The 5 Skills You’re Missing as an Entry-Level Software Engineer
So you want to be a software engineer? When it comes to achieving your career goal, college can provide a solid and reliable foundation. However, college programs often fail to prepare you for the realities of the workplace experience. Key skills for success – from business communications to marketplace acumen – may be absent from your academic portfolio and better acquired in another way.
Five Things College Doesn’t Teach You About Becoming a Software Engineer
As a college graduate with a software engineering degree, you’ve already come 90 percent of the way to kick-starting your software engineering career. Even so, you could still be missing a few key skills.
1. Understanding Business Needs and Requirements
Oftentimes your work responsibilities as a software engineer will extend beyond creating a piece of software for your employer. Before you can write effective software that solves business problems and boosts productivity, you need to understand where the business is struggling and what types of solutions are feasible within its industry.
2. Becoming a Forever Student
College graduation may be the end of the learning journey for many career paths, but not for software engineering. As technology evolves and new programming languages and strategies emerge, you’ll need to dedicate your time to learning them from scratch.
You’ll need the ability to teach yourself many new subjects throughout your career. That means:
navigating to find the right teaching information
setting up and keeping to self-study schedules
knowing when to seek out and rely upon external training resources such as workshops, webinars, and courses for your ever-continuing education
3. Real-World Software Engineering Experience
Having your own programming style is essential to excelling as a software engineer. However, you’ll need to have an open mind and a thorough understanding of other people’s coding styles. After all, you’ll be building on code that others have already written.
Also, real-world software engineers rarely work on their own. You’ll need to have reliable communication skills to interact well with your team members and colleagues.
4. Project Management
As a software engineer, you don’t necessarily have to become an expert project manager, but you’ll need to work efficiently as part of a team. Luckily, you can prepare yourself for teamwork by understanding the most popular project management philosophies and methodologies.
For example, Scrum is Agile’s most commonly used project management framework in corporate software development. Every team is led by a Scrum Master who’s responsible for eliminating all work obstacles and streamlining work processes for the team. Work is usually done in short ‘sprints’ where the team meets almost daily to discuss their progress and any roadblocks.
5. A Diverse Set of Soft Workplace Skills
Every workplace is different, and you’ll need to grow and adapt if you’re going to thrive in your environment. You can start by reading articles or attending workshops focused on developing solid work ethics and communication skills.
Also look to develop your problem-solving and critical thinking abilities for those times when you and your team — inevitably — hit a wall.
No Time Like the Present
Whether you’re graduating soon, already a graduate, or having trouble scoring a stable software engineering position, there’s no better time than the present to start acquiring or honing needed skills. Visit Revature, to find a growth-centered training environment for software engineers looking to improve.