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How Communication Skills Help Software Engineers Succeedby@aygun1987
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21,682 reads

How Communication Skills Help Software Engineers Succeed

by Aygun ZarbaliyevaMarch 10th, 2023
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Software engineers are considered to be the least communicative members of the team. They mostly prefer coding with no interaction with the outside world and avoid managerial positions. There are a number of reasons why this bias toward engineers exists. Some people try to fix the gaps in their soft skills after some time.
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In all the companies where I have worked, software engineers are considered to be the least communicative members of the team. While most people consider becoming a manager as the peak of their careers, among engineers, it is always a challenge. They mostly prefer coding with no interaction with the outside world and avoid managerial positions. But for those who really struggle and want to change something, what is the reason behind this, and what can you do to improve your soft skills?

In reality, software engineers are not necessarily the worst communicators. However, there are a number of reasons why this bias toward engineers exists.

First of all, engineering is very mentally demanding work, requiring intense concentration on your work for hours on end without disruption. Sometimes you have to isolate yourself from the outside world in favor of your favorite job. After a certain amount of time in this "isolation," it becomes a habit, and habits tend to become a part of our character over time.

Additionally, good engineering abilities require a completely different skill set and mentality. This creates an obstacle between technical and non-technical people during their communication. As the term "communication" is mostly about non-technical talks, IT folks are considered lacking in soft skills and abilities to build relationships both in their professional and personal lives.

While some people are fully comfortable in their comfort zone, others try to fix the gaps in their soft skills after some time, especially those who plan to develop themselves as future managers. Soft skills are also essential for those who change their career path to roles such as Product Manager, Project Manager, Scrum Master, Technical Recruiter, or just decide to start their startups and become company directors. At the end of the day, friendships are just very important for almost all of us!

Below are the techniques that worked personally for me:


1. Develop empathy! Remember that there is almost always a reason behind managers being harsh, the business team having tight deadlines, or colleagues feeling demotivated for some periods of time. Try to understand their points, be friendly and kind to them, and sincerely try to help them.

2. Keep your communication down-to-earth. Be more approachable and avoid being too much of an "IT guy" during your communications. Avoid overusing IT terms that are hard for non-IT people to understand.

3. Constantly work on your writing and speaking skills. Pay attention to your grammar, read non-technical books to keep your vocabulary rich, join conversation clubs or public speaking courses, or practice your speech before important presentations in front of a mirror. While doing these, don't forget about your body language.

Be open to constructive feedback and never take it personally. Accept it as a gift and try to work on the gaps.

4. Just fake it until you make it! Yes, that really works. Imagine that you are the greatest communicator on the planet, or that you know someone personally who has great communication skills. How do they behave in certain circumstances? How would your role model tackle those awkward situations? Just try to emulate them, and very shortly, that behavior will become a part of your personality.

After some time working on your communication skills and gaining some experience, I believe you will have a new perspective on the people around you and your own character. So just give it a go and celebrate your achievements every day!