Lady Programmer

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Importance of soft skills for web developers

Many blog posts online will tell you that React developers need to have a perfect knowledge of technical skills – HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and the React library itself. That’s mostly true, but soft skills are not discussed enough. In this article, we’ll discuss essential soft skills to succeed in a front-end career.

The first we’ll discuss is empathy. Especially if you’re leading the group. Having empathy for your team members will allow you to design the project to involve everyone. A good leader makes sure to hear everyone’s voice. Toxic behavior like mockery should be discouraged.

Feeling empathy can help you in interpersonal relationships between you and your team members. Not only that, but also interacting with the audience. Empathy will allow you to predict how users will react to a certain feature and make proper adjustments.

Communication skills are also important. Building web applications is a collaborative process, and talking with one another plays an important role. Developers should be encouraged to speak freely, clearly and be specific in their suggestions. If you’re running a development agency, then developers might have to talk with clients as well.

UX may not be a soft skill, but it is extremely important. Web apps with a poor user experience will have difficulties keeping any users. For example, recently I’ve been working on a web apps with a lot of forms. I needed to reset form after submit in React.

Listening is just as important as talking. Let clients express themselves, and formulate your response accordingly.

Senior web developers should be skilled in communication as well. Juniors need guidance and they will be asking questions. Even if you don’t have time, you should be approachable and redirect them to a different person, or discuss the question at different time. If you’re super busy, give off non-verbal cues, like put on headphones and set your status to busy.

Rude senior developers will discourage junior devs from asking for help. They might go ahead and do something without consulting it with more experienced people.

As we already mentioned, developing web apps requires collaboration. Developers should be professional able to work in a team. When it comes to programming, disagreements are very common. Individual members of the team should be able to express their criticism within a productive framework. When handled successfully, disagreements can lead to the highest quality of a web application.

As a developer, sometimes you will have to explain technical concepts and features to non-technical people. Sometimes that means defending your choices. Certain choices in the web development process require more effort and work hours. You should explain that making a certain choice is the right way to go. A great web developer, especially the team lead, should not get caught up in development process. Instead, explain heavily technical concepts in simple English.

Finally, developers should keep an open mind. Often times there are multiple ways to approach a task. Discussion and disagreement among developers is the way to find an answer.

Sometimes clients will ask you to add a certain feature. It might not seem like a good idea, or it might seem impossible. However, you should not decline outright. Clients know what feature their web application needs, so what they’re asking might make sense.

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