Have you heard of the term ¨”Jack of all Trades.” For decades it was a word coined for blue collar workers; especially those employed in all areas of construction, one day working on one project and another on something else.
But today this is a term that well defines the software developer. In this day and age, software developers need a breadth of skills that most of their predecessors never even considered.
Sure, we could say that software developers don’t have to worry about things like coding to minimize RAM consumption, and there´s no need to worry about WAN connections timing out at 14.4 kilobits per second, but there are also many, many other obstacles that the modern day software engineer or designer needs to know that older professionals didn’t need. It is a set of required new skills and areas of expertise that did not exist in the past; and worse, this past is not as long ago as you might think. By past, we refer to anywhere from 3 months ago to twenty years ago.
The list of skills you need depends on how well you´ve kept up with tech advances in the software industry. Still knowing what you need is important, so we’ve gone searching to find what this list of top skills is. A few of these might be something you might want to add to your existing knowledge.
The Use of Pre-Packaged Class Libraries
A new skill for software developers is the ability to make use of huge pre-packaged class libraries and templates. These are commonly used in languages like Java, Python or C++. A few years ago you simply had to learn the language and some system calls or math calls to program the software you needed. Now that’s changed. You have to string library calls together and figure out how to hold them together with your magical coding glue. Understanding the language alone won´t solve all of your problems or give you the full set of skills you need to create viable software.
Knowing Where to Look
Software developers of today have to hone their networking skills. They need to network with other designers and programmers to learn of tools and code they can use to facilitate the software creating process. More and more programming resources are made available online for free all the time, but developers need to know which of these are the most useful and where they can find them. By the same token, you want to learn from the code you do find. It won´t do you any good to simply learn to copy and paste code, as that won´t ever help you advance your coding skills.
Today, software developers, programmers and engineers also need to specialize in usability. They need to work on easy user interface design and information architecture, and think of how the consumer will use the product. These are skills that are not from the engineering fields, but instead come from graphic design. Still without these skill sets software development is significantly limited.
The move to the Cloud has definitely changed things for programmers. The use of web-based interfaces makes more development processes feasible through cloud computing. In fact, today, most applications require some type of asynchronous cloud programing, because of AJAX. Developers now have to fully understand cloud and mobile applications and how to integrate them into the development process.
The Jack of All Trades Skills
Developers still don’t understand that someone else usually cares for the code they write. They don´t understand about release management, risk assessment and failure analysis in the system infrastructure. These are all things that happen after they write the code. Coders now need a breadth of skills that understand how the user will access the software. They need to understand the customer’s usability. They must know HTML, CSS, APIs, server side frame works, Testing and QA as well as most other programming languages.
Types of Job Skills Asked For
Today, a computer software developer must be a whiz at varying fields; he has to continually develop his skill set and specialize within a specific sector. For instance, many of the new jobs listed require subject matter expertise in addition to software coding knowledge.
The following are just a few skill requirements of this nature:
- Speech recognition for non-visual users
- Software designers for large screen mobile devices that have no hard disks
- Location responsive application designers
- Software developers that specialize in alternative energy or oil and natural gas exploration.
- Specialists in the design of medical devices
Collaboratie and Agile Development
Developers also need to be aware of collaborative effors and of agile software development processes. Modern developers use a collaborative method of delivering software. This allows for faster and more efficient results.
The learning to incrementally grow a software system helps lower costs and sustain the developing needs for most businesses which allows for continuous integration, delivery and refactoring.