It used to be that technical specialists had the latitude to concentrate on their technical skills alone. As roles begin to blend and cross-functional project teams are formed, technical specialists are now being required to “develop” other attributes that are essential for carrying out the organization’s goals. For software developers in particular, this means having a well-rounded set of skills that can contribute to a project’s success. The following provides a few traits that are essential for today’s software developer:
1) Technical Skills: Software developers need to have up-to-date technical skills that will allow them to efficiently accomplish their tasks. In addition, developers must continue to learn new technologies quickly as they are introduced to their companies, thereby avoiding unnecessary downtime and ensuring overall productivity.
2) Business Acumen: Developers who have a broad knowledge of business are more valuable to their organization. With many companies going agile, software developers are part of larger, cross-functional teams that entail more interaction with colleagues and self-management.
3) Open to Discussion: Software developers should be open to the idea that others within the project may possibly have a better, more practical or even more logical solution. It is important to keep in mind that the goal is simply to find the best technical solution for the project issue at hand.
4) Eagerness to Learn: It goes without saying that the field of information technology is always evolving. Developers must be inherently curious and remain willing to learn new technologies as they emerge.
5) Attitude: Equally important is the attitude a developer exhibits when faced with a technical challenge. The ability to display resourcefulness as well as a positive attitude until the issue is resolved is paramount during a technical setback.
Being a technical expert is no longer sufficient. Today’s software developer should display the above traits in concert to provide him/her with the professional edge to succeed on the job.