How to be a good programmer? 5 attributes that make a great coder great

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How to be a good programmer? 5 attributes that make a great coder great

Computer science and coding is attracting young people now more than ever. Hence, there is a great competition in this field of industry (and will be greater!). This brings the question: how to become an extraordinary programmer? What attributes, qualities and features distinguish a good coder from an average one? It doesn’t matter if your aim is to be an expert in Java, C, PHP or Python. They may differ, but desired set of skills and traits remains the same.

Team player


One of the most important characteristic of an outstanding software developer is an ability to cooperate. It might surprise you (especially if you imagine coders as introverted nerds in checked shirts), but the core of a good development team is teamwork. The best programmers have empathy for other developers, and that reflects in their work ethic. They understand that their actions have an impact on others and have a sense of responsibility for their lines of code. Whatsmore, they are able to easily explain their thought process (even to non-technical people). They have good verbal and written communication skills. They tend to be interested in colleagues’ issues and willingly help to solve them. To sum up: do not underestimate interpersonal skills!

Writes well-formatted code

It’s no surprise, but it must be said. They always type beautiful code with appropriate indentation, meaningful comments and right names for variables. They consistently use good conventions without focusing on them. It just comes naturally, so you should expect them to write like this from the very first line. Many developers codes at first, then make it look right. The best ones make it simultaneously.

Know the concepts

These days there are lots of self-taught programmers who claim that studying Computer Science is pointless because it gives you tons of useless information. It’s just the opposite! An academy teaches you an array of patterns and algorithms that may be useful one day. Your job tasks and problems related to them may be similar to the ones you have already encountered. In this case, you will not have to reinvent the wheel. If you’ve solved a similar problem before, you’ll be able to recall that solution intuitively. It takes practice, but after a while you will be able to solve some problems “automatically”.

Always learning

The key factor for being a successful software developer. Being inquisitive and curious is what distinguishes successful programmers from craftsmen. The former ones tend to be up-to-date with tech novelties and are likely to explore new areas of IT. Here’s a great advice for the beginners: never settle down and feel fulfilled. If you’ve been creating web pages for a long time, why not to try developing video games? If you are coding in Java at work, why not to take up a new programming language? Always broaden your horizons, always seek for new challenges. – it will make you more versatile. Someday it will pay you back.

Know your tools

Let’s start from the beginning: keyboard. It’s your most basic tool – typing is literally everything you do as a programmer. Touch typing(the ability to type without using sense of sight) is a must; additionally, it would be handy to type quickly. Typos are acceptable if you fix them immediately – they just happen. It’s worse if you type the whole paragraph looking at the keyboard and then check spelling. Type and check simultaneously – otherwise you will waste enormous amount of time. It’s also useful to acknowledge a vast amount of shortcuts, which really do make a difference. Bear in mind that every time you have to think about how to make your editor or version-control system or debugger do what you want, it bumps you out of your higher-level thought process. No coder wants that.


The mentioned traits are fundamental for a successful programmer. Following them won’t miraculously make you one, but you will be on a good way to it. Apply our suggestions while you code and let us know how it changed your effectiveness!

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