IT Soft skills Workshop – The Most Trained Skills for Developers and QA

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The IT industry has dictated and will continue to dictate changes in the way training is done. The needs of the industry are sometimes quite specific. The way learning opportunities are presented, duration of the sessions, the content, activities, training materials as well as the selection of trainers have to be carefully calibrated to suit the needs of participants.

The IT soft skills workshop topics for developers and QA may coincide with those for people from other areas of activity, but subtle differences can sometimes radically change the way skill building happens.

While selecting the topics on this list we took into account the frequency with which they get requested, the percentage the particular topics take up from the total number of days delivered for specific customers as well as the participants’ perception regarding the usefulness of the information.

The skills are the following:

ASSERTIVENESS

When developers are in direct contact with representatives from the client-organization it is important for them to be able to express (or sometimes defend) their needs and ideas in a firm but positive manner.

 For instance, in case of a change request it is important for explanations to be given with tact. At the same time, it is also important for the customer to understand the financial implications of the request from the get-go.

EMPATHY

The ability to show empathy is important in two respects: in order for one to be able to develop harmonious relationships with colleagues and to better understand the needs of potential users of the services of features that are being developed.

ACTIVE LISTENING

This ability can take on a variety of nuances. Usually when requested people don’t just mean the mere act of listening to another person. Reading requirements sometimes can fall under the same generic categorization.

It is easy to see why managers view this ability as being very important. After all, it has a direct impact on operational excellence.

PROACTIVENESS

Project managers and team leaders in IT are usually quite good at task breakdown and task allocation. Taking this into account it is clear that being proactive in this context rarely refers to the fact that one should voluntarily take on supplementary tasks. In most cases it is rather about team-related activities or tweaks regarding communication.

It is highly unlikely that a team will have unallocated tasks, but the fact that a colleague falls behind and does not let the team know in due time is a frequent occurrence.

COMMUNICATION

The challenges of multicultural environments, digital communication and the complexity of workplace interactions make it necessary for developers to be very adaptable and be able to handle a large variety of communication scenarios.

They have to know when to write an e-mail and when it is preferable to use Skype or call someone on the phone. The best of them even know how to refuse giving a time-estimate to a customer (if the team-leader does not know about it) without making the pushy client upset.

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Other abilities that did not make the top five but get requested often include creativity, time management, team-work, conflict management and emotional intelligence. Obviously, some of these can be considered classics amongst IT soft skills workshop topics, but the context in which the skills are used makes them unique.

The list above is not exhaustive. It merely illustrates the usual needs of the industry and the specific context for basic topics. In the past few years training providers started adapting transfer methods and there are clear indications that the entire L&D process is undergoing profound changes and becoming more and more user-centered.

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