Think you’re a good software developer? Try our checklist

Chances are, if you’re reading this you think you’re a good software developer or you want to know what makes a good developer.

At Gislen Software, we believe a great developer is someone who checks’s every one of these tick boxes below.

Good software developers are the unseen heroes of this world. Good developers bring functionality and information in ways that are gloriously helpful (and bug-free).

See how many checkboxes you strike off to inspire and challenge yourself.



✓ 1. You don’t just write good code

Writing good code is essential, but it’s not enough. Following the best practices is as important as writing the code itself.

A novice developer will only try to make the code work in any way or worst, the only way he knows.

But you are different.

Even though there are many ways to achieve your goal, you pick the right way rather than the easy way. You know it’s worth the effort.


✓ 2. Debugging is your thing

For many software developers (even when they have years of experience) debugging is a half-explored forest which they hesitate to set foot in. On the other hand, a good developer has a never-ending curiosity to find what went wrong? Why did it happen Can this be the reason Or that? 

It’s that curiosity that drives you the extra mile to discover the unknown and solve the mystery and make it impeccable.


✓ 3. You care about User Experience

User experience travels a long way down the road to a product’s success.

Every developer has a unique ego to showcase his or her skill set by creating an application that has an amazing visual and browsing sense – an application that uses the latest cutting edge technology that lies around the developer’s platform.

Only a good developer knows the difference between satisfying his/her own desires and the end user’s experience.

Given the choice, good developers always choose to create the application solely for enriching the end user’s experience.


✓ 4. You are your own Bug Police?

Testers have a hard time finding bugs in your application because of the extensive testing you perform in your development arena.

Even when something is found, you fix them happily instead of whining, knowing that you got another chance to improve the application.


✓ 5. That’s good enough: No good developer has ever said 

Good is the enemy of great says Jim C. Collins in his famous book Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap… and Others Don’t. A good software developer is never satisfied with doing what is merely required.

You thrive to make the software better, even when perfection is not mandatory. You give extra effort to make the application work seamlessly under unusual circumstances, validating every input to improve security. All the while you maintain program speed and keep an eye open for balancing the load to promise enriched user experience.


✓ 6. You are Open to Ideas and Respect Perspectives

A good software developer never stops looking for better ways to do his work. You don’t mind where the ideas/suggestions come from, you just grab it and experiment like your life depends on it.

And if the changes are found useful, you have to share it with somebody.

You respect other developer’s ways of coding, just like you want others to respect yours.


✓ 7. You are obsessed over details

You pay attention to minor details and the overall picture.

You make your code behave independently.

You care about the speed of page launches.

You globalise your application by providing translations.

You maintain logs to keep track of the transactions.

You write unit test cases to find out the efficiency of your code and to track the changes in business logic.

You leave your code well commented, readable, manageable and reusable.

Every developer knows the pain of fixing something in a poorly coded application. A good developer never writes such code.

Your desire for perfection makes any fix a piece of cake, no matter who makes the corrections. And you will be long remembered because your code can be reused.


✓ 8. You are a team player as well as a lone wolf

Developers fall under two categories: Either a team player or a loner.

Good developers enjoy sitting alone and coding, as well as working with a team sharing your code and improving other’s code. Since you can be both, you are popular and get assigned to any sized project.

This makes working under pressure no big deal. All you care about is the satisfaction when you finish a product and see the result, even if it took hours and hours of your time.


✓ 9. You Review and Get Reviewed

You are not afraid to show your work to the world.

A good software developer knows the only way to improve his work is by letting his work be evaluated. At the same time, you feel obligated to improve other’s work since you know the immense value of feedback and a pair of fresh eyes.


✓ 10. You contribute to society

Almost every software developer gets inspiration and help from various sources to improve his/her work. A good developer has a sense of responsibility to give something back to society.

There are many ways to contribute to the community. Answering forums, posting articles and moderating tech blog posts are some of them.

You feel pride in your contribution to society because you know that your little effort makes someone’s day somewhere in the world!


✓ 11. You are passionate

People who climb the ladder of success have passion as their fuel.

Passion is the one thing that cannot be faked because passion is more than what people can just reflect.

Passion makes you stand out in a crowd. You don’t settle for anything less than the highest quality in every work you lay your hands on. Your passion keeps you learning.

You let your work speak for itself.



I know you have said “check” to all the points above… If not, it’s high time you include them in your code-guru lists and steps up to a top-notch software developer.

We believe that developers are making the world a better place through software. Developer’s work is not always pretty, so we honour developers. Developers are the heroes that make functionality we can’t live without – the bug-free code that is praised by the end user, as well as developers’ peers.

So thank you for stepping up to our checklist. If you’ve been encouraged or challenged please share this with other developers.

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