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    Top Tips for software developer soft skills

    Empathy

    Putting yourself in other people’s shoes and trying to understand their product may be hard, especially if their code is not easily understandable or worse —if you have to write it from scratch. However, practicing empathy will help you get over this sort of events more easily and focus on what really matters, namely the audience which uses the product you created.

    Big-picture thinking

    When you realize you have to write somebody else’s code from scratch or worse —your own— what do you do? Worry about the code or the person who will use the product you are creating? If you put the business proposition first, you have a soft skill that is worth keeping. Soft skills are difficult to learn, so those who care first about the product and then about the code they are writing should take pride in their not-so-common ability.

    Adaptability

    This skill should be second nature to developers because there are always things to be changed and things to be learned. Adaptability refers to a software developer’s openness to learning new skills, taking on extra responsibilities, even relocating. One of the most important aspects of adaptability is the reaction to change. Do you react positively to comments, criticism, bad news and other sorts of uncomfortable situations? If the answer is yes, you should hold on to this soft skill; it will come in handy.

    Attitude

    Most software developers are lone wolves and they don’t mind the label as long as they can write their code without interruption. Pair programming not something many developers like to do, but that should be perfectly fine as long as the attitude is the right one. This soft skill can be improved by offering suggestions instead of mere criticism, being more aware of opportunities and complaining less. Experience shows that those who have a positive attitude usually have colleagues that are more willing to help them.

    Willingness to learn

    It is common knowledge that nobody is born learned, but not many people truly understand that learning is a never-ending process. Make no mistake, there is always someone you can learn from and some abilities you can improve or adjust. What matters is your willingness to learn and accept offered guidance. Great software developers also seek out advice from their peers.

    Critical thinking

    Critical thinking involves assessing facts before reaching a conclusion. Software developers are sometimes faced with a handful of possible solutions, and only critical thinking will allow them to quickly test each scenario mentally before choosing the most efficient one. This soft skill is possibly the most important one because it helps developers write clean, maintainable code.