What makes a great software engineer? There are plenty of opinions on this topic, most common answers suggest the following: able to produce maintainable working software, team player, keeping up to date with new technologies, and so on.
But if good developers are difficult to find, great developers are rare. If you want to hire a great Software Developer, there are some key traits and qualities you must be looking for, and the competition to get them is as fierce as it has never been before.
At Near Coding we have been selecting, hiring and allocating top-notch Software Developers from our Nearshore location here in Costa Rica, we have been helping out clients to establish Highly-Efficient Software Development teams and we believe we have a thing or two to tell you about how to get those developers you have been looking for.
According to Er Shahbaz Sharif, CEO of Technical Diary, a good software developer is never measured by the lines of code he/she has written. But we can go beyond that point because the most important factor of a GREAT Software Developer is actually the set of personal skill sets. A good software developer needs to be extremely patient, open to ideas, eager to learn, calm minded and confident. Developing a software can be as frustrating as you can imagine.
The following are set great programmers apart:
Basic Computer Science Skills
This is the most important to be a good Software developer. Basic computer Science includes Research skills, reading comprehension, the ability to know how to use library functions, and understanding computing problems, design patterns, and frameworks are other skills that are valuable to have. They need to see the software as a whole not just as the small part you are currently working on, but they also need to understand the impact of this small piece on the whole.
For those who have never attempted to create an application from scratch, programming can best be compared to solving an extremely difficult math equation. A good programmer thrives on finding ways to make something work, despite the odds. Otherwise, you may be hearing the phrase, “That can’t be done,” every time you propose an innovative new project.
Creativity allows programmers to think outside of the box. It allows them to work in smarter ways and explore areas which aren’t usually explored by people who like to follow hard and fast rules. It’s past that time when people stuck with traditional methods. It’s also something that sets apart a Software Engineer from other off the mill engineers. It is a hard-earned skill that allows to stand out of the crowd quite easily.
Passion for Code
Programming isn’t for the uninterested. You must have a passion for code, developing it from a purely scientific skill into a craft or an art. Building code is much like developing a painting, a sculpture, or a symphony. With the popularity of Open Source, you don’t have to be alone in code creation — the ability to work with software engineers and developers from around the world is possibly through the Internet.
Engineers who are team players are much more likely to be successful in their careers than lone-wolf types. There’s a pop culture stereotype of the brilliant but emotionally stunted programmer – someone who can pull off heroic feats of code-slinging but can’t connect with the people around them.
This doesn’t work in real software development teams. A Software Engineer job is to solve issues and create a great product, not just to write as many clever lines of code as possible. That means communicating with all kinds of people: other developers, quality assurance, PMs, sales, customers etc.
Up to date
The world of software is continuously progressing at a rapid pace. There are new software, tools, languages, frameworks, modules and programs being released every day. When you’re working for international clients and conglomerates, you have to be to up to date with the latest trending technologies that are being worked upon.
Good Communication Skills
Believe it or not, good communication skills are not just about speaking a high level of the English language and being able to talk to your clients and/or employers. No, having good communication skills means being able to convey an idea in an accurate and effective manner. It means being able to get a point across and to understand what others are trying to tell. It means knowing how to communicate with the people you work with.
And while it’s really difficult to figure out whether someone has supreme communication skills over the phone or email, a face-to-face meeting will tell you exactly what you need to know. If your potential developer’s communication skills are not as good as you’d want them to be, chances are that they won’t be able to do their job right.
Here at Near Coding, to us, GREAT software developers should be open-minded. Ready to change their opinion upon discussing with teammates or uncovering new information. No one is omniscient, and anyone on the team can suggest ideas. Everyone welcomes and discusses all ideas.
Good Software developers must learn to admit their mistakes. After all, making a mistake happens to everybody. The right thing to do is to try to learn from them and avoid them in the future. This is not as easy as it seems, but necessary to keep growing.
Just like Christopher Burke said: “The path of becoming a great programmer is to start by being a programmer, then develop the skills needed to be a good programmer, then practice those skills until you master them, then develop the skills needed to be a great programmer, then practice those skills until you master them.”
This concludes our list for some of the common attributes and characteristics of a good software engineer. Feel free to share your opinion in the comments section below!