5 Soft Skills Every Developer Needs to Know

It’s a known fact that the tech market is currently saturated with companies and lacking in developers to fill the much-needed roles. Hiring managers are highlighting perks like hybrid or flexible working, great bonuses, and an excellent team-dynamic in order to draw the best developers to their business. 

But with more than 408 thousand software developers in the UK, it might be hard to find the perfect job for you, especially when the education for technical skills is so widely available. In a LinkedIn study, 89% of recruiters say the most likely reason when a candidate is refused the role is a lack of soft skills. 

So it’s important to help yourself stand out from the crowd, if not to secure that job then to make sure your working environment is the best it can be: for you, and your colleagues. 

Teamwork

The prevailing image of a software developer is one of solitude and isolation. Sitting at your computer with an energy drink in hand, sun setting on the laughter outside your window, as you toil away into the night, solving the world’s tech problems. In reality, that couldn’t be further from the truth. 

As anyone who’s worked on a development project knows, unless you’re full-stack, you’ll have to work with a lot of other people. People who might not know anything about the technical jargon you use. Being able to confidently work in a team is one of the most crucial skills when it comes to modern software development. 

Abstract Thinking

You’re given a brief; create an app that sends users an update whenever Innova Recruitment does something amazing. A blank screen stares back at you. Your job is to make something out of nothing, and make it look good. How do you proceed? 

Despite how technical software development can be, having a creative thinking process allows you to find solutions to problems that a logical thinker might not have thought of. You need to be able to view all the pieces of the puzzle without being able to actually see them, hold them, or smell them. Whether you’re dealing with classes or functions or logic operations, you’re going to need to think in abstract ways - a skill that often goes overlooked. 

Confidence 

You know you’re good, because you get the job done - and on time, too. You’ve got a few years’ experience under your belt, so it’s not like you can call yourself inexperienced. But the thought still niggles at you; what if I’m not good enough? 

Practising confidence not only allows you to present yourself in the best light - which is never a bad thing - but it also helps others see your full potential. If you’re constantly under-sellling yourself because that voice in the back of your head tells you that you shouldn’t, you won’t go to the places you deserve to go. 

Attention to Detail

Demonstrating your eye for detail is a surefire way to make yourself stand out from the crowd. Every developer should be able to do this - after all, you spend hours a day looking at nothing but details. So much of coding is finding misplaced syntax or fixing errors in logic, your ability to see the needle in the haystack is unparalleled. 

But not every developer knows how to demonstrate this in an interview. Practising ways to show your skills is just as important as having them. If a tree falls in a forest, does the hiring manager know how it got there?

Time Management

As project loads increase, the need for great time management skills increases. Without a good structure to your day, it’s easy to become overwhelmed by tasks. This can lead to burnout quicker than you can say, ‘crap, I forgot to send that email’. 

Introducing systems like the pomodoro technique (a method of 25 minutes on and 5 minutes off) into your day allows you to stick to deadlines and devote your full attention to each task at hand. With a clear brain and a firm idea of what you need to achieve, you’ll find the quality of your work improving.