7 skills for IT fame and fortune

The Top 7 skills that could help you not only keep your job, but secure an even better new job!

Writing secure code

Every developer writes code, but not every developer writes secure code. While it's not a skill many managers understand (or others, for that matter), developers who can not only write secure code but also mentor and teach other developers how to create secure code can be an invaluable team member.

Writing secure code is more than just worrying about obscure buffer-overflow attacks or race conditions. You've obviously seen by now my theme that more and more applications are Web apps, and increasingly those are also becoming SaaS applications in many cases. Web attacks are in the forefront of risks where good, secure software-development practices need to be applied. SQL injection, cross-site scripting, magic URLs and hidden forms, data leakage prevention, securing Web services, and bad implementations of SSL are all examples of security issues that software development must consider and accommodate when writing secure code.

If you're looking for some good resources to get you started down the path of creating secure code, I'd recommend two books 19 Deadly Sins of Software Security by Howard, LeBlanc and Viega, and Web Services Security by O'Neill.

QA automation and metrics

If you're a QA person, you've got a special place in my heart. If you're a QA person who lives to automate QA testing, capture metrics and use that data to improve software development and QA practices, then you've got a special place in heaven! As you can tell, I place a lot of value on high-quality QA skills, particularly those skilled practitioners who not only find all those nasty software bugs before any software gets out the door, but also know how to highly automate testing and use the knowledge gained to improve how software is created in the process. Software developers might be the lead singers and guitar players in the band, but as any experienced musician knows, it's the drums and bass that make or break the band. I like to say; love developers, and trust QA. (Actually, I love QA people too.)

Want to make yourself indispensable as a QA person? Automate, automate, automate. The best projects I've worked on had tests automated well into the upper 90%'s, and tests were run hundreds and hundreds of times before the software shipped. Now, that's what I call regression testing! New functionality might be tested manually, but tests were always automated before design was done on the next software release. That's about the only way CTOs and VPs of engineering are ever able get any sleep. Now, take that one step further and provide your peers, technical leaders and management with learnings and insights you're gaining from all that testing and you'll reach nirvana status in my book. The knowledge that's contained in all those test results can take even the best development organizations to new heights.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Mitchell Ashley

Network World
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?