If you are a business guy, finding and working with a developer can be a daunting task. Having a developer who understands your vision and works diligently to make that a reality is unfortunately rare. Here are a few characteristics of a good developer:
- Actively listens to your requirements and then remembers them by making notes. Keeping track of details is one of most important things in engineering and good developers will do that instinctively without you having to ask.
- Advices you not just on technical things but also typical business requirements. Developers typically have a wide range of experience working with various applications and they develop an acute sense of what works.
- Prepares a project plan before getting into coding and implementation. Any decently sized software project quickly becomes huge list of things which are under various states of progress: urgent things, planned items, things to do in future and things you are considering but are not sure etc. A good plan is crucial, almost like a compass, in keeping the project on the track.
- Is available 24×7 for any production related issues. Of course, even developers need to sleep. But, responsible developers will wake up in middle of the night and fix that bug if required.
- Answers emails and messages promptly. A good developer will even go a step further and ask you for a regular conference to provide you status updates proactively.
- Honest about mistakes and avoids surprises. Software projects by nature are complex and there are mistakes. Fortunately, they are mostly recoverable. However, you should definitely know about it so that you can assess the state of the project and predict the future progress realistically.
- Lets you know about holidays and other days-off well in advance so that you are aware of the pace of the project.
- Sends you an invoice regularly. Good developers are proud of their work and so not shy to charge fairly for it. They are also organized to a fault so they maintain a routine of sending you regular invoices. Its good for you as well since you know about your costs accurately rather than being surprised at the end.
Of course, a lot of other people have also written on this topic. Here are some notable ones:
- How to recognize a good programmer
- 10 signs of a good php developer – a lot of it applies to all kinds of web developers.
- Interesting discussion on Stackoverflow
- Venerable Damian Katz on the opposite question of Signs You’re a Crappy Programmer
- Joel’s widely popular The Guerrilla Guide to Interviewing
- What makes a good developer?
If you have a good developer, keep them like the precious assets they are. If you don’t, contact us.