Nowadays developers arent just nerdy guys sitting in their basement and talk to nobody except their mothers that bring them food. Developers are the crucial link between a company and the customer. They deliver a valuable outcome for both sides. But to maximize this outcome developers need to communicate. A lot.
Communication is omnipresent and developers do it all the time. And no, i'm not talking about APIs. But fair point!
We communicate with a lot of different people at work. With other developers, with team leaders, managers, our bosses, and so on. And on top of that, we communicate in many different ways. In this article, i want to highlight online communication as this is currently the way most of us are working.
Discord, Slack, Microsoft Teams, etc. In times of a pandemic, we mostly use this kind of tool to communicate with our colleagues at work. This changed the way we communicate. Body language? Gone. Pronunciation? Gone. We only type in a chat. It's a bit like what i'm doing here. Sure we have meetings where we talk with other people but most of the time we use the chat function.
Only having this one medium can be a blocker. It can be frightening. The most crucial thing i noticed and want to emphasize is this:
Don't take it too seriously. If you are like me you communicate a lot with your feelings. In a chat, you can do it with smileys or general emoticons. You will face people that don't use them and you might think:
Uhh, that was harsh.
Why is he/she such in a bad mood?
Is he/she in a rush? I shouldn't disturb him/her anymore.
This is not the case. In like 95 % of those cases it's just them chatting in that way. They don't like to use emoticons. But they aren't necessarily pissed.
Don't let that block you from communicating with those persons!
Do good things and talk about them
This is something i also need to work on and it's very important. In a world where we communicate via applications like Microsoft Teams, we don't have that small talk in the office where we talk about the work we do on a daily basis. We don't talk or talk less about things we improved or where we think we could improve them.
Talking about all things that you do in your work has many benefits. For you and for your colleagues such as:
- Encourage others and motivate them
- Discover new technologies and new ways on how to tackle a specific problem
- Train your communication skillset
- Motivate yourself as your bosses and colleagues will notice it and encourage you
For me and many others, this could be strange in the beginning. I'm more of an introverted person and i don't talk about everything i do. If i do things on my work like refactor code i don't tell people about it because i think it's not a big deal. But that's not true. If you talk about stuff like that you encourage other people to do the same! Maybe others think about your changes and why you made those changes. Maybe they take those code examples to improve their own coding style to adapt to that. Who knows. But you gave them the choice.
Unbelievable things can happen if you communicate enough. You could suggest a feature that you are missing in the application. And one week later you work on a new feature, maybe with new and cool technologies to implement them.
Talk about your work. Talk about improvements. Talk about your failures. Give your colleagues the possibility to learn from and with you!
Soft Skills > Hard Skills
Communication is something that is called a "Soft Skill". Know your programming languages, algorithms, etc. are hard skills. Many times people overvalue hard skills and undervalue soft skills.
Communication skills are the #1 most wanted skill companies are looking for. These times are perfect to train those skills, especially as an introverted person. You are safe at home behind your screen and don't have to expose yourself and your body to a strange environment. Perfect conditions for you to train your communication skillset!
Communication is key. In a world like ours, online communication is our daily bread. It changed our whole life and many of us have to adapt to that. Not all of us likes only online communication but we can do the best out of it and use it to improve our communication skillset. Do good things and talk about them!
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I love to improve myself every single day even if it's just a tiny bit!
Stay safe and healthy guys!
And as always: develop yourself!