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Key Technical Skills for Software Developers

Discuss about the Systematic Review Of Productivity Factors Software.

In order to be a successful software developer and attain a significant carrier growth, the following skills are must for every job aspirant looking forward for a successful carrier in the software development domain. These skills have been identified after analyzing the job description profiles thoroughly.

Followings are the key technical skills for the software developers:

There are certain standards, applicable to the software domain, that a successful software engineer should be aware of. These standards include basics like proper utilization of version control system so that old work or codes can be retrieved whenever needed, no matter when the version of the code was created (1).  The professional should also be aware of various robust testing protocols on which the code is employed (2).

According to the industry experts, the act of writing code is not only about the science and technology put forward, it is also about the art that the professionals should master with the knowledge of the industry’s best practices and proper experience (3).

Due to the complexity and variety of project that the industry deals with, knowledge of any single programming language is not enough. The candidates must be comfortable in working with various coding languages. Otherwise, it is very difficult to excel in the domain (4) . Many software engineers prefer to master any important language and become expertise in that domain. It is completely fine to build an area of expertise, but several domains should be explored to remain in the field that is highly competitive and challenging as well.

Here are the top programming languages currently in demand, arranged as per the popularity from highest to lowest (5):

  1. Java
  2. Python
  3. JavaScript
  4. C++
  5. C#
  6. PHP
  7. Perl

Apart from those top seven languages, some honorable mentions include:

  • Swift
  • R
  • Rust

Additionally, knowledge in some key software frameworks like SQL, .NET, NODE is also very important and plays a vital role in providing an extra edge over the competitors.

Most of the times the projects need to be submitted within deadline and the professionals must be well prepared for that to work effectively (6).

The software development projects are often executed in team and having the ability to work in the team is must for the professionals (7).

The professionals should be always open to learn new things whenever the project demands for some new skill previously unexplored by the individuals (8).

Software developers often face situations where they need to analyze the possible solution and choose the appropriate one, which can only be done through proper critical reasoning (9). This particular soft skill is often regarded as the most important of all. 

Ref:

Capabilities –software developer should have the ability to:

GLO1

GLO4

GLO7

Weaknesses

C1

Solve problems applying domain specific

 Knowledge (14)

ü   

 Lack of domain specific knowledge

C2

Think critically to be able to chose the appropriate solution(14) 

ü   

Lack of critical thinking ability

C3

Ability to work in a team to achieve a common goal(14)

ü   

Lack of teamwork experience.


Type of GLO

Deals with

Procedure to improve

Relevant capability(gap)

GLO1

Domain specific knowledge

Discipline specific knowledge includes expertise in software system and coding techniques.

To improve domain specific knowledge following are some important steps to follow:

Contribution to open source project:

The aspiring software developer can learn a lot by contributing to the project that are open source and by doing this developers can increase their theoretical knowledge by combining with the practical aspects. This also helps to improve the coding skills (10).

Analysis of source code:

In order to make an understanding for codes and more specifically what good code looks like , there is hardly any better options than reading codes from good sources and this a must for software developers (11).

Certification courses:

Candidates should follow some good certification courses to learn and improve the skill. These certificate courses are of great values in the market and it will definitely add some extra to the core knowledge in the software specific domain.

1.      Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer (MCSD) (12)

2.      Microsoft Technology Associate (MTA)

3.      Oracle (APEX)

4.      Cloudera Certified Developer for Apache Hadoop (CCDH)

5.      Amazon Web Services- AWS (13)

6.      Oracle (OCP) MySQL

C1

GLO4

Critical thinking

Critical thinking plays an important role in developing analytical skill. Even though it is something beyond the technical aspect, it should be treated with equal importance.

Following are some strategies to develop critical thinking:

Engage in various practical projects:

Critical thinking is developed by analyzing problems related to various practical projects. It is necessary to think a problem through various perspective and it can only be improved through experience  of working in real projects that involves problem solving skill

Some philosophical courses:

Even though it may sound completely irrelevant regarding to the domain, but a philosophical course can surely improve the way of thinking. Although, the degree itself is not important, but attending the course will surely improve the thinking ability (15). 

Following  are some affordable Udemy course  one can follow :

·         Critical Thinker Academy: Learn to Think Like a Philosopher

·         Mastering Thinking Skills Vol 1: The 12 Fundamental Skills

·         How to Think Independently and Be More Self-Confident

C2

GLO7

Team work

Software developers often need to work in a team to finish assigned project. in order to work in a team and deliver efficiently, developers must have a feeling for team work. The best way to enhance the team work capabilities is to work in a team. To enhance the capability to work in a team , it is important to consider few practical projects where  the work is be done in a team. Only internship can provide the individual the opportunity to learn the essence of teamwork and apply it accordingly. When it comes about choosing the right company for the internship, it is advised to opt for the big names like Google, Facebook, and Intel to observe the essence of teamwork and learn a lot from it.

C3

Reference list:

1  Wagner, S. and Ruhe, M., 2018. A systematic review of productivity factors in software development. arXiv preprint arXiv:1801.06475.

2  Sonmez, J.Z., 2015. Soft Skills: The software developer's life manual. Manning Publ..

3  Knuth, D.E., 2016. The Art of Computer Programming, Combinatorial Algorithms: Part 2 (???. Volume 4,). ???????? ?? https://www. cs. utsa. edu/~ wagner/knuth/fasc5b2016, 5.

4  Liebenberg, J., Huisman, M. and Mentz, E., 2014. Knowledge and Skills Requirements for Software Developer Students. World Academy of Science, Engineering and Technology, International Journal of Social, Behavioral, Educational, Economic, Business and Industrial Engineering, 8(8), pp.2604-2609.

5  Cass, S., 2015. The 2015 top ten programming languages. IEEE Spectrum, July, 20.

6  Ahmed, F., Capretz, L.F., Bouktif, S. and Campbell, P., 2015. Soft skills and software development: A reflection from the software industry. arXiv preprint arXiv:1507.06873.

7  Fidalgo-Blanco, Á., Sein-Echaluce, M.L., García-Peñalvo, F.J. and Conde, M.Á., 2015. Using Learning Analytics to improve teamwork assessment. Computers in Human Behavior, 47, pp.149-156.

8  Braude, E.J. and Bernstein, M.E., 2016. Software engineering: modern approaches. Waveland Press.

9  Jiang, J. and Yang, B., 2015. Roles of creative process engagement and leader–member exchange in critical thinking and employee creativity. Social Behavior and Personality: an international journal, 43(7), pp.1217-1231.

10 Padhye, R., Mani, S. and Sinha, V.S., 2014, May. A study of external community contribution to open-source projects on GitHub. In Proceedings of the 11th Working Conference on Mining Software Repositories (pp. 332-335). ACM.

11  Oliveto, R., Hindle, A. and Lawrie, D.J., 2017. Source code analysis and manipulation. The Journal of Systems & Software, (129), pp.58-59.

12  Microsoft Learning. (2018). Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer (MCSD) Certification | Microsoft Learning. [online] Available at: https://www.microsoft.com/en-in/learning/mcsd-certification.aspx [Accessed 20 Mar. 2018].

13  Amazon Web Services, Inc. (2018). AWS Certification - AWS Cloud Computing Certification Program. [online] Available at: https://aws.amazon.com/certification/ [Accessed 20 Mar. 2018].

14  Acs.org.au. (2018). [online] Available at: https://www.acs.org.au/content/dam/acs/acs-documents/CBOK-FAQ-2016.pdf [Accessed 20 Mar. 2018].

15  Bender, L., Walia, G.S., Fagerholm, F., Pagels, M., Nygard, K.E. and Münch, J., 2014, July. Measurement of the Non-Technical Skills of Software Professionals: An Empirical Investigation. In SEKE (pp. 478-483).

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