Skip to main content

Developers Need Soft Skills Too!

HTML5... CSS3...JavaScript.... C#.... SQL.... Having a good knowledge and experience with these tools is great, but the thing that I have realized in my years of IT recruitment is that companies want more than those candidates with strong technical knowledge. Companies look for soft skills too!

Successful developers that will work at large corporations (and even smaller, boutique firms) and also have a lot of growth and advancement opportunities in their careers will need to be able to communicate well with others and work well within teams.





So many times I speak with IT talent (not just developers) who are very technical and have great skills yet have trouble describing what they actually do to the non-technical person. Think about senior managers, sales managers, and essentially end users or clients. Those with the soft skills and solid technical skills are what companies will seek out and often times present with great offers.

Here are my tips to those preparing to be or currently working in the IT industry.

1. Communication
Learn how to explain technical topics to people that are not technical. Describe what you are learning in school or a project you are working on to a friend or family members. These folks will tell you whether you are explaining things well or whether you need to work on this. Sometimes you just need to slow down the pace that you are talking to let some things sink in while other times you need simply the terms you are using, and yet other times you may need to use a relevant examples that most will people can relate to. It may even be a combination of the three, however this is an area that anyone should focus on with IT professionals are no exception to this.

2. Teamwork
Don't just be "that guy" (or girl) to sit behind your computer screen all day, without even speaking to your neighbor or any of the folks on your team. Have the ability to get along well with others and build relationships with your team. Take the initiative to chat with teammates. Maybe share an idea or a new tool or ask for help with some things. These are actually key to being a great team player! Know how to ask questions and also provide helpful tips to your team and offer to help others. For developers, please also document your code! This goes right along with good teamwork. This is helpful when others take on your projects and need to know why or how you did something. This shows you are thinking about your team. The team dynamic is a big thing that companies consider when hiring talent.

3. Presentation
This goes two ways! First, learn how to speak in front of a group. Most colleges will build presentations as a part of the curriculum so really take the opportunity to make the best of any opportunity to present information to a group. Developers that can present ideas to a team (whether the IT group or non IT) will go far! Most IT managers spend a lot of time presenting new ideas and also working with other teams. Tech skills + presentation skills equals an infinite amount of career opportunities. (Project Management..., Senior IT Manager.... Business Analyst... Architect...and much more.)

I hope this helps someone working in the IT field!


Jess

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

How to Prepare for the Interview?

An interview can be a nerve wracking experience. What should I wear? What should I say? What questions should I ask? As a Corporate Recruiter and Senior HR Specialist I've seen some of the best and the worst of interviews. From my experience I've found that there are three main areas that people should focus on when preparing for an exceptiona interviewing experience.

1. Research

Always start any job search with research. Once the job interview is landed, this becomes even more important. Read about the company history, culture, recent news and any other insights you can find. You should also review the job description that you've applied to. Be prepared to ask and be asked questions about the company and the job. Next, you'll need to do some research on yourself. Sound a bit strange? Well, I'll explain what I mean by this. Do you know what skills and/or knowledge you will bring to the company? Do you remember the kinds of projects you've taken on in the past fe…

Reviewing 2016 and Planning for 2017

One of my top goals for 2016 was to pay off a sum of student loan debt. I ended up paying off close to $10,000 of debt. This was a great accomplishment, but I still have a long way to go. I am so thankful to Dave Ramsey and his 7 baby steps to financial freedom. The approach he lines out is very easy to follow and more importantly IT ACTUALLY WORKS!

Dave says that in order to pay off debt, we need to assess our current regular income and expenses. Then we should locate where we can increase what we bring in and/or decrease spending. Next, he recommends saving a starter emergency fund in order to ensure that we will not add to our debt if or when a situation arises (this is what he calls Murphy - Murphy's law). Once the emergency fund is built of $1,000, we need to list out all of our debts from smallest to largest amount and begin putting any additional income to the smallest debt. Continuing down the list, we use the same process until the very last debt is paid off. This is call…

40 Halloween Costume Ideas for Brown Girls

Halloween is coming up very soon. Are you dressing up? Will you be going to a costume party this year? Well, I hope so. I enjoy playing dress up for Halloween. Here are just a few photos of my past costumes.

Dressed as Cleopatra