Skills required for a software job
A career in the software is viewed to be an ultimate goal for most of the college pass outs. The IT boom has brought in innumerable jobs and innumerable opportunities for aspirants. There was a time when the word IT was alien and everybody looked at the IT industry in awe. But today, the number of software development companies in India has increased to an unimaginable extent.
The Indian information-technology (IT) services industry is one of the fastest-growing industries in the country. The entire industry is thus providing employment to almost 2 million people in India. The industry has grown at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of nearly 50 percent over the past decade. BPO, Call centre, Maintenance, Documentation, low-end Sustenance and Customer support form the vast bulk of the business. IT finds itself as one of the top five prioritized sectors in Indian business. Two of the most prominent companies, viz Infosys and Wipro have grabbed a prominent slot in the global hi-tech map and are being listed in Nasdaq.
A job in the software sector is very luring and lucrative as it brings along with it several advantages. Firstly, a software professional gets to enjoy a handsome salary which in turn allows him easy access to all the luxuries thereby raising his standard of living. Secondly it allows one to work flexibly in the confines of an AC office or at home thereby allowing him to have a comfortable work environment which may not be the case, in case he takes up a job elsewhere.
Software development is one of the most sought after jobs in the IT industry. It is a growing sector and with the right skills, one can reach out for the stars. There is always an increasing demand for software developers. Skilled developers are being paid highly by multinationals.
However the key is to possess good IT knowledge and skills. Lest study and understand some of the skills required to lap a good software job.
- One should learn as many languages as possible. Having the knowledge of many languages is an asset. The need to be multi lingual arises because many multinationals often send their employees on-site (or the actual location of the job or their client place) oversees. Even to this day, in some of the countries like China and Japan, the software professionals there converse mostly in their respective national language. So to ease the communication barrier, it becomes essential to have the knowledge of other languages.
Good command over the English language (which includes a fair knowledge of the American slang) is an added advantage.
- Communication skill is an asset to a person. A person should be able to communicate their knowledge to others. A highly skilled employee without good communication skills is not of any use to the company.
- Written – Writing is one of the most preferred forms of communication in business. While the inter-office memo and the fax are old hat, one normally has to spend a good few hours a day fighting their inbox. Reports, white papers, proposals and resumes, make it very essential for a person to sharpen his word power to succeed.
- Social Networking - We are not all social gadfly’s, some of us struggle to make small talk. It is a key skill to learn though, it is true what they say, sometimes it is more who you know than what!
- Speaking – Public speaking ranks high amongst the world’s most popular fears. The best way to overcome it is by practice. One might feel comfortable and safer working in the confines of one’s desk, but you never know, when the situation demands, one must be prepared to speak in public. It is always better to have some experience under your belt before being forced to perform unprepared when it really counts.
Communication skill is also needed to crack an interview. If a person is not convincing enough to the interviewer, he will lose out of plum roles and good companies.
- Technical skills and business skills are also equally important.
Before applying for a job, a person has to study the job market and understand the needs of the market. A complete planned study has to be devised and the person has to gear himself with adequate study material. A complete and thorough knowledge is very essential as it will give him an edge over the others. A person with a good technical knowledge will be able to sail through any difficult situation and will emerge as the winner in the long run.
For example: In early 2000 James Gosling came up with Java which created huge ripples in the software sector. That is when people sat up and took notice of the emerging trend and there was a huge demand in the training institutes to learn and gather this subject. Till then there was a lot of scope for C and C++, the demand for which is there even to this day. Thus a complete knowledge of the emerging trends is a must.
Those aspiring for a job in sales and presales (also a part of the software job) need to have excellent business skills. A good negotiator will be able to strike a good deal and can bring in increased sales to the company. In case of need, one should be able to deliver to the needs of their clients with panache. No one would like to see a hot headed maverick that shoots from the hip and flies from the seat of their pants.
Knowledge management and team management are of equal importance.
- Attitude matters:
Attention also has to be paid to services in terms of innovation, skills, cost, time and quality. Certain personal qualities are important, like a thirst for continuous education, personal drive and motivation, strong goals and ambition, clear vision, and always a great deal of passion. A creative and innovative person will have an edge over the others.
- Problem solving:
A big challenge to survive in the industry is to have the right patience and solve the problems quickly and effectively.
The skill sets mentioned above are all very essential to sustain in the industry. These may seem very insignificant but the underlying truth is that they actually count more than the technical skills of a person.
Many people neglect their creative side and pay more importance to being all about logic. But to apply for a software job one must have the right blend of the skills mentioned above. Being detail oriented and being smart enough to make the right connections is one other quality needed to flourish. Leadership skills are an add-on and will help to jump up easily.