As a Community Manager at Works, I am often approached by tech managers, startup owners, developers, and technology enthusiasts, who are keen to understand what skills and knowledge a software engineer should possess. It is a topic that is frequently discussed and debated, and I am always happy to provide my insights into this inquiry.
At Works, we differentiate between two types of developer abilities: “work skills”, which are individual and self-driven, and “team skills”, which require cooperation and collaboration with others to be successful.
Having the necessary skills to succeed in the workplace is essential to achieving success. One key skill is having a comprehensive understanding of computer science as a field and the ability to transfer that knowledge into programming or software development using one or more languages. Additionally, we have identified three primary components of effective workplace skills:
Superiority (Quality) 1. Producing manufacturing results that meet or exceed industry standards is widely regarded as a benchmark for superior quality. Developers who understand the importance of factors such as careful attention to detail, requirement analysis, pattern/MVC implementation, thorough testing, system architecture, performance optimisation, and so on, are more likely to deliver results of an exceptional calibre.
Quantity 2: It is essential to sustain or improve the performance of delivering excellent work on a regular basis, once quality has been ensured. To emphasise this point, consider the following example: When seeking the best programmer, would you prefer Babajide, who consistently surpasses quality expectations, but is often late in his deliveries by four weeks? Or Tolu, who meets the minimum standards of excellence? Expert programmers are adept at meeting deadlines and upholding quality by leveraging development and business tools such as Github, spreadsheets, and charts. Additionally, project management tools such as Trello and Kanban and communication tools such as Slack can boost teamwork and provide a collaborative environment. Furthermore, these developers are skilled at navigating challenging situations that require a high level of focus and mental effort.
3. Self-Start: Self-motivated developers who are capable of understanding the broader context of the product and are able to identify and prioritise the areas that require the most improvement are essential for the successful development of the product. Such developers must use their creativity, decision-making, and problem-solving skills to identify areas of the product that can be improved in order to deliver high value to the end users. They must also be able to take a holistic view of the product, considering how their efforts will contribute to the overall satisfaction of the consumers.
A developer with strong team skills can easily become a valuable asset to any organisation, as they are able to quickly integrate into existing structures, communicate effectively through a range of platforms, and align with the core values of the business. There are three essential areas of teamwork that these individuals must demonstrate proficiency in:
One, the ability to exchange information: As a successful developer, it is essential to have strong communication abilities in both listening and speaking, as well as the capacity to comprehend and deliver information accurately. Furthermore, it is beneficial to be comfortable with asking probing questions, requesting feedback, and providing a detailed response. These skills are incredibly important, as clear and timely communication has a substantial impact on the successful accomplishment of objectives.
Integrity and competence Developing professionally entails responding to and communicating with stakeholders and other team members in a respectful and courteous manner, demonstrating your commitment to the team’s vision and objectives. Professional developers are adept at identifying both internal and external stakeholders and effectively communicating with both. It is essential for setting appropriate expectations to promptly share both positive and negative news, such as any potential delivery delays or other issues. Additionally, being transparent about task allocation, justification, and estimated deadlines is another key component of developing professionally.
Third, combine: Successful integration of a new developer into a team requires more than just technical skills; it requires them to cultivate connections, understand team dynamics, and maintain a positive attitude and dedication to long-term success. This not only allows the developer to become fully integrated into the team, but also enables them to contribute effectively. To ensure a successful integration, cultural sensitivity, flexibility, and information exchange are key components. By being aware of these factors, a new developer can ensure a seamless transition and positive outcome.
At Works, we understand that different organisations and developers possess varying levels of experience. Therefore, we have developed expertise in recruiting the most suitable remote technology professionals for a broad range of industries. Our full-service Human Resources (HR) offerings include help with the hiring process, invoicing, compliance, and taxes for remote employees and global personnel. Our purpose is to assist you in finding the best remote developers for your team, so that they can take the lead on your most important technological projects and activities.