Communication habits are equally as significant as technical skills. The ability to communicate successfully, whether orally or in writing is a comprehensively desirable skill that programming team must not miss. In fact, failures in most programming teams are a result of communication issues and not technical issues.
It is no doubt that being a programmer, the most challenging part is team working but this can be improved.
Communication is everything when it comes to working towards a common goal. Communication is not only important for programmers but it’s also crucial in every aspect of our day to day living.
Communication breakdown can even lead to catastrophe and it’s no doubt, can affect a programming team too.
Programming is a way of solving issues and coming up with values for human life to simplify it.
It’s not solely based on coding and the interaction revolves around human and machine. A decision to develop a program originates from a programmer who is a human being. The process is done by people who are users, customers, team members, managers and more.
The communication among these individuals determines how the final product would look like. That is the main reason why excellent communication skills are crucial.
As a programmer, you must ensure to constantly communicate with your team members to work hand-in-hand with the work and the product owner to obtain the requirements of the program you are developing.
Any breakdown in communication can lead to failures like missing features and more.
1. Be able to express yourself
As a team member of the programming team, you might have an idea that you feel it’s beneficial to share with other team members.
However, when you start talking, you find that your colleagues are not getting your point.
This could be caused by the fact that you are rambling and so what you are talking is making no sense.
So, you should have some prior preparations. Below are the things that can help you as you prepare:
- Lay down the most crucial points
- List them in the most appropriate order
- Come up with a story about the points. For instance, you could have the start, middle, and end of a story.
- Identify the key points you would want your colleagues to take away. It may take time before they understand everything you are talking about, so it’s crucial to emphasize the key points.
- While presenting your ideas to your teammates, be prepared to answer questions. Understand the common questions and come up with answers to them.
- Be brief and to the point. Avoid beating around the bush.
2. Learn to listen
The most significant and valuable habit that one needs to have is to be able to listen. If you want to answer a question properly, then you must ensure to listen first.
The most challenging part is to be able to pay attention to listening and preparing the answer to the questions.
To avoid forgetting something you just have an idea about when listening, you may as well pardon yourself so that you can note it down and then focus back on the talking.
This is the best way to ensure a healthier discussion among programming team members.
When talking to your team members, ensure to:
- Face your team members while talking. This will show you are focusing on what they are saying.
- Get rid of obstacles that might hinder your listening
- If you are not sure about something that has been said, ask them to say gain but politely
- Make a summary of what they have said so that you don’t get confused in future
3. Learn to ask questions
When communicating with other programming team members it doesn’t mean you will be sharing ideas, sometimes you may need some information.
Asking questions is good as it will help you obtain information from other team members.
Whenever you participate in a team that is developing a certain program, ensure to ask questions so that you get an idea of how you will develop in future. However, when asking questions:
- You must know that they may not be good when it comes to expressing themselves. Note that they may give you the wrong answer, so you need to ask more to get the right information you needed.
- Avoid asking too many questions since your teammates may feel you are putting them under some kind of inquiry which might make you get a negative outcome.
- Ensure the discussion if conversational
- Avoid asking blaming questions. Avoid challenge.
4. Always stay calm, collected and practice humility
A time may come when you have to communicate with your team members while you are under pressure.
For instance, it might be your first time to talk to many people. This may make you get stressed. However, you need to avoid making mistakes. Under this situation, you need to stay calm and confident.
Moreover, there would be a time when your teammate might criticize you. You may be proficient in programming but at the same time what you say may not be accepted and you might get negative responses that could be reasonable to you.
Whenever you get negative criticism from your teammates, don’t take it as a personal attack on your skills but take it as a challenge to help you grow as a programmer.
5. Understand the people you are talking to
You have to understand the people you are presenting. You may be communicating with your programming team members. In this scenario, the discussion may entail a technical topic which is not the same as when talking to your product owner.
So, it’s crucial to understand the person you are communicating with. If you will be presenting a complex discussion and the people you will be talking to do not understand, you should break down your points and make the topic easy to understand.
If the people you are communicating with are nontechnical, use words that are not too technical. Avoid going out-side topic.
6. Put yourself in other people’s shoes
Take for instance what you say to someone is said to you instead. What could be your reaction? What would you feel about it? Try to imagine what your programming team members would feel in certain situations and this will help you to work well with your teammates.
This is what is called compassion and is an important aspect for people working in a team.
7. Accept fear
Nobody is born a public speaker. Public speaking is acquired and not inborn, so you don’t have to have to get worried about it.
Therefore, if you fear to speak in public, know that you are not alone. Think of fear as an opportunity to engage with people and share what you know.
If the focus on your fears, you will be making them be worse.
Pay attention to the information you are sharing and how the people you are talking to will benefit from the information you share.
8. Always be ready to listen and learn
You will not look foolish by listening so that you can learn. The programming field is wide and the more you become eager to learn the more you acquire more programming knowledge.
Try to show some sense of eagerness to learn from the people you communicate with. Ensure, to be honest, and this will make you grow as a programmer.
Practicing all the above aspects will not only make you a better programmer but also will help you in your daily life.
Make sure you pay attention to the people you communicate with and listen to what they have to share.
Ask questions where you do not understand. Practice humility and this will help you as you share your ideas with other team members.
Author Bio: Paula Hicks is an experienced journalist from Romania. Currently, lives in the United States and works as a freelance editor for the number of educational resources. Her big dream is to open a publishing house in Europe.