A Call to Promote Soft Skills in Software Engineering

Luiz Fernando Capretz* and Faheem Ahmed

A Call to Promote Soft Skills in Software Engineering.

One of the main reasons for the oversight is that soft skills are usually related to social and personality factors, i.e., teamwork, motivation, commitment, leadership, multi-culturalism,
emotions, interpersonal skills, etc. This editorial is a manifesto declaring the importance of soft skills in software engineering with the intention to draw professionalsā€™ attention to these topics.

Engineering software involves performing tasks in distinct areas, such as system analysis, software design, programming, software testing, and software evolution/maintenance; other software occupations in a software team include the project manager, troubleshooter, helpdesk personnel, database administrator, and so forth. Thus today, specialties within software engineering are as
diverse as in any other profession.

However, computer science and software engineering curricula focus mainly on developing hard skills, thus paying lip services to soft skills. Even the latest guideline for teaching and
learning software engineering, namely the SWEBOK V3.0 and IEEE/ACM Curriculum Guide, praises technical competence and gives marginal consideration to vaguely characterized nontechnicalĀ  skills. We strongly believe that computer science and software engineering curricula should put more emphasis on developing and assessing both hard and soft skills.

At the present time, very few courses in computer science or software engineering curricula touch upon the subjects of teamwork and soft skills assessment.18 It is difficult to even find a university that has an entire course on the human aspects of software engineering, with the exception of a couple of computer science departments.

Psychol Cogn Sci Open J. 2018; 4(1): e1-e3. doi: 10.17140/PCSOJ-4-e011