20 Skills Every Programmer Needs


Continuous self-development is important for both experienced developers and novice programmers wherever he is in the world. This list will help you choose directions for growth and discover new opportunities.

20 Skills Every Programmer Needs

Practice every day

It is very important to practice programming every day – at least 30 minutes. This will help you learn best practices and improve your skills. In addition, it will help you stay in good shape.

Learn communication

You don’t have to speak English like a native speaker. However, you need to be able to communicate with clients – in a meeting, in correspondence or by phone. Here it is important to improve the writing skills that can be borrowed from the essay writer. No one wants to lose a lucrative contract simply because they did not understand it.

Practice the principles of object-oriented design

Even if you’re just beginning to program, this approach will give you many benefits over time. It will make it easier to understand other people’s code, which is especially important in teamwork.

Learn to use version control systems effectively (like Git)

This is essential for those who are working on multiple projects simultaneously or on a group task.

Improve problem-solving skills

Software development is not easy work. Throughout his or her career, a programmer encounters a wide variety of problems and challenges. To learn how to solve them effectively, it pays to develop a special mindset.

Master the design tools – Photoshop, Sketch and Illustrator

For users to appreciate your work, websites and apps need to look appealing. You can learn the basics of design from online tutorials and YouTube videos, but real-world projects may require professional training.

Constantly learn new technologies and languages

Don’t limit your options. The more programming languages and environments a programmer has mastered, the better his or her chances of getting a job. If your skills remain the same for a long time, there is a chance that they are outdated. Try to keep yourself in shape and master the current tools that are used by leading developers around the world.

Learn at least one programming language (e.g. Python)

Such languages are useful for automating repetitive tasks. Even if you don’t want to do just programming, writing scripts can make your job a lot easier.

Learn to write clear and understandable code

Any developer has to spend a lot of time reading other people’s code. If it’s incomprehensible, it will be very difficult to figure out how it works. That’s why being able to write clear code is useful for everyone.

To improve your skills, you can write unit tests (e.g. on JUnit) and identify bugs during development or use short methods so that months later the code is easier to understand.

Think through the element before developing it

It takes some time from the initial idea of ​​a function, product or bug fix to release to the market. Try to think things through and make sure everything is working as expected. To do this, you need to connect a team, conduct interviews with users, take into account the requirements of shareholders, and so on. Don’t start coding before deciding what the result should be.

Implement precautions effectively

Numerous information security requirements can be confusing. To avoid drowning in the flood of information, make sure to provide not only the obvious “Make sure your password is strong enough” warnings, but also try to learn more about possible threats and how to avoid them.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions

This is a great way to learn. One of the biggest mistakes a professional can make is to assume they know everything. Many programmers make the mistake of thinking that asking for help demonstrates weakness. If you don’t understand something, ask for advice from someone who does, and then try to figure it out yourself. This will give you a deeper understanding of the topic.

Learn to work with different environment (Mac, Linux, Windows)

You don’t have to become an expert on all platforms, but it’s important to know how they function and what their strengths and weaknesses are. This will save time when switching between them. For example, developing an Android app on Windows or Mac is seriously different from working on Linux or Ubuntu.

Regularly practice pair programming (e.g. with colleagues)

This involves having two people sitting at the same computer at the same time: one writing code and the other watching the process and giving comments or advice.

Pair programming has many advantages: it allows better understanding of problems, sharing experiences and ideas, fixing bugs faster, and so on. It also helps to make communication between developers more comfortable and build trust, which is useful for teamwork.

Understand design principles (SOLID and object-oriented programming)

A developer does not need to know all the principles by heart, a general understanding is enough. Object-oriented programming is used in many different systems and technologies, so it is very important for a programmer to understand how it works.

When coding, the SOLID principles should be followed:

  • Single-responsibility principle;
  • Open/closed principle;
  • Liskov substitution principle;
  • Interface segregation principle;
  • Dependency inversion principle.

Learning to cope with change

It does not matter whether the programmer is working on a new project or on existing code: sooner or later he will have to deal with the changes (and not always desired). To be successful in this field, one must constantly adapt to change. Otherwise, the skills will inevitably become obsolete, and the developer will not be in demand on the market.

Be able to put yourself in the shoes of others

It is a very useful skill for a programmer: he must learn to see a product through the eyes of a client and understand what he likes or needs. You will have to communicate with the customers to make sure they appreciate the results.

Learning business processes and soft skills

Both the freelancer and the employee should understand business processes and have skills such as communication, time management and problem solving. They will help stand out from developers who understand nothing about it.

Manage deadlines

Everyone knows that sometimes projects get delayed and deadlines are broken. A programmer should be able to meet deadlines by scheduling checkpoints to track progress. This will help to be more efficient and complete tasks on time.

Master new technology quickly

As mentioned above, a developer needs to keep their skills current and learn new technologies quickly. This means learning new languages, frameworks, or libraries. It is important not only to know how to use the technology, but also to be aware of its benefits.


Lucy Bennett

Lucy Bennett is a Contributing Editor at iLounge. She has been writing about Apple and technology for over six years. Prior to joining iLounge, Lucy worked as a writer for several online publications.