You might think that when you change career and learn a new skill that you’re starting from scratch. That’s not the case at all. Every one of us has a unique life experience, work experience and education that we bring to every new endeavour. And you’d be surprised at what you’ve learned over the years and what they could be applied to.
While coding and software development would be classified as “hard skills,” there’s a rising awareness and appreciation of soft skills – harder to define and train for, but just as important and much more transferable.
Here’s a list of soft skills you might have that are handy and – in some cases – vital for a career in coding…
The best problem-solvers have a combination of a natural aptitude (a mix of lateral thinking and a yen for learning), patience and open-mindedness. Software development requires harnessing and manipulating different languages (often working in tandem), working with near-infinite variables and a lot of trial and error. In fact, some say that coding is mostly problem-solving.
You might not know the coding languages yet, but if you’re resourceful, composed and have a knack for finding solutions, it will stand to you.
Chances are, your future coding job will involve working within a team and communicating across different departments. Software development often involves a dizzying amount of jargon, as you’re discussing HTML, CSS, object oriented languages, front end and back end, and more. These words will be easily understood by immediate colleagues, while also being (literally) a foreign language to some others. So being able to bridge the gap and explain oneself across departments will be a handy skill to master.
Even when communicating among other developers, it helps to be understood: Everyone has a vision for how a project should end up (whether it’s a web page, app, data system or something else), and the clearer it’s communicated, the smoother the project will run.
Another way to describe this is “efficient speculation”. Many software problems, big and small, will have a range of potential solutions. A good critical thinker will be able to spot the advantages and disadvantages of these solutions without having to develop them.
Effective critical thinking is the swift and (reasonably) accurate analysis of a situation.
This soft skill gets mentioned a lot in the tech world, but it’s especially relevant for those who are entering it for the first time. The better you are at adapting to different kinds of work, new environments and cultures, the faster you’ll flourish in your new software development role.
This skill will benefit you throughout your coding career too – as projects don’t always go according to plan, new duties and requests arrive and technology continues to evolve at a dizzying rate.
A good attitude could be described in numerous ways; perspective, positivity, willingness to work or even general good humour in the workplace.
It’s something that can’t be formally trained, but that can be adapted by employees. And it’s a big factor in career success – whether you get promoted, what team or projects you work on and even if you land the job.
This quality is easy for employers to spot, either in the recruitment process or during the job.
We’re not denying that it takes hard work to complete a bootcamp and become a coder. But it’s encouraging to know that you might already have some of the industry’s most essential skills.
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