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Importance of Soft Skills and being Visible in the Developer Community

Importance of Soft Skills and being Visible in the Developer Community

This Talk was part of a Mentoring session done for the 2021 Jadu Fellowship Program and most of the target audience was Final year undergrad students from Pakistani Universities.

My goal was to talk about how improving Soft Skills and being active in the Community has benefited me in my career and others I have admired. What opportunities they can explore, how can they start and how it all fits together in giving them an exposure, visibility and building their personal brand and network.

Wahib Ul Haq

August 08, 2022

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  1. Technical Skills help get your foot in the door, but

    Soft Skills are what will help you land the job … and help you succeed in your career
  2. Let’s Talk about Soft Essential Skills* Wahib Ul Haq •

    29.03.2021 Target Audience: Jadu Fellowship Cohort 2020
  3. My Story Professional Career • 2010 - 2019: Progressed extensively

    in Android Development • 2018: Transitioned into Developer Marketing and Community • 2019 - now: Project Lead, Partner Engineering at Huawei Industry Exposure • German startups, SMEs and International Large Corporation • Diverse domains: AR, Connected Car, Fitness, Consulting, Payment, Mobile Ecosystem, IoT
  4. When companies say that we need to see if you

    are a “Cultural Fit”, they actually want to evaluate your “Soft Skills”, and how well you can work with “People” “Do I really want to spend 40+ hours a week with this person?”
  5. What have I observed? Basic expectations from Employer • Just

    be a nice and empathetic person • Be patient, understand the ground realities and smart enough to adapt • Don’t complain for the safe of it • Be helpful to a reasonable level • Be humble • Don’t work in isolation and in invisible mode • Be able to work independently without being micromanaged • Be able to present when needed • . . . .
  6. Bubble Enlightened • CS Student, Strong in programming skills •

    Grades and GPA would be good enough to impress • No need to worry about Industry while studying as Employer is supposed to prepare me • CS Student, Strong in programming skills • “Profile” is more than grades and need to be build as a long-term plan • I will learn and prepare myself as per industry’s expectations in advance
  7. Bubble • Understands that life of a Software Engineer is

    not just about writing lines of code Enlightened • Passionate developer but just focus on technical skills and rest is distraction • Sees no value in knowledge sharing or networking • Owes to the community support, wants to contribute and values power of networking
  8. Why can I speak on these topics? Exposure • Developer

    Mindset • Contributor* to Android Community • Customer Interfacing Role • People Management • Advocacy and Community Management • Hiring Beneficiary • Scored last 2 jobs by referral through community • Transition to Managerial role • Approached twice to start Meetup Communities • Public Speaking Opportunities • Get expert advice • Get approached for help
  9. Build Networks Workplace External Grow your Audience Create Opportunities Create

    Allies Social Media, Forums, Community Members, Global Audience
  10. GROW WITH COMMUNITY “Being Active In Community” and “Off the

    Job” Contributions are still not-so-common in our Desi Culture but they should be!
  11. Result ➢ Visibility: Stand out from the crowd ➢ Recognition

    and Trust ➢ Mentorship ➢ Growth ➢ Improved Communication skills ➢ Self-development ➢ Motivation to be the best version of yourself Objective ★ I want to learn and be part of something big ★ I want to give back to the community which has helped me in my success ★ I want to build and grow my Network and Relationships Action ❏ #GiveFirst attitude ❏ Accept and Fight against Imposter syndrome ❏ Listen, Attend and Follow Community ❏ Speak, Create and Contribute to the Community later ❏ Transform yourself from passive observer to active engager GROW WITH COMMUNITY
  12. • Github • Gitlab • Bitbucket • …. • Personal

    Blog • Medium • Substack • Dev.to • …. • Stack Overflow • Slack • Discord • Twitter • Clubhouse* • HackerNews • Reddit • Meetup Code Community Content
  13. Who will even read your article? Who even need your

    hobby project code? Learning #1
  14. • It will motivate you to do a great job

    at it • Even a small recognition will keep you excited to continue • As a beginner, don’t worry too much about the english skills, vocabulary or overall flow • Whatever feature or problem you are working on, keep your sensors on. Keep a document with ideas on what topics are worth writing and keep adding thoughts and resources • If there’s a technical article, publish repo and refer the code snippets in your article • Choose topics which you are most passionate about and the most painful one which was hard to get help from Internet Create Content and Publish Early
  15. Who will even notice me on platforms? Do you even

    get any real help? Is it even worth spending time? Learning #2
  16. Twitter • Primary source of insights and knowledge • Follow

    & Connect with people from your “Digital Tribe” • Be able to ask experts who are otherwise not approachable in real world • Be part of discussions, learn and contribute • Share thoughts, ideas, knowledge and initiate conversations Others (Slack/Discord..) • Seek prompt help • Observe Q&A of others and passively learn • Identify experts to give you objective advice Be smart about your time and ROI would be great
  17. I want to work silently and don’t care if I’m

    invisible... I don’t feel comfortable sharing my work until I am an expert.. Learning #3
  18. • If your work doesn’t get noticed, it is partially

    your own mistake • Be confident and well-prepared in highlighting your work internally and externally • Don’t shy when there’s a chance to present your work or your team’s work • Start speaking at internal meetings → local meetups → conferences • Be discoverable and noticeable so you are approached for new opportunities e.g referrals Be more visible
  19. • Don’t limit yourself by geographical limitations • We could

    be so much more when we admire and learn from both local and international talent • This is the best time to be part of something global and have an impact It is 2021 and Communities are “Global”
  20. Code Publish your coding projects Content Start writing articles Visibility

    Learn to be confident about presenting your work Engage Follow who inspire you, share your thoughts, become part of discussions Continue It is a marathon, not a sprint!