Do you have the soft skills that make a great software developer?

The world runs on software and everything that doesn’t is becoming software-defined. Between Netflix, payroll, smartphones, cars and even refrigerators, you can’t get away from code. Therefore, you can’t forget the importance of programmers, as their work makes the corporate sector function.

As such, businesses want the best software developers, and they will be ruthless in their search for these individuals. If you’ve already begun looking for a new job, then that’s pretty obvious. It’s also probably clear that despite the need for good programmers, hiring mangers can be pretty picky.

“There is not a shortage of software developers.”

Businesses are careful because they can be – they have the upper hand. In a recent article from TechCrunch contributor Vivek Ravisankar, the writer argued that there is not a shortage of software developers of any kind.

But, the problem is that discovering an amazing software developer is very difficult. Ravisankar explained that degrees in computer science do not necessary equate to programming skills. So, programmers will be put to the test in interviews. And what happens when you test just as well as your colleagues? Who gets the job?

In short, the greatest software developer will be hired, and that means you must have these soft skills.

You likely got into programming because you love computers, software and hardware as well as technology as a whole and how it impacts the lives of those around you. According to TechRepublic’s Justin James, that passion for everything IT, programming included, puts you above the pack. He explained that developers who can code like you wouldn’t believe but lack that certain drive cannot be considered great. You must want to write code, feel an urge to do your best and truly believe that your work matters.

If you don’t feel that way, don’t worry. James said that anyone who doesn’t feel the passion required to be a great developer can address that, and they should do so as soon as possible by identifying a project or aspect of a new job that you love and using that emotion in programming.

Software developers need soft skills to get hired in 2016.
Software developers need people skills

Software developers need soft skills to get hired in 2016.

Up there with passion, you need to have an self-improvement attitude. You should want to better yourself professionally, and that generally entails being a go-getter that always is willing to learn new things and take on different projects.

Reading this blog post is a great start, but for next-level self-improvement, you can take some professional development courses, study new programming languages or take on a side project such as developing a mobile app or game. And when you go into your next interview, you need to convey that go-getter attitude by speaking excitedly about your ability to better yourself – when necessary as well as for the sake of your career.

Business savvy
Software plays two roles in the workplace: It can be a product or it can be a solution. Either way, it matters more every day that developers have corporate soft skills. Bhavin Joshi, associate director at Harvey Nash, told TechTarget that if you have a blend of popular tech skills and business savvy, then you could be hired in less than 48 hours after applying – that’s how important those talents are.

In brief, corporate soft skills include the ability to create business strategies, converse with confidence, build and fill spreadsheets, manage employees and stay organized.

“The best developers can hold their own under pressure.”

Calm when necessary
Software development can get stressful, but the best developers can hold their own under pressure from deadlines, superiors or customers. Mark Gamache, a self-employed software developer, called it the “ability to maintain grace under fire,” in a conversation with the Indy Star.

This skill is hard to teach, but it comes with practice. That said, it’s very valuable and according to Gamache, it’s usually not considered by most programmers. Therefore, you need to emphasize that you can stay cool when things heat up.

Willingness to collaborate
Nowadays, no one codes in a bubble. That’s why Gamache said that communication is another trait of great software developers. This means being able to clearly tell co-workers your ideas, as well as possessing skills in speaking to superiors, especially when it comes to deadlines. You must also have a willingness to give and take feedback, chime in when your have valuable insight and convey what exactly you’re imagining in regard to a final product.

Lastly, you must have some empathy. Joel Dolisy, contributor to Signal, explained this in a recent article, stating that developers need to understand how their work impacts other employees in different departments. With insight into co-workers’ IT needs, you can develop better solutions for them.

You’re in high demand, but don’t take that for granted, because many others can program just as well. It’s the soft skills that will set you apart.

Do you have the soft skills that make a great software developer?
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