Top skills SaaS companies look for when hiring a software developer

The SaaS industry is currently worth more than $195 billion. Here are some of the top skills SaaS hiring managers look for in candidates. 

Unlocking tech talent stories

May 4, 2023

The software-as-a-service (also known as SaaS) industry is currently worth more than $195 billion. It’s also grown by 500% in the last seven years (and is on track to continue growing for years to come).

A career as a software developer for a SaaS company is an excellent option for those who want to work in the tech world and enjoy a thriving career with many opportunities.

Are you curious about what it takes to get hired by a SaaS company? Discover some of the top skills SaaS hiring managers look for in candidates below. 

What do SaaS companies look for in a software developer?

Whether you want to work for a small startup SaaS company or a larger corporation, you’ll need certain skills and abilities to stand out from other candidates and increase your chances of getting hired.

The following are some of the most important hard and soft skills hiring managers will look for when filling vacancies at their businesses. 

Database management

Database management is one of the most important skills for software developers seeking SaaS careers.

Several tasks fall under the database management umbrella, including data organisation, storage, and retrieval.

Along with understanding these responsibilities, you should also be familiar with different database management approaches, from centralised and distributed to federalised systems.

Knowledge of programming languages

Naturally, developers should be familiar with programming languages, especially those like Java, PHP, and Python, which are most frequently used in the SaaS development world.

Programming proficiency is important, but it’s also helpful if you are knowledgeable about Linux servers (specifically building, managing, and maintaining them). Understanding cloud services platforms is beneficial, too.

Cloud computing knowledge

Speaking of cloud services, a more robust understanding of cloud computing will also benefit you when searching for jobs in the SaaS industry. 

Companies across the globe are seeking cloud computing experts. If you have advanced skills like data migration, which involves transferring applications from an on-site server to the cloud, you’ll have an advantage over other candidates. 

SaaS security knowledge

Did you know that the cost of cybercrime has increased by 10 percent in the last year? Businesses, including SaaS companies, are taking cybersecurity more seriously, meaning they’re looking for applicants with advanced cybersecurity knowledge. 

If you haven’t done so already, start making yourself more appealing by learning about good cybersecurity practices, such as proper password management and database backup.

Compliance knowledge

You must also keep up with the latest software development and cybersecurity laws and regulations in your area. Being knowledgeable about legal compliance in the SaaS industry will help you abide by the rules and avoid putting your potential employer (or yourself) in a compromising position.

Digital marketing skills

Many organisations are looking for employees with diverse skill sets.

Understanding program languages, cybersecurity best practices, and cloud computing are, of course, essential. However, it’s also helpful if you understand the creative side of things.

Knowledge of digital marketing and the most effective strategies that companies can use to promote their SaaS solutions will help you provide more value to a future employer and can separate you from other candidates during the application process.

Problem-solving skills

The best software developers — including SaaS developers — are adept problem solvers. They’re good at analysing a situation, identifying the problem, evaluating the data, and coming up with creative ways to address it. 

Not only do developers need to understand the specific problems the company’s clients experience (and how a particular software solution can help them), but they must also know how to navigate issues that arise during the development process to ensure clients receive a functional product that aligns with their needs and goals. 

Communication and collaboration skills

In most cases, software developers must be able to work as part of a team.

They need to know how to communicate their ideas clearly (both verbally and in writing). They must also be active listeners who can hear other people’s ideas — as well as their questions and concerns — and provide meaningful responses.

Even if you have limited development experience, the ability to communicate and collaborate with others is an excellent asset that can endear you to various companies. 

Adaptability and creativity

Skilled developers can think on their feet.

They’re able to pivot and try something new if their current approach isn’t working. They don’t get so hung up on their idea that they’re unwilling to listen to other perspectives or experiment with different options. 

Entrepreneurial skills

Entrepreneurial skills can also be very beneficial to software developers looking for work in the SaaS community. Even if you’re not planning on launching your own business, skills like leadership, critical thinking, communication, and planning will help you serve your team and the business as a whole. 

Tips for developing software development skills

Is your resume missing some of the skills discussed above? If so, it’s time to get to work.

There are many online courses (some of which are free) that can teach you the basics of programming languages, cybersecurity best practices, and cloud computing.

Take advantage of these resources, especially if you can’t afford to enroll in classes at a college or university. They’ll help you develop the practical skills you need, and many of them also offer programs to help you find a job when you’ve completed the class.

As for soft skills like communication, active listening, and problem-solving, you’ve likely had jobs in the past that required you to practice these skills. Think about your previous positions and look for situations when you had to be adaptable, step up and lead a group, or resolve a specific issue.  

Land a career in the SaaS industry today

Are you more confident in your ability to find a job as a developer in the SaaS industry?

This field is growing rapidly, and there are lots of opportunities for you to find a job at a company that aligns with your interests and values. 

Where should you begin? 

Start by working on the skills discussed above, from data management to entrepreneurial skills. They’ll help you qualify for the most suitable jobs and increase your chances of getting hired.

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