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How to cultivate communication skills, not just code

May 13, 2022
Linzi Nield
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Companies hiring software engineers look for a range of candidates – both in terms of years of experience and stack.

“At Terminal, some of our clients are looking for senior software engineers who could collaborate in Backend, Frontend and even a little in mobile development,” says Liliana Carbono, a technical recruiter at Terminal. She adds, “On the other hand, we also have positions with clients who are looking for an expert in only Android development, or a pure Backend developer and such.”

In addition to technical skills, soft skills matter too. The right candidate would be someone who is a “culture add,” someone who goes beyond fitting into the company culture and actually contributes value to it. Think: someone who looks for ways to improve standard processes or gets excited about starting a new employee Slack channel for a particular hobby or interest.

Diego Sicilia, Talent Acquisition Specialist with Terminal, adds, “This is someone who has those soft skills that will help you own and build products, such as cross-department collaboration skills. What we’re expecting to see is a great combination of technical and soft skills.”

3 traits a CTO looks for in developer candidates

Don’t just take our word for it. Below are the traits Alex Millar, CTO of Bonfire Interactive, says he looks for when hiring software engineers. It begins with baseline technical skills and strengths in three key areas:

  • Grit: “Are you going to persevere, dig down, and tackle a problem?”
  • Intelligence: “This is not knowledge and knowing everything, but rather do you have the capacity for learning things and picking things up quickly?”
  • Communication: “This is multi-faceted. It’s not just speaking. It’s listening skills, it’s writing. Are you able to understand and integrate what I’m asking with your own experience and formulate a response so we can have a discussion – as opposed to just regurgitating something on your resume or giving a canned response.”

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