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soft skills for software engineers

7 Most valuable soft skills of exceptional software engineers

As the demand for technology talent rages on in 2022,  what sets aside top Software Engineers is not just valuable technology skills, but a mix of core and soft skills.

Organisations expect candidates to complement core skills with desirable traits that help them get ahead at work, engage in meaningful interactions with others and navigate the work landscape to perform well and achieve goals.

According to recent LinkedIn Workplace Learning Reports, soft skills will reign supreme in 2020 and beyond – irrespective of how the technology landscape changes, soft skills will remain constant and at the core of an employee’s role in an organisation.

So how can you as a software engineer prepare for this? In this article, we’ve narrowed down 7 soft skills that will set apart exceptional Software Engineers in 2022:

1. Communication

In a work environment that is predominantly becoming distributed and remote, it is all the more important for you as a software engineer to communicate effectively. The ability to listen, understand and communicate ideas and information clearly with  peers, team members and stakeholders is a timeliness skill, amplified in importance since the onset of the pandemic.

Software Engineers need to adapt to teams that are now becoming global; communicating effectively with clients, teams and managers across geographies and time zones becomes important.

2. Accountability

As a software engineer, your work can have a big impact on your organisation –  being able to accept responsibility for any challenges that may arise becomes critical.

The ability to take constructive criticism, manage multiple stakeholders, taking care of not just the functionality and well-being of projects, but also ensure that a great user experience is offered to end-users is what sets great software engineers apart. 

Even if challenges and hurdles arise, taking ownership of them and working collaboratively with teams to solve them and find a fix is seen as a valuable trait by employers and recruiters. 

3. Problem Solving

Since the field of software engineering is constantly evolving and changing, the most valuable skill you can have as a professional is the ability to solve problems.

In a recent survey by McKinsey of HR Professionals and Recruiters, problem-solving, critical thinking, innovation & creativity were among the top areas of missing soft skills among candidates.

On a broader level, problem-solving is at the core of what defines you as a software engineer – you strive to find solutions for novel problems. Understanding the context of the problem, being innovative, and adapting solutions to changing scenarios is a priceless skills that employers will find difficult to replace.

As a  great software engineer, you are in a position to rewrite functionality from scratch when faced with scaling issues, maintain code in legacy projects for clients, and solve unique issues that may arise during QA processes.

4. Adaptability

The tech industry is rapidly evolving, accelerated by the onset of the pandemic and the digital era.

Keeping up with this change by continuously learning and upskilling becomes crucial for career success. Regularly update your skills. Your ability to be flexible, think on your feet and identify solutions and apply your learnings to solve new problems will give you a headstart.

Software professionals who have the ability to adapt rapidly have an edge over their peers – research indicates they are more likely to hold on to their jobs, receive higher pay, and scale up quickly in their career trajectory.

5. Collaboration & Teamwork

Collaboration & Teamwork forms the backbone of how you function in your technology team, especially when it’s geographically distributed. 

Your ability to work well with others, collaborate, communicate frequently, and accept and share quick feedback will help you get ahead in your career.

Especially in a remote setup, you need to master asynchronous communication. The faster you can reply to your teammates’ messages and asks, the easier it is for them to move on with their tasks and be productive. Even if there are instances when quick replies aren’t possible, communicating the delay becomes crucial.

6. Time Management

Having a large pile of pending tasks is a given in the world of software engineers and the exceptional ones learn how to effectively navigate this seemingly endless list of tasks.

They are master multitaskers, knowing how and when to divide their attention among many activities at once, without losing sight of any of them.

Want to learn how you can apply time management strategies to get more work done efficiently? Here are 6 tried and tested ways to get started.

7. Empathy

Lastly, in a time that has been riddled with difficulties and challenges, empathy as a skill is a necessity for professional growth.

In fact, what determines your success at work could boil down to understanding other people’s emotions, and communicating with them in a way that makes them feel heard and understood. Your ability to put yourself in someone else’s shoes will help you share ideas more effectively, resolve conflicts quicker and have better influence among your peers. 

At Talent500 by ANSR, we are redefining job searching for you – the world’s best software engineers. We represent Fortune 500 companies that are looking for the top 10% talent. 

Our platform provides you with tools to embark on a journey to #BeLimitless and make your next big career move! Sign up today to leverage opportunities to work with tech leaders across the globe.

Venkatesh Murali

Venkatesh Murali

Email marketer at Talent500. Loves to build insightful stories and email strategy for organisations, with a focus on the 'why'. Makes puns and memes whenever there's time.

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