my skills of the future: web coding

One thing I try to be cognizant of as my career starts to move forward is what skills are going to be in demand in the future. I don’t want to be awesome in Windows XP, only to find myself someday outdated like so many Windows 98 admins. Not that I support Windows XP on a desktop level right now, but that is just an illustration.
A manager just emailed out an Excel document that has maps of our building and numbers pointing to all our conference rooms (about a dozen) because people tend to ask, “Where is such-and-such room?”
It occurred to me how appropriate this issue could be solved by a web developer who knows his stuff. Carve out a small section of an intranet, tackle the issue, code up a solution, present it, and voila, a one-stop web-enabled location so that people don’t have to save a tomorrow-oudated spreadsheet “hack” of a solution that might be located at some mysterious location on a file server that I may or may not have access to.
Web application coding skills are amazingly useful and awesome these days. And the work is rather exciting when you can focus down on it and really pursue it as a team that can teach each other. Gone are the days when any stay-at-home kid could pick up a few clients and create cheesy web pages using straight HTML. Now, real web design skills are in demand and needed, coupled with code that more and more resembles actual programming languages in operation, suitable to those who can think in that way (not just make pretty pictures in Paint and arrange them in tables with possibly some database backend code in php…). .Net, Java, Ruby, Python, Ajax.
In fact, before I was in IT I wanted to become a web developer. That was my idea when I switched my majors into MIS 2.5 years into college and graduated with thoughts of making web pages for a living. Thankfully, I’ve had opportunities elsewhere to expand myself, but I still appreciate web development.
Someday, a ways down the road, I can still see myself satisfying my coding bug and doing some more web coding and application coding. I would love to be able to just throw out a quick solution to problems using an internal web site. Given experience and practice, that kind of stuff is amazingly easy and simple to do (ongoing support is always the hard thing). And with web and application security the hot topic for the year in security, this makes sense from that viewpoint as well.
However, for now, I want to remain grounded and focused where I want. Right now I am directing my career towards networking and security, moving towards certifications and learning networking since it is still something I’m working on, plus learning Linux and more deep security topics and pursuits. I’ve also decided I want to make sure I know wireless security as a specialty, as I believe the future is in wireless and mobility. Web coding as a major focus has simply been pushed aside a bit for now…but someday I’d love to dive back in and learn the new stuff.
I must say, if an opportunity opened up right now in an exciting and competitively-paying (for junior level) company to start learning and participating in Ruby or Ajax development, I would seriously think about it.