So you are a hotshot with C# or .Net. You can code your way out of any problem and were building websites at the age of 10. Now that you are ready for the workforce, is that all you are going to need to get by in today’s IT world?
Unfortunately, the day of the anti-social basement hackers is long gone. Today’s developers and their managers need more than just crazy coding skills to get by. Here are some of the IT soft skills that will draw the attention of your managers and their managers to help you move up the food chain.
The world we live in is full of ways to communicate with other people. This means that one of the main jobs you will have in the IT world is being able to communicate with other people. While it is often the reflex of the tech savvy individual to fire off a text or an email, you are going to need to recognize when that is not enough. Picking up a telephone or stopping by a customer’s office to discuss an issue are all very important ways to communicate.
Part of communication is being able to break the technical down into something that non-technical folks can understand. A lot of your customers are going to be business people. They don’t understand the ins and outs of the latest operating system. That is why they hired you. Being able to get your point across without the technobabble is critical.
Playing the Room
You may have had to take one speech class in school. At the end of it, you may have pat yourself on the back and breathed a heavy sigh of relief. Never going to have to do that again, right?
In today’s IT world, it is critical that you are able to present your projects. Managers, customers, coworkers and even other departments might need to learn from you. This means being able to present your work in a clear and concise manner to them.
A lot of what is done today is not done in-house. Need a particularly strange piece of hardware? Odds are someone out there is going to make it. You need to not only be able to find them, but have the ability to negotiate with them on a price. Having the ability to negotiate a fair contract with terms and conditions that benefit both parties is a must.
There is an art to dealing with vendors and sales folk that might not be apparent at first. Sales and buying are all about developing relationships. If you are particularly good at developing those relationships with your vendors, you will make yourself an indispensable asset to your team.
Brush Up on Those IT Soft Skills
Many of us at one time or another may think that soft skills are overrated. We believe that our technical skills should be all that matters. But no one works alone. Take some time to not only brush up on the latest release of Linux but also on learning those soft skills. They will let you stand out from the crowd and get you noticed sooner as a multifaceted contributor to your team.
Check out how other experienced professionals all agree that soft skills are not just a good idea, but are critical to getting the job done and advancing our careers:
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