The world of software is changing faster than ever. And most of the companies that employ software engineers are trying to keep pace with it. Does that mean they are looking for engineers who’re abreast of the latest frameworks and languages? Or is a fundamental approach to software development still revered?

We recently were in conversation with leaders from up and coming startups, trying to make sense of this question – ‘what are the technology leaders today looking for in new hires?’.

Here are our three major learnings from the discussions.

Big Data Is The Next Big Thing

Any and every company that is working in the domain of data or is producing a lot of it, is looking to leverage it for smarter decision making. Invariably, software engineers who have the knowledge and skillset in domains like data science and machine learning are sought after.

Manish Kalbande, Head of India RnD, Foghorn Systems, believes candidates who understand data science have an edge in interviews. “I think data science is killing it right now. Given the emergence of fields like IoT, it is inevitable that data is and will be playing a larger role,” he said. He believes that intelligence extraction and application of data in decision making is becoming a norm now.

Here’s all that he had to say:

Fundamentals Are (Still) Important

While it is important to know about the cutting edge technologies that are thriving in the market, being absolutely thorough with the basics is important too.

Milind Barve, Head of India Ops, Platform9, believes that it all boils down to Computer Science basics. “I would still go ahead with the same things – data structures, algorithms, distributed systems, cloud technologies and container technologies,” he explains.

Here’s all that he had to say:

The Why Is More Important Than The What

With the proliferation of the Cloud, many tools and technologies have flooded the tech landscape. However, technology companies are now placing more value in the mindset than the knowledge. Having an understanding of how things work and are created is more important than knowing those technologies.

Milind Bhandarkar, Founder and CTO, Ampool places value in the why. “A specific technology or tool is much less important than the knowledge of why the tool or technology came about and where the person can take that. If someone has that mindset, then I don’t give any weightage to the labels.”

Here’s all that he had to say:

In The End

The key to acing a software interview is to have a solid grasp of the fundamentals.

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