How to grow in a developer career despite being introvert by Leonardo


Way before I went to college, when I was still learning how to use a computer properly, the idea that people had about people who liked computers were that they were nerds, the typical nerd we often see in movies.

After I went to college, many of my colleagues were like that as well, many introvert, others not so much. I was always an introvert person, I don't talk much and when I talk it is with a quiet voice, which is talked over very often.

After so many years of people asking me to speak louder the insecurity just grows, but when you start to grow up yourself you end up learning how to deal with it somehow. Presentations still scares me to death though.

Looking back at what I did, principally during college and now after graduating, I started to accept myself despite the desire to improve a little bit in the presentation end, which is important.

I not only graduated with excellent marks, but did research (which involved presentations) for two years, went to the United States as part of an exchange program for a year (I live in Brazil), which only a few are qualified to do, and after that started to work as developer in a company where they respect me as developer, despite still not talking much. I did a lot, mostly by making my actions speak for myself.

Despite all that, my personality still worries me regarding my career. I don't know if this is true everywhere, but since I know what is a developer, I always thought that my personality fit well with the profession.

However, it seems the world I once knew (or thought I knew) is changing. Many developers are taking the stage, speaking in conferences, meeting people and dealing with business directly.

I've read about "soft-skills", which includes a good communication, and many people commenting that soft-skills are the difference between a developer and a senior developer. Many job descriptions includes such characteristics as well in addition to technical skills and I always feel insecure about this.

I do think that companies may be losing talent when they are too rash on that end. Introverts may not be the best people to make a presentation to the CEO of the company, but they are generally good observers and have great sensibility because they spend more time looking and thinking than talking.

They can give valuable insights if given the chance. One thing I read today that I found great was how Square is doing silent meetings to aim more inclusion, transparency, scalability and speed, touching right into the inclusion of introvert people in meetings among other reasons.

What to do when you face with such challenges? Are you introvert yourself? If so, how you deal with it in your job and career?

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