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Soft Skills for Software Engineers - Communication

Your ability to speak is your weapon and a useful tool. Use it!

#Communication is a usual suspect in most soft skills lists – not only for software engineers – but for any profession. But in software development, communication is crucial. Keep in mind that communication is a two-way road. You 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.

Once you get to speak, do so with clarity and confidence. With conviction. You are trying to achieve something with communication. Also, be polite and never interrupt the other person talking. This will also show that you can be patient, to listen and keep your composure. 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.

Effective communication is key both at work and at home. Our developers are key parts of our team and are always willing to speak up in meetings, whether they’re with staff or customers.

Some things to keep in mind to communicate effectively:


Saying the wrong thing, even at the right time, can seriously injure a person. Since words have such power, it is very important how we communicate. Therefore, take time to listen, be careful how you answer and take time before speaking.


Take time to focus on what the other person is doing and saying. Most of us hear but do not really listen. We tend to focus our minds on what we are going to say or how we will answer rather than focusing upon and understanding what the speaker is trying to communicate.

Speak clearly and with conviction, even if you’re unsure of yourself — people will pay more attention to what you say if you say it with confidence.

Listen. The best communicators spend as much time listening as they do talking.

Don’t interrupt the person speaking. Let them say what they want to say, then chime in with your thoughts.


People who interrupt do so for a variety of reasons, few of which bring value to or enhance the conversation. Some interrupt because they are not listening. They need to listen or your time and energy are wasted. Some interrupt because they have little respect for you or others in the conversation. When they are like that, it's a matter of contempt for you. There can hardly be a mutually beneficial interchange when there is little to no respect. They need to be respectful. Some interrupt because they are too arrogant to believe you have anything of interest or importance to share. They need a measure of humility to be able to interact with others in any useful and meaningful way.

Should the other person continue to interrupt, then end the conversation and walk away.


Rarely do unresolved matters simply go away. Often times these issues come back to haunt your relationship later on. If you are unable to resolve any challenges during your conversation then make an appointment to discuss it later. It is usually best to make that very matter the singular priority of your follow-up talk.


Be intentional about putting away things that can rob your conversation of the level of value it deserves. Turning off your cell phone, closing your tablet or computer, taking the earpiece(s) off your head are ways to do this. Not only can you not give mindful attention to the discourse with other things vying for your mind's attention, these distractions actually demonstrate to others that they are not important enough to have a meaningful conversation.

On the positive side, there are benefits when you put away anything that can intrude upon your discourse with others. Benefits include, but not limited to:

  • Being able to converse in a more meaningful way.

  • Showing mutual respect, which has a strong probability of elevating your relationship.

  • Increasing the chances of actually getting something accomplished.

  • You are able to better focus on each other and upon the topic or agenda.

  • You can remember the conversation and most likely the salient points at a later time.


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