What skills does a Software Developer need to have?

To get a job as a Software Developer, you need to learn a series of hard and soft skills.

Hard skills required by a Software Developer include: 

  • Having programming knowledge in an OOP language like Java, C++, C#, etc 
  • Ability to work across all operating systems like Linux and Windows 
  • Able to learn new languages and tools quickly (for example: if you know one version of Java and then move to another company that uses a different version like J2EE, or JBOSS, you need to learn it quickly and adapt)
  • You should be good in math, data structure, algorithms, networking, and database concepts
  • Software testing concepts 

Soft skills required by a Software Developer include: 

  • Attention to detail
  • Ability to work in a team
  • Good communication skills (speaking and writing)
  • Willingness to learn new things on an ongoing basis, which includes reading programming books, attending seminars, webcasts, etc. You should also be willing to travel for conferences and other Software Developer events
  • Ability to cope with pressure and tight deadlines
  • Eagerness to learn new technologies quickly 

Having an analytical mindset will help you become a better Software Developer. You need to be able to break down complex problems into their individual components. For example, if an application has a specific issue, you should be able to understand how the different modules are working together so that you know which part of the code is causing the problem. 

How can someone learn essential Software Developer skills?

To become a Software Developer, you need to start by learning a programming language. There are various programming languages and countless pathways to understanding them, so pick what works for you (some people teach themselves how to code, while others benefit from a course or a form of tutoring). 

Once you decide on a programming language, start working through tutorials and examples so you can get familiar with it. Once you have mastered the basics of the programming language, try to build your own applications that solve real-world problems, as this will demonstrate what you know.

Hays Learning for IT professionals offers free tech courses online across a wide array of topics which can be completed at your own pace.

For the formal education route, you can study information technology, computer science, or a related discipline and then take on a postgraduate course for software development or software engineering. No matter which path you take, you will need to develop a portfolio while you study so you can demonstrate to employers your ability to solve problems with what you know. 

What qualifications does a Software Developer need to have?

To get an entry-level role as a Software Developer, qualifications needed are typically only a bachelor’s degree in a related field like computer science. More senior positions may require an advanced degree. In addition, you will need good knowledge of the programming language and tools that the application is using - depending on what industry you’re working in - and how they work together. 

If you choose to pursue a postgraduate qualification like a Master of Computer Applications or an MBA with a concentration in information technology, it can help you build on your software development skills and knowledge, which is likely to help you land a senior position.

Do you need to go to Uni to be a Software Developer? No, you don’t need to go to university as you can demonstrate experience in software development on your own. However, a degree will likely make it easier for you to land your first job. 

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How can a Software Developer upskill throughout their career?

As you advance in your career, you can advance your knowledge of software development by doing things like reading books and attending seminars to learn new programming languages or tools. You should also be flexible in terms of skills; if you are working with an application written in C++ and the company moves to Java, you will likely need to pick up Java quickly.

Many people like to keep an eye on the latest advancements in technology by keeping abreast of blogs or websites that offer software development tutorials; you can also join online groups with other developers in your industry. With all these resources at your fingertips, you should always be ready for when a new opportunity arises.

Traditionally, upskilling has been a costly and time-consuming process for many IT professionals. Luckily, Hays Learning, brought to you in partnership with Go1, is frequently updated with new online courses that you can use to brush up on the most in-demand skills. Start now for free

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