When you think of a skilled software developer, what often comes to mind is a nerd, punching lines of code and dealing with many programming languages. Certainly, knowing how to code (and being really good at it) is the fundamental prerequisite of a being a software developer. But there’s a highly crucial necessity that many developers tend to ignore — communication skills.
It may seem cliché, but communication happens to be the bedrock of every human to human transaction, and software development, as a career field, isn’t exempted. In fact, a number of statistics assert that majority of software development projects fail due to the inability of the programmer to communicate effectively with their team members or the project owners. This is why it’s imperative for software developers to improve on basic communication skills such as speaking, listening, writing, and interpreting information. Thankfully, there are ways you could go about improving your communication skills as a software developer.
Actionable Ways to Improve Your Communication Skills
Embrace simplicity: Although software development is a technical field, the conversation of a programmer shouldn’t be overly technical.
Bearing in mind that the sole purpose of communication is for you to pass the message accurately and for the receiver to understand it effortlessly, you have to be as plain and simple as possible. So avoid technical jargon and paraphrase whenever you need to.
Be patient: Since the power of effective communication cannot be overemphasized, patience remains an essential key to improve on your communication skills. First, you need to be patient with yourself. You should understand that improving communication skills is a journey that takes time and effort. Then, you have to extend that patience to clients and team members.
Ask questions: Asking questions is a vital aspect in carrying out software development projects. It helps you avoid leaving out crucial details in requirement gathering, thereby reducing errors. The same applies to your interaction as a software developer; the more you ask questions, the more you learn and the better you communicate.
Keep an open mind: The journey to improving your communication skills as a software developer is a continuous process, possibly an endless one. So if you are narrow-minded, it creates a blockage and impedes your communication flow. Keeping an open mind entail being free to make mistakes, learn from them, being able to handle criticism. When your mind is open, you understand that it’s okay to make mistakes. Also, you become flexible in your dealings and adapt to changes quickly.
Listen more: Listening is a vital communication skill that many people lack. Surprisingly, even self-acclaimed, proficient communicators struggle with listening. You gain an edge when you listen more as a software developer. One thing listening helps to build in your communication process is, it makes you respond to situations, rather than react. On a lighter note, we probably have two ears and one mouth so we can listen more and speak less.
Practise! Practise! Practise!: Every software developer will agree that the more you practise programming, the better you get at it. Same goes for communication. The more you practise and follow the aforementioned steps, the faster you improve on your communication skill as a software developer. From every indication, it is necessary for professionals in the software development field to give their communication skills as much attention as they give to programming. Note that poor communication is a significant reason many software development projects fail.
Here at Charisol, our developers are encouraged to hone their communication skills. They relate with other members via the different interaction channels we’ve structured and at every level of management. Thanks to our dynamic communication culture, our software development team know the importance of healthy work and team relationships and how it enhances productivity. They have mastered the arts of coding and communicating to relate with, and understand our clientele needs, so as to deliver top-notch services.
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