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Suppose the company who the developer starts at is a cooperative, team of 10-15 members. The company follows SDLC.

  • What qualities do you think an employer seeks in a developer?
  • You are welcome to explain why the quality is important from employer’s point of view.

Here are some examples:

  • Analytic / Logical / Critical / Questioning / Methodical
  • Team player
  • Responsible
  • Social
  • Problem solver
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An employer should seek someone who is Smart and Gets Things Done –  Justin Ethier Dec 17 '10 at 20:06
    
What does "The company follows SDLC" mean exactly? Of course they do, how could they not? –  JohnFx Dec 17 '10 at 22:29
    
@JohnFx I wanted to point out working environment and expectations. –  Amir Rezaei Dec 17 '10 at 22:53
    
So what does it mean in this context? SDLC is not a methodology or specific working environment. –  JohnFx Dec 17 '10 at 22:57
    
@JohnFx No but it is a process. –  Amir Rezaei Dec 17 '10 at 23:01
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6 Answers

up vote 11 down vote accepted

While there are tons that I probably could name, here are some of the big ones to my mind, if I try to limit the list to 10 or less:

  • Self-motivating - Someone that can do work without having to be threatened or coerced to do work. This could also be seen as someone that has some drive and gets things done without requiring excessive external incentives

  • Affinity for learning - Often when solving problems there will be a learning curve for a developer to pick up either the technologies used, the process used or a combination of the two. This could also be seen as being adaptable and able to understand what is needed to get the job done.

  • Humility - Knowing that there are others out there that may be better with a specific skill and usually don't have a big ego that requires regular stroking.

  • Problem solving - This is likely to be common among developers as what is created is usually to fix something.

  • System building - Does the person know how to put together various pieces to form a robust system to perform some set of tasks? This is kind of the flip side to the problem solving in the case where the solution is something rather large and abstract possibly.

  • Abstract thinking - Software isn't a tangible thing and has a lot of flexibility that some people can have a hard time grasping and understanding the implications of that.

  • Creativity - This is more about how things get done that may require a new perspective or data structure that hasn't been used yet. Building something out of nothing can require someone to have the vision to see it and how it'll all work in the end.

  • Versatility - Many of the best developers I know don't mind taking on various roles to get something done. This may mean being a business analyst, quality analyst, architect, system administrator, project manager or something else as part of that process. In a way this goes with the humility in terms of being effective in a company.

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+1 For "the big ones", they all good ones! Specially Humility –  Amir Rezaei Dec 17 '10 at 20:31
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From a business perspective.

  • Ability to perform within a team.
  • Ability to estimate and meet estimates.
  • Ability to for consistent work and effort.
  • Ability to communicate technical ideas to non-technical people.
  • Experience with the technologies and problems the company has.
  • Technical ability to get the job done in a timely fashion.
  • Ability to learn and adapt to new technologies and environments.
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All too often the belief is that a heads down do'er is what an employer appreciates. This is true to an extent however the reality is that feedback and ideas are some of the most profound and beneficial traits to an employer.

Employers should be leaning on their employees and often times do; using their knowledge about varying topics to strengthen their business. When an employee remains un-engaged in the day to day business and simply accepts whatever details were passed to them without questioning the cause for the sake of the business, the employees value diminishes.

While the employee is on-time, knows when to ask questions, etc...they are still a replaceable resource. These items can be taught, ideas and creativity come from within.

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  • someone who can work independently, but knows when to ask for help.
  • someone who gets things done and meets deadlines.
  • someone who shows up to required meetings.
  • someone who fits the culture of the team/company.
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+1 For "can work independently, but knows when to ask for help" However the culture of the team/company may not always be right. –  Amir Rezaei Dec 17 '10 at 20:24
    
i think its pretty important that someone fit into the team and plays nicely with them –  Muad'Dib Dec 17 '10 at 20:29
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I feel like the wide range of knowledge in different areas is going to be more in demand than the expert knowledge in one particular area.

This is not to replace five specialists with one hero and save on personnel costs, but rather desire to get a person with an ability to understand the entire landscape and see the big picture.

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+1 Some how I agree. However if you work at a bank, finance knowledge which is beside development is more appreciate that knowledge in for example photographing. Perhaps “wide range” covers banking in this case. –  Amir Rezaei Dec 17 '10 at 20:13
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The ability to figure our how to solve the problem without asking 10 people how to do it. Bonus points if you figure out how to find the database ERD on the intranet by yourself.

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+1 "Bonus points if you figure out how to find the database ERD on the intranet by yourself." I recognize that one. –  Amir Rezaei Dec 17 '10 at 20:03
    
+1, to ruin your r/w/e reputation (777). –  Ben Dec 17 '10 at 20:56
    
Sorry but to me "figure out how to find the database ERD on the intranet by yourself" seems like psychic powers. It's one thing to be shown how to help yourself and then to be lazy and ask anyway. It's another to just magically figure out where everything is. I don't think crystal ball/psychic power is a requirement for a programmer...-1 –  Cervo Dec 18 '10 at 17:17
    
Oh but it is what management really wants. That is an illustrative example, granted. Management wants people who can figure things by themselves, not people needing hand-holding. –  Christopher Mahan Dec 18 '10 at 18:49
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