Software development is an intricate industry. On one hand, it demands a high level of professionalism from the specialists, and developers need a certain level of skills and knowledge to succeed.

On the other hand, software development has a lot to do with soft skills, including the ability to communicate and empathize with clients and companies.

Most hiring managers who work with software developers know the basic skills to look for in a candidate, usually depending on the project and tech stack. But do you know what else you should look for in a good software developer?

This article goes over the most important soft skills for any developer to have. All of them influence the quality of work and project success, and help determine whether a person will become a valuable asset for your company.

Ability to work in a team

This is one of the most crucial skills for any software developer. Any project requires a variety of talents for success: developers, QA engineers, designers, etc. For an efficient workflow, all these people need to know how to work in a team.

Some people think when you code, you just submit your piece of work and receive comments. But, every team member should be aware of what is going on in the project in order to identify any errors preempt them. Most agencies also do code review, where team members examine each other’s code. This practice contributes to better code quality and lets the developers see how they are doing.

Efficient communication

Efficient communication should apply to both internal and external communication.

Internal communication occurs with all the people from the company that are involved in the project: team members, managers, freelancers, or any other people. Here, the goal of a developer is to efficiently communicate thoughts, ideas, and suggestions, explain the actions, and deliver clear reports on the project’s status.

External communication happens with the client, and is incredibly important. A developer must know how to inform the client about any changes on the project, justify extra hours, or make a useful suggestion.

To meet these goals, a developer should know how to make people understand him by expressing himself in a clear way. Otherwise, poor communication will lead to confusion, prolonged deadlines, or even project cancellation.


Responsibility implies that a person fully understands his or her own scope of work and is ready to be responsible for the results.

Unfortunately, some people try to blame their teammates for the mistakes. However, the longer someone denies responsibility, the harder it will be to fix the issue and get back on tracks.

So a good software developer must keep that all in mind, and understand the importance of taking responsibility for the project’s outcome.

However, it is also important to consider the overall work environment. If you do not create an atmosphere of trust, employees will hesitate to admit mistakes out of fear for the consequences. So when demanding accountability, make sure that you can accept a mistake and fix it without stressing out.


Motivation is in high demand, but many HR specialists cannot explain why it’s so important.

Software development is actually a rather creative industry. Although it has languages and patterns, it’s up to the developer to use them in order to come up with a new and more efficient solution.

Now, if a developer is neutral about his or her work and does not really enjoy it, s/he will most probably go the safe way without trying anything new.

An enthusiastic developer, on the other hand, will dedicate some time and effort to come up with a creative solution that can be less costly and more efficient in terms of work.

So by hiring a developer who is self-motivated by the work, you will get a team member who does not rely on money as the only source of motivation. Instead, this person will be driven by a sense of curiosity and creativity.


Any project will have an error or a problem at some point in time – it’s simply inevitable. And it’s important for a developer to have strong problem-solving skills and high stress tolerance.

Problem-solving is not so simple as it may seem. It consists of a few well-organized steps that help to critically evaluate the situation and come up with the best possible solution.

So if a developer is not only able to produce a high-quality code but also has good problem-solving skills, s/he can become an incredibly valuable asset for the team and the company in general.

Final word

When interviewing the candidates, pay attention to how they behave and communicate. If a person is an outstanding specialist, but is arrogant and cannot work in a team, they will bring you more harm than benefit.

A well-balanced combination of tech and soft skills is what you should look for in a software developer. After all, the ultimate goal of any company is long-term success and it can be achieved only with the help of the people whom you hire.

About the Author: Jocelyn Pick