Coding isn’t everything.
An overflowing GitHub repository and perfect fluency in frontend and backend languages is sought-after by startups. But so is being able to work in a team, focus on multiple projects and communicate feedback to a bunch of non-technical clients. Regardless of whether a developer speaks PHP or Ruby, all developers need these key soft skills if they’re going to flourish in their new role.
Infographic: what soft skills developers need to succeed?
Save our infographic and use it to determine whether your developer candidates have what it takes to become your next superstar programmer.
New hires should contribute to and strengthen existing teams. Being approachable, helpful and available are key skills that mark out a good team player.
Even the most technically skilled developer must be able to patiently, concisely and simply explain technical concepts to non-techies – whether that’s colleagues or clients. An easy way to test a developer’s tech knowledge is to ask them to explain a technical concept. Use our tech alphabet if you’re not sure what a tech term means!
3. Time management
So much code, so little time! When multiple projects with conflicting time delays and pressures are on the horizon, time management & organisation becomes critical. Don’t wait until half way through an important project to find out a developer has no time management skills…
Work sometimes throws us a curveball. So developers must be able to deal with – and adapt to – unforeseen circumstances that are out of their control. Your candidates need to be flexible, adaptable and agile – the first term in our tech alphabet!
Anyone who’s worked through painstaking errors in legacy code will be aware of the focus and dedication it takes to programme successfully. So it’s important to make sure your developer candidates demonstrate this focus from the beginning.
6. Communication skills
Whether it’s communicating with colleagues, explaining a programming decision to the boss or relaying issues with a project to clients, communication is crucial.
Being prepared to be held accountable for their own work is a necessary soft skill in the tech world. The quicker errors in code are accounted for, the quicker they can be fixed – whether or not the developer is responsible for the mistake.
8. Giving – and taking – feedback
A good developer should be able to support colleagues’ ideas, back up their arguments, give positive feedback – and take it. Accepting constructive criticism is key to growth for all employees in all sectors, not just tech.
With new technologies appearing all the time, developers need to demonstrate the passion and drive necessary to keep learning outside the parameters of the role.
10. Listening skills
Not properly hearing (or failing to clarify) an instruction or piece of feedback could lead to an error in code that results in significant time delays and even costly reworks. Listening skills are essential – and easy to test in an interview process.
Need more help interviewing developers? Check out our top technical tips for even the non-techiest of recruiters.