Making progress in any work environment, specifically in the Tech World requires that a worker has tons of both soft and hard (Technical) skills.
These skills are what is required of a worker in producing excellent results at work. For a professional to do what is expected of them, and achieve the goals of the organization, he/she needs to harness these skills to enhance delivery and productivity.
Difference Between Hard And Soft Skills.
Hard skills are the abilities that a worker has in relation to his work. These are the specific abilities garnered through either formal or informal education, either through schooling, apprenticeship, reading, or taking a course in it.
Hard skills are relative and specific to particular jobs and careers. Each job and field have specific knowledge/skills that are expected from anyone coming to work on the job or in that field.
For an IT firm, some examples of hard skills required from the workers include;
• Excellence and proficiency in data analysis
• Amazing Typing speed.
• Advanced knowledge of Microsoft Office Tools
• Computer programming.
• Coding and Decoding
• Software Development
• Project Management
• Graphic Designs
Hard skills are learned and taught as the case may be, you can go to school to get a degree in it, decide to learn it as an apprentice or intern, and you can choose to take an online course in it.
Also, hard skills can be quantified and measure, based on the results you provide. For example, how much knowledge of Graphic Design that an IT person has will be evident in the result they deliver.
Unlike hard skills, soft skills are the less vocational or professional skills which are required from a worker.
According to Wikipedia, Soft skills are a combination of people skills, social skills, communication skills, character or personality traits, attitudes, career attributes, social intelligence and emotional intelligence quotients, among others, that enable people to navigate their environment, work well with others, perform well, and achieve their goals with complementing hard skills.
This means that soft skills have more to do with a person's attitude, character, and personality. Soft skills are needed in the day to day relationship of a worker with their colleagues, clients, and management of their firm.
The examples of soft skills needed in an IT firm are as follows:
• Excellent Communication Skills: An InfoTech worker must be skilled in communicating with people. Communication goes beyond just talking; it entails knowing what to say, how to say it, and where to say it.
An excellent communicator must know how to disseminate information to people, with the right time, and in a way that everyone would be carried along.
• Team Work: Working in a team is one of the skills needed by any worker to function effectively and yield results. A team player knows how to combine efforts and brainstorm with their colleagues for the smooth running, and growth of the organization.
• A Sense Of Responsibility: This soft skill is one skill that is not common in lots of people. Only a few persons have a sense of responsibility and know what they need to do at each point in time.
Every IT employee must know what to do per time, how to do what to do, and when to do what to do.
• Pressure Management: Being able to stay calm under pressure is a soft skill that is needed by every IT employee. The ability to stay on course, and think straight in the face of chaos is an added advantage.
• Flexibility: Every worker should be flexible, and be able to adapt to a new environment, a new project, and new colleagues.
As we all know that the IT industry is evolving, that means that there are new and novel things to be done every day, and only people who can adapt can move with the tides of the IT industry.
• Conflict Resolution: Conflicts are bound to come up one way or the other, while some folks are wired to add fire to conflicts, there are people who are wired to resolve conflicts.
Resolving conflicts is a soft skill that is needed to be embraced or learned by every IT worker, as this would help to put out conflicts easily and fast.
• Ability To Learn New Things: An IT employee must be coachable, and able to learn new things. There are new ideas and new technical skills to be discovered and acquired all the time; hence an IT employee must be open-minded to learn new things as they come.
• Positivity: Having a positive attitude and mindset to work, is a virtue that should be acquired by every IT worker/employee, who wants to progress, and be successful in their fields.
Unlike hard skills, the above-mentioned soft skills are not learned. It is either a person is wired to act that way, or he is not.
No one gets a formal education on how to be humble, responsible, positive, or be a peacemaker; these are virtues that are innate or adapted as you grow in life.
Benefits Of Soft Skills In A Tech Firm
Professionally, technical skills are crucial to the growth and development of an IT firm, but soft skills make it possible for people to work together in a healthy and productive work environment.
The IT workplace is a place where people relate with one another, and build relationships; hard skills are not enough to create the necessary relationships or resolve conflicts, soft skills are what aids communication between colleagues, and with clients.
Asides from that, the ever involving state of the IT industry needs soft skills more than hard skills. It is possible for a particular person to know how to do a specific thing, but what is required is who can learn other things in addition to his primary knowledge.
Since the IT industry is more of an interactive industry, hard skills are not enough to bring a lot to the table.
A few hard skills and more soft skills are the best combination for the growth and advancement of an IT firm. But soft skillsets will help workers know how to communicate well, relate with clients and colleagues, adapt to new ideas, be a team player, and resolve conflicts.