What are the critical soft skills for software developers?
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What are the critical soft skills for software developers?

Have you participated in a selection process where you met and surpassed all the requirements and still didn’t get the job?

Or were you very prepared for an interview, but when asked about interpersonal situations, you discovered that these questions were not so easy to answer?

The IT industry can be very analytical, technical, and calculated, but we can’t forget that behind each product, website, or app, there is a group of people working shoulder to shoulder, communicating, and interacting with other areas. So certain intangible and attitudinal qualities would be necessary to be the perfect match for a job position. We are talking about Soft Skills.

First, what are soft skills for software developers?

Laptop with code on the screen and a stack overflow cup on the background

Soft skills are known as qualities applicable to all professions. They are linked to non-technical characteristics and reflect our ability to work together, communicate, and adapt to a position and workspace.

No industry or labor market is exempt from them, although they may vary, and some may be more necessary than others. Likely, you don’t have all the expected soft skills for a position, as it depends a lot on the individual. Not all of us are the same, and therefore, each one has different skills. 

But that doesn’t make anyone less valuable. You just have to know how to recognize what your strengths are, what each one can contribute, and if there is something with which you are not so confident, recognize it and work on it.

The complete list of soft skills for software development

Diverse set of people at a table pointing at a set of work papers

So, we already talked about what soft skills are and why they are important. Now we’re going to take a look at what are the soft skills needed for software development and why. Of course, these are subjective, but from our experience at BEON and the work culture that the company promotes, we believe that these skills are of great help for many jobs:

1- Flexibility: It’s the ability to easily adapt to different circumstances or to accommodate the rules to varied situations or needs. Being flexible is an important characteristic for every developer, especially if you work with teams abroad, which means working with different time zones and cultures, offering services to clients, and being available to possible changes in project requirements or needs.

2- Teamwork: It not only means being able to work together with others, but you must also be able to respect their pace and opinions, know how to identify what added value each of the members of a team can contribute, and be able to accept constructive criticism. Knowing how to work as a team requires emotional intelligence, patience, respect, and empathy.

3- Adaptability: This capacity is closely linked to flexibility. Knowing how to adapt implies being able to manage different situations, going through moments of pressure or stress, and interacting with people from your team and other areas of the company. In summary, it’s having appropriate conduct in the face of a changing and dynamic environment.

4- Problem-solving with impact: This quality is one of our favorites at BEON. For us, it’s extremely important to contribute, from each one’s position, to our work and look for ways to improve processes with innovative alternatives. In fact, this is one of the most important soft skills for senior software developers.

Sometimes it’s not necessary to have a great idea, it can simply be to have a critical eye and identify some details that can optimize our work and that, in the short or long term, this improvement has a positive impact and brings quantitative or qualitative gains to our team and our company. This could be, for example, maintaining software and refactoring by your own initiative, as explained by stewart brand how buildings learn.

5- Optimism: It seems obvious, right? Be optimistic and hope for the best. But this quality means more than this. Being optimistic represents a very valuable skill since it is difficult to maintain. Although it’s commonly expected from project managers, everyone on the team benefits from positive personality traits like this one.

When things go well or as expected, being positive is quite simple, but when the results are not as desired, or the circumstances are critical, those who can rescue positive aspects and value a job well done despite the scenarios will be much more resilient. It’s in these cases where optimism takes on its true value and helps us have a greater tolerance for frustration.

6 – Organization – Planning: Knowing how to discriminate tasks, manage time, and establish priorities. All of it implies having organization and planning skills. This doesn’t mean being routine, since endless situations emerge every day that can take our attention away from what was already scheduled or programmed.

Those who have good organizational skills will have greater flexibility, and their tasks will not be affected by any unforeseen event. Good organization leads us to optimize our time and therefore makes us more productive and efficient.

How can I know what are my soft skills as a software developer?

People sitting at a table with several laptops

The prior was a selection of software development soft skills that we consider to be highly valuable and have a great impact both in a job interview and in your work performance. Of course, there are many more, and that’s why it’s always advisable to identify what are the skills that you can contribute to your team.

We usually take our own skills and strengths for granted, but if we look at the definitions and think about our day-to-day at work or other areas, you will discover that you have an endless number of skills to contribute to your team, and soft skills for your resume as a software developer.

Understanding the importance of soft skills not only gives value to our profile as professionals but also gives us an idea of ​​the particular value that each one of us has. If you have people skills, open mindedness, effective communication, or similar ones, it could help your career just as much as problem solving and critical thinking.

It’s the most human side of any job and connecting with it revalues ​​our contribution to the team and the company and gives us the chance to continue growing and reinventing our role.

Key takeaways

  • Software development is not just about writing code and having the technical skills required, it’s also about knowing how to work with other team members.
  • Flexibility and adaptability, teamwork, organization, and optimism are skills that help you get through the toughest of times with a smile and solve problems with impact.
  • Don’t take your own soft skills for granted, try looking for definitions only and think about which ones fit you best.

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