More Tech Skills Headed to the “Bone Pile”

Design trends that are now a thing of the past are the subject of a previous post on this weblog. Though to no one’s surprise, here are 10 IT skills to add to the obsolete list:

Many of the changes are a result in how data is being accessed today, for example, mobile devices are being used for well over half of all internet access and the growth of cloud computing, are making a major impact. Also, of course, many changes can be attributed to the mere passage of time.

  1. Windows XP/Windows Server 2003 – As time marches on, operating systems reach the end of their life cycles. Microsoft has officially announced that by July 2015, it will no longer support Windows Server 2003. It really should be no surprise, after all, much has transpired since April of 2003, and even more so with Windows XP (IMHO, one of the all-time best Windows Operating Systems), launched in 2001, whose support ended in 2013 after 12 years. In addition to no longer being supported by their own creator, these operating systems are no longer compatible with the large expanse of newly created applications, the number of which grows by leaps and bounds every day.

  2. Silverlight – Why? Refer to item # 3. Silverlight was the Microsoft response to Macromedia’s (later Adobe) Flash for use with the it’s own apps from Windows Store, and for Windows mobile platforms.

  3. Adobe Flash – In 2011, following the introduction of HTML 5, Adobe ended support of mobile platforms as websites moved towards HTML 5. The heyday for Flash has come to pass, hence being superseded by Adobe AIR for desktop, mobile, as well as gaming platforms.

  4. COBOL, FORTRAN and other languages commonly used in mainframe environments – No news here either. Once the industry standards, coding has transitioned to object-oriented languages (OOL) including ObjectiveC, Java, C++ and C#.

  5. Lotus Notes Administrator – Lotus Notes, acquired by IBM in 1995, once a leader in business collaboration platforms, has lost its relevance due to migration to cloud hosted email, free services such as Gmail, MSN and Yahoo, as well as open source client/server solutions.

  6. Novell GroupWise Administrator – For the same reasons as those listed above, Novell’s GroupWise platform, which interfaced with MS Exchange Server, Active Directory and IBM’s Domino, will soon be an extinct office suite.

  7. Traditional Telephony – With the use of PBX technology long being on the decline, replaced by mobile platforms, VoIP-enabled phones and collaborative communications platforms such as Microsoft Lync (soon to be Skype for Business), OpenTouch by Alcatel-Lucent and Cisco’s WebWx, traditional telephony is soon to be another historic relic.

  8. Server-only Administrator skills – Port forwarding, shared hosting, and the rise of cloud computing Paas are key factors in the replacement of physical servers with virtual ones, thereby affecting server set-up, configuration and administration. Demonstrating the validity of “Moore’s Law”, storage space continues to become smaller, cheaper and greater in capacity, changing and even eliminating the job requirements of the server administrator.

  9. Help Desk Technicians/Level 1 Support – The rise of outsourcing is shifting the technical support burden to outside organizations, many being over-seas, and created less demand for help desk and support personnel.

  10. PC Repair Technicians – With the rise in popularity of tablets and mobile devices rapidly replacing PCs and laptops in the marketplace, the need for fixing hardware has diminished significantly, especially with Apple and Android products. Apple has an ideology of creating components that cannot be opened, and Android is relatively cheap, making it more feasible to replace devices with newer and oftentimes better ones rather than fix them.

Source: 10 IT Skills That Are Becoming Obsolete by Esther Shein.

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