What makes a good programmer? We asked 12 programmers at Envato

What makes a good programmer? We asked 12 programmers at Envato.

Sebastian von Conrad – Development Manager

A good programmer strives for perfection with every line of code, but knows when good enough is good enough and when it’s time to let go.

Adrian Fittolani – Programme Manager

A good programmer can’t start a crossword without finishing it.

Anthony Sellitti – Developer

A good programer knows they don’t know everything, but is able to quickly find out and learn what they need to. A good programmer is willing to solve even the dull problems. A good programmer has a terrible memory, and may even be a little OCD.

Julian Doherty – Senior Developer

A good programmer expects everything to break, anywhere, anytime, in a totally weird way, and usually during a live demo. So they write code to contain and isolate breakages, and make sure that failure is minimised and recoverable.

Japheth Thomson – WordPress Evangelist

A good programmer knows when to ask for help! No matter how awesome a programmer you are, at some point you’re going to come up against a little bug or quirk that eludes you. Knowing when it’s time to get a colleague’s, or programmer friend’s, fresh eyes in to free you up and continue on your merry way is a skill in itself.

Gus Gollings – Development Team Lead

A good programmer counts from zero.

Pete Johns – Senior Developer

A good programmer regards lines of code not as “lines produced” but as “lines spent”. (Stolen from Edsger W. Dijkstra, who knew a thing or two —

Alan Skorkin – Senior Developer

A good programmer is not afraid of looking stupid. Admitting you don’t know and asking for help is not a failing, but a hallmark of a true professional. A good programmer also has great curiosity and an insatiable desire to learn, to deepen and widen his knowledge (both technical and otherwise). A good programmer has infinite patience, great software isn’t built via herculean efforts at a hackathon, but is instead a product of baby steps over many months and years. Lastly, it’s not just your code that makes you great, it’s a combination of your skills, your insight, your passion and your ability to work with others that will set you apart. A good programmer is more than the sum of their parts.

James Ross – Engineering Director

A good programmer cares.

Martin Jagusch – Developer

A good programmer is always part of the solution, not the problem.

Mario Visic – Senior Developer

A good programmer solves complex problems with tiny amounts of code, the best programmers solve problems by deleting code.

Jordan Lewis – Front End Developer

A good programmer has a thirst for knowledge. Their Twitter feed will be full of tweets from industry leaders and their inbox full of weekly tech newsletters. By continuously learning and having their finger on the industry’s pulse they will stay at the forefront of their profession.

Josh Janssen

About the Author Josh Janssen

Content Lead at Envato. Filmmaker, Photographer, Podcaster. Creator of things.