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Home » Women in STEM » Why you need to hone soft skills to succeed in the tech industry

Sharon Conneely

VP of Engineering, Delivery, Fresco

There are misconceptions about what it takes to have a successful career in tech, with the need for hard skills such as computer programming being one of them.

I always wanted to work in the tech industry, but I was aware that my skill set did not match most of the jobs in the market. I have found that soft skills have the greatest potential to help you stand out and succeed.  

Maximising soft skills in tech 

After completing my undergraduate degree in economics and postgraduate in systems analysis, I started working as a Business Analyst. The company I joined prioritised hiring based on soft skills and fostered a culture of learning everything else on the job. Through this experience, I realised where my strengths lay and how I could best utilise them to progress in my career.  

I am adept at bringing people to a decision by facilitating difficult conversations with cross-functional teams. My goal is to get alignment by listening and asking the questions that most people are too afraid to ask for fear of coming across as uninformed. I can digest and transmit complex information between key stakeholders. I enjoy being able to get into the tactical detail with a developer or work through strategic thinking at a senior level. 

I feel I am working outside of the typical
lines that the industry has defined.

Find your strengths and apply them 

This combination of soft skills has enabled me to carve out a niche and create roles that best utilise my strengths while bringing the most value to the teams I support. I feel I am working outside of the typical lines that the industry has defined. I have seen this throughout my career, and it continues at Fresco as VP of Delivery – Engineering. 

My advice to anyone looking to pursue a similar trajectory in the tech industry is to understand and hone your soft skills first. Everything else can be learned as you go. The companies I have worked with have all empowered me to succeed because they appreciated these skills early on and trusted me to work hard and deliver. 

If you’re interested in a career in the tech industry, Fresco is hiring. Visit here to learn more. 

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