll first need to break this down a bit. The first category we’ll address is technical skills. These skills range from the amount of coding languages you know, to your portfolio, and everything in between. 

1. Coding Languages 

Coding Languages are diverse and plentiful. They span a variety of subjects and each one exists to do many different things. Some programming languages are classified as either front end or back end. 

Whichever coding language(s) you know, they could actually end up determining where you work when you go on to look for a job in tech. In fact, some companies are almost exclusively dedicated to a handful of programming languages. For example: 

  • Google: Java, C++, and Python
  • Apple: Objective-C and Swift
  • Microsoft: C#

Keep in mind, these are just three of the numerous tech companies in the world and their favorite programming languages are subject to change. Coding languages don’t only dictate who you work for, they sometimes also dictate the kind of work you do. For example:

  • All IOS Mobile Apps run on Objective C. 
  • All Android Mobile Apps run on Java. 
  • Games are usually built in C++. 
  • Blogs and major text based Web apps use JavaScript. 
  • PHP, Ruby, and Python can be used to create a variety of Web Applications. 

The ways coding languages can be used are endless. They type of the coding language you know could ultimately determine what type of work you do. Familiarizing yourself with the San Francisco tech industry’s most popular and in-demand coding languages will save you hassle in the long run. It’s always important to keep your technical skills up to date with the changing times. 

2. A Solid Technical Portfolio 

To get hired at a tech company, you almost always have to have some form of previous work to show your employers. A resume may get you in the door, but a portfolio is almost always needed to close the deal. Even if your projects aren’t finished or aren’t as complex as other applications, showing that you have the drive to put thoughts into action and actually produce real ideas can lead to a job offer. 

It’s always a good idea to work on your portfolio and frequently update and revise it. You may even decide to revise your portfolio based on the company that you are going to interview with.  Additionally, having your peers and mentors review your portfolio from time to time is a great way to ensure that you are always showcasing your best work. 

3. Previous Experience (not necessarily required, but definitely a plus!)

If you’re fresh out of a coding bootcamp or are a recent new transitioner to the coding industry, don’t let that headline freak you out. When I say previous experience, I don’t necessarily mean traditional work experience. Much like having a portfolio, any learning opportunity or achievement that you’ve experienced can make the difference with employers come hiring time. 

If you’ve gotten apprentice under some pretty cool mentors or if you’ve helped a friend code a cool project, own it! Letting your employer know that you’ve been in previous coding situations before, will help show that  you are someone who is comfortable coding and working towards set goals. 

Soft Skills 

When you think of the most in-demand skills in the tech industry, it’s natural to think of a wide range of technical skills. In fact, most people seem to bypass some of the most vital skills that are currently lacking in the tech industry,  soft skills. 

Soft skills comprise of everything that makes you a good worker, that doesn’t necessarily relate to coding. These are anything from working with others to being a good leader and everything in between. While they may seem self explanatory, don’t discount the importance of soft skills entirely. 

Soft skills may end up being the difference between a rigorous job search and a cushy office with a six figure salary. Can soft skills really take your job searching game to the next level? Let’s dive in. 

1. Working with Others

You may have heard of the industry term “pair programming.” This is essentially the tech industry’s term for “working well with others.”

If you didn’t already know, the tech industry is a pretty busy place. So busy in fact, that it usually takes multiple people working on the same project to complete it  on time. For this reason and many more, pair programming has become a staple in our modern tech industry.

Knowing how to work well with others and collaborate through ideation and execution can lead to a wonderful and cohesive work environment. Productive employees make tech employers happy. Having workers who can not only handle themselves, but also work well in a team, has become one of the biggest priorities of tech companies both regardless of size. If you’re able to show that you’re a team player, who is willing to work with others, you’ll absolutely make a lasting impression on your potential employer. 

2. Punctuality and Dedication

Ever heard the saying, “the early bird gets the worm?” While worms are pretty gross, we’ll definitely take pay raises and pats on the back instead. Arriving on time and ready for work can speak wonders to your boss. Arriving early, staying late, and offering to help with tasks that you weren’t explicitly assigned are great ways to make a lasting impression on your company. 

If you put in the time and dedication into your company, chances are they’ll return the favor when your quarterly review rolls around. Additionally, showing that you’re a dedicated and hard working employee is a great way to move yourself up the ranks in a company. You never know who might be paying attention to your good work.

3. Be a Leader

In the tech industry, leadership is always changing. People are constantly getting promotions in a company and moving onto bigger and better things. You may actually, one day, find yourself in a leadership position. Even if you don’t, it never hurts to embody the qualities of a good leader. 

This goes hand in hand when we talk about working with others. You need to be able to delegate, bounce from project to project, and help handle any problems that arise. Regardless of your current role in a company, embodying the good qualities of a leader will definitely get you far! You can also save time by hiring a real estate virtual assistant and concentrate on your work.

The Hottest Tech Skills in San Francisco Right Now

Houses in San Francisco.

Which tech industry trends do you think will stick around?

Now that we’ve covered which skills are some of the most important to have when working in the tech industry. Let’s look into which skills are currently the most in-demand within the tech industry of 2020. 

Programming Languages

The most in-demand programming languages of 2019 are: 

  1. JavaScript
  2. Python
  3. Java
  4. Go
  5. Ruby

Keep in mind, these are only the top five most popular coding languages of 2020. These coding languages vary depending on your desired sector of tech or your dream company. What’s in demand in one place, may not be used in another. 

Flexibility

San Francisco’s tech scene is constantly changing. Companies what employees who are comfortable shifting through a variety of roles within the company. 

Innovation

Okay this may sound cheesy, but there’s really nothing more in-demand than good ole’ fashioned innovation. Companies are desperate for good ideas, more specifically, your good ideas. Companies are willing to pay more in order to have some of the brightest minds in tech. Prove yourself to be more than just a code copying machine and you could find some of your ideas being used by millions of people. 

Where Do You Go From Here?

Person on a cliff.

Ready to embark on your own coding journey?

If you’re new to coding or are just considering switching careers to the tech industry, you may be wondering what this all means for you. If you’re from the San Francisco area or are considering moving to Silicon Valley, these skills could make all the difference when it comes time to embark on your job hunt.  

As you continue to grow throughout your coding journey, keeping yourself informed of the industry’s latest happenings will be vital to your career success. That’s why we’re here to keep you updated and motivated as you follow your programming goals and prepare yourself to break into tech! 

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