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Photo credits: unsplash

Top 5 skills you need to master as a software engineer

Shalitha Suranga
Jul 24 · 5 min read

A software engineer is basically working with a particular software product team (consists of other roles such as managers, clients, designers etc.) to accomplish planned development goals. Development goals could be something like adding new features, applying bug fixes and designing new solutions. It is true that coding activities could take more time from a normal software engineer’s daily work quota. However, engineering is not just writing code to ship a specific product because coding is only a part of the software development workflow. The other phases of Software Development Life-Cycle(SDLC) are also vital as the coding phase or the development phase.

We can list down common daily activities which are done by a generic software engineer as per below to get an idea about required skills.

  • Implementing task A and reproducing bug B.
  • Discussing about a new feature that can be added to the software product in future with clients.
  • Participating in a scrum call.
  • Implementing several action items for GDPR compliance.
  • Writing a wiki page about a solution for a specific problem in the software architecture and presenting it to the other team members.

As we can see there are software engineering activities which are not directly related with coding. Let’s identify the top 5 skills you need to master to become a great software engineer.

1. Technical skills

Indeed software engineers should be able to introduce better solutions for problems which may occur in software systems. Those engineering problems are usually related with one or more general computer science concepts such as algorithms and data structures. Therefore, having solid computer science knowledge is extremely necessary for every software engineer.

Technical skills could be categorized as per below for the modern world.

  • Computer programming: You need to master a selected popular language (Eg: C++, JavaScript, Java, C# or Python)
  • Design patterns: There are infinite ways to solve a coding problem whereas there are few optimal/manageable ways. Therefore, being able to organize codes in a better manner is essential.
  • Run-times/Environments experience: Software products are deployed into local environments or public cloud. For instance, if your software product is deployed into Amazon Web Services (AWS) you have a great chance to master cloud architectural patterns.
  • Developer tooling/services: We use tools during the development and deployment process. Every developer should be familiar with common developer tools/services such as debuggers, IDE, code editors, source code management tools (Eg: Git, Bitbucket and Github).

2. Learning skills

Learning skills can be explained bit further with following tasks/actions,

  • Effective reading
  • Time management
  • Note-taking & summarization
  • Creative thinking and critical thinking

3. Problem solving skills

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Google Codejam — Photo credits: AlphaGamma.eu

Competitive programming is a great way to improve and test your problem solving skills. Undoubtedly, it will help you to easily pass your next technical interview.

4. Communication skills

Here are some communication skills also with examples saying when each thing will be useful

  • Listening skills — Listing down some action items according to the live feedback from customers.
  • Presentation skills — Presenting a newly added feature to other team members
  • Speaking skills — Letting others know about your daily update in the scrum meeting

5. Social skills

Simply it’s about,

  • Listening to other people’s ideas and opinions
  • Thinking twice before saying something considering the person and situation
  • Treating humans as humans

softwareengineer.lk

All you need to know about becoming a software engineer in Sri Lanka

Shalitha Suranga

Written by

Software Engineer at 99x | Apache PMC member | Open Source Contributor (Author of Neutralinojs) | Technical Writer

softwareengineer.lk

softwareengineer.lk will teach you the correct and easy path to become a software engineer in Sri Lanka to get your dream job at a well reputed Sri Lankan software engineering company

Shalitha Suranga

Written by

Software Engineer at 99x | Apache PMC member | Open Source Contributor (Author of Neutralinojs) | Technical Writer

softwareengineer.lk

softwareengineer.lk will teach you the correct and easy path to become a software engineer in Sri Lanka to get your dream job at a well reputed Sri Lankan software engineering company

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