Stop Coding. Start Listening.

You are preparing to become a Software Developer. And you are coding, practicing, completing exercises, following tutorials online, learning JavaScript, algorithms, React, loops, Java, variables… and that is great, but you may be missing something along your path.

Soft skills

Coding is fundamental for a developer, but there’s more to it than just that: soft skills are essential too! Actually, social and communication skills are almost as critical and not as easy to master.

Listening

While the soft skills are very different among them, there is a common factor that can help improve many of them at once: Listening.

  • …want to boost empathy? Listen to people. Understand how they feel, what they are going through, what they think. It will help you understand their needs better, and it will improve the team mentality.
  • …want to be more creative? Listen to (creative) people. Get ideas, inspiration, challenges… Every artist has been influenced by previous artists. To improve your creativity, search for and listen to other creative people.
  • …want to improve teamwork skills? Listen to your teammates! Not only to what they have to say but also to how they present things: read their tickets carefully, make sure that you have all requirements… more listening later translates into fewer bugs and missing features and faster review cycles.
  • …want to…?

Conclusion

Technologies come and go. Programming languages rise and fall. The same language/library changes from one version to the next… but being assertive, having empathy, knowing how to present ideas… those are things that will be with you always. And they will open many doors.

Full-Stack Software Engineer, Mobile Developer, Web technologies enthusiast. CSS aficionado. Twitter: @alvaro_montoro