What makes a good software programmer? The most common answer is their technical skills – how well they can code. These are ‘hard’ skills. There is no point in hiring coders who can’t code, architects who can’t design buildings or finance people who cannot create a cashflow statement.
Non-technical, or ‘soft’, skills are usually defined as some mix of communication, teamwork and empathy, often with leadership, accountability or integrity thrown in for good measure.
For an indication of why soft skills are important, look at Mark Zuckerberg – the definition of a coder. He recently announced that Instagram will soon become ‘Instagram from Facebook’ and WhatsApp will turn into ‘WhatsApp from Facebook’.
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