While many people would roughly agree what makes a programmer good or bad, deciding the criteria to use to distinguish the greats ones is much more subjective. Having worked and networked with fellow developers, here are 10 characteristics that we believe are sings your developer is a winner.
Superior technical skill.
Programming is a technical skill, so there’s no question that a superior technical skill is a top quality of good developers. However, don’t equate superior skill with years of experience. A developer who has 10 years’ experience isn’t good enough if he only works in old languages.
Additionally, don’t think superior technical skill means fewer bugs. Whether your application is developed by a good or bad developer, you can expect some bugs. Working with time and money constraints, developers often have to choose between maintainability and functionality, and so bugs become inevitable. The difference is that, good developers make cheaper mistakes in order to avoid expensive ones.
Another sign of developers’ superior technical skills is their ability to write logical maintainable code. They know that tricky codes are difficult to modify and will waste time if they need to make changes, updates or add new features. By writing maintainable code, they can make alterations quickly and improve their productivity, as well as that of others who will later have to work on the codes.
Awareness of your business’ needs.
Great developers are aware not just of your needs and specifications, but also your business environment. As such, they try to ensure that your application not only serves the users, but also that it’s a commercial success.
Follow the Agile Manifesto.
Agile is a current buzzword in the IT development industry. But what exactly does it mean, and how can it benefit your business? Simply put, Agile development is a way of managing IT development projects. Developers who use the Agile method focus on customer satisfaction through keeping code simple, testing often and delivering functional bits of the application as soon as they are ready.
With Agile methodology, you are more likely to get what your business needs. You also have a better understanding of what is being built during the project and most importantly; your project has a lesser risk of failure.
Willingness to learn.
Technology is ever-changing. Current skills and knowledge are likely to be outdated in just a few years. And good developers anticipate this. They continue to learn – not just about their fields, but also about everything that affects the development world.
As part of their willingness to learn, they don’t shy from using existing codes that do what they need. Current languages and frameworks now have extensive range of built-in commands and features, with some popular frameworks being too large even for good developers to learn in a short time span. So, instead of spending time re-inventing the wheels, good develops break-down and identify what they need to complete their task, and adapt existing frameworks.
Good developers are problem solver. They never say, “that can’t be done” every time you suggest a new idea. They first analyze it and try ways to get it done before proclaiming it impossible.
They also have the ability to plan. Rather than jumping into the project, and writing the first line of code, they first find out all there is to know about the end product you want. And when they start writing the code, they ensure that it’s scalable to meet your future requirements.
A business perspective.
Losing sight of the ultimate business purpose of an application is easy when you are working on minute details like writing codes. However, ideal developers have a business focus that allows them to think beyond codes. They come up with ideas that can improve tasks. They think long-term and create codes that consider not just the next 3 months but the next 3 years.
Generally, developers are expected to write codes and not sell or provide customer support. However, good developers understand that they have to work with non-technical business people in order to create a commercially successful application. They have the ability to relate with you and understand your position as a business owner. They also have a highly developed communication skill. For instance, they can explain complex technical concepts in a clear, comprehensible, non-technical way.
A team player.
Good developers understand that successful projects can’t be done alone, even if they work as freelancers. Even if they are clawing the walls with impatience to get a project done, they give team members time to complete their briefs. They understand that other tasks that don’t include coding could be just as important to the project.
Understand the critical importance of security.
Good developers consider IT security as critical in business. They don’t consider it as the network administrator’s area of concern. At the onset of the project, good developers determine how security is handled, and they pay attention to it until the project is finished. As a result, they make building in security in your system easier and cost-effective from the start.
They take ownership of the project
Good developers hold themselves accountable for the project so you don’t have to. Rather than spending week spinning wheels because they don’t quite grasp your requirement, good developers take time to understand your needs. They’ll chase you if needs be.
Equally, they don’t need you to check on them for progress. They’ll update you. If they’re stuck on a problem, they’ll come to you and resolve the problem. Developers who code fast, but don’t take ownership of the project are not very productive and are time wasters.
Are we the right developer for you?
Choosing the right developer is an important business decision. At Softbase, we can claim that we tick all these characteristics, but we prefer that you don’t take our words for it. Find out for yourself.
Contact us. Talk to us at length about your business requirements. And decide for yourself if we are the right developer for you.