Finding ideal learning paths to become skilled IT professionals

A story about teaching developers: Node, React and PWA

Since 2020 we have supported The Little Music School on Frederiksberg in developing their IT organisation and new business areas. Moving from only doing inhouse development to having a professionel IT organisation, that delivers outsourced frontend development and progressive web app development for other customers. Two of the three young immigrant and refugees that were educated still work for the little music school and the third developer found full time employment near Esbjerg were he lives with his family. The Little Music school started two new business areas with locale booking on Bulowsvej 10 and outsourced development in Leonardo Udvikling.

Recently an old colleague in my professional network asked the question, how companies attract skilled developers, in a job market where skilled developers are being contacted by headhunters on a weekly basis.

My old colleague asked, if some technologies are more popular and therefore make it easier to attract developers to your company or if the companies story and purpose are more important.

If the only tool you have is a hammer,
you will start treating all your problems like a nail

I have been developing for 37 years in more than 20 different programming languages and for me they all have their purpose and I would always choose the best tool for the job. What is the best tool for the job often depends on your functionality requirements, time and budget. The time and budget might make you more biased to choose a known technology, rather than the best fit for the given functionality requirements.

There are many articles on the most in demand programming languages and some articles on the most preferred technologies.

The top 5 most loved programming languages:
JavaScript, Python, Java, Node.js and TypeScript. 

The top 5 most loved databases:
MySQL, PostgreSQL, SQLite, MongoDB and MS SQL server. 

Luckily for developers, there is some overlap with the most loved and most in demand technologies. Since ECMAScript 6 (ES6) was released in 2015 with functional programming, the npm modules for NodeJS has grown to 4 times that of the next largest module library Maven for Java (see and select period all time).

Looking back at the last 25 years, what I have learned is that the open architecture and accessibility of web applications like progressive web apps, will in the end always win over more closed technologies like native apps.

Therefore I teach young developers best practices in the context of Node, React and Progressive Web Apps (PWA). JavaScript and Python are in my opinion great languages to teach new developers and to move some frontend developers to be full stack developers, that understand architecture, performance, databases, devops and hosting at scale.

In the current job market it is very hard to find skilled IT professionals, with 7.000 open job positions. Instead of tring to attract the same IT professionals like everyone else, you should find young developers, that have the right mindset and are quick learners and then we can help develop them to IT professionals. Developers are still mostly men, but there are just as many women with the right mindset, who can develop your applications. Women tend to be more motivated by purpose and social context, so its your companies job to explain how they can have a positive impact on society by working for your company.

Non profit organizations like HackYourFuture, give immigrants and refugees and other people with little access to the job market a basic frontend developer education for free. You as a company must still fill the gap for them to become experienced full stack developers, but with good guidance this can be achieved in 6-9 months. The education AspIT is a three year education for young people with Aspergers that has several periods of internship in companies, that will allow you to find a talented new employee.

My point here is that companies need to keep an open mind and try to find people that in a short time can grow into the role you are trying to fill. Having a new employee grow into a role, will allow you to influence their mindset to best match your team spirit.

I my work I help companies educate young frontend developers to be full stack developers and later perhaps solution architect or team lead. I worked as product manager with product ideas, research and development in both large software innovations companies and small agile companies, but now I focus on educating IT professionals.

Thanks for reading this article

Regards Nikolaj

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