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10 valuable abilities to be a great programmer

March 15, 2018

10 valuable abilities to be a great programmer

This post is also available in: Spanish

Programming skills: 10 useful skills to improve your ability.

Are you a programmer or are you thinking about learning how to code? You might already know that is not an easy task. Can anyone be a programmer? We could say that, with enough effort, yes. But knowing how to code and to be a great programmer are two different things.

Many studies estimate that the number of professional developers in the world lies between 16 to 18 million. Do you think this is a great figure? It’s quite likely that this number continues to increase in the following years. Although surely you don’t want to be just one more, you want to be one of the best.

To stand out at any job is not an easy business. It demands effort and certain abilities that not everybody has (at least at the beginning). Do you want to know how to be a great programmer? In this article, we’re going to look at some of the traits that programmers themselves consider to be fundamental to excel at their job. Let’s get started!

Be eager to learn

IT is a science which is constantly evolving. New programming languages, new versions of already existing ones, new knowledge to acquire… As a job, it is very difficult to reach the top if you’re not constantly updating yourself. And to be updated, the interest for learning new things is a must. If you like and enjoy learning, you’ve chosen the right job. Your curiosity will be your best attribute. If you never stop reading and digging knowledge, you’ll be better at your job and you’ll enjoy it more doing it.

Develop a competent analytic capability

If you are a professional programmer you already know about this one. To a great extent, programming is to know how to fix problems. Because of it, being able to understand the problems and divide them into smaller problems easier to handle is quite useful in this profession. Moreover, if you have skills to think in a logic manner, you’ll be a step ahead and your work will be better.

Be creative

In addition to being analytical, to develop and to be able to solve problems, you’ll find quite handy to have a creative mind. If you take programming as a monotonous task, you’ll probably struggle; you’ll find it more difficult to keep going, and overall you’ll get bored quite a lot. If you stimulate your creative side, not only your work will be better, but you’ll have fun doing it.

Be mentally strong

Is one of the main reasons why people don’t even think about programming as a career path. To be a great programmer you’ll need a significant amount of mental strength. You’ll have to gather a wide range of knowledge and, not only that but also you’ll require enough dexterity to manage them wisely. Also, you’ll need to be able to manage stress efficiently. Nobody said it was going to be easy!

Be patient

Programming is the kind of job in which results aren’t expected in a short-term, but it’s rather more about mid to long-term achievements. Because of this, you’ll frequently need strong doses of patience. Usually, you’ll find yourself facing problems difficult to solve which will test your poise once and again. If you’re capable to handle these situations with a stiff upper lip, it’ll be more likely to succeed at your job.

Grow a detail-oriented mindset

As it is said: ‘the devil is in the detail’. To be a great programmer, you’ll need to be meticulous in your job. Your code will be of a better quality and you’ll avoid problems and save a lot of time by not having to look for the reason why something is not working.

Know how to communicate and work with others.

The image of someone who works all day locked in the garage with a computer doesn’t resemble the truth of how great programmers look like. It is common for programmers to work with other people, being other developers or another kind of professionals, as executives or clients. This is why the ability to communicate and work effectively with others will be a key factor in your work.
Likewise, keep in mind that unless you work only for other programmers, you’ll find quite handy to have some good notions of other fields of knowledge, like economics or the ins and outs of a business, among many others.

Awareness of your own limitations

You know what they say: don’t spread yourself too thin. To succeed as a programmer you need to be mindful of your know limitations. Accept that, huge quantities of work or coding for those who are not skilled enough (being the reason of this because of a lack of knowledge, experience, or any other reason) can cause serious problems. Therefore, to be aware of one’s own strengths and acting accordingly will also be something to keep in mind.

Be flexible

Besides having a positive outlook towards learning new things, you’ll need to be flexible at your job as well. In the ever-changing world we live in, a dynamic profession as programming will require of you to adapt yourself to new situations. Along with this, solving problems involve to develop an open mind and not to dwell on paths which don’t lead anywhere. And, of courses, will need the flexibility to work with others in different fields and people with no technical knowledge.

Be passionate

To finish with, here’s the most important one. We could say that to be passionate is a quality needed in any job, but to reach the top in such a demanding world as coding is, it’s a must. If you have no passion for your job, you’ll find enormously difficult to reach far. To keep the flame of passion alive, never stop learning and looking for new challenges.

These are some of the traits that developers themselves find to be essential for a programmer to have if he or she wants to be successful at his or her job. But don’t get discouraged, some of these traits can be nurtured or improved with practice, providing you have the required passion. Are you a programmer already? Surely you have found other indispensable traits. Would you like to share them with us and give us your opinion on how to be a great programmer? You can do it in the comment box down below. Thank you so much!


    Sancho es el creador y fundador de Pandora FMS. Entre sus muchas aficiones están la fotografía, la ciencia ficción y deportes como la esgrima o el boxeo.



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