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5 skills every programmer must learn

October 20th, 2007

You might be the best programmer with an unbeatable logic, but there are some skills that you must obtain before it is too late.

As your age picks up, it is a bit difficult to catch up with so many technical advancements and languages that you can do when you are young. But as your grow up, your preferences would change and so would your likes towards programming and development. You slowly will look at managing than developing. You would aim to become a Project Manager or a Delivery Manager or a Vice President of a corporation. At this level programming skills become less relevant and other managerial skills become more important.

Once you reach that level, it is necessary to have some managerial skills to prove yourself in the area of management as well. Following are the skills that I feel that every programmer should aim at to grow up the corporate ladder.

1. Communication skills
Once you become a manage or start to lead a team, having good communication skills is very important. Both written and verbal. Communication is a two way process. You should learn to speak effectively and also listen. The first step is to improve your English language skills. Read this article on How to learn and improve English

2. Inter-personal skills
Inter-personal skills is the manner in which you deal and interact with others people. These people could be your clients, team mates, colleagues, seniors or your friends.

I have been a programmer myself and understand what it means to have an ‘Ego’ and ‘Shyness’. Shed these two attributes and treat each individual as you would want them to treat you. This will not only help you gain more friends, but you will also be easily accepted in various groups.

3. Time Management Skills
Like all other skills, this is also important and cannot be left aside. Every individual has 24 hours in a day. The key part of that skill is how to manage those 24 hours. We are always bombarded with work and family responsibilities. The skill is how to manage the show properly and stike a good balance to achieve all priority tasks.

I personally recommend reading the section on Time management from 7 habits of highly effective people by Steven Covey. He mentions that you should learn to schedule your priority rather than prioritize your schedule. A must read.

4. Task management skills
This skill becomes very important once you elevate yourself from being a programmer to a manager. You should learn to keep track of various tasks, not only for yourself but also of your team members.

The first step is to manage your tasks well when you are a programmer. To manage tasks you should take notes when you are given a task. Maintain a book/calender where you jot down your tasks and prioritize them. Once you complete a task; strike it off. Follow this process and it will automatically become a habit.

5. Presentation Skills
Another important skill to possess is presentation skills. As your experience grows and you start designing applications, your corporation would want you to present development ideas to clients or members of another team. You could also be asked to train internal people in skills that you are good at. In situations like these you should have good presentation skills.

Presentation skills does not get improved in a day. It requires a series of miserable failures to succeed. You should feel comfortable standing in front of a large group of people to deliver a good presentation. I would recommend that you seek opportunities withing your corporation to train people and help improve your presentation skills.

I recommend reading this article on How to power your presentation.

All these skills mentioned above require a considerable amount of time, practice and failing to master. I would recommend that you start now. If you feel shy or are nervous standing in front of people and presenting, then I recommend that you seek opportunity with your current company to present an idea to a group of people or seek opportunity to train internal people; which will help you eliminate your fear of public speaking.

No matter what, don’t worry at all of what your friends or colleagues would think about you. They might mock at you or insult you, don’t worry at all. Over the next 5 years you probably wont meet them at all… so what are you scared of.

Learn, practice and improve… Best of Luck!!!

If you have any questions, please feel free to leave a comment.

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  1. December 2nd, 2007 at 01:10 | #1


    I was searching something related to PHP and got your website link and then seen this article its really good and will help a lots to every one who will read this, I am also a senior web designer having 8 years of work exp. and looking forward to have project manager position 🙂 I am sure this article will help, most impressive thing of this article is “This Article is saying thousand words in some line: in short this Article is short and understandable”

    Rahul Katarey

  2. Yukti
    February 24th, 2008 at 11:13 | #2


    Wonderful articles. Blown with the php 5 “very imp” details I got from your site.
    I appreciate the articles I have gone through and will continue to read more..

    Great Work !!

    Dhanyawad 🙂

  3. Ramkrishna Giri
    February 27th, 2008 at 12:28 | #3


    Thanks a lot for this article. We(programmers) mainly give focus on technical skill .. So it is very helpful to all of us(programmers those want to be manager). I expect more article of this type from you.


  4. March 26th, 2008 at 18:05 | #4

    Nice article

  5. March 26th, 2008 at 18:06 | #5

    Nice article,
    I found it useful….


  6. Yamini
    April 7th, 2008 at 17:00 | #6

    Wonderful article . every programmer should read.
    Upload more article of this type…..

  7. May 9th, 2008 at 10:06 | #7

    Hi find ur article while searching on PHP , its good, It will help a lot to new as well as experienced programmer

  8. Mohd. Urooj Habeeb
    December 22nd, 2008 at 19:06 | #8


    Very nice & helpful…
    Really appreciate your effort ..

    “This Article conveys a lot of things in just few line or I should saw word…” Gr8.

    Khuda Hafiz

  9. March 6th, 2009 at 21:33 | #9

    this is an excellent article.

    every one should follow this tips……………………………

  10. March 6th, 2009 at 21:49 | #10

    hi sir this article is very good for giving type of sms iam thankful 2 u sir………………………………..

  11. February 15th, 2010 at 02:36 | #11

    Dear Mr. Sunil. I found your website to be very useful. I was running my website and php application development company in Bangalore. Now i am in London looking for better opportunities. But now I feel like the scope of my domain here is quite less as compared to Bangalore. Please give me a futuristic business suggestion that i can implement here. Looking out for your valuable suggestion and assossiation with you.
    thanks and Regards. Joseph

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