Also known as software developers, software engineering is one of fastest-growing specialty fields in the United States. Most experienced software engineers make over six figures and enjoy great perks, such as being able to work remotely from home or while traveling.
While these engineers do require a certain set of skills, taking the time to hone these skills is worthwhile.
While not all software engineers/developers have a college degree, many of them acquire a degree in computer science or machine learning.
The Skills Software Engineers Need
Software engineers create software and systems for computers. They employ math, science, engineering, and design techniques to build these systems. Additionally, they must be able to test and evaluate their own systems of software built by other engineers.
Software engineers usually have a degree in computer science. They should have strong analytical and problem-solving skills. A software engineer has a thirst for new technologies, as well for maintaining strong communication and interpersonal skills. Software engineers must be highly motivated and experienced in various programming languages.
Types of Software Engineer Skills
As a software engineer, you will be required to manage multiple projects in a deadline-driven environment. Whether you work remotely as a freelancer or as a full-time employee in an office, you’ll need to manage multiple projects at once, each with their own urgent timeline.
A successful software engineer will be able to prioritize, triage, and manage all of the various milestones of all the various projects on their plate at a given time. Along with managing timelines, a software engineer will need to be able to thrive in an environment where deadlines occur regularly.
- Managing Expectations
Building software systems is generally a solitary endeavor, but a software engineer must still be able to communicate regularly with other people and teams. As an engineer, you should be able to articulate project needs, as well as be able to discuss any challenges or problems that arise.
You may be required to work with people whose ideas and philosophies you don’t agree with. Other times, misunderstandings arise and can threaten you and your team’s deadline. A successful engineer should be comfortable working closely with others, compromising and innovating as needed.
- Active Listening
- Conflict Resolution
- Oral Communication
- Written Communication
Attention to Detail
There are certain practices and standards in the industry that a successful software engineer must master. These include the basics, like utilizing version control systems so that you don’t lose old work, or employing a robust and thorough testing protocol.
They also include more complex details such as analyzing and maintaining older code, or developing strategic methodologies upon which you build a coding framework.
- Analytical Skills
- Technical Documentation
- Data Analytics
- Critical Thinking
Computer Coding Languages
Many software engineers are fluent in one (or two) coding languages, and this becomes their primary area of expertise. While this is typical, the best engineers are familiar with all of the relevant coding languages on a basic level.
An employer may not expect you to be fluent in all the coding languages of the day, but you will be more attractive to an employer if you’re able to learn languages with analogous qualities (structured versus functional, for example), or by knowing a bit about different types of languages.
More Software Engineer Skills
- Database Architecture
- Product Enhancement
- Problem Solving Skills
- Strategic Planning
- Design Reviews
- Agile Scrum Team
- Computer Architecture
- Operating Systems
- Data Structures
- Stress Tolerance
- Web Services
- Source Code
- Version Repository
- UI Toolkits and Frameworks
- Microsoft ASP.NET MVC
- Web API
- Project Management