December 15, 2020

Coding In Teams: Key Collaboration Skills for Programmers

Almost all software is built in teams, so strong collaboration skills are key for a well-rounded programmer to have.

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Almost all software is built in teams, so strong collaboration skills are key for a well-rounded programmer to have.

Every business needs collaboration to succeed. Companies need to collaborate with their customers and partners to keep their operations going, and employees need to collaborate to succeed in their deliverables. So what are the skills needed for effective collaboration?

In a recent Forbes article, Dr. Denise Trudeau-Poskas states that the key emotional intelligence skills or ‘soft skills’ that are essential for teams to have for effective collaboration are intrapersonal, interpersonal, adaptability and engagement. Let’s look at these skills in relation to how they develop strong collaboration skills in programming teams.

Brain with ideas flowing from it

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Intrapersonal Skills

By definition, intrapersonal means occurring within the self. People with high intrapersonal intelligence are aware of their strengths and weaknesses. So the way you see yourself, deal with stress, handle emotions and frustrations help you to build skills to use when forming relationships with other people. Programmers need strong intrapersonal skills so they can work well under pressure and communicate effectively with others when they need help.

A good way to build your intrapersonal skills is to practice Mindfulness - bringing your attention to experiences occurring in the present moment without judgement. It can be helpful to observe how you’re responding to a stressful situation so you know how to best navigate through it while on the job and working with others.

Rasheed Ogunlaru quote on communication


Interpersonal Skills

Interpersonal skills are the behaviours and ways a person uses to communicate with others effectively. We all need these skills to work well with others on the job and programmers need these skills when trying to solve complex coding problems, coming up with possible solutions for it and then agreeing on a plan of action for it. This helps to create a problem-solving process for programming teams to use and be more effective in their work.

Learning to code in a team and doing code review with another programmer requires active listening and are great practices to help young coders to build their interpersonal skills.

Robot standing with computer coding in the background


Adaptability Skills

What do programming teams need to have to be adaptive to changing technology and shifts in project requirements? Critical thinking and problem solving skills, so they can find solutions when working out programming bugs and can easily pivot when team project specs are changed.

Participating in coding hackathons is a great way to strengthen adaptability skills. It requires participants to work in teams under a tight deadline, where they need to quickly and efficiently adapt to solve problems as they arise.

Engagement Skills

Programming teams should engage with each other beyond ‘work talk’ to build a positive work environment. Teams are more resilient to challenges that arise in the workplace when they have a positive work environment to support them. When there is synergy between team members there’s internal motivation to help each other out and overcome shared obstacles.

Whether it’s a slack channel within your organization or a community outside of it, joining a programming community can help grow your engagement skills and can give you a support network to engage with.

Computer Programmers working together on a project


Collaboration Skills For Every Career

Today’s employers are looking for candidates who not only have the technical skills needed to do the job but who also have the collaboration skills to work well with others. Hatch Coding considers collaboration skills as one of the five core skills of the well-rounded programmer and we teach it through team coding and in our daily virtual group coding class.

If your child wants to learn the skills of the well-rounded programmer, sign up for our free trial.


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