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Ben Halpern
Ben Halpern

Posted on

What's your greatest software development skill?

What are you best at? We can't all be great at everything, but we all have certain skills which set us apart. What is it for you?

Top comments (70)

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jackharner profile image
Jack Harner 🚀

I'm a big fan of the following flow chart:

Just wish I could figure out someway to convey this idea as a tattoo.

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zejnilovic profile image
Saša Zejnilović

Hello.

I am stealing this.

Thank you.

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jackharner profile image
Jack Harner 🚀

Hello.

I don't own it so go ahead.

Thank you.

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scottishross profile image
Ross Henderson

I literally tell my girlfriend this probably at least 2 - 3 times a week. "Why worry about something you can't control? You're just putting yourself through it twice".

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maxart2501 profile image
Massimo Artizzu

My colleagues treat me like a living encyclopedia.

But I don't think it's my best trait. On the contrary, it may have a detrimental effect in the long run. And I think I'm not very good at controlling this.

Maybe because I've graduated in Mathematics and not CS, I've always been pretty comfortable at grasping the big picture of a project. Never lose sight of the goal (thesis), divide the problems, follow the implications and such.

Also, I've never had any problems with mathematical formulae, logical expressions and geometry. Always useful, even in web development.

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ben profile image
Ben Halpern

If one person is tasked with having that encyclopedic knowledge...

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maxart2501 profile image
Massimo Artizzu

Precisely on point.

Not that we actually face emergencies, but giving away punctual notions usually doesn't help your colleagues grow. And that's a problem, or at least a missed opportunity.
It's definitely a problem if developers start relying on that.

I've suggested my boss to let me (and other seniors too) create internal courses and classes, especially now that we're growing. I would love that, really, not to mention we could also sell the courses outside the company.

But this idea hasn't taken off yet: we can't "sacrifice" our seniors' time to that. Oh well, I hope that'll change ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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deleteman123 profile image
Fernando Doglio

I think I'm a good teacher and I enjoy explaining difficult technical concepts to those who're just starting out.
Other than that, I have debugging superpowers (I'm known to have spent days searching for am missing comma on a 3rd party library to fix a bug they were having, which ended-up affecting us).

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jacobmgevans profile image
Jacob Evans

I also love teaching others and having mutual knowledge exchanges with people.

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quii profile image
Chris James

Telling people who ask us to do crazy things "no"

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samuraiseoul profile image
Sophie The Lionhart • Edited on

A true god among men right here.

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thefluxapex profile image
Ian Pride

While I am skilled in many areas, I love automation!!! Some might not think it's a development skill, but automating things can be efficient, productive, and smooth with proper utilization of tools and correctly interfacing with APIs and years of experience. I don't just use AutoHotkey, AutoIt, or AutoKey (Linux), I use various languages integrated with each other as many programs do. I debug well too :D

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kleene1 profile image
kleene1

Finding where you can automate is really cool as well as where it's not possible to automate. And then having to tell the client that haha 😄👏👍.

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thefluxapex profile image
Ian Pride

I am not very happy with the state of automation of UWP (or limit/lack thereof) :(. Though I haven't spent much time researching the state of UWP automation, but that's because I am not a fan of UWP in general. Slowly, but surely, I guess lol.

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cheston profile image
Cheston • Edited on

People ask me...

"How do you always have a cup of coffee?"
"Where are you getting this coffee?"
"It's 5pm, how are you still drinking coffee??"

This is my greatest development skill.

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jordonr profile image
Jordon Replogle

I get the opposite question: "How do you work in IT and not drink coffee/energy drinks?"

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erikthered profile image
Erik Nelson

I feel like I'm pretty good at picking stuff up and running with it, even if I haven't had much exposure to it before. Another tangential skill I have is sticking with a difficult problem when others might give up.

I will admit though, the latter sometimes results in me being the keeper/expert on certain things that I don't love.

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reergymerej profile image
ᴙɘɘᴙgYmɘᴙɘj

I'm a master debugger and can figure out repro steps for even the most bizarre cases. This is probably due to my help desk origins.

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Valentin Baca

I came to say the same thing!

I worked at my college's IT dept and I feel it was key to how I debug issues.

It even helps when debugging non-tech issues. For example:

hm, my office is cold even though we put in new insulation. What provides the heat? Furnace. Is that working? Yes. Other rooms are heated. What if I'm losing heat? Possible. What changed? Insulation was put in. Noted, but how could that make it colder? Check the vent, hm. Some hot air but not nearly enough. Maybe my room is further from the furnace? Nope. Other farther rooms are heated. Time to get into the crawlspace. Turns out the insulation workers knocked the vent loose!

Same thing with code: What are the conditions the bug occurs in? What about when it doesn't? What's changed? Does it happen in all cases? If not, when does it? When did it start? ...etc etc.

It's even become a problem when watching TV. I think my debugging skill makes it easy to predict what's going to happen or be said. The plots, jokes, dialogue, and "twists" become predictable, mostly because it's easy to catch things because they only show things that are relevant. It's still enjoyable though, it's just a fun game I play. It used to drive my spouse nuts but now she's picked it up too!

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dmahely profile image
Doaa Mahely

This is very cool!

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codingmindfully profile image
Daragh Byrne

Remembering that I have solved things before, which means I can solve whatever it is I'm "stuck" on.

And that nobody has ever died because of code I wrote.

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kleene1 profile image
kleene1

Lol ! Haha ! 😂😂

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gabriela profile image
Gabi • Edited on

I feel comfortable debugging an issue. One memory that I sometimes remember is when i spent two entire days on encoding. I was working on a Python project (i learn as i go, i don't know python, i just adapt) and we had some serious problems with some generated reports. Loved that task.

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jacoby profile image
Dave Jacoby

Vague memories of things I touched ages ago.

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kleene1 profile image
kleene1

Haha 😂😅😱💥

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fultonbrowne profile image
Fulton Browne

Not loosing my mind when stuff doesn't work.

 
jonathanpwheat profile image
Jonathan Wheat

You'd love working with me then. I'm 48 and still in the game playing hard. I do have to say it IS amazing the perspective you have on things at this age. Especially when I look at how far technology has come - which is a distinct advantage for me.

I literally had 20k and 64k RAM in my first and second computer, no internet, dial up BBSs and you traded 5 1/4" floppy disks if you wanted to swap software. With those types of constraints, you learn to use your resources wisely. I can write some pretty tight code because of it compared to some of the bloated code I have to deal with that other devs write.

To your point, at 48, life is too short to give one.

Ok, getting off my old-man soapbox now, hope I don't fall and break a hip.

Signed,
"Get off my lawn" Jon

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jonathanpwheat profile image
Jonathan Wheat

LOL, great examples :)

I've run out of f*cks to give. My f*uck bucket is empty.

I learned this from my co-worker. If there's a problem just ask "is anyone dead or dying? Could someone be killed (because of this problem/emergency/urgent interruption"

No? Ok, it's not that bad then. It helps put things in perspective quickly.

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Omar Bahareth

The only thing I'm good at is that I can read very fast (700 - 1000 wpm). It really helps when going over books, docs, or example code. I actually prefer reading over videos or podcasts because of that.

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