Mary Abiodun is an Alumna of She Hacks Africa Coding Boot camp. She’s a Software Developer at Software Business Solutions Consulting. Due to her professional experience, she decided to share 5 qualities of a Software Developer.
Being a software developer can be a big deal in this age and time. Doling out software solutions to problems can sometimes be a herculean task because problems come in shapes and forms and it is required of software developers to make sense of what is available and needed to solve these problems.
To survive as a software developer, there are essential qualities that cannot be compromised. The list in this writing isn’t exhaustive but mentioned here are qualities that I have observed to be fundamental to software developers.
1. Making sense of documentation
As new technologies, software, and frameworks pop up every day, software developers are always on the lookout for them, trying to find ways of incorporating them into their work and solutions. The same also goes for technology and software updates. The good thing is that they are backed up with documentation (a kind of document or manual to help you use them).
As a software developer, your ability to make sense of documentation to understand its content is very crucial for productivity and creativity. Documentation is to a software developer what manual is to a machine.
2. Not foregoing the Imposter syndrome
I know this quality sounds very strange but truth is that software developers are never free from the impostor syndrome and it’s a good quality. You know why? The more you think you don’t know, the more you want to learn.
Continuous and never-ending improvement is what makes software developers what they are. Their ability to learn a new language or technology within a short period of time stands them from the crowd and one thing that makes this possible is the impostor syndrome. They always think there is so much to still learn and know and I tell you, that’s a very good quality to have.
Now you know why it made it to the list (winks).
3. Always Researching
Looks like learning and research are intertwined. Software developers are googlers (that’s if there’s any word as such). Google is their best friend! Their thirst for knowledge makes them dive deeper into researching terms, terminologies, and things they have no prior understanding of.
Research also makes them readers. They are either reading articles, tutorials, books, or even documentation. They completely live on Stack Overflow. Why? Reading and researching. Looking up new techniques and technologies is a huge part of a developer’s work.
4. Team Player
Software developers are perceived as nerds who hide behind their computer screen coding all day, looking like they don’t interact with others. This is not always the case because software development involves processes that are away from the computer screen and as a result, there is a lot of back-and-forths that require good teamwork.
One quality of a software developer is being a good team player. Teamwork can be either physical or remote. Several applications help in aiding communication amongst teams and a software developer has to learn how to use these tools.
Remember that software developers are learners. They definitely learn how to use tools to help them become excellent team players.
5. Ability to read and interpret error messages.
To me, this is the final but most important point of all. Software developers are debuggers. They encounter bugs like it’s no man’s business. Debugging is very instrumental to a developer’s progress because an inability to fix a bug can be stagnating leaving no room to do any other work on a project. Ironically, bugs are your friends even though they can be very annoying.
Frankly speaking, bugs point you to see what you’re missing or failing to do. They do this by throwing up error messages. Your ability to not just read but interpret these error messages will help your debugging skills a great deal. The more you read and understand the error messages, the faster you become in developing solutions as a software developer.
So, always remember that bugs are your friends just as Google is your friend too.
These are the five qualities that I see to be essential for software developers. If you have more, feel free to add them too. I believe they are valid as well.
A practicing software developer also highlighted some important qualities here. You can check it out too.