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Balancing Hard and Soft Skills

Many of us would prefer that the technology industry were a meritocracy. One there we get opportunities and are compensated according to our skills. We learn to code better, or manage more systems, and we're seen as more valuable (and rewarded appropriately). Or maybe many of us would prefer that things stay the same, since we might worry that we'd be paid less because our skills aren't as sharp as our co-workers.

In any case, we don't work in a meritocracy, but if we did, we might recognize that it's not just your programming skills that are being measured. In this piece on hard and soft skills, the author notes that the importance of soft skills is both more and less serious than we might imagine. If that sounds contradictory, it is, but read the article and you'll see that this is a complex issue.

The main point from the author is one that we've realized at Redgate for some time, and it's why we're refocusing our efforts on teamwork. Most modern systems are too complex to be built by one person, which means a group of people need to work together. DevOps asks us to build a culture of collaboration and communication, which are critical soft skills. It matters less and less if you're an amazing developer that can't work with others for some reason.

I do think that the more you advance in your career, the more important these skills become as your job is not just code. It's also helping shape the direction of software, teaching others, and sharing what you know. If you don't have the skills to interact well with others, then I suspect your ceiling may be lower than you like. Or worse, your tenure shorter than you'd prefer.

At Redgate, we do embed a lot of customer research, discussions, and more inside development teams.  At times, I think too much, but I often stop and think about the teams I've worked with that didn't do this. They don't necessarily code quicker, certainly lack understanding and empathy, and certainly don't make more customers happy. We're trying to adopt more soft skills inside the company, while learning to build better software.

To build a team, we need to value those in the team, and work with them, not against them. Those are skills that can certainly help us in our career, as well as skills that help any organization learn to operate more smoothly, with more retention. At least, more retention of those that have strong soft skills.

Steve Jones - SSC Editor

Join the debate, and respond to today's editorial on the forums

  Featured Contents

A Step by Step Guide to the Availability Group (AG) Listener

rathishkb from SQLServerCentral

Availability databases hosted on SQL Server Always On Availability Groups (AG) can be connected using a unique Virtual Network Name (VNN), called the Availability Group Listener. When an Availability Group is enabled, clients can connect to databases in both primary and secondary replicas without explicitly specifying the SQL Server instance name. You don’t even need […]

Database Delivery with Docker and SQL Change Automation

Additional Articles from Redgate

Phil Factor demonstrates the basics of how to automate database builds into a Linux SQL Server container running on Windows, and then backup the containerized database and restore it into dedicated containerized development copies for each developer and tester.

Filtering Object Explorer Detailed Information in SSMS

Additional Articles from Database Journal

Need to know how to use the “Filter” item in the SSMS Object Explorer Details window to show a specific list of tables that contain a specific string of characters? If so, then read on!

From the SQL Server Central Blogs - Power BI Interview Questions – Volume 02 – Data Shaping

Devin Knight from Devin Knight

Welcome to a brand new series that I have started with with Erin Ostrowsky [Blog | Twitter] that will focus on interviewing for a Power

From the SQL Server Central Blogs - Cool Stuff in Snowflake – Part 9: ILIKE

Koen Verbeeck from Koen Verbeeck

I’m doing a little series on some of the nice features/capabilities in Snowflake (the cloud data warehouse). In each part, I’ll highlight something that I think it’s interesting enough to...


  Question of the Day

Today's question (by Steve Jones - SSC Editor):


The Client Key

Which key is stored on the client, or accessed by the client, and used for the encryption/decryption operations in Always Encrypted?

Think you know the answer? Click here, and find out if you are right.


Redgate Webinars


  Yesterday's Question of the Day (by Steve Jones - SSC Editor)

Clearing Backup History

If I want to clear the backup history for only the Scratch database from my instance, and not remove history for the Sales database, how do I do this?

Answer: Run sp_delete_database_backuphistory with a parameter of 'Scratch' in the msdb database

Explanation: sp_delete_backuphistory only takes a date parameter to trim history for all database backups. sp_delete_database_backuphistory allows you to specify a database, but this must be run from msdb. Ref: sp_delete_database_backuphistory -

Discuss this question and answer on the forums




Database Pros Who Need Your Help

Here's a few of the new posts today on the forums. To see more, visit the forums.

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SQL Server 2017 - Development
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SQL Server 2016 - Administration
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SQL Server 2016 - Development and T-SQL
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Administration - SQL Server 2014
Failover in FCI SQL with command SQL - Hello everyone on an FCI Failover cluster instance how can I failover  to the second node without restarting the main node is there an SQL command or Powershell that allows me to do the failover thank you
Development - SQL Server 2014
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Best way to find if string is whitespace - I appreciate it is a trifling question and yet. One of our sites organises its customers in small groups. Those groups are used for various purposes, including customer's address. When I generate invoice (many thousands a day) I check if the customer belongs to a certain group and then query if that group has an […]
SQL Server 2012 - T-SQL
Get list Stored procedure dependency on legacy database without FK - Good Day, I need advice and solution how to get Get list Stored procedure dependency from root stored procedure because this is legacy database without FK so i can not identify relation for each table without FK. any advice or solution are welcome. thanks for advance.  
Building a table based on another one(s) - Hi, We have 3 people that answer the phones to help our customer with questions. As a result, we get a call report that shows who was on a phone and when, and for how long; which I put in a table; and this report, it also shows missed calls. I made the table below, showing […]
SQL Server Newbies
New to SQL - difficulties in SUMing only certain rows of a column, other misc. - This is for SQL Server 8.0 and I'm using MySQL Workbench on this.   I have a table called 'business_ledger' and the following fields: employee_name (various string values to denote employees - not used in this query but it's part of the database), title (with values: Novice, Journeyman, Master), Earnings (various int values), certification (with […]
SSRS 2016
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uk training providers for dba or dev certs. - Hi guys, I was considering firebrand for an accelerated MCSA cert.  I have years of experience, just haven't got around to getting certified yet.  They are expensive but accelerated.  I'm not sure I have the patience to self study for this.  I feel like I would like the confidence from certification because, even though I've […]


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