Software Developer Resume Skills (And How To Include Them)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 3 July 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

A software developer is a professional who builds software products and applications. Employers look for a variety of technical and non-technical skills in a resume while hiring candidates in this field. Understanding important software developer resume skills can help one draft one's resume better and increase the chances of getting shortlisted. In this article, we discuss 10 key skills to consider for software developers and show you how to list them on a resume.

Related: What Is Software Engineering? Complete Guide

What Are Software Developer Resume Skills?

Software developer resume skills are the technical abilities along with other professional skills that help these professionals to convey to potential employers that they can be successful in the role. Mentioning them ensures the hiring managers know the abilities you possess and the proficiencies you can offer to the company after getting hired.

Below are some important resume skills for software developers:

1. Programming languages

Knowledge of programming languages is an important skill to possess as a software developer. A programming language refers to the type of source code in which a programmer writes code. Developers can choose to build their expertise in at least one programming language to enhance their employability. To choose a programming language, one can experiment with multiple programming languages and determine which one aligns the most with their interests. Learning a programming language involves learning its syntax, rules and structure. There are several types of programming languages, like:

  • JavaScript

  • HTML (Hyper Text Markup Language)

  • CSS (Cascading Style Sheets)

  • C++

  • Python

  • Java

Related: What Does A Software Engineer Do? (Duties And Career Advice)

2. Database

A database is a repository that helps individuals to structure and organise information. Developers search for, manipulate, store and retrieve information from databases regularly while building applications and programs. They understand how to back up company data and secure critical information in unforeseen circumstances. It may be helpful for software developers to build expertise in a standard database programming language such as SQL (Structured Query Language) to equip them to operate a database system. Understanding the fundamentals of database systems can enhance a software developer's career opportunities significantly.

3. Algorithms and data structures

Algorithms are sets of instructions that help one solve a problem, while data structures refer to specialised systems of organising and storing information. Data structures and algorithms are at the core of programming and a good understanding of this subject is important to excel as a software developer. Expertise in the subject allows developers to create efficient algorithms, helps them arrange the information and write efficient code.

Organising data and sequences effectively for productive outcomes is integral to solving complex business challenges. A software developer can build one's knowledge of data structures and algorithms through online courses, textbooks and programming websites.

Related: What Is Software Development? A Complete Guide

4. Source control

Source control, also called version control, helps coders track and manage changes made to their code. It is a system that helps programmers record changes to files over time and allows them to recall different code versions based on their requirements. As a software developer, knowledge of popular source control systems is a valuable skill to include in your resume. It may be helpful to try various source control systems and gain familiarity with them. As they encourage continuous and smooth flow for code changes, they are an integral part of a software developer's list of professional practices.

5. Basics of testing

Understanding how to test software functions is a primary skill to have as a software developer. Besides writing code, developers conduct thorough usability tests on their applications and make changes if necessary. Testing may involve using various tools to ensure that a software program functions as per the requirements. Programmers require knowledge of three basic types of testing procedures:

  • Integration testing: Integration testing involves combining various software modules and testing them as a group for a set of requirements.

  • Unit testing: Unit testing involves testing individual components or units of code independently to ensure that they function correctly.

  • System testing: System testing involves testing the completely integrated software product to ensure compliance with the requirements.

6. Debugging

Debugging is an important part of the software development process and allows programmers to fix errors in their software. Proficiency in debugging is a valuable skill to possess as a software developer. Debugging allows software developers to identify syntax errors, logical errors, run-time errors and interface errors, helping them improve code quality and deliver an error-free product. It lets them address individual code sections and make sure that they operate optimally and as expected. Debugging is a valuable skill that employers look for because it can save development time and help developers produce efficient code.

Related: 12 Important Web Development Tools (With Examples)

7. Text editing software

Knowing how to use text editing software is vital while working as a programmer. Text editors help one write and edit plain text. Programmers use text editors to remove formatting from the output of various word processors. Text editors can help one write symbols and texts used in programming languages and also transfer code to other systems. Proficiency in using text editing software on your resume can make you a valuable candidate when applying for a software development job. Some common text editors to gain familiarity with are:

  • Notepad++

  • TextMate

  • Atom

  • Brackets

8. Integrated Development Environments

An integrated development environment (IDE) helps a software developer create, edit, debug and also to compile lines of code. It is essential for a developer to know how to use an IDE to develop code faster. IDEs help developers save time with features like auto-completion, suggestions for standard keywords, display of function definitions, spell-checks and syntax highlighting. Software developers having a command over using an IDE can develop code more efficiently, as these platforms offer several functionalities over a single platform.

Some popular IDEs that developers use include:

  • Visual Studio for C, C++ and C#

  • PyCharm or Spyder for Python

  • NetBeans and Eclipse for Java

9. Operating systems

While hiring for the role of a software developer, employers often screen candidates based on their proficiency in operating systems, among other skills. A good understanding of operating systems ensures the developer can solve development issues like memory problems, blocking, conflicting tools and lagging software on different platforms. A job requirement may usually require expertise in a specific operating system, depending upon the type of product or application developed. You may specialise in an operating system based on your comfort and preference for the same. Below are the common operating systems developers can familiarise themselves with:

  • Unix

  • Linux

  • Windows

  • iOS

10. Knowledge of SDLC

As a software developer, it is important to understand the software development life cycle (SDLC) to contribute effectively during every phase of the project. An awareness of SDLC helps developers plan, identify goals, measure performance and assess efforts in a timely manner. Understanding the life cycle of software development is a crucial step in excelling as a software developer, as it helps one have better control of the project outcomes and to contribute effectively to ensure the quality of the product. Basic knowledge of SDLC is an essential skill that most employers look for in potential candidates for software development.

Related: 30 Interview Questions For Software Developers (With Answers)

How To Include Software Developer Skills On Your Resume

Follow the below steps to include software developer skills on your resume:

1. Read the job description thoroughly

It is a good practice to read the job description that you are applying for thoroughly. Note the key skills and abilities that the employer is looking for in potential candidates. Considering these skills for your resume is important to allow application tracking systems to screen and shortlist your resume.

Related: Software Engineering Skills (With Ways To Improve Them)

2. Assess skills you possess

Assess your past work experience as a software developer and list relevant abilities and skills that you possess for the role. These can be technical or non-technical or may have assisted you in performing your duties effectively in your former workplace. You can also mention the technologies, tools and skills you worked with in previous software development roles.

3. List the selected skills on your resume

Once you have selected the essential skills to include, list them on your resume. You may split them into categories or group them based on type while mentioning them on the resume. Ensure that you have expertise in all the skills that you include on your resume.

4. Proofread your resume

After listing the skills, ensure there are no spelling errors or repetitiveness to create a positive impression of your efforts and attention to detail. You can also request feedback from a peer or friend doing similar work for suggestions. You can implement them accordingly to enhance your resume and increase the chances of attracting the recruiting manager's attention.

Please note that none of the companies, institutions or organisations mentioned in the article are associated with Indeed.

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