Software Developers need other skills too

It is not necessary that Software Developers are trained on technologies alone. The immediate response to that statement would be – Yes. They are trained on Communication Skills also. Agreed. Communication Skills are also equally important for software developers. They need to talk/write properly to Customer teams for project reasons.

Is that enough? NO. Then, what else is needed?

Software Developers need to be taught other skills that will impact their work. Things like Lateral Thinking, MindMap, W5H come to my mind. These tools and techniques are not good for Leaders and Managers alone – even Software Developers can make use of these fantastic concepts. How? Let us see.

Lateral ThinkingEdward de Bono defines Lateral Thinking this way:

Methods of thinking concerned with changing concepts and perception. Lateral thinking is about reasoning that is not immediately obvious and about ideas that may not be obtainable by using only traditional step-by-step logic.

The definition itself has enough clues on where the Software teams can use Lateral Thinking. Some of the deadlocks that are usually met in project execution can be removed if people think a little different. Of course, experience helps the process but it is very important to have a parallel line of thinking in a team.

Mindmap – This is a good way to represent your thinking. They are usually used to generate, visualize, structure, and classify ideas. While Brainstorming, they give a good idea on how it is progressing. This is definitely useful for the Project Manager or an Architect, as it will give him a way to capture all the necessary tasks to take care. An example is the SDLC mindmap that my good friend has come up with.

W5H – Another Management Jargon standing for Who What Where When Why How. As with the others mentioned earlier, these are also very useful for brainstorming discussions within the team. It is good to have these questions in mind when a project review is done (can be on technical grounds or quality purpose or from a domain perspective). If these questions are answered, then there is a good chance that the review has been completed to the maximum extent.

Other than these skills, of course it goes without saying that there must be all the other skills like Team Building that are essential as well. These are usually taken care in all Corporations by the regular Training Departments. Here, I have mainly tried to highlight the not-so-regular skills that will impact the project (team) in a big way.

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One Response to “Software Developers need other skills too”

  1. Prateek Khare Says:

    Very enlightening post. The process of software engineering continues to intrigue me. I have written some, about it, myself: http://prateekkhare.wordpress.com/

    There is a set of rules http://www.acm.org/about/se-code called the ACM/IEEE code of ethics for Software Engineers, which would sharpen the very essence of being a “professional” Software Engineer, hence multiplying the output many folds, bringing into play “MINDMAPPPING”, “LATERAL THINKING” and “WHO WHAT WHERE WHY WHEN HOW “. I precisely remember Mr. Anirban Pal (SLC) telling us once that questions are a student’s best friend and then quoting the WH5, also quoting:
    A- Attitude
    S- Skills
    K – Knowledge, hence “ASK” questions as a diligent learner.

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