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According to the January Dice Report, demand for technology professionals remains high, especially in specialized areas such as security, mobile development, and DevOps. The Dice Hiring Survey asked employers to name the most challenging talent to hire in 2016, resulting in the following list (ranked sequentially, with software developer counting as hardest-to-hire).

1. Software Developer

Developers are responsible for building, testing, and road-mapping software. That means writing and maintaining code throughout the software lifecycle, including updates. Developers must also find and fix any bugs, a time-consuming (and critical) process. But what differentiates a typical developer from a great one? Those who are unafraid to learn on the job, manage their careers aggressively (which means keeping up-to-date on skills), and effectively schedule their time have a good chance of standing out from the pack.

2. Java Professional              

As the name suggests, these jobs involve developing code via Java, an object-oriented programming language. Java can run on platforms without recompiling; it was also the top programming language of 2015, according to TIOBE, which is probably a contributing factor to why it ranked so highly here. Next up: Security and .NET (Click below)

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3. Security    

The high-profile security breaches of the past few years have all but assured a correspondingly healthy market for security professionals who can discover and eliminate vulnerabilities within IT infrastructure. That demand, in turn, has made it harder for employers to find and hire experienced security professionals who don’t already have a job.

4. .NET    

Developed by Microsoft, .NET is a framework with a large class library (known as the Framework Class Library, or FCL), useful in everything from databases and cryptography to Web app development and network communications. There’s been a lot of debate over the years about .NET as a platform (especially in comparison with PHP), but its traditional linkage with Windows has ensured a broad range of users. Next up: Software Engineer and Mobile (click below) shutterstock_270830714

5. Software Engineer                                                    

Software engineers design, develop, and maintain software. Although many people often use ‘developer’ and ‘engineer’ interchangeably, there’s an argument to be made that they’re actually quite different. ‘Engineering’ generally denotes the creation of a complex system, from prototyping through production (and testing), whereas ‘development’ or ‘programming’ can describe anything from a major system-build to shaping an individual app component. That being said, many job postings treat the terms as synonymous.

6. Mobile      

Everybody (and every company) seems to have a mobile app in the works, if they haven’t released one years ago. While there are a lot of tech pros out there with mobile-development aptitude, the rapid growth in smartphone usage assures a continuing need for experienced ones, especially if they have iOS and Google Android skills. Next up: DevOps and Big Data (click below)

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7. DevOps  

Employees tasked with DevOps oversee the collaboration between developers and other groups, collectively working to build out a company’s software roadmap. In theory, a strong DevOps presence helps speed up development, from testing and troubleshooting to software release.

8. Big Data

The amount of information stored in company databases has exploded over the past several years, tasking firms large and small with the unenviable task of attempting to wrangle and analyze it for market insights. Although Apache Hadoop has attracted a massive amount of media attention as a go-to framework for analytics, companies have been slow to adopt that particular platform, according to analysts; anyone interested in pursuing Big Data as a career should develop working knowledge of as many frameworks and analytic software platforms as possible. Next up: Database Administrator and Software Architect (click below) shutterstock_189550079 (1)

9. Database Administrator      

Database Administrators (DBAs) aren’t doomed, despite the rise of software that’s automated many of the profession’s tasks. Tasked with everything from optimizing software to figuring out the best way to manage and store company information, DBAs must work daily to making sure their data maintains its integrity. Knowledge of cloud-based platforms is also essential as more companies take their database functions off-premises.

10. Software Architect      

Software architects aren’t just assigned to building on-premises software. The task has gotten much more complex in recent years with the increasing ubiquity of the cloud, which means architects must deal on a daily basis with a bewildering combination of on-premises, hybrid, and cloud-based platforms. While it’s not a new role within companies, it’s evolving very rapidly, with a focus on aspects such as system configuration and software deployment. Relevant technologies include Puppet, Chef, Ansible, and SaltStack, all of which assist in configuration management, one of the key elements of most software-architect jobs.