Tech & Personal Skills - Why It's Important to Develop Both
In a globalized, connected, and fast-changing environment, companies are shifting towards digitalization in every single aspect of their day-to-day work routine. As technology becomes more significant, tech jobs are taking on a new role.
Whether you just graduated and are trying to figure out how to get your tech career started, or you’re a mid-career professional looking to secure your next promotion, you might be wondering about the most important skills you need to help you get to where you want to go.
While it’s important to develop your tech-specific hard skills, developing soft or personal skills is just as critical.
In this article, we will talk about two different way to improve your CV and capabilities at your job.
- On one side, the importance of learning tech skills that translate into a better understanding and problem-solving at any job.
- On the other side, we will discuss the importance of personal skills and their importance with the tech industry.
Developing Your Tech Skills
First let’s talk about the tech skills that can help you at any job, no matter the industry you're specialized in.
Now, you might be wondering, why should I learn about tech-related things if I don’t ever use it?
Well, the best thing about tech skills is that learning a little thing will open up a whole new world of possibilities. Once you figure out how one thing works, you'll get more curious about how everything else works. Then you'll begin to feel empowered because you understand the logic behind skills related to tech.
Learning tech skills make you a better problem solver
Problem-solving skills are universal and can be applied to virtually every part of your work and even other aspects of your life.
For example, being able to identify a problem, break it down into its parts to create, test, and think of solutions the basis of coding. Coding might seem challenging at first–you look at it and you can’t even begin to understand where it starts and ends!
But in reality, coding is all about problem-solving. How to solve a problem a user is having, how to “fix” a bug. Learning a bit of coding will help you understand how to solve problems from an analytical perspective!
Technology is built block by block
What does this mean? When you begin to try to understand the technology behind a product, you will realize that when you start learning a specific skill or concept, you can apply that learning into other skills.
The logic behind tech is that everything is connected. By learning a specific building block, you'll slowly but surely begin to understand the rest. Technology becomes much less frustrating if you know how it works.
You become a better collaborator
As the web grows more complex, developers, designers, and marketing specialists must work together to achieve a common goal. Tech projects involve many different teams working together as a single unit.
If you understand technology and the reason your tech team chose to implement X as opposed to Y, then working on non-tech related projects will be much easier. You'll have a better perspective on the "why" behind each decision made and how that relates to your specific objectives.
You become a better leader
As companies rely more and more on technology, when you are managing a team or trying to be considered for a promotion, it’s very important to be able to have an understanding of tech so you can communicate efficiently with the IT departments and developers.
You will secure future work
As previously mentioned, every career and industry is moving towards a more tech-focused scene. Every single industry is incorporating technology into their businesses, especially now with COVID-19.
Those with tech skills and understanding of the tech industry will have a much easier time adapting to the new challenges we face today and the expectations employers have.
Learning tech skills will help you become more well-rounded, both at your work and in your everyday life. As more and more people become involved in the tech industry, having at least some knowledge can come in handy when networking personally or professionally.
Developing Your Personal Skills
Now we will be talking about the personal skills needed to develop when you work in the tech industry. Modern times demand teamwork.
The life of a developer is no longer about coding for hours in an office, alone and isolated from everyone else on their team. Projects are not multidisciplinary. Marketing, design, app development, web development–they all have to work together for a common purpose to create a successful company.
Fostering your personal skills will help you to succeed in the long run.
Successful coders and developers are not the ones that code the best. Rather, they're the ones who understand the problem they are trying to solve.
The end product that you are trying to develop is always related to providing a solution. Having empathy is key to performing better, knowing your user, and understanding why your company is ultimately trying to solve that problem.
Building technology is about solving problems. But you can't build the right technology unless you fully understand the pain or stress generated by that problem. Even if you don’t have that same issue, being able to take a walk in the user’s shoes will help you consider the best way possible of helping them.
Communication & Collaboration
It's become really hard to scale something on your own. You don’t need to physically work with others, but being part of a larger team means understanding and communicating with different coworkers.
Taking advantage of the expertise of your teammates will always help you. Being able to explain how something works and why it needs to be done in a certain way to solve a problem is crucial for success in the tech business. Developing collaboration and communication are key in helping you achieve better results.
As technology becomes more significant, tech talents have become the rockstars of the workforce. You might think you don’t need to network, but the reality is that it's a skill that will help you in the long run.
Not only will you achieve more, but you'll also learn from others. Networking will give you the opportunity to sit down with other tech specialists who may be encountering the same issues as you.
Having a strong network will help you solve issues you're having with a line of code, or an overall syntax issue, or even an interpersonal problem.
You would be surprised to see how many people have faced the same issue or have been stuck in the same situation. Networking will help you understand a problem from a different perspective and see it from a different lens.
Having an analytical mindset is always necessary for tech jobs. You can divide a problem and try to solve it, step by step. But when you work with a team, time management is key to the entire process.
When others are reliant on your work to push out a product update or business initiative, you need to be able to properly manage your time. Given that IT is in charge of multiple systems and jobs, time management is crucial.
You can be the best coder in the world, but if you cannot handle deadlines and organize your time efficiently, you will eventually have to make up for lost time. This, in turn, can lead to frustration amongst your teammates and issues with your overall output.
No matter what your job title is, developing both tech and personal skills is key–not only for work but for your everyday life as well. It will help you be more well-rounded and a better coworker.
When we work together, we're greater than the sum of our parts. No one can do everything by themselves. This is why we need to learn how to develop our technical and personal skills: in order to tackle problems that we wouldn't be able to otherwise.