Software engineer competencies for candidates
A software engineer needs to have various skills to be competent and succeed in their job.
Technical (coding) skills are a must and experience working in any of the above-mentioned programming languages can help the software engineer excel at their job. But the software developer needs to continue growing and learning since programming languages are changing, and they need to stay up-to-par with changes to be relevant in today’s marketplace.
Coding iOS or Android applications started a bit more than 10 years ago and today you can find hundreds of job listings that search for developers with those skills. Not to mention that the programming languages rise and fall through the years as new programming languages arrive that are faster, have better performance, and integrate more efficiently with other languages. So a software engineer needs to keep learning to stay relevant in the field.
The right candidate
The right candidate for a software engineer position will have the following skills:
• Pensiero critico skills. The software developer will have to analyze and systemize data, reason and make sense of it, and apply the solutions to the problems at hand.
• Problem-solving skills. Ingegneri del software will often find themselves in a situation where they will have to figure out a solution to the problem - and do it fast. So a great software developer will handle problems with a “can-do” attitude.
• Gestione del tempo. Coding isn’t an easy task and often the software engineers are under a tight deadline to finish up the applications or get the system back up and running. So they will need excellent time management skills.
• Flexibility. When it comes to programming, a software engineer will try to actively find a solution to the problem. If the problem can’t be fixed through one framework, they will try a different approach until they solve the problem. That’s why coding is also quite creative.
• Written communication skills. A perfect software engineer would also have good verbal communication skills, but software engineers usually lack these skills. But having great written communication is a must for software engineers because they will have to communicate things with their colleagues.
• Teamwork. Ingegneri del software often do pair programming, so they will have to be collaborative and get along well with others to succeed in their roles.
• Empathy. Since software engineers work in teams and do pair programming, they will have to understand why their colleagues did something the way they did. That will require the software engineer to put themselves in others’ shoes and understand their point of view. That’s why empathy is a good skill for a software engineer.
• Attention to detail. Missing a comma in the English language will get you a faulty sentence, but missing a comma in C++ will invalidate your code (macros, variable declarations, enum declarations, and similar constructs). So a software engineer needs to be detail-oriented if they want to succeed in their role.
On top of these soft skills, the software engineer will also know how to:
• Work with NoSQL and SQL databases
• Understand computer architecture
• Have experience with operating systems
• Be well-versed in product enhancement, optimization, and strategic planning
• Have experience with data structures
• Have a working knowledge of Linux/Unit, JS, Perl, and Shell
• Be experienced with agile scrum team techniques
• Have a basic understanding of UI toolkits and frameworks
By adding a software engineer test to your recruitment process, you can evaluate which applicants have the above-mentioned skills, and gain insight into who the best candidates are.