It’s an interesting debate whether or not rockstar programmers exist. You don’t need to master everything to be a successful programmer, but a combination of some knowledge, some smartness and some great entrepreneurial ideas can get you there. It involves a lot of head banging, but only inside the brain case. Common traits observed in a good programmer are passion for what he does, basics knowledge of design patterns, solution oriented, a coder that makes minimal errors, fundamental data structures, algorithms, knows multiple languages, and has a wealth of common sense. Whatever you believe, Rockstar programmers do exist. Maybe, it is rare to come across such real genius everyday, but you could take clue from the following top 10 attributes if your wish to recognize a true rockstar programmer from the rest.
Deep understanding of the fundamentals of computer science, evolution and use of languages and libraries lies at the root of any method of mastering the field. Only fundamentals can improve your efficiency to estimate accurately, to frame and solve problems compiler-theoretically, clear understanding of caching, load balancing, and compression while working with large data sets. Strong hold on fundamentals enables a programmer to entirely focus on the implications of the code and can visualize design concepts and create great systems.
Among all the problems which the software industry is presently facing, secure software coding is of paramount relevance. A rockstar programmer has to ensure security. No matter how brilliant and usable an application is, if a programmer fails to deliver security, it’s a disaster. Companies could lose millions of dollars because of a minute lapse in the security.
If you have ever observed the process of sculpting, then it’ll be easier for you to associate the ability to keep improving what you have started. Best programmers are always looking to mastering their subject. It’ll be impossible for a programmer to resist reshaping the code to meet requirements accurately. Developers claim that continuous refactoring is the only way that could solve the problem of ‘black box legacy code’. Refactoring involves improving what is already working well. That sounds odd. Why would anyone do that? Well, because sticking to what works for an extended period of time makes you slave to the old code, which turns out to be unstable and incompatible with passing years. Refactoring changes that and you own the code, not the other way round. Refactoring is the antidote to it.
Catching content from inspirations and already existing software or codes and reusing them is another obvious trait of any good programmer. These programmers find it hard to repeat traditional practices. However, it doesn’t mean that they always write purely original programs. Rather, a rockstar programmer knows inventing new languages to rewriting libraries, and making the best use of what is already available.
A great programmer always knows that software’s practical implication is the final target. Programs are written in parts and their writer can test them separately. Therefore, the best guys rely on testing their code before being certain that their assembled code will actually work. Testing is the means of perfecting the codes for such programmers. They won’t waste their time on writing without verification. ‘Unit Testing’ is based on similar principle where tests are written to mirror a code. Good engineers will always write a test and focus on testing the essential parts of each working system.
Mostly, IT industry looks for specialists and avoids Jack of all Trades, who are masters of none. Indulgence in learning multiple languages could distract a programmer from mastering any single one. Moreover, many successful coders believe that at the end of the day, it’s the libraries that matter, not the language. It’s a tough task to be equally comfortable with multiple languages. That’s the reason, why a person who is able to code in different languages like Java, C#, or C++, and is able to add new libraries and new ways of building systems, is called a rockstar programmer.
A good programmer is a fast learner and able to adapt to the requirements of a particular program. However, the ability to create or insert new ideas into the final product is a specific attribute of a rockstar programmer. It’s the creation that sells for more worth than an imitation of an existing, popular idea. It’s always the original creator who holds the key to success.
Best programmers display visionary skills. They are able to visualize a product from multiple perspectives. Once they are given an assignment, they take their time to ponder over it with in a depth analysis. A programmer creates software, but users actually decide its fate. They create for non-technical users as well as for the geeks. Their complex brains know how to code programs based on the perspective of the users. Their ability to see probable errors and imperfections discourages them to jump to continuous coding only to end up with a lot of correction work. In nutshell, rockstar programmers code less, but they code well.
It’s not surprising that passion and love for writing codes from beginning to end makes it an ideal trait for any successful programmer. They just love to build and are always ready to communicate their ideas. Their curiosity involuntarily guides them to analyze and comprehend all fundamental requirements and details. Their thought process is abstract. Writing a code might take a few hours to many weeks. These programmers could sit like a machine for days, and only natural aptitude and passion could provide such motivation. After all, passion is the essence of everything a human is ought to follow to become successful.