7 Important Skills Every Professional Programmer Must Have
July 14, 2021    |    Developer Growth    |    Soft Skills

Since employers began to realize the advantages of computer science in this digital age, the demand for individuals with relevant computer programming skills has been high. But more than just having the technical know-how to computer science basics, employers also look for other skills that would foster a healthy and productive work environment. In this article, we’re going to tackle eight important skills every professional programmer must have to be successful in their career:

1. Creative in solving problems.

Software engineering may be a very technical field of work, but it also requires engineers and programmers to have “technical creativity”. Along the rigorous process of developing programs and other technical tasks in the company, programmers are expected to face difficult problems. These problems usually come like puzzles, with no fixed rules or by-the-book solutions to depend on. That’s why, solving these problems would require programmers to be inventive—like being able to break down bigger problems into smaller ones. 

2. Has good communication skills.

Good communication is vital in every organization. Without having a shared understanding, it’ll be difficult for the companies’ goals to be achieved. And now that more employers are starting to allow remote-working within their organization, maintaining effective communication among employees can be challenging. Having good communication skills is parallel to having good web development skills. Programmers who are good communicators are most likely to understand concepts quickly. They also tend to come up with the perfect questions to make any unclear parts of these concepts understandable.

3. A good listener.

Apart from being a good communicator, professional programmers must also be keen listeners. Before developing software or systems, programmers must consider what people actually need. With good listening skills, developers can come up with innovative solutions that would resonate with the demands of consumers. Also, being able to sit in meetings and take note of every minor detail can greatly affect the process of project development. If a programmer fails to catch on to these details, the project could have serious problems in the future.

4. Have passion for learning.

It’s good to be okay with not knowing everything, as long as you take these things to fuel your passion to learn. A lot of programmers today don’t have computer science degrees before becoming professionals. And that’s okay! However, getting a CS degree will allow you to understand computer programming on a much deeper level. This is because it covers a more extensive perspective than coding bootcamps alone. Moreover, as the tech industry continues to evolve, programmers must adapt by investing in new tools, and by engaging in productive activities like hackathons and challenges. Doing these may not yield instant results, but it will surely equip them in the future.

5. An efficient worker.

With time constraints to be put into consideration, programmers must be efficient in doing computer-related tasks when working with a team. Having excellent time management skills is an essential skill every team member must have to be able to accomplish work on time. Additionally, concentrating on a single task instead of multitasking is proven to be more effective when it comes to working efficiency. This is because people who multitask more often are more likely to have lower sustained attention ability.

6. Willing to ask for help.

A project cannot be done overnight. There may be times when problems would pile up, or when projects won’t work during the first try—and that’s totally fine! Everyone goes through the same bad situation. But instead of trying to solve problems by yourself, it’s always better to seek help from other team members. As I previously mentioned, not knowing everything is okay! So if you ever get stuck in solving a problem, don’t hesitate to get insights from other colleagues. After all, some problems require more than one brilliant mind to be solved. 

7. A good team player.

Having good collaborative skills is needed for professional programmers in making future projects successful. When teammates effectively work together, it makes problems easier to fix, and less likely to occur. Each member has their own role in the team so being reliable and cooperative are vital in [promising results. It is also important to align your goals with the goals of your team. As author Patrick Lencioni said; “The pursuit of individual goals and personal status erodes the focus on collective success. If you don’t agree with the way your team is doing things, you can suggest instead of just having it your way. At the end of the day, having “teamwork” makes the “dream work”.

Why must professional programmers acquire these skills?

Having technical skills alone is not enough for professional developers to thrive in their field. Employers focus on hiring developers with soft skills, as it’s what brings more permanent benefits to the organization. And these skills cannot be duplicated nor taught in schools! It just comes naturally through experience. Among hundreds of job applicants looking for the same opportunities as you, having these skills can definitely make you stand out.

About the Author: Chatty Garrate

Chatty is a freelance writer from Manila. She finds joy in inspiring and educating others through writing. That’s why aside from her job as a language evaluator for local and international students, she spends her leisure time writing about various topics such as lifestyle, technology, and business.

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