Tag Archives: Talent

What makes a good developer?

I found this article during my morning reading:

View story at Medium.com

I skimmed it so I can’t argue too much either way but it is a real question to consider…  What does it take?  If you don’t need passion or talent, what do you have?

I understand that having passion and talent makes a difference but is it truly required?  It used to be the only people that pursued a career in software development were the maniacal fringe.  I suppose I count in that group because of the depths of my experience and passion for solving problems with software but…  I don’t have a BS in CS.  My undergrad degree is in Anthropology.  Go figure.  I do have a “related field” in CS and I have been writing code for a while name.

Computer Science isn’t Application Development. 

Do competent motorcycle riders need to understand how combustion chamber vortices impacts burn rate?  Do car drives need to understand the physics of an ABS system to successfully actuate a brake pedal?  Do users of LED lights need to understand superconductors or flip a switch?  So why should a web UI/UX developer need to know the gory details of how processor manages it’s internal command queue?  They don’t.  So why do we make a CS degree a requirement to join the ranks of “professional” developers?

Now take that idea one step farther…  Why do we require passion and talent when in some situations all we really need is a cog in the machine?

Personally, I think passion and talent are key but…  Like I said, I started back when only maniacs practices this dark art.

Maybe it is time to bring it all into the light.

Having a population that is able to write code should be a democratizing of technology.  Everyone should understand the basics of it, if only to bring software development into the light.  Maybe if people understood how much time and effort it takes to create quality applications they would…

  1. be more willing to pay for quality app.
  2. stop expecting instant solutions to complex problems.
  3. not fear the darkness that is software development and computers in general.

From a general education perspective, just knowing how to logically solve problems is a skill everyone should have.  How can you reach any middle to long term goal without the ability to deconstruct the larger goal and do step-wise activities to reach your goal.

Maybe this is all a bridge too far.  As I was trying to wrap up this post, I started looking for a cover pic and settled on “The Beib.”  But… doesn’t the existence of such people actually reinforce the notion that passion and talent isn’t truly required.  There are many factors that create success in a given vocation.  Sometimes, talent isn’t required.  Sometimes, passion isn’t required.  Sometimes, a passing knowledge is more than enough in any given field.