Let’s shake off that stereotype!
You don’t get something for nothing. And that’s the origin of a strategy. Because if you and me want to achieve something, we’ll have to steer ourselves in the right direction. Want to be a good coder? Engage in life-long learning, and perhaps even more important: code!
But I believe that being a good programmer, in terms of the quality of the projects that are finished, is not everything. It’s most likely the part you put most energy in, but it’s not everything.
I mean, “we” as developers, are generally speaking not known for excellent communication skills. Isn’t it time to shake off this dusty image?
So now what?
Well, since you don’t get something for nothing, we should invest in strong communication skills. This doesn’t mean that we should talk all the time. But we should engage in trainings, and we should get the chance to meet and talk with clients ourselves, even as technical engineers. I appreciate that a lot, because I’m aware of the impact that it can have on both professional growth and other factors.
Because not only professional growth and your personal image are the things affected by how you present yourself and how you communicate, also the image of the company you’re working for is affected. You represent a company, and by doing this well, you can get interesting contacts in return.
In other words, an excellent coder is not an island. There are interactions with clients, team members, … of which some are pleasant, and others are not, but the better you communicate in each type of situation, the more likely it’ll boost your, your company’s and “the coders” image in a positive way. And that’s what it’s about.
Therefore, I’d like to do an appeal on companies and individual coders, to also invest in other skills than coding. Mind yourself that you don’t develop too much in a one-sided way. Because you know what? Good communication skills happen to be one of the characteristics companies are looking for in a developer. So why not be or work on becoming one of those highly wanted white knights?
A suggestion: 👇 👇 😉 😉
In real life, the communicationSkills.Improve(me) method could look more or less like this:
Be aware of what I know and what I don’t know in a conversation
Explain things briefly or more elaborate, depending on the situation
Put things in perspective
Ask before thinking for one another
Apologize when appropriate
Now some quick tips: Analyse your strength and weaknesses before you decide on your priorities. Take small steps, and remember that you’ll only improve if you really want it.
So, a coder == (nerd || geek) + communication skills 👎?
– No? I don’t think so?!
Then let’s free ourselves from the misperception! 💪 👊
So, Dear coders, I’m not by any means suggesting that every coder has issues regarding communication and that we’re the only ones responsible for the stereotype. People also tend to look at others from their own perspective, and the mind tends to stress whatever fits well in there, good or bad, and even highly questionable assumptions about what was said, done, written,… That’s how misperceptions keep themselves alive.
And to those who don’t code: If you were cynically laughing with the fact that you will probably never find the magical keys to unlock a coder’s mouth & mind: STOP! You did it again. I mean, your mind now probably roars with laughter because of the tricks it is playing on you. But don’t worry, there is hope:
- Don’t get attached to questionable perceptions and stereotypes. I mean, a trick of the mind is not a leg to stand on, right?
- Prepare to be mesmerized by who we really are
- Let us handle the rest
So, to conclude: Dear coder, invest a bit more in communication and non-technical skills, and dear non-coder, get rid of the stereotype and embrace us as we are 😉.
This blog was originally posted here.