Soft Skills for IT

09.05.2012

I recently saw this question posted on LinkedIn and it got me thinking...

Question from:
Roger J.
VP, IT

Is the increased focus on soft skills within IT providing a climate where people no longer are good at hard skills?

Compared to old developers, new developers do not make the effort to learn to become better developers and think that good is good enough. Code quality and pride in work seems to be rapidly decreasing. Developers no longer code outside of work nor do they buy books to help them get smarter. They aren't even reading articles online while at work. 

How many professionals are hiding behind the gift of gab and if the focus wasn't on soft skills would be immediately out of a job?

My answer:
(From the perspective of a provider of 'soft skills' for IT professionals) 

This is a great question and one that really got me thinking. Is there really an emphasis on soft skills for developers at present? Most of the groups of IT professionals that we work with include PMs, Analysts, PMO and a few testers but rarely any actual developers. 

I would also add, that in my experience developers tend to be smart people and if they want to increase their interpersonal skills they usually pick up relevant ideas and useful skills very quickly. One of the biggest issues is that colleagues elsewhere in a business tend to disregard the opinions of technical professionals, assuming that they only know about technology. 

The net result is often not that developers can't relate to non-technical colleagues but that they are unwilling to because of the way they are treated - as 'geeks' and freaks who have no interpersonal skills. 

The soft skills needed to bridge the gap between business and technology have to be built from both sides of the divide.
 



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