Hard and Soft Skills in Tech


It’s both more serious and less serious than we’ve admitted

I’ve recently seen a lot of very anxious responses from people in tech at anything which suggests that their “core skills” may be devalued, especially in favor of other skills which they haven’t spent their lives on. Most importantly, this shows up in the argument over “hard” versus “soft” skills. That anxiety is itself a signal of how important this has become. But there’s a hidden assumption we’ve been making that (I suspect) has increased the anxiety far out of proportion: and maybe perversely, it comes from not taking soft skills seriously enough. Today, I’d like to share some thoughts on what’s actually happening, and a set of things we can do to help fix it for all of us.

The hard and the soft. Left: “Hammer” by 0Four; Right: “Cloth in the Khiva Market” by eatswords.

1. Some observational data

Read More