So if you're a developer who interacts with the business then you have a responsibility to respect the decisions of others, and you'll probably benefit from honing your influence skills as well as your technical skills.

Cogent Thoughts: Do unto others...

Quite right, however this begs the question "how does a young developer improve their influence skills?". I believe the answer lies in a)Some basic presentation skills training. These skills can also be applied to writing emails and reports. b)A lot of mentoring and specific guidance from senior team members when writing documents and emails. I encourage all team members to get their material read by others before sending it out. In some limited cases it may even justify a formal review (think code review). c) Short team workshops to improve active listening skills for the informal corridor conversations. Speaking for myself the skill of writing a lucid document or presentation for non technical audience took years to acquire and I think I could still often do better. Perhaps this could be a EAT course :-).

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