The technological advancements in this era have caused a reliance on mobile applications and software. This has created a need for more software developers to handle the growing demand for software.
Software development is a lucrative career; therefore, more people are looking to get into the industry. However, very few people know what software development entails. Software development entails the development of computer systems for various intended use cases.
The software development process entails designing the software, coding, testing, maintaining, and making necessary updates to the software. Software development is a highly technical process that requires various skills.
In this article, we shall look at various skills that software developers should possess.
a) Software Testing Skills
The testing phase is an integral step of the software development life cycle (SDLC). The software testing phase tests for different use cases and test data to ensure that the software runs and performs as intended. Software testing, in general, entails three integral testing types. These are unit testing, unit integration testing, and software testing.
In unit testing, a software developer analyzes individual lines of code to find any bugs or errors in the logic or semantics. Unit testing also entails putting the specific software unit in a use case test to ascertain that it works as intended.
Integration testing aims to ensure that all software units link and work together as intended. System testing is done by external software developers. They check whether the developed software aligns with the customer requirements.
In the past, software testing was a manual task. Manual software testing for robust systems was time-consuming because all the independent use cases had to be considered. This drawback led to the development of automated software testing.
Automated software testing requires developers to develop specific automated tests to test various aspects of the developed software. Due to the rapid adoption of automation testing, manual software testers should make the switch to automation testing.
Switching to automation testing can be somewhat complicated. Using a well-detailed automation testing guide will make the switch much smoother.
b) Problem Solving Skills
The fundamental purpose of a software developer is to solve a problem through the development of software. Problem-solving skills are therefore a must-have for all software developers. Problem-solving skills allow the developer to keenly analyze a problem, the client’s request, and needs, then develop software to address these.
Problem-solving skills also come into play for software development during the coding phase of the SDLC. As stated by NTSEC, it is impossible to write code without encountering any bugs. As a developer, you must resolve all the bugs or errors in your source code before delivering the software to the client.
In the resolving of existing bugs, problem-solving skills come into play. Problem-solving skills help the developer to analyze every aspect of the bugs. After analyzing the error, developers use their problem-solving skills in conjunction with the relevant tools and algorithms to find a solution.
c) Coding Skills
Knowledge of a programming language is a must for a software developer. The coding stage of software development entails using a programming language to code the client’s software. There are numerous programming languages that a software developer can choose to learn and use for software development.
It is vital to keep in mind that the programming language to learn should also be relevant to the work that you will be doing. If, for example, you are looking to be a software developer for macOS, you should learn objective C. Knowledge of a language such as Kotlin will be irrelevant to a software developer looking to develop software for macOS.
A key advantage of learning programming languages is that once you have learned the first language, learning others is easy. This is because the fundamental concept of programming languages is the same. It is only the semantics and a few rules that vary.
Cryptography is a technique of secure data transmission that keeps data confidential. With cryptography, data in transit can only be accessed by the sender and receiver. Cryptography relies on the scrambling of data based on a predetermined key. Once the data is scrambled, only the person who has the key (receiver) can translate the data to its initial form.
As a software developer, you will deal with sensitive data or information that will require confidentiality and privacy. Knowledge of cryptography will help you design and develop software that acknowledges the necessity of data security.
Data security on software is achieved through the use of cryptography.
e) Database Skills
A database is a collection of related information that is stored in digital format. Regardless of the existence of database engineers, software developers should have database skills. This will give them knowledge of how database management systems work.
Knowledge about databases comes in handy in software development because all software is linked to databases. It is, therefore, paramount for the software developer to know about databases. This will help the developer to be able to link the developed software to its database.
Database skills will also help the software developer know which security measures to implement for the system. Database security is an integral part of software development to ensure that confidential data does not get into the wrong hands.
f) Networking Skills
Software developers are required to have an all-rounded skill set, including networking. Most of the time, developers develop client-server software. In client-server software, data or processing requests are sent from the client to the server and back through computer networks.
This is why networking skills are important for developers. It gives developers the fundamental knowledge of networking, therefore allowing them to integrate networking capabilities into software seamlessly.
As a developer, lacking networking skills will greatly limit your capabilities in software development.
The above-discussed skills are the most integral for software developers. This means that there are other minor skills that software developers should have. The other skills are field-specific. It is important for you to keenly study the skills required in the software engineering field that you seek to be a part of.