The 5 Essential Developer Career Skills You’ll Need

Career Development
Technological progress creates a high demand for developer career skills. Here are the five proficiencies you must have to enter the fray.

Developer career skills — such as the ability to write software from scratch — are becoming a popular career choice. This is especially true among two groups; students just about to begin their careers and seasoned professionals seeking an upward career trajectory. The main reason for this increased popularity, of course, is the rising trend toward digitizing business operations.

Technological progress continues to create a high demand for professionals in the development sphere. The potential reward plays a role, too, as the professions related to software development and engineering show up in most well-paid jobs lists. Additionally, becoming a developer is a great way to see how high-quality coding practices impact other people. Gaining insight into how quality code improves the lives of others can be highly inspiring.

The following five career skills will prove critical to your success if you are interested in moving into the software development sphere.

1. Analytical Thinking

Analytical thinking is a must for any programmer.

All of your day-to-day tasks will center on problem-solving. They will require thorough analysis and the ability to see any situation from different angles. Developers are valued for their ability to come up with optimal solutions as well as clear roadmaps for achieving the desired end.

2. Quality Assurance (QA) Testing

To start a career in software development, you need to be able to write code that works. Moreover, your code should validate and work as expected. This is the primary reason why you will need to know the fundamentals of software testing and learn how to work with well-known API tools for testing.

While your company may employ dedicated QA engineers, some checks such as unit testing are typically performed by the developers. Understanding how to test the scripts you write in the progress of development saves a lot of time and effort. What you don’t want is a QA engineer finding something that’s not right with your work after the task is completed.

3. Coding Proficiency

Most of the time, you’ll be writing code, so you need to have the preferred programming languages down cold. Depending on the direction of development — be it writing code for backend, frontend, or maybe combining the two and becoming a full-stack developer — these languages will differ.

The backend would likely be written in Python, Java, C, C++, C#, PHP, and so forth. You’ll need to master HTML and learn programming languages such as CSS, Javascript, and its frameworks for the front-end. When it comes to full-stack, you will need to combine the requirements for frontend and backend fields.

Apart from coding proficiency, it would be a plus to understand databases, algorithms, and server structure. This is an excellent reason to look into upskilling for developers.

4. Working with Version Control Systems

It’s critical to use version control systems for software development. These are immensely helpful when you need to urgently roll back updates that seem to be breaking everything. Version control provides breathing space to investigate why something is not working as expected and implement a codebase backup.

Mastering version control is one reason why you’ll need to learn how to use Git or other systems for these purposes.

5. Software Development Methodologies and Lifecycle

Since many companies pick up specific methodologies to run projects and reach their goals, you’ll need to be acquainted with Agile — namely with Scrum, Kanban, or Extreme programming — as it’s the most popular methodology.

Also, regardless of your area of development specialization, you’ll need to understand the software development lifecycle. Mastering its steps will enable you to better analyze requirements before developing, avoid critical mistakes during development, and assess final results.

Training and Perseverance Will Pave the Way

The good news is that if you don’t currently possess these five developer career skills, there’s no reason to give up on the idea. You can learn all of the career skills needed to become a developer. The main things you need to succeed are the desire to master something new and discipline.

No matter how long you are in the software development field, you will need to constantly be learning new things. Newer technologies and additional tools appear on the market almost every day. Every proficient coder had to start somewhere, so decide on the path that seems best for your lifestyle and get on the road to a high-demand skillset today.