What makes a developer great or stand out among others? Should the focus be solely on their technical skills? To what extent should their other non-technical skills and qualities be factored in?
Project managers know that the success of their projects depend on having excellent developers in their team. Hiring top notch developers is directly proportional to the success of any project. The next steps revolve around recognizing the right talent and whether the potential candidate would be a good fit in your team.
Conducting interviews involving cross functional team members and assessing the developer’s response to the interview questions is a good start. Theoretical test and mock scenarios helps in gauging their skill sets and interactive practice test could be implemented to validate their technical skills and also of their understanding of the subject in a less technical language. Analyzing their response would help indicate whether their approach and style of work would fit in your culture.
Other pivotal qualities and traits would be assessment of their attitude and desire to perform at a constant high level and delivering the results as per or beyond expectations. The willingness to help and assist while also being able to work independently on per need basis is vital as any work package could either require working within a team or as a sole contributor.
Understanding and being able to seamlessly fit into the desired role and being comfortable & confident with the responsibilities should be a judging factor.
A developer’s sense of desire to grow and contribute with a proactive approach should also be taken into consideration as it allows them to bring new and creative ideas as well as contribute towards potentially bringing in a new line of business. Developers tend to have the highest visibility when it comes to core development work like designing, coding, building components etc. and the developer’s desire to contribute proactively by seeking continuous improvement opens up the door to opportunities for making systems/code better or even propose new initiatives that could make project or project goals better than the planned original.
I have seen numerous times during ongoing project work that an expert developer fueled with a sense of desire in contributing and improving will propose or recommend a different approach, process or design when implemented brings a better value for that particular work product or the end product as a whole.
I am sure there are other vital qualities in an exceptional developer depending on the situation and from a different vantage point of need and desired qualifications. Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comment section below and I will incorporate them into this post if valid.