Obviously, learning to code is the first step towards becoming a developer. But learning frameworks, languages, and libraries have almost nothing to do with succeeding. What makes a great web developer? What are the essential skills you need to succeed in this area?
A great web developer has an analytical mindset
Analytical skills refer to the ability to collect and analyze information, solve problems, and make decisions. It can help solve a company’s problems, increase and benefit a company’s productivity. Richards J. Heuer Jr. explained that: “Thinking analytically is a skill like carpentry or driving a car. It can be taught, it can be learned, and it can improve with practice. But like many other skills, such as riding a bike, it is not learned by sitting in a classroom and being told how to do it. Analysts learn by doing.”
A developer should have good systems-level thinking skills and the ability to balance thinking about the big picture and the small details.
Examples of analytical skills: systems thinking, organizational knowledge, problem identification, problem analyzing and solving, etc.
A great web developer has curiosity and inquisitiveness
To move up the ranks, developers need to start asking questions and attack problems from new angles. Moving along with the daily grind is not enough. When working on a project, you should be comfortable asking superiors, clients or peers, questions to ensure you understand expectations and requirements. As a developer, when your code doesn’t work you need to have the courage to ask „why” and keep digging until you find the solution.
Wallace Wang in his book, Beginning Programming for Dummies said: „Desire, curiosity, and imagination are three crucial ingredients that every programmer needs. If you possess these qualities, you can worry about trivial details such as learning a specific programming language (such as C++), studying advanced math, or attending a university.”
You need to be willing to experiment, whether it’s with learning a new language or approaching a project or task in a new way. Sometimes you’ll succeed, other times you won’t, but those challenges and achievements are part of being a developer.
A great web developer has empathy and flexibility
Software is ultimately about people, so having the ability to understand your users is a valuable and essential perspective. Empathy is the action of understanding and being aware of the feelings, thoughts, and experience of others. All this without having the feelings, thoughts, and experience fully communicated in an objectively explicit manner.
Why should you explicitly work to enhance your ability to empathize with others? Chad Fowler says:
- You will be more likely to treat the people you care about the way they wish you would treat them.
- Better understand the needs of those around you.
- Understand more clearly understand the perception you create in others with your words and actions.
- Understand the unspoken parts of your communication with others.
- Better understand the needs of your customers at work.
- Have less trouble dealing with interpersonal conflict both at home and at work.
- You will be able to more accurately predict the actions and reactions of people you interact with.
- Learn how to motivate the people around you.
- More effectively convince others of your point of view.
- Experience the world in higher resolution. You perceive not only through your perspective, but the perspectives of those around you.
- You will find it easier to deal with the negativity if you can understand their motivations and fears. Lately, when I find myself personally struggling with someone, I remind myself to empathize and I immediately calm myself and accept the situation for what it is.
- Be a better leader, a better follower, and most important, a better friend.
No matter which programming language you specialize in, the reality is that code can be unpredictable. As a developer, you need to have the ability to switch contexts or the scope of a project unexpectedly. Also, it is important to then go back to pick up where you left off.
A great web developer has love for learning
Tech is also an incredibly dynamic and fluid industry. It’s constantly growing, changing and evolving. As a member of the industry, you need to stay current and up-to-date with the industry and new technologies. A love of problem-solving and a logical mind will certainly help you, but in order to stay motivated and to keep on learning you should also enjoy yourself because it’s not easy.
With so many great articles, videos, communities, and mentorships available online, there are great resources available for all learning styles. The best programmers I’ve known have all had a lifelong passion for what they do.
A great web developer is a team player
When we start a new project at 11Digits, we assign a team of people to work on it. Those people will develop, design, and deploy the application. They will also fix bugs and analyze requirements. What’s most important for us to know is which team member is responsible for which exact task. Also, as a developer, you’ll not only work with other web developers, designers, and engineers but also other teams across your company.
You may find yourself working closely with a marketing department, support or sales team. In some cases even working directly with clients. So, you must be able to work well in a team. Collaboration and communication with your peers and stakeholders are paramount to success.
It’s important to have the right technical skills for the job, but just as important are the soft skills that enable you to produce high-quality work both in a team environment and on your own. Cultivating your ability to share insights, teach and inspire others, and see the bigger picture beyond the job make you a much more desirable choice for potential employers.
At 11Digits we count on experienced web developers that use the latest web technologies, carefully write the code and test its quality. Your projects will be delivered in an outstanding manner. If you want to get your business into the spotlight or get more info about web development, don’t hesitate to contact us!