Software Engineer Skills List

Skills for Resumes, Cover Letters and Interviews

Software engineers create software and systems for computers. They employ techniques of math, science, engineering, and design, and often have to test and evaluate their own systems as well as software built by other people.

Software engineers usually have a degree in Computer Science. They should have strong analytical and problem-solving skills. A software engineer will always want to actively seek to learn new technologies and have outstanding communication and interpersonal skills. Software engineers must be intrinsically motivated and have experience with various programming languages.

How to Use Skills Lists

Use the skills mentioned here to help you in your job search. You can put them to use in your resume, especially in the descriptions of your work history. You can also use them in your cover letter to describe prior work experience. In preparation to interview, consider mentioning a few of these traits in order to give examples of how you’ve demonstrated them in prior work.

Be ready to share examples of how you've exemplified each. Each job will require different skills and experiences, so make sure you read the job description carefully and focus on the skills listed by the employer. Here's a list of software engineer skills for resumes, cover letters, job applications, and interviews.

Manage Multiple Projects in Deadline-Driven Environments

It’s likely that as a software engineer, whether you work remotely as a freelancer, or as a full-time employee in an office, you’ll encounter the need to manage multiple projects at once, each with their own unique and urgent timeline. A successful software engineer will be able to prioritize, triage, and manage all the various milestones of all the various projects on their plate at a given time.

Along with managing timelines, a software engineer will need to be able to thrive in an environment where deadlines occur regularly. You’ll have to manage other people’s priorities, and balance them with your own, and the needs of your other clients or projects.

Work Well With Teams

Although writing code is generally a solitary endeavor, a software engineer will be required to communicate regularly with other people and teams. A successful software engineer should be able to communicate responsibly with diplomacy and with grace. You should be able to articulate clearly the needs of a project you’re working on, as well as be able to discuss any challenges or problems that come up. Software engineers will routinely have to work with a number of other teams and departments at once, as well as your own colleagues and other engineers.

Software engineers are required to work closely with designers and information architects. You may be required to work with people whose ideas and philosophies you may disagree with, but the work will have to continue nevertheless. Compromises are often made, as software engineers rarely have one hundred percent autonomy over the outcome of a project. A successful engineer will be comfortable with these dynamics​ and should be comfortable with meeting in the middle and sharing responsibilities with people who aren’t necessarily engineers themselves.

Understand Software Engineering Best Practices

There are certain practices and standards in the industry that a successful software engineer will want to master. These include basics, like utilizing version control systems so that you don’t lose old work in case you’d like to revert to an earlier version of your own code; or employing a robust and thorough testing protocol. They also include less basic details like being able to analyze and maintain older code, and developing strategic methodologies upon which you build your coding framework.

Writing code, it’s argued by many, is as much an art as a science, and a successful software engineer will learn how to get along in a fast-paced, ever-changing, and competitive industry by knowing the industry’s best practices, and adhering to them as closely as possible.

Experience With Multiple Coding Languages

Many software engineers are fluent in one important language, and this becomes their area of expertise. This works quite well, but it doesn’t mean other languages should be excluded entirely from a successful engineer’s digital vocabulary. An employer won’t necessarily expect you to be fluent in all those important coding languages of the day, but you may be more attractive to an employer if you’re able to learn languages with analogous qualities, or if you know a bit about different types of languages.

A structured language versus a functional one, for example.

Being a software engineer is a lucrative field with plenty of job opportunities. Assess yourself for the skills listed here to see how you might measure up in the job market.

Software Engineer Skills List

  • Ability to Analyze Complex Technical Information
  • Analyze Business Requirements and Assess Impact With Existing Database Architecture
  • Analyze, Design and Implement Database Structures
  • Conduct Research
  • Consistently Seeking and Learning New Technology
  • Detail Oriented 
  • Enhance the Functional and Technical Aspects of Products
  • Excellent Problem Solver
  • Experience Building Software Applications
  • Experience With JavaScript
  • Experience With Source Code and Version Repository
  • Experience Working With Linux/Unix, Perl, or Shell
  • Familiar with UI Toolkits and Frameworks
  • Hands-On SQL Experience
  • Java, Ruby, PHP or Python Experience
  • Lead and Deliver Complex Software Systems
  • Manage Multiple Projects in a Deadline-Driven Environment
  • Microsoft ASP.NET MVC, Web API Experience
  • Node.js Experience
  • Participate in Source Code and Design Reviews
  • Passion for Developing Engaging Consumer Experiences
  • Previous Experience Working Within an Agile Scrum Team
  • Provide Development and Testing Support for Other Engineers
  • Ruby on Rails Experience
  • Solid Knowledge of Java
  • Strong Oral and Written Communication 
  • Strong Problem Solver
  • Thorough Understanding of Computer Architecture, Operating Systems, and Data Structures
  • Thrive in Dynamic, Fast-Paced Environments
  • Transform Requirements into Design Concepts and ERDs
  • Troubleshoot and Debug Issues
  • Understand Software Engineering Best Practices
  • Work Well Independently and Within a Team Setting
  • Work Within an Agile Scrum Team
  • Working Knowledge of C, C++, and C#
  • Write Clear and Detailed Technical Specifications and Documentation