When recruiting for programming roles, we must ensure that we are not overlooking candidates who possess the necessary skills but may not necessarily have the same level of experience. This could be detrimental to our organization, as we may miss out on the opportunity to employ someone with excellent programming skills and the soft skills needed to thrive in our team.
Can you define “soft” skills?
Soft skills refer to a person’s innate behavioral and mental attributes, commonly referred to as their “common” or “core” talents. Whilst not as easily measurable as “hard” skills (e.g., proficiency in a certain programming language), research indicates that soft skills can have a considerable positive effect on productivity and teamwork.
Given the importance of soft skills in the recruitment of software engineers, what are some of the most desirable qualities that employers look for? Here are five key soft talents that could help you secure a position in this field.
It is essential for all members of the team to possess strong communication skills in order to effectively collaborate, report any issues encountered with the design or code, and participate in debugging and promotion activities. Without such skills, the team’s productivity is likely to be hindered.
The increased prevalence of telecommuting has seen a rise in the use of online meeting spaces such as Zoom, where teams are required to collaborate and find solutions quickly. A team’s ability to achieve a shorter project lifespan and greater efficiency is dependent on the effectiveness of their communication.
Teamwork and Cooperation
It is essential for our developers to possess the necessary soft skills to be able to effectively collaborate and contribute to the success of the project. An ideal team player is one who is willing to put in the effort needed to ensure the project’s success.
Sharing code on GitHub and providing bug fixes are not sufficient alone to ensure success of this partnership; we need to take further steps to promote communication and learning between members at all levels of the organization. It is also essential to consider the perspectives, values, and requirements of our colleagues when working in a development team.
Planning and Scheduling Efficiently
Without strong capabilities in time management, it can be challenging for developers to meet deadlines, as well as maintain efficient and organized work practices. Consequently, developers who demonstrate these attributes are more likely to be beneficial to the team.
Having good time management skills is essential for team members, as it ensures that tasks are completed in a timely manner. Without this ability, colleagues may become resentful and find themselves having to make up for the lack of productivity from those who are unable to prioritize their responsibilities.
EQ, or Emotional Quotient
If you are seeking a developer, it is beneficial to find someone who has a good level of emotional intelligence. This will enable them to be aware of and respond to their own and others’ emotions. Furthermore, having high emotional intelligence can help developers to manage the stress and anxiety that can come with their role.
As deadlines approach, it is important to recognize the potential for increasing stress and tension. Having a developer with strong emotional intelligence can help prevent emotional outbursts or breakdowns under pressure. An important aspect of emotional intelligence is the ability to actively listen to others; by doing so, it is possible to process information more effectively.
It is inevitable that issues arise from time to time. To avoid the risk of finger-pointing and a lack of progress, it is important to choose engineers who are willing to accept responsibility when mistakes are made, be it with code or timelines. This will ensure that the team can move forward, find a solution and reach the desired deadline.
It is essential to make it clear to our engineers that it is acceptable to accept responsibility for their actions. We should ensure that they understand that, barring exceptional circumstances, there will be no repercussions for confessing fault. This will help to reduce the prevalence of blame-shifting in the workplace.
The Art of Coming Up with New Solutions
Reasoning and logic can often be employed to resolve certain issues, especially in computer programming. Nonetheless, on occasion, an unconventional solution can produce a result that is even more effective than the one it was intended to address.
In order to build a development team that can think outside of the box and push the boundaries, it is important to look for developers who possess original thinking and innovative problem-solving abilities. Finding individuals who can offer creative solutions to challenges is essential for success.
Flexibility and Range of Use
If you employ a developer who is not adaptable, they could become an obstacle to progress. It is a fact of life that rarely do things go according to plan, as per Murphy’s Law.
When a project encounters an unexpected challenge, it is essential to have developers who are able to modify the requirements, troubleshoot any code issues from another colleague, or address any issues with an API. Investing in a team of developers who are adaptable and open to new ideas increases the chances of successful project completion.
It is not possible for everything to be altered in a single day. When awaiting a team or external body to finish their part of a project, it can delay the entire process. During such moments, it is essential for developers to remain patient. Although one member may have completed their task ahead of schedule, this should not be used as an excuse for the rest of the team to rush their work and expect a high standard of results.
It is essential for all members of the team to understand that not all developers have the same productivity levels. Additionally, they should be prepared for possible delays in the process once the project has been transferred from the developers to, for example, marketing or management.
It is particularly pertinent in the sphere of DevOps, where professionals from a number of departments collaborate on a joint venture. Operations personnel may take longer to comprehend a difficulty than a developer requires, hence patience is essential.
It is important to remember that coding should not be the only skill set that your team should possess. Whilst technical abilities that will directly aid the success of the project should be prioritized, the importance of ‘soft skills’ such as interpersonal abilities and efficiency should not be underestimated. These skills are essential for creating a pleasant and productive work environment.