The skills that make great developers stand out


You can never have too many languages under your belt. On the other hand, it’s no good being a Jack of all trades and master of none.

Frontend Web Development

Learning languages is only part of web development. Being able to use multiple frontend libraries and frameworks effectively makes you stand out.

  1. React & Redux
  2. VueJS & Vuex
  3. Angular
  4. Jquery
  1. Edge
  2. Handlebars
  3. Pug

Backend Development

The user of a web application only thinks about a backend developer when things go wrong, but they marvel at the talents of frontend developers. As developers, we know that the frontend guys are relying on the quality of the backend.

  1. Python — Essential
  2. PHP — Essential
  3. Java — Familiarity
  4. Go — Familiarity

Continuous Integration, Automated Testing and Version Control

Users of our applications expect that bug fixes and new features to be delivered within hours or at least days. Fast delivery like this is only possible with Continuous Integration and Automated Testing. A great developer has the following skills.

  1. Subversion — Familiarity
  1. Automated Testing
  2. Continues Delivery
  1. GitLab
  2. Bamboo


Many problems that developer’s face come from issues with the infrastructure he or she is working with. As a developer, you might be the first person to identify the problem. Being able to describe the issues to Architects and Database teams and have the knowledge to recommend solutions is another sign of a great developer.

  • Event streaming such as Apache Kafka
  • Database engines such as Oracle, MSSQL, MySQL, Postgres, and MongoDB
  • API Gateways
  • Email
  • Networking, Routers and Proxy Servers


A Great developer will be able to write SQL in different dialects and know how to write queries that give the best performance.

  • MySQL
  • PostgeSQL

No SQL and Object Storage

As the type of data we deal with has evolved over the last decade or more, more and more data is now unstructured. Emails, Tweets, and other documents now make up a larger volume of data than relational.


A great developer knows that access to data sources such as databases should be via an API. If your code will access a database, one of the first things you should design and write is the API. You will be able to collaborate with architects, and network teams make sure the API’s are reusable and managed via a secure gateway.


To be a great developer is not just about code. It is about developing software that deliver’s a high quality solution to the customer. Software solutons are more often part of a complex infrastructure. A great developer will understand how this architecture is interlinked and be able to write code that brings it together in a stable, structured and supportable fashion.

The most important takeaways

No one is born a great developer. It’s a never ending cycle of learning and experimenting. If your new to development, don’t feel disheartened if you don’t have the skills I discuss in this article, see it as a todo list. If you take anything away from this article, it should be these three things.

  1. You don’t have to know everything about everything. Anyone who says they do is full of shit.
  2. It’s normal to have imposter syndrome. Get used to it; it means your passionate about your trade and eager to learn more.



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