The soft skills that are essential for any technology professional working in the industry fall into several key categories, according to Rao Tummalapalli, managing director and co-founder of IT consulting firm SenecaGlobal. One is communications, including reading, writing, speaking, and listening. These skills "have a direct bearing on one's productivity and value to their colleagues and clients," Tummalapalli says.

Another skill is collaboration. "It is very important that one can work with others and be an effective team member," Tummalapalli says. "The value proposition of a person, who is highly skilled otherwise, can diminish quickly when they can't work with others."

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