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Ben Halpern for CodeNewbie

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What Is Your Greatest (Unique) Strength as a Developer?

As a software developer, it's important to focus on developing both technical and interpersonal skills. While technical (hard) skills are necessary to succeed in the industry, soft skills (such as communication, collaboration, and teamwork) are equally important.

Everyone has a unique strength, point of view, or way of approaching their work that helps them stand out: maybe it’s curiosity, adaptability, or maybe it’s your innate contrariness, which enables you to poke holes in weak code. 😠🤔 Once you identify and begin to develop that unique attribute, you can use it for good and continue to refine it as you progress in your career.

What do you consider to be your greatest strength as a developer, and how has it helped you in your work?

Top comments (20)

jmfayard profile image
Jean-Michel 🕵🏻‍♂️ Fayard • Edited

As a team lead, I started at my last job to emphatically and regularly say that I didn't have the answers, I merely had lots of practice in turning my ignorance into questions that could then be answered with Google/Wikipedia/My IDE/Whatever.

So during our Slack meetings, I started the habit to share my screen, say "I don't have the answer here but what I would do is to ask me whether xxx, so I would search for yyy in zzz (do it live). Oh here I find that xxx but I wonder if yyy so I would do zzz (do it live). Oh guys I think we have the solution now".

After a few sceances, my colleagues were like "holy shit, I'm now pretty sure I could find the answers myself by using the same method".

IMHO Socrates would have been the best developer of his time

The Socratic method is a form of cooperative argumentative dialogue between individuals, based on asking and answering questions to stimulate critical thinking and to draw out ideas and underlying presuppositions. It is named after the Classical Greek philosopher Socrates and is introduced by him in Plato's Theaetetus as midwifery because it is employed to bring out definitions implicit in the interlocutors' beliefs, or to help them further their understanding.

bbkr profile image
Paweł bbkr Pabian

Keeping things simple. It is the best investment in future-self mental health :)

lexlohr profile image
Alex Lohr

I have an intuitive problem solving skill. Once I understood a problem, my intuition is presenting possible solutions. More understanding of a problem will yield better solutions.

It's great for getting to solutions fast, but it makes it nearly impossible to explain my train of thought, because it's more a subway.

brense profile image
Rense Bakker

The ability to appear like I am listening to the manager. 😁

On a more serious note, I think my greatest strength is that I dont have a greatest strength... Im one of those people who is good at a lot of things, but doesnt excel at anything. I am not sure if it is a strength or a weakness though... Todays society is all about excelling at what you do :(

nfrankel profile image
Nicolas Frankel

I can tell "no"

camco profile image

Having the ability to rapidly deliver a prototype/MVP to validate the project in the eyes of the stakeholders.

In the past I have a misunderstanding of "ready for production"

I assumed that a product needed to be polished because it could be demoed... All that led to was projects never getting done

ravavyr profile image

Being able to read and understand other people's code. Get thrown into a new environment, existing stack, existing setups and figuring it out and making it work so i can modify it.
And then being able to track down and fix bugs without breaking the rest of the system [which is the hardest part]

mistval profile image
Randall • Edited

It's not really unique, but I feel my biggest strength is being able and willing to dig deep into things and understand them independently.

I notice a lot of other developers, when they start working in a new codebase, they'll find people who know more about it and ask them a bunch of questions.

On the other hand I just go and read the code, put in breakpoints and step through it, and refactor the parts I don't understand until I understand them. I will ask others when I'm really stumped or if I want to know something that the code alone can't really answer, but my threshold for that is pretty high.

Because of these traits, I can onboard onto new projects without using a lot of other developers' time. Also by digging through the code to find answers, I think I learn more than I would have if I had just asked someone.

It might sound like by learning things "the hard way", I would be slower, at least at the start, but I haven't really found that to be the case.

Because of these habits I feel I have an unusually wide understanding of our codebases, and hardly a day goes by without other developers DMing me questions about stuff!

jimmymcbride profile image
Jimmy McBride

My ability to learn new things quickly and put that knowledge into practice is definitely above average. Learning a completely new stack or technology to build a new project doesn't really slow me down very much. My friends have let me know that I'm an anomaly. Lol

isaacdlyman profile image
Isaac Lyman

I love code. So so so so much. I don't think everyone needs to love code as much as me, but it's definitely been a force multiplier for my career. I don't mind learning about code because I love it. I don't mind helping other people with code because I love it. I don't mind doing side projects on my own time to learn new technologies or programming languages because (guess what) I love it. ❤️

mneme profile image
Alex T

It looks to me that versatility needs to be the greatest strength as a developer. In this fast-paced, ever-changing environment, developers need to be very versatile at most of the time. New skills, new technology, market environment, merger & acquisition, layoffs and sudden bank collapsing, AI, etc.

One thing is for sure: I love what Jobs said “Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish”. I met a handful of developers that they were pretty complacent in what they were doing and also quite full of themselves. I was shocked. I was expecting developers should be ever-learning and ever-hungry for new technology and skills. I have been looking forward to meeting those who stay hungry and stay foolish and growing as a team and kickstarting some fun projects. Or this is just my wishful thinking?

I have experience in market consulting, sales and marketing. Then I got my feet wet 7-8 years ago to start coding again.(using again as I learnt coding in University for a subject).

After getting my feet wet on coding, I found myself started being impatient with clients. I feel that should people(especially customers) be like AI, the world become highly efficient. It means one command line = one step done. It is always not the case in human communications. People tried to cut corner, play tricks, and lie.

sereneinserenade profile image
Jeet Mandaliya • Edited

I have huge interest in RTEs(like ProseMirror/Tiptap/Lexical) which has landed me great opportunities through my contributions to those ecosystems.

alisinayousofi profile image
Ali Sina Yousofi

I'm consistent, and I have patience when fixing bugs.

uponthesky profile image
UponTheSky • Edited

I never give up.

jonrandy profile image
Jon Randy 🎖️

Thinking outside the box (maybe a little too far outside sometimes!)

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