What skills does a developer need to grow in a career?

03 Oct 2019

Software development is one of the fastest-growing specialty fields in the world. With the growth of IT fields, the requirements for a developer grow as well. Often, the requirements are not only about technical skills but also interpersonal skills, which state how people can work in a team and do it effectively.

The demand for software developers exists in every industry. A recent study found that companies worth at least $10 billion had something in common. They all need more programmers. In fact, for 9 out of the 10 companies analyzed, software development jobs are the highest in demand.

So, what makes software developers unique? Let us break down the fundamental skills a developer needs to become successful.

1. Certification / Qualification

It is generally required that a developer holds a basic degree in software development, web development, or any other related field. Furthermore, developers need to know how to build something from scratch and integrate changes into existing software. This requires strong coding skills.

2. Problem-solving and Logical thinking

Being a software engineer requires structured thinking, as well as the ability to think outside the box for the best answer. In programming, even the smallest of errors can lead to problems, and if a developer can’t solve problems, they might not succeed in developing software. Taking this into account, a developer should be ready to learn new technology in a limited time, to be able to decompose tasks into smaller pieces, and to determine simple solutions for complex tasks.

3. Developing “Soft Skills”

Becoming a software developer involves more than just writing code. They need to leverage other skills to become an effective person in their workplace and earn more money. A major one is “soft skills.” Simply put, they are interpersonal personality traits that help people to collaborate and interact with others effectively. Luckily, like all skills, they can be learned.

They include:

  • Patience and attention to details
    Software developers may need to locate and identify even the smallest glitch in seemingly endless lines of coding to fix an issue so, extreme attention to detail and patience is necessary for programming and fixing problems.

  • Written communication
    A developer should talk well and clearly express his/her thoughts. But in disciplined environments, it is also essential for the programmers to have the ability to put their thoughts in writing precisely. This ability helps them in raising their voice at the right time and in the proper manner.

  • Teaching
    Even if a developer does not consider themselves an “expert,” teaching is an important skill to have. They may end up teaching others about a topic they are more knowledgeable about and perhaps learn a thing or two in the process.

  • Teamwork
    This is essential even for remote software developers. The ability to work well on a team, communicate effectively, and have the desire to learn new skills are critical traits for a well-rounded software developer. As an engineer, they should be able to articulate project needs, as well as be able to discuss any challenges or problems that arise. A successful engineer should be comfortable working closely with others, compromising, and innovating as needed.

  • Business-savvy
    As a software developer, he/she needs to understand where they fit inside a business and do what they can to increase the bottom line. This is key to a business’s growth, and it can help take their career further.

  • Curiosity
    Curiosity is a strong fuel for new inventions and self-development. Experimenting helps to discover new solutions and gather valuable experience while testing the assumptions.

Today, soft skills are becoming hard skills as it is not enough to be highly-skilled in a technical field. To stand out among hundreds of others, a developer needs to build his/her personal brand and show expertise. The need for software developers is not going away anytime soon, so master those skills as quickly as possible.

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