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Blockchain Again Reigns as Hottest Freelancer Skill

Freelancing Web site Upwork said blockchain is again the hottest technology on its quarterly skills index, marking the first time a skill has ranked No. 1 twice.

The Upwork Skills Index ranks the site's 20 fastest-growing skills every quarter, revealing new and emerging skills while, the site says, providing real-time validation of current trends in the labor market and tech industry.

Development-related skills are in high demand, and obviously the hottest trend right now is blockchain, which uses cryptography to securely track a growing list of records (blocks), widely known for providing a digitized, decentralized, public ledger of all cryptocurrency transactions, among many other applications.

"Blockchain (a decentralized way to record information digitally) shows huge potential for businesses, causing a spike in demand for experts familiar with the technology," Upwork said. "A recent Deloitte survey found that 74 percent of all respondents said their organizations see a 'compelling business case' for the use of blockchain."

Indeed, that Deloitte survey said, "Momentum is shifting from a focus on learning and exploring the potential of the technology to identifying and building practical business applications."

Coincidentally, one of the organizations doing just that, Google Cloud Platform (GCP) -- which recently announced support of distributed ledger technology (DLT) -- ranked No. 2 on the new skills index.

Other development-related Top 10 skills on the index (which measures more than 5,000 skills across a variety of industries) include Google App Engine API (No. 7), GitLab (No. 9) and Go development (No. 10). Further down the list are development-related skills such as Apple UIKit, TensorFlow, Apple Xcode, Node.js, Scala development and more.

Upwork said new Google developments in particular are causing an increased demand for programmers.

"Specialists for TensorFlow (No. 13) (Google's machine learning platform for the masses) continue to be in high-demand as companies leverage the framework to build natural language processing apps, recommendation engines, image recognition software and other applications powered by machine learning," Upwork said. "There was also notable demand for developers with expertise in Node.js (No. 19) (a popular runtime environment), which Google Cloud announced support for in its App Engine (a fully-managed application platform that lets you deploy web and mobile applications without worrying about the infrastructure). As a result, Google's App Engine API (No. 7) also saw tremendous growth."

Here's the Top 20 in full:
  1. Blockchain
  2. Google Cloud Platform
  3. Volusion
  4. Risk management
  5. Product photography
  6. Rapid prototyping
  7. Google App Engine API
  8. SCORM
  9. GitLab
  10. Go development
  11. Apple UIKit
  12. Enterprise architecture
  13. TensorFlow
  14. Atlassian Confluence
  15. Apple Xcode
  16. eLearning
  17. Customer retention
  18. Articulate storyline
  19. Node.js
  20. Scala development

The full 2018 Q2 index report can be seen here.

About the Author

David Ramel is the editor of Visual Studio Magazine.

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