Why are soft skills more important than technical skills?

My perspective on what really counts when you are approaching a new job, or you are choosing a new person to hire in your staff.

With this post, I wanted to continue my journey into the world of the human resources department in the ICT field.

As the CTO of my company, 3DGIS, I manage people every day. There is always something new to learn while having people around, both professionally and not. It’s all about feeling and emotions.

I’m in the ICT field since the year 2002. A lot of water has passed under the bridge and my perception of what really counts has changed. And it changed a lot.

Since the beginning of my journey, critical projects have always been in my path. My education is deeply technical. I used to think there is nothing better than science and that knowledge is the only thing that counts at the end.

But is really that important? Last year I worked with a few people without any real previous experience. Their background is pretty technical and, on the paper, they should know enough to start working on a real project with just a few days of training.

I was wrong. And that’s the first lesson I had.

Average scholarly knowledge is pretty poor

There is no other way to tell you this.

When you get out from school (both high school and university), you know nothing.

You think to know many things, but the reality is different.

If you are not applying to a researcher career (PhD or something similar), you will find out that all you know is pretty useless without paying your dues.

This means that the pure theory you learned is not applicable as is, assumed you really learne it. I have seen curricula with many buzzwords materializing into a pretty “I don’t know how to do that”.

In my perspective, I prefer a basic CV reporting the education path you have faced and almost no “I know Java, PHP, C++, SQL, AWS, XYZ, …”.

I used C++ for 20 years and I still do not know a lot of C++ features.

So, only write the truth in the CV.

I have plenty of skills in my homepage. I think I could add more of them as buzzwords, but it’s not worth the time and I do not really have to impress anyone. Buzzwords are what headhunters, who do not know how to do their job, are looking for. At the technical interview, something you don’t know, but you have put in your CV comes out for sure. So, tell the truth. You have never used that outside the school. It’s OK, that’s how school works.

My perspective changed from “you must know that” to “how fast you will be proficient at that?”.

That’s the key!

The role of soft skills

At this point, all we know it is that, if I’m interviewing you, you earned a bachelor (or master) degree in Computer Science or Computer Engineering.

Talking about proper hard skills, your CV is empty. How can I evaluate you positively? That’s where soft skills come in.

Let’s define what a soft skill is before talking about them.

Soft skills are personality traits and behaviors that help you make the difference at work. They are abilities that describe how you work and how you interact with other people. They are also called personal skills or non-technical skills.

In the next paragraphs, I will make a short list of soft skill, you should strive to achieve. Yes, soft skills are something you can learn with time and dedication. Some people just have them, some people need to apply (a lot).


The ability to carry out work without being supervised on every step you make. This doesn’t mean you should not ask things, but it means you should think before asking and try to collect questions before asking for a meeting.


The ability to handle unexpected situations. You need to bring a positive approach, which rationally tries to evaluate possible solutions to any problem, in reasonable time.

Communication skills

Companies are a living being, and every component has to communicate. This means you have to listen actively, speak clearly and communicate effectively. Feedbacks are always welcome, especially if they bring value.


You need to do something new, and the company relies on you. Will you be able to adapt easily? IT is a rapidly changing world. Also, you need to be able to change at changing requirements.


At any position, you will work with other people: colleagues, customers, managers, suppliers. Communication, responsibility, honesty, active listening, empathy, collaboration are useful abilities to work with others. Good teamwork is what makes the difference between good and bad workplaces.

Self learning

The ability to learn things on your own. If you do not know something, you should learn it on your own without waiting for someone to teach you. Time at work is limited, and so is your knowledge. Good companies will give you time to learn, but you should also do it on your own.


The ability to organize your work and to respect deadlines. What will you do when you are late with a task? Talk with your manager or stay quiet until something (bad) happens?


You made an error, and you are required to fix that. Are you willing to stay after hours or not? Also, a colleague of your is in trouble, would you help him?