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The soft skills in software


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You’re probably here at this conference because you want to become a better developer, but I’m here to tell you that that you’re focusing on the wrong area. The difference between a good programmer and a great one isn’t the ability to write a kernel module in LISP, but the ability to communicate with your colleagues and customers. Skills sharing, collaboration and functional communication are critical for the success of any software project, and yet usually overlooked and undervalued.

Developers who strive to be great, cannot afford to neglect their professional development in these areas. You don’t to reinforce the dreadful stereotype of the shy, stuttering, geek, do you?

This interactive presentation will examine a few of the critical “soft skills” that are needed to thrive in corporate team environments. For example, how you can:

* write effectively and speak clearly; i.e. get to the point,
* move beyond your technical silo to work effectively as a team,
* build trust and rapport with your project customers,
* mentor, motivate and encourage others,
* mediate or negotiate between competing points of view,
* lead others and manage vendors

Published in: Business
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The soft skills in software

  1. 1. @eleybourn @eleybourn The Soft Skills in Software Evan Leybourn Agile India 2016 A workshop for those working in complex environments
  2. 2. @DipeshPala @eleybourn Communication is concise
  3. 3. @DipeshPala @eleybourn Can you answer a question in 7 words? EXER C ISE
  4. 4. @DipeshPala @eleybourn Communication is non-verbal
  5. 5. @DipeshPala @eleybourn
  6. 6. @DipeshPala @eleybourn
  7. 7. @DipeshPala @eleybourn Communication is surprising
  8. 8. @DipeshPala @eleybourn Presentation karaoke EXER C ISE
  9. 9. @DipeshPala @eleybourn Communication is written
  10. 10. @DipeshPala @eleybourn A very large Oak was uprooted by the wind and thrown across a stream. It fell among some Reeds, which it thus addressed: "I wonder how you, who are so light and weak, are not entirely crushed by these strong winds." They replied, "You fight and contend with the wind, and consequently you are destroyed; while we on the contrary bend before the least breath of air, and therefore remain unbroken, and escape.“ Stoop to conquer. EXER C ISE
  11. 11. @DipeshPala @eleybourn Oak Press was once a synonym for hard-hitting journalism. With bureaus on four continents, they had the morning broadsheet market cornered for over three decades. But, after years of declining sales and bad management, Oak Press was placed into receivership. Reed Media, an internet start-up, took the opportunity to acquire some of Oak Press's assets at a bargain price. A representative from Oak Press met with the CEO of Reed Media over coffee, hoping to educate the young executive as to the struggles they'd face in the modern media market. It was the Oak Press rep, however, who was in for a surprise. Upon hearing about Reed Media's two years of solid growth and expansion, the Oak rep asked, “Readership is down, revenues are down... so how is it that you, the little guy, are still in the game?” “You picked the wrong battle,” the Reed Media CEO replied. “You fought against inevitable change, and it broke you. We, on the other hand, listened to our customers and adapted to suit their needs. We bent under pressure, and remained unbroken.” The Oak Press rep learned his lesson too late: sometimes, one must stoop to conquer. EXER C ISE
  12. 12. @DipeshPala @eleybourn Collaboration is cultural
  13. 13. @DipeshPala @eleybourn Collaboration :: Hofstede’s Power Distance Index 11 13 35 36 40 77 81 93 94 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100
  14. 14. @DipeshPala @eleybourn What direction does time move? QU ESTION
  15. 15. @DipeshPala @eleybourn Collaboration needs trust
  16. 16. @DipeshPala @eleybourn Collaboration needs skills
  17. 17. @DipeshPala @eleybourn Can you get everyone to the other side of the room (safely)? EXER C ISE
  18. 18. @eleybourn
  19. 19. @DipeshPala @eleybourn Co-operation is negotiating
  20. 20. @DipeshPala @eleybourn Co-operation needs outcomes
  21. 21. @DipeshPala @eleybourn Split 1000₹ between you? 1. Competition, 2. Collaboration, 3. Avoidance, 4. Compromise, and 5. Accommodation Thomas-Kilmann Questionnaire: Thomas, Kenneth W., and Ralph H. Kilmann. Thomas-Kilmann Conflict Mode Instrument. Xicom, Incorporated, 1974. EXER C ISE
  22. 22. @eleybourn Evan Leybourn IBM GBS @eleybourn