Behind every great software there is a team of great engineers. A team of people who use their distinctive attributes to develop powerful solutions to our modern-day problems, who think progressively and take their work to a level that overdelivers.
But what makes an engineer truly great? What is it that sets them apart?
There’s a general misconception that going from good to great requires a giant leap forward in know-how, skills, and knowledge. But if you take a closer look, you’ll see that, as in most cases, “the devil” is in the details.
Exceptional engineers give a little bit of “extra” to everything they do, at any stage of the process and they know that when you add the little things together, they amount to a lot.
So, what do great engineers have in common?
1. They are curious, open-minded, and innovative
At its core, software development is a problem-solving endeavor. A great engineer is always curious and open-minded when it comes to solving problems and can change their beliefs and predetermination when they’re presented with new information. They go looking for new answers, rather than thinking they already have all the answers.
2. They are able to simplify rather than complicate
The landscape of software constantly changes and gets more and more complex over time. A great software engineer knows to factor this in from the very start and is able to weave simplicity into their work.
3. They are ambitious and self-motivated
Engineers who can see the bigger picture and can motivate themselves will always be a step ahead, because they’re not relying on their environment and surroundings to keep them going and give 100% effort to the project.
4. They are strong communicators and work well in teams
There’s an old African saying “If you want to go quickly, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” The ability to communicate openly and work together with people is an amazing skill that helps the team to power through obstacles and tough times.
5. They know the value of everything, not just the software
Great engineers know that there’s value in everything – feedback, different opinions, innovation… and most important of all, they’re able to determine what matters most at any given time in order to maximize value and contribute to the project.
Even though there’s no magic formula to becoming a great engineer, it continuously goes to show that it’s the little things people tend to overlook that end up having a big impact.
The difference between an average and a good software engineer is simple – technical skills and experience. But the difference between a good and a great engineer lies in all the nuances of using personal skills to add even greater value to the final product – that’s how you deliver beyond what’s expected.