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Must-have Skills to Become a Software Developer in 2021

Posted on 
March 12, 2021
Isha Chakraborty

Software engineering has become one of the most sought-after jobs in the market due to its handsome remuneration benefits and the ability to solve high-level problems with big tech companies. 

With that in mind, are you asking yourself the following questions?

  • How do I upskill myself as a software developer?
  • What are the top skills I should know as a software developer?
  • How can I become a successful software developer in 2021?

Apart from having a strong technical knowledge, software developers are also required to have certain soft-skills and collaborative skills significantly in a world that has mostly gone remote. We will help you understand all the key skills to grow and upskill yourself in your Software Development career. 

This article will talk about:

  1. The top skills required for software developers in 2021
  2. Where to learn these skills from?
  3. How to prepare for a software developer Interview
  4. How much can you make as a software developer in 2021

Key skills required for software developers in 2021

Software developers are often judged & assessed on their proficiency with specific programming languages and frameworks, but it should be noted that these are all transferable skills. That being said, some skills & frameworks are in high demand right now that will help you add weight to your resume. 

  1. Data Structures & Algorithms: Data Structures & Algorithms are some of the most important skills prioritized by tech companies worldwide when hiring software developers. Your efficiency in Data Structures & Algorithms is directly related to your problem-solving ability and coding skills. Data Structures & Algorithms are at the core of any programming.

    Software developers often fail to understand the importance of Data Structures & Algorithms in the early stages of their careers. But as you progress through, you’d realize how important it becomes when your code starts taking too much time or takes up too much memory in the system.

    Data Structures & Algorithms are also a crucial part of any software developer interview, so it’s important you continue upskilling your Data Structure & Algorithm skills (e.g., Arrays, Linked Lists & trees)
  1. Cloud Computing Skills (AWS, GCP & Azure): Companies, small & large, and from various domains are now moving towards cloud services as a cost-saving method and improving scalability. This means eventually, the company you work for will expect you to work with cloud-based applications.

    Top cloud platforms like Azure (native to Microsoft), AWS (native to Amazon), GCP (native to Google) will help you get ahead in terms of your hire ability in some of the top companies, including FAANG. You don’t have to learn all of the cloud platforms. Having a good idea about one of these will enable you to understand the others too.

  2. Git & GitHub: As a software developer, you need to know about version control tools like Git & SVN. Git & Github have streamlined the market to a great extent. Over 70% of the companies use Git. While learning Git, make sure you put some effort into understanding the advanced version control concepts such as branching and merging and learning the command line and the GUI. 
  1. Containers (Docker & Kubernetes): Docker & Kubernetes are some of the most important container tools every software developer is expected to know in 2021. Containers help developers test their applications in a unified environment but also make the deployment process easier. Docker & Kubernetes are two containers that’ll help you get the edge in any software developer interview since they are one of the most-sought-after skills companies look for in 2021.
  1. IDEs (VSCode or IntelliJIDEA): Modern IDEs such as Visual Studio Code or Eclipse is the most critical tool for any programmer. VS Code is a great option for any C/C++/C# programmer, whereas, for Python developers, the Jupiter Notebook is a good choice.
  1. Database & SQL: Due to the popularity of the database, it’s expected from every programmer that he’s familiar with essential database concepts like normalization & table design along with SQL. You can choose to learn any one database like Oracle, MySQL, Microsoft SQL Server, PostgreSQL. It’s the familiarity that matters. You should be able to perform functions like insert/update/delete data & write SQL codes to retrieve it. 
  1. Linux (UNIX): Most software developers nowadays work on Unix systems, and hence understanding the Linux command line goes a long way in helping you work efficiently. You can perform basic tasks and know what’s going on with the system by checking its CPU or memory usage. 
  1. Object-Oriented Programming: As a software developer, you need to know at least one of the following programming languages: C, C++, C#, Java, Python, or Javascript. The easiest to learn, however, is the Java programming language. 
  1. Computer Networks: Any software application you develop will never be standalone. They will be interconnected via computer networks, making understanding computer networks important to develop and support your application. 
  1. Scripting: Scripting languages make it easier to create tools & scripts to solve some common programming problems. If you have a good grasp of scripting languages such as Python, you can easily automate the most mundane tasks. Python is also one of the languages that you can use for both OOP coding & scripting. So it’s best to learn this to kill two birds with one stone. 

Where can you learn these skills from?

There are many free and paid programs on the internet you can use to learn more about the skills mentioned above. Some of the platforms are Udemy, Coursera, Tutorials by Microsoft & Google on Python programming. 

You can also choose to join a Coding Bootcamp such as Interview Kickstart to help you master all the skills you need to become an efficient software developer in 2021. 

How to prepare for a software developer Interview?

Now that you know the skills required to become a great software developer in 2021. Let’s go over how you can prepare yourself for a software developer Interview at FAANG & Tier 1 companies:

  1. Find out the most commonly asked interview questions.

In a typical software developer interview, you can expect to be asked questions about your knowledge of the programming languages you know, your ability to solve programming problems efficiently, and a few basic questions about past projects you’ve worked on.

  1. Do background research about the company.

While you may think you know everything about a company. It doesn’t hurt to brush up that knowledge with more information on the current products & technologies they’re developing or working on based on publicly available information. 

  1. Ask questions, and then ask some more.

Don’t straightway jump into the solution. Make sure you check your assumptions with the interviewer before you start forming your solution. Ask all the relevant questions you need for clarity.

  1. The interviewer only looks for three things in your code.

Does it run fast? Take up less memory & is it stable? If you’re able to tick off all these boxes with your code. You’ll be ahead of most of the competition. 

How much can you earn as a software developer in 2021?

The average salary you can earn as a software developer in the US is around $100-$110K/year.

While it may seem like a daunting task to clear the software developer interview, it doesn’t have to be that way. With our handy tips on preparing for a software developer interview and a list of skills companies look for, you’re already on your way to success. 

Join our 2-Month coding & systems design masterclass that will help you nail the software developer Interview with ease. Register for our webinar to know more about our program.

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