In my role as a Community Manager of Works, I often receive inquiries from tech managers, startup owners, developers, and tech enthusiasts regarding the skills and knowledge required for a software engineer. This is a widely discussed and debated topic, and I am always glad to offer my insights on this matter.
At Works, we distinguish between two types of developer competencies: “work skills” that are self-directed and accomplished individually, and “team skills” that necessitate successful cooperation and collaboration with others.
Possessing the critical abilities required to excel in the workplace is crucial to attaining success. One primary competence is having a thorough comprehension of computer science as a discipline and the skill to apply that knowledge to programming or software development using one or more languages. Furthermore, we have identified three fundamental components of successful workplace abilities:
Quality 1: Producing manufacturing results that match or exceed market standards is commonly acknowledged as a sign of superior quality. Developers who recognize the significance of elements such as meticulous attention to detail, requirement analysis, pattern/MVC implementation, comprehensive testing, system architecture, performance optimization, etc., are more likely to deliver outcomes of outstanding quality.
Quantity 2: Once quality has been ensured, it is vital to maintain or enhance the ability to produce exceptional work consistently. Consider the following analogy to underscore this point: When searching for the best programmer, would you choose Babajide, who consistently surpasses quality expectations but frequently misses deadlines by four weeks? Or Tolu, who meets the minimum standards of excellence? Competent programmers are proficient at meeting deadlines and maintaining quality by utilizing development and business tools, such as Github, spreadsheets, and charts. Additionally, project management tools, such as Trello and Kanban, and collaboration tools, such as Slack, enhance teamwork and create a collaborative work environment. Moreover, these developers are adept at navigating complex challenges that necessitate a high level of concentration and mental effort.
Self-Starting 3: Self-motivated developers who are capable of comprehending the wider context of the product and can recognize and prioritize the areas in need of the most improvement are vital for the successful development of the product. These developers must employ their creativity, decision-making and problem-solving abilities to identify areas where the product can be enhanced to deliver the greatest value to end users. Additionally, they must have the ability to view the product holistically, and recognize how their contributions will contribute to overall customer satisfaction.
A developer possessing exceptional team skills can effortlessly transform into a valuable addition to any organization, as they can promptly assimilate into existing structures, communicate effectively through various platforms, and align with the fundamental principles of the business. There are three key areas of teamwork in which these individuals must exhibit proficiency:
First, Information Exchange: As a successful developer, having excellent communication skills, including active listening, clear articulation, and precise interpretation of information, is crucial. It is also advantageous to be at ease asking for feedback, posing thought-provoking questions, and providing comprehensive answers. These competencies are highly valued, as accurate and timely communication significantly contributes to achieving project goals.
Integrity and Competence: Developing as a professional involves interacting with stakeholders and team members in a respectful and courteous manner while demonstrating your commitment to the team’s objectives and vision. Competent developers can recognize and communicate with both internal and external stakeholders effectively. It is imperative to share both positive and negative news in a timely manner, such as potential delays in delivery or other concerns. Furthermore, being transparent about allocation of tasks, justification, and estimated deadlines is another crucial factor in professional development.
Thirdly, Integration: Achieving successful integration of a new developer into a team entails more than just technical skills; it necessitates cultivating relationships, comprehending the dynamics of the team, and maintaining a positive attitude and a commitment to long-term success. This not only enables the developer to become fully integrated into the team but also allows them to make effective contributions. Cultural sensitivity, flexibility, and information exchange are critical components for ensuring successful integration. By being mindful of these elements, a new developer can ensure a smooth transition and a positive outcome.
At Works, we recognize that organisations and developers have varying levels of experience. For this reason, we have expertise in sourcing the most suitable remote technology experts for a wide range of industries. Our comprehensive Human Resources (HR) services include guiding through the hiring process, invoicing, compliance, and taxes for remote and global employees. Our objective is to assist you in identifying the most competent remote developers for your team, enabling them to spearhead your most crucial technological projects and initiatives.