e-Careers

10 skills Coders need

Coding is currently one of the fastest growing skillsets and web programming is one of the most exciting industries in the world. In fact, many countries now include coding as part of their national curriculum. It’s the biggest skill of the new age as everything you do on a computer or mobile requires code or programming of some kind.

This post was written on Microsoft Word (programmed by a Software Developer), it was then made into a webpage (by a Web Developer) and showcased to you through the medium of a website (again, by a Web Developer).

Do you see how common it is? Almost everything you touch or browse through on the internet has been put together by a Developer or Programmer.

If you are planning a career in Coding, e-Careers has listed ten skills that you need to make it in the world of programming.

1) Problem Solving

Picture the scene:

You have just been given a brief for an application or bit of software that will solve a problem for a particular organisation, for example: sending notifications to patients as a reminder to take their medication, while also keeping a record of their details in a centralised, secure place. The problems you need to solve are:

1) You need to programme a secure database

2) You need to send push notifications to patients with the correct information

3) “WHY DOES IT KEEP SAYING ERROR?!”

They are all problems you will need to solve, but with your skills, knowledge, and patience you will. Speaking of patience...

2) Patience

Let’s face it, coding can be difficult. Whether giving information to that non-technical colleague makes you feel like you’re banging your head against a wall or that pesky error message keeps coming up, your patience will be tested.

Don’t be discouraged by issues you face and you can utilise your frustrations to develop your patience and experience as you move through your career. You will rarely find the right solution or the correct approach the first time, which is just a fact of life, but you can learn from these problems and use them to help you grow.

3) Time and self-management

A big project will need to be split into smaller tasks and, if any of these overrun, it can have the dreaded domino effect, having an impact on each phase which will ultimately make your project the L word… late. No-one likes a late project!

Develop (get it?) your time and self-management skills and you will be able to divide your tasks up into manageable chunks with ease.

4) Language versatility

To write code, you will need to know at least one programming or scripting language. Experts suggest becoming proficient in one language at a time, so you don’t become a jack of all trades, master of none.

Once you have grasped one language, you can continue with others. For example, Ruby on Rails is used to develop websites and mobile apps, JavaScript is used for front end development and powers most of the things that are on the web today, and Python is used for back end development.

There’s three for you straight away!

5) Attention to detail

Many Coders are self-taught, as it’s usually something that can be done in your spare time from home or starts off as a hobby. Through these means, attention to detail is also a self-perfected skill that matures as you understand what it is you’re supposed to be looking for.

Once you know what you’re looking for, the process for building applications, software and webpages will speed up, making your working hours more efficient.

6) Mathematical skills

Unfortunately, this is where my career in code came to an end. My D in GCSE Maths (C if you’re anybody viewing this from Staffordshire University) means that I neither have the mathematical knowledge or interest to pursue it.

Programming and maths carry a lot of similarities and many programmes and programming languages require mathematical thinking. I’m not saying that you need to solve the Hodge conjecture, but a good understanding of maths will help your career.

7) Communication skills

The common misinterpretation is that a Developer is a recluse; someone who hides away from other humans and can only communicate with computers, like a technological hermit. But Developers need to maintain good communication skills to ensure they are working well with colleagues, and keeping stakeholders notified of how the project is going.

Whether it be through written, face-to-face, or phone conversation, keeping up a good communication strategy is key for any successful career in coding. This comes in especially useful if you are explaining something technical to someone who has less knowledge in programming and technology than you. Please go easy on us, we are mere mortals.

8) Computer literacy

This almost seems like a given, but computer literacy, and most importantly, confidence in your ability to use a computer are both key to becoming a proficient Developer. If you have a niggling doubt in the back of your mind as to your own skills, it will hold you back and you won’t be able to fulfil your potential.

Don’t be timid, don’t be afraid, jump right in.

9) Critical thinking

If you go to the gym (or even if you’re familiar with what one is), you go there to exercise your muscles. Now, imagine you need to do the same to your brain to keep it stimulated. Keep focused and analyse the facts to form a sound judgement on what your next steps or solution should be.

Also, apply critical thinking to how you can produce the same solution to an issue, but bigger and better than what you were thinking before.

10) Self-confidence

You need to have the confidence in yourself to start on this career path, as it will get tough, not many jobs are a cake walk these days. But, also the confidence that you can produce the right solution for someone’s issue.