Why is it so important to have ideal developers on your team?
In a survey I did last year 17% of participants said they had incompetent staff on their projects. Which means bad code, more bugs and bad team dynamics. Ouch!
There is a ten to one variance between the worst programmer and the best programmer. And the worst programmers actually have negative ability because they introduce more bugs than they actually produce good code!
Paradox: 85% of a programmers success is due to human factors rather than pure technical skills.
What are the true costs of bad developers?
- Bad code, more bugs, even server crashes
- Bad hiring increases turnover cost
- More management headaches
- Other team members moral goes down
- Learning curve and training time
- Days lost to changing team members in and out
So you are probably asking yourself what is an ideal developer like?
Here is my take on this:
An ideal developer:
- Writes great programs that users love to use
- Code is easy to maintain
- Works well in teams
- Has few bugs
- Is good at solving problems in a simple way
But you only find this out once you have hired them. So! I look for character traits that predict this behavior ahead of time in the interview process.
What 7 character traits does an ideal developer have?
- Coding conventions
- Thinking and Planning
For example Humble
- My brain can’t take in the whole program at once - uses coding crutches
- Egoless programming - doesn't take their code personally if others need to change it
- Rewrites complex code to make it simpler to read
- Gets their code reviewed by another developer
- Asks for help if stuck for more than 15 minutes on a problem
- Holds back Murphy’s law with defensive coding methods
- Gives examples in comments
- Reference Change Tracker issue# and Description in comments
- Documents algorithm used in comments
These traits are from a user group talk I gave on "Guru Coders". If you want to read about the other 6 traits in more detail I posted the slides on my LinkedIn profile. And if we are not connected on LI already I invite you to connect with me while you are there!