Even senior software developers might break a sweat when interviewing for a new job. Luckily, with the right mix of soft and hard developer skills, you should be able to make a lasting impression on even the toughest interviewer.
In this article, we’ll shine a light on our top insights to help senior developers nail their next interview and land the perfect remote job.
Balancing soft and hard developer skills for any dev interview
As the tech industry booms, companies are refining their interviewing and hiring processes to find great talent abroad. In order to impress your next interviewer, you’ll need developer skills that strike the right balance between soft and technical skills.
Below we’ve combined a hand-picked list of senior software developer skills to help you nail your next interview.
Know your code
As a senior developer, you’ll likely end up spending much more time collaborating, presenting, and communicating than actually coding. Nonetheless, having a solid understanding of different programming languages is an indispensable developer skill for any engineer.
If you haven’t done so already, sign up to Stack Overflow’s yearly survey for annual insights into the tech sector, such as the developer skills companies are most interested in.
Become a better communicator
Coding knowledge, as we mentioned above, is a key developer skill for any senior software engineer. But frankly, your code isn’t worth much if you can’t communicate effectively. In our experience, communication is one of the top areas of growth for software developers.
Software development is an extremely collaborative role, and senior engineers need to be just as adept at communicating with team members, across company departments, and with clients as they need to be at coding in Java or Python. Communication is easily one of the most important soft developer skills you need in order to advance in your career.
As a Latam-based engineer, English might be your second language, so make sure to pay extra attention to your spelling and grammar in emails, chats, and other communications with US companies. Grammarly, HemingWay, and ProwritingAid are all great apps to help you proofread your comms on the go.
When it comes to the actual interview, make sure you listen to your interviewer, answer their questions directly and concisely, and don’t be afraid to speak up when something is unclear. For a more detailed look at communication as a fundamental developer skill, check out our post on communication skills for developers here.
Learn to lead
Besides being great coders and communicators, leadership is another must-have developer skill for senior software engineering professionals.
We could easily dedicate an entire blog post to discussing what makes a great leader. For the purpose of this article, however, some leadership qualities we think any senior developer must have include:
- The ability to calm your ego, stay humble, and never miss an opportunity to grow with your team.
- The ability to facilitate discussion and collaboration between your team and the rest of the company.
- Initiative. Speak up about opportunities or problems rather than waiting for someone to come to you.
- Ownership. Taking responsibility for your own performance and that of your team is a key developer skill for senior engineers.
Learn to scale
Companies rely on their senior developers to help them scale their tech efforts. To do so, it's important to ditch the 10x mentality most developers adopt at junior positions and instead learn to motivate, delegate, and automate as much as you can.
Remember, the job of a senior developer is to help their company grow by making hard things easy. Doing so doesn’t necessarily require working 10x more hours; instead, it takes the right mindset to scale your company’s tech solutions gradually.
Do your homework
Nothing is more uncomfortable than heading into a job interview unprepared. At Nexton, we always brief our candidates about the companies and positions we recruit for, but that shouldn’t stop you from doing your own research in order to prepare for an interview.
While “researching” might not top the list of developer skills on your resume, make sure you’ve researched the following before you head into your next interview:
- The position it is offering.
- Company benefits and culture.
- The company you’re interviewing for.
- The technical and soft skills the company is looking for.
- The average salary for a similar position at a competing company (read our article on salary expectations here).
Senior software engineers need a solid mix of developer skills and soft skills in order to excel in their careers. Check out our blog for more tips on how to become a better software engineer and start growing your career today.