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8 skills every software engineer needs in a Scrum team

What does mindset actually mean? Is my product owner angry at me? How can I become a better software engineer? In this blog post, I want to share with you the skills for software engineers I value as a product owner. Probably there are many more valuable attitudes out there but I wanted to collect these to remind my team and myself about the things that are important.

Commitment

Commitment is not about working extra hours. It is rather a good mixture of a “Can Do It” attitude and realistic estimates. Sometimes, to “give our best” is not enough. Don’t get me wrong on this! I love people that try hard but to recognize delays early we need to be more realistic than optimistic.

Robert C. Martin summarizes this very well in The Clean Coder. You can read his chapter on “How to say yes” here.

Collaboration

Although we try to prepare our stories as good as possible, clarification can be necessary. Take action if there is something to clarify. Try to contact a colleague and clarify your problem or find another way to get the answer you need.

Fail fast & cheap

Approach 1:

Break your work down to incremental steps e.g. according to your sprint goal. This helps to stay focussed and quickly get back to work after an interruption.

Approach 2:

Solve the most critical tasks first to identify problems early.

Readable Code

How much documentation is enough? Readable code is already a good start. In-code documentation for the most important API makes it easier for your peer-developers to understand the interfaces inside your product. Follow the KISS principle during the implementation. In addition, a SOLID software design makes writing clean code easier.

Automation

Keeping attention to repetitive tasks is important. DevOps is a huge buzzword today and every engineer should think about which things can be done faster or better by automation.

Innovation

Technology is evolving fast. If you want to be a top developer, you need to stay updated. Using existing libraries makes life easier. (Comment: I don’t know any example, where it was a waste of time to learn about new stuff in your field.  Nevertheless, I really struggle to see the value in this. I only have faith it pays off well!) 

Speak up

If something is not going well, give feedback (at latest in the retro) We want to work agile so everybody should get the change to learn something (even the product owner ;-))

Ownership

All these things will result in a high level of ownership. From my experience, treating software engineers just as coders is not the right approach. Apps easily get quite complex and therefore everybody in the team needs to feel responsible for the product. This reaches from reducing technical debt to making sure to provide value for the users

 

Do you wonder even more what a product owner is doing now?

Check out this video about what a product owner is doing. 🙂

If you want to read more about getting a crafty software engineer. I summarized five books for you that helped me to boost my career. Don’t miss out on them.

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