It’s hard to imagine what our lives would look like if we didn’t have computers. Technology shapes the way industries develop, it sets trends and changes the way we live. Therefore, there’s no surprise that the demand for software engineers continues to grow. The market for software developers is expected to grow by 21% in the next 10 years, and it already is bigger than the average demand for other professions.
Even though software developers will have more job opportunities, it doesn’t mean that this field will become less competitive. Differentiation becomes more important than ever, and programmers can learn a vast variety of platforms and languages. They can choose different career paths, but their success depends on their ability to constantly learn and improve their skills.
What Skills You Should Improve
Software development is an area that evolves at a very rapid pace so you should make sure that your skills are relevant. However, to ensure successful professional growth, you must know what to focus on. Here are a few crucial skills for a software developer.
Obviously, coding is a fundamental skill for software engineering. Computer programming is based on algorithms that can be written using various programming languages. Depending on the position you’re applying for, you might need to know different languages. The most common programming languages are Java, Python, Ruby, .Net, C#, and Mean. To master coding, you can use various tutorials and online courses.
Although coding is crucial for developers, software development is not only about coding but also about your ability to analyze and meet users’ needs. This is where college education turns out to be useful, as college students often complete internships in software companies.
However, you can also learn to analyze the users’ needs by gaining hands-on experience, collaborating with seasoned software engineers, and working with real platforms.
- Debugging and software testing
AI-driven tools offer many automation opportunities, making software testing an automated process. However, software testing and debugging skills remain important for software developers. What changes is that now these processes are not so dependent on manual labor. Now the success of debugging and testing to a large extent depends on your analytical skills.
- Object-oriented design
The use of object-oriented design in programming has gradually increased during the last 20 years. The object-oriented approach is based on creating systems of interacting objects that can help developers solve a particular problem.
Object-oriented design is based on four main principles: encapsulation, polymorphism, abstraction, and inheritance. Fortunately, there are many online courses on platforms like Udemy and Coursera that can help you learn these principles and use object-oriented design in practice.
- Verbal and written communication
Software engineers don’t work in complete isolation. They also need to communicate with clients and co-workers. Therefore, your communication skills are important. Quite often, you may need to explain some technical aspects to people who don’t have the necessary background.
“You should be able to explain complex things in an easy to understand way so that others can understand how you approach problems and what actions are needed,” explains Alice Talbot, a software engineer at a custom writing reviews platform Pick The Writer.
Top 3 Ways to Improve Your Software Development Skills
1. Architect your applications
A good approach that will help you sharpen your skills and better understand software development is to architect applications first, and then to code. First of all, such a habit will enable you to write cleaner code, saving your time in the future so you won’t need to deal with spaghetti codes. This way, you’ll be able to minimize the impact of software entropy on your applications.
Another important thing to consider is that proper planning enables you to be more productive. If you do your best to produce the cleanest code possible and put some effort into separating your repository and service layer, you’ll be able to increase your coding speed. We recommend that you start by familiarizing yourself with such concepts as Domain-Driven Design (DDD) and Separation of Concerns.
2. Add software security to the list of your skills
Although many programmers don’t recognize software security as a skill, its importance continues to grow. Secure coding offers a number of benefits. For instance, it will help you write code faster, and it will also help you avoid making changes at the last moment. Obviously, secure coding will also stop you from releasing codebases that are easy to hack.
The demand for secure software skills continues to grow so adding software security to your list of skills also offers you a considerable advantage when looking for a job. According to statistics, 66% of big and small businesses are going to increase their investments in IT staff, and one of the main reasons is that they care about the safety of their data.
According to research, investing in security pays off well. Internal security operations centers can help companies decrease the financial impact of hacker attacks from $1.4 million to $675,000. Therefore, there’s no surprise that developers who know how to protect data become extremely valuable for software development companies.
3. Write short methods
Many Junior developers have one thing in common — they often use long methods and functions. Methods are common patterns of code that include all the actions needed to achieve the necessary result. Usually, methods consist of many lines of code and work at a low level, looping over data and manipulating strings. As a result, methods are often hard to understand, and using them is also not an easy task.
You can make your implementation begin with one long method, and then break it into shorter methods that represent particular logical steps. In this case, when you need to write a comment to explain something, you will be able to extract the necessary code into a separate method.
Your success as a software developer to a large extent depends on your ability to constantly improve your skills and to learn. Software development is a niche that evolves and expands at a rapid pace so you should always stay up to date about all the latest approaches. We hope that our simple tips will help you focus on the right skills so that you can have a clear direction for your professional growth.