Most jobs require some sort of technical skill, whether it’s writing code for a new program or diagnosing a complex medical problem. However, technical skills are only one part of the equation that leads to career success. It’s also necessary to possess soft skills. These are personal attributes, characteristics and abilities that allow workers to interact well with others and get projects done. If you’re considering earning a Bachelor of Science in Computer Programming, you may want to work on fine-tuning the following soft skills.
During the course of a typical day, a computer programmer might attend a department meeting, touch base with a client and speak with co-workers about the specs of a new project. Strong oral and written communication skills are essential. You’ll need to adjust your language choice and style of speaking when interacting with different types of people. For example, you’ll want to come across as friendly and approachable, yet knowledgeable and authoritative when speaking with clients. When speaking to non-IT people at work, you’ll need to discuss your projects in non-technical terms they can understand. And when interacting with fellow programmers and developers, you’ll want to come across as helpful and accessible. Remember that good communication also includes active listening.
Computer programmers often spend long hours working alone, but they must also sometimes work in teams. Those teams might include people of diverse backgrounds, including other programmers and non-IT co-workers. It’s entirely possible that you’ll work on a team with people who have difficult personalities or conflicting points of view. Remember that the ultimate goal is to produce a high-quality product for the company or client. Listen to differing points of view and give them honest consideration, rather than automatically dismissing them. Part of what makes a team strong is diverse perspectives and complementary skillsets.
In computer programming, the very nature of the job demands creative problem-solvers. You’ll need to be a problem-solver on two main levels. First, take a look at the big picture. What is this particular product trying to do? How will it help the company or client? How can you make it better, such as by enhancing the efficacy of its processes? And secondly, take a look at all those little details that must work together to create that big picture. Which line of code isn’t working? How does a particular software tool need to be modified to support the end goal?
No human being is perfect. At some point during your career, you will make mistakes. It’s how you bounce back from those mistakes that matters. When the time comes, you’ll need to acknowledge your mistake, accept responsibility for it and figure out how to fix it. The good news is that you and your whole team can learn from your mistakes and avoid them in the future.
Begin your journey to a rewarding career with a degree from Grand Canyon University, an accredited school serving Christian learners online and on campus. If you aspire to become a computer programmer, you can apply for the Bachelor of Science in Computer Programming degree offered by the College of Science, Engineering and Technology. While sharpening your technical skills, you’ll develop the soft skills that employers value, such as leadership, communication and ethical decision-making.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Grand Canyon University.