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5 Essential Soft Skills Every Software Engineers Need to Know

Software engineers, your code helps everyone, but what are the codes that will help you through your career. The codes to ease your life and advance your career are soft skills. The skills that will help you stand out from the crowd. 

These soft skills are the skills you should have to engage effectively, build good professional relationships, and excel as a Software engineer. This video is going to be all about the 5 essential soft skills for Software engineers. These soft skills are the crux of many other known skills. Thus, giving you everything you need to know as a software engineer.

There will also be bonus tips along with every soft skill described to acquire them. So stay right there with us while we take you through this video.

The software industry is growing larger and larger day by day. Now the Software engineers are needed to have good soft skills, to have an edge on others and advance in their careers. According to Linkedin’s 2019 Global Talent Trend Report, 89% of recruiters say, most of the time, when individuals are not hired, it is mainly because they lack soft skills. Software engineers are no exception to this. So, without further ado, let’s dive deep into the 5 essential soft skills for a Software engineer.

1. People skills

When working in teams and with peers, we interact with them and communicate almost every day. This skill of successful interaction with other individuals is what we call people skills.

Not everyone in your team is a software engineer. And not everyone can understand the technical programming language terms you are well versed in. Therefore, you need to communicate with them so that they can understand you and then act accordingly. Everyone on a team has a different individual goal but also a collective team goal. They strive and work towards their goals. When the individual and collective goals are not aligned, it creates a chaotic and disruptive working environment.

So, the alignment of the communication should be such that the collective goal is met. To do this, software engineers have to be considerate towards their team members and peers. They have to communicate with each other to develop good communication. This leads to a better working environment and the production of quality work. 

Being good at communicating with your peers and colleagues helps you develop good professional relationships. These professional relationships not only help you through your work in the organization but also enhance your team spirit. In addition, as a software engineer, having a comfortable working environment increases your working and analyzing abilities.

It also improves your team working skills and in turn boost your team’s performance and morale

People skills are also necessary to help you get through this hybrid of programming and business industry.

Here are the bonus tips for you to be good at people skills. According to the book ”How to Win Friends and Influence People” by Dale Carnegie, to master people skills;

  • Don’t criticize, condemn or complain to them.
  • Always give honest and your genuine appreciation to them
  • Be genuinely interested in them and make them feel important
  • Smile and remember their name
  • Be a good listener and talk to them on the topic they are interested in
  • Show respect and appreciation to their ideas even if you contradict with them
  • Always handle a conflict friendly

2. 3Cs

The software engineering and IT industry are very diverse and full of challenges every day. The soft skills that help software engineers go through these changes successfully are the 3Cs.

Creativity, Curiosity and Critical thinking are the 3Cs that a software engineer must possess. These help them to understand and analyze every problem from a different point of view. And encourages them to implement their knowledge to extract the best solution out. These soft skills are also interlinked and complement each other.

The very nature of the IT industry is changing. New codes are developing, and new languages are emerging every year. So, to adapt to this changing nature of the programming industry, a developer needs to be creative to find new and unconventional ways to do things. Being able to fetch innovative solutions and ideas to resolve problems gives software engineers an edge over their peers. This skill of thinking unconventionally is known as creativity.

With the whole world becoming a global village, new things and technologies emerging, software engineers need to be curious to try and explore the whole new pool of programming knowledge.

They will be able to learn new things and adapt to the advanced requirements of the work environment only when they are curious. Curiosity helps software engineers in discovering more advanced and innovative solutions.

Along with these upgrades coming, new and complex problems also arise. Developers know many programming languages. But to know which language to use and in which manner, they need critical thinking

Critical thinking will help them solve the problem efficiently and effectively.

The 3Cs complement each other as soft skills—every soft skill, enhancing and balancing the other.

And finally, here are some promised tips for 3Cs, Creativity, Curiosity and Critical soft skills.

You should;

  • Pursue some other creative activities like music, art, dance etc., as your hobbies. The more you practice creativity, the more you will think out of the box solutions.
  • Own your mistakes and work to improve yourself.
  • Encourage not only yourself but also others in your team.
  • Think and implement original and new solutions.

3. Market Yourself

 When you, a programmer and developer, work as an employee, your passion for coding becomes a job. As time passes, you feel burdened by the amount of work and deadlines. This eventually exhausts you and causes burnout. But this is not the case with businesses. When you own a business, you strive to improve and grow every day. The soft skill here is to act as an individual software engineer who is giving services to his employer. This gives you a sense of accomplishment and ownership of your services. Doing this boosts your productivity, increases your confidence, and keeps you passionate about your profession. This also encourages you to explore new dimensions of your field of work. 

And now, your chunk of happiness. The tips for marketing yourself.

  • Do your inbound marketing.
  • Market yourself through different marketing tools like blogging, Youtube, and podcasts etc.
  • Specialize in a specific niche.

4. Self-Education

Many software engineers self-learn developing and programming. But to remain a self-learner throughout their career is a task only few can achieve. This is actually learning how to learn. Just as Steve Jobs famously said, ”Stay hungry, Stay foolish”, meaning everyone should be in a continuous state of learning.

The programming industry is teaming up with new programmers every day. Each advancing the other in their skill sets. So, software engineers always need to strive in the process of learning. They have to be open-minded about new advancements and should have the adaptability to changes.

The types of learners are nothing but a myth. Being a visual or auditory learner is just a myth. We all learn by practice and experience, which is the key to self-education. This acts as a booster in acquiring other technical and soft skills. Self-education encompasses the ability of software engineers to achieve their full potential. This also helps the software engineers overcome the Imposter Syndrome, where they feel as if they are faking their talents and achievements.

To make it easy for you to acquire this soft skill, let’s take a look at some tricks.

  1. Determine what you to learn: do some basic research on the topic you want to learn about
  2. Define the scope of learning: you’ll have to decide what areas to focus on based on your timeframe.
  3. Define a learning goal: Without knowing what your goal is, it’s both difficult to aim and to know when you’ve actually hit the target.
  4. Collect multiple resources online and offline relating to that skill.
  5. Create a learning plan
  6. Limit Resources for learning
  7. Discover just enough to get started.
  8. Test and apply your knowledge in real life
  9. Teach your knowledge to others

5. Mastering Your Mind

This soft skill is a combination of many other soft skills like 

  • Motivation 
  • Productivity
  • Emotional intelligence
  • Self-awareness

When you have overpowered your mind, you can work as much as you can and as you like. There is no limit to your achievements, either professionally or socially. This gives you emotional intelligence and saves you from manipulative co-workers. It helps you own your wrongs and work hard to improve.

And now, here are the bonus tips to acquire the soft skill that has topped our listing. Mastering your mind includes;

  • Break your limiting beliefs. It is questioning those beliefs until they match with your reality.
  • Overcome your fears. Trust the process. You will eventually reach your goal.
  • Develop resilience. This helps you push through your hard times and keep you working.
  • Maintain your self-discipline. This is being comfortable with uncomfortable situations.
  • Never compare yourself with other coworkers or peers. Everyone has a unique skill set. Instead, compare yourself with your older self to improve more.
  • Live in the moment. Stop saying that you will live and enjoy your life after a certain period. Instead, do it now and own the moment.

After hearing all this, you might feel overwhelmed and pressured, that you not only have to improve your technical skills but your soft skills too. But all this is just a matter of time and practice. As you keep practising these soft skills, they become part of your personality and help you succeed in your career and life. Along with this, an advantage to you is that all these soft skills are interrelated.

When you have learned to overcome your fears, are self-disciplined and emotionally intelligent, you have overpowered your brain.

After this, it becomes easy for you to self-educate yourself and learn how to learn continuously.

This continuous learning process helps you develop 3 Cs of creativity, curiosity and critical thinking, which assists you to see and solve real-life problems unconventionally.

When you work with these soft skills, they all together make you a brand. Being a brand fills you with confidence and ownership of your skills and achievements. And every soft skill in our list together makes you a person with people skills.

So, What do you think is the most crucial soft skill for software engineers? Let us know in the comment section.

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