Importance of Engineering Communication in Software Companies and How to Do It Right

How to Grow Your Engineering Communication Skills for Software Company Jobs

If you want to grow your career in software engineering, you can’t reach the pinnacle of success till you know how to do engineering communication the right way. A common speciality of most software firms is that people from different domains (both technical and non-technical) work here.

When the software team gets prepared to release a new product, the content team starts documentation, manuals, and blogs to make the product understandable for the customers. The marketing team reaches target audiences through meetings, promotions, and other ways.

But misunderstanding between teammates is nothing new in a company. When it happens in software firms it can cause huge time wasted, coding errors, project delays, and low efficiencies. This is why clear and concise communication in software engineering is indispensable.

This article is going to highlight the importance of effective communication in engineering and tips on how to improve it. Keep Reading!

How Engineering Communication Skills Play a Crucial Role in Software Company Jobs

How Engineering Communication Plays a Crucial Role in Software Companies

The breakout of the Covid-19 pandemic changed the IT world quite a lot. The whole world experienced an unprecedented shift to remote working. Even after lifting the lockdown, most companies tend not to increase their in-house team members. This is why the importance of artful communication in the software industry has gone up more than ever.

1. Boosts Teamwork

Creating software is a big project. Most software firms maintain a number of cross-functional teams to carry on their projects. Such as developers, project managers, support, and Q/A engineers. Clear communication helps each of them to check, recheck, and verify their inputs.

Besides, some non-technical teams also work on IT firms with due importance, i.e. Content, Marketing, content marketing, UI/UX designers, digital marketing, Human Resource Management, and Finance team. Rightful communication enables all these teams to move toward the same common goals.

2. Improves Productivity

Effective communication can increase organizational productivity by 20-25%.

McKinsey Report

But how? When developers explain all the new programming terms, features, use cases, and frameworks to the non-technical team members, it becomes easier for them to work on documentation, branding, marketing, and more.

This can help you increase team engagement, build employee morale, mitigate conflicts, ensure accountability, and create a healthy working environment. If there is any confusion, colleagues and workers can raise questions without hesitation.

3. Reduces Errors

If you are a programmer, you know very well how the misplacement of just a single semicolon (;) can lead to huge bugs. So, as soon as someone notices this error, it should be fixed right away. But might be this error has caught the eyes of the design or technical team, who don’t have access to fix it.

If there is an effective communication system, they can quickly report to the support and developer teams about the error. Through collaboration, team members can reduce the likelihood of errors in an organization

4. Saves Costs and Budget

Failure to complete a project on time increases costs to the software firm. If bugs are left unsolved, sooner or later, IT firms have to hire some additional members to find out the errors and make quick releases. A good communication system can save the software firms from these unnecessary costs and budget issues.

save company assets

5. Makes Talent Hunt Easier

In this age of remote work, it has been difficult for most IT firms to justly evaluate the talents of their employees. Besides, due to the lack of a flexible communication system, most companies are struggling today to hire new talents beyond their geographic territories.

This is a reason why many organizations are failing to grow their businesses through offshoring. Having an effective communication system can help a company to find out new talent-minds and manage remote employees more productively.

6. Strengthens Confidence

When team members find it easy to articulate and convey their thoughts in an easy-to-understandable way, it boosts their self-esteem and scales up confidence levels. The software industry, not only reveals the personality of a software developer but also strengthens it.

Besides, being confident is a prerequisite to showing self-authority on specific topics. If you are a team leader or project manager, this is a must to turn on the trust and reliability of other colleagues in you.

7. Improves Client Management

A software company usually has two types of clients: project-based clients and SaaS users. When someone or an agency hires a software firm for any particular project, they are project-based clients. But when they create any software to be used by a large number of people, they are SaaS users.

Both of them differ in their way of delivering messages. The first one will demonstrate to you all their instructions and requirements through emails, scripts, and multiple meetings. But the second one will give reviews, ratings, and recommendations on your product. You must be apt at negotiating with them to create a returning customer base.

8. Encourages Agile Development

Agile development refers to a group of software development approaches that facilitate communication among cross-functional teams through various means. They are scrum meetings, whiteboards, pair programming, and others.

In scrum meetings, cross-functional teams share their regular progress and updates through everyday meetings. Whiteboards allow software developers to display their ideas on a whiteboard so that each team member can see them. In pair programming, one or more mentors constantly monitor the coding of other programmers to check errors.

Due to these real-time effectivenesses, agile development has become a popular framework in engineering communication.

Tips on How to Grow Your Engineering Communication Skills

Tips on How to Grow Your Skills in Engineering Communication

Skilful communication can bring miracles to work. What makes a successful software firm different is the ability to manage and influence its team members. Again, a key quality of the senior software engineer is the ability to communicate with others artfully.

This part of this article is going to show you some tips and explain how to grow your communication effectiveness as a software engineer.

1. Know Your Co-workers

Like any other industry, software engineering has its own language. It has a specific set of terms, jargon, and dialects. Those who are from different domains (meaning not software professionals), may not have enough knowledge of these terminologies.

But a common mistake most software engineers make is that they use these terms while talking with people from other teams (i.e. marketing, design). This creates confusion and wastes valuable time. Therefore, software professionals must know their co-workers before communicating with them.

2. Repeatedly Clarify Your Points

Manier times it happens right after the end of a meeting when you receive feedback from your team members on what they understood from your presentation, you will find at least someone who is interpreting your messages differently.

Not that this is always your fault as they failed to realize the true meaning of your words. But if you leave the matter unresolved, you will be responsible for subsequent disasters. This is why you need to clarify your messages over and over again to make sure all your team members are in the same vessel.

3. Have Softness in Writing Notes and Reviews

Writing is a powerful way of delivering messages. You might be wondering why is written communication important. As a senior developer, sooner after the release of a new product or updated version, you have to write code reviews, release notes, and performance reports.

But the biggest weakness of written communication is that you never know in which state of mind colleagues will read your messages. If you are very strict in writing, some words may hurt your fellow members and create conflict. Therefore, you need to be a bit more careful while writing notes for them.

4. Show Problem Solving Attitude

Dealing with bugs and errors is a common thing in software engineering. A striking specialty of good software firms is that they fix new bugs and errors in the shortest possible time. So, your communication style should be like you are always looking out to solve new errors.

Some introverted people will always be there in your team. If you aren’t open to them or show a problem-solving attitude, they may even hide serious issues. This can seriously damage the healthy working environment of your organization.

Show Problem Solving Attitude

5. Welcome Healthy Conflicts

Conflict sometimes saves your unnecessary waste of time, labor, and budget. However, many consider it taboo in workplaces. If you know how to identify healthy conflicts, you must welcome them. Suppose, one of your team members has submitted an idea in the growth hack session.

There should be a friendly debate on whether to accept it or not, some other members may come up with better ideas. Again, some may bring forward the risk factors associated with this idea that others have failed to notice.

This way you can check the feasibility of new ideas from various perspectives before making a final decision. For this reason, welcoming healthy conflicts is quite a mandatory thing in engineering communication.

6. Understand Client Requirments

You can never underestimate the importance of understanding client requirements correctly if you want to have a successful career in software engineering. To validate you are coding with correct information, make sure you have read out the instructions several times before starting your project.

Because your growth and revenue is depending on their satisfaction. A great idea is to use project management software and include your client in it. This will enable your client to track your progress through Gantt Chart, Critical Path Method, Kanban board, and others. Once you take a wrong move, clients can notify you right away.

7. Listen Carefully

As a senior developer, project manager, or new software engineer, you may need to join team meetings, client meetings, and group work. Not that you will always be a speaker there. Sometimes, you have to listen to their briefings.

It is important for a speaker to clarify his points several times. Because there might be some listeners failing to grab the gist points who might be you as well.

Prior to adding your comments, let the speakers complete their speeches/messages without interruption. A great way to listen carefully is to rephrase those messages in your own words to make sure you have understood rightfully that you have heard.

8. Grow Critical Thinking

Critical thinking will help you present alternative approaches, frameworks, and solutions to your clients and colleagues while talking with them. But you cannot grow this skill overnight. It requires time and practice. So, how to grow this skill?

Do a lot of research, know what your clients want, don’t overcomplicate things, break down the tricky parts, and evaluate the consequences of different alternatives. If you continue to do these, you will start improving this power.

FAQ on Software Engineering Communication

How can a software engineer improve communication skills?

There is no shortcut to improving communication skills whether you are a software engineer or else. It requires practice, patience, and time. If you want to grow your engineering communication skills, keep practising the following things right from today.

1. Understand your audiences
2. Repeatedly clarify your point
3. Have softness in writing notes and reviews
4. Show a problem-solving attitude
5. Welcome healthy conflicts
6. Understand client requirements
7. Listen carefully
8. Grow critical thinking

How do communication skills in software engineering play important roles?

Communication plays a vital role in software companies in the following ways.

1. Boosts teamwork
2. Improves productivity
3. Reduces errors
4. Saves costs and budget
5. Makes talent hunt easier
6. Strengthens confidence
7. Improves client management 
8. Encourage agile development

What are the various types of communication?

There are five types of communication used in all industries including software companies.

1. Verbal communication
2. Written communication
3. Listening
4. Speaking
5. Visual communication

What is the importance of team communication in software engineering?

Communication in software engineering develops a healthy working environment, instils productive discussion, reduces error rate, increases productivity, reduces costs, and saves time.

How to improve written communication skills in the workplace?

In the following ways, you can improve your written communication skills in the workplace.

1. Prepare your message first
2. Consider your readers’ perspectives
3. Draft your messages accordingly
4. Select the best draft copy
5. Paraphrase to keep it simple
6. Get it reviewed by your colleagues if necessary
7. Give a final revision before sending the script

Embrace the Right Technique to Level up Your Engineering Communication Skills

Understanding how to communicate is the very first step to creating a sustainable bonding with others. Over time, with the advancement of technology came regular changes in the communication medium. And this change is making our work much easier.

Today, you can instantly arrange a live meeting with any of your remote employees or clients living thousands of miles away. Besides, the cost to maintain this communication has come down a lot too. But there has been no change in how to maintain productive relationships with others.

Because this is part of human qualities. Hopefully, this article has helped you realize how to grow these skills as a software professional. You can make changes, modifications, and additions to the above tips as per your experience.

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About

Fuad Al Azad is a creative writer who loves to blog on everything in between tech, marketing, and eCommerce. Alongside, he is an admirer of fact, fiction, and philosophy.