Concrete Skills

Concrete Skills is particularly relevant to those of us coming to the end of our college careers; the problem it talks about is one that is outside of the inexperienced developer’s bubble. Specifically, the pattern is concerned with hiring managers’ inherent level of risk when hiring somebody who may not be able to contribute to the workload of the team due to their lack of ability. Hoover and Oshineye make the point to distinguish between knowledge – the possession of information – and skill – the ability to acquire and implement one’s knowledge in a way that is useful.

The suggestion provided is to acquire a set of skills that are either universally useful, or indicate strongly one’s ability to obtain skill in an unfamiliar technology or environment. Moreover, the recommendation to new developers is to obtain the CVs of people whose skills they respect, and identifying five discrete skills listed on each. This way, one can determine the sorts of skills that are valuable across the industry, and effort can be focused directly into strengthening those skills.

I believe that these are worthwhile and sensible courses of actions. The Software Development is a wide blanket, with countless possibilities for beneficial skill sets across the countless media that demand developers. Personally, as someone who dreams of ending up in game development, I have a vested interest in attaining this kind of proficiency. I do not anticipate my beginnings in the workplace to be in game development, and therefore my focus must include skills that are applicable in as many forms as possible.

Of course, after reading through this pattern, I couldn’t help but read through my own résumé. In concordance, I have identified several skills which align with this pattern of thought, and several which did not. After making my edits to better reflect my universally transferable skills and experience, I feel much more confident reading my résumé. Going forward, I will seek out more ways in which I can obtain the technical, business and interpersonal skills that will make me not only more attractive to hiring managers, but more versatile as a software developer.

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