10 Soft Skills Developers Need (Part 2)
Author: Kristina Proffitt
23rd March 2017
Last week we started to take a look at some of the soft skills our developers here at Cronofy use, and how they could benefit you, too.
This week we’re going to look at the second half of the list, starting with…
When your mind is open, you’re more willing to accept new ideas, whether they’re yours or someone else’s. Even the worst ideas can inspire something great if you’re willing to consider them before dismissing them.
The more ideas you have, the more projects you have the potential to work on. While not every idea you have will turn into something, you don’t know what will until you’ve thought about it in-depth.
Keep your mind open to new ideas not just from your team, but from the rest of the company and even clients. Clients are the ones who use your product, so they’re the best people to tell you what works and what they need.
7. Problem solving
At some point in your career, you’re going to face a problem. It could happen on a regular basis, or it could be rare, but it’s inevitable. How you handle problems will have a big impact on both your career and the company you work for.
Problem solving is a key skill that employers look for in prospective employees, so the more examples you have of problem solving the better.
When approaching a new problem, always view it objectively, even if it’s one you created accidentally. Once you know what exactly the problem is, find out what caused it. Finding a solution is easy once you know the cause. Almost.
It’s also important to remember that whether you caused the problem or not, you don’t have to fix it alone. Working with people in and outside of your team helps you to solve a problem faster than doing it on your own.
Accountability is all about taking ownership of your mistakes. It can be difficult to admit that a decision you made created an undesirable result, but in the long-term, both you and your employer will be better off.
When you hide from your mistakes, there’s every chance that you or one of your colleagues will make the same mistake in the future.
Instead of running from what happened, put your hand up and admit responsibility. Use the opportunity to analyze what went wrong, then use this data to fix the problem and teach you and your colleagues how to avoid similar mistakes.
The best ideas and solutions often come to us when we approach things from a different, less obvious angle. This is what separates the most creative people – from programmers to entrepreneurs to authors – from everyone else. Despite popular opinion, creativity can be learned, but it comes with practice.
Reading fiction, writing, art, crafts, even cooking are ways of exploring creativity. The more ways of creativity you explore, the easier it is to find different ways to approach the same problem.
10. Time management
When you have a lot to do, knowing how to manage your time is crucial. How much time do you spend planning? Actually coding? Working with your team to come up with new ideas?
Managing your time efficiently allows you to focus on what’s most important and get tasks done more efficiently. Techniques like the Pomodoro technique, where you work for a set period of time on one task, take a break, then go back to it, or Kanban, where you visualize your tasks, are great ways to build a routine or learn how to focus your attention if you’re prone to multitasking.
While sometimes the need arises for multitasking, and you may feel like you get loads done when you do it, studies have shown that it’s bad for productivity. Not giving something your full attention means that tasks take longer to complete and you’re more likely to make errors. If you often multitask, prioritize your to-do list then use one of the techniques mentioned above to help you focus. You’ll be surprised how much faster you get things done when they have your full attention!
Over to You
What soft skills help you the most as a developer? Let us know if you think we’ve missed any over on Twitter @cronofy!