5 Traits That Your Highly Effective Developers Should Have

You can have the best digital tools and advanced technology but if you plan to build great products what should matter the most is your team. Nowadays most employers are aware of the importance of addressing personality in software development – indeed, developers’ personalities may have a huge impact upon their individual tasks and teamwork. What you may not know is that scientists actually have been investigating this “effect” since the 1960s. This proves how important this topic is.

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Researchers claim that software project outcomes are very likely affected by the personality of the software engineers involved in the development process. This is because an engineer’s or developer’s personality influences the way they apply certain modeling methods or techniques, as these depend on several perspectives and abstractions that occur during the Software Development Life Cycle (source: Information and Software Technology Journal).

Blue House has been collaborating with many developers over the past several years and this experience allowed us to indicate which personality traits of IT experts are the most important. If your team performance has a big value to you we encourage you to continue reading.

What makes a good developer – the core personality traits

Most companies analyze two factors to measure team performance: efficiency (the degree to which the project was on-time and on-budget) and effectiveness (the degree to which project goals were achieved). Of course, there are also other ways to assess it – Hoegl and Gemuenden, as an example, presented a comprehensive concept of collaboration in teams called Teamwork Quality (TWQ) and it has six measures: communication, coordination, the balance of member contributions, mutual support, effort, and cohesion.

However, companies need to find high-performing individuals first to reach high Teamwork Quality. What are the core personality traits of the developer that have an impact on their work – who should be in your development team?

Representing proactive approach – acts even without assigned tasks

Especially in the IT sector, it happens that projects exceed a deadline. There are many reasons behind that like improper estimation or constantly changing requirements but there is also a human factor. **Proactive developers use the full potential of their time ** which means they think about what else could be done besides the tasks that were assigned to them and implement them without being asked for that. They continuously move projects and teams forward.

Proactiveness also means that someone takes initiative in daily work and doesn’t need to be hand-held by managers or CTO. This trait may result from earlier experience because while working, we acquire self-confidence and the ability to make independent decisions. However, even without that, proactive IT experts show an unforced need for action and spend their unblocked time on fixing bugs and solving problems. Such people free up your time which you can invest in handling occurring issues.

Being a team player – shares responsibility with the team

One of the requirements in the Blue House Community is compliance with the attitude of sharing knowledge and providing consultative feedback on products and processes in order to bring additional value to our clients and other team members. Being a team player means they are willing to support a teammate who is struggling with implementing a specific solution. They are aware that by working together on a project they support its faster development and get closer to the goal.

This sense of joint action impacts also internal communication and makes that people start talking openly about their blockers in order to work more effectively. Moreover, having team players in the company is important especially now when businesses are operating remotely. While working from home people tend to focus only on their tasks and don’t have many chances to discuss and share experiences. Team players are more willing to lead conversations on Slack and create a feedback loop.

If you are looking for team-building activities to improve your team’s communication, check out our article Virtual Team Building – How To Interact Online?.

Having a detail-oriented mindset – cares about work quality

Detail-oriented software developers think about future changes and take into account that other developers might work on this code later on. Such developers make code highly readable, use comments, proper indentation, and clear notation. They care more about good quality code than the speed of delivering the task. The huge benefit of such an approach is that they often find errors in their own code along with others’ code which in-long term saves time for the entire team.

Software maintenance consumes 40 to 80% of the average software development budget. If the code isn’t maintainable it may take a few days instead of an hour to make any change. Also, the more “messy” the code is, the higher the risk gets associated with making such a change. Detail-oriented developers are driven by the deeper motivation of being perceived as professionals. They consider well-done work as a personal success and proof of their skills.

Understanding the business perspective – matches project demands

When at Blue House we match a software developer with a project we pay attention to whether the specialist understands the business perspective of it. Software developers use code to create business value and its purpose is to build a product fully meeting user and business requirements. Developers too often assume that the value of a specific amount of hours worked is evident when in reality they should help the Project Manager understand how will these worked hours be earned back.

If software developers are able to understand business perspective they can convert business challenges into technical solutions. Moreover, professionals who pay attention to the business aspect of a product are more likely to communicate with other team members to come up with the best idea and refine the requirements in order to make a product better, rather than just gathering the requirements from them.

Find out more about how to match a software developer to a project.

Showing a will to learn – improves skills when necessary

When recruiters are searching for software developers to join a tech team, they usually pay attention if the person meets all the requirements. However, it may turn out that a specialist who has like 4 out of 6 needed skills but shows a willingness to learn what is missing can be a good candidate as well. It can also be called a “can do” attitude which means someone is motivated to solve problems even without knowing the solution yet.

You want to have developers with such an approach because they are open to new opportunities and challenges. It’s also beneficial in the long-term while working on a new project, then instead of looking for a new professional you may use the potential of your current ones and ask them to acquire new skills. If you have been satisfied with their work so far and they are willing to learn, there might be no point to risk hiring a bad hire unless you need such skills right away.

Summing up

Organizations have their legitimate requirements as to the work of software developers, after all, their work has a significant impact on a product that is supposed to bring specific profits. It is a highly profitable job so it’s good to know that you are paying the right people for it. However, it's worth mentioning that companies should ensure that maximum use of the talent and energy of individuals at the same time make them feel that their work is crucial and that they are an important part of the team.

Do you have the right people? If not contact us and we will match your project with an IT expert who represents the above-mentioned traits. We can also build a dedicated team for you.