As the CEO of a company, I have had a lot of opportunities to work with different kinds of developers. To be a great developer, a person should embody certain qualities that make him better than others in his field. In this article, I’ve listed some of those qualities that a developer should strive to possess. This article should help young developers who are new to the technical industry go from good to great. Let’s discuss the top ten qualities here:
Have a Positive Attitude: Attitude matters! In a developer’s life, attitude matters the most. Well, a positive attitude, that is. Every developer should have a positive attitude towards his work. In a software development job, change is inevitable. There will always be something new to learn and something new changing with software, so the best thing a developer can do is have a positive attitude and anticipate that change. Do not get frustrated just because you had to change the code you recently wrote. Stay calm and accept the change as a normal part of the job.
Accept Failure: Failure is one such thing that can strike at any stage of life, but holding a positive attitude and striking back even harder is important. As the former president of India, who was also known as the “Missile Man of India,” once said, "Failure will never overtake me if my determination to succeed is strong enough." Now that’s some positive attitude! Hold this attitude and you will surely be at the top one day.
Learn to Love Criticism: Be open to criticism. It is important to accept criticism. There will be times when you have worked extremely hard for something and what you get in return is only criticism. In such cases, have a positive attitude and learn from that criticism and improve yourself. Think of criticism as an opportunity to make yourself better. The more you take criticism constructively, the better off you will be in your career.
Be a Problem Solver: Every developer should think of himself as a problem solver. If we look at a software development process, there are different kinds of problem that arise at every stage of this process. Many developers just give up saying, “I won’t be able to take this anymore.” Sometimes even the smallest of the smallest issue could seem big, but tackling it with a problem-solving attitude will help you move forward easily. Learn to see the problems as challenges that are only improving your skills for the better.
Put the Client First: It is said that “The one who gives is always greater than one who takes.” Yes, a developer should strive to give the best service to his client. He should think of every project as his own project and work hard to make it successful. You should always be brainstorming best solutions and techniques that can help the project flourish. This quality is important because it will not only make the client feel good, but will also increase his faith in you. Client satisfaction is of the utmost importance as developers need to remember that they too are in the service industry and customer satisfaction matters.
Communicate More: Communication is one of the most important skills that a developer needs to possess. Bad communication between you and your team members can also result in failure of your project. Many developers work really hard, but fail to communicate effectively with their team members or their clients. Many times this becomes an obstacle as the developer might have to change what he recently worked on simply because he didn’t check in with his team. Bad communication can increase expense and can also cause the project to fail. It is good practice to send daily status updates to your team and your manager so they always know what you are working on. Simply sending an email update could prevent the loss of countless work hours and irreplaceable financial resources.
Be Accountable: A great developer is one who takes responsibility for the things he and his team do. Many times a developer’s fear of getting fired will cause him to start the dirty blame game to try to save his job. Do not fear! Take responsibility for your and your team’s work. In the case of any issue, communicate with your subordinates and managers and explain the problem to them. Do not run away from the problem! Face the problems like a fighter, take them down, and you will always succeed.
Stay Hungry: Always stay hungry to learn as much as you can. This quality not only conveys your positive attitude, but also increases your team members’ trust in you. Software development is all about change and this change is inevitable, so be prepared for it! Take the initiative to learn the newest and latest technologies and keep yourself up-to-date so you can be the best resource for your company.
Be a Part of the Team: Being a good team member is extremely important. If you are working on a project in a team, it is crucial that you coordinate with your team members while working. Help them and share your knowledge so that everyone in the team grows. Being selfish will get you nowhere, but if you try to be a good team member and work with a selfless attitude that will make you stand out. Remember 90% of projects fail due to bad teamwork. If you want to make your project successful, then first learn to be a good team member.
Work for Excellence: There's a great quote in a favorite movie of mine that says, “Be capable my son, capable... success will follow you no matter what.” Many young developers today easily lose focus and run after fame. They want the fame of being called an MVP and are absorbed in counting their Twitter followers. I’ve actually seen a developer congratulating another fellow developer on Facebook for having more than 1,000 followers on Twitter. This is funny, but it’s also a point of great concern.
Developers can lose interest in growing their skills and just run after fame. Many times, they get accolades and awards by contributing to the technical community, but when asked to work on a client project, they often fail to deliver anything. What’s the point of getting that fame when you’re not even able to deliver a good quality product? This is where you need a great mentor. Look for a mentor who himself is successful and has been consistent in delivering great quality software. You should learn from the experience and success of others in the industry in the constant quest for self-improvement.
Work hard! Learn more! Take guidance from experts who have actually been successful in their careers. Run after excellence as success will automatically follow you. Every developer should try and possess these qualities as it will surely make him stand out from the crowd.