3 technical skills to help advance your Software Developer skills.


As we all know, there is a host of technical and interpersonal skills one needs to cultivate in the business of IT consulting – communication, leadership and a number of other buzzwords. This is meant to be a rather more tangible list of specific skills which many new graduates have not acquired upon arriving at client site, yet which would benefit new IT consultants of any discipline.

Take a look at the 3 technical skills we think every IT Consultant should polish.


Git

...or any version control system (VCS)

Whether you are training in development, testing, DevOps or any number of IT roles, you will come across VCS – most likely Git - and you will need to navigate it.

Knowing the purpose of version control, the role of commits, SHAs and a few basic commands will make your work with the client a lot easier.

If you are in a role where you will be actively working with code, it is also worth looking up good practices such as:

  • How and what to add to your commits
  • How to use the .gitignore file
  • The usefulness of branching

These practices are in place for a reason, and following them will help you to not infuriate your colleagues as well as adhere to security guidelines.

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Linux

If you have not already, sooner or later as an IT consultant you will branch away from your good old Windows/Mac machine and into the world of Linux.

Learning to manoeuvre Linux will be especially helpful if you are going into a role which involves provisioning or IT infrastructure (such as DevOps). In this case you will be digging a bit deeper, getting familiar with shell scripts.

Getting a handle on the Linux terminal will help you feel more confident and comfortable in your work machine, structuring scripts, and getting to know the Linux file system. I recommend starting with Ubuntu (a Debian-based Linux operating system), due to the vast documentation and troubleshooting help available.

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Agile

Agile software development is the new golden child of IT management framework. The approach advocates incremental development cycles, flexible work style and adaptation to emerging requirements. More specifically, familiarity with the scrum framework, task tracking software (e.g. jira), sprints and stand-ups is relevant to most consultant roles at the moment.

If you are a new graduate, you have the advantageous ignorance of traditional sequential approaches such as Waterfall. You might even find that this way of approaching work is intuitive and gives you an easy overview of the task at hand.

Not every client will implement every rule of any framework, so you might find that your employer’s approach is not in alignment with everything you learned, but knowing the tools will help you quickly fit in with your new client’s pace.

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Author: Pi Unnerup 


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