6 useful soft skills for software developers

Konfinity
January 30,2021 - 5 min read
6 useful soft skills for software developers

Earlier software developers were expected to only have core technical skills like writing code, executing tests and developing efficient and flawless applications that cater to a wider audience. However, as the IT industry became diverse and got integrated with business, software developers are expected to evolve and fill more shoes other than just simply write code. Nowadays, a developer working in software development company interacts with peers and colleagues that are from different domains, for example, a developer has regular conversations and meetings with designers, project managers, executives and other stakeholders of the company. Hence, other than core technical skills, developers should also be willing to learn and inculcate soft skills.

Soft skills are essential for software developers because they enable them to communicate and interact with other people in a meaningful and harmonious way.

Some people are naturally very affable and cordial and already have most of the required soft skills, however, even if you don’t, you can easily learn them if you practice enough. In this blog we have compiled 6 useful soft skills for software developers. These skills help developers to thrive in their professional as well as personal life. Let’s get started with our compilation of some of the most useful soft skills for software developers.

  1. Effective Communication

    It will not be wrong to say that communication is the most important soft skill for developers for any professional and not only a software developer. However, effective communication is a two-way road and you not only need to be a great speaker but also a good listener. In the IT industry, you need to listen to your colleagues, customers, or target users to learn about new things, expand your horizons, and rank tasks and requirements. When it comes to speaking, make sure you are clear and confident. Communication is a very useful weapon and one should use it judiciously. However, there are a few things to be kept in mind while communicating, for example, one should always come out to be polite while conversing and also never interrupt while somebody is talking. In a communication, the participants should be patient, focused, and confident. It takes a lot to be a good conversationist but at the end, it’s all worth it!

  2. Critical and Creative Thinking

    The main job of a developer is to fix problems and work with different developers and designers. Development is all about solving complex problems that belong to various domains like the operating systems in your desktops and mobile phones to a bookkeeping software an accountant uses to making an automated vehicle. At the core, all these tasks include solving problems with different scopes and complexities. Hence, if you want to become a good developer, you will have to inculcate critical as well as creativity thinking. Critical thinking involves challenging yourself to solve complex problems and think creatively to find out different unorthodox approaches to a problem. As a developer, you stir your creative juices to devise techniques that solve complex issues. A developer’s ability to critically think and creatively implement and assess solutions will enable the developer to expand and build various applications and grow as a problem-solver.

  3. Understanding Others

    A software developer spends a lot of time writing code for a particular part of the software. Most of the time, developers are a part of a big team working on the same project and hence understanding other people, their belief systems, their mental and personal characteristics will benefit developers and help them adjust their behaviour to address other’s needs as well as stye of working. Good developers will always try to understand their colleagues before anything else in order to successfully complete a team work. The quality of empathy makes a developer more sensible and approachable. People talk about a lot of difficulties and problems that a developer come across; however, a bit of empathy can avoid some of the most common issues in a software developer’s work life.

  4. Teamwork

    Teamwork is the most important skill in any profession. Software developers are inherently team players. If you are a software developer working on a project, you are actually working in collaboration with UX developers, managers, designers and many more. Teamwork is an essential skill because you would always work in collaboration with people and there are slim chances of a developer being entirely alone on a project.

    However, teamwork is not a piece of cake as there are many issues that crop put while working in a team as some people are notoriously difficult to work with. In order to be a good team player, one needs to have patience, empathy and good communication skills.

  5. A Confident Approach

    As a software developer, you would always look to learn new things from developers who are more skilled and experienced than you are, however, this doesn’t mean that you have to be too humble. The best way out is to have the right amount of confidence. As software engineers, you are going to build confidence as the number of years of experience you have increases. For example, if you are solving a problem of a similar kind, it would be easier for you to approach the problem and hence you would be more condiment.

    Junior developers or designers often lack confidence as they are unsure of how to proceed and hence, they take a step back as they are less confident. As a software developer, you need to building confidence and ensure a nurturing environment where people are willing to help, educate, explain and grow together.

    A lot of confidence comes from making mistakes, learning and building confidence over time. As a software developer, you should not be afraid of trying out new technologies and trying to explore and learn before start searching it on the internet.

    As software developers, you are problem-solvers and you should make it a habit to give a confident try before you quit and not be afraid to make mistakes. As time passes, you would get better at developing and hence your confidence will grow. However, remember to not become unrealistic and vain.

  6. Time and People Management

    Software development is all about working in a team on a project in a stipulated time period. More often than not, software developers are involved with managing people as well as different types of projects. Hence, management is the most prominent soft skill for software developers.

    Time management is important because more often than not there are deadlines to meet and estimates to give and hence as a software developer, one must be conscious of the time spent on a particular project. People management is also essential because as mentioned in the blog earlier that software developers rarely work in an isolated environment.

    Time and people management are one of the key characteristics that a recruiter looks for a potential software developer candidate. A software developer from all experience levels is expected to work well in a team and meet their time estimates. Hence, if you are aiming to become a successful software developer in a good company, one skill that you need to inculcate is successful management of time and good coordination of people.

Conclusion

With this we come to an end of our list of 6 most useful soft skills for a software developer. It might seem overwhelming but besides being good at writing code and testing, software developers need to be an expert in soft skills also. The tech skills of a software developer are required and are absolutely essential, however, soft skills are like the cherry on the cake.

This blog was an earnest effort to present the most useful soft skills. In this list of soft skills, there might me skills that you might already have within you and hopefully, this article helps you uncover and grow others skills that you might already not have.

You would also realise that most of these soft skills are connected with each other, for example, a software developer needs to be humble enough to develop confidence and managing people will always require the skills of empathy, communication, and teamwork.

This blog intends to paint a broader picture of soft skills required to become a successful software engineer. Also, the list is not static as it is going to change as the workplace, technology stack and business environments changes with time. For example, the problem-solving skills and critical and creative thinking is set to become more important as the future would be driven by artificial intelligence and robots. Also, as robots start to conquer the world of business and technology and more and more tasks become automated, one important thing to acquire as software developers are useful soft skills. Soft skills are very advantageous to software developers and also future-proofing the strategy. The straight conclusion is to embrace as many soft skills you can in order to become successful and sustainable.

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