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Simon Egersand 🎈
Simon Egersand 🎈

Posted on • Originally published at prplcode.dev

Boost Your Software Engineer Career With These 4 Soft Skills

Being a good software engineer is not only about your technological skills. You are working with people, and so you need what's called soft skills. Soft skills are at least as important, if not more, as technical skills to progress in your career.

In this post, I'll share my favorite soft software engineer skills you need to progress in your career.

4 Soft Skills to Boost Your Software Engineer Career

Teamwork 🤝

If you ever work at a company you will most likely work in a team. You will work with other software engineers, an engineering manager, and maybe even a product manager. You must learn how to work together with them.

I've seen examples of people who fail to work with the team, and the entire team suffers because of it. Not to mention, it will seriously stagger your progression in your career.

What It Means to Work in a Team

To work in a team is different from working alone (duh!). You need to consider your team members and include them in your decision-making. Maybe you will need to get your code reviewed before shipping to production. This forces you to learn how to create pull requests (PR). Preferably PRs that are easy to review.

To summarise: When you work in a team, you have to think about the people you work with. This applies when you make decisions, write code, communicate, and more.

How Do You Work in a Team?

So how do you work in a team? Most of us learn this the hard way. I certainly did. Here are the best tips I've learned along the way:

Be empathetic. 💚 Always. Your team might consist of members with different backgrounds. Maybe from different countries. This is a good thing! You should leverage this instead of trying to do things your way. See things from other's perspectives and you will learn something new, that's a promise.

Do the things you commit to. It's a big pet peeve when someone says "Yeah, I'll take care of that" and then don't. It's fine to don't do everything you commit to, but then you should communicate that to your team. "I know I said I would do X, but something happened and I didn't have time, can someone else do it, please?". It doesn't have to be harder than that.

Assume best intention. You should always assume your team members have the best intention when they do or say things. Lose trust in your team and you'll suffer negative effects for yourself and your team.

And lastly, life happens! This is something my manager always says, "life happens". It means that life is unpredictable. Things will happen in people's lives that they cannot control. These things might impact their work, and that's normal. Don't judge someone because they're unable to perform at their max, take a day off, or miss a meeting. To take care of a sick child, partner, or anything else is more important. Life is unpredictable! Work is just one part of life.

Communication 🗣️

You will need good communication skills when you work in a team. You will have meetings, lots of them. Daily stand-ups, project discussions, retrospectives, and more. In these meetings, you should share what's on your mind and what you have been thinking about.

If you don't communicate it might reflect poorly on you. Your team might not think that you care, or that your mind is elsewhere during the meeting. It's OK to not have an opinion, but you can still communicate by asking questions.

Compromise

If you can't compromise you will have a hard time as a software engineer. It's a skill you will need to learn, like it or not. Sometimes you need to compromise on the code you write. It might accumulate tech debt, but in the grand scheme of things, it makes sense. At other times you have to compromise with a team member on what approach to take. Swallow your ego and accept it.

Positivity 😸

And lastly, positivity! Who wants to work with a grouch? No one! Positivity and kindness go a long way. Who doesn't love the person who comes into the office and greets you with a smile? :)

Conclusion

These are my four favorite soft skills as a software engineer. I guarantee you that these soft skills will help your career. Being proficient in the technical aspects of being a software engineer is very important. But the soft skills are what make people want to work with you, and can open up new possibilities in your career.

Because honestly, who would you rather work with? Some grouchy technical genius who lacks empathy, or an average programmer that you connect and have fun with?

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Originally published at prplcode.dev

Discussion (1)

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andrewbaisden profile image
Andrew Baisden

Nice tips thanks for the advice.