These five Essential Soft Skills Will Help Your Programing Career Flourish
Becoming a great software or web developer requires both programing and soft skills; pure coding skill will only get you so far. If you’ve been studying relentlessly, adding to your skills daily, and doing everything you can to learn more — yet still not achieving that next career step — then it might be your soft skills are to blame.
While your hard skills (those programing skills you’re working so hard to master) will largely determine if you can perform specific tasks, your soft skills will demonstrate whether your personality and working style will be a benefit to the team.
What Are Soft Skills And Why Do They Matter?
Your soft skills are the intangible, non-technical abilities that you bring to the table. They are rooted in your personality, but can also be improved with practice and training. They affect the way you work and how you relate to and help others.
Soft skills are essential regardless of whether you’re trying to get your foot on that first slippery run of the career ladder or a seasoned veteran aiming to get that next promotion. Employers filling graduate or entry-level jobs will often prefer candidates with strong soft skills because they know they have the potential to develop. As you progress and take up a management role, you’ll use your soft skills more to help you lead others.
Often, you develop your hard skills in isolation. You spend hours sitting alone, working on projects, and learning more. But, companies rarely hire people to sit in a room and work alone. They hire people who are going to join and contribute to a team, working with others collaboratively to meet a common goal.
Your ability to work as part of a team depends on several other soft skills, including communication, and will significantly affect your suitability for many jobs.
Start a new job, and it won’t be long before your inbox is full of emails and your calendar with meetings. Good communicators know when to talk, when to listen, and how to speak to their audience.
To be effective, you’ll need to be comfortable communicating with your peers, your superiors, and your clients. Each might require a slightly different approach: you wouldn’t explain something to a non-technical client in the same way you’d discuss it with a colleague.
Tough deadlines, tricky problems, and a culture that values busyness as a sign of success; it’s no wonder that some coders find themselves getting stressed. Although you should avoid any job that constantly puts you under strain, it’s rare that you’ll feel no pressure.
Managing your stress levels is important for your happiness, your health, and to ensure you can contribute effectively to your team at all times.
You’ve already demonstrated that you love to learn by learning how to code, but your education won’t stop there. If you choose to pursue a career in programing, you’ll need to be constantly expanding your skills and learning new things.
You won’t just learn from online courses either; you’ll be expected to learn from your colleagues and superiors. Teachable people readily admit they don’t yet know everything and are comfortable with learning from others around them, including both their superiors and direct reports.
Teaching and Knowledge Sharing
Because a significant amount of learning happens on the job, programers who can also teach others are invaluable. You need to be able to pass on your knowledge in a way that is constructive, avoiding criticism and condescension.
It’s one thing to teach someone in a formal setting, and another to come alongside a team member who is struggling and help them to improve without undermining them.
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