If you are thinking about searching for a new job as a developer or moving up in your career, you have probably focused a great deal of energy on building your technical skills. However, employers are looking for more than just experience and fluency in specific programming languages. They want people who have the soft skills to be great teammates.
Here are four soft skills you should possess as a developer if you are looking to advance your career.
As a developer, you will need to communicate clearly with members of your team as well as non-technical members of other teams and possibly even clients and end-users. This means being able to speak clearly and with conviction, as well as writing well. It also means you must develop strong active listening skills. We tend to think of communication as the words we say or write, but communication is a two-way street. The most effective communicators do more listening than speaking.
There will be times when you have to work closely with someone who doesn’t speak the language of developers. Clear communication is important in these situations, but of equal importance is patience. Non-technical people don’t know the “whys” of what you do, so you may find yourself having to explain or even defend an approach you took. You may also find yourself faced with impossible timelines when a client or a non-technical company leader wants something turned around faster than humanly possible. Being patient is essential for staving off conflict and maintaining good relationships.
No one likes the person who accepts all the credit when things go right but never accepts blame when things go wrong. Holding yourself accountable makes you a better coworker and employee. When you make a mistake, miss a deadline, etc., own up to the error immediately and take action to correct it. Your bosses and coworkers will have much more respect for you if you face potentially unpleasant situations head-on with humility.
Inevitably, someone is going to need to ask you a question. Whether they need help, clarification, direction or something else, being approachable is an important trait for any developer to possess. If people feel like they can’t ask you questions, they are less likely to approach you when there is a problem. That reluctance could mean small issues turn into catastrophes. If you aren’t approachable, it also means people will be reluctant to help you when you need it and your coworkers will be more likely to work around you or even against you rather than with you. If you want to be supported, you need to show support and being approachable is the first step towards being a great team member.
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If you are a tech pro looking for new job opportunities for developers, we invite you to contact the expert recruiters at PEAK Technical Consulting today. We look forward to helping you achieve your goals.