May 28, 2023

News Stories from the Digital World

Soft skills make all the difference: One third of programmers say problem-solving skills ‘most important asset’

Research from STX Next, Europe’s largest software development company specialising in the Python programming language, has found that 32 percent of programmers say an “ability to think logically, critically and analytically” is the key to becoming a great Python developer.

A further 14 percent said persistence was key to their job, and the same proportion of respondents said a readiness for tackling new challenges and for continuous learning were crucial.

The findings were taken from STX Next’s 2023 Python Tech Radar report, which gathered insights from over 100 Python developers. Other key findings from the research include:

20 percent of respondents highlighted mentorship as another soft skill to focus on, while 19 percent said they wish to improve their communication skills.

The path to a career in tech is varied. 93 percent of Python developers highlighted self-learning as a method by which they learnt to program, and a further 56 percent said that they regularly made use of online courses.

Many developers say that the best way to learn is through practical experience. 70 percent said their main training and learning activities consisted of working on new and existing commercial projects, slightly higher than those who cited working on their own personal projects.

Time is of the essence. Three-quarters of developers (75 percent) spend just six hours or fewer learning per week. 42 percent said they spent 1-3 hours learning a week and 32 percent said they spent 4-6 hours.

Ronald Binkofski, CEO at STX Next, says: “Our research reveals what has long been known within the tech industry: the modern day developer is a lot more than simply someone who codes and understands a programming language. Technical skills are a given but soft skills are what set the best developers apart.

“Recent layoffs in the industry have increased the pressure on developers to expand their skillsets even more. Organisations that are facing up to economic challenges will seek resilient and multitalented employees that can guide teams through hard times and ride out the storm.

“Recruiting and retaining developers that can blend a proficiency in coding with the ability to motivate teams and help others to improve are invaluable to businesses. It’s positive to see from our research that in response to this growing need, developers are dedicating time to improving their employability and building their skillsets.

Binkofski adds: “Employers are demanding that their new hires are leaders, mentors and that they have a proficient understanding of the ins and outs of business.

“Resilience and perseverance, coupled with an ability to think logically and analytically in approaches to problem solving, should be regarded as crucial tools in the kit of any developer.”