What makes a developer great?
Feb, 13, 2008
When I used to look to hire a new developer I would look for a specific type of person. They had to have a 4 year degree in Computer Science or a related field. I have hired a lot of people -- some were decent, some not very good, and some were outstanding -- and realized that the type of education they have isn't as important as the type of person they are.
When I look at the employees that have exceeded my expectations there's no pattern related to their level of education. We've had people with Masters degrees, 4 year degrees, 2 year associates degrees, and people that were self-taught with no formal education.
Those that have had higher education come from a range of disciplines including computer science, graphic design, space science, communications, psychology and philosophy. Neither the length nor the type of education seems to be an indicator of the level of success the employee will have with our organization.
So what makes a developer great? I can sum it up with a single word:
passion. You have to love developing; you have to love problem- solving; you have to love learning; you have to love thinking both logically and laterally. Most importantly, you have to continue to push yourself every single day.
If you're not passionate about what you do, you won't ever improve.
You'll be stuck programming the same way for the rest of your life and you'll never get that "eureka" moment where you figure out a new way to solve a problem. That's the reason people get into developing; that's what pushes people every day; that's what makes a developer great.
Developers often look back at code they wrote a year or two ago and grimace as they think to themselves, "Did i really write that?". It's ok to think that way. In fact if you don't think that way, you're probably not pushing yourself enough. The day you can look back at year-old code and not see a discernible difference between the code you're writing today is the day you need to look long and hard at yourself and decide whether or not you've lost the passion.
We're always looking for talented developers. We employ all types:
If you feel like you have the passion, or if your current employer has somehow drained it from you, please send your resume to firstname.lastname@example.org