To succeed as a software engineer, you’ll need more than just technical chops. Software engineers who have found the most success in their career typically possess both professional and soft skills on top of technical ones. In a technical setting, skills that are often tied to emotional intelligence (EQ) like body language, empathy, and candor will help set you apart from the pack as an effective communicator and team player.
Once individuals start moving away from a fixed mindset where they believe talent is static and qualities like intelligence and empathy can’t be improved, they will start seeing themselves as constant learners. Asking questions, offering ideas, and giving and receiving feedback all become normalized. Collaboration and communication improve and lead to new ideas and better performance.
With a growth mindset, team members will see themselves as an important part of a team and take responsibility for their own growth while doing everything they can to help their teammates do the same. When challenges, setbacks, and shortcomings arise, these experiences are seen as opportunities to grow rather than a failure. Failure isn’t something that has to be feared and doesn’t produce the mental anxiety that can keep someone from trying new ideas.
Feedback is no longer something to be dreaded. Instead, it’s an opportunity for growth. Challenges are no longer something to be avoided, but embraced. Resilience in the face of obstacles replaces the tendency to just give up.
A good software engineer gets the job done. A great software engineer knows how to think beyond the immediate project and grasp the greater picture to connect well with others. These are some of the most important soft software engineer skills that are shared by the best in the business:
Convincing others to listen and do things that positively impact the team or company is a corollary of having good communication skills.
Sometimes it can be difficult to get enough feedback to make a difference, especially when you spend most of your time coding. Getting a performance review once or twice a year doesn’t give you the same insights that you can get from real-time and regular feedback.
It doesn’t help when most of the feedback comes from only your manager. That kind of feedback tells you how your manager views you, but it doesn’t tell you how your peers, team members, and clients see you. It doesn’t necessarily tell you what you need to know about the skills you want to develop the most.
Matter lets you gather feedback from everyone around you. Regular feedback from your peers and clients - as well as your bosses - can help you eliminate the barriers that may be holding you back. You can develop and sharpen those critical skills to complement your technical education.
Matter’s 360-degree feedback platform is easy to use and allows you to break out of the constraints of the typical performance review cycle. You can determine what skills are most critical to your development and ask for feedback specifically in those areas. You can also identify the areas where you have the most potential for growth.
Once you recognize that learning is a never-ending process and embrace a growth mindset, there is no limitation on how far you can go. Your growth as an individual and your ability to achieve your professional goals are tied together, so constantly learning, adapting, and improving is the way to succeed.