software developer jobs – Career Hunts Blog Career Hunts blog | Job Recruitment Advice | Career Guide Fri, 23 Dec 2022 06:51:45 +0000 en-US hourly 1 SKILLS ESSENTIAL FOR A SUCCESSFUL SOFTWARE CAREER Fri, 23 Dec 2022 06:51:45 +0000 Skills Essential for a Successful Software Career

In order to keep their skills marketable, software developers must always be abreast of new programming languages. Many people fail to recognise the value of “soft skills” in the workplace.

According to Steve Coscia, author of the soon-to-be-released book The Trade Technicians Soft Skills Manual, “technical skills usually get a person hired.” However, “the lack of soft skills is usually what gets them fired.” Coscia warns that even if your company doesn’t provide formal training in these skills, your manager will expect you to be proficient in them. That means you have to make some independent decisions.

Here are the soft skills software developers need to stand out in the workplace.

Act like a Team Player

The ability to work well with others is essential, but it takes practise to master. Scott Ambler, chief methodologist for Agile/Lean at IBM’s IBM Rational product, says, “If you want to get involved in anything reasonably complex, you’ll need to work in a team.” According to Coscia, the ability to work out differences amicably is a crucial skill for any team member. Participating in events like local user group meetings, where you can work with others in an informal setting, is one way to hone this skill.

Even seemingly inconsequential actions can go a long way toward building your reputation as a team player at work. They are so inconsequential that you probably never give them a second thought. To demonstrate your ability to work well with others, do small things like handing in a project early or buying a coworker coffee. Another way to show that you have your coworkers’ best interests in mind is to follow up on conversations or meetings with a phone call or email, as suggested by Coscia.

Prepare a Powerful Presentation

Regina Clark, an executive coach and corporate trainer serving IT professionals out of Goshen, New York, says that no matter how brilliant you are, you will be at a disadvantage if you cannot communicate your ideas clearly. She recommends looking into opportunities like Toastmasters to hone presentation and public speaking abilities in a group setting.

According to Ambler, the ability to model, or display ideas visually using diagrams and charts, is an asset when giving presentations. Learning to diagram and break down ideas visually is an effective means of communicating with others, and this can be done on a whiteboard or on paper. Ambler argues that developers must see the worth of these visual modes of communication.

Look into modelling refresher courses, and pay attention to how those in higher positions in your company present their information to the public.

Take Advantage of Written Communication

Tom DeMarco, principle of the Atlantic Systems Guild, a systems think-tank, and co-author of Peopleware: Productive Projects and Teams, says that it’s easy to get bogged down in the details of technology or coding and forget that writing about your work is crucial in letting others know what you’re accomplishing. As you rise through the management ranks, the ability to synthesise information in a clear and concise manner will become increasingly important. DeMarco believes that having someone who can write a one-page summary of a meeting is crucial.

Ambler suggests participating in online discussion forums as a means to improve one’s writing skills. “Just by interacting with other people,” he says, “you can improve some of your softer skills,” including your ability to communicate and work well with others.

Simple Concepts

While many developers excel at making interfaces for other developers, Ambler claims that when it comes to making an interface for regular people, they have no idea what kind of features to include. Although it may appear to be a technical skill, understanding what end users need and how they process information is essential to creating an interface that is both intuitive and effective. He warns that failure to properly engage with stakeholders will lead to subpar outcomes.

In order to stand out from the crowd of coders, it can be helpful to refresh your knowledge of interface design by taking a course or reading about successful examples. Demonstrating to your superiors and peers that you can simplify and clearly present complex ideas is a crucial skill for any manager, and knowing how to demo your work is a great way to demonstrate this ability. Whiteboard modelling is only part of the equation. Sit down with a non-techie friend or family member and run through a demo of your work on the computer as practise. It’s not as easy as it first appears.

If you want to advance in your programming career, you need to do more than just brush up on your technical skills; you also need to hone the people skills that make good managers. You can set yourself up for long-term success by being conscious of your teamwork habits, honing your presentation skills, seeking out opportunities to improve your writing, and mastering the art of the demo.

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