5 Signs of a Good Programmer

What we dwell on is who we become — here’s how to succeed in this field.

Photo by Usman Yousaf on Unsplash

“When you’re good at something, you’ll tell everyone. When you are great at something, they’ll tell you.” — Walter Payton

That never-ending curiosity

This is probably one of the most important characteristics of someone who would do great in this field.

Working in the technology field will make you stay up late at night not because you had to but because you want to is on a way different level.

Someone truly interested in learning every day doesn't matter if it's just a couple of hours a day, someone who is hungry for more, someone who jumps off early in the morning excited about what’s new, someone who is excited to learn new skills or develop a current one.

Someone who can’t go to sleep just because of a bug or a problem on the project that he/she can’t stop thinking about.

This isn’t a talent, this can be developed eventually.

Most of the time, you really have to love what you do, you have to want it so bad that nothing else will matter.

And with this kind of drive, there is no way you won’t succeed.

I am not saying that this happens all the time, everyone has its ups and downs but consistency is what makes the difference.

Someone who is not scared of trying new things, someone who actually gets excited regardless of how stressful it is.

Always experimenting, always asking questions, that never-ending curiosity of why things happen as it is, is one powerful force.

Doesn’t easily get attached

It is in our nature to get so emotional about things that we do, and some developers do.

Whether it's the programming language that you choose, some even get very sentimental with sticking in their first programming language.

The thing is, just because it is your first programming language, just because it’s the language that landed you your first developer job, just because it pays you greatly, in the beginning, doesn't mean you are going to stick with it forever.

Because if you do, you are probably in the wrong career.

Technology is always changing, it changes along with time, it svcks, but you have to deal with it and get over it, it’s the truth.

And those developers that are the opposites will really do good.

Take on a programming language, learn it, give it time and then move on to the next one, and the next. Work smart, and by means, only associate yourself with the technologies that you know will be beneficial to the ones that you already have in your stack.

Make sure they work together, focus on the power of your stack instead of looking at a certain language itself, remember, your stack will define your future in this field, so be smart about it.

Also when it comes to the projects, some developers tend to get attached to the projects that they are working on, don’t be, eventually when the project is done it will be handed over to someone else.

Our job is either to build from scratch, to maintain, or to refactor, and our projects come and go, and so refrain yourself from getting emotional, these are the company’s properties and it isn’t yours to keep.

So the next time you get on a project, remember that.

Refactor, refactor, refactor

Just because something isn’t broken doesn’t mean it isn’t worth fixing.

In the developer world, refactoring as much as you can is one of the clear signs of a good programmer.

Just because a project is up and running, just because it is working does not mean it is done, our job as a developer keeps going.

We have to embrace this rule.

During the development, we tend to focus on getting the application working, and we tend to put aside or worse forget some of the important concepts like making our codes understandable, clean and superb because all that matters in that time are pushing our project into production.

But a good developer knows what needs to be done, without even being reminded.

After the project is running, good developers will continue to work with it, checking and reviewing every function, every line, and thinking of ways on how to make it better, faster, shorter but cautious, that whether how good of a programmer you think you are, we still need to consider the next developer.

There is no guarantee that the project will remain under your distraction, things can happen and it could be handed over to someone else or you might soon move to a different company, so to avoid any issues, we should always write codes while thinking of the next developer.

Refactor, refactor, refactor — making things better, cleaner, and understandable.

Your codes are your legacy, they will be your identity, so make sure the next developer will know how good of a developer you are, not by how much you have shortened the lines, but on how easy it is to understand your codes.

They teach

You cannot teach something you don’t understand.

And developers that teach others are a clear sign of a good one. In fact, the more they teach the more signs it says that they are getting closer to becoming a Mid-level Developer or even becoming a Senior Developer.

The more you help, the better you become into truly understanding a certain topic. It is actually one of the best ways to learn, through teaching the juniors.

So if have been working for quite some time, try to teach others especially those junior developers that are struggling, it will not only help you learn to understand it better, but you will also gain respect and a good impression from the young ones.

So do not be afraid to teach, they will appreciate you and will look up to you, which is a win-win right?

It will not just serve as a refresher but you will also gain confidence — which is way better than doing nothing about it.

They see failures as an opportunity to learn

and not the other way around.

Most quitters quit when things aren’t working out, as a programmer, quitting is never an option.

Being a developer is about solving problems, no matter how long, you cannot simply accept the fact that it won’t work, you have to find other options, you have to provide a solution.

Things will not always end up as plan but there will always be something to work around, don’t get back until you do.

Be creative, look at the other angles, the answers and solutions are there waiting to be discovered.

One of the things that people admire is determination and passion about the things that they do, and it is actually entertaining to look at someone who loves what he/she does.

So when you are facing an obstacle, even for days or even weeks, just take a rest, take a day off, clear your mind, and come back tomorrow.

I don’t know if you do, but it's actually quite a fulfillment when solving hard or impossible problems, it will not just help you grow, it will not just give a good impression about you, but the confidence that you will earn after will remain forever.

Thank you very much for reading! Follow me for more Self-taught developer writings and inspiration, you can also find me on Instagram, see you there!

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