Episode 324: Understanding accents and mega soft skills


In this episode, Dave and Jamison answer these questions:

  1. I’m currently a junior engineer. I often struggle to understand speakers with accents. I became aware of this when I listened to a coworker in a meeting and barely understanding anything, but when I asked my other colleagues, it seems they got it completely.

    I know how to handle this in relaxed situations, but how do I handle it when the stakes are higher? (i.e. talking to higher levels and not wanting to ask too many questions based on my inability to hear them, interviews, …). How should I prepare to respond to these situations productively?

  2. Hey fellas,

    As a backend dev of 3 YOE, I have what I would describe as average technical skills and much stronger than average soft skills. This has been reflected in my feedback across all of my jobs and while the feedback has always been very positive, almost all of it relates to my interpersonal and communication skills, as opposed to my technical chops.

    I’m wondering what’s the long term outlook for this is? I frequently receive more accolades and recognition from leadership than my colleagues whose technical skills and code output are objectively far superior to mine, simply because I communicate better and am more charismatic

    Given management’s favorable view of me, I have been ascending the ranks quicker than is warranted, beating out those that are much more qualified from a technical perspective. While I am able to complete the work that’s asked of me, I can’t help but wonder when I will stall as a dev and no longer be able to meet expectations, nor is it really fair to anyone involved.

    At this point, I can’t help but feel that I would be able to contribute more in a position that utilize my skillset more favorably, but I’m unsure what roles would be a good fit for someone like myself.

    Thanks guys!

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