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Soft Skills Development
Effective Communication Skills for Software Engineers
Shahriar Hyder
8th July, 2020 (Covid-19 Affected)
Technical Project Manager
@Cefalo Bangladesh Ltd.
SOME SOFT SKILLS FOR
ENGINEERS
 Communication
 Honesty / Transparency
 Teamwork
 Approachability and Helpfulness
 Patience
 Curiosity
 Problem solving
 Open-mindedness and adaptability
 Accountability/Ownership
 Humility, and humbleness
 Creativity
 Time management
 Leadership
 Critical thinking
COMMUNICATION (WITHOUT JARGON)
Your interactions
with others matter
more than the code
you write.
You end up making a bigger impact with
people interaction than coding.
EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION
SKILLS
1. Verbal
2. No verbal
3. Listening
4. Written
5. Etiquette
(Apologize
unapologetically!)
HOW TO BE A GREAT LISTENER
1. Big part of communicating is understanding. – trick is
playback/repeat-back in own words. Also gives the other
person be able to rectify you so that it’s important for them to
fine tune theirs too.
2. Don’t interrupt and allow the other person to finish their
thought.
3. Use positive body language – others feel you’re engaged
4. Empathy – understand the other individual in different
discipline from software engineering. Put yourself in another
person’s shoes.
ELEMENTS OF EFFECTIVE
COMMUNICATION SKILLS…
 Learn to Listen - Listen Intently
 Get a sense of what they are feeling
 Get a sense of what they are trying to express
 Using intuition - Read between the lines
 Slow down your speaking speed
 Think and speak
 Always learn and speak in sentences not in words
ELEMENTS OF EFFECTIVE
COMMUNICATION SKILLS…
Respond with phrases that relate to what that person is
talking about. Phrases like “That’s interesting because …”
or “I can relate because …” or “That’s true because …”
It shows you’re interested and engaged. This will give
the speaker energy. It shows you can relate and
validate what they are trying to say. We all want to be
heard and to be connected. Getting validation is basic
human psychology.
ELEMENTS OF EFFECTIVE
COMMUNICATION SKILLS…
 Master the art of timing
 Start and end with key points
 Improve writing skills / Write better emails
 Watch your tone
 Code Review feedback language and tone
 Smile and have a positive attitude
 Don’t use too many fillers and stop words like umm,
hummm, aaaah
 Don’t Yawn
ELEMENTS OF EFFECTIVE
COMMUNICATION SKILLS…
 When you need some time say ‘good question’ and think
 Take notes during any discussion. Key takeaways need to go as
TODO items
 Gmail Filter/Label to the rescue of information overload
 Admit responsibility/Take ownership
 Discussion > Chat, Chat > Email, Email > Specifications
 Check spell checkers, google for synonyms, pronunciations
 The magic of tools/apps/automation (read TODO and
notifications)
 Get Your Point Across
ELEMENTS OF EFFECTIVE
COMMUNICATION SKILLS…
 Listen to What People Are Not Saying
 Get Your Boss to Agree
 Give Positive Feedback
 Give Negative Feedback Properly
 Questioning Skills
 Develop an open-minded and flexible mentality
 Be ready for different answers - Improve chances of a successful
conversation by expecting negative answers and queries. So, it is
harder for your listeners to catch you unprepared.
BARRIERS TO COMMUNICATION IN
WORKPLACE
 Cultural Barriers: People from different
religions and countries, Languages may
become problem.
 Ineffective Communication: Lack of
information delays performing tasks, Over
communication.
 Emotional Distractions: Plays a big role in
barriers, Avoid things that keeps your mind out
of Focus.
 Personality Barriers: Strange attitude, Easily
getting distracted, Not getting ideas.
1. Make communication a priority. Take classes, read books,
magazine articles or learn from successful communicators
around you. Seek a mentor or coach.
2. Simplify and stay on message. Use simple, straightforward
language. Remember that Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address was
286 words, about two minutes long.
3. Engage your listeners or readers. Draw your listeners and
readers into the conversation. Ask questions and invite opinions.
Solicit their feedback.
4. Take time to respond. After you’ve listened (and understood)
take time to “draft” in your head what you want to say.
5. Make sure you are understood. Don’t blame the other person
for not understanding. Instead, look for ways to clarify or
rephrase what you are trying to say so it can be understood.
Tips for Improving Your
Communication Skills
6. Develop your listening skills, too. The best communicators
are almost always the best listeners. Listen without judgment
and don’t be distracted by thinking about what you want to say
next. Then, respond, not react.
7. Body language is important. Studies show that 65% of all
communication is non-verbal. Watch for visual signs that your
listener understands, agrees or disagrees with your message.
And be aware that your body is sending signals, too.
8. Maintain eye contact. Whether speaking to a crowd or one-on-
one, maintaining eye contact builds credibility and demonstrates
you care about your listeners.
9. Respect your audience. Recognize your message is not just
about you or what you want. You should sincerely care about the
needs and the unique perspectives of those to whom you are
communicating. One of the best ways to show your respect is
simply by paying attention to what they say.
Tips for Improving Your
Communication Skills
SUCCESS FOR YOU
Communication is a
responsibility not a ‘good
to have’ skill
SUCCESS FOR YOU
Negotiation skills (especially with
customer and also with other
stakeholders like architects, managers
etc.)
SUCCESS FOR YOU
When in doubt – talk. Some aspects of
specification may become obsolete by the
time you start working. So, it’s better to
communicate first than start coding or doing
anything useful much less plan about that.
Effective Communication Skills for Software Engineers

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Effective Communication Skills for Software Engineers

  • 1. Soft Skills Development Effective Communication Skills for Software Engineers Shahriar Hyder 8th July, 2020 (Covid-19 Affected) Technical Project Manager @Cefalo Bangladesh Ltd.
  • 2. SOME SOFT SKILLS FOR ENGINEERS  Communication  Honesty / Transparency  Teamwork  Approachability and Helpfulness  Patience  Curiosity  Problem solving  Open-mindedness and adaptability  Accountability/Ownership  Humility, and humbleness  Creativity  Time management  Leadership  Critical thinking
  • 3. COMMUNICATION (WITHOUT JARGON) Your interactions with others matter more than the code you write. You end up making a bigger impact with people interaction than coding.
  • 4. EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION SKILLS 1. Verbal 2. No verbal 3. Listening 4. Written 5. Etiquette (Apologize unapologetically!)
  • 5. HOW TO BE A GREAT LISTENER 1. Big part of communicating is understanding. – trick is playback/repeat-back in own words. Also gives the other person be able to rectify you so that it’s important for them to fine tune theirs too. 2. Don’t interrupt and allow the other person to finish their thought. 3. Use positive body language – others feel you’re engaged 4. Empathy – understand the other individual in different discipline from software engineering. Put yourself in another person’s shoes.
  • 6. ELEMENTS OF EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION SKILLS…  Learn to Listen - Listen Intently  Get a sense of what they are feeling  Get a sense of what they are trying to express  Using intuition - Read between the lines  Slow down your speaking speed  Think and speak  Always learn and speak in sentences not in words
  • 7. ELEMENTS OF EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION SKILLS… Respond with phrases that relate to what that person is talking about. Phrases like “That’s interesting because …” or “I can relate because …” or “That’s true because …” It shows you’re interested and engaged. This will give the speaker energy. It shows you can relate and validate what they are trying to say. We all want to be heard and to be connected. Getting validation is basic human psychology.
  • 8. ELEMENTS OF EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION SKILLS…  Master the art of timing  Start and end with key points  Improve writing skills / Write better emails  Watch your tone  Code Review feedback language and tone  Smile and have a positive attitude  Don’t use too many fillers and stop words like umm, hummm, aaaah  Don’t Yawn
  • 9. ELEMENTS OF EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION SKILLS…  When you need some time say ‘good question’ and think  Take notes during any discussion. Key takeaways need to go as TODO items  Gmail Filter/Label to the rescue of information overload  Admit responsibility/Take ownership  Discussion > Chat, Chat > Email, Email > Specifications  Check spell checkers, google for synonyms, pronunciations  The magic of tools/apps/automation (read TODO and notifications)  Get Your Point Across
  • 10. ELEMENTS OF EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION SKILLS…  Listen to What People Are Not Saying  Get Your Boss to Agree  Give Positive Feedback  Give Negative Feedback Properly  Questioning Skills  Develop an open-minded and flexible mentality  Be ready for different answers - Improve chances of a successful conversation by expecting negative answers and queries. So, it is harder for your listeners to catch you unprepared.
  • 11. BARRIERS TO COMMUNICATION IN WORKPLACE  Cultural Barriers: People from different religions and countries, Languages may become problem.  Ineffective Communication: Lack of information delays performing tasks, Over communication.  Emotional Distractions: Plays a big role in barriers, Avoid things that keeps your mind out of Focus.  Personality Barriers: Strange attitude, Easily getting distracted, Not getting ideas.
  • 12. 1. Make communication a priority. Take classes, read books, magazine articles or learn from successful communicators around you. Seek a mentor or coach. 2. Simplify and stay on message. Use simple, straightforward language. Remember that Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address was 286 words, about two minutes long. 3. Engage your listeners or readers. Draw your listeners and readers into the conversation. Ask questions and invite opinions. Solicit their feedback. 4. Take time to respond. After you’ve listened (and understood) take time to “draft” in your head what you want to say. 5. Make sure you are understood. Don’t blame the other person for not understanding. Instead, look for ways to clarify or rephrase what you are trying to say so it can be understood. Tips for Improving Your Communication Skills
  • 13. 6. Develop your listening skills, too. The best communicators are almost always the best listeners. Listen without judgment and don’t be distracted by thinking about what you want to say next. Then, respond, not react. 7. Body language is important. Studies show that 65% of all communication is non-verbal. Watch for visual signs that your listener understands, agrees or disagrees with your message. And be aware that your body is sending signals, too. 8. Maintain eye contact. Whether speaking to a crowd or one-on- one, maintaining eye contact builds credibility and demonstrates you care about your listeners. 9. Respect your audience. Recognize your message is not just about you or what you want. You should sincerely care about the needs and the unique perspectives of those to whom you are communicating. One of the best ways to show your respect is simply by paying attention to what they say. Tips for Improving Your Communication Skills
  • 14. SUCCESS FOR YOU Communication is a responsibility not a ‘good to have’ skill
  • 15. SUCCESS FOR YOU Negotiation skills (especially with customer and also with other stakeholders like architects, managers etc.)
  • 16. SUCCESS FOR YOU When in doubt – talk. Some aspects of specification may become obsolete by the time you start working. So, it’s better to communicate first than start coding or doing anything useful much less plan about that.