Whether it’s about viewing pull requests, communicating with other developers, stakeholders, non-technical people, or some other form of feedback, how you do it matters a lot and becomes a primary part of a software developer’s career.
Communication affects people, helps you to work well with your team, and increases effectiveness, which is why it is so important to communicate correctly.
By saying “software development”, we mean a technical field. Most often, developers pay maximum attention to self-development and improving their technical skills, and the development of other skills remains in the background. However, communication within the team must be done properly. Therefore, communication skills are equally important. Lack of ability to interact with people in software teams most times is the reason for failures.
Many believe that nature has endowed software developers with excellent communication skills. But in fact, most software developers have underdeveloped and poor speaking skills. The ability to communicate in a team and with clients is used to solve daily problems. Communication plays a key role; therefore, you have to work on improving it.
In this article, we will talk about how to communicate with the software developer’s team in a way that develops both spoken and written communication skills. Learn different approaches and use them to improve your speaking abilities.
Respecting and Hearing the Other
To become an excellent communicator, listening is paramount. If your communication is great, then cooperation will reach a point of mutual understanding, which means project implementation.
Software development is a highly technical job. Reaching a mutual understanding and respect is even more vital here. If, while completing a task, you have misunderstandings in the team or differences in understanding how to do the task, that can lead to results such as disappointment from unmet expectations, extended project timelines, bugs, and other different errors.
It is common for a person to interrupt and not allow the interlocutor to express their point of view on a certain action or task. We stop listening to the interlocutor when we believe that our actions and ideas will be better, and we think of an opposing point. This develops poor conversation habits in a person.
The first step to improving your communication is to cultivate the habit of not interrupting others when they tell you about their ideas. Listen carefully to the other person’s thoughts. Don’t interrupt your teammate, but instead give him time to say everything he wants. Only then can you add to the conversation. By adding to the conversation, show the other person that you understand what he was talking about. To do this, quickly rephrase him and then add your own thought.
Watch your body language. When the other person talks to you, you can show with your body your level of involvement and interest in the topic of discussion; or, vice versa, that you are not interested and you do not respect the speaker. Instead, use comfortable eye contact, focus on the conversation, sit or stand with a good posture, or sometimes nod your head in agreement.
Listening is key to well-behaved communication. This is the first skill you should practice as a software developer.
Show Your Work to Team Members
As a software developer, you must learn to be good at communicating your ideas and working with the team members. This is the key to good cooperation. The ability to express yourself clearly and simply during conversation and discussion of the project and future tasks is what you must learn.
Be able to decide how to speak with your partner fitly depending on context. More often than not, your communication with other developers takes on a very technical tone. As for a non-technical audience, here you should simplify the terminology and express your ideas in a way that even a 10-year-old child understands you. In such a conversation, technical jargon and complex vocabulary should not be used.
To learn spoken communication skills, use one of the best ways: present your work to your team members, friends, and other people. There are different opportunities available in your workplace. Volunteer to be the presenter at code reviews, team demos, or stand-ups, and practice your skills.
After finishing your presented your work, ask for feedback. Let a few people who listened to you give their opinion. This will help you improve your presentations in the future. Over time, you can better express your ideas and easily talk about what you’re doing in the team. This method will also help you cope with anxiety and stress before speaking at conferences in the software community in the future.
Speak at Conferences and Meetups
Fear of public speaking is another problem faced by software developers. To improve your public speaking skills, speak at software conferences and meetups.
Find out about upcoming meetups and conferences, apply for participation, and tell everyone about a topic or project you are currently working on. This is where the learning happens. To practice, write the script for your talk and repeat it several times to deliver a great talk.
To make your speech perfect, learn to speak at a volume everyone can hear you, make good eye contact with the audience, use confident body language, choose a comfortable posture, and speak clearly. These skills will improve your general presentation power.
Your spoken communication skills would be greatly improved if you regularly practice public speaking.
It is also important for you to develop written communication skills. You can do this by constantly writing some documentation. As a software developer, you constantly encounter some required documentation processing as a team, so this should be familiar to you.
Documentation written by software developers includes user instructions, code review notes, deploy notes, API documentation, project or product proposals, incident reports, and many others. For the audience to understand what you have written, you need to write this with clear communication.
The best way to improve this skill is to write such documentation as often as possible. Volunteer and write some documentation at every opportunity. Always ask for feedback from your team and the audience. This will help you fix mistakes and make such a task even better next time.
The documentation that you write can be divided into non-technical and technical. When developing software developer communication, you should consider both options.
Start a Blog
Having your own blog is also a great opportunity and method to practice your written communication skills. You will have a public audience. More often than not, these people are not professional peers, so you will need to learn to communicate simply with clarity.
You can write about any software topic and publish blog posts consistently. After all, writing consistently is the best form of practice. Over time, your writing skills will become greatly improved.
On a blog, you will receive feedback from your audience. This is also important because you will understand how simply and easily you communicate; or, vice versa, that the audience does not understand you.
Practice will give you confidence in expressing and structuring thoughts. This is exactly the skill all software developers require as they work in teams.
The ability to communicate concisely and clearly is fundamental for software developers and achieving a successful career. You do not work in isolation and regularly communicate and are involved in cooperation with other developers, users, stakeholders, and others.
Do not look at only your technical skills. Improving communication skills is also very significant for the development of personal and work skills.