The Most Important Developer Skill Isn’t Coding
When developers think about their skill set, the first thing that comes to mind is coding. But the most important developer skill isn’t coding.
Then people tend to think that the most important developer skill is problem solving. That’s not it either.
In fact, the most important skill for any developer is not a technical skill at all.
It’s honest communication.
Being able to effectively communicate with other members of a team, with stakeholders, and with customers is essential for any developer.
If you can’t communicate your ideas clearly and effectively, you’ll have a lot of trouble succeeding as a developer.
The key work here is ‘honest’. There are a lot of developers out there who can communicate effectively, but they’re not always honest. They might embellish their work or make promises they can’t keep.
Developers who are good at honest communication are able to set realistic expectations and keep everyone on the same page. They’re also more likely to build trust with their team and stakeholders.
Honest communication can really help out the other members of your team, especially your most senior/lead developers and project managers. No one can manage a project without receiving honest, truthful information from the people doing the work.
If you’re struggling to complete a task, or you’ve hit a blocker, be sure to communicate that to your team. They can help you out and may have suggestions for how to solve the problem. It doesn’t matter how a coder you are, if you don’t communicate truthfully about your progress, things will quickly go downhill.
As a lead developer myself, I don’t mind if someone is struggling technically or they’re got troubles preventing them from moving on with the project. If they communicate that to me, I can help. If they try to hide it, that will make my job so much harder.
The same goes for project managers. If they’re not getting the information they need from the developers, they can’t do their job.
Developers who can communicate well are essential to any team. So if you’re looking to improve your skills as a developer, be sure to focus on your communication abilities and being honest with your team.