The Pragmatic Craftsman :: Simplicity from complexity : by Stanley Kubasek ::

What makes a great software engineer?

Nicholas Zakas, the author of what I consider the best JavaScript book out there, is becoming one of my favorite bloggers! (I should let him know about that. :) ) In his recent blog post, he talks about qualities of great software developers. It’s a great post. I highly recommend reading the whole post.

Here’s my take on the qualities from the post.

Always do it the right wayI cannot agree more. There are always people that will say that they’ll improve it later; that this is special and it needs a special condition. It’s a big bull… You do it the right way ALL THE TIME. Really no exceptions.

Good engineers know that the right way applies to all situations and circumstances. If there’s not enough time to do something the right way, then there’s really not enough time to do it. Don’t make compromises, the quality of your work is what ultimately defines you as an engineer. Make sure that all of the code you write is done the right way 100% of the time. Expect excellence from yourself.

Be willing to sufferI never considered this as an asset before. On the contrary, I thought that it must be something wrong with me. I like to develop solutions in my head, thinking hard about them, then implementing. And later find a better solution. I rarely ask others for help. And I usually come up with good solutions. Hmm, maybe there’s hope in my software engineering skills. :-)

Great engineers first and foremost want to solve the problem on their own. Problem solving is a skill, a skill that great engineers take seriously.

Never stop learningIf you have been reading what I write on this blog, I don’t need to say anything else. This is an absolute must if you want to be considered a great software engineer.

In order to be a great engineer you must first admit that you don’t know everything, and then you must seek out more knowledge in every way you can.

Share your knowledgeI believe that’s what makes you valuable to the company you work for. That’s how you distinguish yourself from others. This is how you think “big picture”.

Great engineers want others to know what they know. They aren’t afraid of losing their position because someone else can do the same thing. Great engineers want to see their peers succeed and grow.

Lend a helping hand

Great engineers are team-focused and therefore are willing to do whatever it takes to help the team.

Do I need to argue with that?

Take your timeIt takes time to develop and improve on your skills. The only way to do that is by learning iteratively, practicing. It probably will take 5 to 10 years, or even more, for you to acquire great skills. To acquire that craftsman’s touch. :-)

ReferenceWhat makes a great software engineer?, Nicholas C. Zakas

One Response to “What makes a great software engineer?”

  1. Fellow Software Developer says:

    Great article! I could not agree more!

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