What are some of the qualities that make great software developers? Some of the skills that first come to mind are a positive attitude, excellent communication skills, time management skills, deep and broad technical skills, and the ability to work well in a team.
It is no surprise that these skills come as second nature to most transitioning service members and veterans. The unique demands of military training coupled with fast-tempo operations, both in garrison and downrange, has allowed military personnel to master these skills. Transitioning service members and veterans likely possess well-developed traits that will allow them to excel in the software development industry and is something they should closely consider.
From the time a new military inductee sets foot on their first training installation – they are forced to develop skills that are essential for software development. Most of these traits are developed while deliberately placed in uncomfortable environments with extreme time restraints and limited resources. The training is purposeful to prepare military members to complete their missions in austere and dangerous environments under strict time constraints requiring not only teamwork but the ability to coordinate a team of teams.
Former and current military members have an advantage, they are instilled with initiative and the expectation to see “the forest for the trees”. That is while focusing on individual tasks is important, military members are expected to understand the broader mission of the unit. This is a skill that translates perfectly in software engineering– developers are required to focus on programming tasks, but also need to keep in view the functionality they are creating for the end-user.
Great software engineers must have a good understanding of the overall goal of the software being developed to ensure value is being created for the end-user. Members of the military are training to appreciate the big picture and are empowered to exercise initiative to achieve unit mission objectives. This ability to see the forest for the trees will help immensely in identifying and opening lines of communication to end-users if a programming project doesn’t appear to meet the value proposition of the development project to the end-user.
If you are a former or current military and the preceding description of military training and operations resonates with you then consider a move into technology. If you have the passion and aptitude, you have a good chance of evolving into a great software developer.
The one trait military members may not have is a deep and broad technical experience. This is an area SkillStorm can leverage its immersive technology training program to help accelerate technology careers. Visit our military and veteran hiring page to learn how to maximize traits you already have to start a technology career. Come join the Storm and start an amazing career in tech!