4 Essential Non-Programming Know-How You Need as a Modern Programmer
As a programmer, you would know exactly what technical skills you should learn to have a steep career growth. But are these technical skills enough? Of course not!
Professional and soft skills might not have a direct impact on your learning, but they do impact any programmer’s career significantly. Unfortunately, such non-programming skills are often overlooked by programmers.
Today, being skilled in your programming niche is not enough. To survive and thrive, you also need to develop strong relationships with people and build your personal brand with the help of digital marketing. Both of these are not possible without learning professional skills.
In this article, let’s look at some of the essential non-programming skills that you need to possess as a modern programmer.
As a programmer, you can only be as good as your communication skills. Without the ability to communicate your thoughts and listen to others, your success will be limited. Communication doesn’t just refer to a good command of your language. There’s a lot more to it.
In your day-to-day life, you’ll have to interact with clients, fellow-programmers, program analysts, solution architects, managers, stakeholders, and the list is endless. If you are not able to express your thought process and opinions in the right manner, there might be a lot of misunderstandings.
Lack of communication skills might lead to the development of wrong solutions, and your voice might get lost amongst the crowd. Hence, good communication skills will always help you to progress a couple of steps further than the other programmers.
Good listening skills are also an essential part of communication. With good listening skills, you will be able to understand and grasp what your peers have to say, and you’ll be respected more in your workplace.
In your career as a programmer, you would have faced many challenges and situations where hiding somethings might seem to be the better solution. You’d also have faced situations where you found yourself hesitating to put across a point.
As a programmer, an important skill to develop is being open about your thought process with others at your workplace, while being polite. Not expressing yourself and holding back on things may lead to unnecessary conflicts and misconceptions.
Also, not being open about things can seem right at the moment, but might lead to disastrous consequences later on.
Hence, always know what level of transparency is expected from you at your workplace or with your clients. And, try to stick to it no matter what. To start with, being open might be a little difficult for you, especially if you are an introvert. But, over time, it’ll become an easy habit.
Empathy is also a must-have skill for modern programmers. This is because, as a developer, you are at the core of building any design. Hence, working with empathy can prove to be helpful to develop applications that encourage inclusivity and user-friendliness.
It is easy to get caught up in your own programming world. But, when you are developing a piece of code, try to empathize with the users and think from their point of view.
For instance, if you are a SuperOffice CRM developer, you ought to give thought to the usability of the tool and how the target audience would be impacted by your code. How user-friendly is the design you are implementing? Is there a better way to go about it?
You should also think about accessibility. Accessibility and inclusivity are things that can be inculcated right from the development stage. Empathizing with disabled people will help you develop more thoughtful and sought-after applications.
Empathy is also needed when you are working with your clients, your peers, your managers, and other people who are involved in your work. Just thinking about why they do what they do, can help you make better decisions and have harmony at your workplace.
As a programmer, you’ll be faced with various situations where leading other developers and team members would be essential. As your career progresses, you’ll have to take up some leadership roles in your workplace. Hence, leadership is also an essential skill to acquire as a programmer.
Right from guiding fellow-developers, training others in your expertise, sharing your opinions, to reviewing other developers’ codes, leadership skills play a role in every step of your career. Hence, you should start focusing on developing leadership skills right from the initial stages of your programming career.
Patience, confidence, decision making, self-awareness, interpersonal skills, integrity, are a few of the skills that will help you emerge as a good leader.
Remember that these non-programming, but essential know-hows are necessary for the growth of your career as a successful programmer. These skills will brilliantly complement your technical skills and give you the much-needed nudge in the right direction.
It is also good to have in mind that practice makes perfect. Unlike technical skills, these professional skills cannot be perfected with the help of courses and training.
You have to be self-aware and practice these skills every single day. And, over time, these will essentially become a part of who you are. So, take inspiration from the ideas in this article and work towards making these a part of your programming life.