What is your best quality as a programmer?

ben profile image Ben Halpern ใƒป1 min read

What do you have a knack for? Not that you have to be perfect at anything, but what part of our craft are you particularly skilled at?


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I'm stubborn. If I've decided on a specific way for how I want to build something, I'll probably get the dang thing working eventually.

This is also probably my worst quality.


If I've decided on a specific way for how I want to build something, I'll probably get the dang thing working eventually.

What's your most brutal example?


Good question! I don't know if it's the most brutal, but a recent one that comes to mind culminated in this recent post:

In a nutshell, the project is a backend for a static website hosting a blog. I had selected a compile-time HTML templating tool, largely because I thought it was cool, not at all to address an actual unmet need with more standard tools.

The problem was that in order to compile all my templates into the server executable, they needed to exist before the program starts running, but that very program is also responsible for generating the templates.

The sensible choice would have been to switch to a run-time tool, like most HTML templating solutions are. The code I'd already written would have sufficed with little modification, and it would be a lot easier to dynamically generate the content I need to serve.

Instead, I spent two days learning how to auto-generate Rust code ahead of the actual compilation process, and built a script that generates the templates I want on disk, so that this compile-time templating process could still work as intended.

For all that extra effort, I didn't really gain much except some extra knowledge about Rust's build process. The final product is virtually identical to what I would have ended up with if I had accepted the compromise. It may technically eke out a win in a benchmark, but nothing that comes even close to mattering in any practical sense.

Oh well.


sleeping, slacking, complaining, coffe drinking, eating, playing games


I will do things the correct way, not the fast way.

Project Managers aren't very thrilled, but they also don't understand how much time I've saved them in the future.

I'm also quite good at spotting problems before they happen.


I'm good at solving actual problems. Might not always implement the best solution to start with, but I'm persistent and will typically get there, even when it's something I don't know anything about to start with, as long as it's searchable online (and not advanced math).

Loosely related, I'm pretty good at self-teaching new things.


Empathy for engineers learning new things, the end user, my workmates.


Teaching, or at least being able to take subjects and present them. I present maybe 2 dozen sessions a year in my field, so lots of practice. I think that's a pretty good quality.


Patience and Listening skill.


Empathy for the end user.

Also, I love the thrill of the chase when tracking a nasty bug. I've not yet been able to reconcile these two qualities.


I've been told it's my vision ๐Ÿค”

But I like to think that my work ethic and proactivity as my best qualities, and that I love learning new things and sharing it around c:


Most Co-worker would say that I'm very calm. No matter what happens


Source code archeology (figuring out how an existing code base works)


I am driven to help the web team I work with, collaborate and encourage one another to be better devs.


I write tests for my code :)


not being a developer in the first place


I can explain complex stuff in a simple way...since that's how I explain them to myself ๐Ÿ˜… I am a good listener and calm when the place is burning.