What Top Skills Tech Companies Want to See in Software Engineers

Software engineers are in high demand across a wide variety of industries. Companies need the skills of talented software developers to create successful programs and applications to serve customers better, drive revenue, and grow their operations.  

If you’re a software developer or engineer, it’s important to understand the skills required to do your job well – and impress hiring managers. Whether you’re looking for professional IT contract jobs, special project roles, or something more permanent, it’s vital that you have both the hard and soft skills to be successful in this field.  

Partnering with an experienced software developer recruiter can help you prepare for applying, interviewing, and accepting software engineering roles that check all your boxes. Keep reading to learn more about what skills recruiters identify as the most important to showcase when looking for a new job in software engineering. 

Software Developer Recruiters Breakdown the Technical Skilled Required for an IT Contract Job  

It goes without saying that software development and engineering is a highly specialized field. Without specific knowledge, you won’t get very far.  

Here are some of the most essential technical or “hard” skills for software engineers to develop: 

Knowledge of Computer Coding and Programming 

Coding or programming is the process of turning thoughts, ideas, or tools into computer code. A good software engineer will know the various programming languages used in web development, like Java, Python, HTML, C/C++, and Ruby. Of course, different languages are useful for different types of development; some work best for mobile application development, for example, while others are more useful for video game design. Which languages you know and specialize in is up to you and your interests, but having a general knowledge of as many as you can is helpful for making you a stand-out candidate. 

Software Development

One of the most foundational skills to have to be a successful software engineer is development ability. This might mean developing websites, mobile apps, games, etc. Most software engineers specialize in a particular area, whether it’s front-end development, back-end development, system programming, or other specialties. There are also full-stack developers, who have knowledge and experience with both front- and back-end web development.  

Whether you choose to specialize in a particular area or become a full-stack developer, this area of the software engineering field is central to everything you’ll do on the job. 

Understanding of Testing Software 

Software of any kind must be tested extensively before it’s released to end users. Software engineers need to be familiar with testing software and procedures to check a program’s ability to function.  

Three main types of software testing that developers should know are: 

  • Unit testing – evaluating individual lines of code to determine if they require modification.  
  • Integration testing – determining if different areas of a program’s code can be merged successfully or observing how one software program interacts with the code of another.  
  • System testing – determining if a product fulfills user expectations and then communicating suggestions for alterations or modifications as necessary.  

Familiarity of Databases 

Databases allow companies and individuals to store, organize, and structure information, whether it’s records, personnel information, or any other vital data. And virtually every company uses an electronic database of some kind, so familiarity with this concept is essential. Software engineers must know how to use databases, including searching for information, inputting new data, and updating systems. It will be very helpful to learn a standardized source code known as Structured Query Language (SQL), which allows you to operate various systems.  

Cloud Computing 

More and more enterprises are shifting their environments into the cloud. Software engineers with experience with cloud-native apps will be more in-demand as this trend continues. To extend their career prospects and be more attractive to a wider swath of companies, software engineers should gain experience with platforms like Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services (AWS), and Google Cloud Platform (GCP).  

This is by no means an exhaustive list of the hard skills software engineers should have to be successful in today’s market. You should work closely with a software developer recruiter to hone the precise skills required for your career path. It’s also worth noting that hard skills are only half the picture – soft skills are just as important when it comes to landing the software engineering jobs you really want. 

Software Developer Recruiters Advise IT Professionals to Focus on the Following Five Soft Skills 

Soft skills are the kinds of skills that let you interact well with others in the workplace and complete work efficiently and effectively. While hard skills like writing code and having familiarity with database technology are vital, soft skills are just as important when it comes to working in the real world alongside other people.  

Five of the best soft skills for software engineers to have are: 

Effective Communication Skills are a MUST for Software Engineers

Software development doesn’t happen in a vacuum. Invariably, you’ll communicate with others throughout any project, from other engineers to managers to stakeholders. You should be excellent at interpersonal communication, meaning one-on-one interactions, and be able to adjust your communication style to the person you’re speaking to and the aim of the conversation. Practice active listening – concentrate on what the speaker is saying and use nonverbal cues like nodding to show you’re comprehending, and then think carefully about the best response.  

Software Engineers Must be Able to Work in Teams

Most software engineers don’t work alone. It’s likely that you’ll work collaboratively as part of a team, especially when it comes to things like software design and testing. When you have the ability to work well with others, you build positive workplace connections and help contribute to a better work environment for everyone. If you’re not a team player, on the other hand, you’ll only bottleneck the process and cause difficulties that could derail the entire project.  

Software Engineers Should Be Detail-oriented

The best software engineers are extremely detail-oriented because even the smallest mistake in code could have ripple effects that disrupt an entire project or program. Software development can be complex and take a long time, so patience and careful attention to detail are vital skills.  

Software Engineers Must Have Effective Problem-Solving Skills

Troubleshooting is an important part of the process when it comes to software development. When you have strong problem-solving skills, you’ll be able to identify and fix issues faster and more accurately. Being detail-oriented comes back into play here as well – you’ll need to be able to look over code with a fine-toothed comb in order to solve problems effectively. 

Able to multitask 

In most software development jobs, you must manage multiple projects at once. You might switch between tasks and projects anytime, so you’ll need great time management and organization skills to multitask effectively.  

Creativity is Important for Software Engineers

Although software development is a technical skill, it also requires a level of creativity. You’ll need to use creative strategies to design technology and software that stands apart from the pack – when you can create something unique as compared to your employer’s competitors, you’ll be successful.  

Ability to Adapt

The ability to adapt to new circumstances is an important skill in almost any job, software engineering included. Whether it’s changing project dynamics or instructions, a new design, or a new coding language, you should be able to be flexible and adapt to changing circumstances on a project when it’s required. 

Partner With a Software Developer Recruiter to Help Find You Find an IT Contract Job 

Looking for IT Job placement services that can help you find your next software engineering job? Partner with PEAK Technical Consulting’s software developer recruiters to take your career to the next level. Since 1968, we have been helping software engineers find flexible, rewarding jobs with top companies across a wide range of industries.  

Looking for temporary, temp-to-hire, or permanent placement with great companies where you can grow and thrive? Get started with PEAK Technical to find your next software engineering or development job. 

Looking for work? Start your search with PEAK Technical now! 



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