Do software engineers need to know coding

Fundamentals of Emotional Intelligence

Almost all of us work in teams. In my first year after university, I had the opportunity to work on a clear big task without any customer and the need to talk a lot with peers. It was pure heaven. Just do a complex task and have fun with the compiler. Later the trouble started with more complex tasks, increasing responsibilities and the need to work with people I didn't liked at all. During my professional life, I attended some so called soft skill courses. In these lessons I learned a lot about communication techniques, negotiation strategies and team dynamics. All this have been mechanical tools or psychological theories. Good to know, but the concept of Emotional Intelligence is something different.

The Wikipedia definition of Emotional intelligence starts with the sentence "Emotional Intelligence (EI) is the ability to identify, assess, and control the emotions of oneself, of others, and of groups." [1] The important key word in this sentence is emotions. Emotional intelligence describes the role of emotions in our lives.

Some years ago, I attended a project meeting with some senior management and the boss of my boss said something to me which sounded like "Markus, you forgot to give me the information XYZ in time!" I felt embarrassed, like a culprit and explained him that he was not right. The result was that I won the discussion with him and from that day I lost an important supporter in the company. My reaction was stupid and worthless. Yes, I won one battle, but lost the war.

The root cause of this disaster was an automatic reaction on my site and a reciprocal effect between this senior management guy and me. With a better sense of self and self-regulation, I would have been able to manage the situation in a better way.

If you leave sometimes a meeting and say to yourself "Oh shit! Why did I say this?", maybe it would be a good idea to learn something about Emotional Intelligence and yourself.