Why Soft Skills Are Critical for Cloud Architects

Old school developers who can work quietly in their coding cubicle and then trot out periodically with some Python or even Cobol script are a dying breed. That’s because the 2019 software developer must have client-facing soft skills to solve end-user problems and launch products.

Soft skills are the ones that enable a developer to also play well with others. These are the intangible skills that somehow allow you to write code in a foreign language all day yet still be able to articulate something that makes sense when the client comes by.

What are the most critical soft skills for developers this year, and how will they help cloud architects improve the client relationship?

Top Soft Skills for Developers

Sure, you can kill it with SQL, JavaScript or C#, but how are your communication skills? In 2019, this matters as much as writing clean code. Whether you’re freelancing, on a contract or in a full-time role, employers are actively requiring developers to be able to communicate difficult concepts to end-users in ways that facilitate a better relationship and a better product.

Some of the key soft skills this year include:

  • Adaptability
    We know Agile teaches change management skills to cope with the changing priorities of end-users and technology shifts. But with or without Agile, it’s important for today’s developers to handle changes gracefully during the product lifecycle. With the tools constantly changing, it’s imperative that developers exist within the construct of perpetual learning. Developers lacking flexibility will quickly fall behind.
  • Teamwork
    If you’re in a pair programming environment, this is a no-brainer, but developers who can shift from independent thinking to a more collaborative team environment bring incredible skills to the job that employers are searching for. Interfacing with colleagues and clients is an increasingly important part of the developer role.
  • Ability to take criticism
    We all know that software problems can be solved in ways that are either clunky or elegant. Today’s developers need the ability to learn on the job, which means taking constructive criticism from other more experienced programmers.
  • Empathy
    Being able to understand the perspective of a client is an important skill for the modern cloud architect. In fact, you’re creating code designed for the client, not yourself, so it’s good to take a deep breath and remember that the client owns the end product, even though you’re the one building it. Empathy is also a good skill to put to use when collaborating on a product team. Taking a moment to remember what it was like as a junior developer just starting out could go a long way toward helping a colleague in their learning curve.
  • Accessibility
    While there are times when we all have to put on our headphones and get down to work, it does put a layer between you and your colleagues. It’s important to not completely shut yourself off from interactions with your peers. Working collaboratively on a team is an increasingly important skill for developers to hone.

Today’s developers and their employers really benefit from a mix of soft and hard skills. Honing both will ensure your value to employers. Talk to the team at Blackstone Talent Group to determine the best mix of skills you’ll need to land the perfect role.

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