From Good to Great: Traits of a Successful Software Developer

Part 2 of 2

By Nicola Palumbo

20 Dec 2020

5 min read

open laptop

With the rapid rise of technology and the growing need for robust digital tools, the demand for software developers is increasing every day. The growth of employment opportunities for software developers is higher than any other occupation in the world due to the global need for quality applications.

In our previous blog, we talked about the internal attributes that make a good software developer great according to the paper published by the University of Washington:

Here, we’ll discuss the external attributes that you need to look for to identify potentially great software engineers:


Interacting and having a positive impact on teammates is considered to be a key attribute of any good software developer. The reason for this is that a software engineer must be a reasonable person who can communicate effectively while being a good leader and building an environment of trust with fellow co-workers. The character traits you need to look out for include:

1. Creates Shared Context

The most important aspect of effective communication is being able to mold another person’s expectations and understanding of a situation. The software development and creation process should be coordinated successfully with each member of the team for the best end result.

2. Creates Shared Success

A great software developer should be willing to compromise personal interests to create shared success for each team member involved in the process. Software engineers—who have a more detailed understanding of projects— should work closely with managers who have a broader idea of the situation to create aligned goals for every individual working on the project. This will avoid any crises arising due to personal motivations or different organizational objectives.

3. Creates A Safe Haven

Great software developers have the ability to learn from their mistakes and help other developers improve without any negative consequences. This can help the organization avoid any talent loss and create an environment where everyone feels secure.

4. Honest

The expertise provided by the software engineer is used in a lot of applications going forward. That is why it’s important that the engineer is honest and capable of providing credible information. This helps the company avoid wasting time and shifting of the blame to others which can create a hostile work environment.

Software Products:

Making the perfect software is like creating an artistic masterpiece. Great developers not only make sure their work has the best qualities but also appreciate other developers without personal bias. The software created by great developers must have the following characteristics:

1. Elegance:

Great software must be simple with intuitive designs that can be understood by another person easily. Unnecessarily complicating the programming and including constraints can make it difficult to come up with a solution in case of any error in the software. Complexity can also increase the risk of bugs which can require costly fixes and also waste time.

2. Creative

Any amateur software developer can write basic code. Great software developers understand the constraints of existing programs and solutions and use those to come up with novel and creative solutions that are less-costly and prone to errors.

3. Anticipates Future Needs

Great software engineers have the ability to anticipate future needs and technological advancements and can incorporate that into their work. Their product is flexible and they are open to re-write and make it easy to upgrade their software.

As with any study, these attributes are not set in stone. Finding a great software developer for your company can heavily depend on the particular needs of your organization and your work environment.

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