10 Soft Skills You Need to Succeed in the Tech Industry
With advances in technology, the tech industry has seen much growth over the years. This includes the rise of many tech companies, whether it be in payments, real estate, ride-hailing or e-commerce. If you are looking for a career in tech, you might be wondering just how you can break into this industry.
As a tech company ourselves, we have learned that there are certain skills that are vital to success in this industry. While hard tech skills are of course important, we believe that soft skills are just as highly valued. Based on our own experiences, we have compiled 10 soft skills that we think are absolutely essential to survive in tech.
As cliché as it sounds, change is the only constant and will continue to be. The COVID-19 pandemic is a prime example of that. What that means is that the world is constantly changing, and we need to be able to adapt to new environments. Especially the tech field — it changes fast, and the software or technologies that you are using today could very well be obsolete tomorrow. For instance, people used to carry huge phones with tiny screens, long antenna and big dial pads (think the iconic Nokia phones) in the late 1990s. However, fast forward to the present, smartphone technology has advanced tremendously. Instead of bulky phones, we now have smartphones that are touch screen-enabled, have a modern web browser, apps and top-of-class cameras!
In short, you need to be agile and be able to adapt to anything and everything — just like a chameleon. If you are a leopard that doesn’t change its spots, then a career in the tech domain might not be for you.
As with a lot of things, there are bound to be times when things don’t always go your way. In tech companies, this could mean bugs in your company’s mobile app, an error in a piece of code, or issues in your company website. It is frustrating, but this is the nature of tech. The tech industry is full of complex challenges that need creative solutions. Individuals who are able to think creatively yet logically are highly sought after by employers. Being resourceful is also very useful in knowing when and where to search for help and answers as reinventing the wheels is often not the best solution. If you can learn to think outside the box, you should be fine.
“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” Very often at the workplace, you will need to work with colleagues from various backgrounds and with different personalities. Also, in tech companies, the tech team cannot operate in silos. They need other departments in order for the product to be successful. For instance, we need the Marketing team to generate awareness of the product. On the other hand, we need departments like the Business Development team to help us find new customers. Thus, if you are looking for long-term success, learning how to work with others is a must.
The world in which we live in today is fast-paced, and we are often overwhelmed with many things trying to get our attention at once. Trying to multitask too much can in turn increase the likelihood of making mistakes in your work. This can portray you as a sloppy and messy individual who can’t be trusted to deliver quality when needed. In any case, it pays to be extra meticulous — you don’t want your boss catching you making errors that could have been easily avoided!
If you want to enter tech, you should be curious by nature. Having curiosity as an inherent trait means you are always on the lookout for better solutions, gaining new knowledge and being open and interested in doing things that you have never done before or which could be outside of your comfort zone. Bottom line — experiment, and stay curious.
6. Time Management
Working on multiple projects is much of a norm in workplaces and is crucial to ensuring that you meet deadlines on time. This goes for the tech industry as well and prioritizing your tasks is often key to this. Very often, employees won’t be working on just one feature or task — rather, it is fairly common for staff to receive work for multiple features or tasks — even across different projects.
With so many tasks, it can be difficult to attend to all of them at once, and this is where prioritizing them comes in — which luckily can be learned. Some things to consider when prioritizing tasks in order of high to low priority include when each task needs to be completed by and how long it might take. Keeping a to-do list or incorporating scheduling are also some other ways for effective time management. So if you have a bug that is greatly hindering your customer’s experience versus a new product feature that your team is working on, you probably know which you should be addressing first.
A common misconception is that creativity is only for those in the creative industries such as graphic design and marketing. But in reality, this is a useful trait to have — even in the tech industry. Seemingly “technical” things such as developing a recommendation algorithm or personalized recommendations actually requires some form of creative thinking. Very often, tech professionals have to come up with creative ways of achieving their intended goals — in this case, how to tweak the algorithm to make it as accurate as possible. So, applying creativity in the tech industry can be an art too.
8. Communication Skills
Besides having the technical know-how, professionals in the tech industry also need to possess excellent communication skills. Most people would need some form of communication skill as they are usually interacting with a variety of people on a daily basis, whether that be your co-workers, clients, vendors, managers, bosses or customers. Even if your job scope might not have much people-to-people interaction (such as programming), you most probably would still need to report to your boss on the progress of your work. Imagine coming up with a brilliant idea or solution to a problem but you are unable to articulate it clearly to your bosses and co-workers! Wouldn’t that be a pity?
9. Work Independently
Although we said earlier that you need to work well in a team, you also need to be able to work independently. That means being able to complete assigned tasks with little to no supervision, although you might receive some form of direction from your boss or direct manager. For instance, if your job scope involves a lot of coding, you probably work alone most of the time. However, because you work independently, you also have a sense of responsibility and ownership of the results of your work. In today’s tech world, part of working independently also entails tech professionals forming their own judgement, analysing and coming to a decision on their own.
Lastly, we strongly believe that to build a good product, you must have passion. Why? Because there are bound to be times when we stumble and fail. But that doesn’t matter as the product will improve with every iteration. More importantly, passion gives us the much-needed motivation in our work, and it serves as a reminder of why we are doing what we are doing in the first place. It’s what gets us up in the morning and fuels us throughout the day, knowing that we are working on something exciting. As Steve Jobs puts it, “The only way to do great work is to love what you do.”
What other skills do you think are a must-have in tech? Share them with us in the comments below!
Also, having these skills are important but showcasing them in the right platform is also as important. Check out Haloed, a free video-based professional networking and recruiting platform where you can build your career profile highlighting your top skills. Haloed helps you to find and connect with other professionals easily as well as apply for jobs and participate in first round video interviews with your application. Learn more how you can boost your career with Haloed at www.haloedapp.com.
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P.S. Truffle Technologies is continuously looking for fresh talent and visionaries; extraordinary people who want to be part of our mission and are ready to catapult us to the next level. Sounds exciting?
If you think you have what it takes, apply now at: https://truffletech.com/careers
“Opportunities are like sunrises. If you wait too long, you miss them.” — William Arthur Ward