Most Important Tech and IT Skills Needed to Land a Remote Job

It’s no secret that tech skills are the most highly in-demand jobs on the market. This applies even more so for remote jobs, where digital activities make up the majority of remote opportunities.

While creative remote jobs like writing and graphic design offer plenty of work-from-home opportunities, they tend to pale in both quantity and compensation compared to the remote tech sector. There are a gajillion remote-friendly tech jobs, and most of them pay well.

Want to get started with a stable and lucrative remote tech job? These are the tech skills to look out for.

Software Engineering

Some people call it “programming”, “development”, or simply “coding”. All of these terms refer to the same thing: building software by writing code.

Software engineering (development) jobs are the most common remote jobs that you’ll encounter. Big name companies like Amazon, Google and Facebook are only the tip of the iceberg, as there are thousands of small-to-medium sized businesses that need software engineers, too.

A software engineer typically works alongside a product manager, designers, and other engineers in order to build software like websites, video games, and more.

Responsibilities of a Software Engineer

While a software engineer has many responsibilities, they spend most of their time writing code using a programming language in order to build software functionality, or fix bugs in software. Each programming language excels at a particular type of software development.

Secondary responsibilities include reviewing code and planning out future software functionality.

Common Programming Languages used by Software Engineers

Among the many programming languages a software engineer will use, these are the most common:

Javascript

Javascript is the language of the web– nearly all websites use it in some capacity. Node.js is a Javascript runtime environment for creating general applications– typically backend services. React.js, Angular, and Vue.js are popular front-end Javascript frameworks for building web user interfaces.

Python

Python has the largest codebase for open-source machine learning and artificial intelligence applications. Python frameworks like TensorFlow are popular for general machine learning applications. OpenCV is a cutting-edge computer-vision framework written in Python for intelligently analyzing images for applications like self-driving cars.

Java

Java is used for Android development and general software development. Spring is a common Java framework for building backend REST APIs. Using the free Android Studio code editor software, you can build Android apps using Java.

Golang

Golang is a relatively new programming language created by Google engineers. As the backbone for many modern high-performance web services, Golang is a simple-yet-powerful language that is evolving to support a wider range of software types.

C++

C++ is a tried-and-true legacy language that tends to be reserved for high-performance applications like 3D graphical software, or embedded systems that are used in many every-day electronics like cars, digital watches, and washing machines.

System Administrator

After a digital system is designed and built, someone needs to maintain it. That’s where a system administrator comes in.

There are a good number of system administrator remote jobs out there, however “system administrator” is more of an umbrella term referring to database, network and web administrators, holistically.

Responsibilities of a System Administrator

While a software engineer builds software, a system administrator works with existing software to solve organizational problems.

Types of System Administrators

There are several different types of system administrators including:

Database Administrator

Data is one of the critical aspects of modern life. Whether you do a search on Google, check your bank account balance, or read an email– all of that data exists on a virtual database.

A database administrator typically knows a database query language such as SQL, which allows them to build databases, search the database for data, and manipulate data within the database.

Because of the massive amount of data that can be accumulated by a database, special skills and consideration is required by the database administrator in order to optimize the database’s structure for high performance through forward-thinking design.

Network Administrator

In order for the internet to exist, there is a complex network of systems that seamlessly communicate together through protocols, switches and routers. Even a smaller scale network– like one found at a university or corporate facility– can become fairly complex when security is a consideration.

A network administrator has the skills and knowledge to build secure networks for organizations, and debug network issues that may arise. Setting up network hardware, firewalls, and user accounts for sharing files and emails is a core part of what a network administrator does on a daily basis.

There are certification programs from Cisco and CWNA that provide training for those in pursuit of this career path.

Web Administrator

Websites are typically composed by combining multiple pre-built applications with code in order to form a single user-facing application. A web administrator (AKA webmaster) is familiar with numerous web components, such as PHP, Apache, Nginx, Node.js, and more. Some light programming experience is required to be a competent web admin.

DevOps Engineer

When it comes to building software, there is a pipeline that most software development teams follow: write the code, test the code, and deploy the code. A DevOps engineer helps to make the pipeline more efficient so that the organization can release and improve their digital product faster with fewer bugs.

As DevOps is also an umbrella term, DevOps remote jobs might be titled as SRE (Site Reliability) Engineer or Infrastructure Engineer. It’s not uncommon for the role of System Administrator and DevOps to intercept in some ways.

Responsibilities of a DevOps Engineer

There are several primary duties that DevOps engineer fulfills within an organization:

Build CI/CD Workflows

Continuous Integration and Continuous Development refers to the process of a software engineer merging their code into the codebase, which triggers a series of automated actions, without the need for manual interference.

During the automated part of the workflow, a number of actions might occur, such as “linting” to check code style, performing any unit tests or integration tests, and building the final deliverable, such as a binary or docker image. Platforms like Github provide a means to implement these kinds of automated systems.

Test Automation

As a software becomes more complex, testing the functionality for regressions (bugs) becomes more important. While software engineers can write handwritten unit tests, that can become time-consuming.

A DevOps engineer may be tasked with creating automated tests using a framework like Selenium or Puppeteer. Such automated tests allow for simulating mouse clicks and keyboard typing like a human, so that new bugs can be discovered and fixed as quickly as possible.

Manage Infrastructure

Once code is written, tested and ready to be deployed, then the topic of infrastructure becomes important. Where exactly is the code being deployed to?

For public-facing production web applications, it’s not uncommon for AWS (Amazon Web Services), Digital Ocean, or Google Cloud to be chosen for hosting the services for the applications. A DevOps engineer is usually familiar with one or more of these platforms, and how to manage deployed services via Docker containerization and perhaps an orchestration platform like Kubernetes.

Final Thoughts

The world of tech and IT is a fascinating and lucrative one. Once you have the skills and experience, there is no shortage of remote job opportunities that can be had.

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