Want to thrive in tech? It might come as a surprise that hard skills alone are not enough to progress your career as a developer.

At Taxdoo, we believe that nurturing Emotional Intelligence (EI), as well as technical skills, is the key to a healthy, productive environment.

Why care about EI?

The stereotype of a good developer coding alone in a basement surrounded by empty pizza boxes is outdated (was it ever that realistic?!). Modern tech companies thrive when their teams are diverse, communicative and feel comfortable. The former archetype of a developer is narrow, promotes an unhealthy work/life balance, and requires little emotional intelligence or social interaction. The reality of working in tech is that you need to be a people-person, because creating software for humans is about understanding humans and most of all, understanding yourself.

You may be wondering, in such a results-oriented role, where code quality and features deployed are often used as measurements for success, how is it possible to cultivate and demonstrate emotional intelligence?

Worry not! We’ve compiled some practical tips on how you can boost your Emotional Intelligence on the job.


This one is a big one. And for that reason, it’s an uncomfortable one. As a developer, it’s a good idea to reflect on who you are and how you show up in day-to-day life.

You write comments on a merge request that is detailed yet succinct. You send a message to the developer let them know that you’ve submitted your feedback.
Silence. They don’t respond to you for a day. You send them an email, just to make sure they know you’ve reviewed their work. In the next stand-up, you directly ask why they haven’t responded. They give a blunt answer about being too busy. You feel irritated by their response- don’t they want to get this work done promptly? You decide to complain to your tech lead about this. They listen to your concerns however seem bemused that you are taking this instance so seriously. You start to feel alienated and disinterested in your role.

It is completely normal to not be fully self-aware. In this instance, it pays to consider the perspective of the person you are working with. With this example, it would help to ask for feedback from your colleague who wrote the MR or your tech lead to understand how your behavior is influencing the environment.
Sure- you are doing your job, reviewing code and communicating efficiently- but the way you do this will impact how other humans react towards you. Could sending a Slack message followed by an email (without a response from the initial message) be perceived as pushy or passive-aggressive? Was your tone neutral, friendly, or aggressive? Was stand-up the best opportunity to address your concern? Could it have come across as accusatory or as if you were ‘throwing that person under the bus’?

Instead of complaining to your tech lead about the lack of communication, this would have been a great opportunity to ask a trusted colleague for feedback. By asking for feedback from a trusted friend or colleague, you hear another person’s perspective and start to train yourself to proactively consider how you can positively impact others and therefore be perceived as a reliable and trustworthy colleague who people love to work with.

Looking for more advice on improving self-awareness? The Harvard Business Review outlines great tips and examples for improving self-awareness as a business leader, all of which can be applied to your role as a developer or tech professional.


Let’s face it. 2023 was a tough year for the tech industry. Layoffs, instability, reduced resources, and increased workload are all factors that contribute to feeling stressed and overwhelmed. Whilst these conditions are far from optimal, the way we react during these times will have long-lasting effects on our careers, our relationships, and our health.

Self-regulation to the rescue!

Learning to self-regulate is not about repressing feelings or sugarcoating hard times; it’s about feeling those feelings without letting them control your behavior. According to Psychology Today, ‘self-regulation may be behavioral or cognitive, or both’. Put simply, you are either self-regulating behavior or thoughts. Here are some ways you can manage these feelings healthily and productively.

It’s the last day of the sprint. You’re the most senior developer on your team so you’ve picked up the most important piece of work. And it’s not finished. Nowhere near ready to go to a Quality Assurance Engineer for review. Your Product Manager pops up to your desk after stand-up and is visibly stressed. They start quizzing you about why this valuable feature isn’t ready yet. Why didn’t you give more updates on this sooner? Why didn’t you ask for the deadline to be extended? Don’t you realize how much revenue we might lose if this feature is delayed? The client wanted this a month ago!
Everyone on your team is silent. It isn’t fair that you’re being publicly grilled. You feel yourself clamming up. Then getting really angry.

Deadlines and stress are common in tech. Whilst you can’t control how fairly your colleagues will treat you, you can control how you react to their behavior. In this example, you can start by acknowledging that you feel angry. Why wouldn’t you? Their behavior is unpleasant and unreasonable. Then, take your time to decide how you want to react or if you want to react at all. Saying nothing is also a response.
Regardless of how you decide to react, make time to reflect and journal afterward. Were there particular words or patterns that triggered you? By making a practice of understanding common themes that you find triggering, you will become better at understanding how you can observe those feelings in the moment, process them, and react in a way that is authentic to you yet also appropriate for the environment.

As a developer, how can you do this?

1. To start with, make it easier to stay in control. Got a deadline? Mute any distractions (Slack, put your phone on flight mode) and dedicate time to purely focus on completing the task before the deadline. Also, communicate to your team and other stakeholders what you need to focus on so that they are aware and can support you.

Remove anything that breaks your focus or could cause you to become distracted.

2. Acknowledge your feelings
Feeling worried about your job security? Schedule some time to worry. Write down all of your thoughts and fears. Make a plan and set a date to take action. This plan might include having a frank conversation with your tech lead or HR, it might include updating your CV or looking for a new role. Whatever the action involves, commit to it and after this scheduled time of worrying is up, move on and do something else.

These examples are ways that you can acknowledge negative emotions and react in a way that is practical and measured. This cognitive skill is highly prized and if you want to become a respected leader, self-regulation is something you should try to master.


Motivation drives actions. Motivation is often linked to highly productive and resilient individuals. Staying motivated as a developer can be a challenge. For quick ways to regain focus and stay mentally well, you might want to try the Pomodoro technique. This technique splits time into chunks of just under half an hour, which helps you to stay motivated and avoid becoming overwhelmed.
However, this hack won’t solve a deeper lack of drive. Most of us code because we love it, some of us code because it brings a steady paycheck.
Regardless of career choice, it’s important to understand what motivates you intrinsically, regardless of financial compensation, status, or any other external reward. The saying goes that if you find a job you love, you won’t work a day in your life.
If you find a job that matches your personal goals, values, or beliefs, you will find it a lot easier to stay motivated when the going gets tough. As developers, we are so lucky to have an abundance of opportunities available to us, so understanding ourselves will make us better employees and help us to make choices that create a career we love.


You’re applying for a new role at a company that is a completely different product with a completely different tech-stack, some of which is very new and you’ve never worked with it before. It offers a huge pay rise, a flexible hybrid working environment, private healthcare, your potential new boss is ex-Google, and share options are also available after passing probation. This company invites you to submit a project using a framework you’ve never used. You invest a lot of time in the project and you manage to submit it within the deadline. Success! You are invited for an interview with the hiring manager. They explain that this company has significant technical debt, and is a bit understaffed however the culture is good and senior leadership is understanding and supportive. A few days later, they offered you the role.

From this example, can you discern what the intrinsic and extrinsic motivators for this role are? Extrinsic motivation would be feeling excited about getting paid more, getting better benefits, and enjoying a flexible working policy. All of these factors are important, however, they have little to do with actually building software- they could be offered with almost any computer-based role. Intrinsic motivators would be relishing the thought of learning a new tech stack or hacking away at the tech debt to offer better solutions for the company. Conversely, an understaffed team might be enticing as you’ll not be short of exciting work to do. As long as there is a hiring term plan and supportive leadership, a high workload for a short amount of time can be rewarding.

A question that helps you understand whether your motivation is intrinsic or extrinsic is asking yourself: when was the last time you experienced joy when coding? Regardless of whether this was at work or in your time, an important part of coding is being excited to code and learn. Tech is a fast-paced industry where frameworks, languages, and business needs change rapidly. If you are intrinsically motivated to solve complex problems and keep learning, you will find your career a lot more enjoyable.


Empathy is a skill that is becoming ever more sought after. Why? Humans are drawn to empathetic people. Empathy is not the same as sympathy; the latter is often about pitying and therefore distancing yourself from another’s situation. Empathy is about finding the similarities in a human experience and understanding what that person is going through.

A new front-end project is on the horizon. As your team has a strong suite of front-end development skills, it’s looking likely that the project will be assigned to your team. The assigned Product Manager set up a kickoff meeting. It’s time to gather requirements. In this meeting, do you ask questions about how current users experience the app? Do you ask questions about which framework or component library will be used? Do you enquire about data that outlines pain points for users? Do you ask about how much time and how many developers will be allocated to this project?

These are all great questions when gathering requirements and defining the scope of a project. Yes, as a developer, it is important to lead on how a project will be technically built and implemented. Yes, most revenue-focussed companies require a specific delivery timeline. However, by exercising empathy at the requirements-gathering stage of a project, you put the user’s needs first, which means that the solution delivered will be most valuable. It will also demonstrate that you are open to the wider context of the business and that you care about who uses the tool that you are building.

In addition, communicating authentically is part of leading with empathy. Can emojis help? They might well be able to foster engagement and build happier teams, according to Forbes. In digital communication, emojis make it clear what sort of tone you wish to convey and inject humor into communication that can otherwise be transactional or impersonal. Of course, use them with caution and not in formal settings, however, you may want to consider using emojis to bring more personality and warmth to your everyday communication style.
Remote, hybrid, or in-person, asking your colleagues about themselves and actively listening to their responses also shows that you are empathetic, and care about them as individuals whilst also respecting professional boundaries.
A good way to show empathy is to simply ask your colleagues how they are, check in on them and every time you speak to them, actively listen.

It is a simple tip, but listening and remembering details about your colleagues is a great way to show them that you care and are aware of what they might be going through.

Social skills

An often overlooked soft skill, having great social skills will propel your career forward hugely. Of course, businesses value individuals who deliver results but also those who invest in social capital by building networks with their co-workers. This not only facilitates efficiency but also promotes a healthy, collaborative environment.
And the best thing is… you don’t have to be an extrovert to have great social skills!
There are a host of ways that you can reach out to your teammates or colleagues (Slack, email, video call, or an in-person catch-up), however, the main thing is to communicate with them authentically and if possible, to make time to understand them aside from the topic of work. Be aware that some colleagues may view work as simply that and may not feel comfortable with getting to know other colleagues.

You’re in a meeting. Your senior, your team lead and the client are also in the meeting. After introducing yourself, you sit quietly and wait for someone to ask you a question. The senior fields most of the difficult questions that the client has, with your team lead backing him up where necessary. It’s an intense meeting and you feel quite overwhelmed by the client’s requirements. With a silent sigh of relief on your part, the meeting comes to an end, and aside from the introduction round, you’ve said nothing. You can get back to finishing your ticket for the day. You want to get yet another piece of work finished, especially as you have a one-to-one meeting with your team lead next week and you’d like to ask for a promotion because you’ve been delivering a lot of good solutions.

If this example is typical of how someone behaves in a collaborative setting, how likely is it that the individual will be promoted? True, being productive and consistently finishing work is part of being a good worker. However, staying in your comfort zone and being silent in meetings means that you lose out on opportunities to show that you are a team player, to showcase your work, and to support your team. Public speaking is daunting and is often not a skill that is taught, however by starting small, for example, to ask project-relevant questions in meetings or proactively offer a response if you know the answer, you can build your confidence and trust with your colleagues as you go. 

You might feel shy to begin with however with practice, you will feel more confident. Start by asking open-ended questions, then ensure to check in regularly and if you feel comfortable, attend work-organised social events.Remember, it’s not a popularity contest, more an opportunity to create a network of supportive individuals that will help you, your team and your organisation achieve success.

Emotional intelligence is becoming increasingly important. The tech industry is growing, and whilst there may still be a standard of technical skills that are deemed crucial for certain roles, it is always good to remember that these can be learned. Developing emotional intelligence can be learned, however it is most effective as a constant mindset.
After reading this, you may wonder where to begin. Self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy and social skills are all components of emotional intelligence- why not score yourself on each area and pick one to improve on? We all have our unique strengths, so we may as well make the most of them.

Would you like to work in an environment that values emotional intelligence as well as technical challenges and interesting projects? We’re hiring! Check out current vacancies here or learn more about Taxdoo culture.

Stay social and follow Taxdoo Engineering on X.

‘Inspire Inclusion’ is the theme for 2024’s International Women’s Day. In celebration of this day, we decided to shine a light on some of our amazing female-identifying colleagues at Taxdoo, to highlight their achievements and spark inspiration.

As the theme of this year’s International Women’s Day is ‘Inspire Inclusion’, we asked the question:

 ‘In terms of your career, what does inspiring inclusion mean to you?’

For a long time, white cis-men have been overrepresented and predominant in the startup world and the software (design) industry, and it’s up to trailblazers like Taxdoo to change this.

Our society is diverse, and our product is built to cater to various user needs and businesses, which is why diversity is crucial at Taxdoo. This also touches upon the issue of women in leadership roles, but it goes beyond that. We develop our product with a further developed team comprising different genders, age groups, nationalities, and backgrounds, with promoting inclusivity being paramount.

In my role, guiding through conceptualization and user experience of our Taxdoo product, I leverage my experience to promote and enforce inclusive practices, understanding that I need not identify individual barriers to promote inclusion. By advocating for integrative product development and design and championing these efforts, I aim to set a standard for equitable practices in the industry within my team, and Taxdoo.

However, we must not become complacent. We must continue to work on showcasing and incorporating diverse perspectives to create inclusive, accessible user interfaces, and simpler processes for Taxdoo’s users and customers, by listening and learning and then taking action.”

These inspiring words come from our Lead Product Designer, Christina Humpf. Christina is an exceptional product designer and leader, who combines her 13 years of experience in UX design, collaboration design, and inclusive leadership with holistic business needs, that bring useful and accessible product solutions to life in the hands of users and customers. Christina Humpf holds a “communication design” degree from the top-ranked HfG Schwäbisch Gmünd.

Inspiring inclusion is also very important to Julia:

“For me, everyone should have the same starting point. Show your dedication and we can achieve great things together. Your background – who cares? No matter what differences there are, these are opportunities, not obstacles. I love being in a diverse environment and would always encourage inclusion, in life and my career. Different perspectives and stories help to make us grow.”

As Team Lead Compliance Solutions at Taxdoo, Julia’s career at Taxdoo has been consistently brilliant; starting out as a Customer Support Associate in December 2020, Julia has been promoted three times during her tenure at Taxdoo. Her combination of drive, process-oriented results, and positive attitude make her a joy to work with. Originally a graduate of International Tourism, Julia proves that transferable skills and knowledge can get you far when applied correctly. Julia also holds a certificate from the University of Cambridge for Advanced English.

Laureen has achieved an impressive career transition from working in the hotel and hospitality industry to her current role at Taxdoo as an accountant. Proving the value of life-long learning, Laureen’s career switch was cemented when she achieved a professional qualification in payroll invoicing in 2022.

For many, inspiring inclusivity is a mindset, a view that Laureen Kainz and Britta Garbers both share:

“The words coming into my mind with regards to inclusion are respect, openness, but also self-reflection and communication. People are so diverse and at the same time, a lot of internalised biases exist. So inclusion should be inspired on every level of a company, the company per se and also each person.”

Britta’s background in marketing and international business lends well to our culture and business requirements at Taxdoo. As a senior in the Compliance team, Britta brings meticulous attention to detail combined with the ability to create articles that educate and inspire our customers and employees alike.

We also wanted to shine a light on the following outstanding tech professionals at Taxdoo, who shape and inspire our colleagues and businesses alike.

Elena is our leader, Chief Technology Officer, and shining inspiration. Elena’s stellar career thus far has seen her drive success by making products that are loved by humans. Elena values growth and is a regular writer and speaker. She also recently completed a qualification at the University of Cambridge where she could share and exchange expertise with like-minded peers. Elena brings reliability and a scale-up mindset combined with nurturing a best-in-class culture where each individual feels empowered to thrive and grow. Elena is someone everyone should have the privilege of working with.

Diana brings extensive Business Intelligence Analysis expertise from her career in the thriving Berlin tech scene and applies this to ensure Taxdoo delivers value, exceeds targets and remains market relevant. In addition to this, Diana brings an international mindset as she has also worked in Ecuador for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Integration.

We wish everyone a happy and healthy International Women’s Day and a hugely successful year ahead.

Are you inspired by these stories and would love to work somewhere where you can thrive too? Check out our open positions here.

It was March 2020; spring had sprung in Hamburg, the pandemic was about to hit Germany, and Carina had just started her new role as a Sales and Operations trainee at a growing taxtech company, Taxdoo.

Fast forward three and half years; Carina has scaled the career ladder and is now a Senior Sales Associate. We asked Carina about her time at Taxdoo and how she achieved her success.

What do you love about Taxdoo?

There are a lot of things! I am so lucky that Taxdoo allows me to work with so many wonderful colleagues, especially in the Tax Advisor Solutions Team. As our solution specialises in the field of e-commerce internationalisation and  accounting, there is always something to learn and get your head around. Of course, with most scaling start-ups, there is and will always be a place of change. For some, that’s uncomfortable, however for me, it means that I am constantly evolving professionally.

Taxdoo has a great culture that thrives on timely, open communication and tight feedback loops.

What is the difference between working Sales and working in the Tax Advisor Solutions Team?

Tax advisors and online merchants have specific requirements and ways of working, so the team structures and different roles at Taxdoo reflect that. You are required to have depth of knowledge of the Taxdoo solution yet also taxes and accounting so that you are able to offer the best advice to tax advisors using our software.

It also involves taking care of partners and building relationships with the tax advisor firms. The aim is to create a multiplying environment- if one firm is happy with us, then they are more likely to bring on more of their clients, online merchants, who will also use Taxdoo.

What is special about working in taxtech?

Taxtech is constantly evolving. You need to be ready to keep learning new things, be open to mastering new skills, and even as you progress, stay operational and hands-on. There is no better way to stay up to date than by speaking to clients regularly.

Tech is renowned for being fast-paced and sometimes stressful. What has your experience been so far?

It is definitely fast-paced, yet I believe the benefits we have at Taxdoo contribute to a healthy work-life balance that accommodates a lot of different lifestyles. I am very much a people person and I am happy to say that I have many friends who I am lucky to call colleagues, as well as a great social circle outside of work. All of this is possible when a company like Taxdoo puts people at the core of its culture. Yes, tech is fast-paced, however, when you work in a supportive environment with people who care about each other, it makes all the difference.

Taxdoo really wants everyone to be able to thrive, in a way that is comfortable to them and their lifestyle choices. This is also reflected in the benefits we have such as gym memberships, the opportunity to work remotely, and steady, personalized career progression.

What is it like to work remotely?

It is basically like having the best of both worlds. I’ve worked remotely in Greece, France, Portugal, Malta and the Netherlands. My sister lives in the Netherlands, so working remotely makes it much easier to visit family. These experiences are cool because you get to extend a holiday by a few weeks without using up your annual leave allowance.

How would you describe the Taxdoo culture? How has it changed since you joined?

There always will be a special Taxdoo culture, because the founders and management have always made team spirit a priority from day one. When I started at Taxdoo, I was beginning my career, yet I was never made to feel like a junior. Respecting people and encouraging them to voice their opinions has always been something that I admired at Taxdoo. This has undoubtedly played a big part in my success and progression throughout my career.

Has the culture changed? At its core, it definitely hasn’t changed. I still feel that the company is putting people first and prioritizing healthy, sustainable growth with a long-term vision supported by a well-considered and transparently communicated strategy.

Considering a move into tax tech? Do you have a background in tax or accounting? We’re hiring!

Find out more about our culture by checking out our blog, following Taxdoo Engineering or go straight to jobs page to check out the latest vacancies.  

Meet Joachim, also known as Joe, a vital member of Taxdoo’s Customer Success team for over 2 years. Joe excels in guiding new clients through onboarding and providing unwavering support. With a dedicated focus on customer satisfaction, he promptly responds to inquiries, leads meaningful conversations, and diligently works to win back customers. Beyond the office, Joe’s passion for adventure extends to dancing and staying informed about current affairs and politics. We are fortunate to have Joe’s expertise and genuine care contributing to our clients’ success at Taxdoo. Dive deeper into the interview we did with him.

Introduce yourself

I’ve been on Earth since 1965, arguably the best year. I did an apprenticeship as a bank clerk in 1984. After that I went to the German armed forces to do military service in 1987. Then I studied business administration from 1988 at the Leuphana University in Lüneburg. From 1994, I worked as an account manager in field service for a big IT service-provider for the Volks- und Raiffeisenbanken (cooperative banks in Germany). There I was responsible for migration projects in the core banking application. This was a great career and for twenty-five years, my role had me on the road traveling to and from projects. At some point, I decided that it was time to call it a day with the traveling. I started looking for a company that aligns more with how I’d like to live my life. Therefore, I am very happy to be at Taxdoo!

What does a typical day at Taxdoo look like for you?

A typical day for me is, well, never typical! And this keeps things exciting. I have a customer-orientated role, so I devote a lot of my capacity to understanding our clients’ needs, resolving issues, and helping them get the most out of Taxdoo with bespoke training and onboarding. Many people assume that working in my role is just about landing new deals, upselling, and preventing churn  which, to an extent, is true. However, I think the most important part of my job is building and maintaining relationships with our clients. Customer satisfaction is very important to our team!

What are the common misconceptions or misunderstandings about your work?

A common misconception is that it is a department where deals or upsells are made. 

Customer Success is a very important department, as it’s the hub of all client relationships and knowledge. In Success, you always need to ask yourself, ‘What does the customer want? What do they need?’
Be obsessed with the client’s point of view and be this voice that represents them within the company. This is especially important in a tech company where thousands of users rely on our software every day. We need to make sure we are building a product our customers love, need and want to use.

I take pride in every piece of positive feedback on my work from both client's and colleagues. It really motivates me to do my best and contribute to the Taxdoo team goal of keeping our customers happy.
Joachim Barber
Sr. Customer Success Associate

Which was the most challenging project so far, and Why?

The most challenging aspect of my role has been mastering the ins and outs of EU-wide VAT (Value Added Tax) compliance. Not only is this a deeply nuanced and vast topic, but it’s also an area that is responding to changing market needs, so I’ve gotten used to always learning to absorb compliance information and legislation.

How do you keep on learning?

At Taxdoo, any new feature introduced to our product is an area we need to learn so that we can advise our clients accurately. Working for a tax tech company, you always need to be thinking ahead. This means being aware of upcoming changes to compliance services in the EU, extensive knowledge of bookkeeping, data export, and revenue generation are just some examples of topics that you need to be an expert on in order to provide the best care to clients. How do you find this information? Firstly, work with your teammates and be ready to listen and share knowledge. Webinars and podcasts are easily accessible learning methods, but a variety of learning experiences tailored to your needs are offered. To help you achieve your goals, you also have an individual training budget.

A major learning for me is learning how to be a ‘farmer’, which is a more nurturing way of helping the client get the most value from Taxdoo and understand which services fit their business best. This approach sows the seeds of goodwill and realizing product value for every client’s needs, rather than aggressively upselling.

What tips would you give someone who’s starting out in Customer Success?

Be customer-oriented. Know how to communicate with your customer; via email, in phone calls, and meetings, always try to understand the customer’s point of view and communicate in a way that will help them trust you. I’ve had years of experience in this, so it comes to me naturally. It is possible to learn this skill though, if you are open to it.

What did Taxdoo teach you?

That mixed-age teams can work together very effectively, for example, in our team a self-declared “baby boomer” together with colleagues from generation “Y”.  

I really value and enjoy the fact that I can carry out my tasks mostly from home. Working from home means you can be productive and collaborate virtually, however I also appreciate the opportunity to work in an office environment. This mix is great for achieving a balance whilst establishing rapport with colleagues and clients alike.

Last but not least, what do you enjoy doing outside of work?

I’m really interested in current affairs, especially politics. But also I’ve been dancing with my partner at a dance school since 1996. For me, it’s a way of life. Dancing is so much fun; not only does it keep your body nimble, it also keeps you mentally sharp, improves your overall movement and when you have a girlfriend to dance with as lovely as mine, it makes learning new dance styles even more enjoyable.

‘Why dance when you could be resting from work?’, some might say. At the end of a long day, you should bookmark it with an activity you love. My role at Taxdoo is exciting yet demanding; it’s not uncommon for my day to be back to back with phone calls, completing tickets, onboarding new clients. I always strive to make the customer satisfied and deliver everything to a high standard (perhaps too high, sometimes) so committing to going to dance lessons in my free time reconnects me with the people and things that are most important to me.

If Joe’s interview has piqued your interest, I encourage you to explore our Customer Success Department page or take a look at our current job openings. By doing so, you can learn more about our department and the opportunities available within Taxdoo.