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8 Hard To Learn Software Developer Skills You Need

Whether you are considering changing careers or trying to decide on your first career, we will describe 8 naturally developed software developer skills that may indicate this field is a perfect match for you. 

Software developers are the creative minds behind computer programs. Some develop the applications that allow people to do specific tasks on a computer or another device. Others develop the underlying systems that run the devices or that control networks.

Bureau of Labor Statistics

Many aspiring career changers are looking to this field because of its faster than average job growth and median income in the six-figures. On paper it is easy to love but having the right software developer skills necessary to succeed long-term is a must-have as well.

While there are specific technical skills you will need to learn before applying for a role, there are 8 personality traits that most Software Developers share. People who naturally have these qualities will typically find enthusiasm in performing the typical software development tasks and can help make this career choice a natural fit. 


TLDR: Answer these 5 questions with a quick yes or no and we will tell you if Software Development is the career for you. 

  1. Do you like puzzles, crosswords, or other types of problem-solving activities and would you work through them for days on end to finish?
  2. Do you have a razor sharp attention to detail? 
  3. Are you constantly thinking of ways to improve or streamline the processes in your life? 
  4. Do you like to learn and do you challenge yourself to continually grow in your knowledge? 
  5. Would those closest to you describe you as patient?  

If you answered mostly yes, then congratulations software development may be a perfect fit for you!


1. Curiosity 

Curiosity may have killed the cat but it helped a software developer get a raise. If you have a natural inclination to learn how things work or test cause and effect, then software development could be a great fit for you. Software developers investigate how to improve software for their customers so designing and testing hypotheses is just another part of the job. 

2. Creativity 

The best software developers think outside of the box. There is no step-by-step guide on how to develop a truly innovative solution, instead innovation is brought to life from the mind of the developer. 

3. Empathy

The best software developers do not tackle a project from their perspective but from the perspective of the user. Empathy is needed to truly understand another person and it is probably the most difficult skill for a person to develop if he/she does not innately have it. If you can look at the problem from someone else’s perspective and develop a solution for them, then you definitely have the foundation of a great software developer. 

4. Patience, Perseverance and Problem-Solving 

So technically these are 3 skills but let’s look at them from the single perspective of the 3-P’s. It is one thing to be a problem-solver but for a software developer you want someone who can solve problems patiently with no end in sight. This means resisting the urge to give into the first somewhat viable solution if you know it is not completely effective. Remember, software developers are creating a better solution for the user so rushing out a solution that does not make things markedly better or, even worse, makes the experience more difficult means failure. This is why you need patience, perseverance and problem-solving all in context with one another to mark the sign of a future software developer. 

5. Analytical 

Software developers need to investigate the details of the user experience and problem, plan out a solution, test for optimum functionality and then roll out the new program. Every step along the way requires analysis that the program is meeting its goals and showing improvement for the user. Additionally, the initial problem shared by the customer often requires a software developer to dig deeper into the root cause to ensure the actual problem is being addressed rather than a symptom of the problem. All of this takes a highly analytical mind to tackle effectively. 

6. Detail-Oriented and Organized 

As you can imagine, a software developer is responsible for designing, building, testing and launching complex systems. The process can often take several months or years and will likely result in people constantly exiting and joining the project. To manage the flow of knowledge in and out and the changes of the project itself, the software developer needs to maintain detailed documents of the project and changes made to the system. This allows people new to the project to get up to speed quickly and not waste time on changes that have already been tested. As such, software developers who are highly organized and detail-oriented excel in the role, especially for larger, more complex projects that have a number of moving parts. 

7. Adaptability 

Things change quickly, especially in tech-related fields. Software developers, especially, need to be highly adaptable to not only the changes in tech but also to the complexities of dealing with a variety of personality types. Leading software developers tackle change with ease and can quickly adjust their processes and behaviors to accommodate. 

8. Communication 

Software developers correspond with everyone from non-tech customers to highly technical programmers. The language used in each instance must be tweaked to meet the person at his/her level. A software developer who spits out words upon words of technical jargon to a customer who does not understand will make that person feel belittled or talked down to, which can ultimately harm future work opportunities. Similarly, a software developer who can’t understand enough of the technical details can risk losing the respect of his/her programmers, resulting in an inability to motivate them. Now, it can seem that the skill lies in developing a technical understanding, but in reality, it is more about how to effectively navigate conversations. A natural ability to hold a conversation with people from a range of backgrounds, skill levels and industries is a sign of great communication skills. These skills will aid a software developer to no end and allow you to grow in the field as you continue to hone your technical skills. 


Average Salary Of A Software Developer

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