Let Prospective Employers Know You are Keeping Your Skills Current

by Brian Skory

Who knew that 80% of money transfers and 95% of ATM swipes are still powered by programs written in COBOL? This is very good news for retired COBOL programmers who want to keep doing a bit of work. It is also good news for younger developers who learned to program in COBOL to take some of the load off of the dwindling pool of retirees--and are making $100.00/hour . But for the rest of us, prospective employers will be looking for something a little more recent on our resumes.

Specifically, many Dev Managers are depending on new hires to bring some fresh perspective to the team and provide insight into the quickly-evolving technology landscape. As such, you’ll want to highlight any exposure that you’ve had to some of the more recent technologies.

Have you been dabbling in some of the newer JavaScript frameworks? Jeff Atwood, co-founder of Stack Overflow said, “Any application that can be written in JavaScript will eventually be written in JavaScript.” Even if only for personal projects, any programming in JavaScript or associated frameworks such as Angular, React, Ember and Backbone should be noted on your resume. If you have been playing around with Apache Cordova or React Native for mobile development, make a note of that.

Python is a language that we’ve recently been seeing more demand for. Besides our own clients’ increased interest in this language, I’ve seen that NASA and Google (where Python creator, Guido van Rossum, was employed for eight years) are developing some projects in Python. I know that many of Stout’s candidates have been developing in Python for their personal projects. Whether you’ve used it personally or commercially, be sure to note it on your resume.

Some other languages that employers will likely be seeking more and more of, and paying more and more for, include Mozilla’s Rust, Ruby, Elixir, Scala and R. We are beginning to see this ourselves at Stout Systems.

So, even if you happened to start your career as a COBOL programmer, unless that's the role you are applying for, be sure to look for opportunities to gain experience in the above languages and frameworks and highlight that experience on your resume.

If you're looking for work, please submit your resume or browse our job board to determine if you are a match for a job that we have available.

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