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Software Developers: It’s Time to Get “Softer”

soft skills

Want to stand out among your fellow software developers? Show your softer side.

Gone are the days when it was acceptable for software developers to have zero people skills. A recent report from business consulting firm West Monroe Partners confirms it, finding that employers overwhelmingly want tech workers with soft skills in communication, collaboration, conflict resolution, and leadership.

Here are the report’s findings:

  • Teams are feed-up with tech’s soft-skill shortcomings. Collaboration-based issues have delayed or prolonged a project for 71% of respondents. A third of them have missed a deadline altogether because of communication issues.
  • Verbal communication and collaboration were ranked by respondents as the most important soft skills.
  • Most companies don’t invest in developing their technology professionals’ soft skills after being hired (so those skills need to be strong from the start).
  • An overwhelming 67% of HR leaders have withheld a job offer from an otherwise qualified technical candidate solely because they lacked soft skills.

“Tech jobs are some of the most in-demand jobs in the world right now, but prospective IT experts won’t be able to get by on just raw technical abilities,” explains researcher and former TechRepublic Senior Editor Conner Forrest. “By working on building their soft skills on their own time, developers and IT could set themselves apart in the job search process.”

“If you’re not sure what your soft-skill strengths are, find out. Ask friends and colleagues where they think you shine when it comes to communicating and working with others,” advises Chad Macy, The HT Group President. You can take personality and behavioral assessments on your own or with the help of a staffing firm like The HT Group to uncover your “hidden” talents.

“Once you have a good idea of what your soft skills are, find ways to highlight them in your resume and during the interview process through the words you use and the way you describe your work experience and project results,” adds Craig Patterson, The HT Group Director of Professional & Technical Services. “It can be tricky to do, so ask your HT Group recruiter for advice.”