Most In-Demand Skills for Software Engineering Managers

If you are a software engineering or computer science graduate who has been working in the field for some time, you might be thinking about taking your career to the next level and pursuing a role in software engineering management. Right now, there has never been a better time to consider taking your career down this route, with an increasingly high demand for software engineering managers in the IT field. It’s a great time to be in a software engineering management role, with the field maturing and more companies and individuals realizing its high potential. 

Whether you simply want to brush up on your skills as a software engineer or are hoping to land a new and lucrative role as a software engineering manager, it’s important to make sure that your skill-set remains current and updated in a field that is evolving rapidly. As a software engineering manager, your career success will rely on developing a deeper understanding of what’s required from the role right now and in the future. Some of the most highly sought-after skills for software engineering managers include:

Agile Management:

With Agile practices becoming more commonly used in the world of software engineering and over half of organizations now having at least 50% of their teams using Agile methods for software development projects, it’s no surprise that this is one of the most in-demand skills for software engineering managers. More and more companies are looking for a software engineering manager with a keen understanding of Agile methodologies and practices

The Agile approach focuses strongly on communication both inter- and intra-teams, flow, automation, and continuous development and testing. It allows for activities to be divided into smaller increments and built upon continuously, making it one of the most ideal choices for software development as it results in fewer errors, less manual work, and easier releases. 

Business Skills:

While the strong technical knowledge that you can learn and improve with a masters in software engineering online from Baylor University are certainly important to this role, it has become more important than ever for a good software engineering manager to be a professional with strong business skills. Software engineering management is a role where you will often be moving away from tech-based roles into more corporate roles that will require you to be skilled at leading teams and working with people.

In this role, you will need to develop excellent business leadership skills and understand how the decisions that you make can have an impact on the company as a whole. A good software engineering manager is somebody who is able to not only see the bigger picture but is also able to focus and pay attention to the smaller details and how they all work together. 

Coding Skills:

While there are many software engineering managers out there who don’t write code as a part of their day-to-day job and haven’t in a long time, software engineering managers who keep their coding skills up to date will have an advantage over those who do not. Being able to understand the code that is used for software development projects will make it easier for you to conduct appraisals of your team’s work and go through quality control processes with ease.

When your coding skills are lacking as a software engineering manager, there is a much higher risk of you ultimately approving projects that have coding errors, which could cause serious issues for the end-user and the business over time. While it’s important for software engineering managers to stay familiar with the main coding language that is used by their team of developers, many will also invest their time in staying updated with other commonly used coding languages to keep their career prospects high and make sure that they are ready to tackle any future changes. 

Technology Skills:

A software engineering manager will need to be a professional who remains up to date and knowledgeable of the latest toolkits, languages, methodologies, cloud services, frameworks, and more that are used by their team on a day-to-day basis. While it is not always important for software engineering managers to have a very in-depth understanding of how each of these things works, it is crucial for them to have at least a basic knowledge of what is applied in any given situation.

Software developers should be aware of the advantages and disadvantages of each tool that they use. Most of the time, they will do this by working together with architects and senior software developers when an informed decision on the best stacks or toolchains for an application is needed. For professionals working in this role, it is a wise idea to make sure that you are informed enough and have the knowledge and skills needed to perform a thorough evaluation of these decisions. 

Communication Skills:

Strong communication skills are a crucial requirement for any kind of management role in any type of industry. They are also very important in the role of a software engineering manager. If you are considering working in this role in the future, it may be worth spending some time to evaluate if you are happy to work in a role that is more focused on people skills and business management skills rather than tech skills, especially if you are considering moving into the role from a development or coding position.

To be successful as a software engineering manager, you will need to have strong, polished people skills and the ability to motivate and lead teams. Communication skills are essential for clearly getting your ideas across, communicating the context of a project effectively, and sharing updates with stakeholders and executives in a way that they will find easy to understand. Bear in mind that you’re often going to be communicating ideas with people who don’t know the first thing about coding, so an ability to break it down into layman’s terms is essential. 

As one of the fastest-growing information technology career options right now, software engineering management is a great choice for anyone with a tech or development background looking to move up into a more management and people-based career path. 

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