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The 6+ Skills Every Developer Needs (and How to Test for Them)

Exploring a new career is daunting. You probably have a thousand questions, starting with “Can I even do this?” While anyone can be a successful developer with hard work and the right training, there are a few things you can test (and be working on) that will help you decide if a development career is the right fit.

Core Skills

JavaScript developer Eric Elliott recently published an article that tries to answer the question, “Are programmer brains different?” His analysis starts with an outline of the nine skills that are fundamental to software development:

  1. Creativity
  2. Communication
  3. People Skills
  4. Learning
  5. Detail Oriented
  6. Big-Picture Oriented
  7. Math & Abstraction
  8. Logic

Emotional Intelligence

While STEM majors may generally have higher IQs, success in the field isn’t necessarily dictated by brain power, but rather emotional intelligence. Traits like openness, emotional stability, and conscientiousness (among others) are developed in real-world relationships, challenges, and work environments, and help you be more successful in the long run.

Growth Mindset

If you’re learning to code, you have to be prepared for the inevitable roller coaster:

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You’ve heard it (and we’ve said it) a thousand times. Software development is hard. Bootcamps are a great way to get development skills quickly, but don’t be mistaken: the only way the curriculum fits into months — and not years — is by delivering a lot of information every single day. Our students are on campus 60 to 80 hours a week, a pace that only slows down — slightly — when they land their first job after they graduate.

Familiarity with the Computer

There are also a lot of tangible skills (outside of actually coding) that every developer needs. The first thing you’ll need is familiarity with the tool you’ll be using: your computer.

Typing Speed

The average person types around 40 words per minute, and the average working professional can type upwards of 75 words per minute. While there’s no “minimum speed requirement” for software developers, you should aim to be somewhere in this range to be productive when you’re coding.

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