The software development industry is an outlier in its hiring practices. Many industries care most about their early career candidate’s educational achievement and university. However, the tech industry is overwhelmingly focused on experience and proven skills. Recent research found that 90% of hiring managers say “previous experience and years of experience–both indicators of skill–are among the most important qualifications.”
This is especially true for developers provided by software outsourcing services. Their projects and assigned companies change regularly. So they must have the type of expansive skillset that allows them to change directions immediately.
Software outsourcing developers should have excellent soft skills, in addition to superb technical abilities. These include communication and the ability to think like an end user. Lastly, the best developers will have strong attention to detail and a passion for continuing education.
Software developers must have an in-depth understanding of computer programming to be hired by a software outsourcing service. But their knowledge of technical skills can’t stop there. The most in-demand professionals also understand how to write clear and understandable code that their colleagues can read with ease.
In addition, software outsourcing developers should have a solid understanding of algorithms and data structures. This is especially important for programmers who did not attend a four-year college, where these skills make up a large portion of the curriculum.
The widely-cited The Cathedral and The Bazaar, a seminal book on computer programming, noted that “Smart data structures and dumb code works a lot better than the other way around.”
This is because it helps developers understand the big picture of how a computer processes information and executes programs. Software developers with a thorough knowledge of algorithms can quickly identify the fastest solutions and evaluate tradeoffs. This makes them invaluable members of a development team, helping to significantly reduce the length of the software development life cycle.
Developers found through software outsourcing services should also have a wide array of soft skills. These skills are typically defined as interpersonal abilities and personality traits that enable someone to work successfully with others.
Communication is by far the most important soft skill for software engineers. The best developers should be able to actively listen to instructions and feedback, collaborate effectively with their teammates, and diffuse interpersonal conflict when necessary.
Another powerful soft skill is empathy. Software development companies invest a great deal of time and money to source skilled developers who can put themselves in the end user’s position. Elite software engineers are capable of thinking like a consumer and will ensure that user experience and interface design remain important during every step of the software development life cycle.
Attention to Detail
Quality assurance, frequently called QA testing, is an incredibly important part of the software development life cycle. This process ensures that software functions smoothly and is free of errors. However, many novice project managers make the mistake of focusing on quality assurance only during the testing phase.
Software bugs and coding errors happen during every stage of development. In fact, research found that programmers make an average of “15-50 errors per 1000 lines of delivered code.” This is why modern software development methodologies like Agile and Lean integrate quality assurance testing into every single stage of a development project.
The best software development services create multidisciplinary teams to reduce the amount of coding errors and avoid embarrassing, buggy software rollouts. These multidisciplinary teams include all of the various specialists necessary to bring software to market and operate according to the idea of shared responsibility.
These Agile teams include software security experts, quality assurance testers, and design specialists in the project from day one. These teams improve software quality and ensure that multiple people review each line of code.
Willingness to Learn
Software developers must be willing to continue their education and expand their skill sets in order to maintain their career in the industry. New programming languages and frameworks are released regularly and new technology continues to develop at an increasingly rapid pace.
The best software engineers are constantly seeking out new ideas and cultivating new skills. Popular continuing education events like coding workshops and programming seminars allow developers to learn new programming languages and improve their coding skills and code’s readability.
In addition, smart programmers regularly follow the news and attend tech conferences to understand what technology is on the horizon. This is because the best developers are excited by their work. They want to be involved in creating innovative technology and proactively acquire the skills required to be at the forefront of the industry.
Lastly, software developers with strong soft skills should be willing to expand their non-technical skillset. Companies of all sizes are looking for technically-skilled project managers with the ability to communicate successfully and manage a wide range of personalities.
Companies of all sizes are turning to software outsourcing services to help them develop custom software for their customers and employees. However, the huge number of outsourcing companies means that many executives are struggling to select the right partner and software developers for their needs.
The best software development services will source candidates with a wide array of skills. These software developers must have a solid foundation of technical skills, in addition to soft skills such as communication and empathy for the end user.
Lastly, developers should have strong attention to detail and a passion for continuing education. The software development industry continues to innovate at a rapid pace and the best engineers are relentlessly focused on improving their skills and expanding their knowledge.