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By Naftali Murugu

5 qualities of a great software developer.

Finding great software developers isn’t easy. However, they have productivity that is three times that of an average developer. The best 1 percent of developers in the world not only know how to write efficient code, but possess certain intangible traits.

Have you ever asked yourself what it takes to be a great software programmer? What are some of the distinct qualities of a good software engineer? What are the striking differences that set apart the good and the bad ones? Is it only knowledge, practice, and experience or is there something more than just these? Well, let me share with you the qualities that make one a great software developer.

The analytical mind of great software developers

If you have a great analytic mind you can think, analyze data, remember and express solutions to problems in a smart way. So a great analytic mind is a crucial quality of a good software developer. It allows you to deliver solutions in a quality code and debug large-scale architecture design. Finally, the best software developers will produce correct, well-designed code in a very short period. Only a few people can carry that out.

Quick to master and learn new technology

Great software developers are self-learners. They have a high ability to learn and master new technologies on their own and don’t get frustrated by new technologies. So you can tell someone is a good software programmer when he can pull disparate bits of information and process them fast. It’s true that every programmer will meet situations they don’t know the answer to. But having this quality will allow you to look for different resources and find the solution no matter what. Self-learning is one of the best skills any developer can have.


Intelligence and skill are not enough. Remember, the probability of making potential mistakes in software development is huge, and even the most intelligent people cannot work on their own. Experience will help you build your intuition, and great software developers make fewer mistakes since they have seen them made before.

Great team player

Quality software products aren’t made by one person, but by way of an amazing teamwork. Teamwork in software development allows for cooperation with other developers, leading, being led, mentoring and being mentored by other people.

Business awareness

It’s not enough to be skilled. You can be a good programmer and write high-quality code, but if you can’t meet or fulfill the customers’ needs, then you are still unfit. So having a certain level of business awareness, as far as software development goes, puts you at the top. We say you have a business-oriented software development skill when you:

  • Understand software from a business perspective.
  • Appreciate the needs of the clients.
  • Are able to transform business problems into technical solutions.
  • Have the ability to understand people from a non-technical viewpoint.

A final thought on great software developers

It takes more than just one or two good traits to become a great engineer. Most importantly, it takes a combination of a great analytic mind, experience, quick mastery of new technology, technical prowess, agility, soft skills and a passion for software development to be an elite developer.

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