All the Things That Don’t Make You a Great Software Developer

Being employed as a software developer.

Freelancing as a software developer.

Graduating college with a degree in Computer Science.

Working for a Fortune X company.

Reaching a certain engineering level at your company.

Working for a startup.

Building your own gaming rig.

Preferring a particular operating system.

Using an ergonomic keyboard.

Using a keyboard layout other than QWERTY.

Being able to type more than 80 words per minute.

Being able to touch type.

Knowing Vim commands by heart.

Using Vim instead of other editors.

Having a strong opinion about Vim/eMacs/VScode/any other editor.

Preferring React/Angular/Vue/etc. over any other Javascript framework.

Holding strong opinions about agile software development.

A strong dislike of meetings.

Being a certified Scrum Master.

Certifications in general.


Having a monitor screen devoted just to your terminal output.

Using more than one monitor.

A disdain for either backend or frontend or some other kind of software development.

Thinking that learning CSS is beneath you.

Knowing CSS.

Knowing SQL.

Doing TDD.

Having a Github profile with a lot of green boxes.

Having a Github profile.

Making your own personal website.

Writing code on the weekends.

Writing code every day.

Code Golfing.

Leet Coding.

Contributing to open source.

Using Rust for everything.

Using Rust at all.

Knowing what Rust is.

Implementing object-oriented design patterns.

Being able to explain object-oriented design patterns.

Preferring functional programming over object-oriented.

Preferences in general.

Using Copilot or other AI tools to help write your code.

Not using AI tools to help write your code because they weaken your skills.

Eschewing low-/no-code options for creating applications.

Keeping a blog about your software development projects.

Reading blogs about software development.

Following software development influencers on social media.

Being a software development influencer on social media.

Caring about spaces vs. tabs.

What do you need to be a great software developer?

It’s true that great software developers may relate to many of the points above, but none of those things make them great.

The only things every great developer has in common and cannot be great without are:

Taking pride in the work you do and how you do it.

Being humble about your abilities and limitations.

Having confidence in your ability to learn and grow.

Empathy for other people.

Never assuming that just because it runs on your computer, it’ll work in production.


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