Making Good Software

A blog by Alberto G (Alberto Gutierrez)

Written by Alberto Gutierrez

May 19th, 2009 at 9:57 am

The average Software Developer versus the good Software Developer.

with 18 comments

Meet Avery, the average Software Developer.

Let me introduce Avery; Avery is a programmer, he has been working in the IT department for a big non IT company for several years, he considers himself a Senior Developer, he has never questioned his approach to the software development, he doesn’t see coding as an art, he doesn’t believe that there is “ugly” code and “beautiful” code, he believes on the overall quality of the product rather on the quality of the code, he doesn’t like changes or new ideas about his code BUT he will eventually implement something that works. As you can see, Avery is the average programmer.

What’s the difference between an average Software Developer and a good Software Developer?

There is a major difference between an average Software Developer and a good Software Developer: Passion. Passion is what pushes developers to make good code rather than applications that just work; having good code it’s important because it makes the foundation for having a maintainable application.

In any case, passion is not enough to become a good Software Developer, it’s a good start, but it has to be combined with experience, perseverance and a bit of talent.

Are you an average Software Developer or a good Software Developer?

Is likely that  if you are reading this article is because you read other programming articles, so my guess is that you have the passion, but are you a good Software Developer? To be honest I find that question very hard to answer with a closed definition, but there are a few symptoms of being a good developer.

  • You are passionate about programming.
  • Others consider you a good Software Developer.
  • You want to become a better Software Developer. When you think you have reached the top of your profession is when you start going down and become an average Software Developer, there is always room for improvement and new things to learn.
  • Your main motivation for being a good Software Developer is not money.

Can an average Software Developer be a Senior Developer?

The category of a Software Developer is mostly based on its revenue and experience, so YES an average programmer can effectively become a Senior Developer. For good Software Developers is sometimes frustrating to see that, but it is natural and right that companies base their decisions on plain figures, what is really important is that managers in the Development teams can see beyond that so they can reward good Software Developers somehow else like with better salaries, better hardware, letting them mentor the junior members, giving them proper credit…

So, is it bad to be an average Software Developer?

Not at all, being an average Software Developer is just fine, in the Software Development industry as in any other industry you will always find average professionals which will do a good job every day, being a good Software Developer is to be one from the small fraction of those professionals that take an extra step and become leaders.