The start of a new year prompts us to summarize and attempt to predict trends. There are some discussions about technologies gaining popularity, and lately, I’ve been hearing often about the upcoming digital transformation based on AI.
However, as an HR professional, I will want to share my insights about personal and social competencies, which roles are growing in today’s world of uncertainty and continuous new challenges in the IT sector. If you’re also curious about our predictions in the technology field, check our blog post: Tech Trends to Watch in 2024. Spoiler Alert: Not Just AI!
Why are personal and social competencies just as important as technological skills?
Communication or teamwork alone is not enough to become a programmer. Otherwise, I could even call myself one 🙂 However, certain gaps in technical competencies can be filled and developed. In a relatively short time, one can learn a specific technology, like React. I have often encountered candidates who changed their current profession, e.g., a Recruiter becoming a Java Developer, and were able to achieve a satisfying level even within one year of intense work! However, developing soft skills is a longer process, requiring continuous practice, analyzing one’s reactions, correcting behaviors, and it’s rather difficult to learn this from books or courses. In IT, soft skills go hand in hand with technical skills, enabling a project team to cooperate excellently and effectively achieve business goals. At Clurgo, we understand this well, so from the first encounter with a candidate in recruitment, we pay equally strong attention to soft skills as to knowledge of, for example, Java, SpringBoot, and Hibernate.
What competencies will be of growing importance in 2024?
For some time, I have noticed the growing role of certain soft skills. Found it curious? Read on!
Change is an integral part of our work. It may sound a bit cliche, but that’s our reality. I would even say that IT specialists are no longer just expected to adapt to constantly evolving environmental conditions, business requirements, new technologies, but are increasingly initiating changes in projects, proposing optimizations and automations. Clurgo is a business partner for our clients, and we support them with the knowledge of consultants who have dozens of different projects behind them. Our specialists are not afraid to propose and suggest changes, even small ones make a huge difference.
In IT projects, we encounter various challenges, often requiring out-of-the-box solutions. I understand resourcefulness as independence, the ability to find optimal solutions. This also includes daily use of analytical thinking, creativity, decision-making skills, and the courage to test new solutions. According to the World Economic Forum’s “Future of Jobs 2023” report, the fastest-growing importance is creative and analytical thinking, which may suggest the increasing significance of problem-solving skills at work.
Development and Learning
In the IT world, which constantly delivers new solutions, technologies, and practices, this is an indispensable element. It is essential to be constantly open to acquiring new knowledge, undertaking new tasks, and skillfully accessing necessary information. A big part of development is sharing knowledge within a project, team, or company. At Clurgo, we take care of such a space, for example, by organizing regular meetings Tidbits of Technology where everyone can present a selected technological issue or show a recent optimization in a project. When a client partners with our specialist, who is backed by the knowledge, experience, and support of over 100 programmers, they gain much more than by hiring directly.
It is worth adding that also Grzegorz Futa recently pointed out in his text the necessity of continuous learning. It seems that in today’s world a programmer who does not continue his education can easily be at a disadvantage.
I also think that the comprehensive skills in the area of project implementation is gaining importance. The report mentioned above indicates the growing importance of “Technological literacy” – the ability to use technology. Not every project needs, for example, a strict Front End Developer role, as increasingly often a Backend Developer has the knowledge and skills to fully implement such functionalities. That’s why at Clurgo, we support those willing to broaden their technical competencies by offering new tasks or organizing frontend workshops. In uncertain times, what is always valued is QUALITY – despite tougher times even in IT, companies still seek specialists who combine high technical, personal, social, and language competencies.
Working on IT projects involves constant cooperation in diverse teams (including programmers, testers, analysts, project managers) with other teams and Business. Shared goals, engagement, and taking joint responsibility for outcomes bond the team. Let’s not forget about a good, collegial atmosphere. Working in IT is increasingly less about individual projects, so openness to exchanging experiences, sharing ideas, and providing support in case of difficulties is important. Teamwork, a partnership approach, and adaptation to organizational culture are topics that will continue to be popular.
Good and effective communication is fundamental for good teamwork. Communication should be respectful to others, the message clear and precise, and opinions backed by arguments. For me, this also involves active listening and asking pertinent questions that clarify, help find solutions, or engage passive team members in the discussion. It’s also important to remember to give and be open to feedback, as this is one of the factors in our development. Communication is a competency gaining importance in a world where remote and hybrid work models still dominate in IT, as shown by the NoFluffJobs report about IT Job Market in Poland in 2023. (Polish: “Rynek pracy IT w Polsce w 2023 roku”).
I’m curious, what competencies do you think will be important in the upcoming months? Do you agree with me on some of the ones listed, or do you have a different opinion? I think trying to predict trends is an interesting game – in a year we can all come back to this text and check how much we managed to guess the future.