Essential developer skills to get hired

Technology continues to advance, triggering the need for professionals with up-to-date skills in the field of software, web or app development. Since the Covid-19 pandemic, even more, businesses decided to go online to stay competitive. And this led to an increasing demand for professionals in the development sphere.

Mar 13, 2023


Essential developers skills to get hired

According to Statista, the worldwide developer population is expected to reach 28.7 million by 2024. An increase of 5.7 million from what we saw in 2018. So, if you’re thinking about building a career as a developer, you have a great chance of getting hired if you possess the right skills.

Depending on the direction you choose (front-end, back-end, full-stack, mobile app developer etc.) the hard skills (AKA technical skills) might vary. But there are some common abilities you need to have in order to be successful in these roles.

In this article, we collected the most important developer skills which are useful to know if you’re looking for a job as a developer, or if you have a company and are looking to hire a developer for your team.

Essential developer skills – soft skills

Let’s start with a few essential qualities for any type of developer job. 

#1 Lifelong learning

During the hiring process, the expertise of a developer is usually judged based on the level of proficiency he has with certain frameworks and programming languages. 

Development is an incredibly fast-moving space. New technologies and frameworks are launched to the market constantly. So, if you want to stay competitive and you don’t want to miss out on great opportunities, I would highly recommend adding a new skill every year to those you’re already a master of.

It’s quite common for developers to focus only on one technology, so they become proficient in that particular programming language. The problem with this mindset is that if the technology becomes outdated, they find themselves without the right skills to work with another framework. This is why I suggest you choose the right technology. Do some research and try to understand which one is already in its growth and avoid those which are dying.

So, while you focus on one main aspect of development during your job, dedicate some time to widen your skillset whether using online resources - articles, videos, online courses etc. - working on side projects or by contributing to an open-source project.

“Lifelong learning consists of more than just simply sitting down and trying to acquire a new skill or knowledge. Learning happens while doing - while building an app, preparing documentation for others or preparing a lecture.
The reason why I picked software development as my career was also because of lifelong learning. The best part of this field is that you always learn something new! Software development is constantly evolving and you never reach a point where you know everything!” – Javier Furus

#2 Analytical thinking

To succeed as a developer, you need really good analytical skills in your pocket. 

Analytical skills are the ability to collect and analyze data, identify patterns and trends, and make decisions based on that information. They involve both logical and creative thinking, as well as the ability to pay attention to detail.

But what does it mean for you as a developer? In order to come up with the best solution, you need to thoroughly analyze the problem, even if it’s complex. As a developer, you have to be proactive and think about any issues or bugs that might appear during the development, or after that. 

You got it well. You have to create the entire blueprint of a program before even writing its first line of code. Just make sure you don’t overdo it - neither if you have the time to dedicate to this phase.

You also need the capacity to foresee how the product needs to evolve to be able to build the algorithms to make it work smoothly. And this makes analytical thinking a must skill for a developer.

“When you face a problem during your work you should not barge towards it full speed - chances are since you are facing an obstacle, you will just get hurt. Instead, you should stop and think about the issue. Break it up into smaller problems and think about how you would solve them individually. Not that this is not the same as "problem-solving". Here you should focus on how each problem affects the other and how one fix will roll over to the next. Will this problem's solution cause new ones? Will it help solve another one? Is it maintainable?
This is the basis of critical thinking - you look at connections and create more robust solutions this way. Experience is a very key factor in critical thinking. Rely heavily on more senior colleagues to improve your analytical thinking skills.” – Javier Furus

#3 Problem solving

Problem-solving skills for a developer are just as important as technical skills. Problem-solving is part of your everyday job, want it or not? So, whether you are a newbie or an experienced developer you need to equip yourself with this ability to get hired or improve your career opportunities.

The more senior role you have and more complex problems you are exposed to. You have to know how to break down difficult problems into manageable pieces of issues in order to oversee the whole picture and resolve the problem as quickly and effectively as possible.

You have to know how to test different ideas and apply best practices – even if you fail a couple of times – to achieve the desired result.

But that’s not all. Sometimes you might have to face clients or even other teams from your organization who find it difficult to explain what they want exactly. As a problem solver, you have to help them identify their needs and find a solution to realize them in an effective way.

All in all, being ingenious at problem-solving is crucial in creating incredible solutions to issues that arise throughout the development process.

“When it comes to problem-solving, I have 2 ground rules:

  • Don't spend more than 1 hour trying to solve a problem alone
  • Asking for help is not frowned upon

Now, these might be obvious for some, but they are still worth remembering. One might think that the ones who need to be reminded of this are Juniors. But that is not the case! As a Junior Developer, you may spend way too much time trying to solve a problem on your own than expected - just because you want to impress your superiors or you want to prove something to yourself and ask for help shows that you may not be up for the task. This, in the end, hinders your work and everyone else's too. Seniors may do the same but the reasons are different: they have experience and may think that they don't need help (not in a selfish way) and that they have "got this", even if they don't. The results are the same: ask for help!

Problem-solving is not just the task of literally solving problems - it is also the skill of doing that effectively. Think of asking for help as honing your problem-solving skills, of getting help as expanding your toolset. 

The research you do on your own is just as important - but spending too much time on one issue without involving another - or several - fresh pair of eyes is counterproductive. Even if they have no answers for you they might nudge you in the right direction!

If you have no one at hand another good solution could be "rubber duck debugging". Try explaining the problem at hand to a real or figurative rubber duck and see what happens! More often than not this approach gives you a new perspective that helps you tackle the problem at hand.” – Javier Furus

#4 Time management

Whether it’s respecting a client or project deadline, or dividing your time between various projects along with the team deliverables, you always have to manage your time effectively. 

And in a team lead role, you also have to oversee the whole project’s timeline to be able to give an estimation of the project’s timeline to the client. It includes also helping your team members to manage their timelines and understand how each of them contributes to the whole project. While of course, you need to manage your own job as well.

Making the development of time management skills a priority not only makes you more productive as an individual but also makes you a better, more reliable employee. 

Consequently, this is why at Adroit Group – just like many other employers – we consider this soft skill so important.

#5 Adaptability

Web, mobile app and software development constantly go through changes. It’s an industry that never stops evolving. 

And not only the industry, but also client requirements change quickly from one day to another. Or their needs might be multiple. “Change this section”, “let’s add this new feature”… yes, it might be frustrating for you as a developer, but you might understand why adaptability is on our top skills list.

It is imperative for developers to be adaptable and resilient when it comes to dealing with change and occasional setbacks. Having the ability to calmly assess what needs to be done and adapt is key to success in this field.

#6 Good communication and conflict resolution

Communication and conflict resolution are really important for most positions, and development is not an exception. 

To be successful in this role, it’s essential that you communicate with your clients and team effectively. As mentioned above, it’s your responsibility to understand the client’s needs and help them understand what will the process require and explain to them clearly how you plan to realize their idea.

At the same time, it’s just as important to have good internal communication, so everyone in the team is on the same page. This role is a perfect example where sharing ideas and supporting others’ ideas is required to deliver the best products.

Obviously bringing different backgrounds and ideas to the table might lead to conflicts as well, so you need to be good at understanding what’s the best option for the team and applying it as a group to reach a common goal that makes for great collaboration and outstanding results.

“Software development is rarely a solo act - as a developer, you will spend the majority of your time working as a part of a team, be it large or small. Working in a group is amazing because you constantly share knowledge and the work can be split into smaller tasks that are easier to tackle!

But working in a team also means we have to communicate clearly and effectively - and we have to keep in mind that we might not get along or disagree. 

Whenever you work on something and you have to involve someone else too, be sure to be concise, brief and easy to follow. Never assume the other party knows the background of your task but also don't think that they are completely clueless either. This ensures that they get all the information that they need to help you or work together with you effectively.

Now, there are times when you need to highlight an issue in someone's work - badly constructed code, a glaring issue with the logic that will most likely cause a bug, etc. How does one go about addressing these? To resolve a conflict like this you have to adapt a language that is constructive and does not feel like an attack - say, for example, "I see what you are doing here, but because of X and Y, this code will result in a bug".” – Javier Furus

Essential developer skills - hard skills

Now that you know the more generic soft skills each developer should have to be successful in the role, let’s see the more specific hard skills which are essential to start a career as a programmer.

#1 Coding proficiency

As a developer, you’ll spend most of your time on writing - and actually reading 🙂- code, so you must be proficient at least in your preferred programming language. Of course, depending on the direction of development – whether you’re a front-end or back-end developer, or writing code for both and becoming a full-stack developer – these programming languages are different. And it might also depend on the project – web, mobile app and software developers use different programming languages and frameworks.

We can generally say that as a back-end developer, you‘ll likely write codes in Java, C#, Node.js, Python, and so forth. You’ll need to master HTML, and CSS and learn programming languages such as Javascript, and its frameworks for the front end such as Angular or React, but the list is long. And when it comes to full-stack, you will need to combine the requirements for front-end and back-end fields.

Apart from coding proficiency, it’s also a huge plus both to get hired and also during your day-to-day job to understand databases, algorithms, and server structure. Another excellent reason why I recommend you to look into upskilling and try to learn new technologies, programming languages etc. instead of highly focusing only on one particular field of development.

“Coding proficiency can be improved to a degree by watching lectures and reading articles - but the results you can achieve like this are finite. You have to practice these too and in tandem with reading code (for example an open-source project you are interested in) will truly improve your skills. 

If you happen to be on a project right now then take your time and explore what it does. Chances are you are already familiar with some parts of the application, so connecting the dots in the more complex parts of it will be much easier. You also have the added benefit of asking questions of the original authors of the code, giving you a chance to learn new things.

Another way to improve your proficiency is to look at the bug reports of open-source projects and try to solve them! Even if you can't tackle them you will still learn a lot about how the code is structured and how things work.” – Javier Furus

#2 Write clean code

As a developer writing ‘clean code’ which is easy to understand and maintain is a must. Poorly written code is a nightmare to manage, and in the worst case, it can even result in total project failure and in having to build the whole code again from scratch.

Make sure that your code is as concise as possible resulting in a small build size. Your code should be very descriptive so that anyone can easily understand it. When writing the code, try to think of someone who should work on its maintenance. Ask yourself questions like “Is it easy to understand how I resolved the client’s need with this code?” or “Is it straightforward to understand where I need to resolve the bug?”. The end result would be readable and maintainable code.

“Clean code is often overdone and taken too literally. A code will not be clean just because each and every function that takes up more than 3 lines is split into several other functions: that will just create clutter.

The best way to go about it is to make sure your code is understandable for an outsider. 

  • Pay attention to giving clear, short function names.
  • Avoid abbreviations and never use one-letter variables - you want to spare the reader's time of having to dismantle what "e => …" refers to. 
  • Avoid convoluted logic that has no purpose - sometimes the task calls for it, but more often than not it is just bad planning.
  • Make sure that your function only does one thing - but don't overthink it. What do I mean by that? Take a function that expects two numbers as an input, it is called "printSentenceWithSumOfNumbers(x,y)". The end goal here is to print a string that includes the sum of the two input numbers. Now, here, you should not separate the addition of these two numbers into a different function: the process is simple enough, not reused and does not produce side effects, that is, it only contributes to the end result of the function.
  • Separate your functions if your code becomes hard to follow, even if there are no side effects. This might contradict what I said before, but if for example, the task you have to do is very complex, you have to put it into a different function to make your code easy to follow. Chances are if you have to do a very complex operation in one place then you might have to do it somewhere else, too. These are "helper functions".” – Javier Furus

#3 Work with different environments

Depending on the company you work for (or would like to apply for), you might find yourself dealing with different environments: Windows, Mac, Linux etc. Obviously, it doesn’t mean that you have to be proficient in all of them. But it’s useful to know how they work, and what their pros and cons are, and it’s always a plus if you have at least a basic knowledge of how to use them. 

#4 Debugging 

As your work as a developer doesn’t finish after writing the last line of code, debugging is an essential element of a developer’s skillset. The ability to identify and fix bugs in code is a crucial hard skill you must own if you want to get hired as a developer.

You must possess great analytical and problem-solving skills in order to find a solution even to the most complex problems. It’s essential that you approach each bug or issue in a structured and logical way and try to think out of the box to come up with a creative solution.

#5 Version control and collaboration 

Version control systems (VCSs) are a very useful tool for most developers as they allow them to collaborate with others on the same codebase simultaneously, and track and manage changes as they are made.

There are many platforms out there you can use, such as SVN, Mercurial or the more popular Git, in which you write your code locally and then you can push it to an online repository, accessible to your colleagues who need to work on the same codebase.

When working remotely with others on the same project, you just can’t shout “I’m working on this or that”. So, without a VCS it might happen that you overwrite someone’s code. To avoid it, you can use a version control system which can merge the work of each developer of the team making sure that nothing is lost.

I would highly recommend using it because it also allows you to track all the changes in the code and – in case it’s needed – to revert to any of the previous versions.

Especially when working on huge projects, or on a codebase that you don’t work with for a while, it might happen that you remember that you made some changes, just don’t know what they consist of. And this is another case where a version control system comes in handy. It allows you to overview what changes were made since the last version, and what files have been added or deleted.

“Version control can be a very scary topic for newcomers, but once you get the gist of it VC will be your best friend. As a rule of thumb, commit as often as possible, write short and concise commit messages and keep your branch up to date.

Why is this good and important? By committing often you weave a safety net that grows more robust over time. It is like constantly putting bookmarks at key points in a book! Just imagine reading an exciting crime book and in the middle of it, something hits you. “I think I know who did it, I saw a clue on page X! But where was it?” If you put a bookmark at every key point - you will find it. If not? You will have a bad time untangling the crime. The same goes for commits - if you commit often you will find the source of a bug much easier. It also helps you pick up your work and your line of thought much faster after a longer break - not to mention your colleagues who might pick up where you left off.” – Javier Furus


Developers are in incredibly high demand these years, so having a career in this field is really promising. Development holds boundless possibilities for aspiring programmers, but to be successful in the role, you need to own some very essential skills. Generally, you need endless curiosity, a willingness to experiment, and critical thinking. Whether you’re just starting or want to expand your career options, I hope you found this article useful. And in case you’re looking for a new challenge at a development agency, visit our website for our open positions.