What Skills Do You Need To Be a Software Engineer?

Pappi Hex

Becoming a software engineer will require you to have a specific set of advanced skills. These skills are native to some; however, others may need more practice to implement them with mastery. Software engineers need to have computer skills along with people skills and a bit of project management competence.

If you're a high school student thinking about a future career in software engineering, you should consider joining an honor society foundation such as the National Society of High School Scholars, or NSHSS. The NSHSS will provide you with a range of opportunities that align with your career goals. They provide qualified applicants with millions of dollars in scholarships, internships, opportunities to study abroad, summer programs, and discounts on educational services, among other things.

Here are some of the skills that you will need to become a software engineer.

Computer Programming


One of the most important skills you will need to have as a software engineer is computer programming abilities. An efficient software engineer should be familiar with programming languages such as Python, Java, C/C++, and Ruby, in addition to programming fundamentals like data structures and algorithms.

You can read more about these fundamentals on software engineering blogs such as the one run by Nick McCullum. Nick McCullum's website is all about software engineering, entrepreneurship, and finances. His premium Python and JavaScript training courses include Python fundamentals, Python for finances, data science, and algorithmic trading using Python. He also offers a weekly newsletter called Tutorial Tuesdays to share his best software tutorials to benefit any developer or software engineer professional looking to expand their knowledge in the field.

Object-Oriented Design (OOD)

Additionally, you will need to know about OOD. OOD includes key principles of encapsulation, inheritance, decomposition, abstraction, and generalization. Following object-oriented design guidelines can help software engineers generate modular, flexible, and reusable software.

Software Testing


Software testing is another one of those skills that software engineers need to have ingrained in their systems. Testing and debugging will be one of the most used technical skills any software engineer will use. Software testing includes using artificial intelligence and machine learning programs that, although costly and time-consuming, can help them determine if a product is ready for the next step in its development.


Although software engineering may seem like a career for lone wolves, the reality is far from that. Software engineers will work closely with other engineers to capture ideas and create solutions for any given problem. They will work alongside electrical and mechanical engineers, for instance, to present their solutions and progress reports to their clients and project managers. Solid communication skills will help you portray your ideas to others in an effective and confident manner.



The base skill for every type of engineer out there is problem-solving. Problem-solving is what makes every piece of technology possible. When a software engineer is presented with a problem, it will be their job to go through different analytical and problem-solving processes to come up with one or many ideas and potential solutions for it. These solutions will need to meet specific requirements established by their clients and must be fulfilled within a determined period of time.

Attention to Details

Lastly, a software engineer should be very attentive to details. One of their jobs is to find faults in the products they program or code, as well as other people's solutions. They will need to go through a lot of lines of code to understand how it works and how it can be improved and detect bugs in the process.

So, if you want to become a software engineer, be sure to develop these skills to become the best software engineer that you can be.


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