Great programmers are made, not born. That said, personality traits could make a difference in how skilled they become in what they do. Find out the six traits they all share.
The talent shortage in the IT sector is no secret. That is why so many companies are looking further afield to find people for their software development teams. However, a shortage is no reason to settle for less than great programmers. Here are the six traits that effective software developers have in common.
6 Traits of Great Programmers
1. Great programmers have a penchant for technology
Great programmers often start as inveterate tinkerers. They display an interest in how things work early in their lives. Of course, not all tinkerers end up as software developers, but it is a good sign of the makings of a great one.
As a programmer, you might assume they love working with computer technology. You might be surprised. Given the high demand, it is no stretch to imagine some programmers may be in it for career opportunities. While this would not preclude them from being excellent at it, it is unlikely. Chances are they will simply be competent.
The fact is the best people for the job are often passionate about what they do. They can sustain their focus on the task for long periods without a problem. That passion will carry them through any challenges they may face. Such dedication will also drive them to improve on their skills and knowledge through continuing education, which brings us to the next trait
2. They want to learn
Great programmers are always asking why. They want to know, not just to do. Often, great programmers are curious about how everything works. They want to know and are willing, even excited, to learn new things. This mindset is critical, as computer technology is a moving target. There is always something new to learn.
Programming languages are particularly prone to changes. Like any language, it is a living thing. As more people use a language, new elements come in. A PHP programmer would agree. New languages are also popping up, created by other software developers dedicated to improving the status quo.
Great programmers will welcome these changes because it caters to their desire to learn. As a result, they have no problem getting out of their comfort zones. As one technology becomes less popular, the programmer can adjust their skills to work with the next rising star.
You want programmers on your team that experiment to discover new ways of doing things. They are eager to refresh and update their skill sets regularly. People who are not on board with learning new things are likely to get behind on the latest trends.
However, a programmer should have interests outside of programming. This diversity shows they are not detached, so they are more likely to be great at work. Outside interests also keep them from burning out.
3. Great programmers are persistent
Programming codes are finicky things. Each line is a potential source of trouble, and it does not take much to make mistakes. It takes time to work out all the bugs of a program and get it just right. That can be a problem for people who easily get rattled or frustrated.
Great developers are very persistent and patient, almost obsessive, in their pursuit of the perfect code. They deal with each issue as it comes up logically, looking for possible solutions with a cool head. Moreover, they enjoy the challenge of finding that elusive code anomaly. Find great programmers with a sense of humor as this will help them meet challenges with aplomb and calm persistence.
4. Creative programmers solve problems
Software development is about finding solutions to problems, so critical and creative thinking is crucial for great programmers. They see problems as challenges and are all about finding innovative ways to meet them. The more complex the problem, the more creative they become.
People do not usually associate creativity with programmers. Programming is rooted in logic, after all. However, think about it. The first programmer figured out how to use the binary system to perform mathematical operations. That accomplishment requires quite a bit of creativity.
The best programmers are those that go beyond conventional thinking. They see possibilities where others do not because they have imagination. This trait allows them to come up with solutions by looking at the problem from every possible angle.
5. They are organized
The average software developer writes 10,000 lines of code a year, which comes down to 38 lines of code a day. However, developing software requires thousands of lines of code.
A typical iPhone app, for example, has about 50,000 lines of code. Assuming one programmer writes all of that, it will take about five years. Imagine that the software does not work at the end of that time because of errors in the code.
That scenario is why programmers need a keen eye for detail and a systematic approach to any job. Great programmers need to be highly organized in their work because even a tiny error can derail a whole project.
Prevention is the key to successful software development. The best way to prevent code errors is to make sure it does not happen in the first place. For that, you need an organized mindset.
6. Great programmers value efficiency
The programmer you want on your team should have some laziness in their personality. Looking for a lazy person might seem counterproductive, but you might be surprised. Lazy people usually find the most efficient way to work. They do this because they do not want to have to do the work again.
Great developers are passionate about their pursuit of the most efficient way of programming. They like to maximize their time by eliminating anything unnecessary or redundant before doing any actual coding. This approach saves time and effort for them and other stakeholders in the end.
Great programmers make sure they have all the relevant facts before they start working. They communicate with stakeholders to ensure they understand what they need to do. Talking to other programmers about their experience is also an excellent way to shorten the development time.
Programming is a complex task, but it can be less so when handled with logic and efficiency. Great programmers can boil a project down to its most salient points to work as quickly and error-free as possible.
Great Programmers at Full Scale
If you can find programmers with all these six traits, you should congratulate yourself on doing a good job. However, great programmers are not easy to find without help. Full Scale specializes in deploying highly skilled software developers with the traits that make them exceptional at their work. We also have a pool of other professionals you will need to build IT teams quickly and affordably.
Reach out and find out what we can do for you today!