The Software Engineering skillset balances critical foundational technology skills and emerging technologies. Software engineers must constantly update their skills to keep up with new technologies. The specific skills required for each software engineering job will depend on the industry and location. However, having these technical skills will make your CV stand out and get you closer to your goals.
These hard software engineering skills will help you succeed in 2024
Here is a breakdown of the top ten hard software engineering skills and why these skills are crucial for today’s job market:
Java remains a mainstay in enterprise environments, especially for back-end systems. Its robustness, scalability, and widespread use in Android app development keep it highly relevant.
SQL is crucial for database management. With data being an integral part of almost every application, understanding how to query databases is indispensable. While SQL remains foundational for database management, NoSQL databases like MongoDB, Cassandra, and Couchbase are gaining popularity for handling big data and unstructured data. Skills in both types of databases will be advantageous.
Python’s simplicity and versatility make it popular for web development, data science, and AI. It’s also a leading language in emerging fields like machine learning. Given its versatility and ease of use, Python will likely continue growing, especially in emerging fields like artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), data science, and robotics. Its community support and a vast array of libraries make it a go-to choice for many new developments.
HTML and CSS
The cornerstone of web content structure, HTML is essential in web development. It’s foundational knowledge for building web pages. Along with HTML, CSS is fundamental for web design. As websites become more interactive and visually complex, advanced CSS skills are increasingly valuable.
As software development methodologies evolve, project management skills with Agile and DevOps practices will be essential. This includes understanding CI/CD pipelines, automation tools, and collaborative workflows.
The shift towards cloud infrastructure is ongoing and expanding. Skills in cloud services like AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud Platform are becoming essential as more companies move their operations to the cloud. Understanding cloud-native technologies, serverless architectures, and cloud security will be crucial.
Version control is vital for collaborative development projects. Proficiency in Git, the most widely used system, is critical, and understanding advanced version control concepts and strategies is essential as projects and teams grow in size and complexity.
C++ is an old language. However, it is still prevalent in system/software development, gaming, and areas where performance is crucial. These areas include embedded systems and real-time processing. We believe C++ will maintain relevance because of its efficiency and control over system resources.
Three hard skills related to emerging technologies worth learning in 2024
Software developers can benefit from learning new technology skills no matter what stage of their career they are at. These skills can help junior software engineers enter the tech industry, and mid-level engineers advance to senior positions.
As AI and ML continue to integrate into various sectors, understanding these technologies and how to apply them in practical scenarios is increasingly essential. Skills in TensorFlow, PyTorch, and other ML frameworks will be in high demand.
Containerisation and Orchestration Technologies
Docker and Kubernetes are vital for deploying applications in a consistent environment. With the increasing complexity of applications and the need for scalable, reliable deployment, skills in containerisation and orchestration will continue to be highly valuable.
As cyber threats evolve and become more sophisticated, the importance of incorporating robust security practices into the software development lifecycle will only increase. Understanding secure coding practices, threat modelling, and security testing will be essential.
Some skills essential in working with software and computer systems, data structures and algorithms are now less in demand. However, don’t be tempted to remove these skills from your CV. Some of these hard skills aren’t entirely obsolete, though. Having experience in these seemingly “obsolete” technologies can catch the attention of hiring managers and get you a job!
For instance, one of our clients recently hired software testers to carry out manual testing and debugging tasks and help them automate some of their processes. Don’t forget that many industries rely on legacy systems, and consequently, the software engineer’s hard skills related to maintaining and integrating with these software systems can be valuable.
Top soft skills for software engineering in 2024
In 2024, as in any era of software engineering, being able to write code and use different programming languages and technologies isn’t everything. Soft skills play a crucial role in a professional’s success. These skills complement technical expertise and are vital in navigating the complexities of modern workplaces, collaborative environments, and innovative projects.
Here are some critical soft skills that are particularly important in software engineering:
Effective communication is essential, whether discussing technical details with other team members, explaining concepts to non-technical stakeholders, or writing clear, comprehensible documentation. The ability to convey ideas clearly and understand others’ perspectives is invaluable.
The ability to think critically and devise practical solutions to complex problems is at the heart of software engineering. This involves analytical thinking, creative innovation, and practical application.
Teamwork and collaboration
Software projects often require coordinated efforts among various individuals and teams. Working collaboratively, respecting and understanding diverse viewpoints, and contributing positively to a team environment is critical.
Adaptability and flexibility
The tech field is constantly evolving, so adapting to new tools, technologies, methodologies, and changes in project direction is vital for success.
Time management and organisation skills
Managing time effectively, prioritising tasks, and staying organised is crucial, mainly when one software engineer works simultaneously on multiple projects or assignments.
Continuous Learning and Curiosity
Learning new skills, keeping up with trends, and staying curious in a changing field are essential. Taking online courses will help you progress in your career.
Empathy and Emotional Intelligence
Understanding and relating to the feelings of colleagues and users can significantly improve how you work in a team and the quality of the products you develop, especially when considering user experience and team dynamics.
Attention to Detail
The precision required in coding and software development makes attention to detail a necessary skill. This can prevent errors, save time in troubleshooting, and ensure higher-quality outputs.
Resilience and Stress Management
Software development can sometimes be a high-pressure career. The ability to handle stress, recover from setbacks, and maintain a positive attitude is essential for long-term success and mental health.
Leadership and Initiative
Even for those not in management roles, showing leadership by taking initiative, mentoring others, and taking ownership of projects is valuable.
Final thoughts on the best soft and hard software engineering skills
The balance of hard software engineering skills and soft transversal skills is key to success in today’s dynamic software engineering landscape. Technical proficiencies in the top programming languages and software engineering tools are fundamental to progress in your career. Still, soft skills such as communication, problem-solving, and adaptability are equally important. This combination not only enhances a CV and makes you a more marketable candidate but also equips software engineers to excel in an evolving technological world.