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10 Vital Non-Technical Skills A Software Developer Should Have in 2021

6 Mins read

Software development has become one of the most impactful fields. Pretty much every product or service like smartphones, virtual reality, a smart speaker, or any other kinds of technology-rich devices that we use every day is powered by software.

If you are a developer, you should be proud of this as the hands of many skilled software developers, like you, worked behind these innovations.

When I say skilled, things like coding, automating, and understanding multiple frameworks, databases, methodologies, and libraries may come to your mind.

These are extremely important for your career growth, but some non-technical skills are equally important to becoming a great software/product developer.

So, if you think you are a decent developer with technical skills, check out the below list and make sure that you have got those non-technical skills to become a great developer.

Here it is:

  1. Communication
  2. Openness to new experiences
  3. Time management
  4. Passion for software development
  5. Teamwork skills
  6. Leadership skills
  7. Good old-fashioned empathy
  8. Creativity
  9. Problem-solving skills
  10. Accountable for all project actions


Communication is always crucial to effective teamwork and client satisfaction. At times it is neglected. Competent developers ensure that they are available consistently and respond promptly to communication from team members or clients.

The software development cycle involves many different people fulfilling diverse roles, so they need to fit together just right to result in successful product development. In addition to that, as companies shift left and the lines between testing, development, and operations blur, communication or collaboration is more critical than ever.

When I say communication is the crucial part, the most important factor in it is active listening. Whether collecting client feedback or participating in a sprint retrospective, you need to know how to listen and empathise with others to find out the best path forward collectively.

Openness to new experiences

Openness to new experiences

You know the tech world keeps on changing. Technologies and frameworks come and go, new platforms and devices are introduced, and traditional ones are scrapped. So, you should be ready to learn and try new techniques and methods. It will help you improve and innovate. Otherwise, there is a good chance that your skills will become obsolete over time.

When companies consider to hire app developers they want them to stay up to date that helps them to remain competitive.

Software development involves learning and adopting new practices all the time. Generally, a software developer should have a sense of curiosity. It ensures you are always learning and building upon current knowledge. This curiosity to learn new things will help you not to get bored and it guarantees that you are continually improving.

This is the reason software developers must work on their learning skills. Having curiosity in self-learning will propel your career to the next level.

Time management

Time management and focus can make all the difference between being productive and falling behind. Sometimes there are too many activities going on at the same time. A good developer (which is you) must be reliable and have a strong work ethic.

It means you should have the ability to estimate the time needed to complete a project effectively. For that, prioritising tasks and projects is the right method. Try to complete the tasks in order of priority rather than in the order they were assigned

Staying organised helps you keep track of smaller administrative tasks and not letting the more tedious tasks pile up. You can maximise your efficiency and productivity by:

-designating a fixed time for admin

-setting personal productivity goals, and

-identifying the specific organisational strategies that work best for you.

Passion for software development

If you are a person who completed graduation and took this job just because you need a job. It’s not necessary that you have that passion in you for being a great developer. In order to give the best out of your work, you should love what you do.

If you are genuinely passionate about your work, you will spend time coding things outside of work because of the joy it gives you to create something new and sharpen your skills. This will not let you stop you from becoming a successful software developer.

Teamwork skills

Very few software developers work alone on projects. For the most part, they work in teams. In modern web or mobile applications development, the team’s capability to collaborate efficiently is a crucial factor in whether the software is finished on time, to the required specifications, and within budget.

Encouraging great team collaboration helps you to make sure that:

-your team is working on what they should be working on

-everyone feels comfortable about asking for help and gets it

-issues are noticed and addressed early

-no one feels overworked, etc.

In a group of project managers, sales managers, developers, or designers, a good developer should learn how to communicate and work effectively with other people. It is another skill that you can learn, and it is something that all software developers should investigate.

Leadership skills

Leadership skills

Software development, such as mobile app or web app development, is a field that boosts your chance to get ahead relatively quickly. It doesn’t take so long for you to become a senior developer and be put in a leadership position. Even if you are not too experienced to lead a team, It is a common practice that you will have to mentor people with less experience.

It means you need to develop leadership skills earlier in software development than in most other industries. The need for this is further increased because this field is often hectic and good leadership can make a difference.

Good-old fashioned empathy

When we talk about software development, empathy may not seem like a crucial skill to have. But, having it can make a difference between a decent software developer and a great one.

Since technical positions often imply creating software for a specific end-user, a degree of customer empathy is of utmost importance. It takes much more than a knowledge of data, metrics, analytics, to know the user experience. Being able to put yourself in the shoes of your users and be intuitive to what other people want is imperative, as opposed to focusing on your own preferences.

As empathy will help for a successful product development, it is one of the essential skills that every developer should have.


Creativity is all about finding several ways to approach a problem. With this skill, you can effectively implement your creativity into the development of a successful software product. This much-needed skill that you should have in your toolbox as a developer. So that you can bring up innovative ideas to the team that will help other project sections.

You don’t have to be a developer that has a one-track mind on computer programming and coding. Thinking outside the box and introducing innovative ideas is what takes an average application to a widely-used sensation.

Creativity is not only important for the formation of new features and UI, but also it helps to solve problems which leads you on to the next skill.

Problem-solving skills

Problem-solving skills

Software product development is all about problem-solving. On a macro level, every piece of software is a solution to a problem that people have, even when they don’t know they have it. On the micro level, software development is about doing countless things which may have different names. But they are just problems that need elegant and simple solutions.

Putting that altogether you will create a successful solution. Unfortunately, not every software developer understands this. They misinterpret the problems and end up creating additional ones. Which means they do not work on problem-solving skills. They stick to outdated practices instead of adapting new ones without understanding the nature of the problem. Here they waste days and weeks with the wrong approach to solve something that could have been done in a few hours.

Therefore, you have to dedicate some time to develop your problem-solving skills. It is a skill that can be learned and honed actively that will help you make a big impact on the quality of your software development process.

Accountable for all project actions

You should have the ability to take responsibility and ownership of your mistakes. This skill is crucial as it will help in solving issues that arise quickly. When you take responsibility for your mistakes, you will be able to find the error and most likely you will avoid the chance of making that mistake again. This helps streamline the software development process, so it is needed in every area of your mobile app or web app development for its success.


Software development is an interesting field in which there are always new things to learn. To become a great software developer, it takes more than just being able to code. It means you should work on your soft skills with as much dedication as your technical competencies to maximise your learning and career growth.

When companies look to hire app developers, they are looking for people with not only technical knowledge but also the aforementioned non-technical skills as the combination of both makes a great developer.

If you are a starter programmer, and are looking for help to learn the latest development skills, don’t hesitate to meet our experts in the nullcast community.