Key Hard Skills
Hard skills encompass the specific abilities necessary to excel in a particular job. Graphic designers need artistic abilities, surgeons need great hand-eye coordination, and software developers need a strong command of major programming languages, such as those listed below.
- Java: As a general-purpose programming language, Java features class-based, concurrent, object-oriented functions. Designed to minimize implementation dependencies, Java allows application developers to “write once, run anywhere.” Java is one of the most popular programming languages used today, especially for client-server software applications.
- C#: A general-purpose, multi-paradigm programming language, C# encompasses imperative, strong typing, functional, declarative, object-oriented, component-oriented, and generic programming disciplines. Developed by Microsoft within the .NET initiative, C# received approval as a standard by ISO and ECMA.
- Python: Python is an interpreted, general-purpose, high-level programming language. Python’s design philosophy emphasizes code readability by using significant whitespace and providing clear programming on large and small scales.
The list above details several important programming languages useful to software developers, but aspiring software developers can also learn a host of other languages. Depending on the job, industry, and specialty you plan to pursue, you may need to become an expert in other languages. Consider popular languages such as Ruby, Scala, and TypeScript, and learn more about programming languages as you explore your options.
Key Soft Skills
You may wonder: what are the skills of a software developer, aside from computer programming? Software development, like many other occupations, requires soft skills in addition to hard skills. Developers need to work well with others, exhibit attention to detail, and think through complex problems.
- Communication: Developers need to effectively communicate with customers, colleagues, managers, and employees in non-technical departments in order to do their jobs effectively.
- Teamwork: Software developers often work in teams to plan, design, and develop projects. They must collaborate effectively with others, receive feedback constructively, and participate in meetings.
- Problem-Solving: The responsibilities of a software developer include fixing problems that computer programmers or users find. They need great problem-solving abilities to ensure that a program works correctly.
- Attention to Detail: The best software developers possess detail-oriented sensibilities that enable them to identify and track small issues in code. They must also possess the ability to shift focus back and forth from the big picture to the minute details.