The rather obvious answer to the question “What key skill is needed for a career in C#.NET software development?”, is a background in software development using the C# language. Needless to say there is a little bit more to it than that, but let’s start there.
Firstly, for those that aren’t familiar, what is C#?
Microsoft’s C# is a multi-paradigm language for computer programming, meaning it supports more than one fundamental style of computer programming, and is therefore relatively flexible. An object-oriented (OO) programming language, C# is organised around objects rather than actions ‒ structures that contain data in the form of fields and code known as methods.
So how do you get a background in C#.NET development?
If you know this is the area in which you want to focus, choosing an appropriate degree course or seeking workplace training is the place to start. But there are plenty of people studying non-computer science degrees or who may be changing from a different career.
If you know the C# language but don’t use it in your day job, you can demonstrate your experience by carrying out projects in your own time; contributing to a project on GitHub would be a good place to start. At Scott Logic, a growing UK-based software consultancy, recruiters seek evidence of candidates showing such initiative in addition to requirements such as qualifications and work history, as it can demonstrate a candidate’s personal qualities more tangibly than hard facts listed on a CV.
The best software developers show real passion and enthusiasm, for technology in general and, importantly coding. Don’t leave this until interview stage. It’s crucial to get this zeal across in a job application. Evidence of time spent on open source projects or developing your C#.NET skills in your own time is a good way of doing this and making your application stand out.
What about commercial experience?
You’re applying to a business, so it’s vital that you provide evidence of your skills applied to a business context. Don’t worry if you’ve never worked in the field though. There are other ways of getting across your acumen in enterprise development. For example, you may blog about the subject, showing your commercial understanding while offering a soundly-based opinion on how you would use C#.NET technology to benefit a sector, company or project. Read widely around a subject and follow other influential blogs to hone your knowledge. Use topical tech news and developments as discussion points.
Even if you’ve never worked specifically in your day job with C#, you are very likely to have developed other key skills needed for this type of role in other ways, such as stakeholder management, teamwork, communication skills, attention to detail and problem solving.
Software development is a creative but very disciplined activity. The best developers we see display deep knowledge of languages and technologies, but also attention to detail, clarity of thought, openness to constructive criticism and a sense of pride in the quality of their work. Without these attributes, maybe it’s not for you.
About the author
Scott Logic is a U.K. based software consultancy founded by Gary Scott in 2005. Find out more about careers in C#.NET development at the firm here.
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