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What Skills do Software Engineers Need?

9 months ago by Daryl Riley

What Skills do Software Engineers Need?

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Whether you are simply looking to make a decision in your career, in your studies or you wish to optimise your Curriculum Vitae or prepare for an interview - scroll down to get a good grasp of the skills needed in software engineering.  

Software engineering is part of computer science and Information technology degrees. It encompasses the design, development and testing/ maintenance of the software.

The skills required for a successful career in software engineering can be divided into three categories:

#1 Technical Skills

Most of those willing to grow and have a successful career in software engineering will need to master the technical or “hard” skills required for the position. There are a few competences that every engineer will need to focus on independently of their specification. Software engineering goes hand in hand with strong programming languages skills and knowledge of a couple of them, such as; JavaScript, Java, Python, C, C#/ .Net or Ruby, would be enough to progress in your field.

In addition, software development and testing experience are more and more sought after. That involves the ability to analyse, design and develop software. Companies always appreciate employees with a background in testing and debugging as well, as it offers diversity and the possibility to think ahead of a potential issue. Even if some testing competences would be seen as an advantage for many, there are some organisations who would prefer to have an expert tester in addition to a developer, so they can plan, manage and test the product, letting the developer focus on their role.

#2 Thought Processing Skills

For a lot of software engineering positions, strong problem-solving skills and analytical skills are one way in which employers discern who is the most proficient software engineer amongst all of the available candidates. Software problems can occur frequently which is why strong reasoning and the ability to think outside the box are highly looked after by employers. In addition to those qualities, being able to work under pressure with a cool head will help you progress in your career and deal with any issues you may encounter.

As software engineers often interact with co-workers and clients, their ability to communicate articulately is as important as their programming expertise. Excellent written and verbal communication skills are therefore expected by their employers. Software engineers should also be able to write engaging report presentations and explain their project to a layperson, if needed.

#3 Soft Skills

Soft skills are the common skills used in many careers and shouldn’t be neglected, although some are obviously more useful in some professions than others. Teamwork and experience or understanding of the agile environment, working in practises such as Lean, Scrum or Kanban is always desirable. Software engineers often work in teams, so people who are ready to help their co-workers and listen to criticism to better themselves are likely to succeed.

Curiosity and an eagerness for learning are also strong assets for those willing to work in this field. As technologies change rapidly, with new and better versions coming onto the market, you need to be highly flexible with a willingness to keep yourself up to date.

At Agile Recruit, we specialise in software engineering, get in touch if you are ready to start your journey or if you need any more guidance.