Forum Thread: Soft Skill in Software Engineering

Software development requires professionals with knowledge and experience in very diverse methodologies, tools, and techniques. However, so-called "soft skills", such as interpersonal skills, teamwork, problem-solving and customer orientation, to name just a few, are as important or even more important than traditional qualifications and technical skills.

What is software engineering?

The application of a systematic, disciplined and quantifiable approach to the development, operation, and maintenance of software; that is, the application of engineering to the software. Technological and managerial discipline dedicated to the production and systematic maintenance of software products that are developed and modified in time and under cost estimates.

The Software Engineer is a professional with solid methodological foundations in small and large-scale software development, in business intelligence technology and in the main programming tools, as well as in the interaction with the leaders of the organization.

Will be able to perform in any of the roles involved in a software development process such as: Project manager, project leader, software architect, analyst, programmer, requirements engineer, test engineer, etc. It will also be able to define scope, costs, times, resources and feasibility for a software project, as well as propose software solutions, global or partial, that allow the control of the processes, the improvement in the decision-making process or innovative solutions for achieving software' goals.

There are few professional certifications that are designed for software engineers; there are lots of online training companies such as High School Technology Services or Coding Bootcamps that provide specialized training for those interested in software engineering. The most notable certification is Professional Software Engineering Master Certification by IEEE.

The characteristics that will allow you to reach the described profile will be:
Knowledge about:

Here is a short list of knowledge areas that a software engineer needs to possess:

i- Methodologies and techniques for small and large-scale software development, such as requirements development, human-computer interaction, design, construction, evolution, testing and those related to administration, such as quality assurance and project management.

ii- Computational sciences, which allow the viable application of algorithms, data structures, and programming languages in software development.

iii- The tools for the specification and modeling of software systems, as well as for the evaluation of software processes and products for their improvement.

iv. Administration and optimization of time and cost of the resources involved in software development.

v. The social environment to understand the social, political, ecological and ethical factors related to technological development and professional performance.

Skills for:

The following are a list of skills required to become a successful software engineer: i. Work as part of a team in the development and evolution of software products. ii. Understand, apply and communicate the process to determine the needs of the client and translate them to software requirements. iii. Reconciling conflicting objectives, considering commitments with the limitations of cost, time, knowledge, existing systems and the organizations involved. iv. Design appropriate solutions in one or more areas of concentration, using engineering approaches that integrate ethical, social, legal and economic issues. v. Understand and apply theories, models, and techniques that provide a basis for the design, development, verification and implementation of the software. vi. Negotiate and work professionally, lead when necessary and communicate effectively with those interested in a Software Engineering environment.

Attitudes of:
The following are major attributes of a software engineer:
• Leadership in multidisciplinary work teams.
• Perseverance in solving problems.
• Ability to stay updated in their work area.
• Eagerness to excel
• Responsibility and ethics in their professional performance.
• Entrepreneurial and innovative behavior.
• Awareness of social reality and ecological responsibility.
• Self-taught learning

The purpose of this article is to survey major soft skills that are most valued in software development companies. In short, first tier soft skills such as leadership, communication skills, customer orientation, interpersonal skills and teamwork are the most valued by most employers. Other second tier skills athee resolution of problems, cothe mmitment, responsibility, desire of learning, and self-motivation.

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