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Rain Leander
Rain Leander

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Beyond Technical Skills: The Habits of Highly Successful Developers

Compare two software developers, Dev A and Dev B, and they both seem like identical twins in terms of their background and technical skills.

But why is it that Dev A will likely be more successful in their career than Dev B?

As it turns out, technical skills and experience will only take you so far. The secret to success lies in the habits and traits that set great developers apart from the rest of the pack.

So, what are the habits and traits that separate great developers from the rest? Here are the top ten habits that predict success:

One Thing Only

Look, I get it. When you're knee-deep in coding, it's easy to get carried away and start stuffing functions full of whatever lines you need to make your program work. But let me tell you, that's a one-way ticket to messytown.

As Andrew Magee, the software development manager at Enigma Digital, puts it: "A function should do one thing and one thing only."

That's right, folks, if you're trying to cram multiple tasks into one function, you're losing focus. And without focus, your code becomes a convoluted mess that's harder to read, reuse, and test.

So take a step back, breathe, and remember: one function, one purpose.

See The Big Picture

Ah, the elusive business savviness of a rockstar developer. It's not enough to just sling code like a cowboy on a deadline.

No, no, no.

You gotta understand the big picture, the grand scheme, the...well, business side of things.

How else are you gonna whip up the perfect tech solution that fits like a glove and makes everyone in the C-suite grin from ear to ear? So, put on your business hat and start mastering that jargon, my friend.

Who knows, you might just impress the heck out of the boss and get that promotion you've been eyeing.

Listen Up

Listen up, all you aspiring developers!

Great developers know that sometimes the best thing you can do is shut up and listen.

Christopher Mendy, head of developers at Evus Technologies, advises, "If you're in an office with other developers, listen first, then speak. It's the quickest way to learn." This means swallowing your pride, taming your inner know-it-all, and really paying attention to what your colleagues are saying.

You might be surprised at how much you can pick up just by keeping your ears open and your mouth shut.

Laser Sharp Focus

Discipline is key, my friends. It's like having a map when you're navigating a ship. You might be a veteran sailor and a great steerer, but without a map, you'll be lost at sea forever.

Same goes for development.

Being highly skilled is fantastic, but without discipline, you're just steering in circles. So get your map and chart a course to success!


It’s time to stop going down those rabbit holes and getting lost in the technical weeds.

Sure, it might seem super important to dive deep into every single edge case of your project, but sometimes you gotta take a step back and look at the bigger picture. Are you really putting in all that effort for something that’s not even essential to achieving your team’s end goal?

Take a breather, focus on the task at hand, and you’ll be one step closer to success.


You know what feels better than finally getting that avocado toast you’ve been craving?

Solving a tough programming problem after hours of head-scratching, that’s what.

And according to Christopher Mendy, head of developers at Evus Technologies, if you’re persistent and keep at it long enough, you’ll eventually find a solution. So keep calm and code on!

Ask For Help

Listen, I know we all like to think we're unique and special, but let me tell you, when it comes to programming problems, you're not that special.

Sorry to burst your bubble.

But the good news is, just about every problem you'll encounter has already been solved by some kind soul out there in the vast world of the internet. So when you hit a snag, don't be too proud to ask for help. And by help, I mean Google. It's like having an infinite team of programmers at your fingertips.

Pretty sweet deal if you ask me.

Expand Your Repertoire

According to Todd Stephan, VP of software engineering at Ask Applications, if you can quickly build expertise in one area, you can do it again in others.

That's right, you're not a one-trick pony!

So, let's get out there and try new things. Who knows, maybe you'll discover you have a hidden talent for underwater basket weaving or making artisanal pickles.

The sky's the limit!

Surf’s Up

Ah, the fast-paced world of software engineering.

Just when you think you've mastered a new language or framework, along comes a shiny new one to tempt you away.

But the truly successful software engineers know how to navigate this ever-changing landscape.

They're like expert surfers, riding the wave of new technology with ease, while the rest of us are floundering around in the whitewater. They know what to embrace, what to ignore, and what to leave to the amateurs.

It's all about filtering and sifting, folks.

Resilience is Key

The path to true skill development is not always paved with gold and rainbows. No, it's more like a bumpy ride on a dirt road with a few potholes here and there.

But if you can muster up the courage to really sink your teeth into a topic and push through the tough times, you'll come out the other side with a deeper understanding of what you're working on.

Think of it like conquering a video game level: it may take a few tries, but once you've mastered it, you can move on to the next challenge with confidence.

So there you have it! These ten traits are what separate the great software developers from the rest of the pack.

Remember, technical skills are important, but they’re not everything. It’s the behavioral characteristics and mindsets that truly set rockstar developers apart.

Keep cultivating these habits and traits, and you’ll be on your way to becoming a great developer too!

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