Why Communication Skills are Important as a Software Engineer

Why Communication Skills are Important as a Software Engineer

August 21, 2019 21 By Bernardo Ryan


A lot of our jobs as software engineers
are done on a computer passing lines of code and bytes to more lines of code
and bytes. But a very real part of software engineering is that it’s people – human
beings – who write the code. It’s people who decide what gets built, how it gets
built, and when and where it gets into the hands of people who’ll use it. Despite
the stereotype of software engineers coding alone in their room, I found that
a lot, if not most of software engineering involves working with other
people to figure out what to build and what the right solution is. The human
aspect of the job is just as important as the technical aspect. So it goes without
saying that learning how to communicate effectively is an extremely important
part of the job. The best software engineers I’ve worked with are the ones
who can express their thoughts just as well as technical concepts clearly to
anyone: technical, non-technical, junior, and senior folks. Software engineering is
a highly skilled job; you’re going to communicate often to lots of different
folks about your thoughts and your work. For instance, you might find yourself
explaining to your coworker how a certain component works because they’re
going to add on to it, or you might be having a conversation with your manager
about your career goals and where you’re at in that journey. You’ll find yourself
negotiating with your designer and product manager on timelines and
estimates, or be announcing big functionality changes to people inside
and outside of the company. As you progress in your career, you’ll probably
find that communication becomes a vital skill in your job. Throughout your career, you’ll learn to hone your skills and learn the nuances of communication. In
this section, we’ll talk about some basic tips on how to start improving your
communication skills, including how to be a great listener, some basic public
speaking skills, and a bit about empathy too. Let’s get started