Most of software developer think their technical expertise is fair enough for their future prospective growth. It may be true in early stages of career but not the fact. Now, a days most of outsourcing jobs are client oriented and requires daily meeting or interactions. Even product based companies or MNCs, also works in such a fashion where interactions with their abroad managers, consultants or sometime with clients is in their process.
Also, Agile & Scrum methodology are now widely accepted approaches in which from Business consultant to Product owner to Scrum master to team, all stand at the same level of discussion in scrum meetings or sprint meetings. Conversational English is now very important & key skill in the software development careers road-map. Now it is not a secondary skill but in the same row with your technical skills. Its ignorance may put you far behind from others and you may not get good opportunities to be in good companies/ MNCs.
How to improve your English:
There is no magic but also it is not a big deal too. The key of any language improvement is 'regular practice'. Just make sure, you always try to do conversations in English wherever it is possible.
Sometimes less proficient people avoid English conversation just because of fear of insult! One should never hesitate to continue English conversation, no matter how fine English speaker is in front of you.
Never underestimate yourself and don't busy yourself in reading English Grammar. Remember, you are a software professional and not a primary level student. Off-course, you may require to build Word-power which can play an important role in your fluency. Grammar is the core of any language but being a professional, you should not tied yourself around it. At this level (even fresher also) has fair enough experience & idea of thumb rules, so mouth-opening for English conversation is most required key :)
Following are few common tips which can be follow -
- Read/Watch English news
- Watch small funny/interested clips in English
- Speak as much in English. Remember, getting insulted in few people is better than isolating yourself and throwing yourself for behind the life race.
And finally, be noted, speak without fearing grammar mistakes.