What we know about soft rocks in IT
The IT industry is probably one of the few areas in which the quality of the product depends on the combination of technical skills and soft skills of the team. With technical competence increasingly less understood, it affects the fault tolerance and performance of the system. But with soft skills, not everything is so simple. We know that they are divided into personal and interpersonal qualities. How a person interacts with his work environment depends on the first. The second is related to the effectiveness of communications, the exchange of ideas and the search for solutions within the team.
Despite the increased interest in soft skills in relation to IT, there are not many full-fledged and high-quality scientific studies. Thus, in 2019, the authors of the scientific review managed to highlight 44 high-level works, which considered 30 types of soft skills. It found that 91% of studies mention communication, while teamwork is a close second (68%). Today we will look at a number of studies on the role of soft skills in the IT industry.
An interesting study was conducted as part of a survey of 101 Q&A representatives. The respondents were divided as follows: 37% were in the position of middle, 36% junior and 15% senior, and the rest held positions from intern to manager. The results showed that the most important skills were curiosity, attentiveness and self-confidence. Among the least important: leadership qualities, autonomy and perfectionism.
There is also work devoted to the perception of their soft skills by engineering students. She showed that such perception is influenced by external factors. The latter included social level (living in a city or rural area), faculty, as well as the year of study at a university. There is no difference between the level of soft skills between men and women. This helps to close the gender wage gap in those specialties where soft skills are an important or dominant factor.
There are also studies that allow us to answer the question of how soft skills develop at home during a pandemic. In one such paper, 45 professional developers were interviewed, 66.7% of whom had been in the industry for more than four years. The results showed that self-learning, adaptability, curiosity and task management are most often used in the home environment. At the same time, business surveys indicate that adaptability and task management are the most important skills for employees who work from home.
Project managers in IT were not left without attention either. In one of the works it was shown that to a greater extent they need the ability to listen, honesty and openness, as well as the ability to work in a team. For developers, everything is similar, except that they are more interested in time management skills than listening skills.
What conclusion can be drawn? It is important to understand that an introvert can be very productive, and a person with a high level of critical thinking is sometimes not ready to listen to another point of view. What does it say? There is no sense in the absolute measurement of soft skills of an employee/applicant. Look for a specialist with such a set of soft skills that you need within your team. You can read more about soft rocks here.
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