If you’re committed to advancing your IT career, the key determiner may lie outside the realm of your technical expertise.
You may have spent the past few years honing and refining your technical skillset, have experience in various agile development teams and have a solid understanding of SQL and .Net.
The market demands that your technical skillset and coding expertise continues to grow and in order for you to be recognised as highly employable and for you to at this point feel secure in your chosen career.
Beyond the technical skills, however, how can you ensure that you are viewed by potential employers and clients as valuable to the ongoing success of the organisation? Furthermore, how can you ensure that you continue to grow and flourish professionally, adding value to both the organisation you work for, the development team you work with and the clients you service?
In most professions, technical skills, otherwise referred to as hard skills, are alone not sufficient to ensure career growth and professional success. For developers, this is no different.
While these may have resulted in you being headhunted initially, it is ultimately your people skills that determine much of your career path and what type of leader you will end up becoming.
Hard skills, therefore, mean very little without the possession of some of the softer skills.
What are ‘Soft Skills”?
Soft skills include your work ethic, attitude, your communication skills, your EQ, your ability to resolve conflicts in the workplace, your ability to adapt and work under pressure and to lead and manage teams.
These skills while seemingly less important than your knowledge of programming languages will determine whether or not you are promoted to management, the role you may play within the development team as well as what client projects you are placed on or whether clients continue to work and renew contracts with you.
Upskilling in specific programming languages and the acquiring of ‘hard skills’ is relatively easy to teach and to learn over time compared to the softer skills.
It requires ongoing conscious effort, commitment to self-development and a team and environment committed to nurturing and developing soft skills and growing great leaders. It is these skills that differentiate you from other developers with similar expertise and experience.
If we look at Scrum Masters, Team leaders and Product Owners we see that generally the success of the projects and the happiness and productivity of the team is directly related to the soft skills of those responsible for leading these teams.
Typically, however, the importance of these soft skills is often undervalued, and few organisations take the time to invest in their staff and provide both training and support for them.
Organisations plagued by a soft skill gap typically struggle to retain both clients and staff.
The Modern Workplace
As the workplace has evolved, with increased engagement between the dev team and the various client stakeholders, most especially in an agile environment, what ultimately results in the success of a project is a team that communicates efficiently and effectively with the various stakeholders.
Furthermore, as automation and AI are on the rise a greater number of jobs will require less hard skills and greater softer skills, thus making soft skills a key differentiator in the workplace.
At Exclr8 we are committed to growing and nurturing great teams and fostering an environment which is based on integrity and excellence and provides continued learning opportunities for our developers.
We currently have vacancies for Senior C# Developers, so if you are wanting to grow your career and join a dynamic and innovative team, be sure to get in touch with us today.