7 Essential Skills To Become A Software Developer
With freshmen arriving at universities around the world and some of them in hopes of joining the wonders of computer science and programming, this is the perfect opportunity to introduce students to the must haves of a software developer. Afterall, software development jobs are still in high demand and it makes total sense to consider this career for yourself.
Obviously, you can also pursue a self taught career. In that case, don’t worry, this article was also made for you!
So let’s break down the basic skills you need to succeed as a software developer:
Mathematical Aptitude & Problem Solving Skills
Software development might require algorithmic work, solving complex problems with graph theories or even look out for trees, which means that a good mathematical background or at least, a basic understanding of such methods is key to performing well as a programmer. In programming, smallest errors can lead to big problems, requiring the developer to have structured thinking and constantly challenging himself outside the box!
Coding / Programming Skills
This one is pretty obvious: computer programming is essential. You must be able to build something from scratch but also improve and change existing software, which asks for a strong familiarity with programming languages and operating systems. You might feel more comfortable and enticed by a specific one and it’s great if you can master it, but don’t forget that ideally, you should be comfortable with several of them and keep up as they evolve.
If you can develop your mobile development skills, even better. Getting comfortable with mobile development gives you an advantage considering that companies are becoming increasingly mobile-focused and looking for developers able to build apps and navigate mobile operating systems.
Organisational & Time Management Skills
You might hear from some developers that these are probably the most important skills right after programming. Organizational and Time management are crucial whether we talk about it on the big spectrum (project management) or in the individual one (your time management).
Stakeholders will ask for estimates. Your boss will ask for estimates. Your project manager will ask for estimates. Time is everything, so practicing and improving your organizational and time management skills while you study to get certified as a programmer.
Accuracy & Attention To Detail
Be attentive and extensively run through your work. Software developers are problem solvers and sometimes the problem is the tiniest glitch that’s messing around with lines and lines of coding.
Practicing bug fixing will help you get more comfortable with it when it’s time to do it in a professional context. You can see some of our advice on the matter on one of our previous blog posts.
Understanding Trends & Roles in a Commercial Environment
Understanding where you fit inside a business, what you can do to help and the latest trends is also a plus. Not that you have to do business mandatorily (that’s also an option if you have that entrepreneurial spirit), if nothing else in order to understand which skills you have to improve and the trends that will be thriving in the near future.
Although people tend to ignore soft skills, they’re extremely valuable and just like programming languages, they’re something you can learn and practice. As a software developer you’ll work on a team and interpersonal skills are an essential part of the job. Effective communication must become one of your priorities when pursuing this career.
Self development and innovation are fueled by the same secret ingredient: curiosity. Curiosity fuels self improvement and will make you stand out from the competition. Keep that sense sharp and don’t stop challenging yourself!
It would be silly to consider this is the complete and ultimate list of skills a software developer must have (there’s a lot more to it) but this is a good starting point.
If you’re a software developer, let us know what might be missing from the list! And if you’re just starting your journey, make sure you keep these advice. Good luck!
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