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How Coders Communicate: A Lesson For Leaders

Coders are just the guys that sit at the back of the office zoned in on their computers all day, right? While that might have been true once upon a time, it’s not a misconception and simply not the way coders operate anymore. Sure, they still spend most of their time writing lines of code, but they also spend time interacting with clients, working with other coders, and solving complex software issues. As the field of coding develops, so do the the skills required of coders. Now, they are communicators on multiple levels. They communicate through the code they write and through the actions they take in order to find the best solutions. Leaders, it’s time to listen up to what coders are doing and take note on how they communicate.

Using visuals to more effectively communicate complex ideas.

Coders use what is known as a flowchart to visually communicate a desired process. Flowcharts, for coders, are used to identify any flaws, bottlenecks, or inefficiencies within a specific flow or process. As a leader, using visuals can give you more insight into the way you lead your organization or team. Further, when communicating with your team, visuals allow every member to see the points you are making. It’s important, as a leader, to remember that everyone on your team has a different learning style. While you may prefer to simply talk through issues or ideas or processes, certain members of your team may learn better with a visual example.

Relying on documentation to understand concepts and ideas leads to better clarification.

When coders are building out solutions, apps, and software, they rely on documentation. This documentation comes in the form of user interfaces, wireframes, and sketches. No matter the form, though, it gives the coder clear, concise directions of what needs to happen. In much the same way, leaders need to rely on this form of communication to make real change within their organizations. While it might be easier to send an email or jump on the company’s internal chat features, formalized documentation sends a clear message and allows for teams to fully understand your message.

Being decisive allows for few mistakes, misunderstandings, and miscommunication.

Coders often get a bad rap for how they communicate. Decisiveness is misread as coders being harsh or brash. However, a coder’s main goal is to deliver on a design or solution. They are focused in their process and decisive in the way they code the solution. Much the same way, leaders need to be decisive in order to avoid mistakes caused by misunderstanding and miscommunication. As a leader, if you are constantly flopping between decisions or constantly changing your stance on topics, those you are leading will be less effective at their work. Instead, make a decision and stick with it. Be decisive in your actions and your communication.

Open communication allows for clarification on all levels.

Coders are often envisioned as the guys who sit in the dark into the late hours of the night fixated on lines of gibberish running across their computer screens, but it’s actually way more technical than that. The best coders understand that open communication with a client, partner, or fellow coder leads to better solutions. When you’re open with your team or your employees, you’ll not only get honest feedback, but you’ll allow for clarification on all levels. Whether it’s your expectations, a company policy, or even a current project, open communication leads to efficiency, production, and better results.

Coding isn’t all backend development anymore. Sure, a developer spends a majority of their day writing line after line of code, but it’s only through communication that their skills and solutions are fully realized. By observing and understanding the way coders communicate, leaders can learn to more effectively communicate and, in turn, lead their teams and organizations better.

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April 4, 2017

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