Beyond Coding: Why The Human Touch Matters

Soft Skills 2024
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The rise of soft skills in 2024.

If we look at the future of technology and the different elements of software development, it is not just about technical prowess. Soft skills for over the past few years have been dominated by automation and artificial intelligence.

However, what these automated processes do not have are intangible abilities, such as communication, empathy and emotional intelligence.

We’re living in the coming of the digital age. Organisations are building products that need to be sold – this requires great sales skills. They want to continuously develop their products – this requires you to be able to effectively communicate to stakeholders. They want the workflow to go as smoothly as possible – this requires you to work seamlessly in teams. They want to be bigger and better – this requires you to be creative.

Organisations value individuals who can lead in a collaborative manner and be able to solve problems with compassion.

Soft Skills Tech Professionals Need

It is very normal for tech professionals to work remotely. Naturally, this loses the ability to bring members of the team together to work in a more collaborative manner. However, since the pandemic, companies are putting the culture of the company first. More organisations are looking to build a more diverse and inclusive workspace.

I will also link some good courses that can help you in each soft skill.

Communication

Link: Improving Communication Skills

As a tech professional, you don’t only need to communicate with your computer – you also need to communicate with your team. It is normal for tech professionals to have a date night with the computer and completely forget about their team.

Verbal and written communication is important when working in an organisation. Your team members need to be aware of what you’re up to and also how they can help.

Critical Thinking

Link: Critical Thinking Skills for the Professional

Organisations want to be the best on the market. Day-to-day as a tech professional you will come across different problems in which you will have to find innovative and effective solutions.

Critical thinking allows you to think outside of the box and approach problems in multiple ways – till you decide on which solution is the best. Having a creative angle will allow you to resolve issues more effectively as well as present to stakeholders your ability to continuously improve the organisations overall business goals.

Empathy

Link: Emotional and Social Intelligence

In a remote-based working environment alongside the use of generative AI tools to help complete your daily tasks – it can be difficult to realise the importance of empathy. Your computer does not have feelings, but your team members and clients do.

Empathy allows you to understand issues and problems from another person's perspective without just assuming ‘the code is broken’. Their brain is not broken, they are seeing an issue or problem from a different angle and require empathy to resolve it.

Organisation

Link: People and Soft Skills for Professional and Personal Success Specialisation

Organising yourself is not only important for your career but also for your personal life. A lack of organisation can lead your project to go down hill quicker than you expected.

Keeping tabs on all tasks that are being executed, as well as providing additional information and reaching your deadlines will allow you and your team to enjoy your job – rather than feeling the pressures of getting it complete within 2 weeks.

Organising oneself and their team will allow you to be more efficient and also have a productive team.

Time Management

Link: Work Smarter, Not Harder: Time Management for Personal & Professional Productivity

Working in the tech industry means you will typically be working under tight deadlines with little to no flexibility. Coupled with organising yourself, time-management will allow you to reach those deadlines.

Understanding the time it takes to handle a specific task will also allow you to organise yourself during your week. For example, cleaning the data takes 35% of my time, therefore I will start my week with this so I can complete the analysis by the end of the week to present back to stakeholders.

Wrapping Up

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Soft skills are becoming more important and you should not neglect them. Improving your soft skills will take you from being a great coder to an amazing coder that I would highly recommend to other organisations and also for a promotion.

People skills are important!

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Nisha Arya is a data scientist, freelance technical writer, and an editor and community manager for KDnuggets. She is particularly interested in providing data science career advice or tutorials and theory-based knowledge around data science. Nisha covers a wide range of topics and wishes to explore the different ways artificial intelligence can benefit the longevity of human life. A keen learner, Nisha seeks to broaden her tech knowledge and writing skills, while helping guide others.

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