Over the past few years I’ve come to realize that there are a set of traits common to the most successful developers. I would like to think that I have exhibited each of these traits myself, at least at one time or another. That isn’t to say that I started my career with each of these traits, or that I haven’t at times struggled with each and every one. For the most part, though, I would say that I strive to maintain each of these traits.
Most of the developers out there with any modicum of success have a fair amount of focus. Focus on tasks, focus on problems, focus on technologies; each of these are important.
With the amount of things being juggled today, there’s certainly an abundance of opportunities to become distracted. The more you can practice maintaining focus and honing that skill the better. Working with a tomato timer, throwing on your headphones, or simply hanging a do-not-disturb sign may prove useful.
It takes a certain amount of drive to be a successful developer. There are certainly companies out there willing to hire less-motivated developers, happy to employ someone to do menial tasks for 23 years, but we professionals certainly aren’t among them are we?
My personal drive has sometimes been difficult to find. Once I figured out what my internal motivations were I was able to more easily maintain my drive and motivation. Identifying and keeping in mind what you find most interesting with regards to software development will go a long way when you feel your drive may be waning.
A 6 Figure Developer should be thorough.
At some point you’ll be given incomplete requirements or have difficulty gathering the necessary information. If you’ve been in the industry for any amount of time I’m sure you’ve experienced this. Or, it may just be that you’ve encountered an unexpected result. It’s up to you to deliver a complete solution; clean, maintainable, and complete.
Consistency in my opinion, as I’ve said before, is perhaps the most important aspect for a 6 Figure Developer. You should always strive to be consistent in quality, in delivery, in all things as it relates to software development. If your coworkers, colleagues, and clients know that they can count on you and are comfortable with knowing what to expect, that will go a long way.
It takes a certain amount of confidence to become a 6 Figure Developer. Without a fair amount of confidence you’ll find it difficult, or at the very least a lengthy process to achieving your goals.
It should almost go without saying, and it often does, that a successful developer should be a professional. Of course, the other items on the list contribute to your own professionalism.
These are just the first to come to mind. This is far from a definitive list. What are the traits that you’ve come to recognize among your peers?
An author and Microsoft MVP, John has been a professional developer since 1999. He has focused primarily on web technologies and has experience with everything from PHP to C# to ReactJS to SignalR. Clean code and professionalism are particularly important to him, as well as mentoring and teaching others what he has learned along the way.