Average Software Engineer IQ

Software engineers score very highly whenever their IQs are tested. It’s only reasonable that someone tasked with accurately writing a program should be smart enough to execute that project accordingly. However, claiming that software engineers have exceptionally high IQs has the potential of unintentionally discriminating against individuals with a mix of cognitive ability, education, and experience to make a noteworthy contribution to the discipline. This article will help you learn more about the average software engineer IQ score and debunk a few myths about IQ testing.

What Is The Average IQ Of A Software Engineer?

Payscale estimates that the average IQ of software engineers is 120. IQ scores of computer programmers vary from 115 to 132. The IQ of the general population was ranked somewhere in the range of 85 to 115. Very few people have a very low intelligence (below 70 or a very high IQ) score of over 130. The median IQ of the American population is ranked at around 98.

What IQ Do You Need For Coding?

Often, many software engineers have shown a score above 130 on IQ tests. Software engineers will become more intelligent over the years and score above 150 on IQ tests as they age. Some people argue that Raven’s matrices and the Traditional psychometric testing and the like for testing IQ are imprecise measures of IQ. The other capability, thinking styles, and personality patterns that these engineers have exhibited include:

  • Dyslexia
  • Being good at playing certain games such as Bridge, Chess, and GO
  • Being on the Autism spectrum and sometimes being socially awkward
  • Being able to focus deeply for long periods

Some people may need to work harder to be successful in this field, but they can still accomplish great things. Much more goes into succeeding in this industry, such as being passionate, trustworthy, dedicated, and working hard. This means having a high IQ may be an added advantage for anyone who wants to pursue a career in software engineering, but not necessarily an important measuring stick for success.

laptops 593296 960 720

Are Software Engineers Considered Intelligent?

Software engineers need to have both hard and soft skills. Besides being naturally intelligent, here are other skills software engineers need to succeed:

Hard Skills

Hard skill is a set of technical skills learned by individuals who complete their education or pursue their own professional development. These skills are good indicators of how well a software engineer is qualified in terms of competency and proficiency.

1. Programming Language Skills

Programming language proficiency is crucial to having a successful career in the field of software development. With the help of programming language skills, a programmer can create instructions that a computer will follow to make certain decisions. Software developers can learn some existing languages, but they need to be very familiar with at least some of them. The most common software engineering languages are Python, JavaScript, SQL, and HTML/CS.

·        Python

Python is primarily used as a front-end programming language for web servers. It’s simple and readable and can be used to build and execute code that uses big data and large-scale algorithms. It has over 135,000 libraries that allow software engineers to do many useful things.

·        JavaScript

JavaScript is a scripting language that is widely known in the IT world. It determines a website’s proper function and behavior to allow visitors to interact with its content seamlessly. JavaScript, a scripting language, runs inside the user’s browser rather than on a server. However, node.js allows JavaScript to run scripts that are loaded from servers.

coding 1853305 960 720

·        HTML/CSS

HTML is a markup language that allows you to provide a visually appealing user interface to your web users. It’s essentially a syntax used to define how HTML/CSS is presented to web users. It is a common language that humans can understand; it uses tags to help distinguish between different document sections. Once you use these types of tags, the computer interprets the content so as to display a webmaster’s content according to the tag’s instructions.

·        SQL

SQL allows people to quickly access and manipulate the data stored in a database by querying it and then importing it into a specialized program. It allows users to quickly find and update data that is stored in a particular database or create a new one. This is a critical coding language for doing any data analysis. Even though a company could use Python to do the statistical analysis, SQL is needed to access the data stored in its databases.

2. Data Structure Skills

Software engineers must have an excellent knowledge of data structures and algorithms. Since it’s important to write optimized software, you need to have good knowledge of the right data structures and algorithms. You will also need a good understanding of computer architecture and programming.

3. Container skills

It is very easy for developers to package software they develop into virtual packages that interact with a wide range of operating systems. Having a good command of either Docker or Kubernetes is increasingly important in the world of software engineering. You can earn extra money by working on creative coding challenges. Regularly test your software engineering skills by solving challenging coding tasks.

4. Testing and debugging skills

Testing software will detect errors before they occur. Debugging allows the software developer to correct or fix them properly. While the process of testing software solutions before launching them can be automated, the process of fixing them must be executed manually.

Soft Skills

Below are some soft skills software engineers need to be successful in their careers:

1. Communication Skills

It’s rare for Software Engineers to work independently – they need to communicate with each other effectively. Software Engineers are expected to be leaders and co-operators with other professionals and teams. Good communication skills are the key to success. Therefore, for them to succeed, they must be good communicators who can convey their ideas to virtually any team or stakeholder, whatever that person’s background in technical engineering is.

2. Problem-solving

Software engineers must have the ability to think about and solve problems while avoiding technical pitfalls quickly. Getting a project through its development phase requires software engineers to identify and fix many problems that may arise quickly.

Software developers must have the ability to think creatively and also be able to quickly find programming errors by looking at what other people have written. They must also be able to forecast other potential problems and implement effective solutions quickly.

3. Team Players

Software engineers typically work in teams – or lead them if they can do so. The engineer must be able to work alone effectively or even with others in a large team and solve problems quickly. 

The engineers should also be extremely precise and meticulous, paying close attention to every step of the development process so that their team can ensure that their projects are delivered on time and within budget. Successful programmers are good at understanding how to make people agree on things and how to lead others to produce the best software possible. They must also be able to handle criticism well.

work 5382501 960 720

4. Attention to Detail

Software developers are generally very precise and careful, paying close attention to every little detail in developing software, from coding to testing to maintaining software documentation. Some good software engineers use version control systems to keep track of old work. 

Software engineers are often faced with multiple tasks that have different deadlines, which causes them to get very busy almost all the time. Hence, they are expected to be able to multitask effectively at all times. Successful developers know that prioritizing and time management are key.

5. Agile Project Management

Software engineers are usually responsible for developing a product or a project, but they should understand how to set up a sprint plan. This is crucial because software engineers work on projects allocated to them in a sprint plan with deadlines. Therefore, a software engineer must be able to manage projects agilely.

In addition, software developers should be committed to learning new things continuously. Great engineers are willing to continue learning new technologies — whether a new language or a new piece of software — because they ought to be willing to be students forever as technology keeps evolving. Learning something new regularly requires more than just attending lectures and studying. It involves talking to others in your field and learning from their ideas.

Can A Person With Average Intelligence Become Software Engineer?

It’s mainly a myth that if you want to have a career in computer science and technology, you must be very smart. Even though intelligence or having a high IQ plays a major role in this field, other factors determine a person’s success in these fields. There is no standardized way to test your intelligence. You will be very successful in computer science if you are naturally intelligent. Some gifted people are naturally good at math and science and have no trouble achieving a good career in computer science. 


Although IQ plays a critical role in the success of software engineers, some individuals who were not deemed smart enough to start a career in computer science or other related fields have reported great success. This largely happens because computer science and related careers emphasize other skills such as perseverance, problem-solving, and creativity. If you doubt whether you’re smart enough to pursue a career in computer science, don’t worry – you likely have what it takes to succeed in this field.

Leave a Comment