Three Qualities That Make a Good Coder

Coding, programming, making computers understand humans, is a tedious task. In order to do it properly, you must be able to hyper-focus. You must be able to think outside the box. You must learn to think of every possible outcome for any given scenario. Computers can only complete tasks they are programmed to complete, can only return a query for which the information is given. So a crucial part of coding is understanding that and finding ways to make sure that machines can do their job effectively. That said, there are three big qualities to look for in a coder.

Smart Laziness

Most people will raise their eyebrows at this, wondering why on Earth you would want someone who is lazy? Put the words together, smart laziness doesn’t mean this person is lazy. It means they don’t want to have to re-do anything. If a project takes hundreds of lines of code that required hours of work, they don’t want to replicate that. They want to find a way to automate it so they don’t have to do it again.

Lazy coders hate hard coding, hate duplicating code and hate doing things that are essentially bad coding habits. They don’t want to repeat menial work, they’d rather spend their time figuring out an intelligent way of doing it so they don’t ever have to touch it again. This is smart laziness. This mentality allows these types of coders to focus on different projects rather than getting stuck continuously adjusting the same thing over and over.

Strong Ethics

The second quality that makes a good coder is someone who likes to do things the right way. Often, coders are told to rush projects, to cut corners to cheat the system. Or they’ll be told to hard code something “just for now,” or just halfway complete the task “for now.” Quick and dirty is a commonly repeated phrase in response to management and customer desires. But coders with strong ethics will hate that. They want to write good, elegant code that is structurally sound. They want to do the right thing. Especially if they fall under the smart laziness category, they want to do it right the first time because NOT doing it right means they have to go back and fix it later. That just takes more time and has them repeating work they’ve already done. Most people in general don’t like to repeat work, and coders are no different.

The Desire For Control

Really good coders want to be in control. These are creative people who want to create solid work that is sound and reliable. They want to figure out a strategy. The really good coders are architects, they want to build something beautiful and functional. In order to do that, they want to be in the driver’s seat.

Coders often get the short end of the stick when it comes to companies creating new features and apps for products. They are told to do things in ways they don’t agree with and have to deal with an internal battle of whether to do what they are told, or do it the right way. Be kind to your coders. Cutting corners and rushing creates weaknesses in the code, which opens the door for a plethora of problems. Doing it the right way the first time, allowing them to be in control and to automate what they can will result in better products, less labor costs and more revenue in your pocket.

About the Author

Pieter VanIperen, Managing Partner of PWV Consultants, leads a boutique group of industry leaders and influencers from the digital tech, security and design industries that acts as trusted technical partners for many Fortune 500 companies, high-visibility startups, universities, defense agencies, and NGOs. He is a 20-year software engineering veteran, who founded or co-founder several companies. He acts as a trusted advisor and mentor to numerous early stage startups, and has held the titles of software and software security executive, consultant and professor. His expert consulting and advisory work spans several industries in finance, media, medical tech, and defense contracting. Has also authored the highly influential precursor HAZL (jADE) programming language.

Contact us

Contact Us About Anything

Need Project Savers, Tech Debt Wranglers, Bleeding Edge Pushers?

Please drop us a note let us know how we can help. If you need help in a crunch make sure to mark your note as Urgent. If we can't help you solve your tech problem, we will help you find someone who can.

1350 Avenue of the Americas, New York City, NY