The 7 Soft Skills You Should Have As A Shopify Developer
As a software developer, you need a certain set of specific skills. You’ll need to be an expert in the Liquid language, have a deep knowledge of the Shopify landscape, and have endless experience designing themes and sites on Shopify.
However, what many developers often overlook when searching for a new role as a Shopify developer, is it’s not just your technical skills that make a difference. While it’s true you’re going to need a strong coding background; it’s also important to ensure you have the soft skills to make yourself more appealing to clients.
So, what exactly are the soft skills you need to work on most?
The 7 Crucial Soft Skills for Shopify Developers
Soft skills are essentially the talents you won’t necessarily get a certification for, but that you’ll use on a regular basis, like communication, problem-solving, and the ability to lead a team. Developers and those in the technology industry can sometimes have fewer chances to practice these “soft skills” because they do a lot of work behind the scenes.
However, developing your soft skills as carefully as you work on your Shopify technical knowledge could be the key to landing your next client. Here are just some of the most important skills you’ll need to master, and why you need them.
Let’s start with the obvious, communication skills are something every professional needs, whether you’re a Shopify developer, or an ice cream vendor. However, as a developer, you might find your need for communication skills goes a lot further than you’d think.
First of all, you’re going to need to communicate with clients in a way they can understand. This means translating common Shopify development terms and jargon into easily-accessible language. You’ll need to be able to use your communication skills to build a rapport with clients, regardless of whether you’re working in-house and remotely, and focus on building strong relationships.
The better your communication skills, the more comfortable your clients are going to feel working with you. This could mean your clients will be more likely to recommend you to other clients.
Like most ecommerce environments, Shopify regularly updates its feature sets with new solutions for developers and customers. This means you need to be able to keep up-to-date with the latest features, and make changes to your development cycle when necessary.
Your ability to adapt will also be important when it comes to staying ahead of the curve with common Shopify development trends, and changing demands from your audience. A good way to ensure you remain adaptable, is to focus on keeping your knowledge of the Shopify landscape as up-to-date as possible.
Keep an eye on Shopify news, and don’t be afraid to experiment with new features and trends when they emerge. If nothing else, your adventures into new features will give you an opportunity to expand your portfolio.
- Empathy and Patience
Shopify software development can be a complicated process. There are going to be times when you need to do complex tasks for your clients, or show a great deal of patience with their requests. Being able to stay professional during these periods is crucial. For instance, you might need to migrate an entire store into Shopify, just to have your client to ask you to start again from scratch.
As long as you’re charging your clients correctly for your time and effort, you should be able to stay calm and adapt your strategy according to their requests. Aside from having a general level of patience for your client, and the Shopify development process, it’s worth developing a sense of empathy.
Remember your clients have come to you because they might not be fully aware of how to make the most out of their Shopify site. Learning how to understand the concerns and pain points of your clients could mean you’re more able to offer effective consultations and guidance.
- Creativity and Problem Solving
In any development job, there will be circumstances when things don’t go exactly according to plan. More than anything else, your client will be looking for a developer who can address problems quickly and creatively when they emerge.
You need to be able to take a step back and look at any issue that might emerge from a range of angles, so you can present potential solutions to your customer’s problem. Developing your knowledge of the Shopify landscape constantly, reading blogs, and following influencers in your field will also help you to expand your thought processes, so you can offer a wider range of suggestions.
Try to work on your critical thinking skills as often as you can by challenging yourself too. For instance, consider asking yourself what you would do if “X” happened on a project, then look for potential solutions to that problem.
No matter how great you are at Shopify development, there’s always going to be a chance you’ll end up making mistakes from time to time. Some of your errors will go unnoticed, and can be fixed before you have to worry about explaining yourself to your client. In other situations, you may need to come clean and take responsibility for your actions.
Being honest and showing humility is important in the developer landscape. Trying to hide from a mistake will only damage your relationship with your clients. The longer the problem persists, the more likely you are to end up with a ruined reputation. That’s the last thing you need in a competitive landscape.
Admit to your mistakes, and learn how to hold yourself accountable for your actions. At the same time, look at errors as opportunities for learning. Every time you make a mistake, you should also be investing in finding ways to avoid that problem again in the future.
- Management Skills
The management skills you’ll need as a Shopify developer actually fall into a number of different categories, depending on the projects you’ll be taking on. For instance, if you decide to work as part of an agency, you might be responsible for managing various team members throughout the course of a project, and ensuring they all pull their weight.
If you’re working as a freelance Shopify developer, you’ll still need to be able to show good project management and time management skills. Learn how to create an effective workflow for your development process, and figure out how to organize your time and resources as efficiently as possible to achieve your goals.
Even if you don’t have to manage other people in your role, you’ll still need to ensure your managing yourself, and each project as effectively as possible.
Last, but not least, Shopify developers should be confident. Crucially, you do need to find a balance here between being confident and humble. You shouldn’t present yourself as the ultimate Shopify developer and suggest you have absolutely no flaws, as this will put extra pressure on you to be completely perfect in every project.
Instead, accept there are things you know and things you don’t, and take responsibility for finding the education you need to bridge any gaps. Once you accept yourself, you can begin to overcome any issues of “imposter syndrome” which may be making it harder to market yourself to clients.
Do You Have the Skills?
Becoming a true Shopify expert means not only developing the technical skills required to thrive in your role, but ensuring you have the soft skills necessary to impress your clients and customers too. If you can master the soft skills above, you’ll find it’s much easier to capture the attention of clients who want to work with you!