FreeAgent office, Edinburgh

Why your transferable skills make you perfect for tech

Written by Zsolt, Instructor at CodeClan

What do you think the most important attributes/skills would be to make a great developer?

If somebody had asked me this question six months ago, my answer would’ve looked like this:

  • Excellent at maths
  • Can type code at amazing speed
  • Can hack into the Pentagon’s network under 5 minutes

Now, six months, a 16-week long coding bootcamp and endless amounts of coffee later I can safely say that, although the above mentioned points can potentially be useful, it is not necessary at all.

Skills that are looked for by your future employer in the tech industry are much more diverse and common than you’d imagine. Best of all – you probably already possess some of them!

Teamwork

One of the most mentioned skills is being a great team player. Apart from freelancers, almost everyone who works in the world of tech works in a team. From a small start up to large corporation, the size of your team may vary, but the importance of working with them closely will not.

A good team always delivers better service, can overcome obstacles easier and provides an enjoyable atmosphere to work in.

Communication

The industry desperately needs people who, apart from being developers, are excellent communicators. Most of the time developers should talk directly with the customers.

By cutting out a middle man to transfer messages about changes, new features or problems with the existing product, developers will have an easier time understanding the customer’s needs. Not to mention the added benefit of the customer feeling more involved in the product’s development cycle!

Problem solving

While technical skills are important when it comes to more experienced roles, expecting junior developers to possess the same amount of knowledge is not realistic. What your future team leader might want from you, however, is problem solving skills.

Most of your time as a programmer will involve solving problems caused by you, your colleagues or the unfortunate alignment of the stars. If you have a knack for finding solutions where others only see the problem itself, you already have something extremely valuable.

Passion

One more thing that you may not expect to be sought for is enthusiasm. Of course, when you are passionate about coding – and believe me, after 16 weeks of coding, you will develop a passion for it – it helps a lot when you are learning or you already have a job and produce beautifully crafted lines of code for a living.

But what you may not know is that apart from the code tests, competency based questions and experience, what our employer partners look for is enthusiasm. When they see that spark in your eyes and hear the excitement in your voice, they know that you will be an excellent addition to their team. You can learn the craft by practicing it on a daily basis – being passionate makes it less of a chore and more like an adventure.

Obviously the list does not end here, the above mentioned points are just some of the skills that are transferable from your previous career. Many other things can help you stand out from the crowd and aid you in your job hunt. Don’t think about the tech world as something strange and alien.

You might just have everything that your future boss will dream of…

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