That’s right, today we are going to talk about soft skills. Do a simple test: ask any professional recruiter in the technical area about soft skills.
They will say that soft skills are as vital to employee growth in any current company as hard skills.
Therefore, in the selection process for new job openings, you in the position of being interviewed for an open position will have your soft skills evaluated.
But what are soft skills? What soft skills should I have?
We will answer these questions in this article.
Soft Skills: What Are They?
You have all possible certifications from leading technology providers. Your code is impeccable. Your GitHub is a pilgrimage point for those who seek knowledge.
You are the man.
So, your job in the developer market is guaranteed?
The IT world is constantly changing, that professional who works in isolation, only in his code and his cup of coffee is part of a distant past.
The line between development, management, customer service, and presentation is tenuous.
A “full-stack” professional does not have to master only frontend and backend and companies are demanding other characteristics: they are soft skills.
Soft skills are non-technical skills that relate to how you work. They include how you interact with colleagues, how you solve problems, and how you manage your work.
Soft skills include interpersonal (people) skills, communication skills, listening skills, time management, and empathy, among others.
Thus, developing your soft skills is part of the evolution that follows the market demands.
Remember: the DevOps culture is based on communication, which is vital for any modern work environment.
Communication is considered a soft skill, so together with it, we selected 5 other soft skills recommended by developers and values in selection processes.
Read, enjoy and learn below.
1 – Understand what your customer wants
Your code may receive your instructions without question the purpose, but not you.
A good developer needs to understand, even a minimal, part of what his client wants.
Read this as a mantra: Only start your tasks when you understand your client’s main problem.
Understand helps to avoid the famous rework. If the product delivered from your development does not solve the customer’s problem or ignores the end-users needs, it will have to be redone.
And do you know who will have to redo it?
How to develop? Learn to question the problem and not the task. The developer who starts codding without understanding the purpose may end up causing more problems than before.
2 – Adaptability
Is your favorite language no longer used? Are you condemned to live off migration projects? Has your professional life lost its meaning?
Innovations come at an impressive speed and sticking to your old way of developing will limit your ability and job opportunities.
Look at the past. Most likely, the vast majority of tools you used early in your career are already obsolete, if not all.
New and better ways of obtaining results are created all the time, and it is necessary to embrace change.
How to develop? To fight change is to postpone the inevitable. Keep an open mind, never stop learning and researching, don’t be afraid to ask.
3 – Time management
Time management is not about codding for twelve hours straight. It is also not wasting a day at work looking for a perfect setup. Or take two hours a day to see compilations on YouTube.
It is about managing objectives and priorities to achieve a standard of productivity, absorb periods of high demand for tasks without giving up the balance between work and personal life.
How to develop? Organize your tasks. It doesn’t matter if it’s in an old notebook or an application. The organization is the key. Try to divide large tasks into smaller tasks and act in stages, goals. Smaller steps are easier to complete. Try to maintain a routine. Try proven techniques like Pomodoro or Kanban.
4 – Creativity
“Working in IT does not demand creativity or inspiration, just follow the requirements, use the procedures, and apply the tools”
The above sentence is quite wrong.
The IT industry has always been driven by innovation, by creators who dared to imagine another way of doing the same thing.
It is when thinking of a new solution there is room for creativity.
Creativity is something you don’t learn in a course or college, but you need to be creative. Thinking outside the box requires knowledge.
You first need to know the rules to be able to break them and go further.
How to develop? It is possible to develop, but it takes practice and is not only about learning from programming books or databases. Read fictional works, consume art, watch series, cook your recipes, these are ways to explore new concepts and open your mind, creating a fertile ground for creativity to flourish even in your professional life. In the worst case, you will have fun in the process and a healthy mind produces better.
5 – Accept critics
Nobody likes to receive critics. However, the opposite is even worse: being constantly praised and never evolving. Constructive critics are an improvement tool to discover new approaches, to improve ourselves.
Humility is a characteristic appreciated in any situation, the culture of feedback can bring several benefits to your professional career.
How to develop? Take a deep breath, look in the mirror and tell yourself that you are still far from perfect. We all are. Even the wisest of wise men make mistakes. Recognizing failures, accepting critics, improving, are natural processes.
How to develop soft skills?
These skills are useful in the work environment, but also they help relationships in all aspects of life.
The human being is in constant movement and change.
The development of soft skills is an exercise to be done daily and below are some tips on how to practice.
Knowing yourself is a great way to understand those skills that need improvement.
A simple exercise is to ask yourself a series of questions and answering honestly. For example:
Did I accept well the latest changes that occurred in the project?
Was my attitude correct when such a change occurred?
Did I adapt to the reality of my team to work in harmony?
Some of these answers are likely to be “no”. No problem. The purpose of this self-assessment is to try to find points where it is necessary to work and improve.
After a self-assessment, ask for and listen to feedback from peers and superiors.
The purpose should be to suggest positive or improvement points without highlighting only the negative points.
Always seek to build and not destroy professional confidence.
Knowing how to listen to feedback is also a skill, be it a compliment or a criticism. Understanding a criticism and analyzing whether it is real or not, and putting yourself in a humble and resilient position to accept the reported deficiencies is necessary.
Search for study materials and external help
There are thousands of blogs, articles, videos, and books that can be consulted for free and easily on the internet.
Just know exactly which soft skill you intend to improve and search for trusted sites.
There are also many bestsellers books of skill development.
If they are more difficult soft skills to develop on your own, seek help.
Count on the help of specialized professionals such as psychologists and mentors who can bring some direction and exercises to develop such soft skills.
What do you think of these suggested skills? Is there anything else important for a developer who didn’t make the list? Leave your opinions in the comments!