7 details that make you a good developer
Good developers don’t run the streets. It is enough to look at the difficulties of recruiting digital companies to realize that this kind of profile is a rare pearl. Conversely, when you are a developer, you often wonder how to improve yourself to become better, and what makes someone else considered good. Here are some answers.
1. You have an analytical mind
IT is above all a business of analysis and logic. By having analytical skills from the start, you are on the safe side to be among the best. For others, nothing is lost: with time and experience, your cognitive abilities will improve: reasoning, knowledge of languages, problem solving, logic. In any case, the analytical mind is a necessary component but not sufficient to be considered a good developer.
2. You have a team spirit
When choosing the digital path, you should know that you will never be working alone. Of course, you are on your code, and you will need to be able to solve the majority of your problems on your own. But in most cases, your code will be embedded in a project, in which a lot of people are involved (and not just developers). Thus, you will be integrated into a team or a project with all the benefits of this operation:
Group problem solving,
Shared moments of relaxation …
But also with the constraints related to community life:
Integration within the group;
Questioning the work of others.
In short, by having the team spirit and by appreciating this operation, you put all the chances on your side to be a good developer.
3. You know how to question yourself
In IT, things move fast, very fast, too fast. With experience, you will probably become good at a certain area. But technological and methodological developments are sometimes dazzling, you will have to accept to question yourself, to let slip your knowledge and your comfort to put yourself in danger. At the start of your career, you don’t necessarily imagine that the language and methods used will become obsolete a few years later. But a good developer knows that only hard work and curiosity keep you on top.
4. You do the day before
Do you know things are moving? So take the initiative and train yourself! The day before is an integral part of the job of developer. Read general news sites, read blogs, read documentations, test technologies and frameworks, learn, create things. You will not be served on a platform the knowledge to develop in such or such technology. It is up to you to take charge of yourself to learn and master them. You will surely have training during your professional course. Take advantage of it but don’t stop there: training has never replaced experimentation.
5. You take your time to save it
Usually, beginners rush through their development without thinking. A good developer knows that technical thinking and design are essential to good code. At the start of your career, don’t hesitate to take your time, to break down the problem, to visualize the architecture of the target code. Over time, this design will become almost mechanical. When you really think about it, taking your time saves it: whether in the medium term by creating a secure, reliable and maintainable code – which speeds up maintenance and evolution tasks – or whether in the long term by developing his analytical mind – which accelerates future developments.
6. You change your point of view
Whether at a business meeting, a lunch with your colleagues or a conference, you do not hesitate to give your vision of things and you are listening to different points of view. These exchanges are an excellent way to confront each other’s convictions and possibly change them. By putting yourself in the other’s shoes, by accepting to listen to their problems and solutions, you will enrich your own experience. Do not hold a grudge if you do not agree, accept your differences: no one has a complete and immutable truth.
7. You are passionate
Last, and most important to me: passion. As in any other profession, passion will allow you to accomplish wonders, whether in technical terms, in terms of efficiency or in passing your knowledge around you. If you put your heart into your work and are passionate about your work, you will be able to push yourself forward and create things that are beyond you. Doing a job that you love is the main driver of excellence.
In conclusion: learn to learn
I have given you some ideas to try to be a better developer. However, never forget that the profession of developer is a profession of apprenticeship. Rather than storing knowledge, learn to learn. Methods and technologies are evolving so rapidly that the main challenge in the business is to stay in the loop. It is at the cost of a lot of effort and your ability to adapt that you will become a good developer and that you will stay that way!
Nicolas Hachet is a Web expert and lead PHP developer since 2007.
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