With virtually every business undergoing digital transformation, software development is among the top in-demand tech skills. Software developers create error-free programs and applications focused on solving specific business problems.
The average salary of a software developer is $56,486 to $73,819, according to Salary.com. If you are interested in starting a career as a software developer, here are five skills you need to get started in the field.
1. Programming Language
The decision on the programming language to learn is largely based on the aspect of software development you want to dive into. Some programming languages might work well for mobile applications and other for video gaming apps. Also, if you want to start as a front-end software developer, your mastery of some programming languages will differ slightly from someone doing back-end software development. Do your research and choose the best programming language to start with.
2. Algorithms and Data Structure
Beyond learning programming languages, data structure and algorithms are also essential to break into the software development industry. These are two non-negotiable technical skills hiring companies look out for in applications. Your knowledge of data structure and algorithm reveals your problem-solving and coding skills. Understanding basic data structures like maps, lists, and array makes writing codes that work an easy feat.
As you journey into becoming a great software developer, take data structure and algorithms seriously.
3. Source Control Management
Companies with software developers often hire more than one person. In a team of developers, each developer works on the code separately and then merges it into source control. As such, as a software developer, you need the knowledge of source control to work effectively with other developers in the team. Source control management (SCM) helps you track updates and changes to a program’s coding language.
One of the popular source control management is Git. Git allows you to store different versions of the program code and merge this in a master branch. More importantly, Git is an open-source program, meaning different people can use or comment on a coding program. An excellent understanding of Git can give you an edge in the labor market.
4. Communication Skill
In a room where everybody applying for the same job as you can code excellently, how do you stand out?
Having technical skills is cool, but this alone doesn’t make you an exceptional software developer. You need the mastery of some soft skills to stand out.
Among the soft skills you need is communication. As a software developer, you are likely liaising with other developers in the team. Good communication skill is needed to thrive well in this aspect of the job. Good mastery of verbal and nonverbal communication skills can help you stand out and land jobs faster than just technical skills. As you up your technical skill, ensure you do the same with your soft skills.
A common misconception is that coding is a solitary activity. This is not true. Companies rarely hire just one developer to do the job. Even if they do, you will most likely work with other professionals like business analysts and project managers. In reality, you will liaise and work with other people.
Although teamwork is not often mentioned as a skill, it is necessary to work with people empathetically, efficiently, and responsibly. You should also be able to manage team meetings, handle feedback and criticism, and brainstorm with others for the company’s progress.
Teamwork is not a skill you develop overnight. With adequate practice, you can learn and master this.
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