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Software engineering skills needed to land a great job

Hi, I’m Brian, a former senior software engineer and now industry mentor at Pathrise. I have helped hundreds of software engineers to help them land their dream jobs in tech. Check out my article about software engineering skills.

If you have just finished college or a bootcamp and you are starting out on your job search, the first step should be optimizing your software engineering resume. This gives you a better chance of making it past recruiter’s first glances. One of the best ways to do this is by creating a designated skills section on your resume. This helps both recruiters and applicant tracking systems when they parse your resume for keywords. 

We have worked with hundreds of software engineers on each step of their job search, supporting them until they land a great job. In order to help you do the same, we developed this list of software engineering skills that will highlight the impact you can provide to the company.

Coding languages

This is fairly obvious, but software engineers need to have extensive background in coding languages. Typically they are fluent in 1-2 languages and familiar with others. The language you choose to master is usually based on the type of role you are most interested in. Similarly, it depends on the systems or devices you work with on a daily basis. 

Some common coding languages for software engineers are: HTML & CSS, JavaScript, SQL, Ruby, C++, C, C#, Python, PHP, Java. When you are applying for roles, make sure that you are taking a close look at the job description. Then, match your skills to the requirements (while remaining truthful). Apply for positions where you can showcase that you have the background they desire. Learn about the top programming languages for each role in our article.

Photo of top programming languages for software engineering skills

Analytical and problem-solving mindset

Successful software engineers are data-centered and analytical. They have to create and utilize version control systems so that they don’t lose old work, develop testing protocols, and collaborate with other developers in an organized way. Software engineers also need to analyze and maintain older code and develop coding frameworks and methodologies for future use. A lot of time is spent troubleshooting and doing research on issues so that they can continue to write clean, people-friendly code that accomplishes the company’s goals.

Interpersonal skills

Strong interpersonal skills are extremely important for software engineers as the role has become more interdisciplinary recently. Not only are software engineers often working on teams but also they work frequently cross-functionally. That means they collaborate with data scientists, designers, product managers, and project managers in order to build, test, analyze, and enhance websites, apps, and products based on the desired results. In order to be successful in this role, software engineers need to be communicative, collaborative, and compromising. Sometimes stakeholders will ask for elements that the engineer does not agree with. Then, it is up to them to express their opinions in a kind and productive fashion. Questions about interpersonal skills will often come up in the behavioral interviews. So, it is important to prepare for these behavioral sessions.  

Time management and multitasking abilities

Employers need to know that they are hiring team members who can be trusted to manage their own time and multitask as needed to get their projects done. Software engineers rarely work on one project at a time, instead, they need to be able to prioritize and manage various projects so that they hit the milestones expected of them on time. This requires a fair amount of organization and balance. On your resume, make note of projects that you delivered on time or early and showcase the number of projects you were given at one time so that the recruiter knows this is something you can handle.

If you have these software engineering skills on your resume, you should be able to move forward to the interview process. Plan your responses to ensure the interviewers know you do, too.

Pathrise is a career accelerator that works with students and professionals 1-on-1 so they can land their dream job in tech. If you want to work with any of our mentors 1-on-1 to help you land a great software engineering job, become a Pathrise fellow.

Apply today.

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Brian Wong

Brian Wong is an experienced senior software engineer and has worked at top bay area startups and organizations. In his free time, Brian works with Pathrise SWE fellows to help them land their dream job and learn insider tips on how to ace technical interviews.

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