What makes a great developer?

I was recently asked if I could provide an important trait that goes into the make up of a great developer. While there are obvious characteristics around knowing your technology and programming theory, and other such areas, but the one that came to mind immediately was this:
Be Humble
To be a successful developer you have to realise and  recognise your own limitations and not impose yourself over the top of others, particularly in areas in which you may be weak. I’m not saying don’t approach your work, customer, client, whatever with confidence, just don’t approach it with arrogance. There’s nothing quite like someone who thinks they know everything to stop people offering to help them, and in an area for business that’s often quite critical, you need everyone pulling as a team.
I’m quite happy to say "I don’t know’, but I’m also prepared to say "but I’ll try to find out" – which is often followed by the cry of "help!" with the people I work with.
Recognise what you don’t know and be humble.
Some of the other guys who’ve been asked the question have already blogged their thoughts:
Just including some other great tips:
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14 Responses to What makes a great developer?

  1. Trish says:

    I sometimes think developers often start out thinking their skills are not great, and they\’re afraid to touch a real system until they break something. Then they get arrogant and believe that everything they touch turns to gold. Then somewhere along the line, hopefully, they find a middle ground and the arrogance mellows into confidence with the wisdom of knowing their limitations.What makes a great tester? 1. Know when to be a helpful and supportive friend, and 2. Know when to be a complete and total bastard.Yeah, that theory needs a little more work, maybe there\’s a post in that one later. 😉

  2. Trish says:

    Amendment on previous post – in first sentence "until they break something" should read "in case they break something".

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