Programmers should have good communication – How to get it

I have heard this complaint from many IT managers, that the programmers are vague. Or that they can’t communicate clearly what they want to say.speak up communicationMany times they blabber – they say things that are pronounced so vaguely that nobody understands them. The same can be said of their writing, people have to ask them repeatedly to get some things cleared.

Asking is another thing. There are many people who don’t question any decision, don’t even ask for clarification in a meeting if they don’t understand anything. They don’t say on the lines of “I didn’t understand, could you clarify”.

The reason for that is

  • They are not used to asking questions in school – rote learning
  • They think people would think they are stupid if they ask questions
  • They think it is a mark of insubordination

If you are a programmer then having good communication skills will get you places. Just writing good comments and documents will get you a promotion in no time.

Having communication skills would include:

  • Ability to make a good speech
  • Ability to make clear cut presentations
  • Writing nice e-mail that people understand
  • Talking clearly
  • Asking and clarifying things

To do this, you need to practice. Here are some things you can do.

  1. Join Toastmasters. The joining would cost you Rs. 5000/- but if you start giving practice speeches, your blabbery would go away. That’s because if you want to give clear speech, you need to have a sound voice.
  2. Sing loudly. If you can’t sing in your room, then find a place, a hill perhaps and sing there. Having a clear voice is a big plus in your professional life. Also the ladies like it *wink*.
  3. Ask questions. Anything you don’t understand, ask. Everybody asks, the smart people and the higher ups, everybody do. Notice that. That will help you get over your shyness.
  4. Write in bullet points. Now this is quite a subjective practise, but it’s a start. As you get better at writing, you will know how to make clearer statements and documents.
  5. Approach up strangers. If you are the quite type by habit, a way to loosen up is approaching strangers on roads and asking them questions, getting them into conversations. A very difficult activity at first, but as you get practice, you get better at it.
  6. Open up girls. If you are not habituated to talk to girls, approach unknown girls and tell them that you are shy and are approaching them to get rid of your shyness. It gets rid of your shyness

Remember you are trying to communicate clearly, that may mean starting up will be difficult, but anything worth having is not easy to get.