When pursuing a developer career, it’s often technical skills that firstly come to mind. After all, for roles as technologically specialised as those of software development, it’s only natural to prioritise one’s coding capabilities. A skillset in algorithms, database maintenance, and UX/UI are all, for example, necessary for professional success in the industry.
However, a hyper-focus on the technical can also often overlook the importance of soft skills. While more centered on one’s interpersonal attributes, they are just as crucial to advancing your career as an IT developer – and typically grant a competitive edge to those who may not necessarily be the technically-savviest. Such skills include the ability to communicate, collaborate, and improve yourself professionally; skillsets valued beyond the realm of IT and technology.
Below, we explore the top four career skills all aspiring professionals need in coding and software development – and how an AIICT course can help you get your foot in the door.
Problem-solving and critical thinking
In an era of easily accessible, mass information, digital solutions are often a simple click away. Developers now have the privilege of simply Googling answers to any coding hurdle online – which (while an easy way to solve problems) isn’t the best demonstration of critical or strategic thinking.
To truly beat your competition and impress potential employers, aspiring developers must be adept problem solvers; holding a thorough understanding of general coding concepts, practices, and constructs to conjure up their own, creative solutions in complex situations. You won’t always have a search engine handy, but critical thinking skills are with you indefinitely.
An effective way of honing this skillset is to pursue your own personal coding projects. This allows you to take a problem that interests you, break it down into smaller units, and build a deeper appreciation of the fundamental processes and patterns of software development. Through personal practice, you’ll learn to identify patterns in code and how language comes together to perform a specific function. This ultimately grants you the foundational tools to craft programming solutions from scratch, rather than memorising existing ones.
Of course, open-mindedness and creativity are also essential. An ability to think out-of-the-box and accept new ideas or possibilities goes hand-in-hand with effective problem solving – helping you come to solutions you may have overlooked otherwise.
Excellent communication and collaborative skills
Developers, while typically independent workers, are definitely not isolated from other IT professionals and departments. You’ll likely be working with project managers, systems managers, application designers and other types of developers – making communication and collaboration both highly critical skills.
Oral communication, in particular, is especially valuable in sharing or explaining complex ideas with others – whether in presentations, when running “scrum” sessions, or when pitching a complicated project proposal. Work in this field can often get inundated with endless technical terms, processes, and frameworks, so it helps to be able to articulate these in a comprehensive, concise manner. Additionally, developers must also be able to communicate these concepts in plain, jargon-free language those who may not be as technically informed.
However, quality writing skills are just essential. These allow developers to use clear, meaningful variable and function names; write helpful comments to aid other coders and project members; and develop code that is all-around cleaner, simpler, and easier to understand.
A keen attention to detail
In a field as intricate as software development, it pays to appreciate the fine details. This includes its structure, readability, style, and – most importantly – the logic of the program. While code may function as intended, the processes formed to get there may be peppered with vague or inconsistent function names, unnecessary iterations, and an overall chaotic, unclear structure. Focusing on these minor coding elements early on can help them better come together in forming a more coherent, functional, and efficient whole.
Developers can avoid these often-overlooked issues by regularly testing their code to ensure it performs as intended. It also helps to regularly take notes of any changes or major decisions you make with your code, allowing you to document your steps. When reviewing or debugging your program later on, this documentation can help identify where you might’ve gone wrong – and the problematic elements that need fixing.
Of course, it also helps to have a certain level of patience; whether when working on projects or with other developers. Writing software can often be a long, tedious process packed with frequent errors and challenges, so it pays to be level-headed and persevering. Additionally, you may find yourself working alongside new developers or beginner coders, requiring patience in explaining any complex terms or practices they have yet to build knowledge on.
In the industry of tech, it pays to keep up with the trends. Rapid changes in skills demands and technological advancements are a constant in this field, leaving no time for complacency. As a developer, it’s important to stay in touch with the newest practices, tools, and frameworks, implementing these as necessary to improve your programming skills and overall processes. Though you may be well-skilled in the popular coding languages of yesteryear, an inability to adapt with the times can effectively blunt your competitive edge.
Achieving this is often done through frequent industry research and skills training. Plenty opt to upgrade their skillsets through online courses – a professional development option that allows one to build the skills and knowledge they need in specific, technical fields; bolstering their skillset for employment.
Software developers who wish to diversify their skills into web development, for example, can undertake a related online certificate or diploma program. This not only equips them with fundamental expertise to pursue opportunities in the area, but also with a nationally-recognised qualification to flaunt on their resume (though this may depend on the education provider). The flexibility offered by these training options is also often beneficial to those with other educational, work, or personal commitments – as they allow students to complete the modules at a time, place, and pace that suites them best.
Looking to become an IT developer?
According to SEEK, demand for developers is on a massive rise; with a projected 30% job growth in the coming five years. With the rapid rise of technology and constant advancements in software, it’s easy to see why.
If you’re interested in a developer career, AIICT currently offers a boot camp program in full-stack software development, helping you build the practical skillset to craft, manage, and deliver programs as efficiently and reliably as possible. With certifications under the DevOps Foundation and Python Institute, you’ll equip yourself with globally recognised, fundamental expertise to pursue entry-level opportunities in the field.
Best of all, your assessments and training material are all flexibly delivered online, helping you study according to your personal needs and schedule.
Launch a thriving career in the rising field of software development – and enquire with us on the course today.