“It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has exceeded our humanity.” - Albert Einstein

Computers are part of our everyday lives. Almost every company has an online presence and the internet has never been so important. Whether it’s websites, apps, or programs, companies need software developers. By using programming languages, software developers can devise and create software solutions. According to a recent study, JavaScript is the programming language most commonly required by employers.

But what other skills do software developers need?

In this article, we'll be looking at what every aspiring developer will need to learn about from the programming language they'll be coding into the soft skills that will help them become better at their job and build a rapport with their team.

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Mastering a Programming Language

It may seem a bit obvious, but software developers need programming skills and a good knowledge of one or several programming languages. Programming languages are used to code programs, websites, and apps. Much like learning a foreign language, you need to understand the vocabulary and the syntax of a programming language so that you can essentially tell a computer what to do.

What do software developers need to know?
When it comes to software development, you need to know how to program in at least one programming language. (Source: Pexels)

The most popular programming languages include:

  • HTML/CSS
  • JavaScript
  • PHP
  • Ruby
  • Java
  • Swift
  • C#, C, and C++
  • Python

A developer can learn this through a computer science, software development, or software engineering degree as well as through shorter courses. Some developers teach themselves to code through online courses, tutorials, and other resources.

Find out more about software development

Versatility

To be a good software developer, you need to be versatile as development is a broad and complex field. You can specialise in video games, websites, AI, mobile apps, machine learning, etc. In just one project, you might be required to work on both the front-end, back-end, and integration, for example.

You may also have to work across different sectors as a developer as someone who specialises in AI, for example, may end up working on video games or industrial machines.

Precision

When it comes to developing software, you need to be precise. You need to check your work regularly and test it for errors. You also need to be focused. If you’re not focused, your entire solution could be affected as every step of the project will require precision to work.

When programming and developing software solutions, you need to be meticulous.

Find out more about training and courses for software developers

Independence

While you may have a superior who can answer your questions or provide you with guidance, it’s very common for software developers to have to work on their own without any technical support.

What are the most important skills for software developers?
Software developers will often need to be independent and driven as they will need to work on their own for long periods. (Source: StartupStockPhotos)

This doesn’t mean that you need to know everything and can never make mistakes, it just means that you need to be resourceful when looking for solutions and good problem-solving skills to see where you may have gone wrong. Even if you do have a superior with more experience, they probably won’t want you bothering them with every little problem you encounter.

For freelance software developers, you need to be a self-starter. It’s unlikely that there’ll be anyone else with software development skills and if you can’t solve problems on your own, you run the risk of losing customers.

Industry Expertise

A software developer needs to know what’s going on in their industry. You need to also be passionate about the latest developments. Not only do you need to be passionate about your field, but you also need to be up-to-date with everything that’s happening in an ever-changing industry.

If you’re just getting started in web development, you’ll probably want to regularly study and research techniques and solutions even after you’ve finished your studies. Software development is a career where you’ll be constantly learning.

Find out more about becoming a software developer

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Dr. Kritaphat
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Dr. Kritaphat
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Igor
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Siddharth
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£30
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Adaptability

In addition to keeping up-to-date with the latest advances in your field, you’ll also need to adapt to them. Everything changes so quickly that being out of the loop can result in you being left behind.

If you can’t offer the latest cutting-edge solutions to clients, they’ll look for somebody who can. In fields like cybersecurity, being up-to-date is essential as you can’t run the risk of sensitive data being stolen.

Listening Skills

A software developer needs to listen carefully to their clients or employer as it’s not always easy to change course further down the line.

What soft skills do software developers need?
Software developers need excellent listening and communication skills as they'll often need to liaise between technical and non-technical teams. (Source: Free-Photos)

You need to carefully think about what they want. In a lot of cases, a client mightn’t be very good at articulating what they want and even worse at expressing it in technical terms. This is why you need to be patient, attentive, and ask the right questions to ensure you’ve fully understood what they’re after. This can save you an awful lot of time later on in the project, too.

Communication Skills

You have to also be able to communicate with your clients. You’ll need to be able to talk to people both inside and outside of your industry.

Clients will often underestimate how much work is involved in their project and you need to explain to them how the project works in terms that they can understand. You also need to be patient as not everyone will be a whizz with technology.

Find out more about careers in software development

Reactivity

In software development, you need to be able to quickly react to whatever comes your way. A bug or error might need to be fixed very quickly. A developer will often need to be on their toes.

How difficult is software development?
Software developers need to be reactive and ready to face any technical challenge that comes their way. (Source: Free-Photos)

This is especially true if you’re a freelancer. You need to be able to quickly respond to your clients and offer solutions.

Analytical Skills and Logic

When it comes to software development, you need to think carefully about every problem presented to you. The more you know about software development, the easier this will be, but you still need an analytical mindset. You need to be able to take a step back to find a solution to problems.

Analysis and logic are important parts of creating software solutions. As for programming languages, logic is essential. With a good understanding of logic, you’ll also be able to learn other programming languages more easily.

Creativity

Software development is more than knowing how to code. A software developer needs to think of creative solutions to problems. Creativity is useful in finding solutions in a wide variety of different situations.

For project managers, creativity is even more important. Similarly, you may also need creative artistic skills, especially if you’re doing web design or creating a UI. Creative design skills can also help you offer a more complete service to clients.

If you'd like to learn more about software engineering, web development, or computer programming, consider getting help from a private tutor on the Sueprprof website.

There are plenty of tutors around the UK and all over the world who can help you with face-to-face tutoring, online tutoring, or group tutorials. Each type of tutoring comes with pros and cons so think carefully about which will work for you and your budget.

Face-to-face tutorials are between you and your tutor and can be tailored to exactly what and how you want to learn. As the tutors often travel to their students and spend extra time planning and adapting the tutorials, they tend to charge more than the other types of tutorials. However, they're often the most cost-effective type of tutoring since every minute is spent teaching you.

Online tutorials are useful if you can't find any suitable tutors in your local area. They're also great because the tutors tend to charge less than face-to-face tutors as they have less travelling to do and spend less time and money getting to their tutorials. While they mightn't be great for certain hands-on subjects, for academic subjects and skills like programming, they're excellent.

Group tutorials are a great choice for those on a budget as you can share the cost of the tutoring with the other students in attendance. While this means you won't get as much one-on-one tuition from your tutor, you will have other students to support you and learn from.

Don't forget that a lot of the tutors on the Superprof website offer the first session or lesson for free so you can try out several different tutors before choosing which one is right for you. It's a good idea to make a list of criteria before you start searching for tutors and then shortlist a few before you start contacting them and arranging taster sessions or free lessons.

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Joseph

Joseph is a French and Spanish to English translator, language enthusiast, and blogger.