Soft Skills for SW Engineers

Fokhruz Zaman Sep 03, 2008

Why learn soft skills ?

Google Search Engine found 189,000 matches for “Soft Skills for a Software Engineer” Employers often get biased towards “Attitude” rather than “Aptitude” SW Engg is essentially “SOFT” 
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Soft Topics
 

TEAM Collaboration Skills Thinking Skills
 Creative

Skills (6 THT)

Time Management Skills
 Meeting

Management Skills  Write Everything !

Communication Skills
 Interpersonal

Skills  Self-Reflection / Introspection
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6 soft skills for every hardnosed professional
     

Interpersonal skills Team Spirit Social Grace Business Etiquette Negotiation Skills Behavioral Traits, such as:
1. 2. 3.

Attitude, Motivation, and Time management
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Soft skills “hard-wired” ?

 


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Like you learned brushing your teeth at childhood … 40-days continuous practice makes it a habit  Write ! Write !! Write !!! Use Hard-bound fat “ruler” Notebooks  Hear WIIFM Radio … 
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Presenter Intro
    

Born in 1965, Bangladesh. Working in the Global Software Development Industry since late 1988. 2001–Present Millennium Information Solution Dhaka

CTO & Co-Founder

1999, Sep–2001 Horizon Software

Dhaka

CTO & Co-Founder

1997–July,99 Bell Atlantic (Nynex) S&T Asia Bangkok

Manager, Software & Network

1995–97 Experty Technical Equipment Co. Bangkok

R&D Manager

 

1993–94 International Centre for Population

Dhaka

Software Developer & Network Administrator

1988–92 Machine Dialogue

Dhaka

Software Developer & Manager

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Software ? SW Engg ??

Software
A

Thought Product  A TEAM Sport

SW Engg (partial view)
 The

V-Model  TDD – the philosophy

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TEAM Collaboration Skills

TEAM :
Together  Everyone  Achieves  More

 


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“Lone Super-Hero” days are gone With proper TEAM-spirit, and discipline; ordinary individuals can make extra-ordinary TEAMs Pair Programming …
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Thinking Skills

The 6 Thinking Hats
 White  Red  Yellow  Black  Green  Blue

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Thinking Skills: Benefits Of The Six Thinking Hat Framework Parallel Adversarial Saves Time Improves Creativity & Innovation Fosters Collaborative Thinking
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Thinking Skills:

Dr. Edward de Bono

The Originator

• M.D., Ph.D., (philosophy, medicine & psychology), Rhodes scholar • World-renowned consultant to business, governments, schools and industry • Author of 62 books in 40 languages • Originator of Six Thinking Hats, Lateral Thinking and Direct Attention Thinking Tools

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Thinking Skills: 6 THT:

The Basics

• There are six different imaginary hats that you can put on or take off. • Think of the “hats” as thinking icons. • Each hat is a different color and represents a different type or mode of thinking. • We all wear the same hat (do the same type of thinking) at the same time. • When we change hats - we change our 03.sep.08 thinking.
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Managing The Thinking

Blue Hat

Neutral & Objective Checked & Believed Facts Missing Information & Where To Source It

Information & Data

White Hat

Setting The Focus Making Summaries Overviews • Conclusions Action Plans

Why It May Not Work
Cautions • Dangers Problems • Faults Logical Reasons Must Be Given

Black Hat

FOCUS Why It May Work

Yellow Hat

Values & Benefits (Both Known & Potential) The Good In It Logical Reasons Must Be Given

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Possibilities • Alternatives New Ideas • New Concepts Overcome Black Hat Problems & Reinforce Yellow Hat Values

Creative Thinking

Green Hat

Emotions Or Hunches “At This Point” No Reasons or Justification Keep It Short

Feelings & Intuition

Red Hat

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Managing The Thinking

Blue Hat

Neutral & Objective Checked & Believed Facts Missing Information & Where To Source It

Information & Data

White Hat

Setting The Focus Making Summaries Overviews • Conclusions Action Plans

Why It May Not Work
Cautions • Dangers Problems • Faults Logical Reasons Must Be Given

Black Hat

FOCUS Why It May Work

Yellow Hat

Values & Benefits (Both Known & Potential) The Good In It Logical Reasons Must Be Given

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Possibilities • Alternatives New Ideas • New Concepts Overcome Black Hat Problems & Reinforce Yellow Hat Values

Creative Thinking

Green Hat

Emotions Or Hunches “At This Point” No Reasons or Justification Keep It Short

Feelings & Intuition

Red Hat

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Faci lita to r’ s Rol e
• Define the focus of your thinking • Plan the sequence and timing of the thinking • Ask for changes in the thinking if needed • Handle requests from the group for changes in the thinking • Form periodic or final summaries of the thinking for consideration by the team

Thinking Skills:

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x

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Par tici pant’ s Role
• Follow the lead of trained Six Thinking Hats facilitator • Stick to the hat (type of thinking) that is in current use • Try to work within the time limits • Contribute honestly & fully under each of the hats
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Thinking Skills:

Time Management Skills
 

Meeting Management Skills Write Everything !
1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

Plan in the Morning – 15 mins Make a Laundry List of Tasks Set a Time Range for each Task Set Task Priority Levels Review Plan in the Evening – 15 mins
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Time Management Skills
Sl Task Description Time Priority

1 Check Mails

9:00 AM Top to 9:30 AM

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Communication Skills
     

Interpersonal Skills Self-Reflection / Introspection Pair Programming .. ? Clarity in Presenting … Well-thought-out arguments Conclusions …

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Social Grace
   

Friendly ? Handsome or Beautiful ?? Well-groomed ? Soft-spoken ?
A skill for dealing with people and society; The ability to fit into polite society and behave properly and with etiquette

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Business Etiquette

   

Learning the skills of proper etiquette…. Manners … Intercultural communication … Respect Others… YVP .. NOT .. IVP …

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Negotiation Skills - 1
 

Goals: what do you want to get out of the negotiation? What do you think the other person wants? Trades: What do you and the other person have that you can trade? What do you each have that the other wants? What are you each comfortable giving away? Alternatives: if you don’t reach agreement with the other person, what alternatives do you have? Are these good or bad? How much does it matter if you do not reach agreement? Does failure to reach an agreement cut you out of future opportunities? And what alternatives might the other person have? Relationships: what is the history of the relationship? Could or should this history impact the negotiation? Will there be any hidden issues that may influence the negotiation? How will you handle these? Expected outcomes: what outcome will people be expecting from this negotiation? What has the outcome been in the past, and what precedents have been set? The consequences: what are the consequences for you of winning or losing this negotiation? What are the consequences for the other person? Power: who has what power in the relationship? Who controls resources? Who stands to lose the most if agreement isn’t reached? What power does the other person have to deliver what you hope for? Possible solutions: based on all of the considerations, what possible compromises might there be?
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Negotiation Skills – 9 Tips
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9.
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Remember you're the expert Negotiation is a two-way street Hold firm to your principles Know when to walk away Don't be intimidated Keep your ear to the ground Stay consistent Don't celebrate until the contract is signed Respect the process
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Behavioral Traits
  

Attitude, Motivation, and Time management

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Be your own trainer !
  

 

Be a part of TEAM activities Get your SWOT from close Peers Manage yourself to manage your TIME ! Introspect on how you react to feedback How good are you at critiquing ? Live consciously
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Software Development LifeCycle (SDLC)
Establish the business case for the software. - Target audience - What problem it will solve - How it will solve it – high level Requirements keep coming throughout the lifecycle and have to be managed. - Project contract - Acceptance criteria Software configuration management - Version control - Release management
Concept Gather Requirements

Maintenance

Model Requirements

Avg projects spend 10% effort on req gathering and modeling. Successful projects spend 28%. - Detailed SRS - Use case modeling - Screen UI mockups

One study found that 54% of all the errors were discovered after unit testing was complete, and that 45% of these were requirements or design errors.
Test planning, execution and defect correction. - Test cases - Test against expected results - Bug tracking software -03.sep.08 Test automation

Launch

High Level Design

Must decide baseline architecture

Testing Development

Impl. Design

Test-driven development

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References / Acknowledgements

Six Thinking Hats®
A Framework For Parallel Thinking In Teams

Resources Unlimited 800.278.1292 or 515.278.1292
info@ResourcesUnlimited.com

www.ResourcesUnlimited.com

Internet

 

http://www-128.ibm.com/developerworks/rational/library/sep06/pollice/index.html
http://ia.rediff.com/getahead/2005/jun/30soft.htm And other references .. URLS …

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