One of the fastest-growing career fields is software engineering or software development. USA TODAY ranks it at number one on their list of the 100 Best Jobs. The career path boasts an outrageous number of projected jobs. You can view the entire list here. A software developer can enter into any industry from consulting to manufacturing, agro-processing to banking and finance. Software developers create software and systems for computers. They should have strong analytical and problem-solving skills. However, software developers must have good communication and interpersonal skills to thrive and progress in their careers. Here are skills every software developer should work on improving besides their ability to write code.
Being a good product manager
On top of shipping new features on a regular cadence and maintaining a good workflow between the design and development team, product managers design and create products with great user adoption that have great exponential revenue growth and potentially disrupt an industry. This job role can be assumed by a software developer who already knows the software coding and user experience and interfaces design concepts. If developers wish to add some weight on their resumes, it is important to point out their experience of product management. Being a good product manager will enhance your emotional intelligence, relationship management, self-awareness, self-management and social awareness.
Attention to Detail
Though this career path might have a less rigid compliance structure you must adhere to compared to other professions for example accounting there are certain standards commonly expected from any developer to master. These include mastering version control, analyzing and maintaining older code and work organisation methodologies, for example, the scrum. It depends on which industry you are working in but mostly these expectations you will find across the board so it's important to know how they work. Learning Git, how to collaborate with work colleagues on platforms like Slack is a given for a software developer. Another aspect most often overlooked is documentation. The ability to gather user requirements and produce documentation for software created is a must. Today producing documentation is now easier with free tools such as Swagger, Postman you can produce documentation on the go, as you write your software, documentation is updated. Software developers are also expected to be creative and sometimes employ complex algorithms to solve complex problems. Today, most software developers now classify themselves as machine learning engineers. They design and train machine learning models which in the end should make decisions. An example could be a recommendation engine. Attention to detail required for the desired result to be achieved.
Software development is somewhat similar to writing, to some extent is a solitary endeavour. However, a developer should be able to contribute to discussions on product development, articulate the needs of the project and discuss challenges or problems that may arise. A software developer must be ready to ask for help and offer help at the same time. Though a developer may be assigned a section of the project to tackle alone, they are always involved with other team members and sometimes even leading a team of their own. Thus the importance of being a team player.
Sometimes one might be required to work with members of the team whose philosophies you do not subscribe to. A misunderstanding may arise that may pose a threat to meeting a deadline. A software developer who has mastered the art of teamwork must be able to sift through the clutter and be comfortable working closely with others, compromising and innovating as the project's goals require. Today, most of this can be done online via Slack. Most teams have been spread across different locations, other work remotely, teamwork is still possible in all these circumstances
Sometimes in your work, you might be required to run with two or more projects all with competing deadlines. A successful software developer is one who can prioritise and complete the various milestones of different projects on their plate at any given time. You should be able to manage expectations. This is very paramount. Work should be organised effectively and deadlines should be met irrespective of how many projects are at hand.
Jerry Ndemera is a full-stack software developer at Industrial Psychology Consultants. You can reach him by calling him at +263778161795 or email [email protected]
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