Companies are paying more and more attention to the attitude, motivation and behavior of a (future) team member! Degrees and experience are no longer the only assets of candidates for a project, especially for a freelance developer. It’s easy to think that in the world of technology, only the technical skills of developers are important. But a coder who doesn’t know how to communicate with his client or adapt to the project’s demands can quickly become a problem for the company that employs him. As a developer, you must therefore also rely on your “soft skills”. But what are soft skills? And which soft skills are essential to become a successful developer? Answers to all your questions in this article.
– What are soft skills?
Soft skills are non-technical skills that refer to human qualities and personality. They complement the hard skills, which correspond to your professional skills, acquired through school, training or experience.
Soft skills correspond to your business know-how. For example, communicating correctly with your manager, your colleagues and your partners is a soft skill. And you understand it well here… This skill quickly sets you apart from developers who do not know how to communicate.
Nevertheless, soft skills can be acquired through experience and professional experience. In particular, it is possible to follow training or coaching to develop your human qualities, which are very useful in the computer development field. As a programmer, you can also follow online videos that help you solve a particular problem, if you are already aware of it. We can mention the famous TEDx Talks, during which a speaker speaks about a particular subject. Often related to professional and personal issues, TEDx Talks are an excellent way to understand how to develop your soft skills.
Soft skills are a way to become a successful developer, but also to take more pleasure in your work. Indeed, the personal skills that allow you to harmonize your relationships with others, to be a professional involved and recognized by his peers offer more satisfaction and happiness to the developer.
– The soft skills needed in programming
The field of computer science is special. However, you will discover that some skills that we do not think useful as a developer generate a radical change offering you more satisfaction, well-being and recognition in your missions.
Contextualize your reasoning
Nothing is absolute, everything is relative. What is true on one project will not be true on another. You must constantly adapt your knowledge, skills and experience to a new problem, a new project and a new reasoning. There is no such thing as “ready to use” in development. Even if your knowledge and skills are transferable from one project to another, you must think on your feet to best meet the demand.
Anticipating problems, blockages
Problems… A developer faces them every day! More or less complex, a blockage sometimes takes a considerable amount of time in programming. That’s why it is essential to anticipate them. Prevention is better than cure: this is also true in computer development.
With the teams, the client, the stakeholders, the partners… Developers always work as a team, even if the clichés of television series often make you think the opposite! A coder must be able to integrate easily into a group and have a sense of teamwork.
Moreover, communication is very important to popularize the technique with teams who are not able to understand the technology as well as you do.
Empathy with your partners
Sometimes, some professionals do not understand the stress of a client or the reaction to a sudden problem. They don’t adopt the right behavior and will therefore generate tension.
You must be able to put yourself in the shoes of the person in front of you. If they are stressed, afraid or lacking confidence, you must understand them. Thanks to the understanding of the other person, you are able to react better and to put in place the right actions to satisfy them.
Tech curiosity (on all subjects)
In all fields, professionals need to stay informed to keep up with the latest innovations in their processes. And in IT development, even more so! New updates are released all the time, offering new features and systems to make your daily work easier.
To keep up with this news and always be aware of the latest developments, take the time to do a watch every day. Between 15 and 30 minutes of monitoring is enough to read the articles in your sector of activity!
Organization and time management
Time management is crucial to advance a project while meeting the deadlines. A developer must therefore be organized to advance the project efficiently, while planning in advance the actions taken to keep his team, his partners and his customers informed.
Self-discipline (even stronger than motivation)
During the course of a project, motivation is often very strong during the first weeks. The challenge is exciting and you face challenges that stimulate you. But after this excitement phase, motivation can quickly drop… This is precisely when discipline takes over from motivation.
Creating good habits is essential to becoming a successful developer. Design a routine, which allows you to enter your cocoon and be productive, that you will repeat every day. This discipline allows you to be consistent and always move in the right direction in your mission.
Flexibility and adaptation
No project is the same, no client is the same… And this is also the beauty of being a developer. But it requires flexibility and adaptation on several levels.
First of all, in terms of communication with the client. Some like to have regular written reports. Others prefer weekly or bi-monthly calls to find out how the project is going. You must therefore adapt to satisfy your clients and partners.
But also at the technical level… Indeed, each project requires to solve a different problem: you must therefore adapt your reasoning to the context you are facing.
Know how to make decisions
When you make a decision you strongly believe in, you are able to take a group with you. This is what the developer must experience in the project on which he devotes his time. He must take responsibility for his decisions to his partners and customers. Why did you solve this problem with this method? Why did you make a change on a part of the code? Programming involves multiple decisions all day long. You just have to be able to take responsibility for them and explain them.
Creativity and daring
This point echoes the previous one… Some decisions are not easy to make: you have to be daring. Your intuition and your experience as a developer push you to make choices that others might not make… It is this creativity that will be highlighted and appreciated by clients: you know how to think outside the box when it is necessary for the good of a project.
We often associate code with a very mathematical mind. However, solving a problem sometimes requires great creativity. Develop it during your team projects!
– Conclusion: the 9 soft skills of a developer
As you have understood, soft skills are essential to become a successful developer. In addition to learning technical skills, think about developing your human skills and your personality to possess technical and human qualities that will make you stand out from the crowd.
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