Must-Have Software Engineer Skills
Software engineers develop software products. But who decides what the software should look like? Ordinary technical experts can not do it; the customer can only formulate the task if they know how it can abe done and by what means.
In such situations, you can only do with software engineering skills. Indeed, during the last two-three years, the demand for software engineers has doubled, and the profession is steadily among the top ten most respected on the labor market. In other words, they are bound to be on the team. But who are these professionals, what exactly do they do, what are their responsibilities, and what knowledge should they have?
EXB Soft has a proven track record of launching dedicated teams of highly qualified specialists, so we can tell you how, why, where, and when Software Engineers' skills are used and how to hire a good engineer.
Who is a Software Engineer, Compared to Software Developer?
A software engineer is a person who builds computer programs and applications. They use their knowledge of computers, math, and problem-solving skills to create software that helps people and businesses. They write instructions in computer languages, make sure the software works well, and fix any issues that come up.
Software engineers are often compared to software developers. While both roles involve creating software, there are some differences:
- Focuses on the overall structure and design of the software
- Applies engineering principles to create efficient and reliable software
- May have a more formal education in computer science or engineering
- Concentrates on writing code and implementing specific features
- May be more involved in the day-to-day coding tasks
- Can come from various educational backgrounds and may be self-taught
In simpler terms, a software engineer designs the blueprint for the software, while a software developer builds the software based on that design. However, these roles can overlap, and some professionals may perform tasks from both positions.
Regardless of the field of activity and software developer skills list of primary responsibilities remains approximately the same:
- 1. Analyzing company needs and exploring the capabilities of existing software.
- 2. Planning, developing, implementing, and testing software to meet customer or in-house requirements.
- 3. Testing of prototypes and finished software products, modifying and fixing bugs.
- 4. Management of IT projects and supervision of tasks assigned to the IT department.
- 5. Installation, maintenance, support, and control over software product updates.
- 6. Monitoring of potential threats.
- 7. Identifying opportunities to apply new software solutions.
- 8. Studying and completing technical documentation.
A wide range of tasks implies much more duties and responsibilities. Therefore, the list of most in-demand software engineering skills can be extensive too. Everything or nearly everything depends on the specific tasks that such a specialist is involved in. The immensity, complexity, and, if you wish, uniqueness of the projects and the ambitions of their managers.
What Software Engineer Skills Needed for Work
Every task (and many of them, as we know) of a software engineer requires some knowledge and skills, but he is a specialist of comprehensive profile nevertheless. For instance, he may not write code as well as a great programmer. But he must understand and understand all the subtleties to set up the development process in such a way that the efforts of the entire IT team will be successful.
In doing so, he has a lot more work to do, so he should mostly know the following:
- 2. The principles of operating systems, modern development infrastructure (including cloud computing), and a general data communications protocol model;
- 3. SQL databases and typing;
- 4. Modular development platforms and frameworks JS (Angular, React, Vue), .NET;
- 5. Basics of thematic modeling, algorithmization;
- 6. Agile methodology;
- 7. The process of creating schemes for input, processing, output, and storage of information;
- 8. Algorithms used to solve application problems using appropriate software;
- 9. Current cipher, numbering, and code systems;
- 10. Basic parameters for performing the required calculations and evaluating their results;
- 11. Algorithms for debugging system products and rules for testing software solutions;
- 12. Criteria for evaluating the effectiveness of the results achieve
- 13. Industrial regulations and standards.
The list of software developer-required skills is rather long, if not tremendous. But this is not all. Usually, such baggage of knowledge appears after graduation from a good University. Of course, if a student studied diligently. But no matter how good the knowledge is, without practice/experience, it won't give much, so a real software engineer must be able to do many things:
- 1. Solve commercial development problems efficiently;
- 2. Configure, validate, and test software;
- 3. Interact effectively with other team members and communicate productively during project implementation;
- 4. Select the right language and development environment for a specific solution;
- 5. Develop a variety of products that will be capable of solving customer problems according to the given specifications;
- 6. Correcting previously developed products and solutions;
- 7. Prepare technical documentation, user manuals, etc.
It doesn't matter what language a specialist writes code in, though it is one of the top skills for software engineers. Sooner or later, he will need all the above knowledge and skills; otherwise, he cannot be considered an engineer. And they are the elite, the most helpful part of any IT department.
Each programmer will do his job much better if he knows how the code and functionality he is developing fulfill the tasks set and what problem the software product solves for users and the company. Knowing the subject area of a software product is essential since this is the difference between an engineer and a programmer.
In addition, every good programmer uses the version control system daily. It just so happens that Git is almost a monopoly, as most teams prefer it. Using models based on GIt features has become the standard in team-based development and ensures that team members' repositories are the same and that there are no versioning issues. Furthermore, branching in Git allows you to organize flexible products. Therefore, knowing and being able to use this tool should be on the list of skills for a software engineer.
While there are a lot of requirements, all of the above only apply to hard skills. He needs good personal qualities to work in a team (and he can't work alone, unlike regular programmers).
What soft skills are required?
There is a perception that in software engineering, essential social skills include communication, critical thinking skills, and adaptability. We think (and with good reason - experience) that there should be many more.
As far as engineers are concerned, they are highly educated, well-motivated, and motivated technical intellectuals. If this is the case, then they are inherent (not always and not all), or more precisely, necessary:
- 1. Developed emotional intelligence
- 2. The desire to develop and improve
- 3. Responsibility and self-organization
- 4. Self-organized
- 5. Logical and critical thinking
- 6. Attentiveness
- 7. Mathematical and analytical aptitude
- 8. The ability to learn and teach all the time
- 9. Presentation skills (yes, you need to be able to present your vision of the project, not just perform tasks)
- 10. The ability to work in a team.
It is about something other than friendliness and a positive atmosphere, though not without it, but about the skill to present your opinion to colleagues, the ability to perceive, and the willingness to give feedback. It is more about effective communication.
In addition to the skills of a software engineer, such specialists need stress tolerance, the skill to never be disappointed, the ability to delve deeply into the subject area, and a sense of humor. And you can't do without it! It's also part of your character and one of the most indicative. And it will show whether the person can solve challenging tasks in a complicated or stressful environment. And after all, a software engineer, for the most part, works in just such an environment.
How to Hire Good Software Engineer?
Focus on finding Middle and Senior developers. We intentionally bypass Junior developers. After the first year, they often get washed away in a tremendous financial wave which brings all your efforts to naught, so dealing with them properly is a separate story.
So, to invite a good Middle developer ready to solve complex problems independently, you need to know the main thing - your ideal candidate is looking for a company where they can grow as an engineer. This developer knows well - to 'grow' stronger, he needs to continue improving his technical skills.
The determining factor in choosing a new job for a Middle developer will be the presence of an experienced and robust professional in the team who can share his technical expertise. Therefore, your first task is to find such a person. It is better if they check the software developer skills of a candidate for a job in your company.
The senior developer has closed many engineering tasks during his life, has a stable opinion about all popular technologies, and is faced with a dilemma: to become an architect or to develop his managerial skills. He won't become an architect in your company, so you should allow him to grow into a Team lead.
Such a prospect could reignite the flame of enthusiasm and passion in that developer's chest. In addition, the project, its subject matter, and its benefits to the community are of great importance to the Senior. For this reason, many tasks (e.g., cryptocurrency exchanges) with opaque motives find it extremely difficult to attract strong developers.
To summarize, we offer senior developer career prospects and an exciting project with ambition. During the interview, please pay attention to the way they communicate and their ability to, as they say, keep the punch.
If the person is friendly, pleasant, polite, and well-mannered, begin to assess his competencies. Set a simple task in which he could fully reveal himself as a specialist. Preferably involve your staff members who know the subject matter. That way, you can quickly see your company's opportunities if he is hired.
Are you about to start a new project? Or are you looking to improve or expand an existing project? Either way, you'll need a sound software engineer. You start looking for a pro and can make a cruel mistake.
Remember that you don't need a simple coder or the best in the world at what you do. You need, above all, a creative thinker with excellent personal qualities. He must be unafraid and able to make decisions and implement complex functionality considering a massive set of aspects, from the infrastructure where the code is created to the substantive creation of the final product.
Of course, it's more than just a degree that's needed. Experience with successful projects under your belt solves everything! If a candidate for a position in your company has strong programming skills, knowledge of Git and advanced soft skills, and the ability to think about many "variables," they will be comfortable working with. That's the person you can
If you can't define their software developer's technical skills or find them insufficient but do not want to look for new candidates, we can help you. Our team has competent specialists who can solve your programming and engineering tasks. Contact us to hire a dedicated development team that will put your project into an orbit beyond the competitors' reach!