5 soft skills that make tech experts great team players
In the IT sector, the hard skills of a candidate are the key focus when it comes to filling a position. It's crucial that the candidate has the technical know-how to fulfill his or her role and carry out the projects in the best possible way. But a well-developed set of soft skills should not be underestimated either. While hard skills are specific to individual professions, soft skills like interpersonal skills, social skills, communication skills, character traits, and attitudes are desirable in all professions and enable people to collaborate well with others. With the impact of the pandemic on our work environment and the trend toward remote work, the importance of these skills is only increasing. Teams need to stay connected across different locations, and the collaboration between employees needs to be more efficient than ever before. To help you grow in your role and advance in your career, we have compiled a list of the most important soft skills to bring to the table.
The tech sector is evolving faster than any other. In addition, there are unpredictable external influences, such as the pandemic-induced switch to the home office or the resulting introduction of a digital strategy by many companies. Since numerous factors influence the way we work, it is necessary that you have the skills to embrace change and face emerging challenges with a positive attitude.
Even in everyday work, new challenges can suddenly arise. A project cannot be completed in the allotted time, a colleague is absent due to illness, or unexpected bugs prevent the planned launch. In such situations, it is essential not to lose the ability to adapt to the new situation in a short time, and to look for a solution.
It is not uncommon for many people to associate a techie with the image of a lone wolf: someone who is technically proficient, immersed in their own world, and rather socially withdrawn. However, such a lone wolf would have a very hard time in today's world. The ability to communicate effectively is essential, especially if you are working in teams, which tech professionals often do. For a successful collaboration - whether remote or onsite - clear communication is essential not only within a team of like-minded people but also across departments. This means that complex issues need to be communicated also to a non-technical audience. It can be helpful to present complex issues visually and to use everyday language instead of technical jargon.
Another key factor in teamwork is effective time management. If a team member misses a deadline, it can have a ripple effect on the whole team and the success of the project. Therefore, tasks must be prioritized, deadlines are met or delays are communicated promptly. This is especially important because the work progress of the IT team is often relevant for other departments, such as Design or Product.
Modern time management tools can help keep track of how much time is spent on certain activities or tasks.
Teamwork is one of the most fundamental concepts in the modern working world. Regardless of your role or position within the tech team, you work with your colleagues toward a common goal. Being able to work well with your immediate team as well as with colleagues from other departments is vital in these times of Covid-19. When everyone is not in the same place at the same time, collaboration can become more challenging. It is up to each individual to be proactive. This can mean, for example, regularly participating in team events, offering help if colleagues need a hand, or perhaps discussing complex issues in a video call rather than in writing via email or chat.
A curious employee makes space for creativity, and thinking outside the box is an enrichment for every tech team, as it can be worthwhile to question tried-and-true approaches and optimize them through a new approach if necessary. Even in the fast-moving tech world, there are constant developments, for example in tools, programming languages, and methods. Only those who are open to learning new things and questioning existing ones can continue to develop.
Soft skills help to master challenges such as the increasing complexity of technical issues, more difficult communication possibilities due to the lack of physical interaction, or rapid technological change. Just as important as constantly working on your professional skills is improving your soft skills. And the added bonus is they not only help you in your career but also in your private life.