Differences between a top coder and an average coder

coder Software pioneer Robert L Glass quoted, “The best programmers are up to 28 times better than the worst programmers.” Getting top coders is rare. Their productivity is 3 times better than an average one and 10 times that of a bad one.

coder

Besides impeccable productivity, they also have remarkable traits. Let’s see seven aspects that differentiate a top coder from an average coder:

1. Liveliness

Yes. A top coder is very alive and enthusiastic. Also, he can go to any distance to get the work done along with good quality. Even if there is a deadline, the coder will try to finish it as soon as possible and release the project. The verdict: top coders care. They take feedback positively. Give them challenging projects and praise for their work. Doing these will ensure that they stay positive and happy. Some bonus perks are always a bonus to motivate top coders.

2. Communication skills

Impeccable communication skills are requisite. The advantage is that they are able to look through problems. Then they provide solutions in a logical manner. Top developers are quick learners. They ask questions as per the requirement. Offshore developers are fluent in multiple languages and also good at the documentation in English. English is the most commonly used language in the world of software development. Those who don’t understand it well may require interpreters and translators, making their knowledge outdated.

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3. Management of task and time

Top coders are highly reliable. They have a strong work ethic and show up in meetings on time. They mostly ensure that their work is delivered within the deadline allotted. A vital skill is to estimate the time taken for a task, communicating it and deliver the work in the estimated time. Another exceptional thing about great developers is that they manage their clients or leaders well, instead of clients managing them.

One simple way to test these skills is to assign them a short-term contract and sort out an evaluation time. In evaluation time, experts will assess the feedback of the developer. The sole purpose here is to evaluate the team’s strengths and weaknesses and figure out efficient ways to work and improve performance regularly. However, if someone is not working, maybe it’s time to take the tough decision and fire him/her and hire a coder.

4. Top coders are “quick learners”

They have the ability to “self-learn” new technologies and program updates. They are not bothered by new technologies. There comes a time in the life of every developer where he/she doesn’t know the answer. In such situations, they will search the web, talk to the right people and find the solution whatsoever. This ability helps them to maintain themselves at the top of the game.

5. Technical level: Expert

One more fascinating and obvious thing about top coders is that they have their hands on multiple programming languages. Also, they have a high level of competence in those languages. You should aim towards finding the right program for your projects. One who is ready to work under your requirements and responsibilities and who is well-versed with your motto(s). They will follow coding standards and deliver legible codes which can be passed on to other developers. They exhibit solid cognitive abilities and reputable work experience, so essentially they come up with unique solutions for their clients. Make sure while you hire a coder, that they follow crucial practices such as agile development, task management software (Jira, Trello, etc.), version control and working in local development environments.

6. Team player

An essential characteristic of a premium coder is that they assist other developers to progress. They will teach developers new skills, help them out when they are stuck. Above all, top coders write such documentation which benefits the team as well as the developer community in general.

7. Top coders focus on UX

One difference between both coders is that average coders only do the assigned work. But the experience of the end user and solving any existing faults and bugs also matter. A top coder cares about these aspects.

Great developers provide features of high value and revert those which are of no value.

Further reading…

  • Expertise shouldn’t be the only factor to hire technical coders. A quick learner, good attitude and emergent leadership skills are vital for a coder to produce creative solutions for the client rather than only expertise. Expertise often comes with ego, so we’ll take the right decisions regarding them.
  • Large, mature companies look for candidates with a specific skill set. This is because their positions are static and defined. But in the case of startups, one has to solve problems, learn new technologies, multitasking and work with small teams. Therefore, the importance of the qualities depends on the type of company.

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Do you want to become a top coder?

1. Eligibility

The technology boom is one of the best things to happen in this decade. Consequently, there are online courses that can train you to become a great developer. However, a lot of great programmers went to good universities and got a degree. Getting a degree in computer science helps understand architecture better and gives you a holistic perspective on the world of computer programming. Stay up-to-date with the latest technology. Even more, read articles and blogs about the latest technology, and try out new toys. Contribute to the software community by writing your own blogs.

2. Follow your heart

Being passionate in what you do is most important in any profession. Top coders are dedicated, love writing code blocks, and realize the impact of technology in the world. This way you will be more creative and focused on work.

3. Experience

Always insist on working for a company which provides you with a good employee experience with near to no pay, rather than the one which has a fat paycheck. These experiences will help you learn throughout the journey. Work everywhere you can, from startups to large MNCs.

4. Skillset

We have talked about this before. But let me repeat for emphasis. Technology is developing at an unbelievable rate. New languages and tools are being created almost weekly. A top coder always keeps himself/herself updated with new tools and executes them when ready. Always focus on one motto: embrace the change and move on.

Final word

Shortage in talent becomes a hindrance while hiring the best developers. They are in high demand and would love to work for innovative projects. Try to look for ways in which you can make your company unique with an inviting culture. Moreover, many companies go the traditional way, offering freshers a good compensation package, while others are aiming at better outsourcing to attract potential coders.