Stylized line drawing of mark playing the flute

What makes an excellent developer?

What makes an excellent developer?

Recently, at work, I had to do a thought-exercise on what makes an excellent developer.

This is something I think about a lot, so much that it's a big part of my public profile/mission-statement!

Without further ado, here's my list:

  • Low ego.
  • Communication skills, especially being able to explain technical things to non-technical people.
  • Empathy for users, teammates, etc.
  • Knowing/figuring out the best way to get to a goal. Especially with client work but valid across the board as well. Sometimes someone will ask for something but that's not the best way to achieve their goal.
  • The ability to keep things simple. Simplicity scales!
  • Thinking about secondary effects of changes.
  • Technical/programming knowledge, but I think that ends up being less important than some of the other things.