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Mark Vassilevskiy
Mark Vassilevskiy

Posted on • Updated on

7 Signs That You're a Good Developer

There's nothing unusual if you want to become a developer. Perhaps you'd want to create web applications, mobile apps, or even some sort of a game. However, the issue is whether or not you believe yourself to be competent enough. I attempted to explain some of the indicators that suggest that you're really a great developer or not.

Programming is a Profession That Requires Constant Learning

Thus, you can assume knowing several programming languages or having some experience in this field isn't sufficient to call yourself good at it. The only way you're able to understand if are truly talented enough for something is when you spend years working on projects and solving problems - just like any other developer out there does. If the outcome was great then most likely your skills are highly appreciated by others too!

In other words, if you can create a basic project like a calculator or even something more complicated in a Programming Language that you understand well, then you truly understand how it works, and this is critical.

You Have to Be Confident in Your Skills

In other words, before starting doing something you need to ask yourself, “Can I do it myself? Do I have enough knowledge and skills?” if the answer is no so you shouldn’t start to do this project. Also, you need to be able to build things alone, in a theoretical way, of course. That will make you think about your current experience and what you should learn.

Good developers are constantly able to accomplish what they set out to do, as well as produce high-quality results immediately and consistently.

Of course, working with your coworkers to establish the project is preferable, but there may be times when you’ll be alone with no one to assist you, therefore you’ll need to be able to work independently and have faith that you can accomplish this task on your own.

Of course, working with your coworkers to establish the project is preferable, but there may be times when you'll be alone with no one to assist you, therefore you'll need to be able to work independently and have faith that you can accomplish this task on your own.

Programming Isn't The Only Thing That They're Good at!

They usually have a wide range of skills and are interested in various other activities like music, movies, sports, etc. Consequently, they can easily communicate with different types of people which is always an advantage when working on a project with a team.

It also aids them in performing their job more effectively. For instance, you've been given a freelance order to create a completely Working Website for someone's service, such as a generator of images from sentences or an AI with a paid subscription and other features. So to complete the task, you'll need to understand this field well and not just how to make a beautiful navbar or animated scrollbar. I believe you see my point.

You Must Be Familiar With Your Tools

This quote is extremely relevant for this particular subject. Good developers not only possess great coding skills but also know their development environments (such as IDEs) very well and use all the shortcuts available to make their work faster.

Additionally, they understand the principles behind the code they write and why it works instead of just blindly following some tutorials.

Developers are self-taught

I assume you've heard this statement before, but do you actually know what it means? This term implies that the person never attended any special school or classes to learn Programming. Consequently, they just started working on projects and found themselves doing something new every day which developed their programming skills along with time.

Without a doubt having some sort of education in Programming is advantageous because there's lots of stuff to study in order to become great at it (similarly like when studying for an exam). However, if your primary goal is only becoming good enough then most likely developing these skills alone will be sufficient. Just remember about practicing every day!

You're Good If You Can Create Something

When I say creating, I mean Programming a piece of software, not designing it. There is an entire world outside Programming and creating websites or mobile apps which requires creativity as well (such as drawing).

However, we're talking about Programming now so if you can create something complicated without using any tutorials to assist you then this fact confirms that your skills are worth being valued by other people! It's all about challenging yourself because the more difficult task is solved successfully, the better developer you become! So don't be afraid of challenges - embrace them instead!

No Need To Read This Article

If you're already a good developer then there is no reason in reading this article! You know everything that was written here, or at least most of it because I'm sure some points are new to you. So congratulations on becoming awesome at Programming and discovering how important it is to be able to work alone without assistance (except when needed)! Good luck with your tasks, projects, and career progressions!

Top comments (62)

larsonnn profile image
Lars Feldeisen

Good Developers Don't Need Anyone's help


valeriavg profile image

I agree with here with Lars, whaat?
Good developers are always open to opposite opinions, critics and overall input.
They DO NOT do everything by themselves.
A Good developer knows it's own strengths and ALWAYS asks for help if they're stuck.
They do get stuck too, because they are not stamping the same landing pages over and over, they find ways to automate the routine things and spend their time to create new tools, methods or improve existing ones.

ae3x profile image
Andrej Soldo


metamark profile image
Mark Vassilevskiy Author

What you didn't get? If you think that you're a good developer, then you can do everything by yourself. Of course, you should not, as I said, however it tells more about your abillities

luuketheking profile image
Luke Harrison

Just entirely wrong,, you'd never learn the random poorly Doc'd bits of code, or the shorter ways of doing something ,anywhere near as fast without other people helping

ginsburgnm profile image
Noah Ginsburg

If you're able to to everything by yourself, you're likely not able to do anything well.

There are different kinds of developers for a reason. Web, OS, distributed, system tooling etc. And even those I listed have subcategories. Moreover there are appropriate languages to use for the different categories. So let's say you're a good Linux kernel developer. That means you're really really good with C. You're likely not gonna be an ideal choice for web development though. Flip side, you could be a savant with JavaScript, but Linus would likely rip you a new one for whatever patch you submitted to Linux.

For example I'm mainly a python developer, I can quarter ass my way through SQL, but it won't be efficient, likely it'll be a terrible query but that's because I've not dedicated the time I have to SQL that I have to python. If you ask me to write JavaScript you'll regret it, but if I'm developing within my toolbox as it were, it'll be pretty good.

Different people have different skill sets and being a good developer requires that you understand how you're good.

So, no. A good developer is likely not going to be able to do everything themselves, a good developer should be able to understand implications across the stack but then go submit a ticket when there's a bug outside their space and have the good developer for the given category handle the issue on their end.

cullophid profile image
Andreas Møller

Yeah i also failed on step 2

metamark profile image
Mark Vassilevskiy Author

Alright, I'm actually tired already to tell you. You need to be sure that you can do this project yourself, be sure that you know all technologies for this specific project. And again, of course, you need to find solutions from others and build things together, but as I said, only have the confidence

pantsme profile image
Antonio Savage

I haven't logged into this site in years but had to for this, what a joke.

Good devs don't need anyone's help.

Sounds like someone who does a bunch of contract temp jobs and has to prove himself to stay the full 6mo. Everyone needs help. Its frowned upon to not expose blockers and continue to grind away at a problem alone. Newer devs and people learning programming, DO NOT LISTEN TO THIS GUY. Be verbose, ask questions and please for your sanity, ASK QUESTIONS.

If a newer employee does not ask questions I assume they are trying to impress me/the team with how good they are. I know exactly what you're struggling on and can help, I assigned you the task on purpose as a learning experience and to see what questions you are going to ask. Quit being proud and ask for help.

kendev profile image

I guess being good is subjective, people I’ve worked with who I consider great developers are;

  • willing to fail and admit failure
  • humble and asking questions, even if they might sound dumb
  • stop to ask if we should be doing something, if it makes sense rather than hammering away
  • don’t take themselves too serious

I think for me at least it’s more the mindset and less the skill. Most people with x years of experience are good at the programming part.

jjhiza profile image

This. The author completely neglected to mention what kind of development he's talking about, but speaking as a reverse engineer - learning how to cope with failure is increasingly important. You're not always going to find a function to hook or a loophole to exploit, and not every customer is going to like the ideas you have or the code that you write. It doesn't matter if you've been programming for 35 years or 3 months... Failure and rejection is part of the business, and being humble enough to accept that, ask the correct questions, and put the work before your ego is just as important as (maybe more important than) your technical ability.

pzelnip profile image
Adam Parkin

Hmm, some thoughts:

  • I think an article that's framed as "if you have these traits, you're a good dev" isn't really particularly useful and is arguably exclusionary. It might be better to frame an article as "here are some ways to become a better developer" rather than "if this random list of traits is true of you, you're (magically) a good dev".
  • #2 (like others have said) is straight up not true. I've been writing code for decades (I wrote my first program around 1991 -- yay Turbo Pascal!), have held "senior software developer" titles at multiple jobs, etc, and I on a daily basis get stuck and require assistance. And it's not just me: I've seen some of the most gifted, talented, prolific developers I've worked with get stumped like anyone else. The thing that makes them so great is that they recognize that fact early, check their ego at the door, and ask for help when they need it, not "work independently and have faith that they can accomplish this task on their own". It is true that self-sufficiency is a useful skill, but that's not the same thing as "if you're good, then you don't need help"
  • "If you're already a good developer then there is no reason in reading this article! You know everything that was written here" -- I guess I'm not a good developer since (even with decades of experience) I don't know everything that was written here. See how that language is exclusionary? Can you imagine how someone who's newer to development might read it and feel completely defeated?
  • "Programming Isn't The Only Thing That They're Good at" -- this I agree with, though kind of trivially so? Like everyone is good at more than their chosen profession. Maybe that wasn't the intent of this section though, maybe the intent was to convey that you don't have to devote every last second of your waking hours to becoming a better developer/it's good & useful to have other interests, which I do agree with.
  • "Developers are self-taught" -- this also feels untrue given my experiences. While personally i was in fact (largely) self-taught (well, sort of: I started on my own, and then after years of playing around did a CS degree or two), I've known a lot of great devs who never wrote a line of code until day 1 of their intro to CS class. Different people learn in different ways. Some people thrive in formal learning environments, and some are more self-directed, both paths are equally valid.
cara41310490 profile image

sorry to say but this article was completely useless.. like i recently started learning computer language and by clicking on this i just want something that pushes me over my limits..not something that puts me down

princezakabdull profile image
Engnr. Zaks

Sorry bro

Sloan, the sloth mascot
Comment deleted
rektdev profile image
Comment marked as low quality/non-constructive by the community. View Code of Conduct

what a shit site that gathers these ppl....

vlad_pavlov_24 profile image
Vladislav Pavlov

If any developer tries to become a good developer according to this article then they are likely to end up working for themselves alone with great satisfaction with their IDE knowledge and 0 extra courses taken. Bad part is, such "great" devs will have problems working on any big valuable project where codebase can never fit to one "know-it-all" developer's head.

Today due to complexity of real projects TEAMS get great things done, not individuals. IT knowledge is a multidimensional space and you can never know everything. As it has already been said below, good dev knows thier strengths (their "strong dimensions") and delegate/learn TO/WITH more experienced colleagues. And that includes asking questions and pointing out to lack of your knowledge.

cod profile image

I am so confused, is this article supposed to be sarcastic or ironic?

nicolasdanelon profile image
Nicolas Danelon

who not both?

sloan profile image

Hey all!

Just a reminder to please treat each other with respect and kindness on DEV.

It's absolutely okay to disagree with the ideas put forth by the author, but remember to follow our Code of Conduct and try to keep the criticism directed at the ideas put forth in the post rather than at the author.

Let's try our best to be empathetic and patient with one another!

mdamaceno profile image
Marco Damaceno

I think I've got the point of the article. Despite you're able to do the whole work alone it doesn't mean you have to. You have to be smart enough to understand the problem and call the right people for help in order to get things done faster.

metamark profile image
Mark Vassilevskiy Author

YEEEAH! Man, I just love you, I tried to say it for all people who are commenting this article. I personally, figured out this quote a long time ago from Kalle Hallden and tried to explain to you guys. Everything that you have to do to is to be sure that you can do it alone, but never, never do it alone :)

sir_wernich profile image
Wernich ️

this post is straight from management

aynp profile image
Aryan • Edited on

If good developer does not ask for help, then maybe he should also keep his opinions to himself 🤷🏻‍♂️.

amazing_henry profile image
Amazing Henry

I must be a bad developer...
Though I satisfy my clients requirements and solve their problems...

As a new developer,
I like to learn and relearn,
I Google stuff when I am stuck, I get unstuck and continue moving.

I ask for help from people with experience..
I blindly copy code that works and needed in a particular project and I go back to dissect it to see why and how it works, so in my next project I implement it with confidence.

I have seen senior programmers struggle with code for hours. and I have seen a newbee breeze through the same code.

Its programming lol. It can make you seem like a god and make you think you can set the rules

flavortext profile image
Scott L F B • Edited on

This article summarizes exactly what I thought made a good developer before I got an education and a software engineering job. The most egregious misstatements are:

"Good developers don't need anyone's help"

A good developer knows when to ask for help. Our job is to engineer software, not reinvent the wheel. Failure to ask for help or information when you need it can be a blocker to your own productivity.

"You're Good If You Can Create Something
When I say creating, I mean Programming a piece of software, not designing it."

Good software is MADE at the design stage. Writing code that does what you want is the easy part. Scalability, extensibility, availability, instrumentation, fit for purpose -- all of these things should be considered and determined at the design stage and require much more thought and effort than the actual programming. The ability to execute on the design is a bare minimum requirement to be a developer at all.

SOURCE: I'm a software development engineer at Amazon

bashovski profile image
Anur Bašić

You aren't a good developer if you do everything yourself.

Discussing approaches and how something can be implemented with others is crucial. Two pairs of eyes are better than one.

This post is just a bunch of nonsense.

ericson_weah_2543c732594c profile image
Dp • Edited on

To me the point he makes here is crystal cleared and righteously justified. Another way to rephrase (or repeat what he already clearly explained) is this: you may learn from another but you MUST accomplish for yourself. At some point in your journey you must make a complete shift: You must shift from imitating to understanding! Do not confuse “not asking for help” with some of the things he said when he wrote things like “ Developers that are great don't require any assistance while working”. He is not saying do not ask for help. Here is the point: at the end of the day wether you ask for help or not you must own your work. And you must be able to accomplish your work even if there is no one around to help you. If you can’t accomplish your work without another’s assistance then you are mostly likely still on the “imitation stage” not the “understanding stage”. And it’s not just a small part of the project your are building: you must understand and own the world thing. Group work is a whole different thing. Here the focus is personal project with the goals of finding out whether you have shifted from imitating to understanding or not. Think about it for a moment: why do you ask for help or assistance in the first place? It is because you don’t understand or you don’t know or you are not sure. So if you are building a project and find yourself asking for assistance for 20 or more percent of the time, you may want to improve your skills first (if the purpose of building the project is not for learning purposes). So what he is saying is: asking for help or having another one’s assistance is only a mean and understanding and owning the work is the end: independent! And again do not confuse “independence” with “interdependence “.

metamark profile image
Mark Vassilevskiy Author

You're absolutely right. In a nuthsell, I'm tryig to explain that if you think that you're a good developer, you need to be able to work on this project. Just to be able, because it will say that you have enough of experience and even seniors go to StackOverFlow and searching for the solution. So be sure that you can do everything alone, but never do it alone :)

txjson profile image
Nylah D. Klasson

"Good Developers Don't Need Anyone's help"

This is just plain wrong, I would say it even makes you a bad developer. Being able to develop on your own is fine, but you're always better as a team. Not acknowledging that you may need help with something makes you a bad developer. We all learn from others, just as we all can teach others. Don't be so quick to neglect someone's help, maybe it'll teach you something.

ortoncee profile image
Orton Chukwuwemeka

It seem to me that this guy is Mr. "KnowItAll", please always be conscious what you send to the purplic, new programmers struggling to learn coding might get discouraged by this your articles and you need to expand your knowledge in world of creation, even the Bible you believed in the God that created you say "LET US CREATE HUMANS...." question to ask is, who are "US" ?

trewous profile image
Michel Silva

A good developer dont need help from anyone, but a good developer knows how to help others, in a effectively way.

metamark profile image
Mark Vassilevskiy Author

Great note, I guess I'll write it down :)

sanishchirayath1 profile image
Sanish Chirayath • Edited on

The real Growth happens when you learn from your peers...Real pro developers are those who accept that they don't know to learn anything...And there's no wrong ask for help from those who have done that your learning process can become much faster... also can avoid the mistakes they've done..It's an art to asking the right question to right people..

pljay profile image
Pathum Lakshan

This is how Project Managers think of Developers when they're close to project deadline.

bigdjshadows profile image

Good developer will do things that people want. Here is Valve as example. People asked to ad custom games in dota 2 and they add and still update the feature. Here are some good custom games and don`r forget to listen to your users

dtuzzy profile image
Temidayo Omotayo

Attention grabber!! It was fun scrolling down

zekaric profile image
Robbert de Groot

Missing a big criteria of a good/great programmer. The code you write can be understood and fixed/enhanced easily by anyone else that comes in after you. If you can't do that, any of the above is worthless in my opinion.

chococoin profile image
Germán Lugo

In others words, if your are reading this, you are not a good developer.

rakeshsinghjamwal profile image

I would say "Be Open to Take Help" and others' opinion. Someone might have better idea than what you are trying to do.

jmarcossf profile image
Juan Marcos

"Good Developers Don't Need Anyone's help"

We're only engineers. We're only developers. AND we're only human...

I used to try to tackle things myself... Then a teammate called me out one day and said " we're only engineers. We don't know EVERYTHING. If we need help, or if we're stuck in something, feel free to ask!"

There are MANY gotchas in what we do for a living... All the frameworks, language syntax, etc... We don't know everything. And asking for help definitely speeds things up and saves us hours upon hours of looking through documentation.

With all due respect, I hope you're not a team lead with your views on what makes a "Good Developer".

ni8mr profile image
Noor Faizur Reza • Edited on

I respectfully disagree with you regarding this. We all need helps. But your words can be represented in this way: "A good developer take ownership of his/her works."

shivam888 profile image
Shivam kashyap


jaycoolent profile image
Julius Jean-Baptiste • Edited on

Yeah, I definitely don't agree w/ this. Even good developers get stuck. My specialty is native mobile app development and front end web development. But I may need help w/ my DBs/backend, cross platform, Machine-Learning, there's so many things in development that I don't know well. Unless you're a tech god who knows everything, everyone needs help at some point.

Development is a team sport. Even freelancing can be a collaborative effort. Failure is part of the business, and rejection is part of getting a new job/promotion or pitching a new project. Software engineering is huge space and even the best developers don't know everything. Mobile, Web [ Front, Back, Full Stack], DevOps, Machine-Learning, Data, etc. its impossible to not ask for help, advice, or even ask for 2nd opinions.

🌚 Browsing with dark mode makes you a better developer.

It's a scientific fact.