Software development, a technical and specialized domain, necessitates a broad spectrum of hard skills and knowledge, particularly in the realm of nearshore developer skill. The era when developers were judged solely on their software development and technical skills is a thing of the past. Although crafting exceptional code and conducting tests remain fundamental to developer tasks, the current, highly interconnected world demands more. In an era where the software industry melds seamlessly with business, mere coding proficiency is insufficient to qualify as an outstanding developer.
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Even if you are a nearshore developer working in a software development firm, you will still interact with your peers—chances are you are going to be a team member—-part of a larger team. You will collaborate with your designers, QA engineers, project managers, business executives, and other stakeholders. This is why soft skills or knowing how to work with people is a key part of your toolbox as a software developer, as well as your willingness to learn them.
Developer soft skills are considerably more indicative of future job performance than hard skills. Soft skills play a crucial role in how nearshore software developers tackle work-related tasks, build relationships, and interact with colleagues and stakeholders. In fact, the 2022 Global DevSecOps Survey by Gitlab found that a greater reliance on soft skills such as communication and collaboration will help software developers navigate the future of work
If writing high quality code isn’t enough, then which soft skills do you need? How can nearshore software developers focus their efforts on growing and building soft skills? This article focuses on developing soft skills such as communication, teamwork, and problem-solving. We will discuss the most important ones with examples of how each skill can help us deal with everyday – real-life problems and cases.
What are Soft Skills?
Soft skills, also known as common skills or core skills, are skills applicable to all professions as they relate to how you work. They are centered around the notion that they are the skills that enable you to communicate and interact with other people—and to do so in a meaningful and harmonious way. This includes things like communication, empathy, patience, critical thinking, problem solving, public speaking, professional writing, teamwork, leadership, professional attitude, work ethic, intercultural fluency, and more. This is in contrast to hard skills, which are specific to individual professions and are mostly focused on technical abilities, knowledge, and expertise. For example, a hard skill for software engineer may be the ability to program in a specific language.
The Importance of Soft Skills for Nearshore Software Developers
Connecting to your manager, your teammates and the rest of the company is essential to creating quality products and promoting a good work environment, and it becomes even more important if you want to be in charge of your team. These soft skills are key to communicating and interacting in meaningful and harmonious ways.
Some have natural people skills,
Some people are natural-born communicators and seem to have a particular affinity for soft skills while others have to learn to develop and hone them.
The Top 10+1 Essential Soft Skills for Every Nearshore Software Developer
Here are some of the most important software developer soft skills that hiring managers should consider when finding the best fit for their projects and teams:
- Effective Communication
- Time Management
- Problem Solving
- Conflict Resolution
- Emotional Intelligence
Effective communication is one of the most essential developer soft skills, as it is critical for interacting with team members. Software developers interact with a wide variety of people every day — from project managers who set goals, to designers who envision the product’s look, to customers who will ultimately use what’s being created. Each of these groups has its own language and priorities. A great developer is like a bridge, helping everyone to understand each other, which is essential for the project to succeed.
Therefore, a nearshore software developer must be able to explain their ideas and solutions clearly and concisely, ensuring honesty and transparency about any challenges or conflicts that may arise during the software development process. For a nearshore software developer, mastering communication is not just a good-to-have skill; it’s like having a special tool in their toolkit, making collaboration smoother and more efficient.
Keep in mind that communication is a two-way road. You also need to be a good listener. Listening to your colleagues, customers, or users will make all the difference. When you listen, you are getting an unfair advantage compared to those who only talk. You get to learn things, expand your horizons, and broaden your worldview. It also helps you rank tasks and requirements.
Keep in mind that communication is not only verbal – it is non-verbal as well. That is why crucial to stay focused, listen, don’t interrupt, and speak with confidence. It all contributes to your communication style. It is necessary to be able to communicate effectively.
Developers often juggle many tasks at once. From coding and testing to meetings and learning, managing time is key. Good time management means setting priorities, avoiding distractions, and knowing when to take a break. For developers, mastering this skill ensures they get things done on time and still find moments to relax.
In a recent survey by Stack Overflow, developers cited meeting deadlines and maintaining a healthy work-life balance as their biggest challenges. Deadlines are unavoidable in software development. Employers should look for developers who can accurately estimate project timelines, prioritize tasks, and effectively manage their time and workload.
Software development is all about solving problems and therefore for developers, solving problems is a daily task. Beyond just writing code, nearshore software developers often face challenges like fixing bugs or finding new ways to make software better. Hiring managers value developers who can approach complex technical problems with an analytical mindset. The ideal developers can break down problems into smaller, more manageable tasks. They can deliver effective solutions that meet business requirements while adhering to best practices and standards. Being a good problem solver means thinking creatively, being patient, and sometimes trying many solutions before finding the right one. This skill is a game-changer, making tough tasks easier and projects more successful.
Software development is not just about writing code — it’s also about designing and building software solutions that solve real-world problems. When assessing web developer soft skills, employers should look for tech professionals who can think outside the box and push the boundaries of what’s possible.
Next Idea Tech helps companies find innovative problem-solvers from different parts of LatAm. This diversity fosters creativity by encouraging the quest for new information and perspectives, which leads to better decision-making and problem-solving.
Technology is always changing. New tools come out, projects shift direction, and what worked yesterday might not work today. However, statistics show that over 50% of developers are struggling to keep up with the pace of technological progress. Nearshore software developers need to be ready to change and learn. Developers who are open to learning new things and can adapt to emerging technologies and techniques have a significant advantage over those who are averse to change. In today’s fast-paced software development environment, the ability to pivot quickly and seamlessly between projects and technology stacks cannot be understated.
Steve Jobs famously said during his Stanford commencement address:
“Stay hungry. Stay foolish.”
In essence, he encourages you to be open-minded. He is trying to make you be receptive to other people’s feedback. His words are relevant today as new technologies and paradigms emerge.
Being adaptable isn’t just about dealing with new tech stuff. It’s about being open to new ideas, learning from feedback, and staying positive even when things get tricky. For developers, this skill helps them stay up-to-date and makes them a key player in any team.
At Next Idea Tech, when we are hiring developers, we are drawn to individuals with pronounced curiosity. People who are interested in learning more (strong willingness to learn), who are not afraid to fail. Ones who will try again and again until they reach some conclusions.
Teamwork might sound like a basic skill, but it’s a big deal for developers. Most tech projects involve a bunch of people working together, and the ability to work well in a team is crucial for success. Developers inherently need to be team players. This includes other project managers, software developers, designers, and even customers. Good teamwork means understanding everyone’s role and helping each other out. When developers work well in a team, projects run smoother, problems get solved faster, and the end product is just better.
However, being a part of a nearshore software development team comes with its challenges. Therefore, to be a good team player, patience, empathy, and effective communication are soft skills needed for software engineers.
Wherever there are teams and projects, disagreements will pop up. That’s just how it goes. But it’s how these disagreements are handled that makes the difference. Developers skilled in resolving conflicts can find solutions, keep the team on track, and turn challenges into opportunities. It’s a skill that keeps projects moving and teams happy.
As a nearshore software developer, it doesn’t matter how effectively you communicate, empathize, or how skilled you are at writing code — you are answerable to someone. It could be your team lead, project manager, client, or even an investor. Nearshore software developers must be capable of taking responsibility and accountability for their actions and decisions. They must take proactive steps to ensure the quality and security of the software they create. Practicing accountability also helps build a culture of transparency and continuous improvement — where developers learn from their mistakes and strive for better results. Proving yourself dependable and accountable also builds rapport with key stakeholders and helps secure support to rectify problems, overlaps, or roadblocks.
Emotional intelligence, also known as emotional quotient or EQ refers to how software developers respond to challenging situations in the workplace. It is among the top developer soft skills that have become increasingly critical to succeed in the tech industry. Emotional intelligence is the ability to recognize, understand, and manage one’s own emotions, as well as the feelings of others. Nearshore software developers who empathize with others, communicate effectively, and handle challenging situations are the most likely to thrive in team environments and build positive relationships with teammates, clients, and stakeholders.
Tech experts with a high level of EQ can stay calm and composed in the face of common development challenges, such as changing client demands and integration issues. They persevere through obstacles at work and stay focused on achieving company goals.
Emotional intelligence is also crucial for managing conflicts during the software development process. For example, different stakeholders may have competing ideas or opinions about the final product, and the nearshore software developer must understand and respond to the emotions behind these conflicts to find a satisfactory solution for all parties.
Nearshore software developers must have a strong sense of self. To unlock their full potential, they must be capable of recognizing their strengths and weaknesses. They should be confident in what they know yet humble when they have an opportunity to learn.
Secure nearshore software developers are the most likely to advance in their careers because they don’t let their anxieties and self-doubt hold them back. They are always willing to recognize areas for improvement and then put in the effort to develop those skills. They are also not afraid to seek constructive feedback, proper training, and mentorship from seasoned professionals in the field.
In simple terms, empathy is the ability to put yourself in others’ shoes. While you might spend a lot of your time writing code for machines, you are interacting with other people. Understanding your coworkers and customers, belief systems, and personalities will benefit you greatly. You will be able to adjust your behavior, address their needs, and make sure that you are taking them into account. This is something that is often overlooked. But, the best developers will try and understand their customers or colleagues since it will enable them to do their job. Again, empathy is your advantage – it will allow you to see things with their eyes. It will make you more sensible and approachable.
As a nearshore software developer, you’ll be much more confident suggesting new ideas if you can predict how your audience is likely to react to what you have to say. Then, you can tailor how you present your suggestion according to your audience.
Empathizing with your target users will also help you better understand their points of view. Given that they will be using your product, this is one of the most critical skills needed for software developers.
Soft Skills, Strong Results: Find the Right Fit with Next Idea Tech
Finding qualified software developers is challenging enough. But in addition to having solid technical skills, hiring managers should look for candidates with excellent developer soft skills. Often, the soft skills they bring to the job distinguish a good developer from a great one.
Partner with Next Idea Tech if you’re having trouble finding developers with the right soft skills. We employ a rigorous vetting process to ensure you only meet and hire tech professionals with the skills and knowledge you need.
And we won’t just match you with the top candidates. We leverage human expertise and AI-powered technology to find you the best fit for the role, team dynamics, and company culture.
Build your dream team with Next Idea Tech and scale your business with software developers you can trust and rely on.