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Weekly Recap: Hot IT skills for 2014, Blackberry’s demise, and more…

EducationEvery week, I share the most interesting and useful tech articles that I’ve found over the past week. This week’s top articles focus on hot IT skills for 2014, the demise of Blackberry, and more. I hope you find them useful:

Blackberry agrees to sell itself for a measly $5 billion
In a bit of sad news this week, Blackberry agreed to sell itself for $4.7 billion (at press time, though there’s rumblings the deal might fall through), ending the company’s rapid decline over the past few years. If $4.7 billion sounds like a lot of money (which it is), consider that the company was worth $77 billion just 5 years ago.

If anything, this speaks to the volatility of the mobile market. If I had told you 6 years ago that Blackberry–who owned the market at the time–would decline so rapidly, you’d think I was crazy. This also speaks to the dangers of building native business apps. Considering that an average native mobile app will cost you anywhere from $50,000 – $150,000, do you really want to make that sort of investment on a platform that may or may not exist in 5 years? I don’t. If you’d like to learn more on the dangers of building native apps for business, check out this paper.

8 hot IT skills for 2014
Computerworld’s annual Forecast survey (once again) finds that programming/application development is the hottest skill going into 2014. Frankly, it’s not surprising. A recent Forrester study claims that custom software development will set companies apart in the future. As software continuously takes a larger role in business, more companies are using development to gain a strategic advantage. The hard part: Finding developers with modern skills. As outlined in this article, development is changing, along with the skills that developers must now possess.

CIOs as Chief Innovation Officers
In the coming years, we’ll see CIOs shift from tactical roles to strategic roles. As technology plays a larger role in business, and users become more tech-savvy, CIOs will move from supporting users to driving innovation.

Software engineer explains why he swore off the .NET platform
Here’s an interesting article on the pitfalls of .NET for enterprise use, complete with the predictable programming language war in the comments. I mention this because we faced this decision about 10 years ago in developing m-Power, and also decided against .NET. We outlined our journey to Java in this whitepaper, complete with a Java vs. .NET comparison chart.