Many people (including developers!) still believe that communication skills are not needed at all for a developer. And indeed, with whom shall a specialist talk? Why does a developer need to talk to anybody at all? It shall be sufficient that he codes, and that’s it!
The situation was like this just some time ago. The industry was still new. There were not so many developers. A team worked in the same office. Clients didn’t know much about the programming and used to trust a developer completely.
Now, the world has changed, and the IT industry has become different. Now, communication skills are not less important than coding skills. If developers cannot communicate properly, they cannot work on a project efficiently because:
- Customers have changed. Most of them understand the industry. They know clearly what product they want to have. Moreover, they want to be updated constantly on the team’s progress and see clearly what the money is spent on.
- Teams have changed. While earlier, some developers were working in an office, now, we deal with distributed teams. Team members are located in different countries. Mostly, a team has members from different time zones. Meetings in an office like they used to be are impossible. Therefore, clear communication between team members is a must. Nowadays, developers shall be able not only to talk openly and clearly but to document what they are doing and what issues they face.
At Mad Devs, we know how critical communication skills are. Here, we mean “communication” in its broadest sense. It is not only about meetings in the office. At Mad Devs, we communicate via:
- Standups: we mention what was done the day before, describe our plans for the current day, inform the team about problems that don’t let us work as productively as we should, and share positive things. It helps our team members to focus on the current tasks and to understand who is working on what task.
- Meetings: there are different formats of meetings. We organize 1 on 1 calls with our team members to talk and find out about the mood of our specialists, their worries, expectations, and to help if needed. Virtual team meetings are organized to set aims, develop and update plans, discuss problems and look for solutions. Regular AMA sessions help to establish trust between employees and the company founders.
- Messages and emails: we use various tools to enhance communication. So, in Slack, we communicate on a daily basis. Jira is used to leave comments on the current tasks. Email serves for notifications and similar.
For us, efficient communication is asynchronous communication. Our team members work from different locations; our clients are from different time zones. That’s why we make an effort to be as detailed and clear as possible.
The IT world has changed. Nowadays, communication skills are crucial for the success of your team and, thus, your success.