Web Developer Hot Skills 2013

I graduated college in 2003 and my first job out of school was a combination of development and IT. Of the development I did, only a portion could have been considered web development. My second job was also a mix. Finally, my third job has been 100% web development, which is where I'd like to stay for many years. I consider myself having about 5 years of solid web development experience, though I've been building sites since 2000.

I often wish I could take some of the skills I've gathered over the years and trade them in for a more focused skill set. That is, trade the time spent on Java and replace with Ruby, trade my knowledge of .NET for more Rails chops, trade my Android skills for iOS, Flash for JavaScript, etc.

In the end here is my ideal skill set for 2013:


HTML and CSS is an absolute must.  Fortunately, my skills are solid here.


Time spent improving JavaScript skills is time well-spent.  I have mid-level JavaScript skills, which I hope to continue improving through 2013.

Ruby on Rails

I have server side experience in Java, .Net, and PHP.  The Rails community has been the hot community for several years and will continue to lead the way on the server side.  I love the platform and the direction it is moving, and it tends to be the platform of choice for  the types of projects I like to work on.  I have one project underway and hope to build on my novice set of skills in both Ruby and Rails through 2013.

WordPress and Associated PHP Skills

WordPress is to content sites, what Ruby on Rails is to web applications - the best tool for the job.  I have strong WordPress skills and am thankful for them.  I hope to continue improving my WordPress skills in 2013.


Okay so iOS isn't necessarily web development.  However, mobile development is clearly the future, and iOS is clearly a more valuable skill set in 2013 than Android.  I spent a lot of time over the past year and a half learning the Android platform, mostly because I have plenty of Java experience.  I wish I could have spent that time on iOS instead.  Perhaps my experience there is a blog post for another time.

Written by Alex Brinkman who lives and works in Denver, but plays in the mountains.