Soft Skills to Look for in Developers

A decade ago, soft skills mattered less in the developer field. Programmers were the “IT guys” managing the basement server room. They were the nerds that would trot out periodically to fix your computer when it failed. Everything has changed now. Far from being the back office support of years past, if you’re a developer, you have a seat at the strategic table because a significant part of all businesses today is tied somehow to digital technology. Software builds are collaborative, which is exactly why the engineers of today need soft skills. But which software skills matter? We have the answer.

Top Developer Soft Skills

Most companies realize that developers need soft skills but there is some debate over which soft skills are the most important. These skills can serve as a baseline for companies searching for developer talent with soft skills:

  • Empathy allows developers to understand the experiences of other members of the team. This empathy will help alleviate frustration when devs are stuck on a problem or when a deployment goes awry. Suggesting new ideas is more welcomed when teams understand that there won’t be any negative ramifications; after all, you’re all working together for the same goal. Empathy can allow developers to put themselves in the shoes of other people on the team.
  • Communication made the list; of course. Effective communication is important for even the simplest jobs, and we all know that IT is anything but simple. Developers must have the skills to communicate their ideas to the team. Speaking clearly is as important as practicing active listening, and developers need both these days to succeed.
  • Teamwork is a soft skill that almost every employer looks for, but particularly in the IT field. Building features into any digital product requires a village of talent to bring these tools to life. In Agile environments, developers work with designers, business analysts, and other project team members and stakeholders. Without the ability to collaborate with these teams, today’s developers simply won’t be able to do the job properly.
  • Approachability and helpfulness are perfect soft skills in any role. Approachability is the opposite of arrogance; it’s the realization that you are ultimately here to build software that solves problems. Being helpful is a soft skill that allows for knowledge sharing in a way that shows your colleagues that there are no dumb questions because you are all in this together.

How can you find developers both with technical hard skills and with ample amounts of these and other soft skills? The answer is to talk to Blackstone Talent Group. Our organization has been building developer pipelines for years and can help you find the right fit. Contact us. We can help.

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