10 Essential Skills to Become a Software Developer
Software development is a fast-growing field, and hundreds of coding languages exist to meet the needs of organizations. Some professionals may be experts in only one language, and others may have vast technical skills that give them the flexibility to handle several responsibilities. Learning about these in-demand software developer skills can help you determine how to proceed with your career prospects and boost your market value. If you have been active in the software development industry for some time, wondering what makes a good programmer? What should a programmer learn in 2023 or the skills expected of a professional developer? Look no further; you have landed on the right page. This article will focus on core technical skills you should have as a good developer or if you plan to become one.
Software developer skills to learn in 2023
Software developer skills are the technical abilities an individual uses to create quality software products or to offer custom software development services.
Basic design skills
As a software developer, your job may revolve around the front-end and back-end of applications. Hence, having fundamental design skills is paramount. The knowledge of front-end design is crucial to make a website or application look attractive and appealing. A product with a neat and user-friendly design always wins the hearts of users. Thus, extend your expertise beyond programming languages alone. Learn basic design principles, including UI/UX design, prototypes, scalability, etc.
Knowledge of databases
An essential software developer skill is understanding the working of databases. Creating any software is almost impossible without connecting to a database. Hence, developers should know all sorts of operations – create, insert, update, delete, etc. Additionally, to handle security issues and manage the entire organization’s records, developers need to be familiar with databases and managing records securely. Proficiency in writing basic SQL queries, including knowledge of other prominent databases like Oracle, PostgreSQL, MongoDB, Cassandra, Redis, etc., will be helpful.
Data structures and algorithms
Essential software developer skills also include data structures and algorithms. Data structures organize and store data efficiently. They enable rapid data search and processing during large requests in software applications. Algorithms help solve a specific problem in less time and space. There are two types of data structures:
- Linear data structures: These data structures are in the form of arrays, structuring data in chronological format.
- Non-linear data structures: Here, the data elements are not arranged chronologically. They occur in the form of graphs, trees, etc.
Familiarity with text editors and IDEs
Whether you are a beginner, intermediate, or expert software developer, text editors, and IDEs are essential tools in a programmer’s daily life. Text editors allow developers to create and edit plain text and symbols required for a coding language. Several text editors are available, like Notepad++, Sublime Text, Atom, Visual studio code, etc. IDEs, on the other hand, allow developers to write, modify, compile, run and debug codes. Some IDEs include PyCharm, Spyder, Jupyter notebook, Eclipse, NetBeans, IntelliJ IDEA, etc. To identify the best development environment, whether an IDE or text editor, different programmers choose based on the language they are working on or the product they are building. Having a proficient knowledge of these tools and IDEs help in becoming a competent and productive developer.
Version control tools
Version control has become an integral part of the software development process. It helps the team to keep track of updates and changes to a program and allows developers to work on the code separately and later merge their efforts into one version. If you’re aiming for a lasting software development career, experience in version control concepts and tools like Git, Mercurial, SVN, etc., are crucial.
Before a software product is ready for the market, it has to pass several test cases. Testing is vital to identify and fix hidden bugs, ensuring the software is ready for users. It involves evaluating a program’s ability to function on different devices as needed. Various testing methods exist, but a developer should know these three core methods; Unit, Integration, and System testing.
Troubleshooting and debugging
Troubleshooting involves the process that allows developers to identify issues occurring within a given system. While debugging, as a subset for troubleshooting, requires the developer to find and fix the issues. It may involve a mix of problem-solving skills and program evaluation to determine the error or faulty code. It’s a necessary software developer skill to know how to debug and troubleshoot efficiently.
Knowledge of the software development life cycle
The software development life cycle (SDLC) is an ordered process to develop software, ensuring its quality and effectiveness. Software developers need to know about the proper life cycle of software, from requirement analysis to maintaining the product. The seven phases include:
- Requirement gathering and analysis
- Feasibility study
- Implementation and coding
Proficiency in cloud platforms
Companies worldwide are now moving their frameworks to the cloud to save costs and scale faster. This means building skills in developing programs and applications that use cloud-based technology will come in handy. Learn the working principles of cloud platforms like AWS, GCP, or MS Azure.
Nowadays, becoming a software developer is a top-tier career choice. Not only because of the numerous opportunities available but also due to the rewards of self-development, creativity, and fulfillment. The software development industry is highly valued and not likely to reach a dead end any time soon. Hence software developers and engineers ought to stay abreast of programming trends. Keep in mind that working in this dynamic industry requires developing a richer set of skills to help you become a well-rounded professional with solid potential to thrive in a remote-first environment.
Joy Nwaiwu is a seasoned writer skilled at curating meaningful, well-articulated content spanning various industry verticals. She is an avid learner who enjoys utilizing her writing skills to create value and drive continuous growth for brands.