skip navigation
skip mega-menu

Confident Communication For Developers and Why it Matters

In our fast-paced world full of technology, conferences, and remote work where lines of code often take centre stage, the topic of confident communication might seem redundant. However, it's a crucial skill that can make or break a developer's career. This blog dives into the significance of confident communication for developers (as well as for everyone else reading!) and why mastering this skill is essential in today's professional landscape.

A huge thanks to iO Associates’ seasoned recruiter Aaron Green for delivering his amazing talk at the DDD South West; the information provided below is based upon his excellent talk.

The Foundations of Confidence:

Confidence plays a significant role in communication comments Aaron. It's not just about self-belief; it's also about inspiring trust in others. Confidence enables developers to convey their ideas effectively, whether its pitching a project, interviewing for a job, or collaborating with colleagues. Understanding the difference between internal (self-belief) and external (perception and influences) confidence is key to building effective communication skills.

In all areas of life first impressions matter, and in the tech industry, where communication might not always be a developer's forte, they can be particularly impactful. Research shows that individuals tend to subconsciously label others upon first encounters, forming impressions that can be difficult to shake. Factors such as personal background and experiences, including instances of social discomfort or anxiety, can influence these initial perceptions which can hinder the creation of trusting relationships and stunt confidence growth.

Effective communication goes beyond words—it requires an understanding of social cues and the ability to adapt behaviour accordingly. This process, known as social calibration, is essential for navigating various social contexts and building rapport with others. While it can be challenging, particularly for individuals with autism, recognising and adjusting to social cues is a skill that can be honed with practice.

People with strong social calibration skills and confidence may often have themselves misconstrued as being arrogant, but in reality, it's about building trust and credibility. Confident communication is essential for various aspects of a developer's career, including interviews, presentations, and team collaborations. By projecting confidence, developers can create not only a huge amount of trust in their abilities but also in themselves and enhance their professional reputation.

To show the importance of communication, Aaron shared statistics in his talk. Here are some of his findings below:

  • 70% of Global Employers believe communication is the most desirable skill for potential recruits.
  • An American study which sampled 12,686 young men and women found that socially confident people can make $28,000 more per year than their less confident counterparts.
  • 72% of business leaders believe that effective communication has increased their team’s productivity.
  • 36% of employees in the US (UK likely similar) deal with high levels of stress due to people issues.

In 2024 LinkedIn performed its latest global inventory of in-demand skills for professionals –surveying the 1 billion members across 200 regions and countries. The result of that was an overwhelming feeling expressed by LinkedIn VP Aneesh Raman:

“People skills are going to come more to the centre of individual career growth”.

So how does one become more confident?

Whilst the term ‘fake it till you make it’ can be highly efficacious there are generally some excellent rules of thumb to stick to when making first impressions and dealing with social scenarios.

In discussing body language, Aaron highlights its significant role in creating confidence. Nonverbal cues, he explains, account for a substantial portion of human interaction. Whether through hand gestures, facial expressions, or posture, body language can convey confidence, openness, or insecurity. By mastering these cues, you can enhance your presence and stature in social interactions.

Alongside body language, Aaron also emphasised the importance of active listening and self-awareness in communication. These skills enable individuals to fully engage with others, understand their perspectives, and respond thoughtfully. Authenticity, he stresses, is vital as it can build trust and understanding.

Facing setbacks

But even whilst utilising your metaphorical social skills toolkit, you can sometimes encounter social setbacks. Overcoming social failure is tough and requires resilience and a strong growth mindset. Failure is inevitable, but it can serve as a valuable learning experience. By reframing setbacks as opportunities for growth, you can really create deep and genuine confidence and perseverance in the face of adversity. Even when you feel low on self-esteem, if you continuously improve your social skills by making small incremental changes over time, you will eventually realise just how confident you feel when facing others in person and not just over a screen.

So even when facing social difficulty, try to confront your fears and take calculated risks. Confidence, Aaron explains, is not about arrogance but about self-assurance with humility.

To conclude Aaron’s inspiring talk, confident communication is a foundational skill for developers and professionals in all fields. By understanding its importance, mastering nonverbal cues, and practising active listening and self-awareness, you can build trust and credibility in social interactions. With dedication, anyone can cultivate confidence and excel in their communication skills, as Aaron Green exemplifies through his insightful guidance and personal experience.

Subscribe to our newsletter

Sign up here