What It Means to be a Good Developer?

What It Means to be a Good Developer?
Photo by NEOM / Unsplash

A good developer knows how to write performant code
A good developer outputs 10x value
A good developer writes well-tested & documented code


The list goes on, but essentially the essence of such statements comes down to that: A good developer is a productive worker.

In this post, I want to challenge this perspective and come up with a new definition of what it means to be a developer.

What does a Developer Has, Other People Don't?

We live in a new age, where ordinary people can build things, not just big factories or corporations. Hacking culture, DIY culture, maker movement whatever you name it, all those arose from a single fact: We can build things, too.

The maker movement is a cultural revolution that places more value on individuals becoming creators of products or services than merely consuming them - Sogolytics

Developers has access to build tools, much more than any other industry. In fact, you can argue that developers are the build tools. I believe that is the power we hold.

What Should We Do With This Power?

We should strive to create an open and accessible internet to make sure this power stays in the hands of developers. This is what happened so far, but the reason I am writing this article is to make sure we don't forget what we have.

Everyone wants to change the world, in their own way. We as developers, has the power to make that change happen, in our own ways. Don't wait for someone else to make that change, Do It Yourself. Others will follow, the world is a huge place with so many people living on it. Whatever you want, there are other people that want the same thing. So, go make that change, pioneer new things, change the world just a little bit.

So, What Is a Good Developer

Someone who uses their power, to achieve their personal goals using programming. Who solves their own problems first, who builds their own needs first is a good developer.

Just because there is demand for your skills you learnt throughout the journey, doesn't mean you should aim to improve those skills. Those were not your first concern, when you started out.

Be yourself, don't let the business shape you into something else. You are the pioneer, they are the newcomer. You shape the culture, you hold the power, you drive the locomotive, businesses try to catch the train.

So, why should you let some job requirements define what a good developer is?

Be a good developer, and keep developing. Develop new things, develop existing things from scratch, try out new ideas, challenge the system. The world needs you, as you are.