Written by Alexandra GavrilaOct 22, 2019

When it comes to programming job interviews, the goal is to find the most suitable developer for the job. The harsh reality is that it's very difficult to judge someone's experience and expertise in a short programming job interview.

The top 1% developers in the world don’t just write solid code. After working with over 5000 developers, we have been able to identify 5 qualities that set good programmers apart.

What makes a good programmer?

This is a good question to ask yourself in order to make you reflect on the craft of software development.

It's important to understand that coding is the initial door of success for programmers but there is much more to what makes a good programmer:

Communication skills

Good communication skills directly correlate with good development skills. A good programmer is able to understand problems clearly, break them down into hypotheses and propose solutions in a coherent manner.

They understand concepts quickly, or ask the right questions to understand, and don’t need to have everything written down specification document. 

Problem-solving skills

A good programmer thrives on being innovative and finding ways to make something work, despite the odds.


Good programmers are usually independent and amazing self-learners, having the ability to learn new technologies on their own without being intimidated by new challenges. 

Respect for deadlines

It may not seem like it, but programming can be an extremely stressful profession. When deadlines are tight and nothing seems to be working, it’s easy to freeze up. A good programmer will be able to handle even the most stressful situations calmly and, most importantly, be able to continue working.

Teamwork mentality

A programmer rarely works alone, even if he’s the only developer in a company. The ability to work in teams is essential.

What makes an average programmer?

Based on our expertise, we can say some of the aspects that make an average programmer:

Lack of communication skills

Working in an environment where employees fail to maintain transparent and continuous communication creates a barrier between them and the team.

Lack of appetite for learning

It can be difficult to work with people who have no desire to develop themselves by learning. 

Lack of problem-solving skills

Problem-solving is an essential skill in the workplace and in personal situations. Learning how to manage difficult situations is essential - it can be the fine line between being a good programmer or an average one.

Lack of persistence

Surely one of the most crucial reasons programmers ultimately fail is that they give up too soon.

Lack of autonomy

When autonomy is missing, programmers tend to be more controlled by what others do, think, and feel, and adapt accordingly. 

How can someone become a great developer?

By sharpening the mind while gaining experience. Being open to continuous learning is key!

One final touch... 

Good developers are in high demand and they want to work on cool projects with only great people. Many companies are going the traditional route of offering valuable compensation packages while others are looking at new outsourcing models where they can hire curated premium talent on demand.

If you want to get the crème de la crème working with you, Contact us NOW