Software Developer Skills – 25 Must Have Skills To Become A Software Developer

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Successful software developers have a wide range of technical skills at their disposal. They are able to use a variety of software programs, set up hardware devices, and create crucial procedural steps that will assist them in developing their own applications. You can better your career prospects and choose the option that best suits your preferences by learning about various software developer skills.

This incorporates a programming language like C++ or Java, fundamental software engineering ideas like Information Designs, Calculations and PC Organization rudiments, vital devices like Git, Docker, Kubernetes and compartments as a general rule, Distributed computing ideas and stages like AWS, GCP, Microsoft Sky blue, and evergreen abilities like SQL and UNIX, editors like Shroud or Visual Studio Code, and content managers, similar to VIM and NotePad++, and so on.

25 technical competencies that you can acquire are discussed in this article, along with what skills a software developer needs to have.


The technical abilities a person acquires to create successful programs and applications are referred to as software developer skills. To write source code, which is the sequence of words and symbols that allows a program to function, they typically require knowledge of mathematics and the ability to solve problems.

There are a variety of skills to acquire, including computer systems and digital tools. Numerous product engineers learn them through classes in a software engineering certification program or certificate course.

What does a software developer do?

Software developers fall into four broad categories: frameworks engineers, web designers, versatile designers and test mechanization designers. When starting out, new professionals typically specialize in one of these areas.

With experience, a junior software developer is likely to advance to senior software developer and, later, software architect or a similar position. Manager or team leader are potential additional promotions.

Software developer’s typical duties include:

  • Discussion with a senior developer (for developers with a mid-skill level or lower) about the needs of the clients and possible solutions.
  • Code writing and testing
  • Working together with other programmers.
  • Using tools for development.
  • Key skills of software developer:
  • Mathematical aptitude
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Programming languages (different types of developer role require different languages)
  • Excellent organizational and time management skills
  • Accuracy and attention to detail
  • An understanding of the latest trends and their role in a commercial environment
  • Teamwork skills
  • Self-development skills to keep up to date with fast-changing trends

25 software developer skills

The following are the 25 technical abilities required to develop software:

  1. Coding languages
  2. Database knowledge
  3. Data structures and algorithms
  4. Source control
  5. Testing procedures
  6. Debugging knowledge
  7. Operating systems
  8. Text editing software
  9. Cryptography
  10. Software frameworks
  11. Cloud platforms
  12. Spreadsheet software
  13. Cloud computing skills
  14. Git and Github
  15. Containers (Docker and Kubernetes)
  16. VIM
  17. IDEs (VSCode or IntelliJIDEA)
  18. Linux (UNIX)
  19. Object-oriented programming
  20. Computer networks
  21. Scripting
  22. Basics of testing
  23. Cross-platform software
  24. Encryption and cryptography
  25. SDLC (software development life cycle)

1. Coding languages

You need to be proficient in at least one programming language to become a good programmer. When choosing a programming language, it is dependent on your area of interest as well as the language in which you enjoy solving problems or feel most at ease.

The various types of source code that can be written for a software program are known as coding languages. Since hiring managers frequently expect candidates to possess expertise, it is essential for software developers to specialize in at least one type of coding language in order to increase the number of job opportunities they can receive.

To pick a language to learn, attempt to figure out which sort of program lines up with your inclinations. For instance, some options may be better suited to the design of video games than mobile applications.

Common coding languages include the following:

  • JavaScript
  • HyperText markup language (HTML)
  • Cascading styles sheets (CSS)
  • Python
  • C++
  • Java


When designing a system for an interactive website application, such as a webpage that displays specific information when a user clicks a button, this option aids developers.

HyperText markup language (HTML):

On a website application, you can use this standard option to display paragraphs, bulleted lists, and charts with text and images.

Cascading styles sheets (CSS):

On a website application, you can change the font, color, and spacing of text. Because of this, many developers are familiar with HTML and CSS and use both languages concurrently.


This option is a programming language with many different features that lets you do a variety of software development tasks, like writing code for an entire program or tracking language errors. Because of its straightforward structure, it may be simpler to learn than other options.


This programming language can assist you with creating programs that upgrade equipment abilities, like clinical hardware programming. Because it can design complex gaming systems with high-quality computer graphics, C++ is used by many video game developers.


You may be able to develop programs and applications for a variety of computer systems using this programming language. Java is also used by video game developers to make high-quality games because it has a structure that is similar to that of C++ but is simpler.

2. Database knowledge

Electronic systems known as databases enable individuals to organize and structure information, particularly company records. Software developers must be able to search for information, update a system with new materials, and insert new lines of data in a table format.

They also know how to protect a database and backup data to keep a company’s information safe in case of an emergency. Learning a standardized source code known as Structured Query Language (SQL), which enables you to operate various systems for various businesses, may be helpful for database management.

SQL is a well-known classic that has been around for more than 30 years and, in my opinion, will continue to exist for another 30 years. Programmers are expected to be familiar with SQL and fundamental database concepts like normalization and table design due to the database’s omnipresence.

There are numerous data sets, similar to Prophet, MySQL, Microsoft SQL Server, PostgreSQL, and so on. However, knowing only one suffices. The most important thing is that you should know how to use the database. You should be able to write SQL queries and insert, update, and delete data.

Understanding how to work with databases is an essential skill for developers. Developers should know how to store records, create, insert, update, and delete, among other things. Without the database, no organization can develop software or applications of any kind.

Every serious business project requires a developer who is comfortable working with databases and managing the entire organization’s records securely. As a result, every organization expects a developer who is comfortable working with databases and managing the entire organization’s records.

SQL is without a doubt the classic database that developers use the most. If you have any desire to turn into a decent designer, you should be great recorded as a hard copy essentially fundamental SQL inquiries. Prophet, PostgreSQL, MongoDB, Cassandra, Redis, and so forth, are the databases with which you can work easily.

3. Data structures and algorithms

Algorithms, on the other hand, are descriptions of the steps required to complete a task, while data structures are various organizational methods for storing information in a database. Programming engineers frequently realize numerous information designs and calculations to figure out which mix can assist them with streamlining data in a program’s code.

A writing program that stores information about fonts, for instance, is an example of a data type that can be stored in multiple variations using a completed array structure. Users have the ability to select a font type and size if the developer employed the appropriate algorithm.

Take a relevant course that teaches you how to build and use various data structures in a program to learn about them. You can take the following certification courses:

  • Coursera’s Data Structures and Algorithms Specialization
  • Udemy’s JavaScript Algorithms and Data Structures Masterclass
  • EdX’s Professional Certificate in Data Structures and Algorithms
  • Udacity’s Data Structures and Algorithms Nanodegree Certification

If you want to work as a programmer, you should be well-versed in algorithms and data structures; There’s no way out. This is one of the most important topics in any programming job interview, and you can’t write a real-world application if you don’t know basic data structures like an array, linked list, map, and set.

Because of this, every programmer should put in a lot of effort to learn the algorithm and data structure in their computer science class. If you are a self-taught programmer, you must also be familiar with algorithms and data structures; In fact, a lot of programming bootcamps will teach you algorithms and data structures first.

I highly recommend taking Data Structures and Algorithms if you need a course: Tim Buchalaka’s Deep Dive Using Java course is available on Udemy. Additionally, if you are looking for free resources for learning Data Structure and Algorithms, you might want to check out these Medium courses on algorithms.

The majority of businesses place a high priority on this skill when evaluating applicants’ problem-solving and coding abilities. You can turn into a decent programming engineer on the off chance that you know how information can be coordinated and the way in which tackling a genuine problem can be utilized. You should seriously study Data Structures and Algorithms as a developer, computer science student, or self-taught programmer (e.g. tree, linked list, and array).

Information Designs and Calculations are the core of programming. When you first start your career in software development, you will discover that your code is either taking up too much space or taking up too much time. The majority of developers initially do not realize its significance. There, you’ll see how important it is to use the right data structure and algorithm to organize the data in order to solve a particular problem in a shorter amount of time and space.

4. Source control

A system that aids a software development team in keeping track of updates and modifications to a program’s coding language is referred to as source control management (SCM). It permits every engineer a potential chance to deal with the code independently, then, at that point, combine their endeavors into one form.

SCM systems can help you restore a language to its previous state and generate a list of code revisions if necessary. It could be useful to figure out how to utilize a kind of SCM framework, as organizations frequently require programming engineers to work in groups on similar coding projects.

Git, a software development lifecycle management (SCM) tool that lets you store multiple versions of a program’s code in a single folder system, is used by both businesses and individual programmers. Each project is organized using a branch system, with a primary branch representing the original code and any additional branches that connect to it representing changes or modifications. Git is also an open-source program, which means that anyone can use it.

5. Testing procedures

Before a company can offer its products to customers, every piece of software goes through a complex testing procedure. A number of digital tools are used to make sure a product works and meets its design requirements. Additionally, it involves evaluating a program’s capability to operate on a variety of hardware platforms and to store private information.

As organizations frequently plan their testing processes in view of a couple of basic parts, it very well might be useful for a product designer to comprehend crucial perspectives prior to applying to work positions.

Developers are aware of the following three aspects of software testing:

  • Unit testing
  • Integration testing
  • System testing

Unit testing:

This test includes assessing individual lines or areas of code to decide whether they require alteration. Engineers frequently make an alternate unit test for each venture they complete to guarantee they look at a program’s key components.

Integration testing:

This testing procedure is utilized by software developers to ascertain whether or not they are capable of successfully merging various parts of a program’s code. They can also observe how one software program interacts with another’s code through integration testing.

System testing:

After incorporation testing is finished, an outer testing proficient normally leads this cycle to decide whether an item satisfies client assumptions. A product engineer should figure out the means of this interaction, as testing experts frequently impart basic ideas for modifications.

6. Debugging knowledge

Debugging is a method used in software development to find and fix bugs in a program’s coding language. Using problem-solving skills, it involves running a program through specialized software to observe each error and then determining which part of the code caused it.

While writing their code, many software developers debug it to better ensure its functionality during testing. It is essential to acquire knowledge of debugging software in order to acquire fundamental strategies for error elimination and process improvement.

7. Operating systems

Software that enables a program to run and configures a device’s hardware is referred to as an operating system. The most widely used mobile phone operating systems are iOS and Android, while Microsoft Windows, macOS, and Linux are the primary computer operating systems.

A software developer may be able to better carry out testing procedures and transfer lines of code between them if they acquire some expertise in the aforementioned types. You can also specialize in writing program code for a single system, depending on your preferences and the requirements of the job.

The operating system’s fundamentals and mechanism should be familiar to any serious software developer. When a developer works on a project, they deal with a lot of operating system issues like using too much memory, communicating with another machine, running a program at a very slow speed, tools conflicting, blocking, and other issues.

A serious problem can arise at the production level when a developer writes code on one machine that does not work on another. Therefore, having a solid understanding of the operating system’s processes and mechanisms is advantageous. The majority of programmers work best on a Mac, Windows, or Linux system. The best examples of mobile and tablet operating systems are Android and iOS.

8. Text editing software

Text editing software is a piece of software that lets developers create and edit plain text—a standard file that doesn’t have any formatting like word processors do—and edit it.

Programming designers frequently use content editing programming to compose the text and images expected for a coding language, as it permits them to move the code into another framework and add organizing flawlessly. To be able to list one type of text editing software as a skill on a resume and to streamline your software development process as a whole, it is essential to acquire expertise in that software.

Common text editing software includes the following:

  • Atom
  • TextMate
  • Notepad++
  • Brackets


Open-source and made for software developers, this choice lets you use Git and other useful program tools.


This software supports all programming languages and can be used with macOS operating systems.


This open-source software can be customized in a number of ways, including merging with another development program, and it runs on Microsoft Windows operating systems.


This program can be used on Microsoft Windows, macOS, and Linux, and it can be combined with software that makes use of Git or similar development tools.

9. Cryptography

An encryption code or password, also known as a key, is used in cryptography to conceal confidential data. An algorithmic formula is used to create a decryption code that can reveal the original data to a user.

Encryption is a common tool used by software developers to stop outside parties from learning about a product. Asymmetric encryption, which uses two keys to unlock the original data, and symmetric encryption, which uses only one key, are the two primary types of cryptography to learn.

10. Software frameworks

A software framework is a program that developers can use to build a program using information they have already established; like lines of code they have written in the past or software knowledge from other developers.

The framework of each operating system is unique and typically includes the most widely used programming languages. They might include predetermined features and structures that can make software code development easier. For instance, you can write code on a Microsoft Windows system with the .NET framework, on a macOS system with Cocoa, or on an iOS device with Cocoa Touch.

11. Cloud platforms

Cloud stages depict the equipment and programming expected to run an organization’s distant information base, presently frequently called the cloud. This kind of platform usually needs knowledge of server management and coding languages, two common skills for software developers.

Since these platforms are used by a lot of businesses to store data, it might be helpful to learn how to make programs and applications that use cloud technology. You can, for instance, obtain certification in the use of Amazon Web Services (AWS), a cloud platform brand that numerous businesses purchase and utilize.

12. Spreadsheet software

Individuals can organize data sets and perform calculations using spreadsheet software. Since a business may require software developers to keep track of their data and project progress, it may be helpful to learn how to use a spreadsheet program.

Before transferring data to a larger database system, you can also use a spreadsheet to organize information and solve any necessary equations.

13. Cloud computing skills

In addition to containers, I believe that every software developer and data scientist should learn about cloud computing by 2023. In order to save money and improve scalability, businesses of all sizes and industries are moving their environments into the cloud. This means that you will eventually need to work with cloud-native applications.

Because only the cloud can provide the computing power that is required by those resource-hungry models, they are also essential for all sunrise development in the fields of data science, machine learning, and artificial intelligence.

Learning cloud platforms like Amazon Web Service (AWS), Google Cloud Platform (GCP), or Microsoft Azure will put you ahead of the competition not only in your current position but also in the post that comes up next. You don’t have to learn them all, and learning just one will give you a good idea of the others.

First and foremost, I propose you learn AWS as it is the most well known and most mature cloud stage and there are areas of strength for an of designers and framework administrators with AWS information in the event that you really want an asset. It will not only assist you in gaining a thorough understanding of AWS but also prepare you for AWS certification.

14. Git and Github

If you want to become a coder or software developer, you must be familiar with version control tools like Git and SVN. Source control is used to store code.

Fortunately, Git and Github have simplified the market, and over 70% of organizations now use Git; Therefore, all you need to do is learn Git to get by.

Between, you ought to invest some energy into learning Git well, similar to you ought to be alright with cutting edge variant control ideas like expanding and converging as well as the actual apparatus, I mean, both on the order line and utilizing GUI. The Ultimate GitHub for Beginners: Master Git and GitHub are the best starting points.

15. Containers (Docker and Kubernetes)

In my opinion, containers and tools like Docker and Kubernetes should be familiar to every programmer, software engineer, data scientist, and even project manager in 2023.

Now, it is clear that containers like Docker not only make it easier for developers to test their application in a unified environment, but they also make it easier to deploy it.

You can quickly deploy your application with all of its dependencies and process isolation with the assistance of Docker. In a similar vein, Kubernetes, an orchestration tool for containers, takes it to the next level and can manage containers on your behalf.

As a result, you won’t have to worry about your application’s scalability because Kubernetes or K8s will automatically take care of that for you. If you have any desire to get familiar with another ability in 2023, I propose you learn Docker and Kubernetes, it won’t just assistance in your present place of employment yet in addition in the following post as they are likewise the most sought after expertise by organizations, everything being equal.

16. VIM

There is certainly not a solitary day when I have not involved a content manager while functioning as software engineers. It is an essential tool for anyone who works with computers or is not a programmer.

I’ve primarily used NotePad on Windows and VIM on Linux, but advanced editors like Sublime and NotePad++, which offer IDE-like features, are now readily available.

I recommend that you learn your preferred editor and keyboard shortcuts. You can also learn productivity tips. On the off chance that you like VIM, feel free to learn VIM, you won’t lament your choice.

17. IDEs (VSCode or IntelliJIDEA)

The most important tool for programmers is a modern IDES like Eclipse or Visual Studio Code. The choice is clear for C, C++, and C# programmers: Visual Studio; for Python programmers, Jupiter Notebook is getting better and better every day.

There are three primary IDEs available to Java programmers: Eclipse, NetBeans, and IntelliJ. While Eclipse is my favorite, IntelliJIDEA is not at all bad.

You can write, modify, compile, run, and debug your code with IDEs. Different programmers have different preferences when it comes to selecting the best development environment for the language or purpose they are working on.

IDEs should be used by all programmers to write, run, and debug their code. They can work more quickly by using an IDE, and there are numerous IDEs for developers. For C, C++ and C# developers most suggested decision is Visual Studio or Code: Blocks. PyCharm, Spyder, and Jupyter notebook are also gaining popularity among Python developers. Developers should use IntelliJ IDEA, NetBeans, and Java Eclipse.

18. Linux (UNIX)

Like SQL, UNIX additionally has endured everyday hardship. It’s additionally been around for over 30 years, and I trust it will there for the majority additional next few years. A solid understanding of the Linx command line is essential because programmers frequently work in UNIX environments, such as Linux servers.

It lets you work efficiently. You can look through records, know what’s the deal with the framework by really looking at its computer processor and memory use, and perform fundamental and high level undertakings.

19. Object-oriented programming

A programming language, such as C++, Java, Python, or JavaScript, is necessary for a programmer. You can choose anything, but my personal recommendation is that you at least be familiar with Java.

Because it is straightforward to begin with, it is the best option for novices. It also has a lot of power and lets you do almost anything. It has taken libraries from doing simple things like web development to doing Big Data and other things.

20. Computer networks

Today’s world is interconnected, and you’ll find computer networks everywhere—from your home, where WIFI is used by many devices, to schools, colleges, and offices, where LANs connect to the Internet.

The majority of the applications you’ll write won’t be standalone; rather, they’ll be client-server applications in which requests are routed through the network to a server. Clients will get to your application from anyplace on the planet. In the end, if you want to understand, create, and support your application, you need to be familiar with the fundamentals of networking.

The client-server model is used by developers in 70-80% of cases. In this model, a client can access the application from anywhere in the world by sending a request through the network to a server. In order to create and maintain an application, developers need to be familiar with fundamental networking concepts.

An HTTP request issue over the network may arise if the architecture is not properly designed. A client or user sends a POST request over the internet to a server in a client-server architecture. After the server processes the data request, the client receives a response.

Client-server architecture is currently used in the majority of applications, including cloud computing, business automation, online games, and web-based games. So, we cannot deny this reality that essentials and fundamentals of systems administration are likewise a fundamental ability for the designer before they go into programming.

21. Scripting

Well, there is unquestionably a language like Python that is suitable for both OOP coding and scripting, which is why I asked you to learn it at the very least. However, if you learn C/C++ or Java, you won’t be able to create something as quickly as a Python or Perl developer.

Creating tools and scripts to address common programming issues is made simple by the scripting language. You can easily automate routine tasks if you are proficient in a scripting language like Python.

22. Basics of testing

There are numerous test cases that an application or software must pass before being released to the market. Testing is an essential step in determining whether the software is ready for customer use and identifying any bugs.

Although there are numerous test methods, a developer should be familiar with three essential ones. The first is unit testing, in which each module or class is thoroughly evaluated. There are many different frameworks for unit testing, such as NUnit for C#, JUnit for Java, and Embunit for C or C++.

Integration Testing is another type of testing in which a developer must examine how various modules or blocks interact with one another. This test helps to rule out data processing errors. The final test is System Testing, in which complete and integrated software is tested. It is a form of black box testing because it does not necessitate internal code knowledge.

23. Cross-platform software

It is expected that a product will function on multiple platforms, such as Windows, Mac, Linux, and so on, when it is designed or developed. Cross platform allows you to write code once and share it across platforms using a simple language.

Due to the fact that the majority of customers today use smartphones or mobile devices to access products and services, it is critical for developers to create products that are compatible with as many systems as possible.

When the software is adapted to as many devices as possible, eventually more customers can be a part of the business. For better career opportunities and growth in software development, you should be familiar with working with cross-platform software, whether you are a beginner or an experienced programmer.

24. Encryption and cryptography

When developing software or a web application that uses a user’s sensitive information, it is essential for a developer to implement a secure and encrypted key to ward off all forms of intrusion. When developing software or products, the primary concern of every organization is the protection of sensitive user data and the prevention of site hacking.

Developers are expected to be familiar with encryption algorithms, authentication, and cryptography techniques. Encrypting data typically employs two approaches. The public key and the private key are these. With public key encryption algorithms like RSA or ECDSA, a key is created.

The developer can choose which algorithm to use to ensure the network’s overall security. Cryptography assists the engineer with making a solid framework, secure data set and assists in communicating with getting yield over the organization subsequent to handling the solicitation. Additionally, it is utilized in secure error handling and permits the use of third-party libraries without concern for security.

25. SDLC (software development life cycle)

SDLC is a methodical, step-by-step approach to software development that ensures accuracy and quality. You should be familiar with the proper software life cycle, from requirement analysis to product maintenance, if you want to work as a software developer. In general, the SDLC has seven phases:

  1. Requirement gathering and analysis
  2. Feasibility study
  3. Design
  4. Implementation and Coding
  5. Testing
  6. Deployment
  7. Maintenance

When you start learning programming, each stage is crucial in the process of creating software or applications. In order to produce a high-quality product, a developer is expected to use his brain at each stage of the SDLC and adhere to the proper flow. It additionally assists the designer with playing it safe at a beginning phase before any sort of issue they need to bargain at the subsequent stage.

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