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Top 11 traits of a good programmer.

The most competitive companies in almost every industry are known to have a Tech team that is composed of Developers and Programmers that spearhead their business processes. Staying on top of the game will prove to be difficult without the right people on your side. Which is why you should deliberate on getting yourself a programmer for your business systems.
If your business has an enterprise software or applications as an integral part of your operations then getting a good programmer onboard could save you a significant amount of time and, of course, money. If you are not a tech-savvy individual who wants to jump on board with app development for your business, DevsData has an article about app development for startups that can help you get started on your venture. With a good programmer within your tech operations, you would be able to maintain your systems, test your programs and have a reliable asset that can help you further optimize and improve your current operations.
Searching for the right person for the job might be a challenging task especially for those who are not well-versed in the tech industry. It is always a good call to have an expert on the field to present their input on the subject. Let’s say you are developing an iOS application, then you might need their input on how to hire an iOS developer. However, that does not mean that you cannot identify the traits of a good programmer yourself. We lined up a list of qualities you should search for when reviewing your candidates.
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Programmer's work requires a constant search for solutions.

1. Problem-solving skills

One quality you should look for in your initial stages is how they handle math problems. It sounds like a pretty simple step for most people, but it is crucial to this job to possess high-level problem-solving skills. This kind of skill is especially evident with people who know how to crunch their numbers.
There are a lot of different ways to train problem-solving skills. One of them is solving programming Katas. These are challenges in which users have to write specific algorithms in order to solve a certain problem. Every single problem can be solved in a lot of different ways and by comparing those solutions it is possible to distinguish beginner from an experienced programmer.

2. Communication skills

Programmers do not work alone. They are often a part of a team wherein they collaborate to produce the product you need for your business. Rapid development would especially need constant communication within the team.  It is a common practice for these teams to use Agile Development Frameworks such as Scrum Framework. To sum it up, Scrum involves daily meetings and collaboration within the team.
Here is where you should start breaking the image of a programmer as an anti-social typical nerd. That is, by no means, necessarily true. A programmer who lacks the ability to communicate clearly will hit a roadblock in these meetings. Before the product is set to go live, teams have a meeting with the product owners. In these meetings, they are expected to present everything clearly and precisely with consideration for non-tech people. That is exactly why the best coders are also known to be amazing communicators.

3. Great technical skills/knowledge + experience

Similar to other fields skills, experience and expertise speak for itself. Programming requires technical expertise that is not simply acquired through reading alone. While training someone is an option, it is best to hire someone who already knows their way around the field to keep a good development pace.
Good practice in terms of programming is writing what is so-called “clear code”. When software is being written by a team of programmers, they often work together on the same files and code. It is crucial to keep the code well described in order to make maintenance easy and fun.
Another trait of an experienced programmer is a diverse list of projects done in the past. It proves the experience a programmer has. Besides, it also shows what kinds of business environments she/he is familiar with. Experience related to our business is a competitive edge, too…
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Programmers love solving problems.

4. Willingness to learn

The Tech industry is especially expeditious when it comes to progression. You will need someone who can keep up and keep themselves competitive in this field of rapid change. Ask your prospect about the latest article they have read. Learn if they had any recent programming information they are reading about recently. Simply put, hire someone who has the initiative to learn new things themselves.
In contrast to some other fields, programming is changing rapidly. Every year there are new frameworks and new solutions for businesses. The programmer up to date with them will be able to choose the fastest and most efficient technology for a given task. Currently, the most popular frameworks are React, .NET MVC, and Angular.

5. Debugging skills

Finding the wrong code is often made as a topic of memes or jokes by programmers. Ironically, finding what is wrong within the code is no joke. Even experienced programmers sometimes run into this sort of trouble. Your ideal programmer should be able to efficiently narrow down their search to locate those bugs. However, simply locating the mistakes is not sufficient. It is not always a one-way fix when it comes to coding. The man for the job must have the brainpower to analyze and produce different ways to fix the bug.

6. A team player

As previously mentioned, programmers should not be running a one-man show. Being a team player is vital for a programmer along with strong communication skills. The best fit for the job will know how his role within a team and how he affects his colleagues. Check if your prospect can take criticism well. If not, then he might not be a good fit for the job. As the saying goes, there is no “I” in “team”. Your hire must be able to prioritize the teams’ achievements over his personal gain.

7. Passion for work

Programming is a grueling yet rewarding job. USA News stated that the median salary of a computer programmer is 84,280 USD, peaking at 109,120USD for the best-paid programmers in a year. That sum is quite attractive which is why some programmers do what they do. But would you want that kind of person in your team? More often than not, people who entered the IT business for the money are not competent Engineers. Ask your candidate when did they begin their interest in programming. This passion for code usually starts at an early age, even as early as their teens for some. The same truth applies to other industries as well. People who love what they do are the best in what they do.
Another sign of real passion for programming are side-projects done after work. Some programmers contribute to open-source projects in order to help others. Some are taking part in conferences about programming or even in hackathons, 24 hours long programming competitions.

8. Interest in your business

Problems are bound to arise when the ones developing your business systems are not even interested in what the business is about. It is as simple as understanding the problem. If your development team is merely coding away like robots, they will not be able to identify what goals they should be targeting to solve the problem at hand. The programmer aware of a business, will not only write code to achieve the goal, but he will also suggest some ideas in order to improve the final product.

9. Respect for deadlines

It is a good practice for any kind of business or industry to set deadlines and time frames. Your programmer should be able to respect and commit to that deadline. It is not unusual for programmers to have different paces when it comes to coding however, it should be imperative for them to reach their target deadline. Each team member should display the ability to work under pressure especially during crucial periods such as software releases or meetings and demos with investors.

10. Laziness - a controversial topic

The original author of “The Perl Programming Languages”, Larry Wall, describes three interesting qualities you will find in a good programmer. These are impatience, hubris, and laziness. Now from a business perspective, this may seem like a hazard sign that you could sense from miles away. Still, it is a fact that IT managers stated that if you want to find the best way to do something, ask a lazy person. Interestingly, it makes sense. You must be wondering why. Because the chances are that one lazy employee in your office will find a way to do the job in the quickest and most efficient way. As hilarious as it may sound for some, laziness leads to creativity.
A good programmer will find a way to automate those tedious processes because they would think that it is mundane to do that manually. That creativity fueled by laziness leads to increased effectiveness that saves you a noteworthy amount of time and money.

11. How they handle conflict

“There’s more than one way to do it” is the motto of Perl programming. Programmers would be familiar with this and it is not new in the industry to find two or more ways to go about things. Being in a team would also trigger this notion. Being a team player is important and when presented a problem that has no obvious “best” choice, communication and collaboration would take its part. How would your applicant handle this disarray in practical situations? Is that person a follower or does he push through with his ideas? Or perhaps, will he consider listening to his team before amicably finding the right solution?
To continue the Perl motto which was extended, “There is more than one way to do it, but sometimes consistency is not a bad thing either.”

Bonus Point - GitHub

Among programmers, GitHub is the most popular project hosting website. It’s a platform that stores repositories with code. Looking at the programmer’s GitHub repository can show us what kind of projects she/he did in the past. It’s also possible to check what are the preferred programming languages of the programmer and which of them have she/he used in the past.

Take away

Selecting a perfect employee is practically impossible after all, everyone has their flaws but keeping these tips in mind while selecting a candidate would prove to be beneficial. Support your business operations with a well-rounded Programmer who has the skill, attitude and efficiency to be a team player.
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People who love what they do are the best in what they do.

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Acknowledgements

Unbeatable tech experience

“I interviewed about a dozen different firms. DevsData LLC is truly exceptional – their backend developers are some of the best I’ve ever worked with. I’ve worked with a lot of very well-qualified developers, locally in San Francisco, and remotely, so that is not a compliment I offer lightly. Their depth of knowledge and their ability to get things done quickly.
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Nicholas Johnson

MENTOR AT YC, CEO OF ORANGE CHARGER LLC

Acknowledgements

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