Even though you are a brilliant developer, do people enjoy working with you?
Writing good code are important aspects of a developer’s job, but it’s no longer enough, you must understand soft skills needed to advance your career. These same skills will also help you in your personal life.
As the role of software development becomes more integrated with other business departments you must interact with other departments, individuals with non-technical skillsets, and individuals who have different focuses and KPIs they are working towards that may conflict with yours.
Most likely you will be working as part of a larger team. Amongst project managers, quality engineers, designers, product owners, business executives and business stakeholders throughout the organization. Soft skills and a willingness to improve them are essential components of your toolbox as a software developer.
If excellent coding and engineering skills aren’t enough, what soft skills does one need?
First, what are Soft Skills?
Soft skills are the abilities that enable you to converse and interact with others. And to do so in a way that is meaningful and harmonious. Communication, compassion, patience, and other skills included. It’s the ability to get along with others who have different personalities, perspectives, political motives, incentives, focuses, and demands that impact their requests to you.
Some people appear to be natural communicators with a special affinity for soft skills. Most likely those people did not start out as natural communicators. The good news is that almost anyone can improve in these areas with enough knowledge and practice.
Soft Skills for Software Developers That Really Matter
There are so many soft skills we could discuss but you only have so much time in your life so let’s first focus on the ones that will most advance your career.
We all understand technology is constantly evolving and it’s fun to learn new technologies, however, we are referring to flexibility in how we collaborate with people and flexibility with changing processes, procedures, and business environments.
As business needs change, this requires priorities to shift, processes to shift, and you to shift. If you don’t shift, you become a blocker to business progress.
Each project is unique, and the ability to adapt is a critical to your career success.
It’s very easy to get lost on a tangent and lose sight of the main objectives. You may be tempted to perfect some programming code or implement the best possible approach. But you may be losing focus on the business objective and letting down your peers.
What is important is understanding why you are working on the project, what the business is trying to accomplish, what timelines the business is trying to achieve, what KPIs the business is being measured against. If you don’t know this, it will be unclear how to focus your time.
Everyone has someone to report to, even a business must report to their customers. If you want to advance your career, make sure everything you are doing is focused on helping the business achieve their objectives.
Some developers when faced with a blocker give up very easily. They cannot get around the problem, they cannot figure out a solution. A more senior person has to step in and figure out the next step.
Perseverance in the face of adversity and a passionate, long-term commitment to specific goals is the essence of what we call “grit.”
Learn how to be the person that finds the solution and be resilient to difficult situations. Encourage people to bring you their problems so you can solve them. Be the one who solves problems for the business.
Grit will help advance your career.
When you face adversity in life, can you bounce back and get going again?
Maybe your project was cancelled, you got fired, or you got demoted.
Are you strong enough to recover from this or will you give up?
Your career is not going to be without adversity. How you respond to adversity and keep going is what’s important. This resiliency will also carry through in your career and daily work and help advance your career and personal relationships.
Many people follow orders, processes, and historical practices without question. This doesn’t mean it’s the right thing to do. Sometimes it is, but sometimes it isn’t.
Be curious why people are asking you to do something. Be curious whether it’s the right thing to do.
If you are too curious and always questioning things, you could drive everyone else crazy and they will not want to work with you.
The ability for you to discern the difference of when to be curious and when not, is what will set you apart from others in your career and this comes from practice.
Without passion for what you are doing, advancing your career is difficult.
A passionate person wants to learn more, improve their craft, and find new and better ways of doing things. Working with people like this is exciting and that passion can be contagious. A single individual on a team with a lot of passion can transform the entire team.
Look for other passionate people in your workplace and learn from them. See how they interact with other people and how people react to them. You can accelerate your career when you have passion and people see that passion inside of you.
Empathy for fellow human beings is important to your career. No one wants to work with a curmudgeon.
The people you work with have families, dreams, and interests just like you. If you don’t take the time to get to know them and who they are as a person, they are not going to respect you because they won’t believe you care about them as a person. When they are going through difficult times, be there for your fellow coworkers.
Understanding your coworkers can also help you understand why they are making certain demands. A business requirement might not make sense to you because you didn’t realize that business stakeholder’s performance is measured differently than you and their job might be on the line.
Find a job @ Varyence that you are passionate about
Varyence is a multi-national company founded in the United States, with offices in Ukraine, Croatia and the United States. We have over 100 employees working across the globe. We provide software product commercialization, web and mobile development, AI/ML/IOT, Cybersecurity, and cloud infrastructure services to customers worldwide.
We are focused on providing high quality services to customers. We are more concerned about our customers and employees’ well-being and success than about profits. We believe if we have happy customers and happy employees, then success will come.
Most of our clients are companies we have worked with for many years, on long-term engagements, some since the inception of our business. Our clients are mainly based in the United States, with some in Western Europe.
We are always looking for talented individuals to join us. Feel free to get in touch and find out more details about our open positions!
Our relocation department can assist you with your relocation plans to our Split, Croatia or Lviv, Ukraine offices. They will help you find an apartment; get you settled in with everything you need. You may also be eligible for a relocation package to help with moving and relocation costs.