Qualities Of A Software Engineer

Qualities Of A Software Engineer

Most software engineers or aspiring software engineers often ask questions like “What skill set should a software engineer have?”, “what makes a great software engineer?”, “what are the qualities that a software engineer must possess?”, etc. Even though this question seem to be very prevalent in nature, i strongly believe that developer skills can be categorized under two major groups namely work skills and Team skills.

  • Work skills are a developer’s ability to understand computer science as a discipline, and effectively interpret that understanding through programming/software development using one or more languages.
Qualities Of A Software Engineer
Qualities Of A Software Engineer
  • Team skills are a developer’s ability to fit into existing structures, effectively communicating through various channels and identify with organizational values. With these set of skills, software engineers learn some soft skills which helps them to interact effectively with other people, including non-techies.
Qualities Of A Software Engineer
Qualities Of A Software Engineer

Okay, enough chit chat. Let’s get down to the business of the day and take a look at the qualities/skills a software engineer must posses in other to become a productive and effective software engineer.

List Of Qualities Of A Software Engineer

Before we proceed further, please note that this article will be focusing more on soft skills.

Note: The list is on no particular order.

1. Discipline:

First on the list is discipline, An undisciplined developer will not be able to ship on time and will not write code that is easy to maintain. A disciplined developer will not only enable the success of a project, but will increase the level of productivity in others . Software architects and developers do themselves lots of damage when they attribute their success to whatever methodology they have adopted. It really goes down to how disciplined you are. Without discipline, things like tools and languages are irrelevant. You don’t necessarily have to have a strict, rigid military code of conduct. Even though software engineering is a young field, there are a lot of accepted conventions that make up modern software development. All it takes to benefit from those conventions is a little old-fashioned discipline.

2. Communication:

Taking the second spot on our list is communication, These skills comprise of oral, interpersonal skills and written. To communicate effectively, a developer should have the ability to understand others and make themselves understood, both in writing and speaking. Developers have to be willing to ask open-ended and powerful questions, seek and request feedback, and respond in a structured and systematic way. Communication skills are an important factor in how two or more people convey complex ideas and concepts to each other, which is core to collaborating and networking. These, in addition to others, are very important, because good communication makes quality high-value targets at the expected time.

3. Team work:

Teamwork can have a different meaning when it comes to software development. Especially in light of innovative trends like DevOps and agile development, effective teamwork is becoming more of a priority for development organizations. In order for initiatives like DevOps and agile development to be successful, developers, quality assurance personnel and software testers must all work closely together. It’s similar to the inner workings of a machine. When all the pieces fit together as they should, and all cogs are running at the right speed, the machine can hum along and perform the actions that it was created for. However, when even a single piece is out of place or not operating at the correct rate, the machine doesn’t function properly and isn’t as efficient as it should be.
As a software engineer, being an effective team member can bring numerous benefits to the product being created. This approach can lead to increased efficiency, enhanced creativity, improved processes as well as drive innovation, which all shine through in the final release.

4. Growth mindset:

Having the right mindset  is very important. Being a successful software engineer and programmer is far beyond the strings of code you write. Having a belief that you can grow and learn anything you focus on could really help solve some of the world’s problems.

In a growth mindset, people believe that their most basic abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work — brains and talent are just the starting point. This view creates a love of learning and a resilience that is essential for great accomplishment.

Says Dweck. Aug 29, 2013

5. Smart technical data of the project areas (Domain knowledge):

Having domain knowledge means you can contribute on a conceptual level and sometimes prevent incomplete or poor specifications from impacting the stakeholders. This is especially true when feature requests come in that cross departments or processes. Someone needs to have a higher level view to ensure no unintended consequences occur.
Lack of familiarity with the applying areas may end up in low productivity and poor quality of the merchandise.

6. Professionalism:

Developers display professionalism by reacting and communicating with respect to team members and stakeholders. This allows a developer to demonstrate an understanding of the team’s goals and an acceptance of the team’s mission. A professional developer knows how to identify both internal and external stakeholders, knows how to relate to them and how to do it well. This includes sharing the good news and bad news, like proactively alerting them about slip-ups in delivery as soon as they become aware of them to manage expectations.It also includes clearly sharing how work is delegated, with estimates and reasoning for proposed delivery times.

7. Empathy:

Dr. Brené Brown, an empathy researcher, writes in her book titled Daring Greatly:

“Empathy is a strange and powerful thing. There is no script. There is no right way or wrong way to do it. It’s simply listening, holding space, withholding judgment, emotionally connecting, and communicating that incredibly healing message of ‘You’re not alone.”

When you put empathy at the center of technology, human connections become stronger. On the developer side, these connections increases collaboration and employee retention. It makes for a better working space for everyone involved. It helps us create better products because we better understand the people who will be using them. Empathy has a logical place for user experience testing but can be found in these four areas as well: When Gathering Requirements, During The Coding Process, While Supporting Programs We Create, When Being A Leader.

8. Problem Solving and Logical Thinking:

Lastly on the list is Problem Solving and Logical Thinking, These skill is very important because they help us to take control over our environment, they can help you reason through important decisions, solve problems, generate creative ideas and set goals — all of which are very necessary for nurturing your career. Whether you have just entered the workforce or want to advance your career, you will come across different challenges on a daily basis that require logical reasoning skills.

The stronger your logical thinking skills are, the more easily you will be able to come up with solutions and plans that benefit you, your team and your workplace.

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