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Hard skills or Soft skills? Which developers are cost more?

What are «hard» and «soft» skills in IT? What does the employer pay attention to and which skills for IT are value higher? In order to build a successful career, it is necessary to constantly develop their skills. Hard skills are professional, technical skills. Soft skills are the ability to build workflows, evaluate your abilities and work as a team.

Hard skills: what does it mean?

Hard skills are acquired and include the amount of knowledge and skills required for a particular job. This is the knowledge acquired in universities or profile courses, and improved independently, in the process of work.

Examples of hard skills in IT are:

  • writing the code which will be short and easy for other developers
  • creatione applications based on deep knowledge of data structure and algorithms
  • understanding database logic, including the most basic of them – SQL, NoSQL, PostgreSQL
  • knowledge of several programming languages and improvement of knowledge in the main language
  • ability to use libraries of classes, functions and objects for the full implementation of application logic
  • confident competence in mathematical formulas, algorithms and operations
  • fluency in technical English
  • understanding blockchain technology, basic computer networks, integrated development environment
  • skills in User Experience – UX Design

Now, knowing what hard skills are, we will understand what is related to software skills in IT.

Soft skills

Soft skills more characterized IT as a person, revealing his communication skills, the features of creative and analytical thinking, emotional intelligence, and the ability to work in a team with a clear corporate culture.

Soft skills for IT sphere are:

  • ability to articulate clear and set goals in a team
  • understanding the principles of project management and proper, rational planning of objectives and development process
  • effective time management
  • business communication skills with partners and colleagues, ability to conduct effective meetings
  • ability to plan and organize meetings and kanban meetings
  • knowledge of the basics of conflict management, possession of strategies of conflict behavior
  • ownership and management of your emotions (self management), adequate perception of constructive criticism
  • desire to learn and grow

An ideal resume should contain a list of attributes that the employer will definitely pay attention to. Especially this concerns the adaptability to different conditions and flexibility in the work process – changing team members, switching to a different work mode, etc.

Among personal qualities are especially valued:

  • perseverance, finding new solutions, increasing expertise
  • activity, ability and responsibility for making choices
  • leadership skills for a Manager
  • negotiating skills

The hard and soft attributes for each position can change and depend on different factors. The fact remains that both professional and personal skills need to be pumped. Programmers, testers, administrators, system analysts, QA-engineers and other IT-specialists, as a rule, work in a team, so for them soft skills and hard skills are important to the same degree. But if we talk about which specialist is more expensive – a good programmer, but with low soft skills or a programmer who is able to clearly plan their time and tasks, the choice, most often, will be in favor of the second one. Developing professional skills is easier than mastering developed soft skills.


According to research conducted by SRI International, soft skills in the field of information technology are more important. Success in getting a job only 25% depends on hard skills, HR great attention is paid to personal qualities – creativity, the ability to get out of conflict situations, the ability to maintain themselves working without overload and burnout. Flexible skills help to achieve better results, become part of the team and advance faster in their careers. The time spent on developing soft skills and hard skills will pay off and open up new opportunities in professional implementation.