On the Importance of Empathy as a Software Engineer

On the Importance of Empathy as a Software Engineer

August 19, 2019 20 By Bernardo Ryan


One of my favorite parts of being a
software engineer is that you get to work with a wide array of folks in
different roles. You’ll be working with product managers, designers, data
scientists, managers, and other software engineers. And not just that, but each of
them will be individually unique. Some might have worked in tech for a long
time. Others might have grown up in a different country. With this incredible
mix of folks you’ll get to work with, one of the key elements to communicating
with each of them effectively is empathy. Being able to put yourself in someone’s
shoes is invaluable. You’ll start to understand who they are and why they are
the way they are. And when it comes to communication, by trying to understand
their background, their personality, and how they might think or feel, you’re more
likely to effectively communicate with them. For example, if you think about your
best friend, it’s easy to talk to them about anything because you just know
each other, right? You understand what makes them happy, what makes them sad,
what they’re excited about, and what they don’t like – it’s kind of like that. Doing
that with people you’re going to work with is going to help you communicate
your ideas and thoughts better, as you’ll be able to understand the others’ ideas
and thoughts better too. In addition to the benefits of empathy and
communication, you’ll be able to do much more as an empathetic software engineer. You’ll be able to build better things for the people you’re building for, and
you’ll be able to understand code written before your time. Now how do you
get better at empathy, you may ask? Well, I think it’s a combination of being a
great listener and establishing great relationships with your manager and
teammates. We’re going to talk about how to foster relationships with the people
you work with in the next part of this series, so stay tuned. If you have any
additional tips you have about communication, please leave them in the
comments down below! And don’t forget to subscribe to my channel for more
episodes in the series, as well as other videos related to tech. All right, see you
next time!