With our ever-increasing technological dependence, modern society has placed a major premium on STEM careers and other technical backgrounds. This has been true especially in the context of the current talent shortage of programmers, data scientists and engineers.

However, in focusing on software development and the technical skills it requires, many companies, recruiters and tech organizations have failed to recognize the lingering importance of soft skills, as well. As it turns out, according to research from Google, whose hiring philosophy long favored individuals with technical backgrounds, STEM expertise is actually the least important indicator of employee success.

The reason is that, by keeping their eyes glued exclusively to their screens, many of these smart new developers have either neglected or missed the opportunity to build the “human” side of their skill sets. Contributing to this problem has been the fact that educational institutions and companies haven’t provided the necessary training or support to build these soft skills, either.

Current trends in software development bolster the view that companies need to hire programmers who have developed not just software skills, but soft skills, too. Here’s why:

‘Nearshoring’ calls for close communication.
Companies have long outsourced certain business processes as an effective cost-saving strategy, particularly for technical or resource-intensive jobs like software development. However, whereas in the past, companies would offshore this work to distant countries like India, more and more are seeking outsourcing partners closer to home.

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