These are the Software Developer Skills You Should Be Looking For
You can have the most exciting, world-changing vision for your company with the best management team money can buy, but without skilled developers at the ready to put it together, you’re as good as stranded on a kayak in the middle of the Atlantic.
A healthy blend of hard and soft skills is essential for any software developer on your team.
It is often said that writing code is as much art as science. The following hard skills should be prerequisites for any of your technical staff:
- Knowledge of industry standards: The ideal software developer will be fully fluent in industry best practices and standards. These include version control systems so that everyone knows who did what in each iteration of code, and thorough testing protocols using both automated and real-world testers. Also valuable is the ability to maintain and analyze older code, and establish a framework on which to build it all.
- Comfort with multiple coding languages: Although developers may specialize in Java or Python, fluency in a variety of programming languages (and a willingness to learn) is a big plus. Here is where you have an advantage, as individual companies that would do their own hiring may not have the resources to adequately train new staff.
- Strong research skills: Curiosity is one of a developer’s greatest assets. Your team members should not only lay down excellent code but also consistently question it, have a thirst to always improve their process, and do the research needed to find answers and scale up the final product.
- A 30,000-foot view: A company thrives when its developers can step back and see how their code integrates into the larger business ecosystem, from the executive suite down to customer service. This both deepens the developer team’s investment in the company’s success and raises its profile in the eyes of fellow staff.
Although there are numerous companies across the globe that can spot and recruit technical wizards, it’s much harder—and potentially more important—to find those who can easily fit into your company culture. If you’re putting together a distributed team, these soft skills can make the difference between an outsider and a new member of the family:
- Communication: Although coding is, at its core, a solitary pursuit, at some point, every developer needs to coalesce with a team, which often includes people with disciplines outside of their own (information architects, designers). That relationship works best when team members listen to one another, and then build on what was just said, rather than speaking just to be heard.
- Empathy: Whether with their fellow developers or the product’s customers, there is tremendous value when team members step outside themselves and see things from someone else’s perspective.
- Project management: Juggling multiple tasks is, of course, a technical necessity, but coordinating and communicating that effectively with a larger team requires real people skills.
- Accountability: The ideal developer owns up to mistakes before they have the potential to derail a project. They solve problems as well as write killer code, show transparency in their work, and support fellow employees when they make a misstep.
Go Directly to the Source
A solid software developer team needs top-notch technical know-how, be it the finer points of Python or the greater impact of GDPR. But it’s just as crucial that these skills are rooted in passion—and being a good team member and a good employee is just as important as being the best developer or engineer.
Headhunting services and job sites tend to use a scattershot process to find candidates. They cast large nets, hoping to reel in dozens of prospects, only to find themselves needing to throw the majority of them back.
Jobsity goes directly to the source; we want to help you find your next great software developer with the skills needed to best complement your team. Get started today with our staff augmentation guide.
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