A Call to Promote Soft Skills in Software Engineering

12/12/2018
by   Luiz Fernando Capretz, et al.
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We have been thinking about other aspects of software engineering for many years; the missing link in engineering software is the soft skills set, essential in the software development process. Although soft skills are among the most important aspects in the creation of software, they are often overlooked by educators and practitioners. One of the main reasons for the oversight is that soft skills are usually related to social and personality factors, i.e., teamwork, motivation, commitment, leadership, multi-culturalism, emotions, interpersonal skills, etc. This editorial is a manifesto declaring the importance of soft skills in software engineering with the intention to draw professionals attention to these topics. We have approached this issue by mentioning what we know about the field, what we believe to be evident, and which topics need further investigation. Important references to back up our claims are also included. Software engineers take pride in the depth of their technical expertise, which separates them from the crowd. But, what makes a good software engineer? First, it is the technical knowledge of relevant methodologies and techniques (i.e. hard skills), as well as the skills necessary for applying that knowledge in practice. Second, but nonetheless important, it is a set of soft skills, in particular collaboration, communication, problem-solving and similar interpersonal and critical thinking skills that are expected from software engineering professionals. In other words, software engineers need both hard and soft skills in order to be successful at the workplace.

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