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June 19, 2020

Demand for great developers is growing exponentially by businesses looking to ride the digital wave. Looking around today, especially in the midst of a pandemic, it’s getting harder to find SMEs without either an in-house development team or a remote development partner. Unfortunately for these businesses, building tech teams, whether in-house or remote, is hard, especially when not all developers are cut from the same cloth.

Over the past decade, we’ve vetted developers from all over the world. We’ve seen skilled coders who are experts in specific programming languages, but also great developers who have all the relevant skill sets and more, because great developers aren’t just the ones with the best technical skills. They’re the ones who go above and beyond for you and your company, the ones who communicate effectively and the ones who dive deep into finding solutions to challenging problems.

Here are  five traits that differentiate great developers from the sea of ordinary developers.

Positive attitude

Great developers have a positive attitude towards their work. Great developers genuinely care about your project and about meeting key milestones in your timeline, unlike ordinary developers who don’t actually care about producing quality work and just want to get it over with. These developers are purpose-driven and keep the big picture and your company’s goal in mind, while having a positive outlook with a “can-do” mindset. Rather than giving excuses for why something can’t be or shouldn’t be done, great developers offer answers and alternatives. They are onboard with the collective mission, and are excited to be on the journey with you.

Collaborates effectively with others

Great developers collaborate actively and effectively with others. This trait is especially important because developing technology for an organization means involving cross-functional teams and potentially external vendors. Great developers are able to see the bigger picture, unlike ordinary developers who just want to complete the tasks in their job scope and isolate themselves in their own small part of the project. They make themselves readily available to assist their team however possible, engage with them, and take the initiative to understand the problems that they are facing.  

Problem solvers

Great developers are also excellent problem solvers, and there are no shortage of problems when it comes to software development! Some problems are incredibly complex, and this is where great developers thrive. While ordinary developers get frustrated and find quick fixes to these problems, great developers will hunker down and solve the issue at its root. They are great at conceptualizing solutions whether it’s about business logic, security, scalability, data structures, or usability. These developers are incredibly resourceful and can quickly track down answers or find the right people needed to get to the right solution. Ultimately, great developers get immense satisfaction from seeing their work in action solving tough problems.

Meticulous in their working habits

Having developers that are meticulous and careful with their work habits is essential to running an efficient and productive development team. This is especially important in distributed or remote teams where autonomy means higher chances for mistakes or misunderstandings due to sloppiness or laziness. Ordinary developers make sure that their code works, but they aren’t meticulous in ensuring whether their teammates are able to easily modify these codes. Great developers establish and maintain tight standards for coding conventions, documentation, as well as keeping to agreed-upon rituals for their SCRUM process. Great developers will feel things are “off” when these standards are not followed, and will make it a point to help their team sustain the attention to detail required.  

Effective communication skills

Great developers are also strong communicators who are able to understand and break down problems so that others can understand. Unlike ordinary developers who use technical jargon and leave other members clueless, great developers can convey complex solutions coherently to non-technical business stakeholders while also ensuring constant alignment on requirements during and across sprints. Their great communication skills are also necessary to allow for continuous transparency which is key to minimizing miscommunication, misunderstandings, especially if the team is distributed.

Of course, great developers still need to be skilled at software development and technical best practices for their industry. Looking out for these essential traits in a developer will help you to sift out exceptional developers that will definitely add value to your business.