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Spot Great Programmers
2021-09-20 /

How to Spot a Great Programmer

Good programmers are hard to find; what more, if you are looking for a great programmer. However, it will be like hitting the jackpot once you recruit one for your team. So, how can you spot a great and experienced programmer in a sea of applicants? Let’s discuss and find out.

Bad, good, and great, obviously you’ll choose great among the rest. That’s because a great programmer is the best. At most, their skills, efficiency, and experience equate to the work of two developers. But how can you possibly know that a developer is great? 

A lot might think that technical tests are enough to determine the level of expertise. Little do they know that the technical tests are just a part of a long process.

In hiring a programmer, you can’t gauge their whole experience with a simple tech exam. Neither can you determine their work attitude by trying out a couple of code. How do you know a great developer then?

How to Spot a Great Programmer 

There are many indicators to spot a great programmer among the rest of the profiles on your desk. To make it easier for you, we made a list.

Solid Technical Knowledge

The first in the list is the most apparent trait that you’ll find in a great developer. The programmer must be well-versed in computer science fundamentals. These include data structures, programming languages, paradigms, algorithms, operating systems, and so on.

Additionally, their coding ability should be top tier. Their grasp of programming languages should be extensive enough to code in the required language with high quality. In actuality, great programmers are model programmers when it comes to technical skills.

Communication Skills

To be considered great, a programmer’s skill should not only be based on their technical expertise. They need to be good at communication as well. When we say communication, it not only focuses on talking but also listening actively. This trait is vital whether the developer works on a project alone or with a team.

A great programmer carefully listens to the client’s ideas and puts them into action. However, they are not passive workers. They ask relevant questions and suggest practical solutions to make the product even better. When it comes to a team, communication is what binds members together. 

Before hiring a software developer, you can test their communication skills during the interview. These are your indicators:

  • Give a problem/scenario and observe how they effectively communicate their answer.
  • Ask them about the detailed development process.


A great developer is not just a tech genius and a good communicator, but a great leader as well. If you spot a developer who steps up and leads the team earnestly, then you are looking at a great developer.

When you are hiring a programmer, make sure that you pay attention during the interview. Ask them questions that will test if they have leadership skills. Questions such as:

  • Have you encountered any problematic tasks in the past? How did you deal with it?
  • How do you interact with team members? Or how do you encourage team members to express concerns and ideas?


Since they are team players, great programmers are also visionaries. Notice a team of developers who are good at writing code but only end at that. Then here comes one who possesses excellent intuition.

The programmer designs a more accessible and more efficient development solution with an ideal user experience. As a cherry on top, the design allows simple and easy debugging.

This developer is not simply writing code. They fully understand the problem and find their way to provide a solution through the user’s perspective. As a tech expert, it can be harder to meet the needs of non-tech users. But the challenge is an encouragement for great programmers. They go around their limits in search of excellence.

Good vs. Great Programer

Good or great, why does it matter? Both of them can help your business. That is true and false. A good or a great programmer can significantly affect your business goal. These two types of programmers can function differently depending on how the company utilizes their skills. Let’s break down their similarities and differences to understand them fully.


You can simply filter the bad programmers from the good bunch with just the technical test. However, you’ll find that the good and great developers are pretty similar in this area.

  • Neatly-structured and well-commented code samples

They need to be knowledgeable when it comes to technical skills. Their code are neat to avoid errors. Moreover, they are organized and well-documented so that their team can smoothly work with them.

  • Understand relevant programming best practices

You can only be a good programmer if you follow programming best practices. These software developers do not simply write code. They learned the art and discipline that helped them avoid errors along the way. If they make mistakes, they do their best never to repeat them. 

  • Solid knowledge of development technologies

Their knowledge when it comes to their area of expertise is not superficial. It is knowledge gained through experience and frequent study. When you say solid understanding, they should be experts in their chosen programming language, framework, technology stack, etc.

  • Familiar with the most common actions used development methods

Some might think that development methods are mere theories in software development. Contrary to that, these theories are used even by big companies like Apple, Google, and Facebook. If your prospect is not familiar with or using development methods, they are neither good software developers nor great ones. To be a good and great developer, one should know and actively use advanced development methods.


Now that we’ve established that good and great programmers have many similarities, it’s time to identify their differences.

  • Passion for Development and programming

It was previously mentioned that both good and great programmers have a solid knowledge of programming. Now, these two differ in their attitude towards development and programming.

A good developer can be naturally efficient and reliable in writing code that work perfectly. However, a great developer thrives on being better in programming. They are often curious, and their curiosity pushes them to learn more. 

  • Intuitive understanding when it comes to programming technologies

Programmers hone their skills through experience. They will know what’s wrong with the system because they have encountered this before. Their development sense is top-notch since they’ve worked with a lot of programming technologies of different versions.

Are You Looking for a Great Programmer?

And there you have it, indicators of a great programmer. As it seems, all great developers are good at development and programming, but not all developers who are good at development and programming are considered great. If you choose between the two, you’ll most likely choose the best, but it will depend on your business goal.

If you just want a developer who is good at programming and carefully listens to instructions, a good developer will suffice. But you will need a great programmer to strengthen your team of developers and spearhead the whole process.

When it comes to hiring software developers, there is no need to browse through websites, place jobs ads, and go through dozens of profiles. You can simply contact a software development company Full Scale.

Full Scale can provide you with great developers who can work on your product. You can build an excellent team development team quickly and affordably. All you need to do is schedule an appointment.

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