5 Key Skills Every Good Software Developer Needs to Cultivate

Recently, I asked a couple of friends when is the right time to call yourself a senior developer. You can guess what their responses were like:

What skillsets makes you stand-out as a software developer?

What makes your community, your boss, your co-workers and your friends call you the best?

It’s not all about writing code that works — a lot of people out there can do the same. Yes, you need to be creative, you need to be innovative and of course, you need to pay attention to details.

While that’s true, I’ve seen that there is more. And in this post, I’ll be sharing some of the skills you should cultivate that can make you not just a good developer but a better or some of the best developers in your own capacity.

1. Communication

Communication is key. Most times, you’d have one or more ideas. It’d be a very powerful idea. An innovative idea that’d make for an amazing startup.

However, if you’re not able to communicate your idea to your team members or to investors you’ll just miss it and the idea might just get lost soon.

It goes without saying that you must be able to organize your ideas clearly and communicate them clearly to boost your team’s productivity and to be able to attract investors.

Not just that, you’d face challenges while working on a project, if you’re not able to communicate your challenges clearly on forums, it’ll be hard to get an effective solution. Communication is an important skill every developer must cultivate.

2. Learning

The software development space is a fast evolving space and there’s no end to learning new things. You must cultivate the ability to be able to educate yourself on the new tech trends.

Learn better ways to optimize your code, learn about new APIs you can you to make your job seamless and also learn just about anything you can lay your hands on to help you improve your skill.

However, don’t get lost. While you should learn wide, it’s important that you don’t lose focus. Don’t try to learn every new programming language that you hear about. Improve on what you already know and try to take over space.

One way to keep learning good stuff is to follow the leaders in your field. If you’re are a JavaScript developer, you’ll want to follow leaders in the JavaScript world.

Follow them on Twitter and on Medium and also read their blogs — Ifeora Okechukwu once told me this, I followed it and it worked great.

3. Abstraction

Being able to take a problem, deconstruct it into simple components parts and then create abstractions that allow you to solve the problem in a simple, effective and efficient way is a great skill.

Abstraction is a big part of software development. While abstraction doesn’t only allow you to hide and encapsulate relevant data about an object, it also allows you to reduce the complexity and efficiency of your job.

4. Writing clear and readable code.

You don’t have to be present to explain your code to your team members or any developer out there that picks up your code. Your code should be easily read.

Strive to write code that tells its own story, like a good book.

The truth is, a code is more read than it’s written. You’ll definitely be rewarded with love and respect by your teammates. As you’ll make their job seamless.

According to Pascal Okeke, co-founder, Extraclassng:

“Clean Code is the art of making your code both readable,  simple, and understandable

I work with a team of six(6) where when working on a single project, it’s shared into modules amongst us, thus making us split the project into different smaller parts.

Clean codes have helped us a lot is, it makes us understand the level of each person’s work as well as being able to integrate the modules when done.”

Want to learn how to write clean code? You might want to check out this book “Clean Code: A Handbook of Agile Software Craftsmanship”

5. Inspiring and mentoring others.

Are you looking to become the most valuable asset in your team?

The best ways to achieve that is to be the developer who makes the entire team better. Become an inspiration to Junior and senior developers. Help others grow faster, don’t try to withhold any information from your team members — don’t be selfish. Be the one that contributes greatly to the success of your team. Share your best tips.

In a bit to mentor and inspire others, you can create a blog, join forums and contribute. In no time, you’ll achieve great success.

With all of these skills, I hereby declare you a world-class developer (Duh!). These skills will not only help you get better as a developer, it’ll also help you become disciplined.

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Eze Sunday Eze
Eze Sunday Eze is the founder of The Growthbar. He's a web developer, inbound marketer, and Freelance Content Writer. Let's connect. Hit me up. On Linkedin.

5 thoughts on “5 Key Skills Every Good Software Developer Needs to Cultivate

  1. Hey thanks for the very nice article about software developers, clean and readable code makes other developer life easy when he has to modify it.

  2. Very beneficial post!
    My thoughts :
    1. I really loved your point on communication. Right now, projects are discussed in groups so, if you have even that million worth idea but are unable to express it to your teammates, it’s useless.
    2. And also nice thoughts on becoming the mentor. Like your goal as a developer should be on making the world a better place, so if there’s more people as good as you or better then there’s no problem in sharing.

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