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6 Skills to Look for in a Software Developer

GettyImages-1928147121Hiring a software developer is more difficult than ever. A surge of talent flooded the market following widespread tech layoffs last year. Over 191,000 workers at domestic tech companies were impacted. While the influx of talent may appear advantageous for hiring managers, it has actually intensified the challenge of sorting through a larger pool to source the ideal candidate. Let’s explore six key skills to target when looking for a software developer in a broader talent pool.


1. Programming Languages

The fundamental purpose of a software developer is to write computer instructions. The instructions guide a computer on how to perform specific functions. The writing of these instructions is done using unique computing languages. The languages are called programming languages.

It's important to remember that each programming language has a distinct use case. Therefore, your hiring efforts should reflect that. For example, if you're looking to build a mobile app on iOS - you'd want to target developers with proficiency in Swift. 

2. Software Testing

The testing phase of the Software Development Life Cycle is an integral step during software development. The testing phase entails testing various software functions. It helps to identify whether they perform as expected.

For in-house developed software, the software testing phase entails testing for all intended use cases. Software testing is done manually or through automated processes.

Manual software testing uses sample data. The sample data undergoes processing by the software. The output given by the software is compared to the expected results. Manual software testing is a tedious process, especially if the software in development is quite robust.

Automated software development uses automation testing tools. The software developer designs automated tests using automation testing tools. The developed tests are meant to test various use cases of the software.

All software developers should ensure they gain skills about automated software testing. A good automation testing guide will help the developer to understand the concept about automation testing. The guide offers the necessary guidance to the software developer.


3. Problem Solving

Software development entails analyzing the functions of a business. After analyzing the functions, the developer designs software that solves these problems. The process of analyzing business functions, designing, and coding software requires problem-solving skills. Software developers who lack problem-solving skills develop software with low user acceptance. The software gets low user acceptance because it does not address all the challenges faced by a business.

Problem-solving skills also come to play during the coding phase of the SDLC. One fact that all software developers have come to terms with, is that developing software without bugs is impossible. Fixing code errors or bugs can take up a lot of time during the software development life cycle. At this point, a software developer requires top-tier problem-solving skills to help in solving the various bugs in the code.

Analytical skills are also required to analyze the state of code errors and to develop an actionable solution for the errors.


4. Database Management and Administration

Every software is linked to a database. A database stores collections of structured and related data or information in electronic form. Businesses have database administrators to work with the database. However, software developers should also possess the same skills.

Database management and administration skills are important. They help a software developer develop software that aligns with the database schematics. This skill also helps during the process of linking software to its data source, i.e., the database.

Database knowledge also helps the software developer to know the security measures to use for the database.


5. Networking

Software developers are required to be all-rounded in terms of computing technologies. A software developer should have fundamental skills in networking.

Oftentimes, businesses consult software developers to design and code client-server software. Client-server software uses networking technologies to transmit data and information. Networking technologies link the workstations and the server.

Networking knowledge also equips the software developer with network security methods. Having a software developer who knows how to implement network security will boost software security. Network security ensures that data or information cannot get intercepted during transmission.


6. Teamwork and Collaboration

Software development is not a job that can be done independently. It requires a lot of consultation with personnel working in various departments and business sections.

Software developers should have collaboration skills. The skills help to ensure that the developed software meets the client's needs. Teamwork and collaboration skills also help them work hand in hand with the stakeholders. This ensures that the team delivers perfect software with high user acceptance.

Collaboration skills also help within the software development team. During software development, database, network, and system administrators work with the software developer. They should work hand in hand so that the final deliverable align well with overarching vision.


Final Takeaways

When looking to hire a software developer, you should also have a look at the previous work of the developer. Some developers produce exceptional software in some specific fields. For instance, some developers have specialized in developing software for the finance industry. Despite being expensive, developers that specialize in specific business disciplines provide unmatched software.

There are other various software development skills that you should look for when looking to hire. The other skills are field-specific. It is vital to analyze the skills of the developer. This ensures that you do not regret hiring a developer. 



About the Author: Dan has been building teams and coaching others to foster innovation and solve real-time problems. Dan also enjoys photography and traveling.

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