5 Qualities That Make A Great Programmer Posted by: Rachel on 12/12/2013

At Screenmedia our programmers do more than just write code that works, they’re a bunch of well presented, articulate team players.

When recruiting new programmers for the Screenmedia team, regardless of experience or speciality, we’re always looking for five specific attributes that we believe every good programmer must have.

1.       Humility

Humility is accepting that you don’t know everything there is to know about .NET, Haskell, or Linux. It’s acknowledging that even if you’re an expert in one particular area, there is still much to learn.

2.       Curiosity

Curiosity should be a priority. Changes are happening constantly in our industry, if you aren’t curious then you won’t be able to keep up!

3.       Intellectual Honesty

Intellectual honesty manifests itself in several ways:

  • Admitting that you don’t know something and refusing to pretend you’re an expert when you are not
  • Readily admitting your mistakes
  • Trying to understand errors rather than suppressing the message
  • Clearly understanding your code – not just compiling it to see if it works
  • Providing realistic status reports
  • Providing realistic schedule estimates and holding your ground when Project Managers or management ask you to adjust them. This is crucial when working in an agency where every project has a budget and deadlines to be met.

4.       Communication and Cooperation

Truly excellent programmers learn how to work well and play well with others. Programming is communicating with another programmer first and communicating with the computer second. This is why writing readable code in itself is an integral part of being a good team player.

5.       Discipline

Within computing there are many industry standards and conventions that, as responsible programmers, we must follow in order to successfully write readable, maintainable and saleable code.  Without them, completion of large scale projects would be impossible.

In line with points 1 and 2, we must admit that we don’t know everything and are always looking to learn and continue to develop as good programmers.  If you’re curious and would like to find out more, we recommend the following as further reading:

Do you think you’ve got what it takes to join the Screenmedia team? We’re always on the lookout for bright, talented programmers, so if this sounds like you, check out our current vacancies or contact us at careers@screenmedia.co.uk.


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