How to double your career growth as a Software Engineer- Part 01

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How to double your career growth as a Software Engineer- Part 01: Develop communication skill

Many software engineers think they earn less money because of the low labour cost in their country. It is true that the labour cost is low in many countries, but the question is why?

One of the most common reasons behind it is lacking in communication. When you start talking in English some of your colleagues may praise you by saying, ‘your English is awesome’. But the reality is when you start talking to foreigners they nod politely as they do not understand your English. Knowing languages like Python and JavaScript are important, but learning to communicate efficiently in English is more important. If you can not communicate properly, your foreign clients will not count you. They start to think you are less professional. They can not distinguish you from other ten software engineers.

Many of us are proficient in English but not idiomatic. You should know how to speak idiomatically and make jokes in it. Understanding feelings is also important while communicating with others. Emotional intelligence plays a great role in it. It is the ability to recognize our own feelings and those of others for motivating ourselves and for managing emotions well in ourselves and our relationships [1].

Some people start to describe unnecessary things when they do not understand the question well. There is no need to describe something that a smart person already knows. It makes them feel bored. Some questions definitely need descriptive answers but many questions need direct answers. If you are not capable of understanding the feelings of your client as well as the language, you have to suffer. Eventually, it will affect the pricing of the software you are going to make for them. They will discount you and move to the next question. 

John Sung Kim, CEO of JetBridge suggested 10 rules of accurate communication-

  1. Don’t describe things to smart people which they already know.
  2. Don’t ask executives questions you can find answers to on Google.
  3. Answer with data (number or range) first if the question is about data, then go into details if you have to.
  4. Tell the truth, even if it's going to hurt you.
  5. At least pretend to have ambitious goals even if your goal is to make $5,000/month on a beach with your laptop.
  6. It’s ok to say “I don’t know” when you don’t know. But don’t just stop there, say, “give me 24 hours and I’ll get more information for you.”
  7. Bring a notebook and at least pretend to take notes. It shows your seriousness on work and respect towards the person you are communicating with. 
  8. When you face rejection, politely ask, “What do I need to do to get another meeting with you or get you to say ‘yes’ next time?” 
  9. Do not take a zoom meeting walking around loud areas or with your dirty laundry in the background.
  10. Practice your business-level English. Nobody knows how smart you are if you can’t communicate complex thoughts.

Reference

[1] Suzanne Franchetti, Emotional Intelligence and Its Impact on Communication in the Workplace, <https://franchetti.com/emotional-intelligence-impact-communication-workplace/>