Successful Computer Programmer

So we’re all computer programmers, but what makes you successful?   What makes you an excellent contributor to your team or company?

I discovered the importance of these traits little by little over the years.  They are progressively more important as you move down.

1. You’ve got to be smart,  that’s the first step –   Love math, enjoy implementing crazy algorithms, etc.  We’re all smart, or we wouldn’t be programming computers.

2. Be organized.  It is not enough that you can write code, you need to be organize.   This includes standard practices, documentation, and good habits.  This improves productivity many fold over the long haul.

3. Planning.   The more you can plan the more really hard stuff you can get done in ever shorter time periods.  Get the scoop directly from users, design, get sign off on everything, plan your time – and then bingo – just two days of coding, and you’re done.

4. People skills.   Finally to really become successful you need to develop strong collaborative relationships with everyone involved.   Programming computers is often the easy part.  Dealing with everyone else on the project requires real talent, and may take up more time than coding.

So, in a nutshell:  Be Smart …, Be Organized …, Plan …, and … last but not least, Be a People Person.   Have fun!