Top Qualities a Programmer Must Possess in Terms of Soft Skills

During our recruitment process for programming positions, it is critical to avoid disregarding candidates who possess the required skills but do not necessarily have the same level of experience. Neglecting this aspect could prove detrimental to our organisation as we may inadvertently overlook an excellent developer with the right combination of programming skills and attributes needed to flourish in our team.

How would you describe “soft” skills?

Soft skills are a person’s innate behavioural and mental attributes, also known as their “common” or “core” talents. Although not as objectively measurable as “hard” skills (such as proficiency in a particular programming language), studies indicate that soft skills can significantly enhance productivity and promote teamwork.

Soft skills play a significant role in the hiring of software engineers. So, what soft skills are highly coveted by employers? Below are five essential behavioral attributes that could bolster your chances of securing a job in this field.


For effective collaboration, resolving design or code-related issues, and contributing to debugging and promotional activities, it is imperative that all team members possess strong communication skills. Without these skills, the team’s productivity is likely to suffer.

The growing trend of telecommuting has led to a rise in the usage of online meeting platforms, like Zoom, which necessitates quick collaboration and problem-solving. A team’s capability to reduce project timelines and enhance productivity is intricately linked to the efficacy of their communication.

Collaboration and Team Effort

For our developers to effectively contribute to a project’s success through collaboration, essential soft skills are necessary. An ideal team member is one who can demonstrate a willingness to put in the requisite effort to guarantee project success.

Collaboration and bug-fixing contributions on GitHub are inadequate to guarantee a successful partnership; we must take additional measures to promote communication and learning among team members at all levels of the organisation. When working in a development team, it is imperative to take into account the viewpoints, principles, and needs of our colleagues.

Efficient Planning and Scheduling

Developers who lack excellent time management skills may find it arduous to meet deadlines and maintain efficient and organised work habits. Therefore, developers who demonstrate these abilities tend to be valuable team members.

Effective time management skills are crucial for team members to ensure timely completion of tasks. In the absence of this ability, colleagues may develop resentment, having to compensate for the reduced productivity of those who struggle to prioritize their responsibilities.

Emotional Quotient (EQ)

When searching for a developer, it is advantageous to enlist someone who has a high level of emotional intelligence. This capability allows them to recognise and react to their own and others’ emotions. Additionally, having excellent emotional intelligence can help developers manage the stress and anxiety that often accompany their job.

As deadlines loom closer, it is critical to anticipate a potential increase in stress and tension. A developer with good emotional intelligence can help prevent emotional outbursts or breakdowns during this period of pressure. Active listening, a crucial aspect of emotional intelligence, enables more effective processing of information.


Problems are bound to occur from time to time. To avoid the risk of blame-game mentality and stagnation of progress, it is crucial to select engineers who are willing to own up to their mistakes, whether it is related to coding or timelines. This approach will allow the team to move ahead, identify solutions and meet the deadline.

It is crucial to convey to our engineers that taking accountability for their actions is commendable. We must make them comprehend that, except in exceptional circumstances, there would be no adverse consequences for acknowledging their mistakes. This will aid in reducing the incidence of shifting blame in the workplace.

Innovation and the Process of Finding New Solutions

Computer programming problems can often be solved using reasoning and logic. However, sometimes, an unconventional approach can yield a result superior to the one it was designed to tackle.

To establish a development team that can surpass limits and think unconventionally, it is imperative to seek out developers with original thinking and inventive problem-solving skills. Discovering people who can present creative solutions to problems is critical for success.

Flexibility and Adaptability in Application

Hiring an inflexible developer can impede progress. As per Murphy’s Law, things don’t always go according to plan.

In case a project faces an unforeseen obstacle, it is crucial to have developers who can adjust requirements, debug code problems of a fellow developer, or handle any API-related issues. Procuring a team of developers who are flexible and receptive to novel ideas enhances the likelihood of completing a project successfully.


It is unrealistic to expect everything to transform overnight. Waiting for a team or an external entity to complete their share of a project can cause delays. Patience is crucial for developers during such situations. Even if one member finishes their task ahead of time, this should not pressure the rest of the team to hurry and produce superior results.

It is crucial for every team member to acknowledge that not all developers work at the same pace. Furthermore, they should anticipate potential process delays once the project has been handed over from the developers to, for instance, marketing or management.

This is particularly relevant in the world of DevOps, where experts from multiple departments collaborate on a joint endeavour. Operations team members may take longer to grasp an issue than developers do, hence, patience is necessary.


One must bear in mind that coding skills alone are not sufficient for a team’s proficiency. Although technical abilities required for the project’s success should take priority, communication skills and efficiency, often referred to as ‘soft skills’, should not be undervalued. Such skills are crucial for establishing a pleasant and productive workplace atmosphere.

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