10 Soft Skills to Look For When Hiring Software Developers

Categories: IT Recruitment Advice
soft skills for software developers

As you streamline and expand business operations, you may need a software developer to design and develop software effectively.

Like any other position, you must hire software developers who possess technical know-how as a bare minimum. You generally want someone with an educational or working background in computer science, software engineering, or related disciplines. They should also have experience working with development tools, like tech stacks, to accomplish their tasks efficiently.

However, the right candidate should also have well-developed soft skills alongside technical knowledge. After all, what good is a programmer without strict attention to detail or good problem-solving skills? In this article, we’ll discuss essential soft skills for software developers to help you hire the right one.

What are Soft Skills, and Why are They Important?

Soft skills describe people’s work ethic and how they interact with others. Businesses consider individuals with positive soft skills critical assets because they perform effectively, communicate clearly, and build long-lasting relationships with colleagues and clients. In turn, they foster a healthy work environment that improves productivity, work quality, and innovation for their organization’s benefit.

Like in other job roles, soft skills are just as valued as hard skills in software development. This industry requires effective collaboration, adaptability to new practices, and efficient problem-solving skills to ensure that software systems work according to stakeholders’ requirements. 

10 Must-Have Soft Skills for Software Developers

Technical prowess goes hand in hand with soft skills to help your business flourish. Here are a few personal skills for software developers to look for when hiring.

1. Adaptability

Challenges in the IT industry require software development to evolve rapidly with constant advancements. As such, devs must easily adjust and incorporate new strategies, tools, and systems into their processes. Pick a highly flexible software developer eager to upskill and learn new approaches to boost efficiency and work quality.

2. Approachability

Creating software requires input from stakeholders, be it your teammates or clients. However, providing feedback is only possible if developers openly accept constructive criticism and do not go as far as becoming hostile whenever they receive critical comments on their work. 

For this reason, look for an approachable developer with good listening and collaborative skills. They can drive positive results and ensure their output meets stakeholders’ expectations.

3. Attention to detail

Working with software and code requires meticulous attention to detail, as errors can lead to massive losses and delays. A developer with this trait can reduce valuable time spent during checks and quality assessments, boosting efficiency while saving company resources.

4. Communication

The ability to communicate well is always a valuable skill for any employee. Complex projects require large teams, so developers must be able to express concerns, feedback, and expectations with their colleagues. They also should be able to translate technical jargon into layman’s terms that other team members, such as those in sales and other client-facing departments, can easily understand.

Know if your software developer applicants have good communication skills through personal or virtual interviews. Choose a candidate who speaks clearly and confidently, even under pressure.

5. Cooperativeness

As mentioned, software development typically requires a strong team effort. However, some people aren’t too keen on working with others or are unnecessarily picky with team members. Cooperation is critical for success, so choose candidates open to working with others even if they don’t jive too well. After all, innovation and creativity can emerge from differences and disagreements.

6. Empathy

Software developers primarily work with technology and machines, so you might think emotional intelligence and empathy are unnecessary in the IT industry—but that is not the case. The software they will develop will touch the lives of companies, governments, and end-users. Thus, software developers must empathize with their stakeholders to understand their needs and behaviors.

Navigating this high-stakes environment demands high emotional intelligence and empathy, which you must require from your software development candidates.

7. Patience

Software development can be tedious, with some developers needing months or even years to finish projects. As such, developers must be patient during the process, even when faced with back-to-back challenges.

They should know how to maintain a clear mind and calm demeanor to avoid making mistakes out of frustration or exhaustion, especially since part of their work includes spotting and fixing logic errors.

8. Problem-solving

Much like other tasks or projects, software development can be riddled with problems. Routine processes like debugging and optimization highlight issues within codes and software systems, which can be frustrating to solve if they’re too complicated.

Therefore, your chosen candidates must be creative and critical thinkers who can challenge themselves to innovate and solve complex problems efficiently without sacrificing quality.

9. Time management

Most organizations run on a timetable. While some development projects take a long time, a few will be time-sensitive. Whether on a deadline or not, the ideal candidate should know how to deliver timely results to their stakeholders. They should also communicate changes and deadline extensions when necessary.

10. Leadership

Software developers looking to advance their careers need to display leadership qualities. They must communicate effectively, inspire their team, and guide them toward a common goal. They should also take the initiative—a good developer can take charge when needed and lead their peers to success. Ultimately, excellent leadership skills entail everything on this list and more.

Taking Soft Skills into Consideration

Hiring a software developer can help your organization expand its IT capabilities. The right candidate can catapult your business to greater heights. Conversely, an inadequately skilled one may drag it down. 

So, ensure your hiring team evaluates candidates’ technical and soft skills. Hiring the right people will help your organization deliver efficient, high-quality results while maintaining good relationships with clients and colleagues.We can help you out in this regard. Manila Recruitment is a leading recruitment firm in the Philippines that can assist your search for expert remote and offshore IT workers. Contact us to learn more!

Arvin Ramos