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You seem to be saying that unless someone's communication skills are WAY below average, they can slide by unnoticed.

I can't agree. In my experience, 90% of developers have poor communication skills and it hurts them every time they write or speak publicly (or document their code). Not just developers, of course. It's a rare person who knows how to tell a tech tale that isn't a confusion of disconnected factoids, or who seems to care whether they bore the hell out of their audience.

But I care. And everyone I respect cares; they just won't admit that they expect to be bored by techies when they speak or write, so they accept boredom and confusion as the norm. (In large corporations, especially.) But it shouldn't be. As a professional, everyone is obliged to organize their thoughts, be clear, and convey a message. THAT should be the norm. It's an essential part of doing any job well.

Like so many things in life that matter most, teaching good communication skills (and rational thought) is largely absent from college curricula (aside from writing a paper). But its absence doesn't mean that communicating badly won't hurt your career later.

Wasting other people's time is disrespectful and lazy and unprofessional. And it makes you look bad. So blather not.

In my experience the reason people have such a hard time getting their point across is because they don't understand it very well themselves. Almost no engineers really understand what they are doing so the only effect practicing communication will have is make them better able to hide their ignorance behind fluffy words, kinda like most management types do. I think that it is a good thing when people are bad at hiding their ignorance, so I prefer communicating with engineers over management types.

No, that's not quite what I'm saying (so I must not be good at communicating). But I am saying you don't need to be way above average. You need to be good enough that it's not an obstacle. Having excellent communication skills, and NOT having poor communication skills, are very different levels of effort to achieve. The first takes a LOT of work; the second takes some attention and effort, but not nearly as much.

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