When we think about programmers, one of the things that comes to mind is the picture of them coding furiously in their corners.
But a programmer’s job involves more than this. We often work in teams with members of different specialties, skillsets and perspectives. This makes communication critical for success.
Communication is obviously an important skill. But what makes communication effective?
The answer is empathy.
According to Merriam Webster, empathy is:
the action of understanding, being aware of, being sensitive to, and vicariously experiencing the feelings, thoughts, and experience of another of either the past or present without having the feelings, thoughts, and experience fully communicated in an objectively explicit manner
This allows us to pay attention and understand different perspectives, which improves communication and allows us to learn from each other.
It helps us identify the needs and motivations in others, which is critical for providing real value to clients, users and employers.
Besides coding, it’s important for us programmers to properly communicate and bring relevant value as we present technical solutions. And empathy enables these skills.