As a software developer, building projects go beyond writing codes and applying algorithms. Besides your supercool tech skills, you shouldn’t underestimate the fact that digital technology plays a vital role in today’s virtual world, and the software industry is no exception. For the sake of your career and to remain relevant in a rapidly changing industry, it is essential that you are versed in one or two digital skills in addition to your software development skills. They would help you successfully create useful and lasting products.
Learning digital skills also gives you an edge in your competitive domain. A programmer with a broad set of skills is more likely to hired by clients more often than another will lesser skill set. Even tech companies today do not want strictly “one-minded” specialists . They’d rather have employees with wider skill set. By “notching” a number of these smart skills under your “career belt,” you would be doing yourself a favour and ultimately creating a higher value proposition in your profession.
Be it to see to your clients’ needs, bring their ideas to life, or simply “prep” your portfolio to get hired, the digital skills that have been found essential in doing an excellent job of software development projects include:
Asides your software development skills, knowing how to design the user interface of your product is an added advantage. A designer that is experienced in building excellent, responsive user experience will be considered a top priority for hire by clients or companies. You will also be able to carry out your development projects and actualise your client’s ideas more effectively when you know what user interface design will best suit the minimum viable product you are building.
This skill will undoubtedly guide your creative building process to deliver a product of immense value — an appealing factor for the owner of the product and the target market. A marketer is familiar with what the “market” wants. A programmer that is familiar with the demands of the tech market and consumers will be able to consider such demands in the production process. Then, he can use that fact — being familiar with what users need and deliver a product that suits such need — in his marketing strategy.
Although this digital skill is not commonly found amidst programmers, it would be a boon to any developer that possesses it.
Knowing how to advertise your finished products is a financial advantage to yourself and your clients. Since you know the functions and attributes of your products, and how it will benefit prospective end users, you will know how best to put this before the target market in your “salesman” mode. The product in question could be yours or a client’s. Either way, you enjoy a financial gain.
Product and Project Management
There is more to software development than just creating products. After a software product is built and launched, there’s a need to monitor its workings and see to any issues or improvements it might need to continue to run efficiently. This is what Product Management is about.
A developer who knows how well to manage a product, and puts a lifecycle management plan in place for such a product, will create a more useful software than one who doesn’t. He can easily recognise and weed out errors or redundancy in output and enhance the product it to achieve needed goal.
Moreover, a client would choose a programmer that doubly serves as Product Manager — knowing what to do to ensure his product continues to thrive for its purpose. In addition, a software developer who has imbibed the project management skill in developing software products, delivering services promptly and in a cost-effective manner will find his services extensively valuable and exclusively desirable to clients.
Ability to Adapt to New Technology
This may not be a digital skill in a sense, but it is one of the most critical characteristics for every software developer. It is almost impossible to predict what will be the tech trend a few months from now. A programmer should be able to adapt to the latest technologies and utilise them in creating premium products and providing constructive services.
To this end, developers should ensure they continuously learn and upgrade their skills to continue to provide relevant services.