Psychology and Cognitive Sciences
URL with Digital Object Identifier
We have been thinking about other aspects of software engineering for many years; the missing link in engineering software is the soft skills set, essential in the software development process. Although soft skills are among the most important aspects in the creation of software, they are often overlooked by educators and practitioners. 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 professionals’ attention to these topics. We have approached this issue by mentioning what we know about the field, what we believe to be evident, and which topics need further investigation. Important references to back up our claims are also included.
In summary, technical people tend to overlook the importance of soft skills as it is unrelated to their technical area and because their training is in dealing with technical issue; thus considering the soft skills in the software development process to be foreign to them, since the field deals with human factors and touches social sciences. These are topics that software professionals do not have expertise in. We believe that it is high time for the software development community to realize that the human element is pivotal to success in the engineering of software. We have to recognize that software engineering is a people-intensive discipline, hence requires appropriate treatment. Therefore, human aspects of software engineering are important subjects to teach, study and research. We urge software engineers to take on this challenge.